Staff Picks - Lockdown Edition
We thought we would share what we have been reading during lockdown!
The Invisible Load: a Guide to Overcoming Stress & Overwhelm (2019) by Dr Libby Weaver
Dr Libby’s latest book helps us to identify where our stress is coming from and what practical steps we can take or changes we can make to help eliminate the load it takes on our well-being. Another great informative book from Dr Libby Weaver.
The Bridge at Belle Island (2019) by Julie Klasse
An historical novel set on an Island on the river Thames. The book is both a mystery and a romance with a suspicious death in the first chapter. I enjoyed the characters. Benjamin Brooker a young attorney, had to work through suspects in order to prove the innocence of Isabelle Wilder who lives on Belle Island. She has not set foot off the Island since her parents had died. It has many twists and turns and intriguing layers to finally reveal who was behind the crime. I enjoyed!
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
An autobiographical book written by Sth African comedian Trevor Noah. An account of growing up in the apartheid era. Unnerving, hilarious stories that characterise his comedy, intellect and illuminates a dark and brutal period in Sth Africa’s history. Describes how he thrives with the help of his fearless mother.
Grim, smart & exciting stories covering poverty, abuse, religious upbringing and a chaotic childhood. I really enjoyed this book & recommend.
Best in Travel 2020 by Lonely Planet
Summary of top 10 countries, top 10 cities, top 10 regions, top 10 best value and how to travel well for 2020. Beautiful coloured photos, short, easy to read mix of itineraries, facts, information and tips.
Treating Arthritis the Drug Free Way by Margaret Hills and Christine Horner
Straightforward, essential principles to help arthritis by natural means, in simple steps. Have eliminated some foods not good for arthritis so would recommend to someone who would like to improve this condition.
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
It is a fabulous whimsical story about three teenage siblings growing up in New York in the 1960s. They are a typical bohemian family that over time, realise they actually come from a long line of witches and wizards. They also learn they have a curse on them that means if they fall in love, a terrible fate will come to those they love. As they grow up and weave their way through romantic relationships some dreadful things do happen. Not sure how it turns out yet. I am really enjoying it.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
This title has been sitting on my Kindle for a few years and lockdown seemed like a good time to tackle it. There are two more beefy books in this Thomas Cromwell trilogy so plenty to read there! Henry VIII has provided so much material for authors of non-fiction and fiction.
The Dry by Jane Harper
Harper writes a good mystery set in the dry outback of Australia. Characters often have a past in her books and the reader finds out over the course of the book just what that is.
The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves
This is the first in the Vera Stanhope series (a long one) and I downloaded it from Axis 360. Great characters, interesting setting, good mystery – what more could you ask for! Tried to watch the series on TV but the accent threw me!
Diana M’s reads
Fats for Fuel by Dr Joseph Mercola
I picked this book up just before lockdown more as a curiosity thing. But after reading the first two chapters I felt inspired to give it a go and during the lockdown seemed the perfect opportunity away from all the temptations of the outside world. The author of this book really knows his Bio Chemistry and the book is packed with information and detail about how to switch your body from burning carbs and sugar to burning fat. It’s an up and down journey but there is plenty of help in the book about how to get through the difficulties and how to measure the success you have achieved. I feel I have a much greater understanding about how my body uses food as it’s so clearly explained in this book.
The Guardians by John Grisham
I’ve always enjoyed reading John Grisham’s books especially the legal thrillers. This one is a bit different as it is about a lawyer named Cullen Post who becomes disenchanted working for a big law firm defending people that he knows are guilty and decides to join a group called Guardian Ministries who try to reopen old cases where there are innocent people doing life sentences for crimes they did not commit. Of course he stirs up a hornets’ nest and puts his own life in danger. A good read.
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
This is the third and final instalment in her awesome magnum opus about the life and career of Henry vIII’s chief advisor Thomas Cromwell (following on from ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’). Some sublime writing but at nearly 900 pages quite a marathon read. Spoiler alert: no one does a beheading like Ms Mantel!
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
Story of a teenage boy growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne during the 1980s. His family is involved in drug dealing and there are lots of colourful characters ie. his babysitter is a 70 year old reformed criminal. Lots of humour, lots of heart and a sprinkle of magical realism too. Highly recommend.
As a follow up you could listen to Trent Dalton's recent interview with Kim Hill on RNZ.
Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
Follows Jane Austen's sister Cassandra in her 70s; with flashbacks to her time spent with Jane. This novel attempts to answer why Cassandra burnt Jane Austen's personal letters.
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
A life story of Logan Mountstuart told through his journals from his school years right through to his death. His journals span the 1910s through to the 1980s and detail major events of that period and the impact on his life. He also crosses paths with people such as Hemingway and Picasso. An interesting read, if somewhat frustrating towards the end.
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
One of my favourite books this year. The story of Adunni, a 14 year old Nigerian girl, who is sold by her father to be the third wife of a much older man, but Adunni is determined to get an education so she can determine her own future. Adunni is a wonderful protagonist whose voice will stay with me for some time. I give this book all the stars.
Here are a few of our favourites from 2019.