Tag: non-fiction

First Lines Friday – 14/05/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post!

Today’s featured book is a non-fiction memoir, quite unlike most of the books on my TBR at present. That said, I’m looking forward to trying something new and I think there is a lot I can take away from this particular book.

Can you guess what it is from the excerpt below? Here is today’s First Lines Friday feature: –

Having been born a freeman, and for more than 30 years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free state-and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of 12 years – it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.

Since my return to liberty, I have not failed to perceive the increasing interest throughout the northern states, in regards to the subject of slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and, as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.

I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observation-only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. My object is, to give a candid and truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more cruel wrong or a severer bondage.

 

 

Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup

Twelve Years a Slave – Goodreads

Twelve Years a Slave, sub-title: Narrative of Solomon Northup, citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana, is a memoir by Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David Wilson. It is a slave narrative of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery, and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, as well as describing at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.

 

My Thoughts…

Slavery is seen as an old practice. Barbaric, cruel and utterly unspeakable and yet to say that slavery does not exist today would be false. Whilst I would like to think that stories such as Solomon Northup‘s do not happen today, I’m not very optimistic. It is only by educating ourselves that we can prevent history repeating itself.

Twelve Years a Slave is a classic, non-fiction memoir – a combination I don’t read very often. However, it is for that reason that I am excited to pick up this book! Will it be an easy read? Doubtful. But still, I don’t intend to shy away from it either. I read for fun and I can read to be challenged and I think there is a lot I can learn about the truth of slavery and racism from this book.

Have you read Twleve Years a Slave? Did you enjoy it, and did you learn from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience of the book so please let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Today’s book review is for one of my top reads of 2020. It wasn’t a book I expected to pick up; in fact, it was a an impromptu loan from a work colleague after they read it and enjoyed it in lockdown. 

And boy, am I glad I took them up on the loan! It’s not often that I read non-fiction, or anything even remotely like this book. But sometimes, branching out pays off and honestly I loved loved loved this book! There is a definite British pride in the NHS but I think it often under-appreciated how much has to go into it in order for us to be able to access it. This book rips away the veil and gives an honest insight into what it means to be a doctor… what it costs to be a doctor, and I don’t just mean financially. You would be wrong to think that this is a dry, one interesting diary of the slog that is the medical profession. Oh no. Adam Kay is absolutely hilarious and as I’m sure you can imagine, his experience as an Obs and Gyn doctor provides no end of humour along the way!

 

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Goodreads – This is Going to Hurt

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Humour Book of the Year

Winner of the Books Are My Bag Book of the Year

Winner of iBooks’ Book of the Year

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

As seen on ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

This edition includes extra diary entries and a new afterword by the author.

 

My Thoughts…

I would never have thought that a book could be tearjerking and completely hilarious all at the same time. Each daily chapter is different to the next, as can be expected really. Every day is different and brings along new patients and challenges. Probably one of the most common challenges of the job are the patients themselves, and the stupid things they have done to themselves to land them in the care of the NHS. Slightly red-faced, no doubt!

The book isn’t all humour though. It’s gritty, and it’s real and unfortunately in such a profession there are bad days as well as good days. Some patients get to walk out a little embarrassed but otherwise well, and yet others have far more to worry about. This book did make me cry. At one time the author was looking after a patient who found out they were terminally ill. He spent several hours of his day after he clocked off helping patient come to terms with their diagnosis and to help them make a plan for the inevitable. In his own time. If that doesn’t make you realise the kind of people the NHS is made up of then nothing will.

This is going to hurt is truly an emotional rollercoaster. Yet between the humour and the sad stories lies the bigger truth that the service we all rely on is understaffed and underfunded. Those in the profession often work ridiculous hours and overtime on top for the good of their patients. They have little to no social or personal lives themselves (over the course of the book and seven Christmases, the author got just one year off duty…)

What this book makes clear is that the staff who keep the NHS going sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. In the wake of the events of the last year and the ongoing pandemic across the world, it’s all the more important to remember their sacrifices and to appreciate them! Adam Kay continues to campaign to raise awareness of the state of the NHS and his afterword tries to rally people to the cause. It is a topic that is being discussed now. Those of you who watched the BRIT awards recently will have heard the first of Dua Lipa’s acceptance speeches, in which she highlighted that it was one thing to clap for the NHS staff and another to pay them!

