Tag: non-fiction

Shelf Control #74 – 09/02/2024

For those of us done with another working week – congrats on making it! If not, well, sorry… 😅 As you all know by now, I regularly share a Shelf Control feature post. It’s a great way to get excited about upcoming books on my reading list and share with you exactly what inspired me to add them in the first place!

As usual, I’ll share the official blurb and then we’ll get into the book that’s made it into this Shelf Control post!

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and 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!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

The Woman Who Would be King – Kara Cooney

 

Genre: Non-fiction / History

Pages: 298

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Publication Date: 14 Oct 2014

 

 

Goodreads – The Woman Who Would be King

An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world.

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt’s throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt’s second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.

 

My Thoughts

This is the second non-fiction book that I have featured in this series already in 2024. The last book was based around the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Today’s feature is a completely different period and topic, but it’s one that I’m no less excited to read.

Unlike my previous feature Auschwitz, I have a lot less knowledge on Egyptian pharaohs in general. I have watched some documentaries in the past, but it’s not a topic I have read about before. It’s for this reason that I added The Woman Who Would be King in the first place. Of course, I am also fascinated by the prospect of a female Pharaoh as they were few and far between.

Hatshepsut isn’t the first name that may jump to your mind when you think of famous female Pharaohs. Cleopatra is probably the most well-known, and she has been the feature of some of the documentaries I have watched in the past. I deliberately wanted to choose another famous female in order to broaden my knowledge.

I’m hoping I go on to enjoy this book as much as I think I will, as it is a period of history I would be interested in exploring in more detail in future!

Have you read The Woman Who Would be King or any other great non-fiction books about Pharaohs?

 

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Monthly TBR – February 2024

I have a great reading list line up for February, and today, I’m sharing that with you in this monthly TBR post!

I had a great start to the year in terms of reading progress in January. I recapped this in Thursday’s post, if you’re interested in checking that out. Trying to keep momentum, I’m setting myself another good size list as that seems to be motivating me at the moment. I have a re-read, some non-fiction and a conclusion to a series on the list. All these go towards my reading goals of 2024!

Shall we take a look at the list?

 

Fixed Reads

 

January Insta Poll – The Atlas Six

I might as well kick off this monthly TBR post by starting with my one carryover from January. I started listening to The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake at the end of the month, and to date, I’m just over 10% through.

So far, I am only really just in the introduction of the book, but I am enjoying it so far. I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio as I’m enjoying the casting and overall production of it so far. The story definitely has interesting elements to learn about and I’m looking forward to exploring this more.

 

Insta Poll – The Queen’s Gambit

The runner-up to the Insta Poll I ran in January was The Queen’s Gambit. I like to try and read one a month, although The Atlas Six has bled over into February.

I watched the Netflix series years ago, so I am somewhat familiar with the story. However, it’s not so fresh in my mind, that reading the book will feel too much like repetition. I did really enjoy that series, so I have high hopes for this book.

It’s a shorter than I expected considering the length of the series, but I’m sure it will be good nonetheless.

 

The Icepick Surgeon

I discovered the The Icepick Surgeon via a fellow book blogger I follow on Instagram. Bibliobeth shared her intention to pick The Icepick Surgeon up in March this year. I like the sound of the book so much that I intend to pick it up now. Naturally, I want to keep up momentum with reading non-fiction as that is a reading goal this year.

I like the sound of this one as it covers, to an extent, subjects I enjoyed in psychology. You may call me morbid if you wish, but I found it both fascinating and horrifying. If you’re squeamish, then it may not want to go into too much detail. I’m ready for it though, and I’m looking forward to picking it up.

 

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Heart of the Sun Warrior is the sequel in the Daughter of the Moon Goddess duology. I read daughter of the moon goddess just over a year ago now so it feels like the right time to conclude the series. As you are probably aware, wrapping up series is one of my goals for this year. As I have just one book to read to complete, it’s an easy win… and what I’m looking forward to in any case.

What I liked about this first book is the Asian influence on fantasy as opposed to Western. I read a lot of westernised fantasy and I’m deliberately trying to branch out.

 

TBR Jar – Master of Sorrows

I’m not consciously trying to start new series, particularly this year, but the TBR jar has forced my hand. This time I pulled out Master of Sorrows by Justin Call.

I have a good few friends on Goodreads to have picked this up and really enjoyed the book. More specifically, though, it was the thoughts of Ashleigh that persuaded me to add the book to my reading list in June 2022.

Full of magic, a villain origin story arch and disability representation, it is a fantasy that offers some different elements to those I read normally.

 

Mood Reads

 

Hogfather

If I’d realised that Hogfather was the next Discworld book I needed to pick up, I would have been more proactive and read it in December. However, I didn’t, and I’m not waiting a whole year to keep going with the series!

I’m especially looking forward to reading Hogfather, as it is the fourth book in the death mini-series. If you are unfamiliar, the various books in the Discworld universe follow different types of characters. My favourite is The Witches series so far, but it is closely followed by Death.

I also love these books because they are satirical. It’s not a genre I read Emma, but I do enjoy the humorous plot, which is usually laced with a serious underlying topic or message underneath.

 

Fool’s Errand

It’s been a few months since I’ve picked up a book in the Realm of the Elderlings series. I wrapped up The Liveship Traders series in August last year and so it’s time to return.

With the next book, Fool’s Errand, we journey back to familiar characters from the first trilogy. I’m looking forward to revisiting those characters and seeing what happens next. I believe events jump forward in time from the first trilogy, so I have some catching up to do on what happened in between.

 

Empire of the Vampire

The last book to feature on this monthly TBR is a reread of a book I read in 2022. If you are unaware, the sequel to Empire of the Vampire is due out at the end of this month. With this in mind, I’m looking to pick up this first book in the series as a refresher, so then I can go onto to read Empire of the Damned – hopefully in March.

Whilst I could have just read a recap, I have since been gifted a special addition, copy of the book, and it will be rude not to appreciate it, right?!

 

Summary

I may only have eight books on February‘s reading list, as opposed to the 10 I featured in January’s monthly TBR. However, I read just under eight books in January, and some of these are longer than those I picked up last month too.

