April Books

Turns out I read quite a lot this month. 6 books to be exact, bringing my yearly total to 20 books. I need to get out more!

April Books

 

The Woman in Cabin 10

This is a page turner, a proper want to read it all in one night thriller. Was there a woman in Cabin 10?  Is Lo just seeing things, or is something more sinister happening? Lo, a journalist is off on the press trip for a brand new cruise ship. off to the North Sea. I enjoyed the differences between the customers quarters and the crews quarters, as well as the smoke and mirrors that occur as a result. Hidden passageways and doors and the like.

Lo is very open about her struggles with depression throughout the book. Something that rally hits home. The below excerpt, could easily have been something I had written. When I posted the words on Instagram, I was surprised by the number of people asking for the books name!

But I don’t think it’s as simple as that. The depression I fell into after university wasn’t about exams and self-worth, it was something stranger, more chemical, something that no talking cure was going to fix. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, counselling, psychotherapy – none of it really worked in the way that the pills did. Lissie says she finds the notion of chemically rebalancing your mood scary, she says it’s the idea of taking something that could alter how she really is. But I don’t see it that way; for me it’s like wearing make-up – not a disguise, but a way of making myself more how I really am, less raw. The best me I can be. Ben has seen me without ‘make-up’. And he walked away. I was angry for a long time, but in the end I realised I don’t blame him. The year I turned twenty-five was pretty bloody awful. If I could have walked away from myself, I would.

Rating – 5*

Take Me In

Take Me In

I loved this book up until the last few chapters, as they just left me confused. However, I loved the undercurrent of the whole story. We have all heard of the horror stories of children drowning in water, as a parent takes their eyes of their child. So what happens when someone saves the day? Spots danger as it’s happening and saves your child. Are you endowed to them forever? Is it normal for someone to continue to bump into you whilst on said holiday and after. Is it stranger danger?

Definitely a beach read!

Rating – 5*

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

If you read one book this year, make sure it’s Elizabeth Day’s incredible book, How to Fail. Interestingly, I first read a book by Day when I subscribed to Reading in Heels. So it was funny to see the parallels between her career as an author, knowing that one of her books had already been successful.

The book starts with a quote form Truman Capote

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour

To say the book hit home would be an understatement. Every page I was nodding along in agreement. Failure is not something we are told to celebrate, instead it is deemed as something to be discouraged and shamed upon. But why? This entire book aims to question that. Failing is something we all have to embrace.

Being a fairly academic child, who loved getting grades and feedback, the lack of marks in adult life can be confusing and isolating. There was a whole chapter dedicated to just this!

The book is broken down into childhood, friendship, work, relationships etc. All of which are relatable. I ended up taking 20 plus photos of the book, with various phrases and snip-its that really resonated to me. I cannot recommend this book enough. I will definitely be listening to her podcasts going forward.

Rating –  5*

The Other Americans

The Other Americans

Wow, this book really makes you think. From a British perspective, we are currently in the midst of Brexit and all the immigration policies associated with it. This book definitely hits home talking openly about the struggle of immigrants to the USA, as well as Americans having to compete with those they view as foreign. The book deals with racism in a sobering manner, referencing 9/11 and other terrorist attacks and the outcomes they have on the community. I love character switching and The Other Americans does that seamlessly, from Driss, the Morrocan immigrant who owns a successful diner, to his wife who hides behind her Muslim values, to both daughters who are living their own American dreams. The twists of character talking about affairs and substance abuse is thought provoking. As we only see so much of our neighbours at face value, not what goes on behind closed doors.

If I ever had to do an essay on a book again, this would definitely be my first choice.

Rating – 5*

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

If you are jetting off on a holiday and need a beach read, this is quite literally it. All about what happens behind the curtain in a galley. Whilst a lot of it left little to the imagine and Mandy tells about all her conquests, it does have a slightly more serious side. Yes, trolly dollies, are all dolled up makeup, heels, skirt and all but at the end of the day they do have a lot to deal with. If anything was to happen in the air, the stewards on board are in charge of you and your livelihood. From illnesses, to births, drunken passengers, they have it all. A quick and easy read.

Rating – 3*

Life is Short – Don’t wait to Dance

If you haven’t seen some of those UCLA gymnastics viral videos, then you really need to watch exhibit a and exhibit b. Valorie Field is the gymnastics coach behind the iconic Women’s UCLA Gymnastics squad. Her style and attitude is compelling and inspiring. When so much negativity surrounds the world of gymnastics, she is a breathe of literal fresh air.

In her book she discussed coming from a dance background and how she brought this into the team. Challenging the women to be themselves and independent when they were so used to structured and disciplined gymnastics. I highlighted her words of wisdom throughout the book, as they resonated so much with me.

Running could be compared with dancing in essence. Ok yes I could aim to run and win a race, but I am not at that level. So for me, running is about being successful on the day.

Valorie comes from a background of dance where there’s no such thing as winning, only doing your best to have a successful performance.

The difference between being conscious of our thoughts and being unconscious is the difference between responding and reacting. It’s a pause. It’s a breath. It’s being mindful of our thoughts, which leads to a considered and intentional response.

Rating – 4*