Well, it’s been a hot minute since I last posted on here, let alone with a reading challenge update!? I’ve been so busy lately that it’s been pretty much impossible to find the time to sit and write. I’ve missed it and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things so here I am! So, what’s happening, how have you been holding up?
This year seems to have flown by, can you believe it’s November already? Unfortunately, it would seem that we have lost this year completely due to COVID. Let’s just hope things start to look a little brighter next year! The past few months have been ridiculously crazy for me. If you have read my last few posts, you will know I now work two jobs again. (A financial necessity after being made redundant from my previous job due to COVID)
Juggling two part-time jobs and also starting my own business, has left little time to get life admin completed. This also means barely any time for reading (or blogging, it would seem) That being said, I try to sneak in a few pages when I can and have made progress since my last reading update back in February…
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary.
“Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…”
The Flatshare pulled me out of my reading slump if I’m honest! I originally bought it after seeing recommendations in the online book group I’m in on Facebook. The book is your classic, cosy, chick-lit romance, an easy read with lovable characters and a solid storyline. I love a book that grasps you instantly and it was a real struggle to put this one down!
Hard Pushed – Leah Hazard
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Medical.
“No sleep for twenty hours. No food for ten. And a ward full of soon-to-be mothers… Welcome to the life of a midwife.
Life on the NHS front line, working within a system at breaking point, is more extreme than you could ever imagine. From the bloody to the beautiful, from moments of utter vulnerability to remarkable displays of strength, from heart-wrenching grief to the pure, perfect joy of a new-born baby, midwife Leah Hazard has seen it all.“
You know me, I can’t resist a medical memoir and this one was no exception! Every time I read a medical non-fiction it always makes me consider going to University to finally get my nursing/midwifery degree. I’ve been thinking about this seriously for about 6 years now, the issue is finding the time and working out financially whether it is actually do-able. I’ve no idea how anyone does it as an adult with responsibilities!
Leah Hazard’s account of her time as a midwife really is a call to action for the UK’s healthcare system. Midwives (and pretty much every healthcare worker) are understaffed and overworked. If only the government would listen and introduce higher staffing numbers to each area of care, we. may not have these issues.
Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Race, Feminism, Mental Health.
“Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.“
Queenie was a bit of a slow starter for me personally, however, I was fully invested by the end. It was one of the books I was recommended at the start of the BLM movement and I implore you to give it a read too! Candice Carty-Williams does an impeccable job of opening up a window into what it’s like to be a black woman in today’s society (spoiler alert, it’s not fun!) with funny characters and a twist in the middle, Queenie was such an eye-opening and informative read.
Like every book, it had its flaws, the little self-respect Queenie has for herself gets her into many awkward situations which can be frustrating after a while, there were many times where I thought to myself ‘Nooooo, don’t do that!’ or ‘stop pining over him again, you’re worth so much more!’ but alas, we all have our flaws.
Around halfway through/towards the end of the book, Queenie starts to experience panic attacks and anxiety, something I’ve never come across in any fiction books so far so it was really nice to be able to relate to the main character in that sense, having experienced them myself in the past. ‘Queenie’ touches on many sensitive topics that may just open the eyes of each reader and enlighten them of some of the real-life issues included in the book.
I’m currently reading ‘Scrappy Little Nobody’ by Anna Kendrick which I’m really enjoying so far! Anna Kendrick is one of my favourite actresses, she’s just hilarious and that really shines through in her autobiography. I am a little bit behind in my reading challenge at the moment but hopefully I can catch up within the next month or so, I am hoping to squeeze in at least one more book before the end of the year 😊📚
So, that’s my reading challenge update for the last few months, hopefully, I can now settle back into a routine of regular blogging, I’ve missed it!
Stay tuned for the upcoming festive read(s), November reading update and end of year re-cap! x