On Our Bookshelf


Holl & Lane Magazine // On Our Bookshelf

Words by Sara Strauss Image by Genesis Geiger

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

She digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering.

Reading about creativity and how to be creative is an interesting thing. It's immensely helpful if what the author is saying speaks to you, but if it doesn't then you're just reading about stuff you know about or don't care about. I liked parts of this book; some stories about her books, stories about meeting well-known authors, the part about ideas being alive, like fairies; but the encouraging parts where she tells you to be creative fell flat for me. This book didn't speak to me like I was hoping it would. Most of it was about stuff I've heard a million times already.

If you like self-help books then this book is for you.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She and her father travel the world aboard a glorious pirate ship. Old maps allow Nix to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times. Nix's father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix's existence in danger.

If ever a book is going to be a fun adventure ride it's a book about a time traveling pirate ship! I sped through this book so quickly because of the diverse cast of likable characters, the cool concept of Navigating, and the intriguing what-will-happen-to-Nix-if-her-father-goes-back-in-time-to-before-she-was-born plot. Nix and Kashmir's friendship is wonderful and their witty remarks had me smiling the whole time. I like that they have a very strong almost-romance friendship that carries the book. Kashmir is just a super suave and very likable guy. I liked Nix a lot because she's intelligent, quick-thinking, hot-tempered, and believable for a teen who's only ever lived aboard a ship. I had some issues with Slate, Nix's father, at first, but he grew to become an interesting person. And I liked that here was a tiny dragon, but he wasn't even useful! What's the point of having a tiny dragon if he isn't even useful?! But most importantly I LOVED that the ship could travel to real and imaginary places! If there's map of a place, it can go there (mostly), which I thought was the coolest thing!

If you like YA fantasy and historical fantasy then this book is for you.