In a way, This is Going to Hurt is a call to arms, but it’s also an absolutely hilarious read. It’s a complex book, because on the face of it, it appears to be a light-hearted humorous account of Adam Kay’s time is a junior doctor. Yet under the surface, there is a poignant message that can also be taken from it. I love the book for both sides and I hope other readers out there do too.

This is Going to Hurt, rightfully so, was one of my top reads of last year and it is a book I know I will pick up again and again and again. And I’m sure I’ll have the same rollercoaster journey each and every time. I’m looking forward to it!

 

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Shelf Control #28 – 26/03/2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! As you may recall, this is a regular feature series I started last year and I am looking to get back into sharing these posts regularly again. With my emphasis on clearing some of the old books on my TBR pile, I think it’s all the more important to keep checking on the books on my list. By doing so I am making sure the books on my list are still relevant to my reading preferences, whilst also giving me the opportunity to get excited about reading them in the near future!

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

This week‘s featured book it’s almost a book of books, so to speak. It is a collection of curiosities and lesser-known facts brought together in one 250-page novel. That to me is interesting in its own right, but as I’m trying to read more in the way of non-fiction, this is definitely something I want to pick up soon.

Read on to find out about the book!

 

The Secret Library – Oliver Tearle

The Secret Library cover

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29501619

A fascinating tour through the curious history of Western civilization told through its most emblematic invention – the book.
As well as leafing through the well-known titles that have helped shape the world in which we live, Oliver Tearle also dusts off some of the more neglected items to be found hidden among the bookshelves of the past.
You’ll learn about the forgotten Victorian novelist who outsold Dickens, the woman who became the first published poet in America and the eccentric traveller who introduced the table-fork to England. Through exploring a variety of books – novels, plays, travel books, science books, cookbooks, joke books and sports almanacs – The Secret Library highlights some of the most fascinating aspects of our history. It also reveals the surprising connections between various works and historical figures. What links Homer’s Iliad to Aesop’s Fables? Or Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack to the creator of Sherlock Holmes?
The Secret Library brings these little-known stories to light, exploring the intersections between books of all kinds and the history of the Western world over 3,000 years.

 

My Thoughts….

If there is one thing that can be said of me, it’s that I love to learn new things. Whether it’s a new skill or reading about a different topic, I don’t shy away from what I don’t know. This book appeals to me for its sharing of lesser known knowledge. I’m also trying to read a lot more in the way of non-fiction, having read and enjoyed a few books in the genre last year. Combining these two things together make this an exciting addition to my TBR!

The fact that this is from an author whom I haven’t read anything by doesn’t scare me off either. I pick up books by new authors just as regularly as those I do by firm favourites. I’m pretty much always willing to give anything a go. The book also has a number of good reviews, so I’m confident that I will enjoy reading and taking the opportunity to try something new.

Have you read The Secret Library? If so, what are your thoughts? As always, I would love to hear from you!

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Sunday Summary – 24th January 2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s possibly slightly hastily written Sunday Summary update post. I’ve had a very busy weekend doing a bit more redecorating in the house. I only finished at 8 pm this evening, so apologies if this post reads a little rushed as a result. But, my hall, stairs and landing look really nice now so it was worth the effort!

My week was comparatively normal. Aside from working from home, I’ve been studying for an upcoming exam and the usual reading and blogging. I shared my first blog post of the week on Tuesday and featured the top ten reads of 2020 that I didn’t get to. My next post after that didn’t go live until yesterday, but I wanted to take my time and get my thoughts together for my review of Rags of Time by Michael Ward.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was just about to finish Midnight in Chernobyl, as I had 40 pages left. I’m pleased to say that I did go on to read those on Sunday night and so I finished this book last week.

I’ve read a second book in its entirety this week, finishing it earlier today in a break when I was waiting for a coat of paint to dry. I’m taking part in a blog tour next week and so I wanted to get the book read in plenty of time before then. I signed up to the blog tour for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire as I have read a number of this author’s books to date and I love her writing. As a rule, I’m not really signing up to review any books for blog tours, but I signed up to this at the end of last year as an exception, given that I would probably have continued to read her books anyway. It was a nice and light historical fiction read and I can’t wait to share my thoughts next week.

I’ve also listened to more of A Game of Thrones this week, but especially yesterday when starting the decorating. I just love it so much and I’ve listened to around half the audiobook now.

 

Books Discovered

I saw a tweet from an author I love talking about a book series I hadn’t heard about. Having read a bit more about it, I decided I liked the sound of it enough to give it a try. The first book of the series is called Priest of Bones by Peter McLean. I’ve added this to my TBR to try the series. I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as I think I will!

