Quick Reviews June 2016

So many fantastic books, the more you read, the more books you want to read.


Cure-US-coverCure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant*: One of the best books I’ve read this year and I think everyone should read it. Fascinating, insightful, thought-provoking and I kept sharing facts and insights with everyone who was within earshot of me. Marchant is an award-winning scientific journalist, and as such is well-equipped to tackle the topic. She manages to achieve the almost impossible, scientific rigour that nevertheless is open to new discoveries outside the mainstream medical community. (Full review)

the year without a purchaseThe Year without a Purchase: One Family’s Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting by Scott Dannemiller**: An interesting look at our obsession with consumption, although the preoccupation with bringing Christianity into everything got a bit tiring in the end. It did however also have some truly funny passages that had me laughing so loudly my husband came into check what was going on.

etsy schoolEtsy School: The Complete Etsy Business Startup Guide (Etsy, Etsy for Beginners, Etsy Business, Etsy Startup Guide, Etsy Selling) by Sarah Moore (currently $2.87 on Kindle): An introduction to Etsy and selling on Etsy that covers all the basics, but doesn’t go into any big depth. You could probably put together these resources yourself from various blog posts, but this is a handy collection and the Kindle price is reasonable.

the picture of dorian grayThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (free on Kindle): I listened to the Audible edition, it’s a classic for a reason and I really enjoyed it. I find that a lot of classics are even more enjoyable with a good narrator.

the bonobo and the atheistThe Bonobo and the Atheist by Franz de Waal: This is a fascinating insight into the lives of our primate relatives, and de Waal makes a powerful case for human morality arising from evolution rather than religion. The author isn’t against religion per se, but rather asks how can both believers and non-believers find inspiration outside religion to lead a good life.I listened to it on Audible, and the stories truly came alive through the narration.

the seasonal scrubThe Seasonal Scrub by Alison May (currently $2.84 on Kindle): Alison May is the writer behind Brocante Home. I’m really falling in love with the idea of making a home that makes your heart sing, a home that feels like a warm and safe hug. May’s books are full of ideas and inspirations to do just that.

all the presidents gardensAll the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses; How the White House Grounds Have Grown With America by Marta McDowell**: I love history, and this was a fascinating way to learn more about American history, politics and gardening. Full of beautiful pictures and fascinating facts and bits of trivia, I highly recommend it whether you are into history, politics, gardening or all three.

mind over medicineMind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin: I bought the Audible edition when it was on sale to relisten to it. I adored it just as much the second time around – read my original review here.

the brain fog fixThe Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory, and Joy in Just 3 Weeks by Mike Dow*: An excellent introduction to how the brain works, and how things can go wrong. Brain fog is a common side effect of many chronic illnesses, and Dr Dow gives important advice on how to combat it through many different areas of diet and lifestyle.

the history of the ancient worldThe History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome by Susan Wise Bauer: I listened to it on Audible, Bauer gives a marvellous oversight of ancient history. Recommended to anyone else interested in history.

knitting without tearsKnitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garment to Fit All Sizes by Elizabeth Zimmermann: When I started listening to knitting podcasts and reading knitting blocks I quickly discovered Elizabeth Zimmermann, or EZ as she’s often referred to, and the high esteem everyone held her in. I only wish I had picked up her books sooner. Knitting Without Tears is a classic for a reason, EZ is ingenious, smart, and absolutely hilarious. I ended up reading long passages to my husband and he laughed almost as hard as I did. Even if you’re not a knitter I would recommend it (although I would have to warn you, you might end up wanting to pick up your own set of needles).

the aromatherapy gardenThe Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being by Kathi Keville**: A wonderful introduction on how to use fragrant plants in your garden, and how to make the most of them.

the bronte plotThe Brönte Plot by Katherine Reay (currently $2.69 on Kindle)**: I really wanted to love this book, I love the premise, but it never felt better than average and I positively disliked the main character. I’d probably still pick up some of her other books though to see if they might be more my style, since so many people rave about them.

the lady of the riversThe Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory: I listened to the Audible edition recorded by Bianca Amato, and as with Gregory’s other books I find that listening to it only adds to the story. It’s an enjoyable way to learn more of this fascinating time period – although as with all historical fiction, need to take it with a grain of salt. I find myself constantly looking up people or events to learn more.

the dressThe Dress by Kate Kerrigan: I loved Kerrigan’s early work, but I’m finding her more recent novels less and less interesting. I liked the premise of the The Dress, but the execution was only so so.

What have you been reading lately? Check out Modern Mrs Darcy for more quick book reviews.
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.

*Received an advanced reader’s copy through Blogging for Books.
**Received an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I wasn’t crazy about the Bronte Plot but LOVED Reay’s other books! I say, give them a try! Dear Mr Knightly is my favorite, but Lizzy and Jane is also phenomenal!

    Here are my May book reviews: http://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2016/05/may-book-reviews.html


  2. The Presidents’ Gardens sounds really fun. I just requested it from the library. Thanks!



  1. Link Love (2016-06-18) | Becky's Kaleidoscope

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