Andrzej Sapkowski – The Last Wish (The Witcher #1)

To be honest, I’m a bit conflicted about this book. Even calling it a book feels weird, because it’s not a novel, it’s a collection of short stories. And that’s the main reason I’m conflicted. I loved Geralt, the main character (aka The Witcher), his sense of humour and his unique perspective on the world are definitely going to make this series an interesting read. But it was really hard to get to know him when...

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Susan Calman – Sunny Side Up

I’ve been seeing Susan Calman more and more on tv since her appearance on Strictly Coming Dancing – she was my favourite that year! And I really feel like she’s a ray of sunshine – she makes me smile when I see her. So it was surprising to me that she struggles with depression. It shouldn’t be a surprise as I have learnt over the last couple of years how easy it is to put a happy face on when you feel the...

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Milly Johnson – The Little Dreams of Lara Cliffe

Lara Cliffe has had a rocky road to get to this week – her hen do on a cruise to Amsterdam and back. Her love life has not been plain sailing (no pun intended), but she’s finally happy and more than ready to settle down. But when, on the first night of the cruise, she comes face to face with the guy who broke her heart into pieces, and it seems like he might be truly sorry, what will Lara do? Was it fate that brought them back...

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Beth O’Leary – The Flat Share

I’ve wanted to read this book since it first came out, but since I’m not a lover of hardback books, I had a long wait for it to come out in paperback! I also reserved it in audio format on my library app when I found out it was being narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher, and as luck would have it, the day after I bought the paperback, I finally got to the top of the list for the audio loan! I was torn between getting lost in the...

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She Reads Truth – Philippians

Philippians – the Epistle of Joy – and this shines through in this book, even from the very front cover – what joy! Philippians is a book of the Bible that I thought I knew quite well – it’s very quotable and has lots of verses which can be a huge encouragement. But I don’t think I’ve ever read the book as a whole – as it was intended – a letter. So I really appreciated having a couple...

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Jules Middleton – Breaking the Mould

I was sent this book before Christmas as an advanced copy to review, but unfortunately I’ve not been feeling great and haven’t been in the mood for reading very much. So the length of time it took me to read is definitely not a reflection of the book, which I thought was fabulous. As a disclaimer, I’m neither in ministry or a mum, so I’m almost certainly not the target audience, but I found it so eye opening for a...

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She Reads Truth – Genesis

What better way to start the year than a trip back to the beginning, back to Genesis. While it’s true that most ‘read the Bible in one year’ plans start in Genesis, this might be the most I feel like I’ve got out of reading Genesis – it felt like a joy rather than a chore, which it has sometimes felt in the past when I’ve been just thinking about how much I need to read and not what I’m...

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Sarah Turner – The Unmumsy Mum Diaries

‘Reading’ this book as an audio book was such a good choice – except for the fact that I found myself laughing to myself like a loon on my morning walks. Partly because some of the stories in the book were so funny, but partly because all I could think about was how awkward it must have been to record the audio version with sound engineers and other people looking on. I read another Unmumsy book last year, and while...

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Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

It’s been way too long since I read Pride and Prejudice so I was overdue for a re-read. And having it read to me by Rosamund Pike – simply fantastic. There’s not much I can say about this book that I haven’t said before – I just can’t find fault in it, there’s a reason it’s my favourite book of all time because it just brings me so much joy! I think Rosamund Pike was the perfect choice of...

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Romesh Ranganathan – Straight Outta Crawley

For New Year’s Eve, my husband had the crazy idea that we’d welcome in the new year in Scarborough, and this was the book we picked to keep us company for the 3+ hour round trip. It made the drive go so much more quickly, we were in stitches at many points during the book. But the book wasn’t all funny, and at times was quite a heart-rending look into what growing up and becoming a comedian looked like for Romesh – it...

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Mhairi McFarlane - Don't You Forget About Me Book Cover

Mhairi McFarlane – Don’t You Forget About Me

New year, new me? Nope. In typical Louise fashion, I spent new year’s day sick on the sofa instead of at my brother in law’s new years party. The only consolation? This delightful book which completely transported me away from my living room and into Georgina’s world. Georgina doesn’t seem to be having the best luck – she’s just lost her job through no fault of her own, she’s just walked in on her...

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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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Dave Walker – How to Avoid the Peace

I’ve been a fan of Dave Walker’s cartoons in the Church Times for quite a while now, and last year when I saw this book was coming out, I absolutely had to buy it for my husband, who is a reluctanct peace hand-shaker at best. He loved it straight away, and I ‘ve been slowly flicking through it over the last year. Every page without fail made me chuckle, it’s just so relatable. Probably no matter what church you attend...

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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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Jeff Lucas – Lucas Out Loud

I picked this book up in the second hand book basket at my Church after flipping through it randomly and reading a page about the perils of radio-microphones as a vicar/speaker. It made me laugh out loud, so I decided I might as well read the whole thing. Presented as a series of short articles on a variety of subjects, the book was simultaneously light hearted but thought provoking. Hitting the nail on the head and getting direct to the...

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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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Ewa Jozefkowicz – Girl 38

At the start of this book, we’re introduced to Kat, a young girl who loves nothing more than to draw her comic books. Her parents work long hours and she’s often alone, and she’s feeling out of touch with her childhood best friend Gem, who is becoming more and more like a tyrant than a friend. So when Kat gets talking to the old lady next door, it seems like a world will be opened to her that will make her feel less lonely...

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Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe – Heathers: The Musical

I went to see Heathers last year when it was in the west end – mainly because one of my favourite actresses (Carrie Hope Fletcher) was in it, but it turned out to be one of the best musicals I’ve seen – and completely not what I expected. While I was there, I picked up this script as a memento of what I’d seen, and today I spent a fabulous couple of hours reading through the script while listening to the soundtrack. It...

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Ele Fountain – Boy 87

Oh. Em. Gee. This book was filed in the children’s book section of my library app, so I didn’t quite expect what was coming. Not an easy read, for sure, but definitely one that was worth reading. I started this when I got into bed at 10.30pm on boxing day and basically stayed awake til after 2pm because I simply couldn’t put it down. We start the book with a ship capsizing in the middle of the ocean and a boy struggling to...

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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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Julie Murphy – Dumplin’

Before I read this, I’d watched it on Netflix, not realising it was based on a book. I thought the Netflix show was great, the cast was fantastic and the story was captivating. I’m happy (but not surprised) to say the book was even better – I read it in one sitting! Willowdean Dickson is the daughter of a former small-town pageant queen. Despite never quite living up to the daughter that her mother had in mind (her mother...

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