Mini ARCs Reviews!

Hello people! How are you? I’m really happy because in the last week the Summer’s heath decreased a lot and I am feeling wonderful! (Tired, too, because my working schedule is quite full this month, but hey! At least I can work without the tremendous heath!). Anyway, today I am here with two books that I’ve read thanks to NetGalley. Both of them are about foreign countries, even if really far apart from each other, so I’ve chosen to talk about them in the same post. Hope you enjoy!

Thank you to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review.

Title: How to Live Japanese
Author: Yutaka Yazawa
Expected Publication Date: October 11th, 2018
Page count: 224

From Miyazaki to mountains, sake to sparking joy, find your Zen and make time to learn about how to live Japanese. Whether it’s the cutting edge of film-making, revolutionizing the whisky market or competing with parents on lunchboxes, you’ll be all the better for some time spent with How to Live Japanese.

With nearly 60 per cent of us living in cities, the mega-city of Tokyo, through centuries of raze and rebuild, is surely the guiding light for how we can live together amicably in an ever-urbanising world.
Not only is Japan the mother of all metropolis’ but with two thirds of the country covered in forest, there is still much respect and celebration of the natural world, with people perfectly placed to make the most of the green space around them. From the art of making tea, to going for a hike, or celebrating imperfections, there are ceremonies the Japanese have been honing for centuries that thrive alongside modern traditions and practices of well-being.
From Japanese writer, Yutaka Yazawa, this is the ultimate insider’s guide to the country of Japan, full of inspiration and insight to help you experience the very best of Japanese design, cookery, philosophy, and culture. So get outdoors, be gracious to your neighbour and start harmonizing your all too busy life.


This first book is about Japan, obviously. I have never been there, even if I’d love to visit it and I found this book really interesting. It’s interesting if you don’t know a lot about Japan and want to read more, it’s interesting if you have some notions of the Japanese culture, and it’s interesting even if you have a lot of info about it. To be completely honest, I think it could be an interesting reading even if you are not so interested in Japan at all.

This book has two strong features: the writing and the contents. The writing is great because it’s not hard to follow, it’s not boring and it’s never complicated or over-academic and I loved it. This book is extremely easy to follow and that’s an appreciable thing. The other really good thing about it is its content. This book speaks about a ton of different thing: from geography to history, to traditional, or not so traditional, food to games. It’s a precious collection of different facts and notions, and I think that everyone can easily find something interesting between these pages. So, yeah, I think you can guess it now, but if I have to use just one word to describe this book it would be… interesting! I learned a ton of new things and I loved it!

and half!

Title: A Bite-Sized History of France
Authors: Stephane Henaut & Jeni Mitchell
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018
Page count: 256

A French cheesemonger and an American academic join forces to serve up a sumptuous history of France and its food, in the delicious tradition of Anthony Bourdain, Peter Mayle, and Pamela Druckerman
Nearly 3 million Americans visit France every year, in addition to the more than 150,000 American expatriates who live there. Numerous bestselling books attest to American Francophilia, to say nothing of bestselling cookbooks, like those of Julia Child and Paula Wolfert. Now, husband-and-wife team Stephane Henaut and Jeni Mitchell give us the rich history behind the food—from Roquefort and absinthe to couscous and Calvados. The tales in A Bite-Sized History of France will delight and edify even the most seasoned lovers of food, history, and all things French.

From the crêpe that doomed Napoleon to the new foods borne of crusades and colonization to the rebellions sparked by bread and salt, the history of France—from the Roman era to modern times—is intimately entwined with its gastronomic pursuits. Traversing the cuisines of France’s most famous cities as well as its underexplored regions, this innovative culinary and social history includes travel tips; illustrations that explore the impact of war, imperialism, and global trade; the age-old tension between tradition and innovation; and the ways in which food has been used over the centuries to enforce social and political identities. A Bite-Sized History of France tells the compelling story of France through its food.

With this book, we’ll go to the other end of the world and visit France. The first one was more heterogeneous while this book is all centered around food and history. It has an interesting idea because the authors show us how strongly tied food and history are. and they do so telling us some anecdotes about the more traditional French foods and their story or their ties with historical events.
We read about the ancient history, before the Roman empire, and about the contemporary era, and we learn a lot of things, about French foods, traditions, culture and history.

I didn’t devour it, but I read a morsel here and there, because you have to be cautious with this book or it would make you really, really hungry! And I craved wine a lot while reading. And not just wine, but some good French wine, even if I am Italian and there is a rivalry between Italian and French wines. Our wines are the best, obviously, but theirs are a worthy rival. (I’m just joking… or maybe not!).

Anyway, this book has an original take on the history and if you are at least a little bit interested in French history and/or culture you have to give this book a try because it’s a fun, original and interesting reading!

and half!

I enjoyed both of them, even if I slightly preferred the first one for his miscellaneous nature. But if you are curious about other nations these two books are a good choice!

So… tell me, have you read them? And have you similar book to recommend? I’m all ears!  

Happy reading!

10 thoughts on “Mini ARCs Reviews!

  1. auroralibrialis says:

    Love reviews! Both of these sound really interesting, I’ve always been drawn to books set in France and Japan. So it’d be interesting to learn more about those countries’ history/culture!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aravenclawlibrary says:

    Great reviews! These both sound really interesting! I’ve been meaning to read more books about different countries. I’ve been especially interested in France lately.

    Liked by 1 person

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