Here’s everything I read last month; the good, the bad, but not the ugly (how pretty are some of these covers?). Also, let me know if you have any book recommendations below in the comments!
‘How to Be Human: The Manual’ by Ruby Wax
4.5 out of 5 stars
‘With a little help from a monk (who tells us how our mind works) and a neuroscientist (who tells us how our brain works), Ruby Wax answers every question you’ve ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, sex, kids, the future and compassion. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby’s own life, and backed up by smart science and practical mindfulness exercises, How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you’ve upgraded your iphone.’
I absolutely loved this book! I was given it for Christmas from two of my friends, along with tickets to her book talk here in Bath. I devoured it quickly and really enjoyed both the book and hearing from Ruby herself really enjoyable. Ruby covers everything from our thoughts, emotions and body, to compassion, forgiveness and mindfulness. With each chapter not only does Ruby add in things from her own research and personal experience, but she also adds in perspectives from Ashish Ranpura, a neuroscientist, and Gelong Thubten, a Buddhist monk. I honestly could not recommend this book anymore!
‘Sal’ by Mick Kitson
4 out of 5 stars
‘Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs and a first aid kit from Amazon using stolen credit cards. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos. And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire. How to estimate distances, snare rabbits and shoot an airgun. And how to protect her sister, Peppa. Because Peppa is ten, which is how old Sal was when Robert started on her.’
This book did start a little slow, and around the 100 page mark I was dubious as to whether I would continue reading, but it definitely picked up, and that initially slow period of setting up and introducing the characters and their backstories really paid off. I was drawn into the world of Sal and Peppa, and became invested in their new life in the Scottish countryside. Would recommend this book if your looking for something that gives you all the feels (plus teaches you about surviving the wilderness).
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Canongate!
‘An Edited Life: Simple Steps to Streamlining Life, at Work and at Home’ by Anna Newton
3.5 out of 5 stars
‘Anna Newton is just trying to balance work, her friends, her family, her husband Mark, a growing handbag habit and a love for takeaway pizza. Over the past 8 years of running the blog and corresponding YouTube Chanel ‘The Anna Edit’, she’s grown a loyal viewership who tune in for her weekly videos on everything from house renovations to the best summer foundation. Anna is a typical Virgo she loves being organised. She s Marie Kondo’d her house, nearly throwing away her TV remote in the process. She’s waved goodbye to her things with Fumio Sasaki. She’s minimized and bullet-journalled her schedules down to the finest detail. Along the way, she’s realised something key: there s no one prescription for an organized life, a tidy home and calm mind. Instead, it’s all about editing.’
I enjoyed this book and it 100% helped me feel more organised. The book is divided into three sections: life, work and home. Although I did skim over the work section, I really enjoyed the life and home sections. The work section mostly related to working at home, which was a shame as most of the tips I couldn’t incorporate into my working life, and I’m sure others will feel the same. However there was an awesome section on budgeting which I have already began to use myself and plan to check in with every month. Similarly, I plan to use some her tips for organising your home to do just that over the half term coming up.
‘What If It’s Us’ by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
3 out of 5 stars
‘ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?’
I must admit I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it months before it was released. BUT, in reality it just felt like a major let down 🙁 It was OK as far as books go, but It felt majorly rushed, and around every turn the couple would have a disagreement, and you’d be straight back to square one hoping they’d eventually get back together/ realise how stupid they’re being. I think adding to this it also wasn’t helped by not being able to get emotionally invested in the characters, because as soon as I started to feel a connection with either of them they would do something that would annoy me. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to give away spoilers / shape your opinion of the book, but it was a low-end 3 out of 5 stars for me.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?