I recently finished listening to the audiobook of Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch, an exploration of what it means to be mixed-race in Britain that is both broad and deeply personal. A traditional, analytical review felt as though it would somehow detract from the invaluable messages that are at the core of this book. With that in mind, I am instead going to list the 5 most important lessons that I took away from reading Brit(ish).
Rating: 4 stars Category: Biography Summary: Sarah Krasnostein first meets Sandra Pankhurst at a forensic services conference, where Sandra is promoting her trauma cleaning company. The lives (and deaths) touched by Sandra through her work, from murder victims to obsessive hoarders, immediately make an impression and inspire Krasnostein to learn more. There is one story, however, that will become the greatest fascination - one that holds all of these other disconnected and diverse lives together. It is the story of the trauma cleaner herself.
Rating: 3 stars Category: Classics Synopsis: “I am giving an account of what was, not of what ought or ought not to be.” If she's to get on in the world, Moll Flanders must rely only on her own wit, toughness and experience. And, as one misfortune after another is thrown her way, that's precisely what she intends to do...
I recently finished listening to the audiobook of It's Not About the Burqa, a collection of essays by British Muslim women that is edited by Mariam Khan. A traditional, analytical review felt as though it would somehow detract from the invaluable messages that are at the core of this book. With that in mind, I am instead going to list the 5 most important lessons that I took away from reading It's Not About the Burqa.
I recently finished listening to the audiobook of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. A traditional, analytical review felt as though it would somehow detract from the invaluable messages that are at the core of DiAngelo's work. With that in mind, I am instead going to list the 5 most important lessons that I took away from reading White Fragility.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Synopsis: Most of us have heard of the bystander effect. It can be a major limitation to moral action in a variety of situations, from life-threatening emergencies to sexist comments in the workplace. But what actually is the bystander effect? How does it occur? And why is challenging it so important for communities and social justice?
In her book The Bystander Effect, Catherine Sanderson uses decades of research to answer these questions, outlining the psychological basis of the bystander effect in a way that empowers us to step up, challenge harmful behaviour, and become active 'moral rebels' rather than passive bystanders.
Rating: 3 stars
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: Hester Prynne's husband is missing, presumed dead. Most believe he drowned on the voyage from Amsterdam to join her in New England. Yet getting pregnant out of wedlock is still enough to earn Hester a lifelong punishment - wearing the scarlet letter 'A' embroidered on her clothing so her shame can never be forgotten.
Cast to the margins of her Puritan village community, Hester lives in solitude and tries to raise her daughter Pearl away from prying eyes. When a newcomer to the village brings old secrets, she is forced to choose between a life of piety and redemption, or following her perilously taboo passions.
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis: We're living in a time when it can feel like we're on completely different planets from some of the people we encounter - from bigoted grandparents to politicians on the news. In Talking Across the Divide, Justin Lee provides practical advice on bridging this seemingly uncrossable chasm.
It's time to have some difficult but meaningful conversations, and maybe even make the world a little better in the process.
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Non-fiction, Memoir
Synopsis: After the frustrations and bureaucracy of working as a GP cause Dr Amanda Brown to impulsively walk out of her practice, she is looking for a change. Her compulsion to challenge herself and make a difference lands her where she never thought she'd end up - treating prisoners in some of Britain's toughest criminal institutions.
The Prison Doctor is the story of the incredible people she meets, as well as a compassionate insight into the individual lives that are placed into the hands of the justice system - for better or worse.
Rating: 3 stars
Petra Kolber began her career as a fitness instructor, but she soon began to notice the impact perfectionism was having on the women she coached. Now she runs perfection detox workshops built around her 21-step programme, which aims to support women in the journey towards embracing their flawed, imperfect, yet wonderfully unique selves.
The Perfection Detox is subtitled 'Tame Your Inner Critic, Live Bravely, and Unleash Your Joy' - I think we could all use some of that!