Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.”David viscott
While my brain fog seems to be clearing enough to actually read full books again, over the summer I took the opportunity to read three very diverse books, primarily to pass the time while commuting to my treatments, but also to get my mind working and as a diversion from pain and the monotony of life with chronic illness. I enjoyed each book immensely in their own way, and savoured the diversity of my choices.
This is not a book blog, I will leave that to the experts! But I appreciated all three so much that I wanted to share them with you. Please note, these are unsolicited reviews and I am receiving now compensation of any kind from the authors/publishers for these reviews.
Pardon My French, by Allison McWood
2019 Annelid Press, Genre: Farce
I had the good fortune to purchase Pardon My French at the author’s book signing event in a nearby town from indie writer, Allison McWood. McWood is an accomplished playwright and children’s author but this is her first novel. It is completely different from anything I have read in the past as it is a Romantic Farce… As the writer suggests in her forward to the book, “If you are hoping for a traditional romantic comedy or a realistic documentary about French culture, then I strongly suggest that you put this book down and walk away.”
Pardon My French is an hilarious, romantic romp through Paris that pokes fun at stereotypes and sends the important message, that we should not pre-judge people based upon preconceived stereotypes. The characters, archetypes of the author’s conception of good-natured Parisians, ridiculous stereotypes of Parisians, and the naivety of those who live in cultural isolation, represent extremes that make for a farce of grand scale. The ensuing conflicts and misunderstandings are funny yet poignant. I grew to love the protagonists, Benoit and Courtney, as their, at times star-crossed, romance unfolds. While there is redemption for some, the primary antagonist, Dree, remains completely repugnant from beginning to end!
Fun to read, this book delivers on laughs but also on an important message for the times we are living in: the ridiculousness of stereotypes and prejudice.
Pardon my French is available in print and eBook format on Amazon
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
1989 Fireside/Simon & Schuster Inc., Genre: Self-Help
So this book I borrowed/swiped from my brother-in-law’s den. I thought I had read it years ago when it was first published, but turns out it was something else Covey had written. I am so very glad I took the time to read this self-help classic .
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, subtitled Powerful Lessons in Personal Growth, while an older title was engrossing and enlightening and offered great illustrations and advice on the steps to personal growth. It talks about perspective and then walks your through Private Victory, Public Victory and on to Renwal through the seven habits. It also walks you from dependence, to independence and onto the most powerful state, interdependence where life’s greatest synergies are to be found.
This book made me think and probably the greatest impact has been changing (or working on changing) my approach to communication.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is available on Amazon in print, eBook and audiobook formats.
Educated, by Tara Westover
2018 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., Genre: Memoir
Rounding out my three diverse book recommendations from this summer’s reading list is Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover. This book was a gift from a dear friend who wrote me that this was the best book she read in 2018 and I must agree it has joined the ranks of my all-time favourite reads.
Educated is the life story of a woman, born in the mountains of Idaho to a survivalist family with extreme religious views. Westover never attended school, went to a doctor or had her birth registered; in fact, the date of her birth was disputed by family members. In spite of all of this, she was able to teach herself enough to pass a university entrance exam, and found herself at the age of seventeen in a classroom for the first time, studying at university, putting her in conflict not only with her family, but with herself and her own belief system.
While this book is a true account, it is reminiscent of dystopian fictions such as The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games or 1984, and from this perspective may appeal to a similar audience. Westover’s words paint a picture and while profound in many ways it remains very accessible to the reader. The fact that it is not a fiction makes it all the more compelling in a time of societal entitlement; coupled with the elegance of Westover’s style this book will be enjoyed by a very wide audience. A thought-provoking and inspirational read.
Educated is available on Amazon in print, eBook and audiobook formats.
Any Thoughts on These Books?
Have you read any of these books? Are you thinking of reading them? I would love to get your feedback and here your thoughts on these titles!