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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Sophie Kinsella – I Owe You One

Fixie Farr has a reputation for always needing to fix things. Whether it’s just something out of place in her family shop, or something much bigger, she just can’t help herself. But most of the time, she ends up just causing more trouble by trying to make everything perfect. When she saves a stranger’s laptop from imminent doom, he tells her he owes her one, and so begins a long line of favours back and forth between Seb and...

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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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Claire McGowan – What You Did

Not my usual kind of book, but I got this one for free through the Amazon First Reads program and it kept me going through a long couple of train journeys to London and back. I say not my usual kind of book, I’ve read crime/thrillers before and I usually do find them quite enjoyable, but it’s not my first choice genre as I like to feel warm and snuggled in a book and thrillers usually set me on edge – not good when...

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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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Carole Matthews – Happiness for Beginners

My friend bought me this book for my birthday and she clearly knows me very well, because this book was exactly my cup of tea! Characters that feel like friends and a setting that just can’t help but make you smile, what more could you ask for? Seeing the relationships develop gradually throughout the book just gave me warm fuzzy feelings. And I don’t just mean the inevitable romance, but the growing relationship between Molly...

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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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RHS Harlow Carr

For my birthday this year (30!), it was a really sunny day so we decided to go for a walk around Harlow Carr in Harrogate. It’s been ages since I took my camera out with me, and it was the perfect day for it. Choosing to spend the day walking around a garden may make me officially middle-aged now, but I had the best day! Let me know which are your favourite photos in the comments! My personal favourites are the bees – so happy to...

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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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What sparks your light?

It was my 30th birthday yesterday, and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past couple of years, and how my 30-year-old self is not the self I had once pictured. In some ways, that’s a good thing, but in a lot of ways, I have neglected who I wanted to be and not taken care of myself in the way I should have. The last couple of years have been really difficult for me personally, and it’s quite hard for me to admit...

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Milly Johnson – The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew

The perfect birthday present – a new Milly Johnson book! At least that’s what my husband thought when he pre-ordered it for my birthday, not bargaining on the fact that I’d be so eager to read it, I’d buy it two days before my birthday and read it in one sitting! Sorry Cameron! But how could I say no to these glorious blue edged pages (the special edition from Tesco). I’m a sucker for a coloured-edge, and...

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Ethel Rohan – The Weight of Him

The blurb on the back of this book made me immediately want to buy this and read it – a man struggling with both the loss of someone close to him, and also struggling with his health and appearance – he’s extremely overweight and feels alienated from his family. I felt like I would be able to empathise a lot with him, and I was right, to an extent. It turns out that the loss that Billy is struggling with is the loss of his...

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I’m back! (AKA Blog like no-one’s watching…)

…because they’re probably not! It’s been an awful long time since I did any actual blogging on here – three years to be precise. I’ve concentrated more on book reviews and less on blogging, partly because I didn’t think what I had to say was worth saying. But two things have changed my mind recently. Firstly, I’ve started to feel the itch to blog again. something I haven’t wanted to do for...

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Diana Gabaldon – Outlander

We went on holiday to Scotland for our anniversary this year, and gifts/souvenirs for Outlander were absolutely everywhere. I’d watched the first episode of the Amazon TV series with my friend, but I decided I wanted to read the book before I watched any further. I LOVE Scotland, and a book set in such beautiful scenery sounded like a dream. Having watched the first episode of the series, I knew the main premise of the book was a woman...

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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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Paula Gooder – Phoebe

I picked this book up after seeing an advert for a talk with the author at Southwark Cathedral which just so happened to be while I was in London (this never happens!). I booked onto the event straight away, and the kindle version of the book was only 99p, so I dug straight in. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled for personal reasons, but I’m so glad that the event was what caused me to pick the book up in the first place, as it was...

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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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Shari Low – With or Without You

An interesting premise, a story that starts with a life-changing decision. Then we split into two parts – one where Liv says Yes, and one where she says No. But is your life actually pre-destined to end up a certain way no matter what decisions you choose? That’s what is explored in this book. I found the pacing a bit variable, at times I was fully engaged and devouring page after page, desperate to know what would happen next...

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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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