My favourite thing about Evelyn Lau’s new book, Inside Out: Reflections on A Life So Far (Doubleday), is the smart slipcover (design by Kevin Hoch/Pylon), which is made out of a thick, translucent onion-skin paper. It wouldn’t fit in my bag after I left the store, so I carried it out into the rain in my hand, confident that the clever covering was waterproof. But after only one read and one rainfall, the slipcover I had so admired was wrinkled, cracked and ripped at the corners. The writing itself was more durable. There were times when I read along for a good couple of pages, relating to Lau’s everyday struggle to deal with everyday things. Other times she seemed to fall back into clichés: these moments may have mattered to her, but I found them stale and boring. I really wanted to like this book—I tried, and I did read the whole thing. But in the end, the only thing that stood out for me was the cover.