I’ve realised with everything I’ve been sharing on a Sunday, I’ve been missing out on what I’ve been reading! So I thought I’d share six books.
Honestly, my reading has fallen off the edge of a cliff in recent weeks, but I had been doing so well since Christmas. So I’m going to take the time to celebrate. And hopefully motivate myself to start keeping a book in my work bag.
Here are a few of my recent reads which I have enjoyed.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
The cactus, self-sufficient whatever the environment. And providing an insight into Susan Green, the focus of this book.
Comparatively, I would reference The Rosie Project and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Which I would instantly follow up with similar but completely different.
Susan Green appears to have more deliberately created her life, one of self-sufficiency and independence. Getting pregnant and her mother’s death didn’t feature in the careful intent of life.
The Cactus is one of those compulsive books. It’s a fantastic hope for an ending, and special because it’s really difficult to know what ending would best work for Susan.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
I had seen lots of people sharing this on Instagram in the run up to Christmas I wondered if I could read this in March. It turns out the story isn’t focused entirely on December.
This is one of those instantly relatable books. Of moments of serendipity or of closing doors. Josie Silver offers us Laurie’s story. Laurie is on the top level of double-decker bus when she catches the eye of a man. The connection is lost as the bus pulls away with him still at the bus-stop.
Of course, he is found, but far from the circumstance Laurie would have liked. There is so much in the character of Laurie, and Josie Silver explores so much which reflects and challenges what romance is and what love may be.
It is a fantastic read.
The rules do not apply by Ariel Levy
Ariel Levy offers a honest and fearless take in her memoir. Within the first pages there is the stark reality of what her life has become. And in turning the pages there is the presentation of how life can move to a mindless optimism into the tumblings which spiral into everything.
There are moments which you can read and appreciate whilst knowing how far removed your own life is. And in this there is a stark reality. But it is in the moments which are created which are transferable that this book really reaches out.
The benefit of a memoir seems to be in the ability to question oneself, and to believe, hope and aspire to ‘what next?’
Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander
This is an absolutely beautiful book which I bought on a recommendation. I am so rubbish that I can’t remember the post I read. Sorry.
Things We Never Said is Sean’s story. Starting at the point where he has lost his wife to cancer, we’re introduced to their relationship through his wife. Catherine has left photographs and tapes talking through her side of their relationship.
It is a book full of heartbreak and strength. Questioning the fundamentals of Sean and Catherine’s relationship and shining the spotlight on the differences two individuals bring and take from a relationship.
Of course, the story ends positively, reaffirming that so much can happen which doesn’t take away the fundamentals of truth.
We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt
This is another heart-wrencher. This time taking in the loss of a child. It’s ridiculously emotional. Obviously.
The story is presented through Rob’s perspective, and in this is the what creates the twists and turns. Every question is created through Rob’s choices and decisions.
And yet, you’re left with no idea. This is about the lengths you’d go for love. And, until you’re tested, how do you know which decisions you’d take?
Educated by Tara Westover
Whilst all of these books are fantastic, they have particular stand-out features.Whether that be in the ability to make you turn pages, the emotion evoked, or the questions they provoke.
Educated by Tara Westover would be my absolute recommendation. But for me, it’s not a page turner, it provokes emotion but it’s different. And that’s just it, it’s different.
Tara Westover takes you through her life. It’s ridiculously inspiring. Born to Mormon survivalist parents this is another life. Eventually choosing her own path, without any formal schooling, this is the story which leads to study at Cambridge.
What is compelling about this is that the memoir is questioning, it’s not a story of drive and focus, but of questioning and curiosity. Whilst there is no question that a price has been paid for defiance, there is something to pure in the constant questions of whether the right choices have always been made.