mrschristine.com

2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Published July 23, 2022

Beach Read by Emily Henry

I was expecting your classic rom-com read here but actually it was a lot more nuanced than that. There was the romance (quite detailed in places!) and there was the comedy (I loved some of the back-and-forths between Gus and January), but there were other layers, the troubled history of our pair, the writer battle between them, and more than anything, how to deal with the fact that your parents are human too. A good read and a satisfying ending.

How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis

Published July 8, 2022

How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis

Really good - written with diversity in mind, short chapters, key points, and an overriding message to be kind to yourself. There are tips for dealing with your ‘care tasks’ when struggling with depresion, but even if you’re not, there’s some helpful advice. It made me rethink the way I approach some tasks and definitely to consider the way I talk to myself about what I’m managing to get done each day or not. Very insightful and useful book.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

Published June 5, 2022

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

I so loved Beth’s first book, the Flatshare, it was sweet and completely readable. Thankfully, this second book was exactly the same - I couldn’t stop turning the pages! Not only that, but the premise, which could be really eye-rolling and corny, actually made a lot of sense for the characters and even though they underwent the journeys you were expecting, it didn’t all happen in the way I thought it might, which made it even better. Loved this and can’t wait to read the next one.

The Twins of Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor

Published June 2, 2022

The Twins of Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor

This is the eye-witness account of being inside Auschwitz from Eva Mozes Kor, one of the many sets of twins that were allowed to live in the camp so that medical experiments aka human atrocities could be undertaken on them without concent. The story is enlightening, another horror story of how awful human beings can be to each other, but it also has that generosity of spirit that many survivors seem to share. The afterwords were interesting, adding context to some of the controversies Kor has been the centre of, but ultimately, it’s her story and it’s an important one.

Summerwater by Sarah Moss

Published May 24, 2022

Summerwater by Sarah Moss

This is a relatively short novel that dips into the lives of several characters in a rainy Scottish holiday park, highlighting the boredom and thought processes of everyone from a young engaged couple, several kids tormenting each other, angst-ridden teenagers, bored housewives, and older couples just getting by. It is so well-written and completely engrossing, but I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by the narrative, and the ending. I thought there would have been more of a connection between the disparate stories, something to weave them all together. But I enjoyed the process of reading and will look for more from this author.

Women Don't Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Published May 15, 2022

Women Don't Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

This is a good book of advice and insights for women to take on board about how they should see themselves in the world and how the world should start behaving just a little bit better. There’s no real new news in this, but it’s always good to have a reminder and the affirmations contained within. The book covers a lot of topics in a short amount of time, so there’s not huge amounts of detail but it’s another one that will just make you that much more confident about the space you take up, and that can only be a good thing.

Down Among the Dead by Damien Boyd

Published February 19, 2022

Down Among the Dead by Damien Boyd

I’m almost up to date with this great series, following the adventures of Nick Dixon and his fellow gang of police, doctors, friends and more. This time we’re diving into history, with an archaeological dig bringing up more than just old mosaic pieces. I like how this was part cold-case and part serial-killer and there was a family element as well. And of course, the big moment at the end of the book that is going to change the future course of the series… Can’t wait to get on to the next one.

Six Weeks to Zero Waste by Kate Arnell

Published February 12, 2022

Six Weeks to Zero Waste by Kate Arnell

This book has really fired my brain up in terms of reducing waste. It’s a great guide to the concept of zero waste, with hundreds of good tips and a journey to follow if you want to do it that way. It’s got no judgement and lots of encouragement - every little change you make can make a difference so you don’t have to suddenly be zero waste and living a poorer life for it. I was surprised how much of this I already do but there’s still plenty I can look at it in my own life to improve upon. Really recommend giving this a read.

Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan

Published February 9, 2022

Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan

This has rave reviews but ultimately I just don’t think it was for me. It was beautifully written but I just ofund it meandering and odd and I didn’t feel like the various diversions added anything to the story. There was a really interesting concept underlying the prose but it took such a long time to get there, I don’t think we could really enjoy it. Then a sudden twist at the end that just felt out of pace with the rest. A great job but not for me.

Quite by Claudia Winkleman

Published January 18, 2022

Quite by Claudia Winkleman

I love Claudia Winkleman and her tone is all over this book, you can almost hear her reading it to you in that scatty, warm way of hers. The book isn’t your usual memoir, and it’s not your normal self-help, it’s somewhere in between - Claudia is sharing her wisdom learned through living, and although it sometimes comes across as a little bit bossy, overall, it’s great.