April Reads

Some Advance Reader Copies (eARCs and ARCs), via Bookbridgr, Netgalley and publishers, included. They will be marked with an *

My April reads round-up doesn’t contain as many books as I’d like, but I’m ahead on my Goodreads Reading Challenge so it’s not something to worry about just yet.

April Reads

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry*

Opening with news of a violent crime My Husband’s Wife* rewinds fifteen years to unravel the events, which led to murder.

Lily and Ed meet at a party, Ed proposes on their second date and they marry shortly after. But all is not as happy as newly married life should be. Lily and Ed are keeping secrets from each other, secrets that will put their marriage to the test if revealed.

Lily is a criminal defence lawyer while Ed works in advertising, but dreams of making it big as an artist. Lily’s first case involves Joe Thomas, a man she finds herself irresistibly drawn to.

Carla is a young girl struggling to fit in at school. A combination of being Italian and not being able to afford the latest “must have” clothes or toys mean she is marked as different. Carla knows what she wants and finds a way to get it.

When Lily agrees to look after Carla, while her mother is at work, Ed finds his muse. ‘The Italian Girl’ eventually brings success Ed’s way.

Told from alternating perspectives, My Husband’s Wife* explores what it means to be human – flaws and all. Jane Corry skilfully intertwines the lives of complex characters leaving the reader in no doubt that good people sometimes do bad things.

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This week I’ve been reading #73

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

Re-examining Monica, Marcia, Tonya and Anita, the ‘scandalous’ women of the ’90s

The media frenzies that once surrounded Marcia Clark and Monica Lewinsky and Tonya Harding and Anita Hill—and countless other women we have yet to reexamine—all have a pleasant sheen of ‘90s nostalgia about them. (Who would have imagined that the words “Hard Copy” could conjure not disgust, but wistfulness?) Yet their most meaningful lessons remain timeless, as do their most enduring questions—chief among them the mystery of why we are so able, so often, not just to happily watch the story of an abused and marginalized woman unfold in real time, but to see her powerlessness as wicked, shameless strength. – Re-examining Monica, Marcia, Tonya and Anita, the ‘scandalous’ women of the ’90s

An excellent article about how so-called ‘controversial’ women were treated by the ’90s press.

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The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

I read The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander (the pen name of bestselling author Denise Deegan) last year when it was on special offer on Kindle, but it’s released in paperback on April 26th so now seems like the perfect time to review it.

The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

Lucy Arigho is not the kind of person to be swept off her feet, but that all changes when she meets Greg Millar. She is drawn to him in a way she didn’t expect, especially after the death of her fiancé Brendan. But when Greg talks about getting married, Lucy doesn’t immediately say no but she does want to take things a bit slower.

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This week I’ve been reading #72

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

How to buy the perfect book for someone else

But buying books for people you love is, I think, a sacred act. It’s a way of saying “We understand each other. We are complex and curious, in the same way. We share a facet of weirdness, or funniness, or just a perspective that we could spend the rest of our lives discussing and never get to the bottom of. But this book is about both of us.” – How to buy the perfect book for someone else

Daisy Buchanan on the art of buying books for other people.

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March Reads

Some Advance Reader Copies (eARCs and ARCs), via BookbridgrNetgalley and publishers, included. They will be marked with an *

March was a month of ups and downs, among the four and five star books were some one and two star reads.

There is still a theme or two running through my March reads, feminist non-fiction and mystery/thrillers continue to draw my attention.

March Reads

Queer Wars by Dennis Altman and Jonathan Symons*

With a specific focus on America and Australia, Queer Wars* provides an overview of how far LGBTQ rights have come and how much is still left to achieve.

This wasn’t as in-depth as I thought it would be. If you’re anyway interested in the LGBTQ community this is probably stuff you already know, especially in relation to America, Australia and Europe. I understand why the focus was placed there, but I would have liked to hear about the difficulties faced by LGBTQ people in African countries, Russia, the Middle East, India and Pakistan. When they were mentioned it felt rushed.

That said Queer Wars* is a good primer on LGBTQ* politics worldwide for those who are just starting out, wherever they fall on the sexuality spectrum.

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This week I’ve been reading #71

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

Monica Lewinsky: ‘The shame sticks to you like tar’

Back then, the world basically saw Lewinsky as the predator. Late-night talkshow hosts routinely made misogynistic jokes, with Jay Leno among the cruellest: “Monica Lewinsky has gained back all the weight she lost last year. [She’s] considering having her jaw wired shut but then, nah, she didn’t want to give up her sex life.” And so on.

In February 1998, the feminist writer Nancy Friday was asked by the New York Observer to speculate on Lewinsky’s future. “She can rent out her mouth,” she replied.

I hope those mainstream voices wouldn’t treat Lewinsky quite this badly if the scandal broke today. Nowadays most people understand those jokes to be slut-shaming, punching down, don’t they?

“I hope so,” Lewinsky says. “I don’t know.” – Monica Lewinsky: ‘The shame sticks to you like tar’

Monica Lewinsky talks to Jon Ronson about public shaming, bullying, misogyny and how feminists failed her.

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This week I’ve been reading #70

A belated round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention in the last week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

The Unbearable Innateness of Being

My gender identity was, and is, a core part of who I am. I have fought against it for most of my life. I did what society expected me to do. I pushed it aside and lived my life in the role society, and my genitals, had carved out for me. I settled down, got married, had kids. And yet, no matter how much I tried to push my gender identity aside, it was always there, in the back of my mind. No matter how good I was at playing the male role, I just could not suppress that voice that told me I was only pretending. That I wasn’t being true to myself. – The Unbearable Innateness of Being

This beautifully written blog post about being a trans* woman is powerful, raw and full of strength. Take the time to read it, you’ll be all the better for it.

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This week I’ve been reading #69

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

When Your Rapist Is a Woman

These gender norms can directly contribute to distrust of a victim’s claims, says Lisa Langenderfer-Magruder, co-author of a recent study of LGBTQ intimate partner violence in Colorado. “When someone is confronted with a situation that doesn’t quite fit that major narrative, they may question its validity,” she says. All of this amounts to a culture in which most research on partner violence focuses on heterosexual relationships. “So, in some ways, we’re playing catch up.”

Survivors are trapped in a cycle that delegitimizes their experience: first by downplaying the likelihood that it could happen at all, then by not validating it once it happens, and finally by not analyzing the data—and therefore creating awareness—after it does. – When Your Rapist Is a Woman

This is an important read about woman-on-woman rape and sexual assault within the LGBTQ* community.

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Lush Cosmetic Warrior Review

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask (75g), €9.50. No press samples included.

I bought Cosmetic Warrior during a recent trip to Lush. I usually use Catastrophe Cosmetic but (a) it was out of stock and (b) my hormonal acne was flaring up big time so I decided to give Cosmetic Warrior a try.

Lush Cosmetic Warrior

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The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) via Netgalley included. 

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Samantha Whipple is the last remaining descendent of the Brontë family, a connection she isn’t exactly thrilled about. Following the death of her father, it falls on Samantha to protect the Brontë legacy. A legacy the world assumes includes a grand inheritance, an abundance of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Brontë family. Samantha has never seen this alleged estate; to her it is as fictional as the Brontë novels themselves.

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