Greta Thunberg – No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

For £2.99, I would say this book was fine, and it did make me stop and think a fair few times, but it wasn’t really what I expected from (although that’s my problem as I didn’t know what this book was before I bought it). To save you potential disappointment, this book is a collection of the speeches that Greta Thunberg has made, which unfortunately means that the book contains quite a lot of repetition – her speeches...

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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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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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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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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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