#EmptyShelf18: August Reads

#EmptyShelf18: August Reads

In August I read:

Crown of LaurelCrown of Laurel by Lucy Gordon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know quite what I thought of this book – I thought it was very well written – but heavy on the sex scenes. I’d picked it up because the cover looked like a Georgette Heyer book … but it’s certainly not a cheerful book like that. The reality, however, makes sense – families, war, inheritance – always complex!

The Life of a Scilly SergeantThe Life of a Scilly Sergeant by Colin Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book – my first borrow from a library in years! I wanted something lighthearted and this was it (also interesting part that Facebook/Twitter has to play in author being known).

Years of reading essays (and writing own stuff) means I pick up on the occasional duplication of info & the change of tone where he seeks to talk legalities of policing – the rest of it is just funny!! Especially enjoyed the ‘no pregnant women do not get to pee in my helmet’!

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The Booby Trap and other Bits and BoobsThe Booby Trap and other Bits and Boobs by Dawn O’Porter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this was pretty easy reading, and all for a good cause, but kind of lacking in substance for the most part. Will Hill and Sarah Manning were my favourite entries – probably because long enough to get a narrative going!

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Why I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See OurselvesWhy I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See Ourselves by Lincee Ray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a gentle, humorous read covering American high school, body image, marriage, divorce, dating – and excellent friendships in the midst of tough times in life. Some literal LOL moments too.

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In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a CultIn the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca Stott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was totally fascinated by this book, although I kept being distracted by looking things up, and watching eg the 2003 BBC documentary. My mum had been reading this whilst I was recovering from surgery last year, and shown me the picture of a gathering – thinking she could well be the white hat in the bottom right hand corner! I remember her saying how her parents had left the EBs, and afterwards if my Grandma had walked past her brothers house, he would deliberately turn his back so as not to mix.

Having grown up in Open Brethren I kept picking up on bits that flowed into there (the hats, the women’s silence, the square room & breaking of bread, no TV. the language, etc). Having grown up 20 minutes away from Brighton elements of that were also very familiar (and as one might expect with Brethren interconnectedness, one family in the church I grew up in are related)… I’ve turned down quite a few corners in the book of things I want to have another look at when I’m less tired!!

A Greedy Man in a Hungry World: Why (almost) everything you thought you knew about food is wrong

A Greedy Man in a Hungry World: Why (almost) everything you thought you knew about food is wrong by Jay Rayner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jay Rayner’s reviews in the papers often make me laugh, so I looked forward to this – and it didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of research mixed in with the rants, along with some personal stories (hadn’t twigged that his mother was the agony aunt Claire Rayner). I was particularly interested in his thoughts on how farmer’s markets, etc, good as they are – are not going to solve the current food issues and maybe we need to look to the big producers AND the pressure the supermarkets put on farmers to ensure UK can be largely food sufficient too. The chapter on food Miles is also particularly interesting as he talks about how reductionist that is and there’s a lot more factors at play – essentially we need to look at the ‘total life cost’ of everything we eat, including the resources required to grow them.

I’d quibble with his ‘God is an invisible fairy’ type argument, but otherwise – there was a lot to learn, written in a pacey style!

The Ghost of GlendaleThe Ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, reading it on an evening when overtired and looking forward to something gentle. I met Natalie at a Georgette Heyer event so pleased to see that she offers a lot of what I love about Heyer – a focus on strong characters, a bit of mystery, and an engagement with plot rather than an obsession with sex scenes.

The ghost story has a touch of Romeo and Juliet about it, the romance happens quite fast – enjoyed the respect held between the characters!

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drbexl

Life Explorer, HE/learning, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing (Manchester Metropolitan University),  Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach, ENFP, @digitalfprint, @ww2poster #digitalparenting

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