There is enough on this list to be a stretch without being too overzealous either. I’m looking forward to each of every book on this list, and I hope you can stick around for my thoughts and my reading progress.

For now though, that’s all from me in today’s monthly TBR post. Have you read any of the books on this list?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – January 2024

Happy Thursday February 1st, and welcome to my first monthly wrap-up of 2024! How are we one month into 2024 already? As they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

I set myself a chunky TBR back at the beginning of January. I’ve linked to that post if you want to see the full list of books I set myself. I didn’t get to all of them this month, which isn’t surprising given I set myself a list of 10! Saying that, I’ve read more than average this month, setting myself in good stead for the rest of the year (I can only hope!)

Shall we get to the recap of the books I read in January? Strap yourselves in – it’s going to be a longer post than usual!

 

Books Read

 

Gemina

Gemina was the physical read I carried over from 2023. I had only read about 40% of the book by the end of December. A solid start, but there was plenty of progress to make still!

As Gemina is a YA sci-fi written in a mixed media format, I gobbled up the rest of the book in just a couple of days. Like Illuminae, I found it difficult to put down! The way it’s written is easy to read and the different perspectives and data sources that make up this story keep the narrative interesting.

I also loved the characters within the book. There is some small overlap on characters, although broadly we enjoy two new perspectives in the overarching storyline. I can only hope all parties come together in the sequel and last in the trilogy, Obsidio.

It’s safe to say that I started off the year well; Gemina was a great first read of 2024, netting my first 5 star rating.

 

My Sister’s Keeper

In addition to Gemina, I carried over My Sister’s Keeper from 2023. At the beginning of the year, I was approximately a third of the way through this audiobook.

My Sister’s Keeper isn’t a type of book I would pick up very often, but I’m glad I did! I was drawn to it because of the synopsis and the question of morality over Anna and her lifelong role as a donor for her sister, Kate.

I loved how this book played out and the drama within. The end made me teary and I am so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to pick it up. Not everybody loves the ending of this book and I can understand why. However, I think it depends on what expectations you go into the book with. If you go into it looking for an answer to the morality question, then you may not get what you’re looking for. However, I think the book is about asking the question of ourselves – and that I did throughout reading.

 

The Girl in Seat 2A

I downloaded a copy of The Girl in Seat 2A published by Boldwood books via NetGalley. I have reviewed multiple Boldwood books through Rachael’s Random Resources tours before, and this book caught my eye.

The Girl in Seat 2A has an interesting storyline and I enjoyed the wider plot. I confess that I didn’t love the main character Jade, but that is because we are very unlike each other. I struggled to relate to her as a person, and also her circumstances, meaning that I could only invest so much into her.

Hers is not the only perspective in this book though, and it’s that second perspective that made the book for me. I also enjoy how the plot really starts to come together from this alternate perspective and the action and drama was fun to read.

If you’re interested to read my full thoughts on this book, you can find my review here.

 

Betrothal and Betrayal

Another reading obligation to include in today’s monthly wrap-up post is my read of Betrothal and Betrayal as part of a blog tour I took part in mid-month.

Betrothal and Betrayal is a fun and relatively short historical fantasy novel. With a strong, fiery, female protagonist living in a man’s world, I got everything I wanted from this book. I loved the protagonist and her unwavering resolve, despite her circumstances. She is the kind of protagonist to make a great role model for all young women, so it’s great to see represented in fiction.

I’m not going to go too far into the book here as I have already shared my review as part of the blog tour. If you want to go and see that review, I’ll provide a link here.

 

Crime and Punishment

The slowest read on January’s TBR that I include in today’s monthly wrap-up is Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

And that’s not surprising. I am always slower with reading classics because I find the narrative styles differ from modern day. Until I’m used to it, there is an adjustment period. Although it took me a little longer to get into than the rest of the books on this monthly wrap-up, I still enjoyed picking it up.

In this narrative we follow the actions and fall-out of destitute student Raskolnikov murdering a moneylender. The booking itself explores mental health as that features heavily in the narrative, but also around morality of killing, and whether such actions can be washed out by any overall benefit to society as a consequence.

That is a very brief and probably not the best summary of the book, but it’s the best I can do with limited paragraph space!

 

Unmasked

The second audiobook I picked up in the month of January was Unmasked by Ellie Middleton. This is also the first non-fiction book I have picked up this year. If the rest are as good as this one, then I’m in for a good year!

The primary focus of Unmasked is about Ellie’s experience of late diagnoses of ADHD and autism. However, the book also takes an objective view of these neurodivergent conditions, as well as others, to educate readers about what it is like to interpret the world differently. Not only that, but the book explores how those who are neurodivergent are often discriminated against, and what steps we can take in society to be more accepting and accommodating.

I picked up this book to understand more about neurodivergence in general. I was surprised to find that I could relate to some of the traits of autism. That’s not to say I have autism, but it helped me appreciate overall how difficult it must be to grow up with these differences… especially if you grow up undiagnosed as most women do.

It was an eye-opening read, and if you’re interested in the subject, I would strongly recommend picking up Unmasked. I especially enjoyed listening to the audiobook as Ellie narrates this herself.

 

Sword of Vengeance

The last reading obligation I picked up in January that our feature on this monthly wrap-up post is Sword of Vengeance by Peter Gibbons. You won’t yet have seen the review for this book on my blog as it is going live tomorrow.

To date, I have enjoyed following along with the series and I’ve reviewed 2 out of the 3 prior books in the series as part of blog tours. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on this fourth book of the series tomorrow. In summary, the book was everything I expected it to be based on the high expectations from reading the earlier books in the series. Again, there is a lot of action in this book, as well as underlying political intrigue which I love to read about.

I hope you can stay tuned for my review tomorrow!

 

The Black Coats

As of this monthly wrap-up post, I’m currently reading The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes and I’m 40% into the book.

It’s an enjoyable read so far and I’m loving the feminist take. I can see the action only picking up from where I’m up to, so I think I’ll have the book finished within another day or two! If you want to find out more about this book, I’ll be talking about it in more detail in the coming days. 