 

Coming Up…

Next week I’ll be sharing a couple of posts in addition to my usual weekly update. I want to start off the week on a lighter tone, as I’ll be sharing a review later in the week. I’ve seen a fun post idea of sharing 25 bookish facts about me, and so I want to share this with you in the next few days.

I’ll be sharing my blog tour review of A Remedy in Time on Friday, which I hope you can join me for!

Then, last but not least I’ll be wrapping up the week as usual in next week’s Sunday Summary update.

 

That’s all from me for now though – have a good one and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 17th January 2021

Hi everyone and welcome back to another weekly update in today’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you have all had a good week? Well, as good as in the circumstances anyway!

We’re still in lockdown 2.0 here on the Island, so it’s safe to say I haven’t been up to much. Aside from dialling in for the 9-5, my days have been spent (mainly) knitting, reading and blogging. I’m making a jumper at the moment and the section I’m doing takes so long as I’m knitting in the round for both the body and the sleeve. It’s over 330 stitches per round, and I need to do this until the section is 15” long. Just over halfway at the moment… but it should speed up once I have that bit done!

I’ve also shared a couple of blog posts with you earlier this week. My first post of the week was a look back at my Top Reads of 2020. I always like to recap my favourites of the year – they are good posts to look back on and I love to share my recommendations. That’s what Reviewsfeed is here for after all! Speaking of recommendations, I also shared my book review for Chimeborn by Daniel Curry yesterday. It’s not very often I feature reviews for children/young adult audiences, but I really enjoyed reading this myself!

 

Books Read

 

This week I managed to get back to reading Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. When the news about our circuit-breaker lockdown came nearly two weeks ago, my motivation to read this stalled. The last thing I wanted to read about was a disaster! But, I was able to pick this up again early on in the week. As of this update post, which I’m writing early Sunday evening, I have 40 pages to go until the end. Finishing Midnight in Chernobyl is tonight’s job before bed.

I’m glad I got back into this one. I don’t read non-fiction very much in the grand scheme of things, but I really should. I’ve picked up more in the last year than I ever have done previously and I’ve really enjoyed every single one. I really need to broaden my horizons a bit and try to pick more up habitually.

As well as physical books, I also listened to a bit of A Game of Thrones whilst doing some of my knitting yesterday. Listening to audiobooks when knitting, or painting… things that involve using your hands but don’t require too much thought. Even so, I’m that familiar with the story from reading the book previously (three times) and watching the TV show (I can’t tell you how many times) that I don’t have to concentrate to follow what’s going on.

 

Books Discovered

My TBR can breathe a sigh of relief as I haven’t added any more books to the already crushing weight of the current pile since last week’s Sunday Summary post!

 

Coming Up…

I want to start next week with another Top Ten Tuesday post. Having found out what this week’s topic is, there is no shortage of books that can be put on this list. Remember last year’s Beat the Backlist challenge that I didn’t complete? You’ll probably find a lot of books from that on Tuesday’s “Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To” post. I also want to share this post as I want to tackle these books this year. For definite.

Later in the week, I’m going to share another book review. I have a few review requests to finish up and this week I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the historical fiction novel Rags of Time by Michael Ward.

And of course, last but not least I’ll be back with you next week for another Sunday Summary update.

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary catch-up! What have you been reading this week?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th January 2021

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary weekly update post! I hope you are all keeping well?

This week has been… unusual, to say the least. In fact, no, that’s an understatement. This time last week everything was normal here on the Island. This weekend, we’re back in full lockdown. It’s crazy how quickly it’s happened, but fingers crossed the decisiveness of the Government is the right decision to eradicating it again. So, aside from a food shop, I’ve been home since Wednesday.

On a more positive note, I have been able to put my time to good use both here and in terms of reading. On Thursday I shared my 2020 Wrap Up post, in which I looked back at my reading goals for last year and how I did with them. I’ll give you a spoiler – I didn’t do great… but for good reasons. Hop on over and check that post out if you haven’t already!

Yesterday I took part in a blog tour and provided a promo spotlight post for When the Children Come by Barry Kirwan. It’s a sci-fi novel suitable for young adult and adult readers. I read a thriller by the same author last year (under the pen name J. F. Kirwan) and honestly, it’s up there as one of my top reads of the year! I have no doubt When the Children Come is just as good, so it was a pleasure to be able to take part in the tour.

