Master List of Books Read in 2023

  1. Fake Law: The Truth About Justice In An Age Of Lies by The Secret Barrister.
  2. Winterland by Alan Glynn.
  3. Speak Out, Leonard! By Jessie James and Tamara Angeón.
  4. Ella And The Waves by Britta Teckentrup.
  5. Be More Harry by Satu Hämeenaho-Fox.
  6. Secrets So Deep by Ginny Myers Sain.

If you fancy buying any of these books based on my reviews, then you can do so through Amazon UK,  Bookshop.org UK or Waterstone’s.  Please note that I earn commission on any purchases made via these links.

Secrets So Deep by Ginny Myers Sain

The Blurb On The Back:

At Whisper Cove,

what the sea wants,

the sea will have.

When Avril was a child, her mother drowned at Whisper Cove.  Local legend claims that the women in the waves called her into the ocean with their whispering.

Now Avril is seventeen and as she investigates what happened all those years ago, Whisper Cove reveals itself to her.  Distances shift in the strange fog.  Echoes of the past rebound from the ocean.  And Avril is sure she’s met Cole – the gorgeous but disturbed boy she can’t seem to keep away from – late at night at the edge of the ocean.

The truth Avril seeks is ready to be discovered.  But will come at a terrible cost.

SECRETS SO DEEP was released in the United Kingdom on 29th September 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order SECRETS SO DEEP by Ginny Myers Sain from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Be More Harry by Satu Hämeenaho-Fox

The Blurb On The Back:

”What would Harry do?”

Songwriter, trendsetter, social activist, mindfulness master – we’d all love to be more like Harry Styles.  This “Golden” guide asked with Styles wisdom, will show you how.

Want to learn how to be your most authentic self, have the confidence to wear what you want, ad find inner peace?  Discover how Harry finds his sparkle, so you can too.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BE MORE HARRY by Satu Hämeenaho-Fox from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Ella And The Waves by Britta Teckentrup

The Blurb On The Back:

Ella sits alone in her little boat, struggling to find the courage to set sail.  But then a white bird breaks through the clouds, bringing with it light and the promise of hope.

A beautiful and timely story about turning fear into courage.

ELLA AND THE WAVES was released in the United Kingdom on 4th August 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order ELLA AND THE WAVES by Britta Teckentrup from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Speak Out, Leonard! By Jessie James and Tamara Angeón

The Blurb On The Back:

Speak out, Leonard!

It’s a normal school day for Leonard and the other Shrew children.  But some days, Leonard can be a bit shy and finds it difficult to speak up.  And today is one of those days.

When little Leonard sees his friend being picked on in the playground, can he find the courage to speak out and save the day?

Come on, you can do it.  Speak out, Leonard!

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order SPEAK OUT, LEONARD! by Jessie James and Tamara Angeón from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Winterland by Alan Glynn

The Blurb On The Back:

The worlds of business, politics and crime collide when two men with the same name, from the same family, die on the same night – one death is a gangland murder, the other, apparently, a road accident.  Was it a coincidence?  That’s the official version of events.  But then a family member, Gina Rafferty, starts asking questions.

You can order WINTERLAND by Alan Glynn from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Fake Law: The Truth About Justice In An Age Of Lies by The Secret Barrister

The Blurb On The Back:

Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby?  Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn’t be deported because he had a pet cat?  Are unelected judges truly enemies of the people?

Most of us think the law is only relevant to criminals, if we even think of it at all.  But the law touches every area of our lives: from intimate family matters to the biggest issues in our society.

Our familiarity is dangerous because it makes us vulnerable to media spin, political lies and the kind of misinformation that frequently comes from loud-mouthed amateurs and those with vested interests.  This Fake Law allows the powerful and the ignorant to corrupt justice without our knowledge – worse, we risk letting them make us complicit.

Thankfully, the Secret Barrister is back to reveal the stupidity, malice and incompetence behind many of the biggest legal stores of recent years.  In Fake Law, the Secret Barrister debunks the lies and builds a defence again the abuse of our law, our rights and our democracy that is as entertaining as it is vital.  

