7 Books I’ve read: January – April 2020

I’ve hugely taken advantage of my extra free time during lockdown to start (and finish) some of the books that were on my to be read list. I’ve still got a couple to get through before I start adding to my Amazon basket again. But in the meantime, I wanted to share some of the wonderful reads I’ve had over the past four months.

These are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction – I do like to try and alternate between the two.

Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams

Ice Cream for Breakfast is the wonderfully life-affirming self-help book you didn’t know you needed. The book taught me so much, and made me feel physically lighter.

Laura teaches you that you can change your attitude to adulhood by invoking your inner child.

In doing so is not to become childish, but child-like. Laura tells of how she reached a point in her life where she was so deeply unhappy, but thought that’s just how it – and life – was as an adult. Wrong.

After seeking help, she became a nanny to three young children. The book depicts all of the things those kids taught her – inadvertently.

You can read the 9 things Ice Cream for Breakfast taught me here.

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars is a wonderfully spellbinding debut novel and Sunday Times bestseller from Stacey Halls.

The historic fiction story is based on the Pendle Hill Witch Trial in Lancashire, 1612. It follows noblewoman Fleetwood Shuttleworth, which I would say is a brilliant character name – but was actually the real name of the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall.

The Familiars is an incredibly well-researched and beautifully written book, encapsulating the gothic ambience whilst conveying just the right era, dialogue and unfortunate attitude towards women.

You can read my full review of The Familiars here.

How To Break Up With Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo

On the first day of the new government guidelines, I picked up a book: How to break up with fast fashion, by Lauren Bravo. It’s Lauren’s second book, following ‘What Would The Spice Girls Do?’, which I read last year.

I had already noticed my shopping addiction, and figured when is there ever going to be a better time to break the shopping cycle, than when all the shops are closed?

I blitzed through the pages from Monday to Friday, before and after work, soaking up the wisdom. From how to get the smell out of your charity shop finds, to introducing me to a whole host of ethical brands, and unearthing some of fashion’s dirty secrets.

I’m now a couple of months into not buying any new clothes. Though that’s not to say I won’t buy any new clothes ever again. Six weeks after reading the book, I’d bought no clothes at all, but finally treated myself to a beautiful vintage pink leather jacket and 70s blouse.

Here’s more on breaking up with fast fashion, and also why we should stop saving our clothes for best.

Anna K by Jenny Lee

“The whole thing was a f***ing disaster” – no, not the book – that’s just the first sentence of Jenny Lee’s latest romance novel, Anna K.

If you loved Gossip Girl, or like me – was late to the bandwagon and binge watched it during my university summer leave of 2018 – then this book is for you.

Believe it or not, there are arguably more plot twists and dramatic storylines than the aforementioned show – and full of pop culture references. Apple watches and Dua Lipa are mentioned on page 1, and it continues throughout. It heightens how relatable the characters are – as relatable as you can be to a NYC Upper East Side rich kid.

Seriously one of the most emotive books I’ve read this year – with some seriously unexpected turns.

The review of Anna K you can find here.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

If you’re standing on your doorstep each Thursday evening at 8pm, clapping, banging pans or beeping horns for the NHS – then read this book and repeat the above 10 times louder.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the second book from comedian Adam Kay, following the best-selling This Is Going To Hurt.

It features anecdotes of his time on the obstetrics and gynaecology ward over six Christmas’ back when he was a junior doctor.

I missed the festive bandwagon first time around, but I’m glad I read it when I did – three weeks into the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in the UK.

The full review of Adam’s second book is here.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

After completely adoring Adam’s second book (not realising there was a first), I had to read This is Going to Hurt. This book was kindly gifted to me by Issybellefox’s mum from my Amazon Wish List.

I had read Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas  in two hours, and This is Going to Hurt was just as addictive. It took me two afternoons to power through, but I could barely put it down. There are so many laugh out loud moments, but equally as many that make your genital organs crawl up inside yourself at the horror of what Adam saw in his time on the wards.

His style of writing is incredibly witty and sarcastic. I mentioned in my Twas the Nightshift…. review that it feels like you’re just mates in a pub sharing anecdotes over a pint. This still feels true of This is Going to Hurt.

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

The Flat Share is an addictive rom-com, which flits between Leon and Tiffy’s somewhat parallel lives.

Tiffy Moore – niche book editor with 9-5 job and crazy ex-boyfriend. Needs immediate, cheap accommodation after said ex boots her out as he brings home another woman.

Leon Twomey – palliative care nurse working nights. Needs cash to pay for a lawyer, as his little brother has been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit.

Leon occupies the flat during the day, whilst Tiffy sleeps there at night. The pair converse through post-it notes on fridge doors, leaving food and sharing advice. They’re friends who share a bed, but have never seen each other face to face.

It’s such a sweet story, with unpredictable plots and some big shockers. I liked the added character layers that make the story come full circle. I can’t wait for The Switch to come out next year!

You can read my review of The Flat Share here.

2 Comments

  1. May 9, 2020 / 5:28 pm

    I started the flat share but uni life kind of took over so I never got to finish it but it’s top of my to-read list after exams are over!! I also keep meaning to check out Adam Kay’s books because they keep getting recommended to me!

  2. May 10, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Omg I really want to read this is going to hurt and the flatshare! I’ve had my eye on those books for ages now and they’re stuck on my list! I can’t wait to buy and read them x

    Fy https://cultureeighteen.wordpress.com/

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