What I've Been Reading Recently

What I've Been Reading Recently

Book Lover by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack
I didn't get very far with this. I'm all for chick lit heroines being intelligent - hurrah! - but, you know, I'm pretty well read and well educated and I still found all the "I read so many books!" stuff impenetrable and smug. And the main character was otherwise typically hapless.

The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams
When Dee Williams is diagnosed with a heart condition, it prompts her to reassess her life; she decides to sell her conventional fixer-upper home and build herself a tiny house on the back of a trailer instead. This is partly the story of the build and partly the story of how her downsized life has unfolded - some of which was inspiring, some of which seemed like perhaps you had to be there or to know the people involved. It also helps if you don't mind sweeping - and sometimes bizarre - cultural generalisations (Irish people living in elf holes, anyone?). Overall, though, worth a read if you're interested in small space living, minimalism and/or eco-builds.

Happy Mum Happy Baby: My Adventures in Motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher
Giovanna - writer, TV presenter and wife of That Guy From McFly - writes about PCOS, pregnancy and parenting two small children. This is absolutely her story rather than a parenting how-to book - she freely admits that she doesn't have all the answers and that the approach she and Tom have taken may not be right for every family (some of their choices weren't right for us). Her writing is open and honest but she manages to discuss the tricky parts of parenting without ever shaming her kids. It's a bit like reading a "mummy blog" but without all the advertorials - I nodded along and wanted to be her pal.

Together by Julie Cohen*
As Robbie enters the early stages of Alzheimer's, he becomes worried that he may inadvertently reveal the secrets he and his partner, Emily, have kept hidden for several decades. This is being marketed as a hugely romantic novel so I was worried that it was going to be a bit schmaltzy for my tastes. The first... maybe... two thirds were not. The book moves back through Robbie and Emily's lives, step by step, exploring their relationship, their experience of parenthood, their plan to start a family - these sections are beautifully written, hugely engaging and underpinned by the mystery of their deep, dark secrets. And then it gets to the section where they meet and everything becomes a bit "star crossed lovers who must never be apart"; my eyes began rolling like crazy at that point. Overall, though, a really clever book - if you have a higher tolerance for sentimentality than me and you like a bit of a mystery, this is definitely worth picking up.

Spectacles by Sue Perkins
I have never *gasp* seen The Great British Bake Off but Light Lunch was a student years staple, so I was really looking forward to this. In all honesty, I suppose I wanted to somehow become mates with Mel and Sue just by reading it. I want to more now. Self-deprecating without being mean to herself, funny and touching; I'm glad I'm not related to Sue Perkins (because her family takes quite a ribbing) but, as a complete stranger, I hugely enjoyed this.

*Provided for review

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