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Book 27 of 2022

‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman

Late to the party with this one.

Absolutely loved it – definitely one of my favourite reads of the year. Great plot and fantastic characters.

If you’ve not read this yet – then read it!

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Book 26 of 2022

‘OneTrackMinds’ by Kristian Brodie and Adam Shakinovsky

What was the song that changed your life?

In this book is a collection of 25 answers to the question.

Songs that have inspired people and saved people.

Read their answer to the question and then pop in your headphones, close your eyes and embrace the possibility of the life-changing power of music.

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Book 25 of 2022

‘Reds & Rams’ by David Marples

Now, this is not a book I would normally read, and to be completely transparent, I know the author. Dave, a lovely fella, despite the fact he supports Nottingham Forest. When I say he supports Forest, he really does support Forest.

So, the book. I liked it. Unexpectedly so. Over the years I’ve had my fill of Brian Clough and the European Cup. This book is different: it’s about the rivalry between two teams. In fact, it could be any two teams.

Of course it’s full of Forest versus Derby stats and facts, but also societal, political and cultural references that have made this rivalry very interesting to read about. I never really realised the amount, of players and managers that went to and fro between the clubs.

Also, when you squeeze 150 years of history into 426 pages it makes you understand what a ridiculous merry-go-around of managers and owners these football clubs experienced.

Having said all that, it is a book about rivalry, every team has their rivals.

Regardless of class, race, gender, sexuality or any other identity marker, willing your team to win and the other to lose transcends everything. If your team can’t win, then the next best thing is for the other lot to lose.

David Marples, ‘Reds & Rams’
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Book 24 of 2022

‘You’d Be Home Now’ by Kathleen Glasgow

I really like this book. A book about addiction, written, not from the perspective of the addict, but his sister, Emory.

She’s watching from the outside as her brother struggles with addiction. Emory’s feeling of invisibility, somewhere between her addict brother and her strong-willed beautiful sister, leads her to make some faulty choices.

But ultimately, it also wakes her up to something bigger: you have to make a choice to fight to help those you love, but you have to let yourself live, too.

You don’t know what is going to happen, or how things are going to end, and we probably get into way too much trouble trying to plan for and predict these things. But in the end, you just don’t know.

I gave it four stars which means I thought it was really good. Well worth a read.

Next up: Reds and Rams

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Book 23 of 2022

‘Heatwave’ by Victor Jestin

Been meaning to read this for a while.

17 year old Leo is on a camping holiday with his family. On the final Friday of the trip, unable to sleep, he sees one of the boys from the campsite hanging from the chain of a playground swing. Leo watches as the chain slowly strangles him. He panics, buries the body in the sand and returns to his tent.

The next 24hrs we follow Leo as he unravels: heat, desire, guilt, friendship, love, it has it all.

Great little read.

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Book 22 of 2022

‘The Rise of the Ultra Runners’ by Adharanand Finn

This was a good book. I really enjoyed it.

Finn, a bit of a runner, attempts to become an ultra runner. Full of great stories as it follows his progress culminating in his at attempt at the UTMB.

Great book that gives an insight into what can be found at the boundaries of human endeavour.

It’s not exactly enjoyable, but in the heart of the crisis, everything is so real, you become so aware of your vulnerability, and of your strength, and ultimately, there on the edge of survival, you become fully aware of your existence. And it is there, deep in the pain cave, as they told me all along, that the fun really begins.

Adharanand Finn

I’m off to sign up to an ultra!!!!

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Book 21 of 2022

‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens

Another book I’m teaching at school that needed a revisit.

I’m not a fan.

Dickens at his excessive, extreme, exaggerated best. Glad it was only 126 pages long!

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Book 20 of 2022

‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

Teaching this at school so thought I’d better have a refresh.

Modern classic. A book that everyone should read.

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Book 19 of 2022 📚

‘The End of the World Survivors Club’ by Adrian J Walker

Earth has been battered by asteroids – leaving the world unrecognisable. This book follows Beth Hill who has been separated from her children – she has to overcome various barriers to get them back.

Not a bad read.