28 April 2015

Read: Stitched Up, Emma, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Extracted

In Read I'm talking about the books I read that don't belong to my good books. This time there are four books I read that didn't work for me perfectly, in three cases because of the writing style, in one because of how the author constructed her book.

Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion - Tansey E. Hoskins, non-fiction
I'm very interested in everything that has to do with eco fashion, I have read a lot of posts and articles about it in the last months and I want to learn more. So I thought that this book would be an in depth portray of what the issues of fast fashion and Co. are. And in some ways the book offers exactly that, but it's also quiet political, pretty theoretical and in the end not as practical as I wanted it to be.

The author's writing style was not that easy to enjoy, I could only read a few sentences at a time before my head started to protest. Even with the non-fiction books I read I'm always looking for an engaging writing style, unfortunately "Stitched Up" couldn't convince me in this aspect. The content of the book was at times fascinating and eye-opening, other parts didn't seem to be that relevant.

If you are interested in learning more about eco, slow and fair fashion and about the issues of fast fashion, then just searching for these terms online will provide you with tons of interesting links. When I started getting interested in eco fashion I did the same and within 30 min I had a first idea about what the issues are, about which clothes I would buy from that moment on, about the different seals and so on.
At first the info can seem to be a bit overwhelming, but believe me, it's pretty easy to get a good overview and to get started. Books like "Overdressed" might also be a good starting point, in German I would recommend the book "Saubere Sachen". I'm now in my second year of only buying eco fashion and I'm very happy that I made this step. 

Emma - Alexander McCall Smith, #3 in the Austen Project (series of retellings of books by Jane Austen by different authors)
Before reading this modern retelling of "Emma" I had never read a book by McCall Smith, so I was excited to discover if his way to write and create worlds would agree with me or not. After reading this book I'm sad to say that his writing style is one that I don't enjoy. The writing style is a very formal one, at times even a bit stiff. 

The story itself didn't seem to be that modern, the feeling I got was always a bit old-fashioned. And because the writing style didn't work for me all of the characters seemed to be very bland. 

I wasn't emotionally involved when reading the story, wasn't the biggest fan of how the romances were written and all in all McCall Smith's way to write books is one I personally don't enjoy. 

I will go on with this series of retellings because all of the books are written by different authors, so hopefully the retelling of "Pride & Prejudice" will work for me better than the one of "Emma" did. And you can be sure that readers who like the author's writing style might fall in love with the book. 

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith, #1 in the series
After I read "Emma" I immediately started with "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" and once again had the same issues with the writing style, it's just not one that works for me and that I enjoy.

The setting and the characters are special and fascinating, but I never developed a good connection to them, they always were strangers to me, never friends.

I know that many readers love the books in this series, that they especially like the characters and the setting, so yes, it pains me to say that I didn't enjoy this book, the author-reader-chemistry is sadly completely missing when it's about Alexander McCall Smith and me.

If you like writing styles that can at times seem to be a bit formal, then this book might be for you. 

Extracted - Sherry D. Ficklin & Tyler H. Jolley, #1 in the Last Imperials series
Another book I was very excited to read, another book that unfortunately didn't work for me. The writing style, the world building, the two POVs, the characters, everything sounded good and worked ok for me, but not great. I never forgot the time when reading the book, I never got lost in the story. I was interested in what was going on, but not enough.

I can't even tell you what was missing from the writing style to make everything work for me, I just know that in theory everything in this book should have been perfect for me, however in reality my reading experience was just an average one.

I would still recommend this book to all fans of books with elements of steampunk, time traveling and things like that. Because I'm sure that for other readers this book can be a wonderful experience.

Happy Reading!


  1. I wanted to read this modern Emma but it kind of disappointed me that you didn't like it.

    1. Maybe you should check out an excerpt, you should know after a few sentences if McCall Smiths writing style will work for you or not. If not then I wouldn't pick up the book.

      Happy Reading!




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