 

The Atlas Six

My next ongoing read at month-end is The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. As of writing this post, I’m just over 2 hours into this nearly 17 hour long book. For the stats nerds, that’s about 13%. Unlucky for some, but not me!

I’ve only really gotten introduced to the characters and basic premise so far, but I’m intrigued. There’s definitely a lot to be explored in the narrative. I’m also glad I went for audio; each character is separately cast, making it easier to follow who is who. I love the different voices and styles as well – it adds a layer of interest.

Given that I’m not too far into the book, there isn’t really much I can say right now. This is one to stay tuned to my blog for!

 

Summary

I needed to read 5 books to stay on target of 60 books by the end of the year. I let the new year excitement get away with me in setting 10 books. However, I think having a longer reading list has encouraged me to read a little more this month. It doesn’t always work this way, but it’s working at the moment!

Next month’s TBR is going to look much the same – there’s always more to read! If you’re interested to see that list, I’ll share my February TBR on Saturday! Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, what are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 28th January 2024

Good evening gang – it’s time for another Sunday Summary update. Why do the weeks just fly by? Next week is the start of February already; I honestly don’t know where January has gone! Before getting to the books I’ve read over the course of the week, let’s do a cheeky recap of the posts I’ve shared so far.

My first post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. In that, I shared ten books I didn’t get to in 2023. This wasn’t so much a *top* ten as a list of ten that I just about scraped together!

On Friday I shared my first First Lines Friday post of the year. I didn’t set myself a challenge for that, so when it came to drafting it I decided to feature an opening from a favourite read of 2023. If you missed that post there’s a link above. Can you guess from the clues in the introduction what the book is?


Books Read


Crime and Punishment

As of last week’s Sunday Summary, I had read 484 pages, or just under 75%, of Crime and Punishment.

With the end in sight, I ploughed on and completed the book on Tuesday. Although it took me a little longer to read than other books I’ve picked up so far this month, I did enjoy Crime and Punishment. It was the book I expected it to be based on the synopsis and it was an interesting read. If you are unaware, the narrative explores the actions of a destitute young student who commits murder, and then struggles with his mental health and dealing with the consequences of his actions.

I am usually slower with reading classics, because of the difference in writing style and language. However, I’m glad that I’m finally able to take this one off my list as read!

 

Unmasked

I was just under half way through Unmasked as of last week’s Sunday Summary. Once again, I’ve made a good deal of progress and listened to the remaining three hours and change this week, taking me to 100% completion.

I really enjoyed Unmasked. I initially wanted to listen to the audio to understand how neurodivergence is such as autism and ADHD may affect people. Did I think I would relate to some of the symptoms or experiences as I did? No, but there we go!

If you are interested in the subject, Unmasked is written in such an approachable way that you can read as much or as little of this book as you want. It’s also a book you can go back to and read certain chapters of again. It’s well structured, comprehensive, and written very well. I also like that the audiobook is narrated by the author herself; Ellie talks a lot of her own experiences as a neurodivergent in this book, and it wouldn’t feel right to hear these narrated by someone else. It felt much more authentic coming from Ellie herself.


Sword of Vengeance

After reading the first chapter of Sword of Vengeance a couple of weeks ago at a hairdressers appointment, I picked up the book in earnest this week.

Sword of Vengeance is the fourth book in Peter Gibbons’ Saxon Warrior series. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I have been following reading and reviewing the series as part of organised blog tours. See my reviews of Warrior and Protector and Brothers of the Sword here. This fourth book is no exception. If you are interested in the series, I will be reviewing this book next week – you can find out more about when below.

Sword of Vengeance picks up where we left off after the events of Maldon and the tragic battle that took place at the end of book three. I won’t want to go into too much detail on that so I don’t spoil that third book. What I can say is that events unfold from there and once again we are thrown into a narrative of action and intrigue.

Sword of Vengeance was everything I have come to expect having read the earlier books in the series. I enjoyed the plotline and the introduction of new characters, as well as the return of favourites. If you enjoy historical fiction, and in particular, reading battle scenes, Sword of Vengeance will not disappoint you.


What next?

It’s unusual that I have to feature a section with this title, as I am rarely writing a Sunday Summary being in between books.

I generally have a couple of reads on the go, one physical or e-book, and one audiobook. I am finally getting to The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes in e-book format, which was my December TBR Jar pick. For my audiobook choice, I will be listening to The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. Stay tuned to find out more about my reading progress and thoughts on these books over the next week!


Books Discovered

No news is good news once again this week! I’m down to 196 books on my Goodreads to-read shelf… which sadly is the lowest it’s been for a while!


Coming Up…

Next week we are in the realms of month-end. That means that it’s time to share my monthly wrap-up post for January, as well as my monthly TBR for February.

In order to accommodate those, my blogging schedule is going to be out of sync. Normally I try to post consistently throughout the week. However, with the timing of month-end and other obligations, I will be sharing four posts all in the second half of the week.

Starting on Thursday, I will be publishing my monthly wrap-up for January. I didn’t want to leave this post too long to share with you, so I am jumping in there at the first opportunity. Literally, the 1st haha!

My second post of the week goes live on Friday, and this is my blog tour review of Sword of Vengeance by Peter Gibbons. I’m glad I got this book finished earlier today as that gives me several days to draft my review and make sure I’m happy with it before going live with the tour on Friday.

On Saturday I’m sharing my TBR for February. Whilst I could technically share this on Monday the fifth, I feel like that would be quite late. Thankfully, I’ve already decided what my reading list will be and drawn my TBR Jar pick. It’s going to be another busy month… put it that way!

Then, last but not least, I’m back again to round off the week with another Sunday Summary update! In that post, I’ll recap the books I’ve read in the last seven days and update you with any books I’ve added to my reading list. Finally, I’ll share what’s coming up on the blog.

 

Summary

I hope you check out my upcoming posts as they are published. In the meantime, that is all from me in today’s post. Have a fantastic week however you spend it!

If you are reading right now, what book have you picked up? Are you enjoying it? Will you recommend it?