You can order FAKE LAW: THE TRUTH ABOUT JUSTICE IN AN AGE OF LIES by The Secret Barrister from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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2022 In Books And Onwards To 2023

2022 felt like a bit more of a return to normal – or at least, a new normal.  Certainly, I had more time to read this year thanks to a return to commuting but also, I had some health issues this year, which are continuing into 2023 (albeit will hopefully be rectified early in January) which also created more reading time.

I ended up reading 118 books in 2022, which was much more than my target of 90.  In terms of my other reading targets for 2022:

  • I actually managed the 50/50 gender split with 60 of the books I read this year being written by women;
  • I was just short of my target for 25% of the books read to be by or co-written by writers of colour.  I ended up hitting 23%, with 28 of the 118 books being by or co-written by writers of colour so I need to work on this more in 2023 – I have bought a number of books by writers of colour so will look to read them rather than leaving them on my shelves;
  • I exceeded my target of 40% of the books read to be non-fiction with 44% (or 52 of the books read).

My blog’s stats have really taken off this year, for which I have to thank Gary Oldman and the team behind the SLOW HORSES TV adaptation because those reviews are by far the most popular ones on my site.  In fact Slough House by Mick Herron was my most popular review of the year, which was first posted in 2021 and my most popular review from those written in 2022 was Bad Actors by Mick Herron.  I expect both to do good numbers in 2023 when series 3 of SLOW HORSES drops.

I’m going to retain the Affiliate links to Amazon UK, Waterstones and Bookshop.org because they’ve been performing fine but I am reviewing whether to keep the Affiliate link to Amazon USA.  I don’t view this site as a side hustle – it’s very much a hobby – but Amazon USA has strict criteria for sales and if you don’t reach it, then they pull your account and you have to start over and with the number of reviews I’ve done, that takes upwards of 4 hours to do, which is a lot of time to spend on it.  (That is not a whinge, by the way – it’s purely because I have a number of projects I want to tackle in 2023 and that’s going to put other demands on my time).  If I do pull the Amazon USA links then I’ll review how things stand in 2024.

I’m still not going to schedule regular reviews but aim to post about 2 per week, most likely on Wednesdays and Sundays.

As has become my tradition, I’ve set out below my favourite reads of the year in no particular order:

ADULT NON-FICTION:

Buzz! Inside The Minds Of Thrill-Seekers, Daredevils, And Adrenaline Junkies by Kenneth Carter is very easy to read book delves into the psychology of why some people engage in thrill-seeking behaviour (e.g. BASE jumping, eating exotic and potentially deadly foods or sky diving).  I found it fascinating and came away with more of an understanding for what drives people to do these things and what they gain from it.

The Return Of The Russian Leviathan by Sergei Medvedev is a very readable book (translated from Russian by Stephen Dalziel) first published in Russia in 2017 and published in the UK in 2020 that’s scarily relevant and prescient to Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine. Through short essays, Medvedev describes what’s driving Putin’s colonialism and how it’s caused by Russia’s failure to reckon with the traumas of its past.

Critical Thinking: The Essential Guide by Tom Chatfield is a really useful book is aimed at students but has a lot for ‘ordinary’ people who want to work on their critical thinking skills, including sorting through and questioning information, understanding biases and how to make a strong argument.  It’s clearly written, easy to follow and has useful summaries at the end of each chapter.

Nothing But The Truth by The Secret Barrister is a searing memoir recounting their journey to the bar and later as a blogger and, more importantly, how working as a criminal lawyer changed their own views of criminal law and those who run up against it.  It’s honest, funny, horrifying and is a great way of learning how the legal system works.

ADULT FICTION:

Bad Actors by Mick Herron uses a missing person case to incorporate a savage commentary on UK politics.  Like SLOUGH HOUSE there’s a strong set-up feel with Herron manoeuvring characters and motivation for Book 9 but Wheelan’s return, Taverner’s tribulations and Shirley’s rage issues are all a lot of fun, I enjoyed seeing John Bachelor from the novellas and there are some hilarious lines such that I can’t wait for Book 9.

