Bookshelf Monthly #13: The Last in 2014

Being the last Bookshelf Monthly edition of 2014, it also includes this year’s top 3 reading favourites (that you can conveniently transform into clever Christmas presents, too).

These first three books are my top 3 reads from 2014:

A Russian literature classic, please?

Sure, because nothing beats a huge tome of “War and Piece” under the tree!
Just kidding! 😉
bookshelf-monthly-december-2014Here is a classic of another kind – hilarious and wise, absolutely adorable urban fantasy full of funny folklore twists and turns in 1964’s Monday Begins on Saturday. Written decades before Harry Potter, the Soviet scifi novel by the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatzky follows a young programmer’s journey at a secret Scientific Research Institute for Sorcery & Wizardry and it’s…
…my favourite book from the Bookshelf Monthly, Edition August.

Deutsch, bitte!  Or:
So an Englishman wrote a German book…

What sounds like the beginning of a joke, is in fact a lovely and opinionated memoir by none less than Sir Peter Ustinov: his 2003 essay Achtung, Vorurteile! Prejudice and kindness are discussed in short stories of fascinating encounters. Entertaining and enlightening and…
…my favourite book from the Bookshelf Monthly, Edition November.

Empowering & smart – Internet safety for non-geeks

The Smart Girl’s Guide To Privacy by Violet Blue (2014) is an excellent read for anyone concerned about online privacy. Interestingly, Violet Blue is known for books about sex, but she has caught my eye on Twitter with her clever tech articles and then, this book’s cover.
Her advice is sound, free from scare-mongering, and explained in non-techy terms that everyone will get. This excellent read that I simply can’t recommend enough is…
…my favourite book from the Bookshelf Monthly, Edition July.

And now two more fave books not yet discussed on ‘Bookshelf Monthly’:

For the clever fashionista:
Masters of Fashion Illustration

David Downton‘s retrospective on fashion illustration (plus a selection of his works) is a lovely escape for anyone dabbling in fashion drawings or interested in fashion, or art, or drawing.
I have really enjoyed this artistic eye candy that I found at a museum shop in Dresden.
Why is Masters of Fashion Illustration on a BEAUTYCALYPSE reading list, you might ask?
Well, because nobody ever said that the ethical journey must be aesthetically challenging.

For the green newbie:
No More Dirty Looks

The book that you must read.
Or, as my friends joke, the book you must read until there is a BEAUTYCALYPSE book 😉
That’s how much I love it. There is solid advice, no BS, no compromise.
It’s comprehensive, beautifully structured and offers enough information to get readers interested and informed without being overwhelming and the best English language book available on the topic.
Written by US journalists Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, the book lists everything toxic in cosmetics and suggests clean – or cleaner – alternatives. I have given it as a present numerous times, and it’s proved to be a real page-turner.

Check out earlier Bookshelf Monthly posts for more reading goodness, from horror classics to smoothie recipes.




Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

5 Responses

  1. Heather in Arles

    Yep, this is one of my favorite series chez toi too! I always want everything that you write about. But hey, what is wrong with getting War And Peace for a gift? It is an awesome, easy read that will last through January! 🙂

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