I offer three(ish) book reviews this January. All are fiction  – two are book club picks and the other is one that grabbed me due to its subject matter.

While many people veer toward non-fiction books, I tend to indulge in fiction. I spend so much time thinking and analyzing during the days that when it comes to relaxing, I need a bit of escapism. I don’t have a preferred genre, gravitating towards a range of categories including crime stories, mysteries, science fiction and best sellers. These days, I’m enjoying historical fiction more because history is fascinating and helps to give us an appreciation for how we got to where we are today.

The break over the holidays left me with some good downtime and so I was able to get through two novels.

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman. Our last pick for book club, this dystopian novel is about teenage girls who discover that they hold a new power. The book focuses on the abuse of power, no matter who wields it. It also sheds light on the imbalance of male-female interactions and the battle of the sexes. A very original take on gender politics, it takes into question whether the fundamental differences between men and women are due to nature or nurture. Kind of kooky and highly entertaining, I absolutely loved the concept, which feels oh so relevant in these times. Can’t wait to dissect this one at book club!
  2. Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais. Having been born in South Africa and moved to Canada in the 1970s, when I was seven, this book called my name. Set in Apartheid-era South Africa, this is the story of a ten-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg and a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland. Both their lives have been built upon the division of race, and a chance meeting occurs as a result of the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict. Told through alternating perspectives, the narratives capture the emotions and tensions at the heart of Apartheid-era South Africa. Although I have long been away from South Africa, the country and its people will forever remain in my heart. Marais’ novel was an emotional read.
  3. Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward. The last book on my list is on the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2017 and one I’ve yet to read. Set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, it is reviewed as “a ‘road novel’, a slender epic of three generations and the ghosts that haunt them, and a portrait of what ordinary folk in dire circumstances cleave to as well as what they — and perhaps we all — are trying to outrun.” It’s our most recent book club pick and I’m looking forward to reading this one during January’s grey and rainy days.


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What have you been reading this winter? Any book reviews to share?

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My Fave Four Apothekari products

The first product I purchased from Apothekari was the A for Anti Aging. I have Never been able to tolerate retinol products and always ended up bailing because of dry flaky skin. Until A for Anti Aging. It's Amazing! I have now added the Vitamin C, the Deodorant (Neroli Rose is my current favourite but the Lavender is great too), and most recently the More than Lip Service (thank you thank you thank you Apothekari :)). While deodorant and vaginal moisturizer may sound like odd gifts, these are my latest go-to's for the gal who has everything. All have become fans!

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I'm blown away by how effective this is, and by how clean and well thought out the formula is. I'm not used to roll-on so that took a couple days to adjust to, but its so much more effective than the solids/creams i was using that it is totally worth it. I'm converted - and i think i have probably tried 90% of the natural deodorants out there over the last 10 years LOL. thank you for creating this.

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Would not want to imagine life (or my skin) without these two essentials. Thank you Sharmani!

*Received as press sample*

Pricing per bottle is definitely up there, but I think much like skincare, if you have struggled to find a deodorant that works for you, the price won't be as much of an issue because something like this can have a huge impact on your life. One bottle should last about 3-4 months with daily use which I think is fairly close to most deodorants. While I know there are baking soda-free options (baking soda can cause skin irritations due to pH disruptions) and options that use Deoplex, I have yet to find a combination of Deoplex and lactic acid which may be what's working for me. Honestly, the only thing I didn't enjoy was that "wet" feeling when I would first apply it, but after 15 seconds it dries down AND it doesn't stain clothing so that's a huge plus. Even though I received this as a press sample, I would buy this deodorant on my own as I didn't just smell good at the end of a long day, but I smelled like absolutely NOTHING which is WAY better to me than smelling like "I'm covering something up" or like body odour. I also trust and appreciate the research I know Apothekari has invested into making sure the formulation is scientifically sound so I know that's also partly where my dollars are going. I only need to apply once a day and I'm good to go so one bottle might even last more more than 4 months at the rate I'm going! HIGHLY recommend and even though all three scents had the same results, my preferred scent was the Lavender as it just one of my favourite scents overall!

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