I have been a subscriber of goop since the beginning because I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s clean, crisp clothing style. Honestly- her uniform post from several years ago is still a go-to for me. I am still a subscriber but over the years as goop has developed as a “lifestyle” brand, I have certainly stopped being an avid reader. The problem that I have is the same as a lot of other people- the site just SMACKS of privilege; almost everything featured is insanely expensive and it seems out of touch with the lives of most women (steaming ones vagina?? Really??? That cannot be healthy)
When I was sent Goop Clean Beauty by the publisher, Hachette Book Group Canada, I was willing to attempt to look at it without any preconceived notions. It was January and who doesn’t love a good lifestyle book to start the New Year with? I was certainly curious if the book would be accessible to the 99% who aren’t Hollywood royalty….
My first impression of the book was how clean (no pun intended) and stylish the layout design was. It was like your favourite Instagrammer who uses a lot of flat-lay pictures- perfect and styled within an inch of its life. I did have to chuckle a bit that kale leaves were prominently featured on the dedication page.
While the credit for the book goes to the staff of goop, GP “curated’ the book so naturally the introduction was penned by her. In it, she extols the virtues of natural self-preservation and aging gracefully while feeling as good as possible both inside and out. So far I am on board. She addresses all the negative products in so many beauty products and stresses how bad “toxins” are for the body (this feels a bit like an ad for goop by Juice Beauty)
GP has gotten a lot of flack by members of the medical community about her detox cleanses and she clearly wants to clarify her position here by stressing that her detox focuses on clean eating (i.e eating nothing fun at all) and not juice cleanses or fasts. Thea Baumann (the resident goop chef), provides 24 recipes for clean eating, many of which look pretty yummy (I am for sure trying the Steamed Fish with Dashi and Soba Noodles and all the chopped salads). However…. there is a recipe for hot water and lemon.. Seriously?
A list of superfoods and antioxidants are included here which is hardly new territory but its nice to have all the info in one place if you are into that sort of thing (I am sort of on the fence, personally)
Of course Tracey Anderson also shows. I am as envious as anyone of GP’s figure but Tracey’s “method” is not super feasible for me as much as I wish it were. (working out for an hour a day would be amazing if I had that sort of time)
One thing that I was very interested in was the section addressing supplements and foods that help with hair, skin and nails. I took some of the advice and started talking a Biotin and have noticed a difference with my hair, especially. The beauty section is very blunt about how skin and haircare products work and that the real permanent changes and improvements come from what you put in your body rather than what you put on it. YES! This was probably my favourite section.
The the section that focuses on hair styles and makeup is a bit silly, especially in the era of YouTube tutorials. How to do a cat eye and a ponytail? Huh?
Another section that I was really interested in was about sleep- about how much you need, how to get the most out of sleep, the importance of naps for adults (HA- vindication! I LOVE naps) and how lack of sleep can affect your body. I am working on implementing some of the suggestions in an attempt to feel more rested.
All in all, this book is a beautiful hard covered version of the goop website and while there are certainly some good recipes and references, it doesn’t exactly break new ground.
Also one more thing- Is adrenal fatigue a real thing?
** I was provided this book for review by Hatchette Book Group Canada. All opinions are solely my own.
The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti– This book hooked me SO fast! I was up until the wee hours reading it because I had to know what happened! So many twists, turns, red herrings… it was fantastic. Fans of The Luckiest Girl in The World, The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love this book! All hail the unreliable narrator!
The Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg– I have been reading this series by Swedish crime writer Lackberg for the past five years (this is the ninth book!). Erika and Patrick are husband and wife crime solvers kept (oddly) busy in their little archipelago town. These books are pretty twisted and weird, as much Scandinavian crime fiction is. If you like Steig Larson and Henning Mankell, you will love this series.
The Pursuit of Pearls by Jane Thynne (via NetGalley. Available May 3rd )- The next book in the Clara Vine series (see my review of the previous book here). As Germany creeps ever closer to inevitable war, Clara is tasked by her British handlers to delve ever deeper into the affairs and machinations of the Third Reich. This series continues to be top-notch historical fiction that brings pre-war Berlin somewhat frighteningly alive. It was not a good time, as in hindsight we all well know.
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel -This book is the fourth in the Louise Rick series by Danish crime writer Blaedel. A women’s body turns up on a wooded area and it is discovered that she had apparently been dead for decades already! Detective Rick sets out to uncover the secret of her whereabouts in the intervening years. This book was creepy as heck and while this was the first book in the series I have read, I have already picked up the next one!
Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham (via NetGalley. Available May 24th)- Heather Graham is one of my guilty pleasure authors. I almost always pick up her books when they come out (often in mass market paperback form- easily found in the drug and grocery store!) I enjoy the gothic vibe of her books and I love learning about the history (often supernatural related) of the cities the books take place in.
Prep and American Wife are two of my all-time favourite books so when I heard several years ago that Curtis Sittenfeld had been chosen by the Austen Project to write a reimagining of another of my favourite books, Pride and Prejudice I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when I was approved by Netgalley to read a galley copy of Eligible before it is released on April 19th.
This is a story that you know, but this is no straight update for the 21st century.
Liz Bennet and her older sister Jane have been living grown up lives in New York for two decades when they are called back home to Cincinnati after there father suffers a health scare. Once back in their families crumbling mock Tudor home, they realize that their slightly dozy parents as well as their three younger sisters Mary, Kitty and Lydia are barely capable of taking care of themselves. Their mother is a shameless shopoholic and the younger sisters still live at home, don’t work and basically mooch off their parents, who as it turns out are financially tapped out. Mrs Bennet is desperate for one of her daughters to marry well so she can brag to her country club friends and pretend that their financial circumstances are not as dire as they are.
Enter Chip Bingley, a doctor who recently starred on Eligible, a “Bachelor” like reality TV show. He has just moved to town and introduces the Bennetts to his friend Darcy, a Neurosurgeon (!) from California. And so it goes…..
I was not sure how I would wrap my head around a modern retelling of one of my favourite books but I really enjoyed this novel. I think I liked it so much because it was not so much a retelling as a reimagining. The characters that you love (and love to hate) are all present and accounted for but the story has been updated to a point where it seems believable in 2016- a straight retelling of this story would not really work in this day and age and Sittenfeld addresses that in an honest way. This novel has sex (!), deals with gender and sexuality, race, politics… all the things that show up on our Facebook and Twitter feeds daily.
Is this book perfect? No. I don’t think that any book trying to reimagine a beloved classic could ever be perfect but the author has created a world that the reader cares about and roots for and relates to the characters and to me, that is just about the most important thing.
After You by JoJo Moyes– If “Me Before You” broke your freakin’ heart, this book will mend it. It is a wonderful sequel.
The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen– I read this because for some reason I can’t get enough of these historical romances even though the religious aspects annoy me somewhat.
The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne– This book is the third in a series about Clara Vine, a half German, half British spy working to take down Nazi Germany. This book is extremely well researched and 1938 Berlin really comes alive. Highly recommend!
Fathers can be hard to shop for so I decided to put together a little list of things that I know my husband would love to receive from our little ones for Father’s Day this year!