The Witch and the City by Jake Burnett 100/5 Stars
The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods 2/5 Stars
I like the idea of this book. A man (Henry) looking for a bookstore he went into once but cannot find again for some reason and a woman (Martha) building a new life after fleeing a violent relationship. There’s another timeline, Opaline’s, where we learn more about the bookstore, but her depressing story along with Martha’s are about a downer and a half too many. Instead of focusing on a magical bookstore this book really seems to be about abusive relationships. There were a few parts that started to get exciting and seemed to be going in a better direction but those were never followed through. The ending felt abrupt left a lot of questions unanswered.
Practicing Presence by Joy Prouty 3/5 Stars
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it is absolutely beautiful in words and photographs. I don’t think I’ve ever underlined a book so much and been so moved in so many ways by the variety of ideas presented. Parts one and two (Why Becoming Present Feels So Hard and Practicing the Art of Presence) have great chapters and are more how I imagined the book to be. Part three (almost 2/3 of the book and titled Coming Home to Yourself in the Present) is very… abstract. There were still beautiful quotes and ideas but I was not able to connect with the subject matter or make sense of what, exactly, she was trying to say. I couldn’t even summarize it and I just finished reading the book. I would suggest getting this from the library to see if it’s something that speaks to you.
I was given a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, though I also purchased a physical copy for myself.
Gator Country by Rebecca Renner 5/5 Stars
I love a good Florida book and this one is exceptional. I really have no fault with this book; it is certainly written well, seems to be well-researched, and introduces controversial topics in an approachable way. The description doesn’t mention a kind of dual timeline, one being the story of Officer Jeff Babauta’s undercover work to take down alligator poachers, and the other Renner’s search for famed poacher from decades past, Peg Brown. I’d eagerly recommend this book to anyone interested in Florida, true crime, or alligators. Or if you’re just looking for a great non-fiction read. I listened to the audiobook and while the narrator was just fine, it was weird that it was a male because much of it was written from the first person POV of the author, who is female. And after the author read the intro and did such a great job, I was kind of bummed it wasn’t her reading the whole book. Hopefully for her next one!
I was given a copy of this audiobook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.