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman is an absolute delight.  Osman’s lightness of touch carries the plot forward with a lot of humour while Ron and Ibrahim are fleshed out a lot more here than in the previous books.  At the same time, Stephen’s Alzheimer’s is sensitively shown and is slowly becoming more heart breaking while the hint of a new Coopers Chase resident in the next book offers a lot of potential.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION:

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson accomplishes that rare feat of being an even better read than the first book.  Jackson sensitively deals with the fall out from the first novel (for Pip and her friends and family) and then creates a new mystery that significantly overlaps with the first.  I have some nitpicks (mainly around the rape trial but also some about Cara) but it is a genuinely gripping read and I am looking forward to the concluding book in this trilogy.

CHILDREN’S FICTION:

Ambrose Follows His Nose by Dick King-Smith and Josie Rogers sees Josie Rogers complete her great-grandfather Dick King-Smith’s unfinished manuscript for release on what would have been his centenary, creating an utterly delightful read for children aged 6+ that’s filled with King-Smith’s warmth and wit.  The illustrations by Stephanie Laberis are charming and there’s a lovely end note by Rogers.  Younger readers will enjoy the adventurous bunnies while older readers will enjoy the sly humour and nostalgia.

CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION:

Marie Curie by Nell Walker is a fascinating biography of Marie Curie for readers aged 7+ covers her childhood in Poland (where education opportunities were restricted), her work on radioactivity and marriage to Pierre and role in the development of x-ray machines.  Charlotte Ager’s sensitive illustrations work well alongside photographs and Walker clearly conveys a woman of remarkable spirit and ability.

I Don’t Have Enough by Pat Thomas and Claire Keay is a deeply compassionate non-fiction book (part of a series) aims to introduce the subject of poverty to children aged 5+ in a very sensitive way that encourages discussion and understanding without causing stress or worry or causing bullying or alienation.  It’s a great book with wonderful illustrations and worth a read.

Artists: Inspiring Stories Of Their Lives And Works by Susie Hodge for readers aged 8+ combines profiles of artists from Ancient Egypt to the present day with summaries of schools of art and how to make art.  Hodge features a diverse selection of artists and mediums and Jessamy Hawke’s illustrations perfectly complement the text.  It’s perfect for young readers with an interest in art because it conveys passion for the topic.

PICTURE BOOKS:

Mr Men And Little Miss: The Royal Party by Roger Hargreaves and Adam Hargreaves has all the charm and silly humour of the original books and although it’s aimed to tie in with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, works on its own merits aside from that.  I particularly enjoyed Little Miss Naughty’s devilish cunning and how things nevertheless come good at the end.

Big Sister: Ruby And The New Baby by Fiona Munro with illustrations by Darshika Varma is perfect for young readers who are finding it difficult to deal with a new baby sibling and gives useful tips for parents who want to help them with that adjustment.  Varma’s illustrations deserve special mention for the inclusivity, including Ruby’s wheelchair using mum but Munro also gets Ruby’s emotions spot on and I really felt for her when Ravi snaffled Blue Bear.

Mr Men and Little Miss Happy Eid by Roger Hargreaves and Adam Hargreaves has all the charm and silly humour of the original books but offers very young readers a chance to learn a little about Eid and Ramadan in a way that’s entertaining and informative.

Gretel The Wonder Mammoth by Kim Hillyard is both a charming and moving story about feeling anxious and alone and how the best way of coping is to tell someone and ask for help.  I really loved the birds who think Gretel is awesome and Gretel herself is adorable (loved the spectacles).  All in all, I think young readers will enjoy it and it’s also a good way of introducing them to managing their mental health.

Anansi And The Golden Pot by Taiye Selasi is boldly and beautifully illustrated by Tinuke Fagborun and takes the traditional Akan character of Anansi and weaves him into a clever tale of family and the importance of being generous while also introducing children to the food and folklore of Ghana.  It’s an entertaining read that parents will enjoy with their little ones and I particularly enjoyed the illustrations of Anansi himself, with his dapper outfit.

JoJo & Gran Gran Go To The Hairdresser by Pat-A-Cake Books is the 5th in the JOJO & GRAN GRAN picture book series that accompanies the CBeebies series (which itself is based on a book/characters by Laura Henry-Allain).  Sometimes tie-ins can feel stale and ho-hum, but a lot of thought has gone into this and I loved the way it celebrates Black hair and hairstyles.  JoJo has a lot of personality and the love between her and Gran Gran is very moving and I think younger readers will thoroughly enjoy it.

