Books that I have read recently pt 1 (May-July)

I haven’t written a round up of books I’ve read for a very long time. April was the last time I wrote my random thoughts on the books I read that month. It’s now October. So here we go. This one is the list from May- July. I’ll see what I can remember…

Caitlin Moran- Moranifesto. 

This woman makes me happy whenever I read her. She is a miracle worker with words. So many times I exclaimed YES! loudly when I read this. It’s a collection of her Times column and is humbling, thought provoking, encouraging and hilarious.

When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend- Mark Meynell. 

This is a brilliant book to read if you have ever struggled with depression, are doing so or know anyone who has. (so really everyone should read it). It’s written from a particular tribe of Christianity but that shouldn’t make any difference in appreciating the book. Mark is writing out his experience of life with the Black Dog and it’s a beautiful read. It’s not a manual, a how to deal with it, but a moving honest account of living in the dark cave of depression and what that is like for him. I wept through vast swathes of the book as it so much summed up times I have had and that the lovely husbandface has had. There was also the lovely surprise of my song of the year (The Rain Keeps Falling by Andrew Peterson) being the lynch pin around which the book turned and the even lovelier surprise of finding this blog mentioned at the end of the book as a helpful blog to read as companions in the dark. I’m so thankful for Mark’s honesty and gift of his story to the world.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine- Gail Honeyman

What reviewers might call a ‘joyously uplifting read’. Quite. It’s a lovely tale of someone who doesn’t quite fit in this world and her journey to becoming a bit more comfortable with who she is and how she can relate to others. I loved her so much. I think that’s the sign of a pretty good book…

Holding up the Universe- Jennifer Niven

Another great book, I loved reading this account of two teenagers working out how to live in the world. One the former fattest teen in the US and the other a boy who can’t remember the faces of the people he meets. A lovely read.

Together- Julie Cohen

One of those ‘what’s really going on under the surface in this relationship’ books (but not one of the abusive odd power dynamic thrillers that I read too many of last year). A page turner. Not all that memorable but not a waste of a read.

Vicky Beeching- Undivided. 

I think I consumed this in an afternoon. It was a beautiful read. It was so interesting reading about someone who grew up in English Christian circles at a very similar time to me. I could identify with many of Vicky’s experiences and the impact that had on her life and faith.  I ended up being oddly grateful that the church I went to didn’t emphasis things in the same way and that I survived the few no sex before marriage talks we had in our youth group with relatively little baggage. It’s also a hard read as most of the time I just wanted to give Vicky a big hug and be somehow magically able to protect her from the hideous things people have said to her over the years.  It was a book that made want to be more comfortable in my own skin, in my own style of dressing and being me in this world. Whatever your opinions are on Vicky’s coming out story this is a vital read to increase understanding, love and compassion for those around us. I’m astounded by her faith and love of God which pours out on every page of this book and I’d love to give her that hug one day and thank her for her gift of herself.  I felt so affirmed by this book and more in love with God. Another read of the year.

The Power- Naomi Alderman

Wow I’ve read some good books this year, what I’ve lacked in quantity I’ve made up for in quality… This novel which imagines a world where women become stronger physically than men is an incredible read. One to disturb and provoke many thoughts.

Little Fires Everywhere- Celeste Ng

Aside from wondering about the authors relationship with her mother and whether she needed some counselling, I really enjoyed this novel. Hard to sum up neatly but set in an American suburb with a some themes of family life,  questioning privilege and exploring motherhood in it. Worth a try.

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