Jasmine Guillory – The Proposal

I read this book as an audio-book, and unfortunately I think my experience of it may have been clouded by the fact that I just didn’t get on with the narrator. Her voice really grated on me for some reason and it made listening to the book feel like a real drag. That doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like the narrator though, she just wasn’t my cup of tea (even listening at 1.5x speed to try and improve things). I’m...

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Ta-Nehisi Coates – Between the World and Me

About halfway through reading this book, I wrote this note: “I cannot relate to this, through privilege, but it is raw and honest and powerful.” I’ve not read a book that has moved me like this for a long time. I was right, I cannot relate to this book at all, my life has been so privileged that I have never even had to contemplate the things that Coates writes about. But that is wrong. Why should I not have to know...

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Leigh Bardugo – Ruin and Rising

Given the explosive end to the second book in the series, I couldn’t wait to get started on this one. But unlike the first two which I devoured in days, this book took me weeks to get through. I just didn’t find the pace as quick as the first two and I wasn’t gripped like I thought I would be. The plot was great, full of twists that I didn’t see coming, full of bright moments despite the despair they were all feeling...

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Hannah Fry – Hello World

I’m not going to lie, I put this book off for a while because my kindle told me it was a 5 1/2 hour read. That shouldn’t have put me off because I really thought it looked like an interesting book, and it turns out I was mistaken anyway! The book finished at 66% through and the rest of the book was taken up by references from all the research that the author had cited. This book takes us into the hidden world of algorithms...

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She Reads Truth – Colossians & Philemon

I’ve been looking forward to this book since it was announced and it did not disappoint. As much as I love She Reads Truth studies that are in familiar areas, I am always more excited to be spending time in a book of the Bible that isn’t so familiar to me – and this was a two-in-one! I’ve read a bit of Colossians before, but I can’t remember ever opening Philemon, which is silly since it’s such a short book...

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Leigh Bardugo – Siege and Storm

It will be impossible to write this review without spoilers, so don’t read if you don’t want to risk it! After the ending of the first book in the series, I don’t think I even waited before picking up this one, I was so eager to know what happened to Alina and Mal. What I didn’t expect was for their time together to go bad so quickly – less than 20 pages in and things were going south pretty quickly. I was so...

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Leigh Bardugo – Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo has been on my Waterstones wish list for ages, but has been one of those authors where I’ve always thought ‘maybe next time’…. That is, until I watched the first episode of the new Shadow and Bone series on Netflix and I immediately knew I was going to need to read them first so I could make the world my own before being shown what someone else thought it was like. I’m struggling to write...

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Jojo Moyes – The Giver of Stars

You know a book is good when you just completely forget that you’re reading. And I read this entire book in a single day because I was so enthralled by the story and the world created within. Set in the 1930s, Alice is a young British woman who has just married a gorgeous American man and moved across the world to a small town in Kentucky. She thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world, but when they get to Kentucky, things...

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Simon Reynolds – Lighten Our Darkness

This book was requested from NetGalley in exchange for a review. This short but packed book is a guide to Choral Evensong, giving insight into the structure and elements of the service, along with detailed history of each of those parts. I think I’ve only been to one Choral Evensong service before when I was at St Paul’s in London, and I have to admit I didn’t really ‘get it’. But now I’ve read this...

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Stephen Cottrell – Dear England

The author introduces this book by recounting a story of a conversation he had in Paddington Station (Caffe Nero to be precise), when the barista asked him what sounds like an innocuous question: “What made you become a priest?”. Obviously when buying a coffee in a busy train station, there’s not much time to answer such a question as that, but this book is the response that he would have made if he’d had the time (a...

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Tim Hughes & Nick Drake – Why Worship?

I was given this book on NetGalley in exchange for a review. I’ve been following Tim Hughes’ music since I bought one of his CDs in a Wesley Owen shop (remember them?) in Leeds in 2003, and when I saw this book start to be mentioned on Twitter, I knew I needed to read it – seeing it on NetGalley just sealed the deal for me. The book is split into 4 parts: Who and why we worshipWhere and how we worshipWhat happens when...