Our Tower by Joseph Coelho and Richard Johnson is a beautiful read that shows both the wonders of the natural world and the community within city tower blocks.  Coelho brings an evocative lyricism to the text (although having stayed in a tower block, I did find myself having to suspend disbelief at times) while Johnson’s illustrations are extraordinarily beautiful, using a muted palate to bring nature and city to life.


Looking forward to 2023, my To Be Read Pile stands at a humiliating 888 (at the start of 2022 it was 860).  I was better behaved last year and did not take every ARC and review book that was offered to me and neither did I go crazy in book stores, but there’s still no getting away from the fact that I’m ending the year with more books than I started it with, even if I did manage to get through some books that have been in that pile since 2006.

My reading aspirations for 2023 are:

  • I want to make some inroads into my To Read Pile in 2023 and ideally end the year with fewer books than I started with.  No laughing at the back.
  • I am setting a reading target of 100 books minimum.
  • I want to read a gender split of 50/50 male and female authored books.
  • I want 25% of the books I read in 2023 to be by writers of colour.
  • I want 40% of the books I read in 2023 to be non-fiction.

I’ll round up by offering a sincere and massive thank you to everyone who has stopped by this blog during the year.  I really do appreciate you taking the time and I hope that you find my reviews helpful.  I hope that you all have a smashing 2023 and wish you all happy reading.

FOR THOSE BRAVE ENOUGH TO CHECK BEHIND THE CUT TAG, I HAVE SET OUT MY TO BE READ PILE IN ALL ITS GORY GLORY:

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Raise Your Voice curated by Nadia Jae

The Blurb On The Back:

Be empowered to tell your story!

Are you wondering how you can cut through the noise and make your unique self known? 

Raise Your Voice offers essential advice on how to boost your confidence and put your best self forward.  Led by BBC Radio 1Xtra host Nadia Jae, read personal stories and advice from prominent figures in sport, broadcasting, and entertainment and discover how you too can speak up and stand out. 

RAISE YOUR VOICE: MAKE YOURSELF HEARD IN A NOISY WORLD was released in the United Kingdom on 21st July 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order RAISE YOUR VOICE: MAKE YOURSELF HEARD IN A NOISY WORLD curated by Nadia Jae from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon

The Blurb On The Back:

It’s just before Christmas and no one is prepared for this whiteout … But sometimes the most magical moments are a total surprise!

As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teenagers band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life.  Will they be able to make it happen in spite of the storm?

WHITEOUT was released in the United Kingdom on 10th November 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order WHITEOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Nothing But The Truth by The Secret Barrister

The Blurb On The Back:

What compels someone to become a barrister?

How does it feel to successfully defend a person who is freed and then kills?

How might prosecuting society’s most dangerous criminals change a person’s beliefs about justice?

This tell-all memoir is the third book from the Secret Barrister.  In hilarious and tragic stories from the criminal courts, it lifts the lid on what it’s really like to pursue a career at the Bar, and reveals the uncomfortable and surprising truth about life in our opaque criminal justice system.

Nothing But The Truth charts an outsider’s progress down the winding path towards practising at the Bar.  It takes in the sometimes absurd traditions of the Inns of Court, where every meal mandates a glass of port and a toast to the Queen, and the Hunger Games-type contest for pupillage, through to the endlessly frustrating experience of being a junior criminal barrister – as a creaking, ailing justice system begins to convince the that something has to change …

Full of hilarious, shocking and surprising stories from the Secret Barrister’s working life, Nothing But The Truth asks questions about what we understand by justice, and what it takes to change our minds.  It reveals the darker side of working in criminal law and how the things our justice system gets wrong are not the things most people expect.  And it tracks the Secret Barrister’s transformation from hang-‘em-and-flog-‘em, austerity-supporting twenty-something to campaigning, bestselling, reforming author, whose progressive writing in defence of the law is celebrated around the globe.

You can order NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH: STORIES OF CRIME, GUILT AND THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE by The Secret Barrister from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Beano Dennis & Gnasher: The Bogeyman Of Bunkerton Castle by Craig Graham and Mike Stirling

The Blurb On The Back:

Is it a comic?  Is it a book!?  No, it’s a Beano boom!

