Friday, August 28, 2015

Bathing Suits + Book Reviews

I don't normally do non-Friday-Favorites posts on Fridays, but since I needed some extra rest once I got home from California, my blogging schedule got a little backed up. You might remember that I'm attempting to make book reviews a semi-regular feature here on The Soubrette Brunette. I'm also trying to find ways to tie the books in to an outfit post feature. Last month, I reviewed The Book of Joan by Melissa Rivers (a memoir with a few laughs and a few problems), and I happened to wear a vintage dress that perfectly matched the book's cover. This month, I've entered the world of fiction with my review of Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch – and I'm wearing a new-to-me swimsuit for the occasion; I figured I'd pair a somewhat-scary story with the somewhat-scary premise of posting a photo of myself in a bathing suit on the internet.

I was completely unfamiliar with Mr. Koch's work prior to this experience, which can actually be a good thing, as I had neither expectations nor biases diving in to my reading material. I initially wanted to read the book because it was marketed as a murder mystery (and I looove those): when a famous actor dies under mysterious circumstances, his high profile doctor has to come up with answers. The trouble all started the summer before, when the actor and his wife invited the doctor and his family to their summer home in the Mediterranean – they soon find out that no one can be trusted.

The reviews I've read have called the book a "psychological thriller," and have compared Herman Koch to a "modern-day Agatha Christie." When I finally finished the book, I could see the truth in the former, but not in the latter. Mr. Koch has an incredibly distinctive voice – one that is very different from my own – and his writing is powerful and compelling. His writing is definitely controversial and it's clear that he likes to push boundaries with his readers; he even admits that he likes to make them feel uncomfortable and enjoys playing devil's advocate through his characters. Koch's narrator isn't likable or reliable (he actually borders on sociopathic), but he's absolutely captivating. The book is told through a series of flashbacks, and there were times that I gasped out loud through the story's many twists and turns. In many ways, the book could be considered a mystery, but unlike Agatha Christie's work, Koch's main characters are in no way endearing. He also makes astute comments on socialized medicine, creative types and the human condition; the "thriller" aspects of the book come in much later, and the story is built in such a way that it's a bit difficult to box it into a specific genre. All in all, despite how despicable many of these characters are, I completely relished the book. I couldn't put it down (and I don't say that about many books these days). It was my go-to reading material for my recent travels, and if you aren't super-squeamish, I'd recommend this book for sure.

If you're interested in reading Summer House with Swimming Pool, you can find it here!
Have you read any good page-turners this summer? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Outfit Details
Swimsuit: Pinup Girl Clothing (swap & sell group)
Mel by Melissa wedges: similar
Popsicle necklace: similar
Sunglasses: Unique Vintage
Donut pool float: Amazon

Have a great start to your weekend!

I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for an honest review.


  1. You're so stinkin' cute. And you're in a donut floatie to boot! Stawwwpp it! haha

  2. Oh my stars, you look incredible! What a stunning, alluring, timelessly pretty swimsuit.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. What an amazing idea for a review! You look fantastic in a swimsuit. Torn about reading this book- I love to read but I'm put off when I can't like a character 😔 I find myself losing interest.


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