 

Books Read

As of last week, my current read was Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. It’s still a current read, but I must confess I have shelved it for a few days having only read 12-13 pages or so since last week’s update.

When the news hit on Tuesday evening that we would be going into lockdown, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I tried to pick up Midnight in Chernobyl as a distraction but didn’t get very far at all. Then, I tried knitting, but my heart wasn’t in that either. I put on an episode of A Game of Thrones (I’m re-watching the last season, slowly) but after 20 minutes I gave up on that too.

In the end, I went up to bed quite early for me and started to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. Re-reading these books is one of my goals for this year, and I needed something light-hearted. It worked, and I managed to read about 50 pages or so that night before going to bed. I’ve carried on reading it over the course of the week, and I actually finished the book yesterday evening.

I still wasn’t quite in the mood to return to Midnight in Chernobyl yesterday, although I think I’ll be able to pick this up again now. So, after much debate and telling myself that no, I couldn’t do another re-read of A Game of Thrones  1) again and 2) as well as Harry Potter, I picked up Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin instead. Fire & Blood is a book about the history of the universe A Game of Thrones is set in, covering the 300 years before events of the main series. I felt it was a good compromise and I’ve really enjoyed what I have read so far. I’m 61 pages into this 700-page behemoth, but I love it!

 

Books Discovered

There aren’t any new books on the TBR this week, I’m pleased to say. I have been reading more blog posts by other bloggers again (a habit I got out of), so this might change in the weeks to come. But for now, no news is good news!

 

Coming Up…

In an effort to get through some of the backlog of reviews I have, I am going to be sharing another book review with you next week. This particular book is a copy I received in exchange for a review. It’s very reminiscent of Harry Potter. My reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week has reminded me that I still haven’t reviewed Chimeborn, written by Daniel Curry. So, I think it’s time I share my review with you all!

As it’s the beginning of the year and we are still thinking about the progress and such I made last year, I also want to share a post about my favourite reads of the year. I hope you can tune in for that one too!

As always, I’ll conclude the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

That’s all from me for now though! Have a good week, stay safe and I’ll hopefully see you around!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd January 2021

It’s my first Sunday Summary post in a couple of weeks and I’m glad to be back and sharing my regular updates with you all. I had a lovely break over Christmas and I’m grateful for taking the step back for a week or so. I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get back into it, so let’s jump in and talk about what I have been up to in the last couple of weeks since my last Sunday Summary post!

In the last couple of weeks, I have shared two posts with you. On Christmas Eve I shared The Joy of Christmas Book Tag. I had a lot of fun writing this particular post and it was a nice way to wrap up blogging and get into the festive spirit for the holidays! I then took the planned break and shared my next post with you just a couple of days ago, on New Year’s Day. It’s customary to create and share New Year goals, and that’s what Friday’s post was all about.

If you haven’t checked out either of those posts, please follow the links and have a look!

 

Books Read

I’ve had to go back as far as the 13th December to give you an update on what I have read recently, as I didn’t have any reading progress to report at all in my last Sunday Summary post. I’ve made a lot more progress since then!

In the last couple of weeks, I managed to finish Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which was the book I was currently reading at the time of my last update. The book wasn’t entirely what I expected based on the TV series, but I can see what it has drawn from. Book lovers everywhere might dislike me for saying this, but I think I preferred the TV series. It had a bit more of a plot behind it if you ask me.

At the same time as reading Brave New World, I also picked up Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay. Whilst I wasn’t intending to, I actually managed to read this in a couple of hours one night. It was saddening and hilarious and everything I expected based on his previous book, This is Going to Hurt. Honestly, if you haven’t read these books I really think you should. You’ll discover a newfound respect for the NHS and what they have to put up with. Now more than ever, I think this is important!

Lastly, I have picked up a third read in the last couple of weeks. I am currently around 38% through with the book. Goodreads says it’s only 26%, but given that pages 373 to 538 includes the acknowledgements, glossary, index etc, they aren’t part of the story.

 

Books Discovered

A couple of days after Christmas I went into our local chain store bookshop and happened across a book called Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon by James Hibberd. The book itself is about the filming of A Game of Thrones and all the backstage business. I’ve enjoyed reading some non-fiction novels recently and I think this will be an interesting read. Plus, you know, it’s Game of Thrones related. Of course I’ll love it!

 

Coming Up…

Next week I want to take a look back at my reading progress and blogging in 2020. It became my busiest year in my personal life, which contributed to not meeting some of the goals I set myself last January. I hope you can tune in to my end of year wrap up post.