 

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Sunday Summary – 21st January 2024

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome to this week’s instalment of Sunday Summary. If you are unfamiliar, I take the time every week to update you on the books I’ve been reading, the blog posts I’ve shared with you, and finally what to expect in the coming week.

This week reading progress has been slower, but this isn’t unexpected. I’ll share more on that below. First, let’s recap the blog posts I shared earlier this week.

So far I have shared not one, but two book reviews with you. The first of these book reviews was for The Girl in Seat 2A by Diana Wilkinson. Technically, this review was due second, but based on timing I decided to publish this earlier than the book’s publication date.

On Thursday, I shared my review of Betrothal and Betrayal by Janet McGiffin. This was part of a blog tour and so I had to publish on this on this set date. I already established in last week’s Sunday Summary that I had a great time with this book. If you want to check out my full thoughts, here is a link to that review so you can check it out for yourself.

 

Books Read

 

Crime and Punishment

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I left off having made 132 pages of progress into Crime and Punishment. As this is a classic and is one of the oldest books on my list in terms of publication date, I knew the narrative style was going to be clunkier. I fully anticipated reading progress to slow down with this book, so I’m not surprised that it has.

That said, I have made more progress in the last 24 hours than anticipated. I’ve been able to pick up the speed, either because the narrative is getting good or because I’m getting used to the style. I’m not sure which. Either way, I’m now 484 pages into the narrative which equates just under 75%. Now I’m coming towards the end of the book, I imagine the quicker reading pace will continue. I’ll share more about how I get on in next week’s post.

 

Unmasked

I listened to a further hour and 10 minutes of Unmasked by Ellie Middleton yesterday. This takes my reading progress of this book to just under half as of this Sunday Summary.

I really like how this book is structured and covers each of the topics within. It’s also proved easy to pick up again even though I probably haven’t made any progress in it for about a week.

It’s a really interesting audio and I would recommend anybody with interest in autism, ADHD or other forms of neurodivergence to give it a look. In the more recent chapters I’ve listened to, the narrative explores how different conditions may show up in real life. Particularly, I liked how it covered ways that symptoms differ from society expectations. I’m looking forward to seeing how the topics are explored further in the second half of the book.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added nothing new to my reading list this week, which is as well given it constantly seems to hover at the same level and never go down!

 

Coming Up…

On Tuesday I plan to share my first Top Ten Tuesday of the year. This week’s topic is Books I meant to Read in 2023 but didn’t get to. I have a variety of books to share that fall into this bracket! Stay tuned for more on those next week.

On Friday I’m back with a First Lines Friday post. Sometimes I set myself a challenge for these posts, but I’m going to keep an open field and decide what to feature later in the week!

Lastly, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary update this time next week. Until then I hope you have a fantastic week!

What are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 14th January 2024

In today’s Sunday Summary post I have plenty of updates to share with you. It has been a fantastic week of reading, and I can’t lie when I say I’ve enjoyed going back to a more relaxed blogging schedule. Yes, this week I was back to my regular three post schedule, and it’s been far more manageable.

The first of those posts was a book review of Leadership and Culture by John and Katie McCann. I read this book last year as a way of picking up another non-fiction, but also to work on some of my soft skills. This book would be great for either first-time managers, aspiring leaders, or even as a refresher for those more experienced. As always, I’ll provide a link in case you want to go back and check out that post.

On Friday, I returned with a Shelf Control post. If you are unfamiliar with this series, I use it to look at upcoming books on my reading list and share why I’m excited to read them. This week’s particular feature was another non-fiction book that is on my reading list, but about a completely different topic. It’s one that I am really interested in reading about even though it is not the most pleasant! If you want to find out what that was, there is a link above.

 

Books Read

My Sister’s Keeper

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was 75% into this audio and hopeful that I was going to finish it soon.

I did indeed finish this audio on Thursday night, and oh my goodness, what an ending! I fully appreciate that some people don’t like the ending of this book. However, I really enjoyed it and I didn’t see it coming! It also made me cry my eyes out. It ended up being quiet in the office than usual on Friday, so no one noticed the puffy face. Then again, I do work with mostly men…

 

Betrothal and Betrayal

The second read I carried over from last week’s Sunday Summary was Betrothal and Betrayal. In that post, I shared that I’d read the first 20%, and it’s from there I picked up from.

I read Betrothal and Betrayal on my phone, which is something I don’t do very often. However, this is a review copy of the book and the deadline for reviewing it is coming up. Had I not been able to view the book on my phone I would have gone back to the organiser to see if I could get the matter fixed. As things stood, I could, and the book is only 250 pages long. I decided to work with what I had, and to be fair, it worked reasonably well.

As I’ve already mentioned, the review for this is coming up – as imminently as next week. I’m not going to go too much in detail as to my thoughts at this time. Overall it was a fun, short historical fantasy book in which we get to explore the life of a fiery female protagonist set an interesting setting – Constantinople and the Byzantine empire.

 

Crime and Punishment

I picked up Crime and Punishment for the first time after finishing Betrothal and Betrayal. I suspected this would be the book my reading pace slowed down with, and that is the case.

In order to read all of the 10 books I have on my January TBR, I need to read about 100 pages a day over the course of the month. Since Thursday, I’ve only read the first 132 pages of this classic. In fairness, I haven’t picked up read at all today, and I will be making some progress with the book tonight once this post goes live.

I already expected that the writing style of Crime and Punishment would make 100 pages a day a stretch. When you take into account the book was published in the late 1800s, by a Russian author and then translated, it doesn’t quite flow the same as modern language. This isn’t to say I’m not getting on with it, because I am. However, to get my hundred pages a day, I’m definitely going to have to read a couple of books in tandem. More on that later. As of this post,Crime and Punishment is my main read and my focus going into next week. If I can read 50 pages of this book a day, in tandem with 50 pages of another, I’ll be on track.

 

Sword of Vengeance

To help with keep up my reading pace and give me a change, I’m going to read Sword of Vengeance in tandem with Crime and Punishment. It so happens that I started the book yesterday whilst at my hairdressers anyway. I am reading Crime and Punishment in paperback form, but it wasn’t worth taking with me to the appointment. I was able to read the first chapter of Sword of Vengeance on my phone.

