Darcey Bell – A Simple Favor

Not for a long time have I been so unsure about how a book would end. I don’t read too many thrillers as it’s not my usual genre, but Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick are two of my favourite actresses and I wanted to read this before I watched the film that’s coming out on DVD in a few weeks. Warning: there will be spoilers below. If you’re planning on picking up this book, don’t read any further. Just know that...

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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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Salley Vickers – The Librarian

As an avid reader, it’s probably no surprise that I mainly picked this book due to the title and the front cover – I know, I know, judging a book by it’s cover and all that. But a book which is probably going to be mainly about books, how could I resist? Having finished the book, I have mixed feelings. Once I sat down to properly read it, I finished most of it in one sitting. I found the setting and the characters enticing...

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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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Jane Austen – The Beautifull Cassandra

I’ve had this book on my shelf for quite a long time, but since I’m so close to the end of the year and not quite at my reading target for the year, it was time to finally read it – at only 55 pages I thought it would be perfect for catching up. Unfortunately, even though it was Jane Austen who is by far my favourite author, I didn’t really find it that brilliant, I’m sorry to say. It’s a set of short...

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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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Krystal Sutherland – Our Chemical Hearts

This book has been sitting on my shelf for 2 years, never quite making it to the top of my to-read list. But since I found myself with 6 days to read 6 books if I want to achieve my reading target of 60 books for this year, I picked this one up as it looked like a fairly easy and comparatively short read. Unfortunately, I kind of feel like I wasted a whole day of reading on this book. While it kept me turning the pages and wanting to read...

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Milly Johnson – The Mother of All Christmases

My love for Milly Johnson grows with every book I read. After queuing up for over an hour and a half in a Tesco in South Yorkshire to meet her and get this book signed, I made myself wait until closer to Christmas to read it, so I could feel properly festive! The Yorkshire Pudding Club was the first book of Milly’s that I read (10 years ago now!), and this book is very closely related. In fact, the book’s working title was The...

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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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George Orwell – 1984

I first read this book when I was 14 and I had a little crush on the local librarian, and when he recommended it I binged it in one weekend. But I was only 14 and completely clueless about politics and such, so although I thought it was a great book, I don’t think I completely got it. So when one of my colleagues told me he was reading it, I had to pick it up and read it again so we could talk about it after.  And...

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Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls

I really had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up, my friend bought me a Blind Date with a Book voucher for my birthday and this was one of the choices I was sent. The clues were: Heartfelt Profound Fantasy Courage Healing Truth Young Adult I woke up early yesterday because of the clocks going back, and I had two hours sat reading quietly by myself before anyone else woke up, and it turns out that was just long enough to devour...

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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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Scott Lynch – The Lies of Locke Lamora

I have really mixed feelings about this book which I am finding quite hard to process. Now that I’ve got to the end, if you asked me what I thought, I’d tell you that I absolutely loved it, that it was fast paced and exciting and had so many twists that I just couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. But if you’d asked me a few days ago while I was still less than half way through the book, I’d tell you that I...

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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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Brandon Sanderson – Snapshot

I think at this point, you’re probably fed up of me giving glowing reviews to Brandon Sanderson books, and I’m not sorry to say that this will be another. Quite a departure from the last Sanderson book I read, this one was only 130 pages long, and far from being a fantasy epic, was a mini sci-fi detective story. It makes me sad that Sanderson can seemingly turn his hand to any genre he likes and write an amazing book, when I...

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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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Rebekah Crane – The Infinite Pieces of Us

I consumed this book in one sitting as I found the characters so well described and relatable that I had to know what was going to happen. I actually was on a train that was delayed for over half an hour, but I didn’t mind as I just wanted to finish the book before I had to get off! The book starts with Esther and her family moving to a place called Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. It’s hinted quite heavily that Esther is the...

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Ashley & Leslie Saunders – The Rule of One

I thought the premise of this book was so promising. A future America where the world’s resources have been abused to such a point that each family is only allowed one child to try and safeguard the future of the planet (or what’s left of it). Humankind is everything’s and everyone’s most dangerous predator. Blindly killing its own planet, slowly wounding it over the centuries. Forcing my generation to mop up the blood. So there...

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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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