Category Archives: Page by Page

Year of Yes – Review

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At first, I really did not like this book and thought it is going to be a very long 7 hours listening to Shonda’s tangy, irritating voice (by now you get I listened to the audiobook, right?) and her ramble on about her family and kids, but then we hit her Dartmouth Commencement speech and I’m like hang on, this chick has got a point:

“Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change”

And that is where I actually really started to listen, just over 1 hour into the book. Yes, we hit some more (a lot more) children related stories, and I’m all like, I don’t care about children, I don’t want children, this is boring, and some parts really are boring. But then we get the other parts. The parts that resonate within me and I think to myself, my god Joan, Shonda is talking to you. The part about her weight loss; getting so fat that you have to get seatbelt extenders on an airplane is a mortal fear of mine! And even though I have never heard of the term “Veal Practice” It is something I am totally familiar with, I do it all the time!

Making avatars of people and then not knowing where your friend went, when you finally, really see the real person behind your made-up friend, yeah, done that. Until listening to this book I did not understand that it was me; I needed to have that type of friend at a certain time in my life, so I had attributed certain characteristics to that avatar person to create her into the friend I needed, and truly loved at that time.

I only read this book because everyone else seems to have read it, and I need to know what I am missing out on when it comes to popular books. Plus Grey’s Anatomy Seasons 1 to 5 is my absolute favourite TV Show ever (and then it got a bit sucky, to be honest) So while I am sure this book is not a self-help book, it has certainly, in parts, shone a giant spot light on the crappy parts of my life and yeah, I am not Shonda, I do not have her achievements and I am not the creator of some amazing TV Shows, but I share a bunch of her problems, and perhaps I can do with a year of yes myself, or perhaps a couple of months of maybes to start off with.

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My obsession

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I am definitely obsessed with books and reading. Even though I have more unread books on my shelf and my Kindle than I can read in 5 years, I cannot stop buying more books or adding books to my endless To-Be-Read-Lists. This year I at least decided to face my problem and unlike the last 3 years, I did not vow to stop buying more books. That is a very good thing, as I ended up buying 14 books last week at the Exclusive Books Eastgate, closing down sale. Even though I do not even have the space on my bookshelves to add the new books, but I did get a decent collection.

On top of the 101 Books to Read Before You Die list I have been working through the last couple of years, I have also decided to do the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge this year and these are the books I chose for the categories:

A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
Inside, Outside, Herman Wouk
A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)
The Collected Stories, Eudora Welty
A book published by an indie press
The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World, Brian Allen Carr
A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ
Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx
A book by a person whose gender is different from your own
The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
A book that takes place in Asia
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
A book by an author from Africa
Agaat, Marlene van Niekerk
A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)
Princess, Jean Sasson
A microhistory
Stiff, Mary Roach
A YA novel
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
A sci-fi novel
The Martian, Andy Weir
A romance novel
Possession, AS Byatt
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
The Goldfinch, Donna Tart
A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
Before Midnight, Cameron Dokey
An audiobook
A Tale of 2 Cities, Charles Dickens
A collection of poetry
Prelude to Bruise, Saeed Jone
A book that someone else has recommended to you
The Unbearable likeness of Being, Milan Kundera
A book that was originally published in another language
The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)
Still need to decided as I do not usually read graphic novels
A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)
The Brightest Star in the Sky, Marian Keys
A book published before 1850
Vanity Fairm, William Makepeace Thackeray
A book published this year
Still to decide but there is 11 months of the year to wait for a new book
A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)
This is How, Augusten Burroughs

*I have already ticked off 3 books on the Read Harder Challenge, so things are off to a great start

On top of that I have also decided to do the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge, but have not specified all the books in the categories as I thought I can leave that open to complete as I pick up books during the course of the year. Unlike the Read Harder Challenge, I have decided that for the Popsugar Challenge books can overlap categories, otherwise I will just have way too many books that I can possibly read in 1 year.

So between all these challenges, I am sure to reach my reading goal of at least 75 books for 2015

This is my happy place

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My favourite book: The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
My favourite author: Sir Terry Pratchett
My favourite genre: Crime

My happy place and my obsession and my passion. I love reading and have an ever growing reading list, that will never be completed even if I lived 2 lives. I also have a serious problem and cannot stop buying more books and cannot pass a bookshop without going in and buying something.

The beginning of the year I started out with 68 unread books on my shelve and while I have read 39 of them so far, I still have 60 unread books on my shelve! And I’m not even mentioning my Kindle here!

I have read my whole life and was read to before I was even born and I am happy to say that passion for the written word has never died. I will read just about any genre, you never know when you will discover a great adventure, so I do not believe in excluding anything, even though I have my favourite genre, author and book and they are all from different spectrums of the reading rainbow.

I also want no participation in the whole book vs e-reader debate (I am a fan of both and love them for very different reasons) and as long as people are still reading, I couldn’t care less which medium they choose.