WWW Wednesdays (18 Dec 2019)! What are you reading at the moment?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

The Fallout by Rebecca Thornton

I just started reading this late last night so have only read a couple of chapters but I’m gripped already and am looking forward to reading more soon.

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch by Tom Fletcher

This book is gorgeous! I’m really enjoying it and whilst I wanted to read it all in one sitting yesterday afternoon I’m determined to make it last a little bit longer. It really is such a lovely read though, I recommend it!

The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown

I love this book so really wanted to re-read it this Christmas and I’m so glad I made time for it. This book gives me all the feels and I always enjoy it so much.

The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater

This is another re-read! I bought it a couple of years ago and it’s become a must re-read every festive season. It’s such a beautiful book, it feels like such a treat to read.

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This obviously isn’t a book but it is the one time of year when I absolutely have to get a copy of the Christmas Radio Times. It was a tradition in my house as I was growing up and it’s a tradition in my own house now. It always makes me happy to read through this magazine in the week before Christmas and to mark the things that I’d like to watch over the festive season. 🙂

 

What I recently finished reading:

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

I finally picked this back up this week and got completely engrossed in it. I found this gripping and impossible to look away from even when it was incredibly nerve-racking!

Last Christmas by Emma Thompson & Greg Wise

I very much enjoyed dipping in and out of this book over a few days, it’s covers such a wide range of experiences of Christmas and I’d recommend it to everyone. I reviewed this one yesterday so you can find that here if you’d like to know more.

Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle & Maureen Johnson

This is a collection of three interlinked short stories and it’s been on my TBR for years! I finally picked it up as it’s now a film on Netflix but I’m sad to say the book was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed the first story but the following two weren’t quite as good.

Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler

This book is Christmas personified and I very much enjoyed it. If you want a Christmas book that is full of festive spirit then this is the book for you! I reviewed this on Monday so you can find that here if you’d like to know more.

Poetry for Christmas by Orna Ross

This is a gorgeous poetry collection that really reflects on this time of year. I really did enjoyed this one. My review is here if you want to know more.

Christmas at the Little Knitting Box by Helen J. Rolfe

This is another really lovely Christmas novel, and I really enjoyed it. It felt so romantic and Christmassy! I’m delighted to find that this is the first in a series and there are already quite a few books out so I’m going to enjoy catching up on those.

An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe

I got the audio book of this from my library and it was a really good listen. The author narrates her stories herself, which really added to the book. I always enjoy hearing about other people’s Christmases so this was a fun book.

Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl

I bought the ebook of this and then the audio as well and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately the title feels very misleading to me as this isn’t really a book about Christmas. It’s set near Christmas but that’s the only link and it was barely mentioned so that left me a little disappointed.

 

What I plan on reading next:

The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey

I read this book when it first came out a few years ago and whenever I think of it I feel Christmassy so have wanted to re-read it. I’m so looking forward to it.

Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

This is another favourite! I’ve re-read this one a few times in recent years as I just love it so much. It always feels like a real treat!

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements

This is another festive book that I read and loved when it was first published and I remember it so fondly that I’d really like to re-read it if I get time this week.

Christmas With Dull People by Saki

I treated myself to this book a few weeks ago and have been saving it until nearer Christmas so it’s finally time that I can read it! I can’t wait!

 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

My Favourite Non-Fiction Books! #NonFictionNovember

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This week as part of Non-Fiction November Shelf Aware has set the prompt for us to talk about what makes a book a favourite. What qualities do you look for in non-fiction?

 

I love reading non-fiction and definitely read more of it in recent years than I ever used to before. I’m one of those readers that always has multiple books on the go at once and at least one of my books is always non-fiction.

When I first starting getting into non-fiction it was mainly through reading memoirs and biographies of people that I was interested in and I’m still drawn to them. They’re generally quite easy reads and the focus is on one person so they’re easy to follow. I find them good when my pain levels are high and I need a book that doesn’t require huge amounts of concentration. Alongside my love of memoirs are the easier non-fiction books that read almost like fiction because they’re so unputdownable!

