#AWW2018 “Nothing meant anything if I kept everything.” // Review of “Lessons in Letting Go” by Corinne Grant

Title: Lessons in Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder
Author: Corinne Grant
Genre:  memoir
Dates read: 30/04/18 – 07/04/18
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

I am the opposite of a hoarder. I am so up for clearing out and donating or otherwise getting rid of “stuff”. So I did have a bit of a morbid curiosity regarding how one becomes a hoarder. I’ve seen some of those TV shows where someone comes in and just starts throwing things out, but they never really seemed to  deal with the whys and wherefores.

Corinne Grant does go into this aspect. She talks about the psychological barriers that  prevented her from throwing out anything, and how hard it was to ever face the fact that she had too much stuff. I have to admit, this first section of the book was quite sad, bordering on depressing.

I did become more engaged once Corinne began discussing the catalyst for the change in her mindset, which led to her beginning to clear out her stuff.  This included a trip to Jordan, where she interviewed refugees, and realised that the problems she had paled in comparison to these people. Having just travelled to Nepal last month to witness the work being done by UN Women post-2015 earthquakes, I engaged with this section on a personal level.

I was rooting for Corinne as she faced her demons and changed her life, and I had some feelings of second-hand pride at the end. This is definitely an uplifting story, and I recommend if you are into reading memoirs, or if you have an interest in the subject matter.


This review is part of my Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2018. Click here for more information.

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#WWW Wednesday – September 06, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finally finished Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright! And got the paper written on it, though I checked the course guide again after writing it and I’m not 100% sure I followed the instructions properly. But it’s fine! It’s done! It’s not that it was a terrible book, it’s just I’m not really into biographies. 

I know this will be a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I also DNFed An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir at about 35%. I actually think the narrators of the audio book are partly to blame for this, as they seemed to bring out the characters’ negative aspects more than the positive (Laia was whiny and useless and Elias came across as sleazy) and I just didn’t want to spend another 10 hours with these characters.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Frogkisser! by Garth Nix. It is a cute, somewhat self-aware middle-grade about a Princess who has to go on a Quest. She has to find the ingredients to make a lip balm that she can use to transform her older sister’s ex-boyfriend from a frog back to human. The lip balm renders the true love requirement irrelevant. The writing style is clearly emulating the style of older fairytale books and writers such as Enid Blyton. Like I said, it’s cute at the moment, but has the potential to get annoying.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I posted my prospective until-the-end-of-the-year TBR yesterday. I think my next read will be A Semi-Definitive List of Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland. I attended an author talk about this one last weekend and it sounds really adorable, so I want to get on it stat!

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 

#WWW Wednesday – August 30, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

Though first, I wrote a blog post about my weekend spent at the Canberra Writer’s Festival, if anyone is interested. There was so much I didn’t get to, but the sessions I did attend were very inspiring.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

It’s been one of those weeks where I have neither finished nor reviewed anything. Blargh. Lots of things going on, very few of them enjoyable. I did DNF Utopia by Lincoln Child on audio… it wasn’t exactly terrible but it was published in 2002 and for something supposed to be set in the near-future, it didn’t date very well. And more interesting audio books became available.

What are you currently reading?

Still trucking along with Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright. Light at the end of the tunnel! I am within the last 80 pages. It has been fascinating reading about someone at the heart of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain though. In 1908, Muriel Matters and a fellow suffragist chained themselves to the Grille which separated the Ladies’ Gallery from the House of Commons, and in the raucous, Muriel became the first woman to speak in the House.

I have started An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir on audio. I’m about a quarter of the way through and it’s… fine? I’m not entirely sold on it yet, but I’m not disliking it.  It’s distracting that Laia sounds like “liar” so every time someone says her name, it sounds like they’re accusing her of not telling the truth. I thought it was pronounced like “layer” but apparently not.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I honestly have no idea at this point! Probably something easily digestible. Maybe some of my Writer’s Festival purchases. One of those is short stories, and that would be nice and easy to get through.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 

#WWW Wednesday – August 23, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

 finished the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I really loved how it ended but at the same time, I was reluctant to let go. As I said in my review, there were times throughout where I planned on rating it everything from 3 stars through to 4.5, but I finally went with 4.