Sword of Vengeance is the fourth book of the Saxon Warrior series. I’ve kept up to date with it and so there isn’t too much in the way of investment to pick up and follow the action. I’ve already done the legwork and know what’s going on. It’s a completely different writing style, but it’s one that I find very easy to read. I’ll be using this book to switch to when I need a break and/or to try and make up page count in my daily reading.

I confess that, as of this Sunday Summary, I have only read the first chapter, or 5%. I’m looking forward to picking up more of the book next week. 

 

Unmasked

The last book I need to update you on this week is Unmasked.

I started this audiobook after finishing My Sister’s Keeper. It’s not an overly long one, so I’ve already made good progress. As of this Sunday Summary, I’ve listened to about 30%.

The book is about the author, Ellie Middleton, and her late diagnoses of ADHD and autism. Whilst the book’s aim is to go some way to educate readers about the conditions generally, it is particularly about her experience and how women and ethnic minorities are less likely to be diagnosed at an early age.

I’m enjoying the audio even more as it is narrated by the author herself. I don’t think it would’ve felt right being narrated by a third-party given that this is about her individual experience. I’m looking forward to listening to more in the coming days!

 

Books Discovered

It had been a little while since I’ve had a look on my library’s digital offerings. I confess I was originally looking to see if I can borrow one of my upcoming reads later in the month. No such luck. However, I did find an e-book written by author I enjoyed in 2020 with an interesting premise.

The Sentence sounds like an intriguing legal thriller. I’ve tried multiple drafts to sum up the story without really doing it justice (no pun intended). So, here is the synopsis instead:

A law intended to end capital punishment.

Prosecutors who seek the death penalty put their lives on the line if the guilty are later found innocent.

A lawyer convinced beyond reasonable doubt.

Justine Boucher is presented with overwhelming evidence in a brutal murder case. Her request for execution is granted.

But what if she’s wrong?

Coming Up…

I have two reviews due next week. With this in mind, these will be my priority posts in the week.

In order to space out these reviews, I will be reviewing the second book first. I appreciate that sounds contrary, but allow me to explain. This second book is due to publish on the 19th of January, but I haven’t necessarily committed to provide my review on that date. Instead, I look to have it prepared a few days in advance, so it is out in the world (and on Netgalley) by publication day. With this in mind, I look to share that review on Tuesday.

The other book I will be reviewing this week is one where I have agreed to do it on a set date, and that is Thursday. I’m taking part in a blog tour for Betrothal and Betrayal, organised by TheWriteReads. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on this book as I really enjoyed the action and setting. Stay tuned and you will find my thoughts, both on my blog and across my social media accounts on Thursday 18th.

Lastly, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary update next week. Given the nature of the posts I am sharing this week, I’m not doing a Friday feature as well. Reviews take a lot of time to get right and I want to make sure I do both justice. As well, I’ve not long ago had a busy week of blogging during a busy period at work. I’m sticking to the three day schedule and I’m unapologetic about it!

For now, that’s all from me in today’s post. Have you read any of the books I talk about in this post? What are you reading right now?

 

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Shelf Control #73 – 12/01/2024

Happy Friday and welcome to today’s instalment of my regular Shelf Control feature!

Shelf Control is a regular feature on my blog – a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and 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!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Today’s book is a historical non-fiction about a topic I am morbidly obsessed with – the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. More specifically, the experiences of those who lived and suffered there. Today’s feature is a collective of over 100 interviews from those who experienced the camp first-hand. Their unique insight into the inner workings should make for compelling, if equally horrific, reading!

 

Auschwitz – Laurence Rees

Genre: Non-fiction / History

Pages: 327

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Public Affairs

Publication Date: 01 Jan 2005

 

 

Goodreads – Auschwitz

Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of the largest mass murder in human history. Yet its story is not fully known. In Auschwitz, Laurence Rees reveals new insights from more than 100 original interviews with Auschwitz survivors and Nazi perpetrators who speak on the record for the first time. Their testimonies provide a portrait of the inner workings of the camp in unrivalled detail—from the techniques of mass murder, to the politics and gossip mill that turned between guards and prisoners, to the on-camp brothel in which the lines between those guards and prisoners became surprisingly blurred.

Rees examines the strategic decisions that led the Nazi leadership to prescribe Auschwitz as its primary site for the extinction of Europe’s Jews—their “Final Solution.” He concludes that many of the horrors that were perpetrated in Auschwitz were driven not just by ideological inevitability but as a “practical” response to a war in the East that had begun to go wrong for Germany. A terrible immoral pragmatism characterizes many of the decisions that determined what happened at Auschwitz. Thus the story of the camp becomes a morality tale, too, in which evil is shown to proceed in a series of deft, almost noiseless incremental steps until it produces the overwhelming horror of the industrial scale slaughter that was inflicted in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

 

My Thoughts

For reasons I can’t put my finger on, I love reading about the Auschwitz camp. I’m fascinated by the subject and learning what happened to the poor individuals that ever passed through these gates.

I have read both fiction and non-fiction on the subject. If you are more interested in the fiction side of things, then I can recommend The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey. Three Sisters is on my TBR. More recently, I read The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield. This is a non-fiction account of a father and son who refuse to be separated and endure together. Theirs is a unique story in that they are the only known pair to have been interred together and survive to tell their shared story.

Anyway, back to the current book of discussion! It’s the multi-perspective aspect of Auschwitz that I am excited for. I’ve read several books from same or limited perspectives in the past – see the above examples. The nature of the book featuring so many different voices and experiences should make for a rounded learning opportunity. As a result, Auschwitz promises detailed insight into the workings of the camp and what life was like there. 

Auschwitz has been on my reading list since 2018. It’s definitely coming up due to be read. What better time than the year I’m continuing with a reading goal of deliberately picking up non-fiction?

Do you enjoy reading about Auschwitz-Birkenau, World War II or similar? Do you have any recommendations for further reading for me to look at?

