Review: Beaches by Gray Malin

My love for everything and anything concerning summertime – the beaches, the weather, the freedom – is unlike anything other. I’ve had it instilled in me since childhood and it’s not going away anytime soon.BEACHES 8-- bookspoilsBut since I began browsing through this gorgeous book at the end of January, aka the coldest month where I live, it made me ache so dearly for all the aforementioned. In particular, that irreplaceable sensation of swimming in the ocean, even if I still make sure to walk down to the beach and breathe in that unique hit of saltwater every day. Beaches will make you reminisce about the summers filled with nostalgia, bliss, and laughter.

So I made sure to savor the collection until the weather would warm up, and lo and behold, flipping through this ethereal photography collection must’ve brought some good luck into my life because the weather is sure warming up a lot this week! We’re so close to summer where I live, and I’m bursting with anticipation.BEACHES 9-- bookspoilsI think it goes without saying that a book dedicated to capturing different beaches around the world was a shining, bright star for me. Gray Malin’s Beaches offers an extremely rare and unique experience by including aerial photographs of beaches around the world that are shot from doorless helicopters.

I also adored the fact that if you get the digital version of the book, you can zoom in on the picture and spot people looking up at you. It’s like the summer version of Where’s Waldo?.

Without further ado, here are some of my personal favorites shots taken from Beaches:BEACHES 1-- bookspoilsBEACHES 2-- bookspoilsBEACHES 3-- bookspoilsBEACHES 4-- bookspoilsSECRET BEACH
Saint-Tropez, France

Kaua’i, USA

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I will be sure to revisit this work of art many times in the future, especially come summertime!

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

Publication Date: May 10th 2016


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Review: 200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World by Ruth Hobday, Geoff Blackwell

200 Women was the ultimate badass way to kick-off my reading of Nonfiction November.

Gloria Steinem once said, ‘You can’t empower women without listening to their stories.’ We agree. 

Interviews with 200 women from a variety of backgrounds provide a snapshot of female life around the globe. Interviewees include:

· Jane Goodall, conservation and animal welfare activist
· Margaret Atwood, author and winner of The Booker Prize
· Roxane Gay, author and feminist
· Alicia Garza, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter
· Marian Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund
· Dolores Huerta, labor activist, community organizer, and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association
· Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and Macarthur Foundation fellow

Each woman shares her unique reply to the same five questions: What really matters to you?, What brings you happiness?, What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?, What would you change if you could?, and Which single word do you most identify with?

With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength-inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.

I’ve been craving for a new feminist collection to release out into the world, ever since i finished Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. Upon seeing the above clip, I went into this expecting the perfect companion and follow-up to Grace Bonney’s In the Company of Women. Though we have the same style of clean-cut portraits, 200 Women narrows down to having the same five-question structure apply to everyone, rather than a fitted question to each interviewee.

At first I was really welcoming of the unwavering question format presented, thinking how I didn’t want the book to feel like a Wikipedia-esque entry of each woman. But I grew tired overtime and wished they wouldn’t have stuck to it with every single interviewee. Unsurprisingly, having 200 women answer the same five questions, page after page, meant answers were repeated till the words lost all meaning to the reader. So I do wish they would’ve mixed it up a bit overtime to keep us on our toes.

But that’s my only minor inconvenience with the work; otherwise, reading this collection was a welcome reminder that all hope isn’t lost in today’s world with all the injustices that are engulfing us. It’s truly rewarding to know that there are these utterly incredible women out there in the world, fighting for what’s right and deserving. The bright light at the end of a hauntingly dark tunnel.

From talks of being a conscious consumer to the effect tiny gestures of kindness can have, the women in this diverse collection were able to shine a light on much-needed conversation starters. Also, getting introduced and familiarized with unknown and well-known faces, who all had something enlightening to add to the table on empowering girls and women, was as exciting as always.

Some of my personal highlights from the collection include:

#1 Inna Modja:

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#2 Eva McGauley:

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“… because I want to give more in life than I’ve taken.” 

#3 Gabourey Sidibe:

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#4 Sabila Khatun:

200 women 5-- bookspoilsI can’t stop thinking about Khatun’s life story and her children’s support system.

#5 Yassmin Abdel-Magied:200 women 6-- bookspoilsHer take on the question What brings you happiness? and answering with faith, spirituality and religion was fascinating:

I wonder if we sometimes conflate happiness with hedonism. Is doing something that makes you happy in a single moment – for the pure pleasure of it – actual happiness, or is it filling a hole that we don’t even realise we have?

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

Publication Date: October 31, 2017


Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying 200 Women, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!


Review: #WeRateDogs by Matt Nelson

It’s rare to come across a book that I simply crave to share with everyone in my close surroundings, but I found it with #WeRateDogs.

Based on the social media sensation, #WeRateDogs features the most heroic, over-the-top adorable, wildly successful, all-around entertaining dogs the world has ever seen. It combines extraordinary photos with ridiculous captions to expand the knowledge and overall lives of its readers. It is not only an exceptionally reliable source for dog greatness, it is also a one stop shop for happiness.

“Simply here to make you smile. if you’re having a bad day, it is now less bad.”

I’ve been waiting for this beautifully crafted book to arrive in the mail for weeks and weeks now, and the wait became that more excruciating when I came across this utterly wholesome thread the other night:

Also, being an avid follower of @dog_rates on Twitter didn’t help my situation in the meantime.

So when #WeRateDogs graciously arrived today in the mail, I read through it in a whirlwind, even though I desperately tried to make the reading experience last as much as possible.#WeRateDogs--bookspoilsI know I usually try to insert a few more coherent sentences of what I loved about the book I’m reviewing, but I’m just so h*ckin excited to share my favorite dogs that I’ll skip straight ahead to the pictures:

#WeRateDogs 17--bookspoilsI melted at the sight of this.

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#WeRateDogs 6--bookspoilsHow majestic are the two above???

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#WeRateDogs 8--bookspoils  (The captions actually make the pictures that more better, which is a rarity.)

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I needed this.

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

Publication Date: September 14th, 2017


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