On Saturday I’m sharing a promo post for When the Children Come by J. F. Kirwan. You may recall I read one of this particular author’s books last year, The Dead Tell Lies. This year I’m not really signing up for many blog tours and offering reviews, but since I really enjoyed his last book I still wanted to feature him again on my blog.

In addition, I’ll also be back with another Sunday Summary post to end the week as usual.

 

That’s all from me this week! Have a good one and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

 

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Reading List – December 2020

Hi guys! Today I’m sharing my last reading list of 2020. Literally, where has this year gone? In some respects it isn’t a bad thing… but still. It doesn’t feel like Christmas should be just a few weeks away.

You may have noticed that my reading pace has dropped off the last few months. I’m not reading as much as I need to for a variety of reasons. I started the year planning to move, which I did in May. Since then, I’ve been putting in the work on the new place to redecorate, fix up and make it my own. In amongst all this, I’ve been studying for work-sponsored exams too. That in itself is quite a bit to juggle, but my blogging on top of that too? It’s a handful.

That’s why my reading and blogging has had to slow down a bit. I was getting a bit burned out with it, but I didn’t want to give it up. I still really enjoy reading and putting in the time to sharing my thoughts with you all, but I’ve had to find a more sustainable pace. Up until this month, I have been pretty ambitious in setting my reading lists and just carrying over what I don’t read. This month, that changes. I’ve come to accept that I am now reading less than I was… and that it’s okay. Maybe that will change again in future, and maybe not. It just depends on what else I’m doing.

This month’s list has a couple of carryovers from last month, plus one seasonal addition. Have you read any of these books?

 

Auxiliary: London 2039 – Jon Richter

Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter | Goodreads

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind, but a good detective is never obsolete.

London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel.

And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires. Everything except a soul.

Through this silicon jungle prowls Carl Dremmler, police detective—one of the few professions better suited to meat than machine. His latest case: a grisly murder seemingly perpetrated by the victim’s boyfriend. Dremmler’s boss wants a quick end to the case, but the tech-wary detective can’t help but believe the accused’s bizarre story: that his robotic arm committed the heinous crime, not him. An advanced prosthetic, controlled by a chip in his skull.

A chip controlled by TIM.

Dremmler smells blood: the seeds of a conspiracy that could burn London to ash unless he exposes the truth. His investigation pits him against desperate criminals, scheming businesswomen, deadly automatons—and the nightmares of his own past. And when Dremmler finds himself questioning even TIM’s inscrutable motives, he’s forced to stare into the blank soul of the machine.

Auxiliary is gripping, unpredictable, and bleakly atmospheric—ideal for fans of cyberpunk classics like the Blade Runner movies, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the Netflix original series Black Mirror.

 

I’m already a few chapters into Auxiliary and I can tell it’s a read I’m going to get on well with. I like the premise of the book and the narrative style is easy to read. The chapters are also nice and short so it’s easy to pick up. If you enjoy mystery and science-fiction genres, this might be one for you!

 

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley | Goodreads

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

 

Brave New World has been on my TBR for a number of years, and after watching the TV series recently, I decided it was the right time to pick the book up! I didn’t get around to reading Brave New World last month, so I will be reading the book this month instead.

 

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay | Goodreads

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year. With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas will be fully illustrated (as tastefully as possible) and will delight all of Adam’s fans throughout the festive period of Christmas 2019 and for many years to come.

 

I was introduced to Adam Kay earlier this year with This Is Going To Hurt by a colleague. The book was both heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. I found out around the time I read it that there was a Christmas themed book also by him, so I have been planning on reading this book in December since then! If it’s every bit as good as This Is Going to Hurt, which I expect it will be, then this will be a great read to end the year.

 

So, that’s my reading list for the month! Have you read any of these books? What did you make of them if you have, or do you like the sound of them if you haven’t? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 18th October 2020

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. It only feels like two minutes ago since I wrote last week’s update, but here we are! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you have been up to.

I have shared a couple of posts with you this week, which I hope you have enjoyed reading. The first of those posts was a Top Ten Tuesday post, with a theme of hobbies (other than reading). This post subject has been suggested for the 3rd November so I’ve jumped in a bit early. That’s only because I have another commitment on the 3rd November.