 

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Book Review: Leadership and Culture – John and Katie McCann

For high performing or aspirational readers who are about to undergo the appraisal and objective-setting season at work, today’s book may just be of interest! In today’s review, I share my thoughts on the practical guide, Leadership and Culture by John and Katie McCann.

Are you looking to develop yourselves or your career in 2024?

I downloaded and read Leadership and Culture after seeing the book available on Netgalley. I am not at a managerial level at work, but I would like to give myself the skillset to be considered in future. Even if you’re not – consider this. Leadership comes from a select few, but workplace culture is a collective environment and contributed to by everyone. We all have the power to change culture. For that reason, I think this book has value to all.

Shall we take a look in more detail?

 

Leadership and Culture – John and Katie McCann

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 210

Audience: Adult

Publisher: 27 Sept 2022

Publication Date:

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Leadership and Culture

Every team has a manager… But not every team is lucky enough to have a true leader. Get ready to break the mold!

Did you know that 82% of employees would consider quitting their job because of a bad boss?

And it isn’t just that you don’t want to be a bad boss… You don’t want to be a boss at all – you want to be a leader. A boss commands … A leader inspires and influences – and that’s the route to happy employees, a dedicated workforce, and an organization that achieves its goals .

Whether you’re a new manager, an aspiring one, or an experienced manager or business owner, there’s always more to learn… and there’s always room to develop your leadership skills so that you can be sure you’re an inspirational and empathetic leader … and not a disconnected boss.

It all starts with the workplace culture you cultivate… one that is positive, inclusive, and authentic … one that motivates your team to go above and beyond… and to do so happily.

Any successful organization has, at its core, a team that trusts and respects its leaders and is willing to do what it takes to help the company reach its goals… and behind every team like this, there’s a leader who knows just what to do to steer the ship.

You can be that leader.

And with this comprehensive guide by your side, you’ll have something to refer to every time you flounder. Inside, you’ll And much more.

Every company has a boss… but the most successful ones have a leader. And if you have any doubt in your mind as to whether you can be one, it’s time to silence that inner critic for good.

If you’re passionate about leading your team to success, you have everything you need to be the driving force behind an outstanding team… All you need now is the manual…

 

My Thoughts

 

Structure

The book is broken down into five key skills, and then further into related chapters with subtopics on each skill. From building trust to inspiring motivation, Leadership and Culture starts from the ground up.

The length of the book makes it approachable to pick up. At 210 pages in its entirety, it concisely covers the skills, examples and action points to succinctly set you on the path for success.

Although I read the book in chronological order, I would argue that it would be possible to go back to any of these sections at any point and revisit the content. To an extent there are references to early chapters and content as a foundation, but this wouldn’t stop anyone from being able to read a section standalone.

On a practical level, it means the book can be picked up countless times and never lose its value, regardless of how many times you pick it up again. I can see myself picking this up and revisiting the book, especially if there are certain skills I want to brush up on, or scenarios where I am inexperienced in handling them!

 

Ideas

The content of the book would be especially great for either aspiring or first time managers, or as a refresher of fundamentals for the more experienced. The book’s content is both approachable and relatable, whilst demonstrating the extensive research that asks up each idea. Throughout, I was able to visualise the examples in the practical terms of my own experience at work.

Not only do the scenarios in the book ring true, but then the author’s have outlined practical action points for managers to adopt to resolve conflict or pressure in a way that promotes positivity. It’s as much a practical guide as it is a compilation of case studies of what can happen when things go wrong.

I think this also has value for all employees. As I mention in the introduction, culture isn’t strictly created by the few at the top. It’s about the whole workplace. Sure, managers and senior staff will have a lot of influence over it, but not entirely.

Leadership and Culture has value in helping us understand where workplace culture isn’t working and raise awareness. Often, we can recognise that something isn’t quite right but are unable to identify a problem exactly. The topics and downfalls explored in this book are ones that I can see happening in every workplace at some point in time. Even in big name companies! Many of the examples within are names we know.

 

Summary

Leadership and Culture is all about positive change. If you are looking to make positive change in your life in 2024, or would like to start making improvements in your workplace, this book is a great place to start!

Are you looking to develop yourselves or your career in 2024?

 

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Monthly TBR – January 2024

Hello friends and welcome to my first monthly TBR of 2024!

Are you excited for the new year?

This week on the blog, I have wrapped up my reading progress for the month of December, the whole of 2023, and set out my reading resolutions for 2024. If you want to check out any of those posts, you can do so following these links. Today, I am setting out the books I plan to read in January and start me off on my 2024 reading journey.

Although I have set myself a reading goal which equates to picking up five books a month, I am being ambitious in January! What can I say? I’m excited for the fresh start. I’ll point out that a few of these books are carried over from December. Although I’ll feature 10 books on this monthly TBR, in reality I started two in December.

 To read each book in the intended format, I need to read 100 pages physically and listen to 28 minutes of audio every day of January. As of publishing this monthly TBR post, I’m already 50 pages and one hour ahead respectively. And I’ll be reading more before bed tonight!

Let’s talk about the books I plan to read in January!

 

Fixed Reads

 

December Insta Poll Runner Up – My Sister’s Keeper

I started listening to My Sister’s Keeper in December and it is the first of my carryovers. I kicked off 2024 having listened to just under a third of the audio in December.

As of this monthly TBR post, I am just over halfway through the audiobook and really enjoying the storyline. The premise is an interesting one; it tackles the law, ethics and morality of a child conceived as a donor for her older sister. What starts off as a one-off has turned into a series of increasingly invasive surgeries. Anna’s opinion on whether she wants to be a donor and undergo these procedures isn’t considered. At the start of the book, she is 13 years old and is starting to question both her identity and her role as donor for her sister Kate.

 

December TBR Jar – The Black Coats

I didn’t get to December’s TBR Jar pick last month, so I’ve had to carry it forward into January.

I don’t know much about the book other than the synopsis, but that is enough to draw me in! The protagonist Thea is invited into a group called the Black Coats. Their mission is to seek justice for girls and women who have been hurt/wronged by men by exacting revenge. Thea has an interest in the group’s activities as her cousin was killed by a man and got away with it. It definitely sounds like a feminine power story, but the suggestion of their revenge escalating out of hand is why I’m intrigued about the book.