Are you afraid of the Bogeyman?!

After Lord Snooty flees Bunkerton Castle, Dennis, Gnasher and friends are invited to attend the ultimate spooky sleepover.  Will they last until morning?

We dare you to find out!

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BEANO DENNIS & GNASHER: THE BOGEYMAN OF BUNKERTON CASTLE by Craig Graham and Mike Stirling from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Star Wars: I Am Your Father by Amy Richau and Dan Zehr

The Blurb On The Back:

Caring for others can be complicated.  Whether your Padawan is losing focus, your child needs a bit of inspiration, or your student is heading towards the dark side, learn how to set them back on the right track.

Ideal for Jedi Knights, parents, guardians, and mentors, this book offers lighthearted advice from a galaxy far, far away.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order STAR WARS: I AM YOUR FATHER by Amy Richau and Dan Zehr from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Five Survive by Holly Jackson

The Blurb On The Back:

You can’t see me but I can see you.  If you try to run, I will shoot.

Red Kenny is on a road trip for spring break with five friends: Red’s best friend, her older brother, his perfect girlfriend and a classmate.

When their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they soon realise that this is no accident.  They have been trapped by someone out there in the dark, someone who clearly wants one of them dead.

With eight hours until dawn, the six friends must escape, or work out which one of them is the target.  Buried secrets will be forced to light and tensions inside the RV will reach deadly levels.

Now all of them will survive the night …

FIVE SURVIVE was released in the United Kingdom on 8th December 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order FIVE SURVIVE by Holly Jackson from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Well Documented: The Essential Documentaries That Prove The Truth Is More Fascinating Than Fiction by Ian Haydn Smith

The Blurb On The Back:

Documentaries have the power to change the way you think, to stop you in your tracks, bring tears to your eyes and put your heart in your mouth.

Well Documented brings together a collection of films by international directors that have been astounding viewers for the last 100 years, delving deep into how these films were made, why you should see them and what you should watch next.

Featuring a range of powerful tales, from Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning gritty depiction of working-class America in Harlan County, USA to James Marsh’s breathtaking Man on Wire, plights of human endurance such as Kevin Macdonald’s Touching the Void or stories of injustice like Ava DuVernay’s 13th, Ian Haydn Smith writes with passion and knowledge, while images highlight what makes these films so unique.  From Oscar winners to unseen gems, each of these documentaries will make you tell people, ‘You NEED to see this film’.

WELL DOCUMENTED: THE ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTARIES THAT PROVE THE TRUTH IS MORE FASCINATING THAN FICTION was released in the United Kingdom on 4th October 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order WELL DOCUMENTED: THE ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTARIES THAT PROVE THE TRUTH IS MORE FASCINATING THAN FICTION by Ian Haydn Smith from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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The Very Merry Murder Club edited by Serena Patel and Robin Stevens

The Blurb On The Back:

Join The Frosty Foul Play

Cat-napping and crazy heists, suspicious Santas and scrabble games, frost fairs and fancy dress … join the Very Merry Murder Club and put your detective skills to the test with these fiendishly fun and festive mysteries.

You can order THE VERY MERRY MURDER CLUB edited by Serena Patel and Robin Stevens from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Xtinct! Tiger Hunt by Ash Stone

The Blurb On The Back:

Xtinct!

Jeevan can’t wait to hit the slopes.  But his snowboard will have to wait because a mix-up at his mum’s lab has brought a dangerous SABRE-TOOTH TIGER back to life – and now it’s prowling around outside!

With a blizzard raging, a tiger on the loose and two hunters in hot pursuit, Jeevan needs to keep a cool head.  Can he come up with a plan before things snowball out of control?

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order XTINCT! TIGER HUNT by Ash Stone from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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The Future Of Capitalism by Paul Collier

The Blurb On The Back:

Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the highly skilled elite versus the less-educated, wealthy versus developing countries.  So far these rifts have been answered only by the stale politics of left vs right.  We have heard many critiques of capitalism but no one has laid out a realistic way to fix it, until now.

