Books I've Read Lately
Booktube is one of my guilty pleasures. I’ll admit, I’ve never wanted to be a reader. I always felt like it was somehow (and I know I’m wrong when I say this, believe me!) the lazy choice, or the boring choice, or the choice of action when you don’t have the skill to be out doing something active or out there instead. Now I have to preface by saying, I never felt that way about other readers, only about myself.
But books were always my somewhat guilty pleasure. I absolutely love book stores. As a child, I would live for the summer visits to Barnes and Noble in Maryland, or (when it was still a thing) the massive Borders in Virginia.
When the absolutely bonkers Kinokuniya (also known as Book World) opened at the Dubai Mall, I became a very, very familiar face in its vast winding shelves (I was absolutely devastated when they ‘downsized’ about 18 months ago to a new location in the mall, which mind you, is still massive, but old timers will know it doesn’t hold a candle to the original). And when I go home to my in laws in Guildford I will take any excuse, any excuse at all, to walk down to Waterstones on the High Street. I love me some Waterstones.
But here in the wilds of Northern Iraq, bookstores are few and far between, and so Booktube has become even more of a feature in my life. I cant visit a bookstore whilst I’m here, and so my Kindle has become my bookstore and the lovely ladies of Booktube, my helpful Waterstones assistants.
All of this has had a massive impact on my book collection in the last couple of years, and I can proudly say now, with no shame whatsoever, that I’ve set myself a challenge of reading 50 books before my next birthday. Yes, I know, I’m hardly the first to jump on that bandwagon! But enough waffling, now you know I love reading, this is what I’ve been reading the last month!
(Amongst others, but more on that in another post!).
The Break by Marian Keyes
I’ve always been a massive, massive fan of women’s ‘chick lit’ style fiction. It’s absolutely, time and again, my favorite go to genre. It’s just… comforting. I do love a foray into historical fiction, and I read a lot of non fiction too, but there’s something about a good read from one of the classic women’s authors of our day, that can’t quite be beat. Shockingly, I’ve never read a Marian Keyes book before. And I feel like I need to remedy that mistake immediately!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Break even though it’s target audience may be a little older, seeing as the story revolves around a woman in her mid 40’s and a ‘break’ of six months that her and husband take. The premise is quite simple but seldom talked about, and at a whopping 700 pages, the book explores so much, from the dynamics of long term relationships, to parenting and abortion laws in Ireland (yes, really!), and infidelity.
Whilst that sounds quite heavy… its actually not because the main character is so very likable and you find yourself really connecting with her and her quirky vintage dress style. The 700 pages really flew by and made me think, and I can’t wait to get started on some more Marian Keyes ASAP, in fact I’ve got Rachel’s Holiday waiting on my Kindle as I type this. I can’t wait to get started.
The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi
I picked this up on a total whim whilst visiting my husbands family in Surrey a few weeks ago. I had never heard of it, didn’t know what to expect, and wasn’t sure if it was even something I really needed to read at that moment in time. But I am glad that I read it nonetheless. I have a huge interest in habit change and habit formation, an all time favorite of mine being The Power of Habit (high recommend), and so when I saw the tagline of the book, Changing Habits for Good… well, couldn’t help myself.
I had to find more fuel for my habit changing… umm, habit. What’s really interesting about this book is that it comes from someone who has worked extensively with rehabilitation and the habits that bring people back from addiction. And don't most bad patterns in our lives come down to a form of addiction?
Whilst I did enjoy this, it wasn’t my favorite ever habit changing tome, but it did take a really lovely view of the subject, beseeching us to treat ourselves with kindness whilst trying to change, rather than telling ourselves off. I agree with that in theory if not as much in practice, but it’s something I could certainly work on. The book, without giving too much, works around introducing us to various mind maps if you will, that help people get clearer and stay on track and are what Izadi uses in her practice to help those out of the grips of addiction. I haven't’ tried the maps enough to know if they work, but her experience says they do, and I’m glad I have this book in my collection to come back to if I feel like I need to.
The Confidence Kit by Caroline Foran
This book is just so darned cute. A small pocket sized bright pink book with a pair of big 60’s style sunglasses plastered across the front? I had to pick it up. Confidence, in the classic definition, isn’t something I spend a lot of time thinking about, or at least haven’t for years, but this book was helpful and eye opening in a really easy read kind of way, nonetheless.
It’s much less technical and business like than a lot of books out at the moment about confidence, especially when it comes to female confidence, and I was so glad of that because those books don’t resonate with me at all. This is a fun, light easy read that still covers all the bases, whilst feeling like a good friend or a big sister having a chat with you. Whilst it’s not ground breaking in the ‘self help’ area,
I still enjoyed it enough to go out and order her other book, in a similar vein, Owning It, and I’m excited to hold its bright blue cover and read it when it arrives!
And that’s just my little wrap up for the moment. I definitely want to give more time to reading and expand into a whole bunch more styles next month when I’m hopefully a little less busy, so, Kindle, I’m coming for you!