On Thursday I shared a blog tour post for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. I really enjoyed this non-fiction account of what being a landlord is really like. It is a real eye-opener, written in an entertaining diarised narrative that’s easy to read. If you haven’t read that post yet, please do! I have a lot more praise for it in my post!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I had read around a third of Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. With the blog tour post scheduled for Thursday, my priority at the beginning of the week was to finish this in time for the tour. I finished this early on Wednesday evening ready to write my post for the tour the next day.

Since finishing Parasite I haven’t started anything new as I have focussed my attention towards studying for my exam next week. In my downtime, however, I have picked up listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed again. I’ve listened to a few more hours of this and I only have 1hr 40mins left to go. The narrative is definitely getting to the wrap-up part, so I expect I’ll be listening to this next week to find out how it all ends!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, nothing to report here!

 

Coming Up…

With my exam on Wednesday morning, I won’t be putting any time into my blog in the first couple of days next week. I am going to try and draft a post on Wednesday afternoon/evening though. Failing that, it’ll go live on Thursday instead.

Since I’m going to be a little lighter than usual on the posting schedule, I have decided to post a review of an audiobook I listened to at the beginning of this year. Darkdawn is the conclusion to the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. I pre-ordered the audiobook last year as I had listened to the other two and loved the series already. You can find out more about my thoughts to the conclusion of the series in my post next week!

As always, I’ll wrap up with another Sunday Summary update post at the end of the week.

 

That’s all from me for now – have a great week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s publication day push blog tour for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord! I’m thrilled to be able to share my thoughts on this all-access personal diary of life as a landlord.

When Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources put feelers out for interest for this tour, the book caught my eye immediately. I only have very limited experience with landlords and I wanted to take the opportunity to read the book and see things from the other side, so to speak. It seems a lot of other bloggers were keen too!

My contribution to the tour is a review of the book, so let’s say a huge thank you to the author and to Rachel for organising the tour and then get stuck in!

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – Secret Landlord (SL)

Goodreads – The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

This is the truth, the other side of the door.

 

Purchase Links –  Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

I really ought to read more non-fiction. It isn’t a genre I pick up very often but every time I do, I seem to strike gold. Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord is no exception! It’s a truly personal account of the life of a landlord. It takes the expectations and misconceptions of landlord and tosses them out the window, revealing the true person behind it all. I feel sorry for SL and other good landlords out there for the bad reputation they have gotten because of others, but also unreasonable expectations of tenants. From the sounds of her stories, some of the tenants alluded to in the book had very unrealistic expectations of the role of a landlord, a false strong sense of entitlement and expected a big handout. My hat really goes off to you, because I couldn’t do your job!

What is very clear throughout the narrative is that SL does make every effort to help tenants where they can, even against business sense at times, which is refreshing. I can’t say I know of any landlords that have done this personally. There are unsung heroes out there – I think it is the unfortunate scenario where you always hear the bad stories, and never about the landlord who was lenient with you in times of hardship. It’s a real shame.

I really enjoyed the narrative style of the book. Having diary entries of varying lengths depending on what was going on in SL’s at the time makes it really approachable to read. The variety is refreshing and breaking down each month-long chapter into subheadings for each day makes the narrative really easy to follow, but also to pick up and put down.

Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord is far more emotive than expected but it is conveyed very well. SL’s frustration at certain incidents/events is very evident – and for good reason! I had no idea that a landlord had to jump through so many hoops to get their property back if a tenant stopped paying and refused to leave – it’s ridiculous! It’s legally their property. Even then, the justice system seems to be very unhelpful in some cases. You would expect a lot better.

Whilst I’m not a landlord, I have had to deal with some of the things SL mentions in the book. Up until a few months ago, I lived in a flat and I had to deal with the dreaded management company. If I had a pound for every time I contacted them to be told “it is not the responsibility of the management company to deal with [insert enquiry/complaint here]”, I would be a rich woman. So, SL, I felt your pain with this!

It has become easy for society to demonise landlords, but based on the stories told within the narrative it’s obvious that we need to have a very long, hard look at tenants. I wouldn’t like to have dealt with half of the troubles and messes detailed over a relatively short time period in the author’s career. People can be animals, and landlords deserve more credit for having to pick up the pieces after the abuse their properties receive. This book is definitely an eye-opener and I would recommend this read to everyone – renter or not!

 

Author Bio

The Secret Landlord has been renting, refurbishing and selling properties across the UK for almost two decades. An award-winning landlord, as judged by the National Landlords Association, The Secret Landlord has provided accommodation for hundreds of tenants from all walks of life.

Social Media Links –

www.thesecretlandlord.com

@landlord_secret