Rachael Newham – And Yet

Disclaimer; I was given this book in exchange for a review on NetGalley. From the blurb: “In a life full of highs and lows, choice and challenges, the words ‘and yet’ can change everything. We are surrounded by darkness and yet there is light. We feel we are lacking and yet God provides. We are broken and bruised and yet there is hope.” The topic of lament feels particularly appropriate right now, it’s been a very hard few...

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Ruby Wax’s No Brainer

This was my latest Audible purchase – a book I chose because Ruby Wax came and gave a lunchtime talk to our company in July around the topic of mental health awareness and I found her both passionate and incredibly knowledgeable, along with just being very easy to listen to. This ‘book’ was all about the brain, covering topics like ‘The Early Years’, ‘Nature vs Nurture’, ‘Pathology and...

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Josh Widdicombe – Watching Neighbours Twice a Day…

Now this is more like what I wanted to get from my Audible subscription. After the last two books were not really suited to audio format (at least for me), this book was perfect. I’ve been a fan of Josh for a long time (I think it was about 9/10 years ago I first went to see him live), and I knew as soon as this was released that I wanted to read it. Read by Josh, the audio format was perfect, like having a chat with a mate, or like...

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Rachel Held Evans – Inspired

I bought this book with my audible subscription after it had been on my Waterstones wish list for absolutely ages, but I slightly regret that decision now. Not because the book was disappointing, in fact quite the opposite. The book was so good and there were so many times that the author said something that I wished I could have highlighted or noted but with an audiobook that’s impossible (especially if you’re reading while walking the...

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Kate Bottley, Richard Coles & Giles Fraser – Three Vicars Talking

I had this book on my Christmas list this year as I absolutely love both Kate Bottley and Richard Coles. I’d not heard of Giles Fraser before reading this book, but now I think he’s great. What I didn’t realise when I asked for this book is that it is a transcript of a series of radio shows that the three vicars recorded together over the previous year (I guess I should probably have figured that out from the title…), but the fact...

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Faithful

As soon as I saw this book announced I knew from the list of collaborating authors that it was going to be a must-read. And boy was I right. A collection of stories about how God shows his faithfulness through women in the Bible, it was written by a group of women who came together in Nashville to write this book and record an accompanying album of matching songs. Containing heartfelt personal stories alongside brilliant insight into the...

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Florence Given – Women Don’t Owe You Pretty

I was intrigued to read this book after picking it up on a whim in Waterstones. It’s described as an ‘accessible entry point into progressive feminist discussion’, which isn’t my usual reading material, but following these kinds of accounts on instagram made me want to give it a try. It covers topics such as body shaming, identity building, gender double standards and much much more. I was surprised to realise towards...

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Sister Elizabeth Pio – Bible to Go!

This book takes the reality that God can speak to us in any place, and puts it into action. Each chapter is written from a different location – a Costa coffee, a pub, on the sofa watching Eastenders, and uses that situation to put a particular verse from the Bible into context. Each chapter starts with a little introduction – always Sister Elizabeth talking to you and her little doggy. Then we dig into a Bible verse before...

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Sarah Yardley – More Change

Thank you to the publishers & NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy of this book to review. I found this book fab – short and succint but packed full of knowledge. The last year has been long and complex, but the author talks with wisdom about how to navigate times of change in our lives, while keeping our focus on God. Each short chapter in the book starts with a personal story from the author, then weaves in a story from...

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Ta-Nehisi Coates – Between the World and Me

About halfway through reading this book, I wrote this note: “I cannot relate to this, through privilege, but it is raw and honest and powerful.” I’ve not read a book that has moved me like this for a long time. I was right, I cannot relate to this book at all, my life has been so privileged that I have never even had to contemplate the things that Coates writes about. But that is wrong. Why should I not have to know...

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Hannah Fry – Hello World

I’m not going to lie, I put this book off for a while because my kindle told me it was a 5 1/2 hour read. That shouldn’t have put me off because I really thought it looked like an interesting book, and it turns out I was mistaken anyway! The book finished at 66% through and the rest of the book was taken up by references from all the research that the author had cited. This book takes us into the hidden world of algorithms...

