RHS Harlow Carr

For my birthday this year (30!), it was a really sunny day so we decided to go for a walk around Harlow Carr in Harrogate. It’s been ages since I took my camera out with me, and it was the perfect day for it. Choosing to spend the day walking around a garden may make me officially middle-aged now, but I had the best day! Let me know which are your favourite photos in the comments! My personal favourites are the bees – so happy to...

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Greta Thunberg – No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

For £2.99, I would say this book was fine, and it did make me stop and think a fair few times, but it wasn’t really what I expected from (although that’s my problem as I didn’t know what this book was before I bought it). To save you potential disappointment, this book is a collection of the speeches that Greta Thunberg has made, which unfortunately means that the book contains quite a lot of repetition – her speeches...

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What sparks your light?

It was my 30th birthday yesterday, and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past couple of years, and how my 30-year-old self is not the self I had once pictured. In some ways, that’s a good thing, but in a lot of ways, I have neglected who I wanted to be and not taken care of myself in the way I should have. The last couple of years have been really difficult for me personally, and it’s quite hard for me to admit...

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Milly Johnson – The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew

The perfect birthday present – a new Milly Johnson book! At least that’s what my husband thought when he pre-ordered it for my birthday, not bargaining on the fact that I’d be so eager to read it, I’d buy it two days before my birthday and read it in one sitting! Sorry Cameron! But how could I say no to these glorious blue edged pages (the special edition from Tesco). I’m a sucker for a coloured-edge, and...

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Ethel Rohan – The Weight of Him

The blurb on the back of this book made me immediately want to buy this and read it – a man struggling with both the loss of someone close to him, and also struggling with his health and appearance – he’s extremely overweight and feels alienated from his family. I felt like I would be able to empathise a lot with him, and I was right, to an extent. It turns out that the loss that Billy is struggling with is the loss of his...

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I’m back! (AKA Blog like no-one’s watching…)

…because they’re probably not! It’s been an awful long time since I did any actual blogging on here – three years to be precise. I’ve concentrated more on book reviews and less on blogging, partly because I didn’t think what I had to say was worth saying. But two things have changed my mind recently. Firstly, I’ve started to feel the itch to blog again. something I haven’t wanted to do for...

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Diana Gabaldon – Outlander

We went on holiday to Scotland for our anniversary this year, and gifts/souvenirs for Outlander were absolutely everywhere. I’d watched the first episode of the Amazon TV series with my friend, but I decided I wanted to read the book before I watched any further. I LOVE Scotland, and a book set in such beautiful scenery sounded like a dream. Having watched the first episode of the series, I knew the main premise of the book was a woman...

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Mary Beard – Women & Power: A Manifesto

At the weekend, we went to Hardwick Hall where we learnt all about Bess of Hardwick – an incredible woman who faught against the patriachy and did some amazing things (Chatsworth House – yep, that was her building project too). They had a great video explaining the various ways that the history of this woman has been written to diminish her achievements, even down to the language used to portray her. After we’d finished...

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Paula Gooder – Phoebe

I picked this book up after seeing an advert for a talk with the author at Southwark Cathedral which just so happened to be while I was in London (this never happens!). I booked onto the event straight away, and the kindle version of the book was only 99p, so I dug straight in. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled for personal reasons, but I’m so glad that the event was what caused me to pick the book up in the first place, as it was...

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Andrew Pettegree – Brand Luther

I started reading this book as a recommendation when we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the reformation in Church. As the reformation started in 1517, that probably makes it quite obvious that it’s taken me quite a while to read this! The book was a fascinating take on the reformation, focused on the impact that Martin Luther had on the printing industry in Germany. Not too deep on theology, but I found the subject matter rather dry...

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Shari Low – With or Without You

An interesting premise, a story that starts with a life-changing decision. Then we split into two parts – one where Liv says Yes, and one where she says No. But is your life actually pre-destined to end up a certain way no matter what decisions you choose? That’s what is explored in this book. I found the pacing a bit variable, at times I was fully engaged and devouring page after page, desperate to know what would happen next...

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John Ousterhout – A Philosophy of Software Design

I think the fact that this book has taken me so long to read probably says all I need to say. I had quite a few issues with this book, and found myself disagreeing with a lot of points that were made – I’m looking forward to doing a talk on this book to my team at work to see if they agree. I’m kind of glad I didn’t read this book a few years ago when I might have taken everything that was written as fact. The...

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Pete Greig – How to Pray

I pre-ordered this book when it first came out, but it’s been languishing in the middle of a rather large stack of books that I want to read so I hadn’t got around to it, until my vicar mentioned it as part of a sermon on prayer on Sunday and I decided that I’d move it to the top of the list. Turns out, it was perfect reading for a rainy bank holiday and I found it really hard to put down – I ended up staying up til...

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Giovanna Fletcher – Dream a Little Dream

Giovanna Fletcher is one of my favourite people to follow on the internet, and I have always loved her books, but if I’m honest, I found this one really hard to get into. I think I was probably about half way through before I felt like the pace picked up enough for me to be completely invested in Sarah’s life, and there were a couple of times when I wasn’t convinced I was going to finish reading. But the second half of the...

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Gary A. Haugen – Good News About Injustice

I seem to usually start a book review saying whether I enjoyed the book or not, and I can’t in all honesty say that I ‘enjoyed’ this book, but it was necessary and eye-opening and quite frankly a must-read. So the fact that I didn’t ‘enjoy’ it should not put you off from reading – I give this book 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in a Christian perspective of injustice, I...

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Onjali Q. Rauf – The Boy at the Back of the Class

A warm, engaging and inspiring look at an all too relevant topic, I would recommend this book to everyone, but particularly as a very engaging and relatable way to introduce the topic of the refugee crisis to young children. I first heard of this book when it started winning awards, namely the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019, and although it’s a children’s book, it hits with a big punch. Written from the...

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Paige Toon – The Last Piece of My Heart

Another E-book by an author that I’ve heard of but never read before, picked up because the e-book is currently free on Amazon, and the perfect book for a long train ride home. However, I did have extremely mixed feelings about the book, which you might understand as you hear more. In the book, we meet Bridget, a successful travel writer, who is currently travelling around the world meeting up with past boyfriends to ask them for...

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Cathy Bramley – We’ll Meet Again

What a sweet, perfectly romantic book. It was less than 50 pages long so you wouldn’t think you would have much time to become invested in the characters, but the way this was written made the characters feel like friends almost immediately. I’ve never read any of Cathy Bramley’s books before, but I decided to read this one while I was sat on my train waiting to set off from the station, and it was such a quick and...

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Sarah Bennett – Spring at Lavender Bay

I’m in two minds over how to review this book – on one hand, I read the book in just a few hours and I felt really invested in how Beth’s story would turn out. But what was really jarring for me was that there were so many editorial mistakes that I kept being jolted out of the flow of the story because either the sentence didn’t make sense or a spelling mistake meant my brain had to try and process what was being said...

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Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

It would be really easy to judge this book by the title and assume it’s ‘just’ young adult fiction and doesn’t have a serious point. But although this might be young adult fiction, it showed that the only way to get through social-anxiety and other mental health problems is to open up to people and let them help you. As you might tell from the title, Cath is a fangirl, introverted and in love with the Simon Snow...

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Sarah Turner – The Unmumsy Mum

It’s been ages since I read anything, so I really needed to find a light-hearted book to get me back into the swing of things. And this one was perfect (although not as light-hearted as I’d imagined). I’ve been following Sarah on Instagram for a few years, so I have seen what her posts are like, and her book was kind of an extension of that. Funny most of the time, but interspersed with real honest moments that were...

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