The first grown-up non-fiction book I remember reading is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I read it the summer I was 8 and I can still remember the devastating, eye-opening impact that it had on me. The next biography that made an impact was Still Me by Christopher Reeve. I bought this in hardback the day it was released and I read it in one sitting. I was so moved by his struggle and his openness in the book. I didn’t know when I read it that one day I would be partially paralysed, it doesn’t compare to what happened to him but it does give me even more insight. I’m also recommending The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. This is a memoir of a woman who whilst ill and confined to bed takes to watching nature, this is such a beautiful book and is one I stumbled across and am so glad it found me. On a lighter note I also included Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm, which is a must-read if you were a child and teenage reader (particularly if you’re in your 40s now). I adore this book! A fun read, also for 40+ year olds is Now We Are 40 which is all about Generation X and I loved it. Finally I recommend The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater – it’s part Christmas memoir and part cookbook and it’s such a gorgeous book to read as the festive season comes around.

 

I also enjoy reading non-fiction to learn and often find myself drawn to factual books when I’ve been reading a novel or watching something on TV and want to know more. I’m more likely to fall down a rabbit-hole of one book leading to another these days and I love it when that happens. It so often ends with a book that is quite a distance subject-wise from where I started which then sends me off on another track.

In this section I’ve included Pain-Free Life by Andrea Hayes and Mindfulness for Health by Vidyamala Burch as both have massively helped me find a way to live with the chronic pain I’m permanently. I recommend them if you’re a pain sufferer. In Plain Sight is about Jimmy Savile and is such a well-written book about how his crimes were discovered. The Emperor of all Maladies and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are both about cancer. The first is a history of cancer told in such a fascinating way, it’s a brilliant book. The second is about the cells doctors took from Henrietta that are still used today but her family weren’t informed about what was done. It’s such a moving and interesting book. Death at Seaworld is a brilliant book that really opens your eyes to what is happening at Seaworld. This book made me so angry but that’s a good thing and it’s a book more people should read. Hillsborough: The Truth is the full story of what happened and is a must-read. I’ve read it twice and it’s still so shocking for so many reasons. The Looming Tower is an excellent read about the factors that led up to 9/11 and has since been adapted for TV. The Red Parts is a memoir about Nelson’s Aunt’s murder, which happened before she was born and I’ve found this has really stayed with me. Last but not least is Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, which was such an interesting read. It’s incredible to read her story and find out how she came to be an astronaut but also the extra struggles she had being the first woman, and how things had to be considered that never had before.

 

My concentration for more academic non-fiction isn’t great these days but when I want to read something to learn or to gain much more depth on a subject I will still pick these books up. I loved all the academic books that I read when I was doing my degree many years ago but I struggle now I’m out of the habit and do find these books more daunting.

Here I’m recommending just four books. The first is A Literature of their Own, which I bought in my first week at Uni when I heard Elaine Showalter was going to be giving a guest lecture. I’m such a fan of her writing now and want to re-read this one soon. I’ve also included Aspects of the Novel, which I devoured immediately after buying it and really enjoyed it. The Case of Peter Pan came in really useful for an essay I was writing but I’ve since re-read the book and find it such an interesting read. I want to read more by the author. I’m also including James Baldwin and the 1980s, which I’ve only recently finished but it’s sparked me into wanting to read so many other books so it feels right to include it.

Ultimately, I think my favourite kind of non-fiction is books that are the ones where I’m learning more about something but without the book being too academic. It means I can learn whilst enjoying my reading and it feels less pressured for me when my health isn’t so good.

 

Also, I have to squeeze in a mention that I do have something of an addiction to books about de-cluttering. I love Marie Kondo’s books (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy as it’s her method that finally clicked with me to sort my whole house out (and it’s stayed tidy ever since! Here is a post about my clutter journey.)  but if I see a book about hoarding or de-cluttering I still have to read them! I also found Banish Clutter Forever, which helped me with re-organising my house after I’d decluttered. It’s based on the idea that we always know where our toothbrush is because we keep it right where we use it so if we apply that principle to everything else we own our homes should be easier to tidy and it should be easier to find things. I’ve reviewed Un*fuck Your Habitat here if you’d like to know more about this one.

 

What are some of your favourite types of non-fiction? What are your favourite non-fiction books? If you have any recommendations for me based on any of the books in this post please let me know, I’m always looking for more books to read! 🙂