Books 2014: July

Next month, the books post will look slightly different; I’ll be reviewing each book in more detail as I finish it and then at the end of the month having a round-up post. It’ll make sense when you see it, promise.

Orange is the New Black- Piper Kerman (My book- Kindle)

 

orangeisthenew

I love the TV series. I loathed the book. You know how in the series, Piper is full of a sense of privilege and entitlement? Well, TURN THAT UP TO 11 and you have the book. Of course, it’s a memoir and of course the show is fictional, despite drawing on the book as a source but my God I wanted to smack the author in the face at times. Other characters are merely sketches and as a reader I wanted to know more about them. Kerman attempts to address the prison system but merely comes across as someone who didn’t really give a monkeys about anyone else. Just stick to Netflix, yeah? (Larry is nicer in the book, FYI, which is a bit of a relief.)

Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness- Lisa Appignanesi (Library book)

trialsofpassion

 

I read the author’s work Women and the Mind Doctors a few years ago, so I knew that this would be an interesting read; it deals with how psychiatry has worked in the courts since 1870 in three countries (the UK, France and the US), with specific reference to three major trials. What drew me even closer to the work was that the first case in the book is that of Christiana Edmunds, also known as the Brighton Chocolate Poisoner. I’ve been fascinated by her for a while as I often walk past the site where her house would have been. Anyway, despite the book sometimes becoming a bit too mired in the psychological side at times, the descriptions of the cases themselves- and the characters within each one- is marvellous stuff and I really enjoyed it.

The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media- Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Coslett (Library book)

vagenda_zero21

I’d been aware of the authors mainly through their Guardian columns and a couple of Twitter spats I vaguely remember from last year. I’d decided to get this from the library as I’d read some scathing reviews of it (a couple in the Guardian, actually and a slightly ranty one by Germaine Greer.) I was hoping it would be a useful tool for feminists. Alas. I think it might just work as something for new, young feminists- the scathing, sweary take down of various issues would have appealed to me when I was 16, I think. However, it’s a strange beast of a book- it’s very general (not really a massively detailed take down of the media at all) and its ideas felt like they were all over the place. Yes, women’s magazines can be a bit crap and yes, they airbrush the bejeezus out of their photos- but I reckon that most people know that anyway. What I want are SOLUTIONS. I also found the tone irritating and I just got really, really cross with the whole thing.

Currently reading: A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

 

What are you reading right now?

 

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One thought on “Books 2014: July

  1. thenovelprojectchronicles says:

    I don’t think I hated orange is the new black (book) as vehemently as you seem to but I largely agree that the TV series is a big improvement. I enjoyed reading the the book though just to see where the story itself came from and in that sense it was worthwhile. But yes, on balance I would suggest people just watch the show.

    I haven’t read in the Company of Liars but I’ve flirted with it at the bookshop a few times so I’d be interested to hear your review when you’ve finished.

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