November was quite a successful month of reading considering I had 3 assignments due in and I was working pretty much non-stop. I was pretty surprised when I had a look back through the books I’d read and seen that I’d managed to read 8 books.
Urban Regeneration in the UK: Theory and Practice – Phil Jones & James Evans
Urban Regeneration – Peter Roberts, Hugh Sykes & Rachel Granger
Let me say one thing about these books. They are DULL. If you’re struggling with insomnia, pick one of these up and I can guarantee you’ll be sound asleep by the end of the introduction. I bet you can guess what one of my essays was about?!
A Year of Marvellous Ways – Sarah Winman
This book has the most glorious cover and I definitely picked it up judging it by its cover. Unfortunately, I hated it. Firstly, the author didn’t use any form of speech marks?! There’s a lot of dialogue in the book and the lack of speech marks made it SO hard to follow along with. Some people on Goodreads said it made it “poetic and beautiful”.. It just left me feeling confused. Secondly, I had no idea what was going on throughout the entire book. It kept switching between periods of time and perspectives and I was so lost. I don’t like books that are hard work and this was definitely hard work.
Pine – Francine Toon
I read this as part of a book club read and I was really glad to see that pretty much everyone else felt the same as me about this one. It’s weird. It has a few ideas that are sort of mentioned once or twice and then never mentioned again. For example, people kept denying all knowledge of seeing Lauren’s mum. The book clearly stated that there she was but then when Lauren asked, nobody knew what she was on about?? Another major issue I had with this book is that Lauren is 10 or so years old, but the author portrayed her as being much, much older (17 or 18 at least). I was only brought back to the reality of her being so young when her dad called for a babysitter.
Breaker – Annemarie Allan
This is a middle grade book which I enjoyed reading. Twins Tom and Beth (I think they’re about 10 years old) move to North Berwick in Scotland. The house they move into is falling to pieces and is so far from what they expected. Their parents send them out to explore the local area to get them out of the house and they find themselves at a POP (People Opposing Pollution) meeting. They end up taking the wrong turn and meet with Professor Angus MacBlain who is the founding member of POP, but everyone else kicked him out because they thought he was wrong about something or other. There’s a boat that overturns in the bad weather and there’s a huge concern about oil spilling into the sea and killing the local sea life. I thought this book was a really powerful read for children and adults alike. It covers the important topic of the environment and will hopefully enable children to learn a little bit more about the environment. I’ve now passed this book onto Aiyven and Kirsten at Mbawa Books!
One of us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
I’ve seen this book EVERYWHERE on Bookstagram over the last few months. I read this as part of a book club read and I did actually really enjoy it. At first I was SO confused. The story is told from 4 perspectives and that took me a while to figure out. The ending was definitely not how I expected, but I did manage to guess a few parts of the plot along the way. It was an easy, breezy read which is something I’ve been desperately needing recently.
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging – Afua Hirsch
I listened to this as an audiobook whilst I was working and it is such an important and powerful read (or listen). Ever since the BLM came about earlier in the year, I really wanted to try and diversify my reading and read books from a broader range of authors. Pretty much all of my books are written by straight, white women. This is something I think everyone should read. I come from a town which is predominantly full of white people. My school only had a handful of black students (there were 1800 students altogether…). Everything about my upbringing has been so stereotypically ‘white’ that I know I need to educate myself on other races, backgrounds and ethnicities. This book definitely ticked a big box on learning more about others.
Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten – Nia Lucas
Book two in her Choices series. Book one “Choices Shape, Losses Break” was my favourite book of the year. Book two lived up to all of my expectations. I was so emotionally invested that I did actually sob to myself (sometimes with happiness, sometimes with sadness) throughout the entire book.. and I read the whole thing in one afternoon. You can read my full review here