Mary Beard – Women & Power: A Manifesto

At the weekend, we went to Hardwick Hall where we learnt all about Bess of Hardwick – an incredible woman who faught against the patriachy and did some amazing things (Chatsworth House – yep, that was her building project too). They had a great video explaining the various ways that the history of this woman has been written to diminish her achievements, even down to the language used to portray her. After we’d finished...

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Andrew Pettegree – Brand Luther

I started reading this book as a recommendation when we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the reformation in Church. As the reformation started in 1517, that probably makes it quite obvious that it’s taken me quite a while to read this! The book was a fascinating take on the reformation, focused on the impact that Martin Luther had on the printing industry in Germany. Not too deep on theology, but I found the subject matter rather dry...

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Shari Low – With or Without You

An interesting premise, a story that starts with a life-changing decision. Then we split into two parts – one where Liv says Yes, and one where she says No. But is your life actually pre-destined to end up a certain way no matter what decisions you choose? That’s what is explored in this book. I found the pacing a bit variable, at times I was fully engaged and devouring page after page, desperate to know what would happen next...

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John Ousterhout – A Philosophy of Software Design

I think the fact that this book has taken me so long to read probably says all I need to say. I had quite a few issues with this book, and found myself disagreeing with a lot of points that were made – I’m looking forward to doing a talk on this book to my team at work to see if they agree. I’m kind of glad I didn’t read this book a few years ago when I might have taken everything that was written as fact. The...

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Pete Greig – How to Pray

I pre-ordered this book when it first came out, but it’s been languishing in the middle of a rather large stack of books that I want to read so I hadn’t got around to it, until my vicar mentioned it as part of a sermon on prayer on Sunday and I decided that I’d move it to the top of the list. Turns out, it was perfect reading for a rainy bank holiday and I found it really hard to put down – I ended up staying up til...

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Giovanna Fletcher – Dream a Little Dream

Giovanna Fletcher is one of my favourite people to follow on the internet, and I have always loved her books, but if I’m honest, I found this one really hard to get into. I think I was probably about half way through before I felt like the pace picked up enough for me to be completely invested in Sarah’s life, and there were a couple of times when I wasn’t convinced I was going to finish reading. But the second half of the...

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Gary A. Haugen – Good News About Injustice

I seem to usually start a book review saying whether I enjoyed the book or not, and I can’t in all honesty say that I ‘enjoyed’ this book, but it was necessary and eye-opening and quite frankly a must-read. So the fact that I didn’t ‘enjoy’ it should not put you off from reading – I give this book 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in a Christian perspective of injustice, I...

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Onjali Q. Rauf – The Boy at the Back of the Class

A warm, engaging and inspiring look at an all too relevant topic, I would recommend this book to everyone, but particularly as a very engaging and relatable way to introduce the topic of the refugee crisis to young children. I first heard of this book when it started winning awards, namely the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019, and although it’s a children’s book, it hits with a big punch. Written from the...

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Paige Toon – The Last Piece of My Heart

Another E-book by an author that I’ve heard of but never read before, picked up because the e-book is currently free on Amazon, and the perfect book for a long train ride home. However, I did have extremely mixed feelings about the book, which you might understand as you hear more. In the book, we meet Bridget, a successful travel writer, who is currently travelling around the world meeting up with past boyfriends to ask them for...

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Cathy Bramley – We’ll Meet Again

What a sweet, perfectly romantic book. It was less than 50 pages long so you wouldn’t think you would have much time to become invested in the characters, but the way this was written made the characters feel like friends almost immediately. I’ve never read any of Cathy Bramley’s books before, but I decided to read this one while I was sat on my train waiting to set off from the station, and it was such a quick and...

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Sarah Bennett – Spring at Lavender Bay

I’m in two minds over how to review this book – on one hand, I read the book in just a few hours and I felt really invested in how Beth’s story would turn out. But what was really jarring for me was that there were so many editorial mistakes that I kept being jolted out of the flow of the story because either the sentence didn’t make sense or a spelling mistake meant my brain had to try and process what was being said...

