Books I Read This Week 2020 – 36

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

How Lulu Lost Her Mind (2.5 stars): I started and stopped this book several times. It might be more to do with the audiobook, which I thought wasn’t great. This is the story of a successful woman whose mom is sick and she decides to take her back to her hometown (in the south) to follow her wishes. Not much happens, it’s sweet but not super sweet. I think books like this require you to get invested in the characters and I just couldn’t get there.

The Night Swim (4 stars): I don’t usually write trigger warnings for books but I think this book requires Trigger warning for rape and sexual assault. There is quite a bit of graphic detail and the whole plot revolves around the rape of a young girl (two in fact.)

The book alternates between the main character and a podcast she does. It’s an interesting take on the alternating chapters idea.

There are several twists, some I could tell, some not. The book kept me engaged the whole time though I will say that by the end the subject matter was really getting to me.

The Idea of You (3 stars): Mixed feelings on this book. It is about an older woman dating a younger man (39 vs 20), the younger man is also a part of a famous boy band. There’s a lot of sex in this book and a lot of infatuation. It’s trying to also cover some more serious issues but I still didn’t see the depth I would have expected from a book like that so I felt like it wasn’t as fun as it could have been if it weren’t trying to be serious.

The Complete Urban Sketching Companion (5 stars): I consider the Urban Sketching books to be the best combination of eye candy and fantastically valuable information and this very comprehensive guide is no exception. In fact, if you’ve never read any of them and aren’t sure where to start, I’d say this is the best one to start with.

It’s comprehensive and covers buildings, cityscapes and people. It has color concepts, perspective, motion, depth, and so many other fundamentals of sketching in urban settings. It breaks down the sketch step by step so you know where to start, how to build, and how to put the finishing touches.

It also has all the delicious eye-candy I’ve come to expect from these books. Fantastic sketches, wonderful variety, and it’s sure to make you itch to go out and sketch. If only one could master sketching just by reading books!

with gratitude to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Self-Knowledge (4 stars): Self-Knowledge is a super-quick read with concepts and exercises to help you think about and be aware of your behavior, choices, and self-regard. These are very simple exercises but of course the simplest exercises are often the most powerful.

Fiona Buckland’s narration was very even, not with a lot of emotion or inflection. I found it distanced me from some of the emotional and personal topics she was discussing. But it was clear and easy to follow.

If you like to work on yourself, increase your self-awareness and have not spent a lot of time asking questions around self-discovery, this short, simple book will be a great way to get started and be introduced to some of these questions to help guide you.

with gratitude to NetGalley and Publisher Spotlight Audio/The School of Life for an advance copy of Self-Knowledge.

Watercolor Techniques for Artists and Illustrators (5 stars): If you’ve ever wanted to get into watercolor painting, this is the book for you. It is the most comprehensive and complete book I’ve seen on the subject.

It starts with the basics: the tools, color theory&mixing and how to apply the paint. How to observe your subject. Basics of drawing and perspective and planning.

And then it gets into techniques which have a beginner, intermediate and advanced section. Tons and tons of techniques in this book. You can practice one daily or weekly and won’t run out for a long, long time.

And my favorite section is all the subjects. From people to pets to cityscapes to abstract to everything in between, this book doesn’t spare anything. It has examples, tips, advice and techniques for any subject. It has absolutely beautiful paintings and it makes you want to drop all you’re doing and pull out your watercolors.

I cannot recommend it enough.

With gratitude to netgalley and DK for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

And there we go, grateful to be reading.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

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