Morning, all! So every year around this time Amazon does a coupon code for physical books, which I just love. Through December 21 you can get $5 off $20 Amazon Books with code GIFTBOOK18.
Valid on physical books sold & shipped by Amazon; code good through Dec. 21; currently free shipping on any size order for all.
Need book ideas?
So, if you are looking for some ideas on how to use your own Amazon Books code, here in no particular order is a brief rundown of some of the books I’ve enjoyed from my “recently read” pile. Let me know in comments what you’ve been reading — or what you’re planning to pick up with this deal, for yourself or for gifts!
Girl, Wash Your Face
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be is some straight-talking motivational self-help from The Chic Site founder Rachel Hollis. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock because I hadn’t heard of Hollis or her site until this book exploded onto the best-seller list, but this book provides her advice on how to combat the lies we (and society) tell ourselves. Note that this book is from a Christian perspective, although there are takeaways here for all readers.
The biggest drawbacks of Girl, Wash Your Face, however, are twofold:
- The way in which the author glosses over the fact that her own position of privilege has helped her overcome the obstacles life throws her way (girl, it’s not always just that easy), and
- The fact that much of the advice here is straight up recycled content from other well-known self-help experts, ranging from Oprah to Tony Robbins. It is repackaged nicely and in a way that will likely resonate with her audience, but there’s not much here that’s original.
This one, you might want to borrow from the library rather than purchase.
The Bookshop on the Corner
I picked up Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner off a library display recently, and what a charming book it turned out to be. This one hooked me from the very first page:
The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”
That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.
Well, there you go, then! The Bookshop on the Corner tells the story of Nina, who loses her job as a librarian and ends up creating her own mobile bookstore in a converted bread van, forging a new life for herself in a small rural Scottish village. It’s a lovely read, with books and romance and all you could really ask for in an easy (yet occasionally thought-provoking) novel.
No matter where on the political spectrum you happen to fall, Michelle Obama’s Becoming is a compelling memoir that provides a fascinating glimpse into both her own backstory and her relationship with a certain Barack Obama. I actually started reading this one after seeing her interviewed on Colbert, where she described how Barack proposed — it’s a great story, which also features in the book.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
I’m not sure how I missed reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms before now. The first in N.K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy, this intricately complex fantasy novel is hard to summarize succinctly, yet was an easy and engrossing read. (This one I might actually read again soon, in order to pick up on some of the layers I’m sure I missed the first time through!) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms follows the story of Yeine, who, following the death of her mother, ends up far from her homeland and thrust into a world of palace intrigue — and of gods who are both slaves to humans after having lost an ancient war, and intricately involved in human affairs. Worth reading for the well-thought-out character development and fascinating plot twists, as well as Jemisin’s innate ability to tell a good story.
The Stars Now Unclaimed
Drew Williams’ debut novel The Stars Now Unclaimed is the first in a new trilogy, and I’m anxiously awaiting the second two to be released this spring. If you enjoy far-future, far-ranging space opera, this is the book for you. This one hits the ground running, as Justified agent Jane Kamali is out recruiting children with psychic gifts to help prevent the return of the Pulse — a technological wave which indiscriminately sent countless worlds back to various pre-technological levels. If this wasn’t enough, she soon tangles with the Pax — a rule-the-galaxy type group who were lucky enough to escape the Pulse relatively technologically unscathed. Space battles? Check. AI? Check. Moral ambiguity? Excellent world-building? Space zealots? Check, check, check. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
What are you reading this week?
What have you been reading lately? Tell us all about it! And, you can browse all of the What’s Rachel Reading? book reviews here.