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Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

It would be really easy to judge this book by the title and assume it’s ‘just’ young adult fiction and doesn’t have a serious point. But although this might be young adult fiction, it showed that the only way to get through social-anxiety and other mental health problems is to open up to people and let them help you. As you might tell from the title, Cath is a fangirl, introverted and in love with the Simon Snow...

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Sarah Turner – The Unmumsy Mum

It’s been ages since I read anything, so I really needed to find a light-hearted book to get me back into the swing of things. And this one was perfect (although not as light-hearted as I’d imagined). I’ve been following Sarah on Instagram for a few years, so I have seen what her posts are like, and her book was kind of an extension of that. Funny most of the time, but interspersed with real honest moments that were...

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She Reads Truth – Job: Suffering and the God who speaks

I have read many SRT plans before using the app on my phone, but this was the first time I’ve bought one of their study books to use. I had read online that their study books didn’t contain as much information as the reading plans online – the ones in the app/online come with a mini devotional for each reading and also a discussion area so you can leave comments and talk to other ‘Shes’. So I was really unsure...

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Ann Weisgarber – The Glovemaker

For our anniversary, Cameron and I decided to start a new tradition where we will buy each other books related to whatever the anniversary is supposed to be represented by that year. Apparently, year 2 is cotton, so we spend a good hour in Waterstones in Oban looking for books that were cotton related. For Cameron, I bought the Underground Railroad (about cotton plantations and the slave trade), and he bought me this beautiful looking book...

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Bill Clinton & James Patterson – The President is Missing

It’s been quite a while since I listened to an audiobook, but over the last week, Cameron and I have been on our anniversary holiday to Scotland which has involved a LOT of driving. Rather than listen to the same music over and over again, we decided that we’d spend the time listening to a book instead, and since this one was on discount (and was one of the hardbacks that Cameron already had on his shelf), why not?! Narrated...

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Christina Dalcher – Vox

Wow. Just Wow. This book was totally chilling. Set in the not too distant future, women’s rights have been completely stripped away. No bank accounts, no jobs, they are forced to stay at home like a good wife should. But worst of all, they are limited to 100 words a day. Go over that limit and they receive an electric shock. Or should I say shocks. Of increasing violence for every word they say too much. And this isn’t just women...

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Brandon Sanderson – Mistborn: Secret History

Oh how I wish I had time for a Mistborn re-read. After reading this short novella, it really made me want to read again the stories of Vin and Kelsier. I think the second set of Mistborn books would also have made a bit more sense having read this novella too. In this book, we mainly follow Kelsier as he seeks to prevent Ruin from taking control. Kelsier is trapped in the in-between, not alive, but not quite yet dead either. I can’t...

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Fiona Lloyd - The Diary of a (Trying to be Holy) Mum

Fiona Lloyd – The Diary of a (Trying to be Holy) Mum

I picked this book up on our church book stall a little while ago – the cover caught my eye – I’ve always liked diary style books. At first, I thought it was a biography style book, but some of the characters in the book were such caricatures of characters you see in a church that I thought either it can’t be real, or the author is brave to be naming them in her book! Having no children, I can’t really...

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Vanessa Curtis – The Earth is Singing

Every once in a while, you read a book that completely breaks you. And this was it for me. I read this book in one train journey from London to Leeds, and I was full out crying on the train from the horrors that were written inside. I cried because these horrors were real. Things that actually happened less than 2 generations ago. Things that should not be forgotten, lest we repeat them. The book follows a young girl called Hanna, who...

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Jojo Moyes – Still Me

Ah, Louisa Clark. I’ve missed you. I absolutely loved Me Before You and kinda enjoyed the follow up, After You. Did we need a trilogy? No. Would I have been happy if Moyes had stopped after the first book? Yes. But am I happy to finish reading about Louisa and that she finally got her happy ending? Very much so. And I was also glad that the happy ending wasn’t exactly what I imagined it would be – Louisa still had plenty...

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