Anita Rani – The Right Sort of Girl

I’ve come to the realisation that my favourite kind of audio books are auto-biographies, particularly when they’re read by the author. I don’t know what drew me to this one, I think it was partly because Anita is from Bradford, and partly the picture on the front cover where she looks so joyous. Coming myself from Pudsey (between Bradford and Leeds), I felt on the same page as Anita as she described her local area as she...

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Maisie Hill – Period Power

Oh how I wanted to love this book. The first section of the book was great, a detailed look at the female body and reproductive system and menstruation. It felt like all the information I needed (and didn’t get) when I was 13, and although it’s almost 20 years too late, it was great to learn more about my own body (even though it’s surprising that at 32 I didn’t know them already). However, after the first part of...

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Camille Fournier – The Manager’s Path

I was recently promoted to team lead (yay me!) and I was recommended this book by a couple of people to learn more about being a leader in tech. It was such a useful book to read – it starts off talking about mentoring, then progressing to team lead and continues all the way up to what it calls the big leagues, e.g. CTO. I read it all the way to the end even though two thirds of the book were definitely above my pay-grade, and...

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John Mark Comer – God Has a Name

I bought this book from the bookstall at a recent New Wine women’s day. The cover immediately stood out to me, and then when I read the blurb it felt like it was talking directly to me. “Many of us ache for relationship with God, yet feel distant and disconnected from him. As if he’s more of an idea we believe in our head than a person we relate to. But God has a name: Yahweh”. It stuck a chord with how I’ve...

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Muthuraj Swamy – Reconciliation

I feel like I can’t really give this book a fair review (and it’s all my fault). The book was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lent book for 2019, and as it’s currently October 2021, you can probably see I wasn’t very timely with reading it. The book is designed to be read daily over the course of lent, and I did find the content really interesting for the first half of lent but then I got out of the habit of...

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James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes

I listened to this book in audio format and I’m so pleased I did because I don’t know if it would have been quite so laugh-out-loud funny if I wasn’t hearing the tales of all these ‘classic scrapes’ in James’ own voice. When we talk about scrapes, we talk about silly situations that James has got himself in which sound completely absurd and like they must have to be made up, except they’re not. We...

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Robert Webb – How Not To Be a Boy

I’ve come to the realisation that auto-biographies are perfect for audio format, especially when they’re read by the author, and this one was no exception. I’ve been a fan of Robert Webb for many years, back to Peep Show and Mitchell and Webb, and I think it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that someone that makes a living out of making people laugh must have had a good or easy life. But Webb’s...

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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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