Last Read, Current Read, Next Read #2

I love reading. My ideal Saturday afternoon activity would be to sit curled up in a comfy chair with an oat milk caramel coffee, silence and a good book. I am honestly laughing as I wrote that because that is the most unlikely thing I will do for the foreseeable future! Even if the kids were taken out somewhere without me there is so much to do round the house sitting and reading would be the last thing I would get to do. Actually I would get all the bits done around the house, I would make my coffee, grab my book, sit my bum on the chair and at that precise moment they would probably come racing in to tell me what they had been up to. Of course I would love hearing every bit of it while staring at my book on the side….

Anyway, as I don’t get to curl up and read a physical copy of a book during the day I thank the Lord for audiobooks. I get to listen to books while I work, I can lose myself in a good story while I hang out the washing. Sometimes if I am really enjoying a book I actually try to find chores that need doing like ironing so I have a good excuse to stand still and concentrate on what i’m listening to and feel productive all at the same time.

Last Read

Because I read my Kindle at night before I sleep and listen to books on Audible during the day I usually have two books on the go at once. So lets talk about my last read. I f you have kindly taken the time to read any of my previous posts you will know by now I am still slowly working my way through the Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Its hard to believe I started these books in July 2020 I think, but I am very nearly finished reading them all. There are 35 in the series and the last one I read was called The Dancing Years . I enjoyed this one just as much as all the others. I doubt I will ever dislike one, they all just flow one after the other and I am so invested in all the characters that I just couldn’t not enjoy these books.

Good Reads Synopsis of The Dancing Years

1920 – Irish war of independence

As the euphoria of the Armistice fades, the nation counts the cost of war in bankruptcies, unemployment, strikes, shortages, and tax and price rises. Jessie longs for a home of her own, but Bertie cannot get free of the army; Jack is part of the shaky beginnings of civil aviation; Polly persuades her father to send her to New York.; Emma dreads the return to civilian life and becomes one of the Bright Young Things, a generation of unsettled young people who dance to obliterate memory.

The last book I read/listened to on Audible was The Twyford Code. I did post a review on this one and you can read it here I listened to it in a few days around the house and in the car. I didn’t love it as much as The Appeal by the same author but I have read other reviews and think I might be the exception to the rule.

Current Read

I am currently reading on my Kindle book number 34 in The Morland Dynasty. I can’t quite believe I have nearly finished the entire series and will be leaving this family behind me soon. I will have some big decisions ahead of me as to what I read in the evenings!

Good Reads Synopisis of The Winding Road

1925: the Jazz Age; Wall Street Crash

England is prosperous, enjoying an upsurge in trade, scientific discovery and new technology. In NewYork the Jazz Age defies Prohibition. Polly is a feted belle, and Lennie expands his interests from radio to television and talkies. In England, the General Strike sees the nation pulling together again. Emma drives an ambulance, Molly runs a canteen, and both find a new direction in life. Jack is part of the R101 team; Oliver becomes plastic surgeon to the stars. But the Wall Street Crash brings the fabulous decade to an end, and Morland Place faces the worst threat of its history.

At the moment I am listening to a self help book recommended by Shelf Help Book Club. It is called Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself. I must admit as does happen sometimes with Audiobooks that I wasn’t absolutely thrilled with the narration at first listen, it sounded a bit robotic to me and took a short time for me to get used to her voice. Now I am almost finished and I can’t hear anything wrong with the voice at all… weird how you get used to things. I would usually listen to a book much quicker than this but because this is the book club choice for March and April and I am planning to join the next Zoom meeting to chat about it I wanted it to still be fresh in my mind rather than have finished on March 2nd and it be a distant memory!

Good Reads Synopsis of Self Compassion

From leading psychologist Dr. Kristin Neff comes a step-by-step guide explaining how to be more self-compassionate and achieve your dreams in life

The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion—and a tyrannical one at that. Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there is always someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. And even when we do manage to grab hold of high self-esteem for a brief moment, we can’t seem to keep it. Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lockstep with our latest success or failure.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to self-esteem that many experts believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion. The research of Dr. Kristin Neff and other leading psychologists indicates that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. The feelings of security and self-worth provided by self-compassion are also highly stable, kicking in precisely when self-esteem falls down. This book powerfully demonstrates why it’s so important to be self-compassionate and give yourself the same caring support you’d give to a good friend.

This groundbreaking work will show you how to let go of debilitating self-criticism and finally learn to be kind to yourself. Using solid empirical research, personal stories, practical exercises, and humor, Dr. Neff—the world’s foremost expert on self-compassion—explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective. Engaging, highly readable, and eminently accessible, this book has the power to change your life.

Next Read

It goes without saying that the next book I download on my kindle will certainly be The Phoenix by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, it is the 35th and final book in The Morland Saga. The books started in around 1400 and have followed this rich Yorkshire family through the years right up until the 1930s. I have learn’t so much about history through these books, lots of stuff I had no idea about or thought I knew about but was vastly different to what I imagined. But I have just enjoyed this family so much, all those children that were born and grew up and lived their full, exciting or sometimes sad lives and then died to make way for the next generation is humbling and fascinating. I am excited to finish them to see where we end up and I am looking forward to having lots of choices when deciding on my next books but I know I am going to miss them terribly. Maybe I should start them again…. !

The next book I download on Audible will be Confessions Of A 40-Something F**K Up by Alexandra Potter. I first saw this book in Sainsbury’s and thought ‘this could be about me’… Not quite! But it does sound really good, I am hoping for an interesting amusing, light hearted story whilst being deep and meaningful, I don’t ask for much. I am about 90% into Self Compassion so will not be long until I start this next one and then I will defo be back with a review on it. Lets hope its a good one!

Good Reads Synopsis of Confessions Of A 40-Something F**k Up

Nell Stevens’ life is a mess.

When her business goes bust and her fiancé with it, Nell’s happy ever after in California falls apart and she moves back to London to start over. But a lot has changed since she’s been gone. All her single friends are now married with children, sky-high rents force her to rent a room in a stranger’s house and in a world of perfect instagram lives, she feels like a f*ck up. Even worse, a forty-something f*ck-up.

But when she lands a job writing obituaries, Nell meets the fabulous Cricket, an eighty-something widow with challenges of her own, and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Together they begin to help each other heal their aching hearts, cope with the loss of the lives they had planned, and push each other into new adventures and unexpected joys.

Because Nell is determined. Next year things are going to be very different. It’s time to turn her life around.

What are you looking forward to reading next? Are you more self help or fiction? Do you love audiobooks or do you think it’s not really reading? Let me know.

NJ x

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