I also posted my review of Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh this week. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I need to pick up my game with Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright. I just don’t read non-fiction very quickly, but my review of it is due by September 3, which will be here before we know it. And it’s a uni assignment, so I do actually have to have it written by then. There’s just so much other class reading, I’d rather be reading books for my own leisure than also for class!

I have also just started Utopia by Lincoln Child on audio. It has one of the worst covers ever but the story is intriguing. I’m about 10% into it, and so far I have noticed that the author’s ability to describe women and non-white characters leaves a bit to be desired (is “almond-eyed man” really the best you can do? Twice?) but I’m willing to give it a bit longer at this point.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I honestly have no idea at this point! Probably something easily digestible. I have some library books.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

Oooh, also, before I go! Australian readers will be familiar with Book Week, a week sponsored by the Australian Children’s Book Council.  It’s been going for years and one of the features is the annual Book Parade, where kids get to dress up as their favourite book characters. And we got to dress up at work today! I dressed a Offred from  the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I knew there was a reason I kept my bonnet from doing The Crucible tucked away for three years. You can see the photos on the National Library of Australia Facebook page

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#WWW Wednesday – August 16, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished  Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh last night, and have kind of weird feelings about it. I definitely enjoyed parts of it, but at the same time, I never felt really invested in it. Maybe I’m still slightly in my reading slump, or maybe I hyped it up too much to myself, but I felt it was just missing… something. My review will go up on Friday.

I also posted my review of The Space Between by Rachel Sanderson this week. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I have just started Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright today. It’s a biography and I don’t usually read a lot of non-fiction, but I have to write a critical review of a biography for a history course I’m doing this semester. I’m only about 30 pages in so far but it’s really interesting!

I am nearly 3/4 of the way through the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I think once I got into it and got used to the narrator, the rhythm of the descriptions started really working for me, though every now and then I get frustrated by certain aspects of it (mostly the plot, or lack thereof)

What do you think you’ll read next?

I thought I might go back to The Ship From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig and see if I can get into it enough to finish it. The love story was overpowering the time travel and I wasn’t terribly interested, but I think they were just going off to a mythical country when I put it aside, so maybe it will pick up.

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#WWW Wednesday – August 9, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I got myself out of my reading slump and finished two books this week! Yay! I pushed through Daughter of the  Burning City by Amanda Foody, despite wanting to DNF if a couple of times. My reading slump suddenly disappeared about 3/4 of the way through it and I was able to review it properly. I reviewed it here.

After that, I finished The Space Between by my friend and writing buddy Rachel Sanderson in two days. This was a really great contemporary YA drama that I found hard to put down. It was shortlisted for the 2016 Ampersand Prize, which is a big Australian YA/MG prize, but after a year of submissions and some (albeit very nice) rejections, Rachel recently decided to publish it herself. My review will go up on Friday, but if you like this sort of thing, I recommend checking it out!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve started Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, which is one of my most anticipated reads this year. I’ve only about a quarter of the way through it at this point, but it’s a solid read and I’m enjoying it. The only thing that’s mildly annoying me so far is the fairly frequent use of Japanese words, which helps with the world-building a bit, but also requires constant flipping to the glossary.

I also recently started the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, though I am not entirely sold on it yet. I’m not sure the narrator really fits the story and I’m also not sure the story really lends itself to an audio book with so much jumping around in time… so I will see how I go. I did actually DNF this back in 2012, so it could just be a case of it not being for me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m only reading Flame in the Mist already because when there’s a queue for a book at my local library, you can’t renew it, so I only have it for two weeks. Once I’ve finished it, I have to put the rest of my recent library haul aside and read Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright. This is a biography of an Australian actress who became a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement in the UK, then faded into obscurity and is now basically forgotten. I’m doing a uni course on biography this semester and have to read one and write a critical review. That’s due on September 3, so I need to start reading soon to give myself plenty of time.

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.