I’m excited to pick it up and see what it’s all about!

 

January Insta poll pick – The Atlas Six

I had a dilemma with my most recent Insta poll pick. At the time I called the competition, both books had drawn level.

After consideration, I have decided that such an occasion means that I get to choose what I pick up first. In the end, I went with the book that I thought was going to win the poll – The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake.

Maybe this is going to be one of those books that ends up overhyped, but I’ll just have to check it out for myself. I read something similar in terms of genre last year and I enjoyed the book. I believe that one of my friends is also picking this up in January, so I’m looking forward to comparing notes with her.

 

January TBR Jar pick – Crime and Punishment

Although I am behind on my TBR jar reads, that doesn’t excuse me from picking one for January. This month I pulled out a classic that I’m looking forward to trying.

At 656 pages, Crime and Punishment is one of the chunkiest books on this monthly TBR. If my reading pace is going to slow down any, it might be with this book. That I’m ahead now buys me that wiggle room should I need it.

It’s not deliberate, but I don’t have many books on my reading list that are not originally published in English. Crime and Punishment is one of the exceptions to that rule. From what I understand about the book, it is in some ways and exploration of mental health at a time and setting where it wasn’t really understood in the same terms as today.

 

Betrothal and Betrayal

I’ve signed up to a blog tour this month for Betrothal and Betrayal by Janet McGiffin. Betrothal and Betrayal is a historical fantasy, in which our two protagonists start from very different walks of life. Thekla is a commoner, whereas Princess Irini is not. It is a narrative of these two women’s journeys, with hints at social and political strife in a setting that I am not that familiar with. I always like to learn about new places, so I’m excited to explore Constantinople and the Byzantium empire.

This review is coming up very shortly on the 18th of January. With this in mind, it’s going to be the next book I pick up to read. The only reason I didn’t pick this first after completing Gemina (my physical read carryover from December) is because I was having some technical issues with my copy. I’ve since got that sorted (I can read it on my phone but not my Kindle), so I’ll be picking this up very soon!

 

The Girl in Seat 2A

The second and last review obligation I have in January is due on the 19th January, just a day after Betrothal and Betrayal. I decided to pick up The Girl in Seat 2A in the meantime whilst I sorted my B&B technical issue out.

The Girl in Seat 2A is about a young woman who sets off to Marbella after winning a lump sum cash prize. She’s determined to live a life of luxury for the rest of her life, but she hasn’t exactly told the truth about her winnings…

The Girl in Seat 2A is my current read and as of this monthly TBR post, I am 40% into the narrative. I have mixed feelings so far. The book is written well and I’m intrigued as to where the storyline is going to go. However, I don’t really like or relate to the main character. That’s entirely personal.

The story and who she is are written well and I can somewhat understand her situation and motivations. However, she is not my type of person and I am spending the majority of the book questioning the decisions she’s making! I’m 90% sure they’re going to come back and bite her, but we’ll just have to see!

If you’re interested in the sound of this book, I’ll be sharing my thoughts in two weeks time.

 

Sword of Vengeance

I have signed up to review the fourth book in the Saxon Warrior series, Sword of Vengeance by Peter Gibbons on the 2nd February. I have really enjoyed the series to date. In this latest instalment, I am keen to see what happens next.

Picking up this book for the blog tour works well for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I get to feature a series and an author that I really enjoy and love to share with you. Secondly, I get to keep up with this series and give myself a nice tick on keeping up-to-date with the series. Doing so contributes towards my ‘Finishing series’ reading goal. If you’ve read my resolutions post, you’ll know that I’m including any series I’m up-to-date with as a completion until such time a new book comes out. So, after reading this book, I’ll have finished 1 out of my target of 10. 

As this post is due right at the beginning of February, I couldn’t leave it until then to pick up the book. I’m making a conscious effort to read the books for which I have review obligations first. So, whilst this is featured a fair few down on my fixed reading list, it’s one I’m going to be picking up sooner rather than later!

 

Mood Reads

 

Gemina

Ironically, this mood read is the first book I picked up in January as I carried it over from December. In theory, it shouldn’t be the priority, but I wasn’t going to put this book down!

After starting the series with Illuminae last year, I knew I wanted to keep up momentum in picking up the sequel. I also enjoy these books as they are written in a mixed media format. They are fun to read, different from traditional prose and both books so far have a great storyline backing up a cast of lovable characters.

I started off in 2024 having already read 266 pages of the book. I’ve devoured the remaining 400 odd pages in the first three days of January, and so this book is already complete as of this monthly TBR. It’s also also the reason why I’m ahead with my reading so far! Gemina has been a great start to my reading year and. Picking this up also works well for my ‘finishing series’ goal. Whilst it doesn’t mark a completion in its own right, it means that I have just one book left of the trilogy, Obsidio, to read before I can tick this series off the list!

 

Unmasked

Switching to my other reading goal of picking up non-fiction again this year, I have added Unmasked to my January TBR.

I originally discovered the author, Ellie Middleton, via one of my connections on LinkedIn interacting with her content. Ellie was diagnosed at 24 with ADHD and autism. She has become popular for vocalising her experience of living as a neurodivergent. Her recently published book, Unmasked, is about breaking down the barriers of understanding what it is like to be neurodivergent through education and her experience.

It’s a perspective that I’m interesting to read about and understand the ways in which people think and experience life differently. I also think the title is pretty clever given that girls are typically diagnosed with such things late because they are taught socially how to mask their ‘symptoms’.

 

The Measure

The last book I hope to pick up in January is a speculative fiction that I put on my 2023/2024 Winter TBR.

The premise of the book is that one day, every person receives a box on their doorstep. The box contains the person’s name and a piece of string which correlates to the length of their lives. The book explores what happens to individual characters, and I think to a certain extent to society, when people are faced with knowing that information or choosing to live in ignorance.

It’s really interesting premise, and it’s for that reason that I added this book to my reading list. When looking for interesting books to start 2024 with, this felt like a natural choice.

 

Summary

That’s a lot of books to keep me busy in January. But, with the dark nights and cold weather, is there anywhere else I would rather be than home, curled up reading a book?