In this passionate and polemical book, Paul Collier outlines original and ethical ways of healing these rifts with the cool head of pragmatism, rather than the fervour of ideological revivalism.  He reveals how he has personally lived across these three divides, moving from working class Sheffield to hyper-competitive Oxford, and working between Britain and Africa.  Drawing on his own solutions as well as ideas from some of the world’s greatest social scientists, he shows us how to save capitalism from itself.  

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM by Paul Collier from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Blurb On The Back:

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked.  Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the relenting sun of the outback.  In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbours, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there.  But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron.  The family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. 

Something had been troubling Cameron.  Did he choose to walk to his death?  Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects …

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

The Blurb On The Back:

Straightened.  Stigmatised.  “Tamed”.  Celebrated.  Fetishised.  Forever misunderstood.

Black hair is never ‘just hair’.  It’s time we understood why.

Recent years have seen the conversation around black hair reach tipping point, yet detractors still proclaim “It’s only hair!” when it never is.  This book is about why black hair matters and how it can be viewed as a blueprint for decolonisation.  Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and into today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond.

Touching on everything from women’s solidarity and friendship, to forgotten African scholars, to the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation. 

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR by Emma Dabiri from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Critical Thinking: The Essential Guide by Tom Chatfield

The Blurb On The Back:

Your updated guide to better thinking.

– Think twice about what’s in front of you.

Sift through the digital deluge.

Strengthen your arguments.

Overcome information overload.

– Deliver clear and confident critical writing.

Equip yourself for life after study.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order CRITICAL THINKING: YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE by Tom Chatfield from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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You Need To Chill by Juno Dawson

The Blurb On The Back:

Sometimes people say to me: “What happened to your brother Bill?”

That’s when I look them in the eye and say: “Hun, you need to chill.

When Bill can’t be found at school one day, the imaginations of the other children run wild.  

Is he on holiday?

Is he lost in the park?

Has he been eaten by a shark?!

It’s up to Bill’s sister to explain …

YOU NEED TO CHILL was released in the United Kingdom on 1st September 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order YOU NEED TO CHILL by Juno Dawson from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Adventures With Finn and Skip: Bird by Brendan Kearney

The Blurb On The Back:

Finn and his dog, Skip, are exploring the skies on a hang glider, when a flock of swans steals their map!  As they set off on a mission to get it back, they uncover what’s going on in the skies.

Follow Finn and Skip as they learn how they can help keep the air clean and look after the birds that call it home …

They are happy to help where they can.  What can you do?

ADVENTURES WITH FINN AND SKIP: BIRD was released in the United Kingdom on 4th August 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order ADVENTURES WITH FINN AND SKIP: BIRD by Brendan Kearney from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Beano Dennis & Gnasher: Super Slime Spectacular by Craig Graham and Mike Stirling

The Blurb On The Back:

More jokes!  More laughs!  More mischief!

The most spectacular Beano Boomic yet!

What could possibly go wrong when Dennis, Gnasher and their classmates undertake a risky experiment to create the ultimate slime?

EVERYTHING!

Join them, in a race against slime to save Beanotown? 

BEANO DENNIS & GNASHER: SUPER SLIME SPECTACULAR was released in the United Kingdom on 7th July 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BEANO DENNIS & GNASHER: SUPER SLIME SPECTACULAR by Craig Graham and Mike Stirling from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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The Immortality Thief by Taran Hunt

The Blurb On The Back:

The race for immortality is on.

When linguist and smuggler Sean Wren is blackmailed into a job to get some data off an ancient ship, he’s not expecting it to be the Philosopher’s Stone: a literal recipe for immortality.

Unfortunately, he’s not the only one looking.  The undying Ministers, mysterious aliens that have ruled over humanity for thousands of years, want the data too.  So does the Republic, the last free human government.

To add to the fun, the map to the treasure is in a long-lost language, the ship’s filled with dangerous traps and genetically-engineered monsters, and the nearby star’s going supernova in a few days.

Easy job, right? 

THE IMMORTALITY THIEF by Taran Hunt was released in the United States on 11th October 2022 and in the United Kingdom on 13th October 2022.  Thanks to Rebellion Publishing for the review copy of this book.

You can order THE IMMORTALITY THIEF by Taran Hunt from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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