Mini Review: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Mini Review: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Nonfiction
  • Psychology/mental health
  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.13

The Comfort Book is Matt Haig’s third nonfiction book about mental health and mental illness. Just like the first two, this book is autobiographical and contains a collection of stories meant to comfort you in an increasingly stressful world.

The Comfort Book definitely lives up to the expectations set by the title. Reading it literally feels like somebody is hugging for a few pages. You need to be present for the full experience, though. If you’re just flicking through, you’re not going to get the full effect. Even though the book is literally written to make you feel good/better, it’s not necessarily an easy, relaxing read. I zoned out every once in a while and I put down the book to pick up a little later, so that I wouldn’t just be reading to finish, but to actually learn and gain something (this is actually a theme that is mentioned in the book).

“It is easier to learn to be soaked and happy than to learn how to stop the rain.”

Matt Haig, The Comfort Book

I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone, at least everyone who is open to the idea of changing their mindset in order to be happier. While it is definitely a comforting book, it also encourages you to look at yourself a little critically. I am definitely someone who has a habit of being completely bummed out when it is raining (see quote) when I was planning to go outside, the rain could completely ruin my day. Since I read this book, I’ve been on a run while it was raining twice already, something I never thought possible. This book is already making me a better/happier person.

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Top 6 Non-Fiction Books on my TBR

Top 6 Non-Fiction Books on my TBR

Hello fellow bookworms! If you’ve been following me for a while now, you may have noticed that I haven’t written about non-fiction a lot. I am actually quite passionate about non-fiction books, especially subjects like history, politics, feminism, nutrition and psychology (that’s pretty much all of them, I guess). The problem is, I’m slightly less passionate about actually reading them. Reading, for me, is mostly a relaxing activity and non-fiction does not always fit that description. I’ve been picking up a little more non-fiction, though, lately, so I thought it was time to do some non-fiction posts. This is a list of the top 6 non-fiction books on my bookshelf that I am most excited about!

1. Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harrari

Homo Deus is the sequel to Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, although both can be read separately. As the title suggests, Sapiens focuses a little more on the history of humans, where Homo Deus focuses on the future of humankind and the developments that are still to come. I read Sapiens a few years ago and, even though I really struggled to make it all the way through (I bought an extra digital copy in Dutch to read side by side with the English version, because it was easier to get through), I absolutely loved the book. I was instantly excited about Homo Deus, but since it took me so long to get through Sapiens, I decided to shelf it (pun intended) for a little while. Maybe it’s finally time!

2. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A copy of A Brief History of Time has been on my bookshelf for a while now, though I haven’t gotten around to it yet. A book by Stephen Hawking just seems incredibly daunting. It has always been at the top of my TBR, though. Can someone please talk me into starting on this one?

3. How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Two of my interests combined in one book: politics and history. I have no idea where or when I bought this book, but it’s been on my bookshelf for a while now. I’ve always been interested by the idea that the future can be predicted by looking at the past. There’s this Dutch scientist who published a couple of books and papers on the next Word War (2020 Warning by Ingo Piepers). By looking at the patterns in past wars, he predicted that the next World War would happen around 2020, give or take 4 years. Turns out, he might’ve been right. But I digress, I’m so excited to read this book and find out what we can learn from our past.

4. The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton

Don’t worry, I’m okay. I bought this book years ago, because I came across it at a bookshop and it was pink (just because I want to become smarter, doesn’t mean I can’t like pink!) and it looked interesting, so I bought it. I took a course in mental disorders in college and was fascinated by them, so I’m excited to find out what on earth we can learn from psychopaths.

5. The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal

After years of sitting on my ass, reading books, I’ve been getting into exercising and other types of movement lately. I’ve been running three times a week and supplementing that with a bit of yoga here and there (Yes, I’m looking for a little pat on the back.) An Instagram account that has really been a great help motivation-wise is @kaseykfit. She’s an exercise/healthy habit coach and she’s mentioned The Joy of Movement a couple of times. I got curious, so I bought it a few weeks ago. The book is about all the different ways that exercise is good for you (other than just weight-loss). Out of the six books on this list, I think this is the one I’m most excited about!

6. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

This book has been on my bookshelf for over 2 years and I still haven’t gotten around to it. I’m a sucker for self help books with a catchy title, especially if the cover basically promises you eternal happiness and stuff. I guess this is one of those books that you need to read once, put tabs in and annotate the hell out of and then keep it around to open up every once in a while and read the paragraphs you need at that moment. So that’s what I’ll do.

That was it for today’s list! If you enjoyed this list, make sure to subscribe either through e-mail or WordPress, or to follow me on Instagram or Twitter to be kept up to date on new posts.

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March Wrap-up

March Wrap-up

Hi my lovely bookworms! And thank you for clicking on this reading wrap-up for March. As always, time has flown by and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s felt that way. March has not been a great reading month for me, due to me falling ill twice and working a lot. I’ve been a little overwhelmed, so forgive me for the list not being as long as you’re used to. Quality-wise it was a pretty good reading month, though, so I’m not too disappointed. Let’s have a look at the books I read in March and then we’ll have a look at some stats and the books I’m currently reading!