Not really!

If you’re still with me, thank you for reading today’s monthly TBR post!

What book(s) are you reading in January?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – December 2023

Happy New Year gang – welcome to my final monthly wrap-up post relating to 2023! In today’s post, I recap the reading progress I made over the month of December. Tomorrow, I will be publishing an overarching review of 2023 as a whole, so if you’re looking for that content keep your eyes peeled!

With festive plans and lots of catch ups, reading progress naturally slowed down a little in December. However, as I had already met my official reading goal of the year, I wasn’t too bothered about this. I did set myself an unofficial goal, however, to try and get to books before the end of the year. Did I achieve that? Find out more below!

 

Books Read

 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

I started the month of December carrying forward The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. At the end of November’s monthly wrap-up, I was just over 25% into the book.

It was refreshing to pick up a mood read for a change. If you recall that post, I picked up The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes after DNFing another read on November’s TBR. I had just been to watch the film at the cinema, and I loved it.

It’s fair to say that I enjoyed the book every bit as much as the film, even if there did turn out to be those usual minuscule differences between the two. I also think knowing the ending impacted the speed of which I read this book… combined with the festive period, of course. That’s not to take away from my experience of the book though! I really enjoyed this prequel, and following on from this, I will be looking to re-read The Hunger Games trilogy this year.

 

The Success Code

With my non-fiction reading goal in mind, I picked up two non-fiction books in December. The first of those was a physical read of The Success Code by John Lees.

This book is great as it is made up of multiple short chapters. It outlines small steps we can take in order to represent ourselves as best we can, put our best foot forward and promote positive image of ourselves to others.

It’s content should be worked through sequentially, as some of the latter chapters build upon framework outlined earlier. I think that’s useful though, as this framework gives you a model to work around, rather than giving you some generic advice and expecting you to be able to implement it without any guidance. The baby step nature of it as well, stop you from getting intimidated and falling over at the first hurdle.

I’ll definitely be looking to take away some of the points brought up in this book, so it was definitely a worthwhile read!

 

Order and Chaos

My next physical read, was picking up Order and Chaos, a short story anthology. I read another anthology, contributed to by the same author that approached me, earlier this year. Having enjoyed the experience of reading that first book, it was easy to say yes to the second.

I’m not going to go too much into the details of why I enjoyed the anthology, because I have a review live on my blog that you can check out instead. In summary, though, the anthology is a fun and diverse collection of stories that all revolve around the themes of order and chaos. But, from there, are vastly different from each other! It was a nice short read that fit in perfectly around the busy Christmas period.

 

Gemina

The last book I picked up physically in the month of December is Gemina. As of the end of 2023 and this monthly wrap-up post, I have read 266 pages of Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Yesterday, I was under no illusion that I wasn’t going to get through this book before the end of the year. I had read just over 200 pages at the start of the night. There was no way I was going to get through the final 450… even with the best of intentions! It doesn’t matter though. Through my reading to date, I did indeed meet my unofficial (larger) goal of reading 60 books by the end of the year. There wasn’t a massive push to get this finished. I’m also happy to take this through into January and set my reading year off right!

I read the first book of the trilogy, Illuminae, earlier this year and I fell in love with it. I love the way in which the books are written, the characters (different between both books, but that doesn’t matter one iota) and the overarching story. It’s a different format to what I usually pick up, but it’s working really well for me!

 

Audiobooks

 

November Insta Poll Pick – The Minders

I left off my November monthly wrap-up post having listened to half of The Minders by John Marrs.

I listened to the second half of this audio when making gifts for Christmas. Although not a festive read, I found it compelling to follow along with whilst doing something mindless. The narrative of this story is interesting. As it’s a conspiracy thriller, we’re always pondering what we don’t know or what is going to happen next.

I liked how this audio was cast. We had a couple of different narrators (one for each gender), and the characters were differentiated well enough that we could easily follow who was who.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Minders, and for sure, it won’t be my last John Marrs book!

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The second non-fiction book that made it onto December’s reading list was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

I confess I went into this book with a preconception that it was going to be a little trickier compared to The Success Code. In comparison, the second book is more modern and considerably shorter. How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1936 and the audio was around seven hours long.

In reality, How to Win Friends and Influence People was a very easy listen. Despite the age of the book, I still find a lot of the points raised in it to be relevant today. Well, some people may resent being told to smile more. But, there is definitely argument for why this can help you. Don’t worry ladies, this isn’t targeted at just us!

 

December Insta Poll Pick – My Sister’s Keeper

I ended the month of December having listened to just less than a third of My Sister’s Keeper. I wanted to pick up this book for the moral debate that makes up the vast majority of the story. Now and then I will read out of my comfort zone for a specific reason. For example, I read Me Before You in 2019 as it deals with the topic of euthanasia.

My Sister’s Keeper is about a 13-year-old girl, Anna, who was conceived as a donor match for her sister. Kate was diagnosed from a young age with an aggressive form of leukaemia. Throughout her childhood, Anna has undergone multiple procedures and surgeries in order to donate to her sister. However, the nature of her illness means more invasive treatment is required each time.

At the opening of My Sister’s Keeper, Kate is suffering from kidney failure and is in need of a transplant to save her life. Anna‘s parents expect her to undergo the surgery and give her a kidney, but she has ideas of her own.

I enjoy reading stories that take a look at some of the more difficult topics in life. It’s more than just a story to enjoy, but one to think about as well. Although I am only a third of the way through the book so far, the set up is giving me everything I was hoping this book would be, and more! It’s a nice easy listen and I hope the narrative going forward explores the issue in as much depth as it can.

 

Summary

I trust you can tell from this monthly wrap-up post that I enjoyed each and every read I picked up in December, whether I finished it or not. I’m taking forward some great books into 2024!

I have briefly mentioned that I met my unofficial goal of reading 60 books. If you want to see what other reading goals I set myself, and how I did with those, check out tomorrow’s blog post in which I take a look at my 2023 year in review.

I hope to see you in that post. But until then, thanks for checking out today’s monthly wrap-up… and happy reading!

 

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