December is probably my favourite month and this year was no different, we managed to avoid most of the chaos and had a lovely, relaxed festive period that included a good amount of downtime amongst the family board game arguments; I also manged to fit in plenty of festive reads, something I’m already planning on ramping up again next year!
Very Good Lives ~ This tiny book contains JK Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement address, she speaks to the graduates about the importance of failure, its illustrated throughout and was a lovely quick morning read, 4 stars.
Last Christmas ~ An anthology of essays of Christmas experiences, contributors range from people involved in both sides the Crisis homeless charity and big names like Meryl Streep. The collection has been put together by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise and I really enjoyed reading all of them, its a great reminder that everyone has different experiences and expectations of this time of year, 4 stars.
On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back ~ I listened to the audio book which is read by the author Stacey Dooley and her retelling of the women she met while making her documentaries. I really enjoyed listening to this, I’ve not watched all of the documentaries she mentions and don’t feel like they’ve been spoilt at all, which is handy since a lot of them are currently on iPlayer, 4 stars.
Wilde Women ~ This wraps up (for now) Louise Pentland’s Robin Wilde books; I don’t want to give too much away but the third in the series was a bit mixed for me. I felt the first 15-20% acted very much as a reminder of the first two books, which if you’re reading them far apart might be useful but I found myself getting a little frustrated at how much was being gone over. Once we got into the bulk of the book though I started to really enjoy it, its not amazing literature but its easy, feel good reading that doesn’t shy away of difficult topics. 3 stars.
Chernobyl Prayer ~ Being born after 1986, I’ve never really learnt too much about Chernobyl until the Sky series aired earlier this year, while listening to the corresponding podcast this book was mentioned as one of the resources the writers used. It’s an incredible collection of monologues from a wide variety of people who were affected by the disaster, 3 stars.
Very Merry Readathon ~ I finished five books as part of this readathon, which are wrapped up here
Single All The Way ~ 4 stars
Festive Spirits ~ 2 stars
Reasons to Stay Alive ~ 5 stars
Sabotage ~ 5 stars
Another Night Before Christmas ~ 5 stars.
Make Do and Mend a Broken Heart* ~ A heartwarming starting again story; Leanne has moved to Sea Glass cottage shortly after the loss of her husband and is working towards a fresh start with new friends. This is released early January and a full review will be up next week, 4 stars.
Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want To Come ~ Jess always knew she was an introvert but as her friends slowly left London she started to realise just how much it was affecting her life. She commits to 12 months of living like an extrovert, she tries friend-dating, improv and solo travel among other techniques and learns so much about herself. I found this a little difficult to get into but soon got hooked, my main takeaway/thinking point from this was “Nobody waves, but everybody waves back” which made me realise how often I walk around my office thinking how miserable everyone looks with their heads down while doing the same myself, maybe its time to look up and smile every once in a while, 3 stars.