#EmptyShelf19: May

This month I read: Beyond Words: Illness and the Limits of Expression by Kathlyn Conway My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’m looking at interrogating my own writing about my experiences of cancer, and there was a lot of interesting material in this book. I read more deeply the first half, reading somewhat faster the second half. Conway covers a huge number of writers who are writing about various/chronic illnesses (including cancer) and the struggles…

#EmptyShelf19: March

This month I've read that: Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You by Kate Gross My rating: 5 of 5 stars I only meant to start this book, but I finished it in one sitting. A really lively book, with much humour and insight into the life of a woman (younger than me) writing near the end of her time. Following hard on reading Rachael Bland’s book, there’s a challenge to live well, to…

#EmptyShelf19: February

So this month I've been reading: Cancer: A Pilgrim Companion by Gillian Straine My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a powerful book, mixing faith, science and cancer, giving a sense of hope - and definitely a recognition of shared suffering as part of the ‘cancer club’. Cancer is seen as a pilgrimage - part of life’s greater pilgrimage. Lots of helpful extracts from other texts (including the Bible obviously), and insights into Gillian’s…

#EmptyShelf19: January Reads

So this month, I read the following: With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book came recommended by the #YouMeBigC podcast, within their episode on ‘death’ (not passing on, etc), and also in Instagram @thecancerchrons reckoned it was one of the best books she’d ever read, so I downloaded it from the library! I found it powerful, gentle,…

#EmptyShelf18: December Reads

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Mary Rothschild My rating: 3 of 5 stars I found this a pretty enjoyable book - there were bits of it that felt a bit mish-mashy, and there were slightly too many characters to keep track of, and the ending felt a bit abrupt after so many pages. The characters, however, were interesting, and the insights into the world of fine/high art were definitely fascinating (but not too bogged…