mrschristine.com

2022

How to be Perfect by Michael Schur

Published January 15, 2023

How to be Perfect by Michael Schur

I don’t think I can adequately describe how much I loved this. My knowledge of philosophy has only ever been ‘I think therefore I am’ and the trolley problem, and that’s even having watched and adored every series of The Good Place. But I remember listening to the podcast that accompanied the show and whenever creator Mike Shur was on, it was always fascinating. This book is basically an extension of those epiosdes.

Anything is Possible by Gareth Southgate

Published December 26, 2022

Anything is Possible by Gareth Southgate

I listened to the audiobook of this, ready by Gareth Southgate himself. It’s a book aimed at young people to help inspire and guide them, and give them some tips and tools to start goal-setting and really making progress in their lives & careers. But this advice works for anyone, and is dispensed in a really clear and concise way, with solid examples from Gareth’s own life experience to illustrate the points. Very good, I particularly enjoyed the short and long term goal setting section.

Snowed In For Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Published December 23, 2022

Snowed In For Christmas by Sarah Morgan

I’ve been on the Sarah Morgan festive book train for a couple of years, and enjoyed them. This one was another very good Christmas rom-com, with a family coming together with very different viewpoints and learning to forgive and respect each other’s choices. I liked the story, I liked that the big confusion of Lucy’s arrival was actually dealt with quite quickly and just set up everything that happened next rather than being a big plot point. I did think some of the dialogue was a bit clunky and it was a little bit drawn out in places, but these are minor complaints for another entertaining read.

Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

Published November 19, 2022

Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

Obviously I was going to read this as a massive Friends fan, and it was a very interesting memoir. I listened to the audiobook so Matthew Perry was telling his own story and what a difficult time he’s had. It’s unflinchingly honest, this book, so that Perry doesn’t always come across as the hero, sometimes not even a particularly nice person (what is his beef with Keanu, please?) but it’s an important story to share. Addiction is horrible and hard and can affect anyone, no matter how much money or privilege you have. He talks about his early upbringing, with understanding of the events that shaped some of his later problems, but without making excuses. His time on Friends is discussed, particularly the process of getting the role in the first place, how close the group became, and how they supported him through some of the tougher times. And, as the book title suggests, there’s a lot of women coming and going in Perry’s life… including Julia Roberts! Ultimately it’s a difficult read and I maybe wished for more tales from the set, but well-written, well-read and a fresh take on the struggles of addiction.

Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley

Published October 9, 2022

Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley

I love Lucy Worsley’s informative but relaxed style and so was interested to listen to the audiobook of this, her biography of the most infamous of female detective writers. It was great - absolutely fascinating, well researched, a balanced view that was favourable towards the author but with plenty of caveats along the way. It made me want to read Christie’s works, of which I have only enjoyed a few. Really well done and well read.

Who I Am by Melanie C

Published September 25, 2022

Who I Am by Melanie C

I was a Spice Girls fan at the time, and it’s always surprised me that they shone so bright but for such a short time - and their legacy powers on and on despite that. Girl Power! This autobiography from Mel C goes behind the scenes of how she ended up joining group, how they rose to incredible heights, and then how it all unravelled both professionally and personally.

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith

Published September 7, 2022

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith

I was in two minds about even reading this, given the ongoing furore surrounding the author (well the author behind the pseudonym, anyway). But ultimately I wanted to know what happened with Strike and Robin, and I figured it was worth giving it a go. I was really disappointed with this one, if I’m honest. The crime being investigated was based around online trolls and battles between right and left wing politics (can’t imagine where the idea came from!), and there were so many online conversations and Twitter threads, it felt disjointed and hard to follow.

The Red Arrows by David Montenegro

Published June 29, 2022

The Red Arrows by David Montenegro

I pre-ordered this book the moment it was announced at some point last year and was surprised to find it being promoted across the socials with no sign of it appearing in my library. Turns out the pre-order never came to fruition, so I had to cancel and buy the book in the store. Very odd. Anyway, that takes nothing away from the book, which is a great history, balancing facts and personal anecdotes and looking at all aspects of life within the RAF’s premier aerobatics team.

We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu

Published June 3, 2022

We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu

The most important thing to say about this memoir is that it’s so well written, you not only want to hear more about Simu’s early life, you also go with him to dip back into the history of his parents as well. It’s not often that this kind of early autobiography grabs me like this one did, but it’s important and very moving. And then Simu’s story after that is also great - being stuck in a dead-end job, working his way through many, many acting jobs, and then, of course, landing that big gig at Marvel.

Severance: The Lexington Letter by Anonymous

Published April 10, 2022

Severance: The Lexington Letter by Anonymous

Released in line with the well-received TV series, this book doesn’t shed too much light on what we already know, except that one crucial thing - a truck crash that happens to a competitor at the same time as one of the data refinement processes is complete. Is it a coincidence or are Lumon up to no good? I think we know the answer to that, and at this point we also know that there were no answers in the first series of the show… so thank goodness there is a second!