Nicole Reads

Nicole Reads

Consumed with wanderlust. Dreams of writing her own novel. Devours books. Fluent in Spanglish. Intersectional feminist.

2 Stars
[REVIEW] Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain,  Kathe Mazur

So incredibly and painfully boring. I didn't feel I learned anything new or interesting about introverts. It gave me the feeling that it was geared towards business people more than anyone else. Also, I felt this book was composed of many case studies and not that many self-help tips. It's my fault, really. I was warned that this was going to be boring and that I should stick to the Ted Talk the author gave instead. However, I needed something to listen to as I commute, something that wouldn't make me feel guilty while I ignored my many other responsibilities. The narrator spoke softly, and I did enjoy listening to her.


Was the book worth it? Meh. Hard to say.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles #3) by Sarah Andersen
Herding Cats - Sarah Andersen

I feel like I'm a broken record when it comes to Sarah Andersen's art. I feel it speaks to me in so many ways. With finals being due next week and stress at an all-time high, I was glad the library had this ready for pick up. It's super fun and super real. I loved the last section where she speaks of being a creative person in this hellscape that is the internet. She gives tips that I found so valuable I had to give it to read to a friend.


Overall, a great, funny and relatable read.

3 Stars
[REVIEW] My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella

I've been under a lot of stress because of graduate work so I tend to gravitate towards lighthearted books that won't make my heart (or soul) feel sick. This book is one of them.


I enjoyed it enough, but as an avid Kinsella reader, something was missing. A spark, perhaps? I didn't care for Katie/Cat Brenner that much. I couldn't really say I have a grasp on her person after finishing. Her love interest and the entire romance plot felt tacked on and hollow. Her "love" for Alex happened way too quickly.


I did enjoy her relationship with Demeter, which I'm surprised to say.

I loved how they became friends in the end. Also, like other reviewers have pointed out, if you read the blurb you basically read 50% of the book. It's rather mindnumbing. 

(show spoiler)

Overall, the entire story felt too superficial and it made me sad because I really wanted to care.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] What Did You Eat Yesterday? #3 by Fumi Yoshinaga
What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 3 by Fumi Yoshinaga (17-Jul-2014) Paperback - Fumi Yoshinaga

The more I read these, the more I love Shiro and Kenji. It's the perfect escape from my life, and the art is just clean, and the recipes are so freaking intriguing to me. I know for a fact that I don't have Shiro's impressive knife skills but I still want to give it a go. I do love their relationship. Kenji's patience, Shiro's silent way of showing he cares. It truly is an adorable series.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily by Theresa Maggio
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio

This book is made of a series of small essays about even smaller Sicilian mountain towns. It starts off a little dry, but it isn't long before you find yourself googling the town names and planning vacations. The way Ms. Maggio speaks of Sicily and these towns it's impossible not to fall in love with them. I enjoyed learning about cultural traditions and culinary landscapes.


I know I've probably said this before, but I've always been genuinely fascinated with Sicily. My father's family is from there, and I've always wanted to visit. Reading about these hidden villages made Sicily seem more accessible to me, even more, it made deepened my desire to visit it ASAP.

Reading progress update: I've read 94%.
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio

Independent, unmarried, childless women like Enza, Rosaria, and Antonietta are rare birds in Sicily. They all say it irks some Sicilian men to see them succeed. Maybe their discomfort is the reaction of insecure men to proof that they are not indispensable.


Sad to see this shitty, sexist behavior thrives in other islands around the world.

Reading progress updates
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio


Any meal is to a Sicilian what a madeleine was for Proust, a gateway to reverie.



In Sicily, where food is love ad the street is a stage, street food is more than a cheap meal, it's Communion.


I really love learning about food culture in other cultures. It's fascinating.



In the market I watched one man stop at what looked like a plate of glass splinters. He grabbed a fistful, threw his head back and swallowed them. They were neonati, transparent newborn fish that Sicilian women steam and sprinkle on pasta but men just eat raw—for virility, the man told me.



Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio

A look is a powerful thing in Sicily, where people believe in the Evil Eye and love is declared with a furtive glance in church.

Reading progress update: I've read 12%.
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio


The passengers always applaud when we touch ground.

Good to know islanders from all around share this peculiar trait.



Her favorite snack was a dollop of fresh sheep's-milk ricotta mixed with sugar, lemon zest, and chocolate shavings squeezed between two sugar cookies--a Sicilian Oreo.


4 Stars
[REVIEW] Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen
Big Mushy Happy Lump: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection - Sarah Andersen

Another library book. Whee!

Not gonna lie, I feel a little guilty that most of the books I've read this year so far are comics. Then I remember that I'm a graduate student and I have no life so I gotta make do with what I've got.

I love how relatable Ms. Andersen's art is. I also love that in this volume the comics were interspersed with stories of her social anxiety and her sweater thieving. Can't wait to read the next one!

3 Stars
[REVIEW] Fence #4 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad
Fence #4 - C.S. Pacat, Johanna Lindsey, Joana Lafuente

This always leaves me wanting more.

3 Stars
[REVIEW] The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
The Hour of the Star - Clarice Lispector, Giovanni Pontiero
So she protected herself from death by living less, consuming so little of her life that she’d never run out.
(p. 24).

What a strange, short book. I'm not entirely sure if I enjoyed the story or not, but I did really enjoy the prose. There are many hauntingly beautiful sentences; I had to take a moment to savor them. 

You end up feeling for Macabéa and her rather pathetic life. The narration style is bizarre but it sort of works well? It jumps a lot between perspectives and offers a lot of commentaries that can be distracting. You have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it.

Quotes I enjoyed
"Thinking is an act. Feeling is a fact." (p. 3).

"Those who wonder are incomplete." (p. 7). 

"I am well aware that each day is a day stolen from death." (p. 8). 

"She thought she’d incur serious punishment and even risk dying if she took too much pleasure in life." (p. 24).

4 Stars
[REVIEW] Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen
Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection - Sarah Andersen

I got my first library card ever yesterday, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I started borrowing e-books left and right.


I love Sarah Andersen's comics, and this is the first time I had the chance to sit down and read them in one sitting. The book is short, but I still found myself laughing out loud many times. As an introverted bookworm, her comics are extremely funny and relatable to me. The art is cute and funny. I can't wait to read the rest of her work.

4 Stars
[REVIEW] Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

It’s a fun book to read. I loved many of the characters and hated others. It was definitely over the top in so many things but that is half the fun. That family tree is a lifesaver.

It ends on a cliffhanger and I want to keep reading but I also kinda don’t? I care but I’m not that invested. I’d rather just read the summary somewhere or maybe read the rest of the series, eventually.

Reading Progress Updates
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

pg 70

So far it has been hard to follow who everyone is without flipping back to the family tree which is to be expected. I really care for Astrid, Nick and Rachel.


pg 76


Poor Astrid.


pg 208

Michael can suck on a cactus.


pg 243

Dog fighting *is* cruel and I am already hating Bernard with a passion.


pg 392

Team Fiona all the way.


pg 398

What is a "Latin" accent? O_o

4 Stars
[REVIEW] Fence #3 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad
Fence #3 - C.S. Pacat, Johanna Lindsey, Joana Lafuente

I enjoyed this one a bit more, probably because I'm starting to get to know the characters and we are getting into the meat of the try-outs. I really hate these cliffhangers, though.

currently reading

Progress: 20/234pages