Emma Jane Kirby – The Optician of Lampedusa

For all those people who think that ‘immigrants are coming over here to get our benefits and our jobs’. For all those people who say that they are stupid to risk their lives coming over here. For all those people who think the migrant crisis can be ignored. For all those people who couldn’t care less. This book is for you. And it is essential reading. For this book is not an easy read. It’s not a nice fluffy bedtime...

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Raechel Myers & Amanda Bible Williams – She Reads Truth

The anticipation for this book was immense. I heard about the book when it was first announced on the She Reads Truth website, I eventually got around to pre-ordering it a month before it came out, but Amazon made me wait until an entire month after the release date before I actually got my hands on it! I don’t know why it took so long, but when it arrived I was dying to read it!! And like the She Reads Truth reading plans I’ve been...

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Steve Ross – Marked

I recently went on our Church Parish Weekend, and had the pleasure of helping out with one of the youth groups for the weekend. One of the resources given to each of the children during the weekend was a copy of Marked by Steve Ross. It’s a graphic novel representation of the Gospel of Mark, something I would never have even though of reading. But like some of the kids, I went back to my hotel room the first night we’d been given it...

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C.S. Lewis – The Great Divorce

I don’t think I’ll ever fail to be amazed by the imagination of C.S. Lewis. The ideas that he has and the way that he approaches them are simply genius. I took this book with me on our recent Church Parish Weekend away at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick. I couldn’t think of a better place to read, sitting by the side of the lake and being surrounded by nature, it was perfect! It’s quite a brief book at only 146...

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Rowan Williams – Being Christian

It seems like a long time since I read this book now, I’ve been really busy with work and not had time to come on here and update my blog. Since January, I have been attending classes at the vicarage to prepare to be Confirmed at Church, and this was a book that I read in the run-up to my confirmation just before Easter (Palm Sunday on 20th March). Despite being written by a previous Archbishop of Canterbury, the book was written in a very...

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Mike Erre – The Jesus of Suburbia

I feel quite conflicted about this book. For around 80%, I would say I sat reading and nodding in agreement, occasionally reading the same passage over and over again as it just felt so spot on that it was like someone had taken my thoughts and put them on paper. But then also quite often, it felt like the author was doing exactly what his book was supposed to be criticising, claiming to know what God would want and denouncing the Church as it...

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Nicky Gumbel - The Jesus Lifestyle

Nicky Gumbel – The Jesus Lifestyle

After finishing the Alpha course before Christmas, I was definitely ready to dive in deeper. As well as signing up for classes to prepare for Confirmation in March (exciting!), I decided to buy a few books to learn more. The first one I chose was one recommended in the Alpha handbook (and written by the creator of the course). The book takes to pieces Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and explains how each piece relates to ‘real...

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C.S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters

For the last 12 weeks, I’ve been doing the Alpha Course at Pudsey Parish Church (it finished last night – boooo!). There’s a really interesting group of people on my table, including a lovely lady called Eunice who recommended the Adrian Plass book I read previously. She also recommended this book a few times, saying that I’d really enjoy it and that it was very funny. As her last recommendation was so good, I went...

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Lena Dunham – Not That Kind of Girl

I came into this book with high hopes for a biography of an intriguing woman. I was given a Girls Series 1 & 2 boxset for Christmas this year and I remember quite liking it, although it occurs to me now that I never finished series 2, which is possibly telling of how much I really (dis)liked it. My impression of Dunham after finishing this book is of an egotistical, entitled young woman who doesn’t believe that anything she does wrong...

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Caitlin Moran – How To Build a Girl

Lessons I’ve learned from reading this book: Always listen to your best friend when she tells you a book isn’t that good. I’d heard really good things about this book, it won reviews and people on Twitter were raving about it. But then my best friend Abi read it and didn’t particularly enjoy it, so I should have known that maybe the book wasn’t going to live up to the hype. Especially since Abi’s taste in...

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Chris Hadfield – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

I’ve been very intrigued by this book since I first saw it in hardback on one of my many trips to Waterstones, but with my ever-growing pile of books to read, I’ve never got around to buying it. But I figured it was about time to learn a little more about space and what it’s like to be an astronaut. It’s something you think about when you’re a child; how cool it would be to go to space. But as an adult (or at least...

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Leanne Shirtliffe – Don’t Lick The Minivan

Well I picked this book because I thought it sounded quite funny and I was in need of a bit of a change in my audiobooks from the more serious books I’ve been reading. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what I imagined it to be, and I didn’t get quite as many laugh out loud moments as I thought. Don’t get me wrong, there were some funny┬ámoments and I did like how the author was brutally honest about the experience of having...

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Jane Hawking – Travelling to Infinity

Wow, this book was an absolute joy to read. When you think of Stephen Hawking, you immediately think of how brilliant his mind is, and how strong he must be to have coped with Motor Neuron Disease for so long. What you don’t immediately think about is his first wife Jane, who was with him through the diagnosis and all the trials and tribulations of the next 25 years. Stephen may have been strong, but Jane was something else. The book...

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Ron Blomberg – Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story

Still needing a healthy baseball fix until spring training starts very shortly, I decided to download this on a whim from Amazon since it was included for free with audio in my Kindle Unlimited subscription. If I’m honest, I’d never heard of Ron Blomberg when I downloaded the book, and after reading the book, I can kind of understand why. His only real highlight was becoming the first ever Designated Hitter, which was purely a result...

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Dirk Hayhurst – Bigger Than the Game

Dirk Hayhurst was one of the first people I followed on Twitter, way back in 2009, and I’ve been keeping a keen eye on him ever since. I absolutely adored his first two books, The Bullpen Gospels and Out of My League, and I was very excited for this one too. When it first came out, I already had a to-read pile longer than my arm, so I left it for a little while before I bought it, but I really wish I hadn’t! And as I expected, I...

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A. J. Jacobs – The Year of Living Biblically

I decided to read this book as a bit of an impulse. When I joined the library, I was looking around to see what kind of books they had, and I took a look at their religious section. This one kind of jumped out at me, it looked like an interesting concept: a guy decides that he’s going to spend an entire year living to the rules in the Bible. I couldn’t help but pick it up and see what it was all about! Obviously some rules are easier...

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Michael Mayne – A Year Lost and Found

Sometimes, a book comes into your life at just the right time, and this was so perfectly timed it’s untrue. I only picked it up by a random choice when I was browsing the religion section at the library. It stuck out to me for some reason so I checked it out. And it turned out to be completely perfect for what is going on in my life right now. Michael Mayne was a priest struck down with a seemingly mysterious illness. The doctors...

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Ian Mortimer – The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England

I wasn’t sure what I’d think of this book when my boyfriend bought me it for Christmas, as it’s not really my usual kind of book, but I love learning new things so I was excited to give it a try. If I hadn’t lost the book for about 2 months in the mass of piles of books in my room, I would have finished with it much sooner, although I still wouldn’t call it a fast read. Each page is jam-packed with facts which means...

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Harriet Jacobs – Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Wow, to say this book was hard to read would be a massive understatement. I saw it as a free book on the Kindle bookstore, I would imagine it probably made it into the top 100 due to the success of 12 Years a Slave, which I have bought but have yet to read. And if it is as brutal as this was, I think I’ll be in for a tough time. I think the part that made the book most harrowing was that it was written in first person, but it was so matter...

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