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She Reads Truth – Colossians & Philemon

I’ve been looking forward to this book since it was announced and it did not disappoint. As much as I love She Reads Truth studies that are in familiar areas, I am always more excited to be spending time in a book of the Bible that isn’t so familiar to me – and this was a two-in-one! I’ve read a bit of Colossians before, but I can’t remember ever opening Philemon, which is silly since it’s such a short book...

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Simon Reynolds – Lighten Our Darkness

This book was requested from NetGalley in exchange for a review. This short but packed book is a guide to Choral Evensong, giving insight into the structure and elements of the service, along with detailed history of each of those parts. I think I’ve only been to one Choral Evensong service before when I was at St Paul’s in London, and I have to admit I didn’t really ‘get it’. But now I’ve read this...

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Stephen Cottrell – Dear England

The author introduces this book by recounting a story of a conversation he had in Paddington Station (Caffe Nero to be precise), when the barista asked him what sounds like an innocuous question: “What made you become a priest?”. Obviously when buying a coffee in a busy train station, there’s not much time to answer such a question as that, but this book is the response that he would have made if he’d had the time (a...

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Tim Hughes & Nick Drake – Why Worship?

I was given this book on NetGalley in exchange for a review. I’ve been following Tim Hughes’ music since I bought one of his CDs in a Wesley Owen shop (remember them?) in Leeds in 2003, and when I saw this book start to be mentioned on Twitter, I knew I needed to read it – seeing it on NetGalley just sealed the deal for me. The book is split into 4 parts: Who and why we worshipWhere and how we worshipWhat happens when...

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Dr Joshua Wolrich – Food Isn’t Medicine

“Would you rather be healthy and fat or unhealthy and thin?” Wolrich poses that the fact that you hesitate when you’re faced with that question is part of the problem which has lead to such huge problems of weight stigma in the western world. Fat is somehow seen as a problem not just a descriptive word, no matter the health. And thin is hailed as the goal no matter what. In the first part of the book, Wolrich debunks...

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David Robertson – What Would Jesus Post?

I started reading this book before lockdown 1.0 last year and unfortunately it just wasn’t the right time for me to be reading it, so I’ve only just got round to finishing it – not a reflection of the book, just a crazy year! Focusing on how to remain true to your Christian self while interacting online, this book was so interesting. With topics like wisdom and discernment and sewing a digital seed, it covered a wide range...

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The Good Immigrant

I’ve been trying to make an effort to read more diverse voices and educate myself more on perspectives different from my own. This book was a collection of essays by 21 different writers, writing on what it means to be Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic in Britain today. The essays brought perspectives that I’d never thought of before, they were insightful and brilliant, but also sad and heart-breaking. To read first-hand about...

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Tony Evans – A Kid’s Guide to the Names of Jesus

I requested this book as an advance reading copy from NetGalley as I thought it might be useful for my youth groups. Although the book is pitched at a lower age range than I usually teach, I thought it would have some material that would be helpful. And I think I was mostly right. I think actually if I was to use this book with my teenagers, I wouldn’t have to do much adaptation in terms of aging the material upwards as some of it was...

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She Reads Truth – Esther

I absolutely loved this study. I’ve been struggling to commit to spending time in my Bible and a two week study felt like a perfect opportunity in the run up to Lent. I knew the rough outline of the story of Esther, but this is the first time I’ve read the whole book through, and it was such an eye opener. First of all, I never realised that God isn’t mentioned by name in the whole book of Esther, because it feels really...

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Sarah Bessey – A Rhythm of Prayer

I received this book as a free copy in exchange for a review from NetGalley. I thought this was a great collection of prayers and meditations, although like some previous NetGalley books, I think my experience was diminished by the fact it was an ebook not a physical copy (this is in no way a reflection on the book itself, I just feel like it would lend itself better to something physical). The book is comprised of contributions from a...

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