Review: The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc

This collection seemed like the perfect blend between Strong Is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker and Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. So the wait to get approved for this ARC was nearly excruciating with me checking my emails every day for a week. But I’m glad to say that it lived up to the hype I created in my mind.

Since 2013 photographer Mihaela Noroc has traveled the world with her backpack and camera taking photos of everyday women to showcase the diversity of beauty all around us. The Atlas of Beauty is a collection of her photographs celebrating women from all corners of the world, revealing that beauty is everywhere, and that it comes in many different sizes and colors. Noroc’s colorful and moving portraits feature women in their local communities, ranging from the Amazon rainforest to London city streets, and from markets in India to parks in Harlem, visually juxtaposing the varied physical and social worlds these women inhabit. Packaged as a gift-worthy, hardcover book, The Atlas of Beauty presents a fresh perspective on the global lives of women today.

I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the women featured in here. They bring dignity, strength, and inner beauty that shines from page to page. From each of them I learned or was reminded of something new, whether that be tolerance, kindness, resilience, natural and authentic beauty, serenity, strength, and generosity. Plus, the vibrant and colorful photographs really brought something new to the table.

However, as captivating as the images were, I feel like the words that accompanied them, save for a few, failed to move me. In comparison to the collections I mentioned at the start of my review, it was difficult to ignore how bland the text is. I wanted to see what lies beneath the surface, to feel like we’re getting to know the person in front of us… But again, save for a few, I rarely encountered it in this collection. Also: I’m low-key sad that the utterly powerful cover picture wasn’t included in here.

On a brighter note, I’d love to share the photographs of the enthralling women that captivated me:

The Atlas of Beauty 1-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 2-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 4-- bookspoils

Pokhara, Nepal:The Atlas of Beauty 3-- bookspoils

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:The Atlas of Beauty 5-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 6-- bookspoilsThe Atlas of Beauty 7-- bookspoils

New York, USA:The Atlas of Beauty 8-- bookspoils

Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan:The Atlas of Beauty 9-- bookspoils

Tehran, Iran:The Atlas of Beauty 10-- bookspoils

Nampan, Myanmar:The Atlas of Beauty 11-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 12-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 13-- bookspoils

 

Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador:The Atlas of Beauty 14-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 15-- bookspoils

I was truly surprised to see Eden Saban in the above, since she’s quite well-known in Israel, thanks to being on the last season of Big Brother. So now I’m quite eager to find out if the author randomly stumbled upon her and asked for a picture, or if they set this up….

The Atlas of Beauty 16-- bookspoils

 

The Atlas of Beauty 17-- bookspoils

On that bitter-sweet note, the sharp women and girls featured in The Atlas of Beauty have made a new fan out of me. I’m definitely interested in keeping up with Mihaela Noroc’s photography works next in the making.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: September 26th, 2017

5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying The Atlas of Beauty, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Random Illustrated Facts by Mike Lowery

Sana Bakkoush’s love for arbitrary science facts stuck with me when I stumbled upon this collection. Just like the title suggests, this book is a completion of random illustrated facts set around history, science, animals, hair, food & drinks, and wraps it up with every day things.

I learned a lot of new information that left me both awestruck and eager to learn more. Plus, the facts in here are all great conversation starters.
However, I do wish that names were used when talking about a specific person accomplishing something instead of saying “X women” or “Y man.” Being more specific (when historically possible) wouldn’t have hurt at all in this collection.

But on a more positive note, here are some of my favorite newly acquired facts:

Random Illustrated Facts 1-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 2-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 3-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 4-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 5-- bookspoilsI hate jellyfish with a burning passion, but even I couldn’t deny that their ability to age backwards isn’t incredible.

 Random Illustrated Facts 6-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 7-- bookspoilsI’M STILL IN AWE.

Random Illustrated Facts 8-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 9-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 10-- bookspoilsI have only one thing I’d like to say about the above with the help of a Raven Boys quote: “Coincidence,” Ronan said, because it wasn’t.”Random Illustrated Facts 11-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 12-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 13-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 14-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 15-- bookspoils

Random Illustrated Facts 16-- bookspoils


All in all: Random Illustrated Facts kept me invested and on my toes from start to finish. And as I mentioned in my previous read, I found the book that reset my hope in humanity (just a little bit, though).

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication:  October 31st, 2017

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Random Illustrated Facts, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Campbell

I had just finished listening to the first episode of Crash On My Couch by Arden Rose & Will Darbyshire, where they talked about bad first dates among many other topics, when I stumbled upon this little collection circling the subject of bad breakups. And since I loved the breakup stories in Darbyshire’s This Modern Love, I was beyond ecstatic to give this one a go.

Anonymous break up stories from men and women, old and young, serious and silly and the cartoons that inspired them. Author and artist Hilary Campbell turns the painful into the hilarious, validating emotions from forgotten middle school tragedies to relationships that ended only hours ago.

I knew the book was a keeper when I read this phenomenal dedication from the author:

“To that one dude,
for being such an inspirational dick.”

It really sets the mood for what’s to follow, which is nothing you can prepare yourself for, to be frank. Reading these stories from people that were broken up with horribly or the ones that did the breaking up left me both utterly awestruck and hysterical.

Speaking of which, here are some of my favorite stories:

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do... But You Could've Done Better 1-- bookspoilsAka the worst kind of person.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do... But You Could've Done Better 2-- bookspoilsI felt so bad for laughing at the above, but damn.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do... But You Could've Done Better 3-- bookspoilsTHIS MADE MY DAY.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do... But You Could've Done Better 4-- bookspoils

I can’t stop thinking about this.


Overall, this book was quite the epiphany for me in terms of human decency. I will admit that the tiny amount of hope I had in humanity was nonexistent by the time I finished reading, so I’m hoping to have that restored by my next read…

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: January 10th, 2017

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!