March Books

March was an okay reading month for me, I guess. I would’ve loved to read a little more, especially since the Heartstopper novels are quite short, but I guess seven books is not too shabby. In April, I’m gonna go for 10. These are my March 2022 reads:

Get A Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was definitely the most disappointing book of the month. I had such high hopes for this, since it was hyped up a lot on Bookstagram, but I didn’t care for it much. I wrote an entire review on it which I’ll link below and in the title, but the explicit content was just way too graphic for my taste and it really got in the way of what would otherwise have been quite an enjoyable book.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Loved it. My second CoHo book and it definitely lived up to my expectations. I do need a therapist now, though. Any recommendations?

Heartstopper Volume three by Alice Oseman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Heartstopper Volume Four by Alice Oseman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to buy volume three and four in this series after finishing the first two in February. These two graphic novels were just as adorable and fun to read as the first two, though they were a little less lighthearted. Especially volume four, where mental health and mental illness are important themes throughout the story. This whole series is wonderful to read.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I finally gave in to reading the most popular fantasy series on Bookstagram. I have to say, I’m not disappointed. It is definitely living up to its expectations so far. I’ll keep you posted on the rest of the series 😉

Stressvrij Beleggen by Lieuwe Jan Eilander

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I won’t bore you with an elaborate explanation of this book. It’s a Dutch book about investing (literal translation of the title: Stress Free investing). I wanted to know more about investing, so I read it and it was quite boring, though informative.

Notes on A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The last book I finished in March. I became a big fan of Matt Haig’s after reading The Midnight Library last year. This is one of Haig’s nonfiction books about his own experiences with depression and anxiety and how to deal with mental illness in such a fast-paced society.

March Stats

I have read a total of 7 books this month, which brings my total for 2022 so far to 23 books, which is 31% of my Goodreads reading goal.

I have read a total of 2616 pages in March.

All of the books I’ve read in March were between 300 and 500 pages long.

Most of the books I’ve read in March were fiction. Only 2 of them were nonfiction; one was a self help book about mental health and the other was about investing. Am I slowly becoming the dullest person alive? Maybe.

Of the 7 books I read in March, 4 were physical copies and 3 were digital editions. Two of the digital editions were graphic novels and the other was just.. very graphic..

5 out of 7 books were romance novels. That means that every work of fiction I read in March was a romance novel.

My average rating in March was 3.93⭐️. That is slightly lower than my over all average of 4.06⭐️. We’ll do better in April.

Current reads

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

You’re probably going to see a Harry Potter book appear on every monthly wrap-up for the next couple of months, since I’m doing a Rereading Harry Potter series of posts (you may have seen it, if not, you can click on the link). I’m about two-thirds of the way through the Prisoner of Azkaban right now, so I’ll definitely finish that before my April wrap-up.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

I know, it’s weird to be reading a Christmas romance novel in spring, but I actually started reading this before Christmas and then I didn’t finish it in time. I put it down for like three months and then I figured it would either become a DNF (because I’m not going to wait a whole year to read the second half of a book) or I would continue right now, so I decided on the latter. I’m about 60% through the book right now, so hopefully it will appear on next month’s wrap-up.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Okay I’ve discovered that I am a sucker for Matt Haig books. This is my third book by Haig and I’m loving it. His honesty about his own experiences with depression and anxiety are just.. wow. Reasons to Stay Alive was actually written before Notes on a Nervous Planet, but they can both be read separately.

Favourite March Quotes

“If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.”

All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover

“Apologies are good for admitting regret, but they do very little in removing the truth from the actions that caused the regret.”

All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover

“And besides, libraries aren’t just about books. They are one of the few public spaces we have left which don’t like our wallets more than us.”

Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig

“Remember no one really cares what you look like. They care what they look like. You are the only person in the world to have worried about your face.”

Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig

“Happiness is not good for the economy.

We are encouraged, continually, to be a little bit dissatisfied with ourselves.”

Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling

“Why, dear boy, we don’t send wizards to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling

This Months Posts

February Reading Wrap-Up

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 9

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 10

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 11

Heartstopper Volume 1-4 by Alice Oseman

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 12

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

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All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Contemporary Romance
  • New Adult
  • Paperback
  • 305 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.31
  • TW: mental health, infertility

Quinn and Graham meet in an entirely improbable way that is probably not the best base for a relationship. Nevertheless, they get together and they are the absolute perfect couple. For a while, at least, until Quinn and Graham start trying to have a baby and it’s just not happening. They stop talking to each other and only have sex for the purpose of having a baby. But every month Quinn will get her period and fall apart all over again.

“If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.”

Colleen Hoover, All Your Perfects

Where do I even start? There are so many good things about this book. This is only my second CoHo book and I am absolutely blown away. First of all, the story is so original. The way that Quinn and Graham meet stirs up so many emotions, it really sets the tone for the rest of the book. Hoover writes her story and her characters in a way that makes you feel like you completely understand what infertility feels like without actually having experience it (luckily). It absolutely broke my heart to read about Quinn’s struggle with not being able to get pregnant. Everything that happens in this book is so well thought out. There is a box that is referred to in the story every once in a while and that keeps you curious (“What’s in the box!”). You eventually find out and it is absolutely perfect. If you must know, yes, I cried.

