I’ve read quite a few books for the challenge already, but haven’t reviewed them, so here they are as mini reviews.😀
Most of these are books I borrowed through Scribd, the online digital library. If you want to give it a try you can use this code for a two month free trial. 😀
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty
From Goodreads: “Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. “In writing this book,” Dara explains, “I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.“
I really loved this book and can understand why it’s won so many awards. Dara McAnulty writes beautifully about nature and is so open about his struggles with bullying at school because of his autism, that I wanted to reach into the book and hug him. He has a real talent for describing the natural world around him how it makes him feel and the benefits he received from being outside. I read most of this book in the garden whilst the weather was good which I think made me appreciate it even more. Highly recommended if you enjoy memories focussing on the natural world.
All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot read by Christopher Timothy
From Goodreads: “In the midst of World War II, James is training for the Royal Air Force, while going home to Yorkshire whenever possible to see his very pregnant wife, Helen. Musing on past adventures through the dales, visiting with old friends, and introducing scores of new and amusing character–animal and human alike–Herriot enthrals with his uncanny ability to spin a most engaging and heartfelt yarn.“
This is the next part of James Herriot’s memoirs, following directly on from All Creatures Great and Small. Once again Christopher Timothy read this audiobook, brilliantly bringing to life all of the different people and animals that James Herriot met and treated during this period in his life. I loved so many of these stories and particularly enjoyed the ones about Judy the nurse collie dog, Oscar the very social cat that James and Helen ‘adopted’, Fergus the Alsatian guide dog and Georgina the cat owned by Mrs Beck the ‘poor widow’. I definitely recommend this if you enjoy memoirs with an animal focus.
Quite by Claudia Winkleman
From Goodreads: “Claudia Winkleman’s warmth, humour, no-holds-barred attitude and smoky eye have made her the favourite broadcaster of millions and a much-loved household name. In this, her first ever book, Claudia invites us all into her world. She shares her observations on topics such as the importance of melted cheese, why black coats are vital, how it’s never okay to have sex with someone who has an opinion on your date outfit, how nurses are our most precious national treasure, and why colourful clothing is only for the under 10s (if you’re reading this sporting a bright red jumper and you’re 9, great! If you’re older, sorry). This is a love letter to life – the real, sometimes messy kind. Quite celebrates friendship, the power of art, the highs and lows of parenting, and of course, how a good eyeliner can really save your life. Heartfelt, wry and unmistakably Claudia, this book gets to the heart of what really matters.“
Well this book was a real surprise. It was a very random listen as it was a short one that intrigued me and one I’m very glad that I listened to. I’m not a Strictly fan, so didn’t know anything about Claudia Winkleman before listening to this. I do remember her taking over the Film Show from Jonathan Ross and not really liking her way of presenting, but that’s it. I loved listening to her thoughts on life, particularly her take on art, skiing, the different sort of girl friends you should have in your life, parenting, especially about about her eldest son going off to Uni and shoulders! It’s quite an eclectic mix of thoughts but ever so good and uplifting. Definitely recommended if you’re looking for something a bit different in non fiction.
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
From Goodreads: “n Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. “But it isn’t all sweetness and light sabers.” Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It’s an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.“
I’ve heard and read so many reviews about Carrie Fisher’s books that I had to listen to this one when it came up on Scribd recently. I thoroughly enjoyed her acerbic wit about all things family and Star Wars related. I mean the reason George Lucas gave her for not wearing being able to wear a bra whilst filming Star Wars is just plain ridiculous but her sarcastic acceptance was just priceless! There’s a lot to love about this audiobook especially as she reads it herself. Another recommendation from me!
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung
From Goodreads: “This book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day. In these early years of adulthood, Debbie slowly but finally discovers there is a name for her lifelong need to be alone: she’s an introvert.”
I reviewed Book Love by Debbie Tung years ago and loved it so much that I bought a hardback copy. I enjoyed this book as well but not as much as I’m not a true introvert. I love my own space and solitude but I also love seeing family and friends and even talking to complete strangers! I loved the cartoons, they’re so good, and I definitely want to read her next book Happily Ever After and Everything in Between.