Saturday, July 9, 2016

Read in 2016: Non-Fiction books

Thank you for the kind welcome back comments in the end of the last post, friends! It's good to see you guys still around. 

So, to ease back into the swing of things, here are five out of 12 books I've read this year - non-fiction. I never used to be a big non-fiction reader, but this has changed vastly in the past few years' time, largely thanks to the other book bloggers. Looking at this selection of books, I realise there is nothing random here. Once I stopped eating meat, my focus also shifted to the other areas of human consumption, and I sought out some reads that seemed interesting.

Look at all the tasty non-fiction :)
Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer - 4/5
I had been planning to read some Krakauer for a long time, but didn't actually get to it until last year after seeing the movie Everest, in which Krakauer is one of the characters and which depicts the same events as Krakauer in his book Into Thin Air (which I inhaled right after I watched the movie - pun intended). So I bought two more of his books, this one and Eiger Dreams, the latter is a selection of essays about mountain climbing. 
Into the Wild was not a new story for me, as I had seen the movie a long time ago. Still, the book was enjoyable and poses some very interesting questions/dilemmas about what it means to be an individual in a society.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, Elizabeth L. Cline - 3/5
Much like the recent documentary made on the same topic, The True Cost, Overdressed offers a look into where our clothes really come from, how the cycle of a year in fashion has changed, and the catastrophic consequences it has had. Even without learning about this topic I never felt comfortable buying a nearly-for-free piece of clothing from H&M or some other fast fashion chain - not because I'm a snob but because I realised this price has to be paid by someone. Overdressed and The True Cost introduce you to the people who pay for many people's overconsumption tendencies. (For example, the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse.)

No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan O'Connor, Alexandra Spunt - 3/5
The better part of the last year I was struggling with an allergic flare, mostly on my face (fun times!) It was a face wash triggered allergy, which is what led me to read this book about the very dirty beauty industry. Some parts feel a bit dated by now (first published in 2010), but nevertheless it is a good introduction to the topic. I've since bought a few more books on this.

Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser - 5/5
The Best Book so far this year. It had been sitting on my shelf for at least a year until I decided to pick it up. This book is so thorough and so well researched. I usually do not add anything on the Goodreads once I finish the book (aside from the rating), but this I wrote after finishing Fast Food Nation:

Don't expect this to be anything like Super Size Me. This is a very serious, a very matter-of-fact, a very well researched book. More depressing than American Psycho, In the Miso Soup & Requiem for a Dream combined.

   Swallow This, Joanna Blythman - 3/5
... and continuing with "where our food really comes from". Sufficient to say it's also pretty eye-opening, somewhere in the middle I had the thought that soon I will not dare to eat anything... Good thing - it has completely cured me from the bad habit of getting some pre-processed foods from the store, ever. Cos it's not food, really. And I don't want to eat no-food.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The prodigal daughter returns

It's been almost a year! *virtual hugs to all the bookish people*

As usual, I didn't PLAN to stop writing, these things just seem to happen, the mojo goes away... But lately I've been really, really missing my good old book blog so here I am again. Now probably for longer, more regular time. And there might be some changes in the blog, but then again maybe not... I haven't got an elaborate action plan, I just miss reading and writing about books.

Yes, I haven't been reading a lot for this past almost-a-year. It's been weird, last I had such long gaps between reading were in uni days. I've read a whopping 12 books in 2016. A point of perspective - in 2014 I finished 100 books... Not that the numbers matter. It might sound strange but I have started to read slower deliberately, to get more out of each book and not just rush through. 

In other spheres of life, no major changes have taken place, except that I changed workplace. Well I did and didn't, I am still a media analyst and do exactly what I did before, but I just moved over to the Finnish branch in the same firm. That was one of my Big Goals for this year, so it's great to have it done. Still live with my hobbit and two furballs, still in the same place. I embrace the peaceful routine at this point of life, I do.

Oh and I also went vegetarian last autumn.

I think to catch up I'll make a little overview of the 12 books I've read this year next. It's been non-fiction heavy and interesting half a year. 

Say hello if you are still lurking around these corners, please :)