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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Jimmy Dodd & Larry Magnuson – Pastors are People Too

I remember when I first bought this book, our Vicar was a few months into his new role in our Church, and he shared a link to it on Facebook. I bought it thinking that it sounded interesting, but it just never popped to the top of my reading list. Probably not helped by the uninspiring cover, I never got around to it. But I’m now quite sad that I didn’t – I know now that there’s a reason why our Vicar probably shared...

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Satya Nadella – Hit Refresh

Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft at a time when Microsoft was definitely on a downwards slide. This book chronicles his efforts to turn around the fortunes of the company, starting with a complete shift in culture which didn’t always go down too well with the employees. But rewind back a bit, and the book starts with Nadella’s life growing up in India and how he ended up coming to America for a job in tech. He talks about the...

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Shaun Bythell – The Diary of a Bookseller

First book of the year and my dreams have been destroyed. Just kidding, kinda. I always had a dream that I’d open a bookshop, but I’d always imagined it as a dream to be surrounded by books and book-loving people. I’d never really considered the customers though, and after reading Shaun’s diary, I’m not sure it’s such a dream anymore. This book is the diary of the owner of The Book Shop in Wigtown...

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The One Hour Bible

I can’t really review this book in the same way as I would usually, for one simple reason. Unlike some other ‘read the Bible’ books where the content is rewritten to make it fit into an hour, this was the actual words of the Bible – selected passages to give you the general overview of the Bible story in just about an hour (I think it actually took me slightly longer than an hour to read, but thereabouts). I really...

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Susan Cain – Quiet

Why did I want to read this book? I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert, and actually (although it was probably pretty obvious), this book confirmed it. I thought that perhaps this book would contain ideas for coping with being an introvert at work, and it definitely did. Backed by plenty of research, the author gives some great tips for how to make sure that you’re not walked over by extroverted people. Why shouldn’t...

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Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons

Starting with the story of Matt at the Grammy’s, you’d be forgiven for starting to think this book was going to be a popularity thing. But it rapidly becomes clear that Matt is not like that at all. The book is so unexpectedly humble, and more an homage to the power of worship in the most testing of times. The book is a collection of people who have been impacted by what is arguably Matt’s most famous song: 10,000 Reasons...

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Bryony Taylor – More TV Vicar?

When I spotted this book on a trip to my favourite book shop (Barter Books in Alnwick), I knew I had to have it. Firstly, because I’ve heard Bryony’s name mentioned many times at our church as she was here before she went to train to be a vicar. And secondly, I’ve always found it interesting the ways that Christians are portrayed on TV, so I was really intrigued to see if I would agree. The book is split into three sections:...

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Emily Chang – Brotopia

For the last few years, I’ve been reading a lot more about women in tech and the problems faced. I’m really lucky at the company I’m in now that gender is not an issue, but it’s still a really big problem in the industry and I think the only way we can change things is to know more about the situation. This book, however, was not for me. Other books I’ve read in the past have been more about how women in tech can...

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Lee Cockerell – The Customer Rules

I bought this book to read as I thought it would give me some insights into providing better service at work. I’m not on the support department, but I think it’s important for everyone to know how best we can help the clients we’re working with. Unfortunately for me, this book was quite focused around customer service jobs in the retail and hospitality areas, rather than customer service in a technical support capacity. Some of...

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Heydon Pickering – Inclusive Design Patterns

I’ve always found the topic of accessiblity an interesting one, and I this book had so many great ideas that I ended up turning it into the basis of a lightning talk at work. I really appreciated that each section started off with typical bad practices, then shows you how to change what you’ve done to make it fully inclusive. It also includes the reasons why what you were doing wasn’t the correct way to go about things, and why...

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Arani Sen - Holy Spirit Radicals

Arani Sen – Holy Spirit Radicals

I ordered this book after we did a group reading plan of the book of Acts with my Church Life Group over the summer, and this popped up as an advert in my Facebook feed: it seemed like it was placed there for a reason! Written by the vicar of Christchurch in Armley, it’s a great book filled with insight on the book of Acts and how we can apply it to helping the undervalued and underappreciated in our communities. “Luke asks the...

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Sheryl Sandberg - Lean In Women, Work and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg – Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

The subject of women in the workplace is something that has always interested me, especially coming from a career where for the first 8 years I never worked with another female web developer – all my female colleagues were either PAs/account managers or graphic designers. I’m really lucky now working for a team that is almost 50% women (and really awesome women at that). This book is written by the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg...

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Robert C. Martin - Clean Code

Robert C. Martin – Clean Code

I was lent this book over a year ago by my work, but for one reason or another, I’ve never quite got round to reading it (I blame Brandon Sanderson!). But having now read it, I do wish I’d got around to reading it before. Read now, the book for me reinforced a lot of the things that I’ve learnt over the last year, as well as introducing a few new ideas, but if I’d read it a year ago I think I would have appreciated the...

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Gemma Willis & Emma Randall – Diary of a Disciple: Luke’s Story

I bought this book thinking I was just reading it to check if it would be okay for our Sunday School/Youth Group kids, but actually I ended up loving it for myself too! This beautifully designed hardback book is a re-telling of Luke’s Gospel, aimed at children and perfect for them to read either by themselves or with their parent or in a group. I really liked the informal style of the writing which made it feel really relatable, it was...

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Sarah Millican – How to be Champion

Sarah Millican has been one of my role models for a long time. Unashamedly proud of who she is, I look up to her for so many reasons. I would whole-heartedly recommend you go and buy this book now while it’s still 99p on Kindle, it was a fantastic read. Part autobiography, part advice, I found it so hard to put this book down. I loved the style it was written in, short chapters and lots of bullet points and lists made it so easy to read...

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Eliyahu M. Goldratt – The Goal

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages after reading The Phoenix Project last year, and I finally got around to it after spotting it on the shelf at my local library (sidenote: libraries are awesome). I think the thing I appreciated the most about this book was that it felt so easy to read. The fact that it’s written like a story really helps the facts sink in without it feeling dry or boring. I also love the fact that you come...

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Kent Beck – Test Driven Development By Example

As my first real dive into test driven development, this book was a great introduction into the practices and the habits that are involved. The one thing that I wish I had done when I started reading is actually trying to implement the examples that are in the book, as I think the practical side would have helped the examples sink in a little bit more. Saying that, I learn really well from books, and I had no trouble following the code examples...

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Claire Harman: Jane’s Fame

I want to start this review by saying that although I was slightly disappointed with this book, that’s more due to me thinking it was going to be something different based on the blurb I read on Goodreads, so don’t necessarily be swayed by the fact that I only gave the book 3 out of 5 stars. If you’re looking for a detailed biography of Jane Austen and how her books came to be published and then well known, this book would be...

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Nick Page – A Nearly Infallible History of the Reformation

I started reading two books about the reformation at a similar time, and they are very very different books. The other (which I’m still reading) is very dry and serious and hard to get into, but Nick Page manages to take a topic (like Church history) which could be quite boring or unexciting and make it a joy to read. Filled with amusing little sketches and footnotes which frequently made me laugh out loud and interrupt my...

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Adrian Plass – Blind Spots in the Bible

Please don’t judge this book by how long it took me to read it! It lends itself really well to being read in small chunks so I’ve been reading it a small part at a time while waiting for the shower to get hot, which means it’s take a long time, but it’s also prolonged the enjoyment and given me time to mull over each snippet I’ve read. The book takes what are mostly familiar passages from the Bible and points out...

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