Friday 6 April 2018

Inspiring Inscriptions // Quarterly Book Review


This passing season has seen me make my way through a humble pile of books, yet do not let the volume of paperbacks cast judgement upon their content. This small offering of Winter reads holds power and motivation beyond any lengthy tome glanced at with gleeful abandon.

During this last quarter I have read a memoir of a modern woman, a biography of a controversial, historical figure, a heart felt yet pissed off blog post that went viral in the blink of an eye and a collection of wise words that have seen me through times of struggle and that I continue to pass on and recommend to as many people as possible. Stay a while and enjoy my book recommendations and be sure to follow the links for synopsis and further information regarding the author's other works, etc.

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed        5* {160 pages}

This little beauty was a re read for me and one that I intend to devour every new year. This tiny collection of ginormous heart gives me the motivation and boost to kick life right in the butt, to fail as many times as I need to in order to pick my darn self up and keep going and is the perfect antidote to the pressures and heavy complications of modern day life. Pick this book up and read it, either a page a day or consume the entire experience in one sitting. And please, please pass it on to others. This is a book to be shared, recommended and gifted to the people around you.

Victoria The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird        4* {752 pages}

Sometimes you just need a little historical royalty to float your boat and this detailed insight into England's Queen Victoria and her reign from beginning to end, did just that!

"When Alexandrina Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 20 June 1837, she was 18 years old and barely five feet tall... " "She was a tiny, powerful woman who reigned for an astonishing 64 years. By the time of her Diamond Jubilee Procession in 1897, she reigned over a fourth of the inhabitable part of the world, had 400 million subjects, and had given birth to nine children."

A surprisingly bold portrait of this regal figure, told with such depth that allows a fascinating glance at her life both before and during her reign. Destined to face controversy and prejudice right from the day of her birth, this biography shines an honest light on how Queen Victoria fought her way through the many layers of imprisonment of her own gender and how she shocked and awed not only a nation but the world and continues to do so today.

I highly recommend this read for any fans of history or the royals or even someone seeking a little motivation for never taking the easy road and fighting for what you believe in.

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy        4* {207 pages}

Yikes. I picked up this book without prior knowledge of its contents and opened its pages one day only to be knocked off my feet by its power and pale, twisting grief. This memoir invites you into the private life of Ariel Levy, a writer and journalist. Levy bares all, standing empty in the middle of vulnerability and yet carefully carries the reader through her often harrowing 40 something years, and out the other end, gasping for breath.

This is an extremely emotional read and one I would take time for yourself to truly get into (side note, consider this if reading in public). You will not want to be interrupted during this one. Read it, feel it.

Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge        4* {249 pages}

Ok, I will be honest with you. The title of this book both scared and intrigued me, being a white person with a considerably privileged existence. But then again, after reading it, it seems that that was very possibly the point.

A profound and beautifully informed and written piece that clears the bullshit, educates exquisitely and takes a no nonsense approach to racism that yes, even in 2018 is still a very big issue within our society. I loved this book and read it in one sitting for fear of losing the spell under which I had fallen as soon as I opened its pages. This book is not an angry rant or a long lesson in right and wrong or a discussion about slavery but all of those things and much more.

This book should be taught in schools. It is a bite sized look at black history in Britain and shares the importance of this knowledge in informing our communities. A shared personal experience with living in an incredibly rigged system and a caring account of where we are going wrong, as we encounter this mammoth task of setting new standards of equality and inclusion, in the modern world.

Highly recommend for everyone but even more so for young people of every race and gender.

Quite the array of non fiction to kick off my year so far, naturally one needs some swashbuckling escapism from time to time, hence my current devotion, Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. What have you been up to the last while? Read any good books or heard of any hot tips for new releases? Be sure to let me know and feel free to add any suggestions for my next pick!

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