She Reads Truth – Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope

“A Thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices”. O Holy Night – one of my favourite Christmas hymns. And I’ve sure been feeling weary these last few months. This for me was the perfect reading plan for Advent – getting ready to celebrate Christmas in the best way possible – by reading the Bible. I love how, as always, the focus of this book was the Bible passages for each daily reading. But interspersed...

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Charlie Mackesy – The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Utterly captivating, I can 100% see why this book won the Waterstones book of the year prize. As the author says in the introduction, you could pick this book up and open it at any page at random and it would still work, but reading it through as a story totally worked for me too. I think I sped through this book so quickly because every page was short, simple, but complete gold. When I started reading, I started taking pictures of the pages...

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Krish Kandiah – Faitheism

“When we are not afraid to talk about our beliefs, our conversations are richer as a result.” So is the basis for this thought-provoking book by Krish Kandiah. Each chapter presents two opposing viewpoints of Christianity vs Atheism for example “Christians are boring / Atheists are fun”. Each one is split into four sections: Collision, Collusion, Contention and Collaboration, exploring different sides to the chapter...

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Matt Haig – Reasons to Stay Alive

Wow. All I can say is that I wish I’d read this book way before now. I’ve been struggling with my mental health this year and if I’d read this book in January/February, I may have had a much easier time of it. Part an autobiography of Matt Haig’s own experiences. and part advice on how to cope with mental health problems like depression and anxiety, I genuinely think that everyone should read this book. As well as a...

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She Reads Truth - I Am

She Reads Truth – I Am: Statements of Our Savior

Another fabulous reading plan from She Reads Truth. This is one of their shorter ones at only 14 days, and takes us through the things that Jesus tells us that he is. Beautifully laid out and giving space to just breathe in the Bible verses contained within, I found this to be one of my favourite plan books so far. I loved the notes section at the end that was a bit more structured than some other plans – rather than just being a...

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Michelle Elman – Am I Ugly?

I’ve been following Michelle on Instagram for quite a while (if you’re not following her, check her out, her feed is brill), and when I saw her book was reduced on Kindle, I had to buy it. I love what Michelle has to say about body positivity and looking after your own mental health, and although I didn’t really know what the book was about, I knew it would be a good read. I was completely shocked by the book, I had no...

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Rachel Held Evans – A Year of Biblical Womanhood

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a couple of years, but when the author sadly died earlier this year, it moved up my to-be-read list after I heard so much about the author and the books she’d written. The premise really intrigued me, trying out different aspects of biblical womanhood each month in an attempt to try and be the ‘perfect’ woman. You may have heard of things like the ‘proverbs 31 woman’...

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Jess Phillips – Everywoman

I read this book in one weekend while house-sitting for my sister. It was so hot out that I basically hibernated on the sofa in front of a fan and devoured this book. I’d heard of Jess Phillips before with some of her tweets being retweeted into my timeline, but I didn’t really know much of who she was. This book was a great intro into her mind and the things that she stands for. Partly her life story, partly her opinions on...

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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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