After realising I’d finished NO books in November, I made more effort in December (and of course, there was surgery recovery too):
Despite the age difference, a lot of the experience in this book resonated with me – trying to get on with life with the unknown’ hanging over your head – when will the cancer come back, how far/fast will it spread, have I got months or years? I found it very readable … I struggled a bit with the emphasis on positivity (I think we need more space to grieve, but also, yes, we don’t want to get stuck), and the focus on herbal etc remedies (which the author says she knows many people will recognise as woo woo but wants to give herself every chance) – it’s something I wish there was more research into rather than oncologists saying ‘oh well, it won’t do any harm’ (but it does cost (time/£) and plays upon the fears of those who have been made vulnerable by incurable Illness).
I was given this book when I was first diagnosed with cancer, but my brain didn’t seem to be able to cope with much more than fluffy fiction. This book, however, I think would have been very readable then and I’ve really enjoyed working my way through it (so much that I’ve forgotten much of the start) – thinking through metaphors and the ordinary items of everyday as ways of encountering God – from clothing, to food, to God as a ‘woman in labour’ – a deeply uncomfortable and unexpected images but then so is they crucifixion’ where God connected with me. Also liked the style of the author that we are journeying along with them in their reflections rather than them being the all-knowing – including at the end when she reflects upon the work she does in women’s prisons, mostly with those who have found ‘ways’ to survive abuse. Lots of chew over …
A meaty novel dealing with the life and loves of a family struggling to come to terms with difficult issue. Felt myself swept along in the storyline and found some unusual twists along the way.
I’ve endorsed two of Chick’s previous books – I truly do think he’s found a strong readable style in which you want to find out the motivations for what drives the characters lives, lives that are in many ways very ordinary – so very relatable. As expected a bit about Scotland, football and faith!
I really got drawn into this book, with its jumps between 1942 and 1963 – having spent so much time studying the Second World War/ordinary people that seemed to ring true – the emotions of everyday – and essentially the PTSD. There were a few things at the end of the book I would liked to have known more about but maybe then I would have complained that it was all too neat and tidy. Leaves questions about whether we need to stick to the life plans we think we should …
I picked this up for about 25p in the charity shop, and really enjoyed it – well written saga with well rounded characters. Got to the end, and Kindle downloaded all the others… perfect tired-brain reading.
I had seen some of these cartoons on social media, but not come across the book. So a lovely surprise gift. Very quick to read, but a joyful book to return to and get the deeper meanings, and focus more on the beautiful drawings.
30 Years On – An interesting case.
One of my 99p buys, I found this book an interesting insight to a controversial area of government/professional policy regarding drugs. I had not heard of this specific case, but having studied government policy seeking to deal with e.g. VD cases, and now being involved in ‘the cancer world’ (as a patient), this gives insight into the power struggles and who has the right to determine what is appropriate practice. The author is clearly angry and pushing her perspective – why wouldn’t you – but seriously supported by evidence and public opinion. I do wonder what the situation is now – in this, and similar fields (eg prostitution, abortion … and even screen time) where banning seems to be the go to practice without thought for impact on individuals.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.