March Wrap Up!

March Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-04-21T154504.048.png
Continuing the tradition of waiting till the very last minute to post my monthly wrap ups, lets dive into what I read in March!

1. One Word Kill – Mark Lawrencebook cover - 2019-03-01T143051.847
This is the first in an all new science fiction series from Mark Lawrence – one of my all time favourite authors. It was such a fun and exciting read, full of time travel, crazy plot twists and brilliant characters. It gave me serious Stranger Things vibes and I’m honestly so excited to read the next book in the series. You can read my full review of this one here! (5/5 stars)

2. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartleyhj
Monsters in the Mirror was such an exciting middle grade story. It was full to the brim with adventure and magic and I raced through it. I really loved the plot and I’m so looking forward to reading more from this author. I participated in the blog tour for this one so if you fancy reading my full thoughts you can take a look here. (4/5 stars)

3. Changeling – Cate Tiernanbook cover - 2019-04-21T154220.186
Continuing my reread of one of my all time favourite series, I hit book number eight in the Sweep/Wicca series. This series is like my go to easy read, I completely adore the characters I definitely think it’s an underrated YA series. I’ve basically been reading one of these a month and I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I get to book fifteen – start all over again? (4.5/5 stars)

4. The Near Witch – V. E. Schwabbook cover - 2019-03-24T180513.572
This is the recently republished debut by V. E. Schwab and I was really interested in reading it. I went to an event where she explained that she hadn’t edited it since it’s original publication, it was published exactly as it was back then. I really enjoyed the atmospheric setting and the witchy plot. It’s not my favourite Victoria Schwab book but I had a fun time reading it. Full review for this one is here! (3.75/5 stars)

5. Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haigbook cover - 2019-04-21T154302.492
Non-Fiction is something I would really like to get into more so I thought I would give Notes on a Nervous Planet a go. I really like Matt Haig’s fiction books so I figured this was a perfect opportunity. I opted for the audiobook which is read by the author so it was a really interesting listen. It was a fascinating read and I’m probably going to pick up a physical copy of this and Reasons To Stay Alive. (3/5 stars)

6. Other Words For Smoke – Sarah Maria Griffinbook cover - 2019-03-21T124644.698
This was such a strange and unusual read. It’s a witchy story about a family living in a very odd house with things in the walls, dark powers and all sorts of mysterious goings on. It gave me Shirley Jackson vibes and I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about it once I’d finished reading. If you’re looking for something a bit different – I definitely recommend this one. (5/5 stars)

7. Burn For Burn – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivanbook cover (76)
I started to feel a bit slumpy after reading Other Words For Smoke so I opted for this fast paced and fun contemporary story about three girls getting revenge on the people that have made their lives hell. It was dramatic and a bit unrealistic but I got swept up in the plot and I’m eager to continue into book two. (3.5/5 stars)

So those are the seven books I read in March! It was a bit less than I would normally read in a month due to the reading slump hit but I’m hoping it will pick up a bit more towards the end of April! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know what you thought, as well as the books you’ve been reading recently!

Book Review: How To Be Human – Ruby Wax

Book Review: How To Be Human – Ruby Wax

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Release Date:
January 25th 2018
Publisher: Penguin Life
Pages: 272
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now. No question, anyone reading this has won the evolutionary Hunger Games by the fact you’re on all twos and not some fossil. This should make us all the happiest species alive – most of us aren’t, what’s gone wrong? We’ve started treating ourselves more like machines and less like humans. We’re so used to upgrading things like our iPhones: as soon as the new one comes out, we don’t think twice, we dump it. (Many people I know are now on iWife4 or iHusband8, the motto being, if it’s new, it’s better.)

We can’t stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we’re on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, we’ll still, fingers crossed, have our minds, which, hopefully, we’ll be able use for things like compassion, rather than chasing what’s ‘better’, and if we can do that we’re on the yellow brick road to happiness.

I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us ‘us’ in the brain. We answer every question you’ve ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you’ll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you’ve upgraded your iPhone.

Review

One of my aims for 2018 is to attempt to read more non-fiction books, when this surprise came through my letterbox I was really excited to read it thinking it would be a fun and interesting look at mindfulness as well as being full of funny anecdotes from Ruby Wax. I’m sure this book will work for plenty of people and fans of Ruby Wax will no doubt adore it, but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me.

book cover (58)There are some really interesting parts of the book, the last chapter which discuses her search for her family history is fascinating, as well as her personal stories about dealing with mental health however I had hoped that it would be an examination of mental health and a look at the science behind it, but it felt much more like a self help book for me. I also didn’t find many of the stories funny and this lessened my enjoyment of the book.

The idea of having different perspectives for the book – Ruby Wax, a neuroscientist and a monk was a really great idea and I liked seeing how those different people understood mental health and daily stresses. The sections which read like a conversation between the three felt a little stilted for me and I found it a bit dry. I do wonder if perhaps this book would work much better as a audio book, almost like a podcast discusses the different topics.

If you’re looking for an introduction to mindfulness this book does have a lot of exercises and information for beginners which might be really helpful and if you’re interested in understanding the differing perspectives towards mental health this might be just the book you’re looking for.
2 stars