What strange times we are currently living in right? As the world tries to brace ourselves and deal with the slow emergence from the restrictions Coronavirus put on us, staying home is still one million percent the new going out! Im not ready to deal with the crowds in pubs etc just yet! We will all continue to deal with the social distancing and isolation in our own way. For me, books and music have formed a large part of keeping me on the good side of sane! Oh and gin…..always gin…. If you too are a keen reader, this post may help. I thought I would share with you the last 8 books I read, with a mini book review, to perhaps give you a little inspiration.
I am on a quest this year to read 50 books. I have to say, lockdown has helped me to make in roads into that target! Do you set yourself a target for reading? I also have a list of 40 books for your reading list if you want even more inspiration. I appreciate many of us do not want to be going out shopping, but you can still order books online through many places. You can of course, also use the option of Audible if you prefer to listen to a book.
The Last Fiction Books I’v Read
Let’s start with fiction. I read a lot of non fiction too, but it tends to be one non-fiction to three fiction. I find that I take longer to read a non-fiction as I am usually learning something new. They usually make me think so I read and absorb them slower. Fiction is just escapism usually. A little soiree into someone else’s life for a while. Let me know if you have read any of the following, and what you thought. Also, tell me if you fancy me doing mini book reviews every few months. Feel free to leave me any book suggestions too!
My Mini Book reviews
You can not read this book without falling in love with the main character. Queenie is a story of a woman, navigating her way through life. Although it had me giggling along with it in parts, it also addresses important issues. Race, love, lonliness, family, self worth and friendship. You will find yourself nodding in agreement and roaring with laughter. But also, you will find yourself feeling an ache in your heart, a feeling of recognition and a feeling of solidarity. It is a fabulous book.
The setting of this book, rural Scotland, is one of my most favourite places in the world. Maybe not at the lodge this little merry band of friends stayed in though…. Long term friends all gather together to celebrate the New Year. Then, one of them goes missing, later turning up dead. Since there is no one else near the lodge for miles around, they know it is one of them that has done the deed! You are introduced to all the main characters, and will probably form your opinion on who got murdered, but also who did the murder! Although a little slow starting, The Hunting Party kept me gripped right until the end.
Well, the ending of this book is a surprising little gem…. Our main character Alison, was a little hard for me to like initially. Her drinking, her selfishness, her chaotic life. But as the story unravels, you get a deeper understanding of what is going on. Her career as a criminal barrister is on the up, but her life is spiralling down. Alison takes on the biggest case of her career, defending a woman who admits to killing her husband. But, with the increasing pressure from her unravelling home life, you wonder how on earth it will all turn out. A great book, watch out for the twist at the end…
I LOVED this book. Some people found the main character, Susan, a little unlikeable. I did not find that. I felt an empathy for her right from the off. At 45 years old, Susan had the world at her feet, apparently….. But her very full life, was very empty of things that had any true value. We follow Susan from the point where she has recently found out that she is expecting a baby! Her “prickly” nature keeps people at arms length, and protects the fragility of her heart. We see the cactus begin to soften her prickles and I was there for it, totally. If you liked last years must read, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you will love this one too. The Cactus is also being made into a film starring Reese Witherspoon!
I am going to be honest here. Pretty much, from one chapter in, you know how this book is going to pan out. There are no surprises and yes, it is a fairly predictable chic lit. However, I loved this book. It was easy going, sweet without being saccharine, and I became invested in the characters. It had a fairly unique way of telling a well told story, (boy meets girl yada yada), that I admit. But, it just hooked me in and made me feel happy reading it. A great book to give you a little light escapism and “like a warm blanket” hug.
Non-Fiction Books I have Read
I find it quite tricky to give a mini review on non-fiction. Mainly, because we can all read the same book, but take away different things from it. It can really depend on how deeply you have already met ourselves can’t it! I read a lot of very deep books, mainly with a Buddhist philosophy. I love books that make me think, and look at things from a different view. I will admit, I find sometimes that generic “self development” books can all say the same thing, but in a different way. However, the following three I read and enjoyed.
This is an older book, but one I had never read. It is also a book I feel I need to read again. The first time I read it I enjoyed it, but felt there was nothing new in it. I thought of myself as fearless, so felt it could not teach me much. However, that was a little arrogant and I think I read it with a distracted mind, (there was a lot going on at the time). I do not feel i gave it a fair chance. I know people that LOVE this book. It is a book to encourage you to have courage and feel the fear. Although I am pretty fearless, I realised recently that I have been putting off reaching out to brands etc to try to grow my brand work on the blog. That fear is coming from somewhere, so I think a re-read of this book could help me unpick that. It is a very well regarded book, so I will give it a second bash.
I had been recommended this book by a few people. I had never read anything from the author before, so this was my first dip into the world of Brene Brown. It is a book about being vulnerable. It is about how most of us struggle to show any vulnerability. I know it is something that I struggle with. I hate to show signs of weakness, or anything other than strength. I knew this was something that I wanted to investigate within myself, so picked this book up. I did find this book interesting. I did not identify with loads in the book. However, what I did realise is that I probably show vulnerability more than I thought I did! That was useful for me. I do think it is a good read, and would recommend it if you want to understand yourslef a little more.
This was another book that was recommended to me many times. It is a lovely, feel good book. The chapters are quite short, so it made it really digestible. I tended to read a chapter each morning to start my day off positively and with all the good vibes. It is a book about creating positive habits. It is a reminder to practise self care. It is a book giving practical advice on living in the present moment. I read this book quickly and enjoyed it. For me, there was nothing groundbreaking, but it acted as a great reminder and prompt of what I already knew. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to move forward in the quest to live a more positive and mindful life. One of my favourite quotes from the book, (and how I live my life) is;
If you can’t change a situation, change your perception of it. That is where your personal power is.
I think if you can master that, you will have a much happier life. Trust in the process. Trust in the fact that what is meant for you will not miss you. Everything is how it is meant to be. That little quote is a powerful 18 words right?
I hope that I have offered you a little inspiration for your bookshelf. These mini book reviews just give you a taster of my these reads. I do read quite a variety of books, so would welcome any suggestions you too may have! I would especially love to hear the last book you read. I can not get enough of book recommendations. I find reading such a tonic for my soul. The book I am currently reading is Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race. I will let you know how I find it in my next little book round up.
please note – all book titles etc are clickable links. These links are affiliate links, which means that I could earn a few pennies in commission, (at no extra cost to you), should you use one of these links to make a purchase.