I’m a sucker for books with dual timelines. It keeps the story exciting and gives you exactly the information you need in a way that doesn’t get boring. Also, it keeps you from needing a therapist. Hoover has a gift for balancing the heartbreaking main story with lighthearted fun stuff from the beginning of Quinn’s and Graham’s relationship.

I came across some writing tips on Pinterest a while ago on how to write a character for your book or story. The main thing that stuck with me was that you shouldn’t make your character too perfect. An interesting character has flaws. Well, Hoover definitely has Pinterest too, because man, her characters have flaws. I’ve never written a book, but I’m guessing that creating characters is probably the most tricky part of writing. If the characters are too perfect, nobody will care, if they’re too flawed, everyone will hate them. The characters in All Your Perfects are perfectly imperfect, if that makes sense. Quinn’s mental issues that derive from not being able to get pregnant and her inability to communicate about it with Graham make her an amazing main character to a heartbreaking book. The imperfectness of Hoover’s characters is what makes this story so perfect.

Colleen Hoover is probably the most talented romance writer on earth. Her books are completely unique, unlike anything I’ve ever read before. After I read It Ends With Us, I thought “Okay, this is really good. Maybe I’ll read more CoHo books in the future, but I’ll probably only be disappointed, because nothing can match this.” I was wrong. This book was incredible, absolutely mind-blowing. If you can get your hands on this book or any CoHo book for that matter, do it. Buy it, read it, tell me what you think.

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Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Contemporary romance, chick lit
  • Ebook
  • 384 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.86

In Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, Chloe Brown sets herself a challenge to.. well, get a life. Chloe is a chronically ill computer geek who finally moved out of her parents house after almost dying and composing a list of six directives to help her get a life. Number one was moving out: check! Now she has to enjoy a drunken night out, have meaningless sex and go camping, among other things. She has no idea how she’s going to cross all those things off her list, until she meets the building’s superintendent, Redford Morgan. Red is an artist in need of a website and Chloe just so happens to make websites. Could they make a deal?

Get A Life, Chloe Brown had a few things that I liked and a few things I didn’t like. The plot and the characters were definitely original, that’s one thing I liked. There aren’t many romance books out there with a disabled or chronically ill main character, so it was refreshing to read about Chloe and her fibromyalgia. The main characters weren’t very likeable, though, which made it really hard to relate to them. Chloe is just a flat out bitch in the beginning of the book and Red is not much better. Both characters get a little better throughout the book, but they still felt a little flat. The dual point of view gives you a little peek into Redford’s mind every now and then, but he is just not layered that well. He has some kind of anger and trust issues that come from a bad relationship, but he just kind of shuts down and then turns back on again which seems a little flat. The constant going back and forth between “oh she likes me” and “no she hates me” was also a little frustrating and annoying. He would constantly jump to conclusions in a matter of nanoseconds and take it out on Chloe. Chloe’s sisters seemed like a lot of fun, though. They’re pretty much the only likeable characters in the story. Which is good, since the other two books in the series are about them.

The book was definitely funny, amusing and quirky for most of story. Hibbert has a gift for making you giggle out loud. The interactions between Red and Chloe are witty and Chloe definitely has a sharp tongue that makes her interactions with Red fun to read about. These interactions with Red and her sisters are the only reason that this book still gets three stars.

My least favourite thing about this book were the extremely graphic sex scenes. Maybe graphic isn’t really the right word, the fact that it’s graphic isn’t really the problem. The bluntness of the language used and the lack of romance is the problem. I don’t mind a little spice, but the spicy scenes in this book just weren’t tastefully done at all. Why did it need to be so graphical, why did there have to be so much sex in public places and elaborate descriptions of Red jerking off and stuff like that. There is literally no need to write entire paragraphs on how Red really has to jerk off after every time he sees Chloe, because he likes her thighs or her ankles or something. It was just too much. A lot of the scenes made me plain uncomfortable. I would not even call them spicy, some of them were just plain disgusting. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone under 16.

If someone would ask me whether or not I would recommend this book, I wouldn’t know what I would say. It was enjoyable enough, I guess, but the blunt, distasteful sex scenes just really bothered me. If you’re used to the use of the words “cunt”, “shaft” and “pussy” and you don’t mind scenes where public sex happens out of the blue with no real motivation or cause in a phase of the story when nothing romantic has happened yet, then I would definitely recommend it. If that’s not your thing, don’t read it. I haven’t read the sequels yet, so I can’t tell you if it gets any better, but I’m not really a fan of struggling through a book just because “it gets better” anyway. That’s like 8 hours of your life we’re talking about. Spend them reading something you actually like.

I’m going to keep on reading the series because the next two books are about Chloe’s sisters and they were actually my favourite characters from the book, but I do really hope that the other two books are much less graphic and focused on sex. If the series keeps going in this fashion, it’s going to be a DNF for me. This one already almost was.

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