I have surprised myself lately with how well I have managed to find the time away from various screens to have some time alone with some great books. I have an Amazon reading list amounting to more than my monthly mortgage payments which I am trying desperately to get through. I have also updated my Good Reads account for books I have read recently to try and keep me on track so you can friend me here. These are the books I have read this month and I think all four of them are in my top 5 books of this year which is probably why I have been able to read through them so quickly.
This was a book leant to me by a friend and to start with I didn’t think it was going to be for me because I usually shy away from books with the potential to make me sad or focus on too much negativity in the world. Little did I know this was to be the opposite outcome of this book. The Tattooist of Auschwitz follows the incredible story of Lale and Gita and how they defied odds of German concentration camp and fell in love. Doing whatever it took to survive. I couldn’t put this book down, it was a story I wanted to talk about all the time to anyone who would listen. I couldn’t wait until I had a spare moment to read this and I am so glad I did. It wasn’t just another war story it is filled with so much love and hope.
This Book! God, I laughed, I cried, I covered my face with the pages because I couldn’t compose myself. I gained so much more respect for an NHS I already had some much admiration for. Once I had finished reading this book I wanted to reach out to every Doctor, nurse, cook, caretaker, cleaner, etc who work in the NHS. After resigning as a junior Doctor Adam Kay decided to publish his notes from his years practising medicine. The book was filled with many funny anecdotes, stories that had me in tears of laughter but his humour didn’t take away from the realities and the extremities of the hours and pressure their working day involved. Adam covered the impact the career had on his social life, family, relationships and his mental health. The book wasn’t based on humour alone, it also covered the hardships and conscious decisions being a Doctor entailed along with Adam’s reactions to when things didn’t go to plan, when patients died how he coped these situations. This book was the biggest surprise of them all and I am yet to find someone who hasn’t loved reading it.
This is the first book I have ever loved this much. I carried it around like it was a new little puppy which couldn’t be put down. I read it from cover to cover, devoured every word in less than 24 hours and then once I had taken in every last drop of this book I signed up for Amazon audiobooks so I could get it for free to listen to the audio version at work (I thought reading it again straight after was a bit extreme). I am sad that I won’t ever be able to read this book for the first time again.
Everything I know about love was in my Amazon list from the day it was released. It had been an Instagram sensation so naturally, I knew without reading the blurb I needed to buy it. I didn’t know what it was about and as I categorise everyone as part of the ‘happy relationship circle’ that I feel I am the only person not in I assumed it was going to be a smug 20 something telling me how she landed herself her dream husband and 2.5 children and I couldn’t be bothered with that but Oh My God I was so wrong. This book changed so much for me.
I was on the way to Belfast when I bought this book at the airport, a trip I really didn’t want to make. I wasn’t happy at home, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy in Belfast either. I just felt so lonely wherever I went. 24 Hours and this book later I went home with a whole new perspective and excitement. I am so glad I read it whilst I was away because suddenly home felt like the best place, warm and full of love, the only place I wanted to be. This book made me realise so many things about myself and my past relationships and definitely gave me things to work on. Despite learning I pick the wrong guys all the time it showed me how good I am at picking the right girls in my life and there is nothing wrong with me. I have so much love and support around me. I have made and kept so many wonderful female friendships, I am kind, thoughtful, I love meeting new people and I would hope that new people always see that I want them to feel included however annoying I may be.
I would recommend every woman reads this book, probably men too so they get a better understanding of what it is like to go through your 20s as a female. Other than her wild nights out which made me feel so very tame I related to so many of Dolly’s stories from her undevoted love of Will Young, Msn and eating problems. Honestly a book I will forever refer back to. Her podcast with friend Pandora Sykes the High Low is very good too if you can’t get enough of the book.
Notes of a nervous plant – Matt Haig
This is Matt’s second book, following on from Reasons to stay alive which was the first book he openly spoke about his mental health and his journey with depression. Reasons to stay alive was the first book of this kind I read and actually enjoyed. I had tried Ruby Wax’s but they just weren’t for me. Matt’s honest memoirs about his mental health really resonated with me, bravely acknowledging that it is ok not to be ok, and more importantly to not be embarrassed about your mental health. I, fortunately, have never suffered from depression but I have with anxiety and various other forms of low feelings and feeling as though I was the only one feeling that my life wasn’t ok. Matt this year released notes of a nervous planet which I have loved. It is a modern day help book on how to survive social media, technology and consumerism at the pace it is moving without having a breakdown. It gives helpful advice on things to practice when your mental health is suffering along with notes that really helped me put things into perspective. I don’t think there is a person out there who could not benefit from reading his books.