Reading Lately – November 2017

November has been a fab month for me on the reading front, and the combination of darker evenings, horrible weather and my penchant for a 40-minute bath every night have really seen me rattling through my ‘to read’ list. I’ve managed to surpass my three-books-a-month limit for the first time in ages, which makes me so pleased! Life as a book and writing nerd is pretty much my Utopia. Put me in a second hand bookshop or a library and I’m basically living my best life.  🙂

Coincidentally, my first book for November was all about positivity, and Happy, by Fearne Cotton, is a truly smile-inducing read about relinquishing perfect and finding balance in your busy day. In the book, Fearne talks openly about her battles with depression and provides lots of tips and exercises to promote a positive mental attitude. There are interviews with some inspirational friends like Tom Fletcher (who has had his own battle with bi-polar), as well as expert advice from Mind, the mental health charity, too. I particularly liked the book’s guided meditation session – I’ve been reading it aloud to the kids at home and the first time I finished it I looked over to find my 8 year old sleeping soundly! It’s exactly the kind of thing we need in our fast-paced society, and if you’re feeling like you need to slow down a bit, I’d really encourage you to give this book a try.

Happy Book

My second book for November was The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben – when I saw this book on the display shelf at my local library I knew it was exactly up my street. As a big fan of the outdoors and nature I was fascinated by all the science-backed information about how trees might communicate, think and experience ‘memory’. And although a few of the chapters were a bit in-depth for me the overall message that trees fare better in natural forests could not have been more clear. Discovering how trees from the same families communicate with and help each other was truly heart-warming. If you need a reason to go out and hug a tree or two, I guarantee you’ll find it here.

The Hidden Lives of Trees

My third book for November was The Muse by Jessie Burton, a spellbinding story about a love affair, a mysterious artist and a long-lost painting, weaved together in a way that keeps you guessing right until the very end. It’s a beautifully written novel that makes me want to seek out more by the same author. Burton’s previous novel, The Miniaturist, has been added to my to-read list and I can’t wait to see what it has in store.  🙂

The Muse Book

My final read for the month was How to Be Brilliant by Michael Heppell – in all honesty, this was one I’d had lying around for quite a while. I’d read about it in Davina McCall’s book Lessons I’ve Learned and kept meaning to dip into it, but perhaps it had that air of ‘corporate manual’ I associated with my time in a Training department in my pre-kids days at work. Once I actually started reading it, I realised it wasn’t at all like that, and in fact it contains lots of snippets and ideas that people from all walks of life can incorporate into their everyday life. And when an author starts by revealing they wrote their book over Easter weekend after telling a publishing editor they had it ready in order to grab a publishing window, you know it’s going to be funny. This is an engaging, uplifting and inspiring read and for me, it was every bit as brilliant as it’s optimistic title implied.

How to be Brilliant Book

That’s it for this month’s round up, I hope you’ve enjoyed it 🙂 I’ll be back in December with a look back on my favourite reads from the year. Until then, have a lovely month and do keep reading!  🙂 I’m off to add a few more titles to my ever-growing bookish Christmas list 🙂


*This post contains Amazon affiliate links which mean that I will receive commission should you choose to purchase something via them. This enables me to earn a small income from the time I spend on blogging and does not in any way affect the price you pay.

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