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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Milly Johnson – The Perfectly Imperfect Woman

I will never get tired of reading Milly Johnson’s books. There’s something about them that feels like being wrapped in a warm hug and being surrounded by your best friends. The main characters are always written so beautifully that you feel like you’ve known them forever, and the ‘bad guys’ are always completely relateable to the b*****ds that you’ve known in real life. I have two favourite things about this...

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Brandon Sanderson – Oathbringer

I had such mixed feelings on finishing this book and I think I’m still processing, so while this isn’t a normal book review, here’s a brain dump: I’ve been reading for almost a whole month and I’m really glad I’ve finished it. I can’t believe it’s over, I want to keep reading forever. I can’t believe the fourth book isn’t written yet I can’t believe how much action was packed...

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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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Enid Blyton – The Boy with the Loaves and Fishes

I picked up this book on a trip to one of my favourite places – Barter Books in Alnwick. If you’ve never been there – go. Seriously, it’s the best book shop. I love it for finding old books like this that you would never find anywhere else – this book only has 1 review on Goodreads and it’s not available at Waterstones or other bookshops. But it was a delightful little book – a re-telling of the...

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Brandon Sanderson – Words of Radiance (part 2)

Ahhhhhhhhh! I’ve not been so invested in a book for quite some time, it just seemed like it got more and more thrilling the more pages I turned, it made a 2.5 hour train journey pass in what seemed like no time at all, and left me gutted that I couldn’t stay on for an extra 20 minutes as I was so close to the end! As I predicted in the last review, Shallan’s influence really comes to the fore in the second half of Words of...

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Brandon Sanderson – Words of Radiance (part 1)

I’m not sure I can find words grand enough to describe my feelings for this book, I could gush about it for days. I’d love to know how Brandon Sanderson manages to write books with such complex worlds and characters, that are so fast paced and yet still sooooo long! This particular book, for instance, was so long they had to publish the paperback in two parts. You’d think that there’d be parts where you’d be bored...

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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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Brandon Sanderson – Mitosis

Unfortunately, I think my opinion of this book may be clouded by the fact that I paid £8.99 for a book that was ultimately only 45 pages long. I bought it as a physical book rather than an ebook because I wanted to complete my Brandon Sanderson collection, but when I looked online, it said that it was 96 pages long. Turns out that half those pages are the start of the next book in the series. But apart from that obvious disappointment, the...

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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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