Wham! George and me – Andrew Ridgley
This was a Christmas present gifted to my Mum which I eagerly swiped from under her nose and read it first (something which would have pissed me right off if someone had done to me, a rule for one and all that). I am not usually a fan of a biography or autobiography especially a celebrate story as I often find them pointless and a little self-indulgent (rich coming from someone who blogs I know). Nonetheless, I am a big fan (probably a bit too strong) of George Michael so whilst I was looking for something different and lighthearted to start my new years reading off I tucked into this and loved it. At the beginning of the book I felt Andrew was trying to play more of a role in everything than he perhaps had. I don’t know I wasn’t alive and it must have been difficult to watch George go off and live the dream he had always dreamt of but what I took away from this book was a huge appreciation for friendship and the trials and tribulations those relationships we go through and how some can just about withstand anything. By the end of the book, I felt Andrew came across humble and grounded and it was lovely to read how much he loved and admired George. I don’t know about others but I really enjoyed this book.
She must be mad – Charley Cox
This is a collection of poems I had asked for at Christmas. I follow Charley Cox on Instagram. Her writing is so relatable, I always see her notes and cannot believe how easily she can get deep into our minds and jot them down on paper. She must be mad is Charley’s first printed collection of poems, which I raced through reading. There were some I thought were a bit weak but then the book is packed with so many great bits of writing, there are quite a few I was tempted to rip out and frame. A great piece of work capturing the emotions and lives of a generation.
Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant – Joel Golby
With a title like this, the book had to be good. The debut publication from Vice Journalist Joel Golby. I read this book in a matter of days. It is exactly what January needed. Clever, funny and absolutely ridiculous collection of essays. I don’t know what I got from this book other than a lot of enjoyment but I would recommend to so many of you.
Invisible Women – Caroline Criado Perez
When I looked at the size of this book and how data-heavy it is, I imagined I would be tackling it throughout the entire year but within three days I was done and I had gone through every page heavily underlying every stat I wanted in the bank for the future. The book is tackling the issues of data gaps in a world where a male is the human default. I am a feminist and I am proud of it, I know we live in patriarchy governed predominantly by white, privileged males but the data this book presents is mind-blowing. I started reading it, in hope it could help me understand how to handle situations in a professional environment better, to help me articulate my points to educate others if I am honest I was thinking of myself and how I could enhance my privileged life, being on one side the oppressed and on the other hand the oppressor (being white, middle class, financially stable, living in this country). What this book has given me is a completely different perspective. Instead of worrying about the gender pay gap, it opened my eyes to the women who cannot go to the toilet all day because there are no toilets for them, or if they go alone they run the very high risk of being raped or murdered, about how transport, city structures or even snow clearing is designed and carried out with a man in mind and how it improves his life whilst leaving women in dangerous situations or how home environments in countries where it is still the women’s place to stay at home and cook and clean provide stoves which cause more exposure than smoking 100 cigarettes a day. This honestly doesn’t even scratch the surface, anyone with females in their life, be it, friends, family or colleagues should be reading this book. It is available on audio if you would rather listen.
Where the Crawdogs sing – Delia Owens
This is a murder mystery novel published in 2018 a book my Mum bought me for Christmas (she buys about 6 from Tesco on Christmas eve which we all share. She didn’t pick this with me in mind). I wasn’t too sure on the blurb, it sounded a bit meh really but honestly, two pages in I was hooked, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. It felt to me as though it had a slight To Kill a Mocking Bird feel to it which is my favourite story so as you can imagine I loved it. It was hopeful, kind, romantic with a good old who done it involved too. From Goodreads it’s apparent, this book is a love or hate it type of reading but I really enjoyed it.
Eleven – Mark Watson
I picked this book up from a charity shop a couple of weeks ago. It enticed me in with the comparison to One Day which is a book I have read many times and loved. Without being mean as I don’t like to criticise someone’s work, especially when I cannot write a book, this novel was not comparable to One Day and I am offended it was stuck on the front cover. The narrative follows Xavier, a radio DJ who moved from Australia, with a hidden past of tragedy and turmoil which unravels throughout the story and how his actions on one day, have a butterfly effect resulting in a rather predictable and unnecessary ending. The whole story was boring and predictable and whilst it wasn’t unenjoyable to read I didn’t gain much from it. It was 100% shit-lit, yet somehow gets to sit among the best (Yes David Nicholls to me is the best) just because it has a male author’s name on the cover.
My name is why- Lemn Sissay
In January I listened to My name is why on audible. I am so pleased I chose to listen to this book instead of reading it because it is read by the author Lemn Sissay, with his voice, you gain the emotion of the story that his story deserves. My name is why is a memoir by Lemn Sissay a courageous account of his time with a foster family, growing up as a black child in a white household and then his additional 6 years in the institutionalised care. The narrative is woven with reports from his social workers and school. It is a heartbreaking story but one I gained so much from, I am pleased Leman had the courage to share his story.