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Dr Joshua Wolrich – Food Isn’t Medicine

“Would you rather be healthy and fat or unhealthy and thin?” Wolrich poses that the fact that you hesitate when you’re faced with that question is part of the problem which has lead to such huge problems of weight stigma in the western world. Fat is somehow seen as a problem not just a descriptive word, no matter the health. And thin is hailed as the goal no matter what. In the first part of the book, Wolrich debunks...

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan – The Eye of the World

So…I started reading this book in January…2019. I made it around 100 pages in, but it felt like a struggle and I just couldn’t find that compulsion to keep reading. With 700 pages left to go, I simply gave up. But I hate leaving books half finished, so I finally came back to it again two weeks ago (and 2 years after starting). It turns out that the point I gave up the book was just on the cusp of it getting really exciting...

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Rachel Morgan – The Memory Thief

I downloaded this book at the beginning of the year when apple books were giving away a lot of free audio-books, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t read any blurbs or anything, just that it was a cinderella re-telling. I was a bit surprised when I realised it was Fae and Vampires, but this was one of my favourite genres about ten years ago, so I was excited to give it a go. Elle is a human girl, bound to her...

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Anne Lamott – Dusk, Night, Dawn

I had a copy of this book as an ARC from NetGalley, the cover drew me right in, and the blurb seemed like it could be a very well timed book for me: ” How do we get through dark times when we feel like giving in to fear and despair, and when existential dread has convinced us of our smallness? “ Unfortunately, the style of the book was not my cup of tea. It was written kind of like a stream of consciousness, and I found that...

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Laura Jane Williams – The Love Square

I’m not going to lie, I only really bought this book because it’s narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher, who I really love. She has such an emotive voice and a way of bringing stories to life, so I would probably buy any book that she narrates (there’s nothing worse than a great story ruined by a poor narration). It took a while for this book to warm up for me, it felt like I’d been listening quite a while before I felt...

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David Robertson – What Would Jesus Post?

I started reading this book before lockdown 1.0 last year and unfortunately it just wasn’t the right time for me to be reading it, so I’ve only just got round to finishing it – not a reflection of the book, just a crazy year! Focusing on how to remain true to your Christian self while interacting online, this book was so interesting. With topics like wisdom and discernment and sewing a digital seed, it covered a wide range...

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Frank Herbert – Dune

I wanted to love this book so so much. It was one of my Dad’s favourite books, and I was even reading his copy. To be holding and reading a book I knew he loved so much made me long to love it too. But I don’t know if it was just bad timing for me to read it, because I just couldn’t get ‘into’ the book. I didn’t feel connected and I couldn’t keep track of what was happening in my head. I started...

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Richard Roper – Something to Live For

I first saw this book as an ARC on NetGalley, but it was in the middle of Covid-madness and I just didn’t have the time to read it. I was annoyed because I knew I would love it, so when I saw it in paperback recently at the supermarket, I had to pick it up. And I was right, I loved it. At times hilarious, at times heart-breaking, it was amazingly written to draw me in and immediately love Andrew as a character. He’s a bit of...

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The Good Immigrant

I’ve been trying to make an effort to read more diverse voices and educate myself more on perspectives different from my own. This book was a collection of essays by 21 different writers, writing on what it means to be Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic in Britain today. The essays brought perspectives that I’d never thought of before, they were insightful and brilliant, but also sad and heart-breaking. To read first-hand about...

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Elle McNicoll – A Kind of Spark

I picked up this book after seeing it advertised on social media by Waterstones and I didn’t really know what to expect, apart from the fact that the cover really stood out to me. I’m so glad I took a chance. In the book we meet Addie, an 11 year old girl from a small town in Scotland. When she learns at school that her town held witch trials, she immediately feels a connection to the women that were killed for being different...

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