12 Book Reviews in 12 Sentences

I can’t believe we are heading towards the end of February already. I’ve managed to read 12 books so far this year and I thought it would be a good idea to review every single one of them! For the sake of laziness brevity, I’ll condense each review to one sentence per book.

1. “Er ist Weider Da (Look Who’s Back)” by Timur Vermes


Not as funny as I thought it would be, but a great premise and it was unbelievable scary how some of Hitler’s speeches in this novel are Trump-esque.

2. “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler


I was completely beside myself after reading this novel and did a lot of public crying on Sydney’s trains while reading this novel.

3. “Before I Was Yours” by Virginia Macgregor


An unexpectedly comprehensive story about adoption that made me feel all of the feelings on the emotional spectrum.

4. “Archie Appleby: The Terrible Case of the Creeps” by Kaye Ballie


Probably the best example of a kid with anxiety who is prone to jumping to conclusions about the stranger extended family members.

5. “Jamaica Inn” by Daphne du Maurier


A little bit scary and surprisingly really violent, but a well written story by one of my favourite authors.

6. “Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors” by Peter Acroyd


Very detailed, comprehensively researched and well written, but unfortunately not enough focus on the “normal” people (those that weren’t royalty or connected to royalty) and their daily lives.

7. “How to Build a Girl” by Caitlin Moran


All teenage girls need to read this novel – I think I laughed so hard in some places because I related so much to this story.

8. “Lives in Ruins” Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble” by Marilyn Johnson


This book made me want to become an archaeologist – even though it’s clearly (partly) a warning against taking it up as a profession if you ever want to earn money and have a relatively stable family life.

9. “Foxglove Summer” by Ben Aaronovitch


Probably my favourite book in the Rivers of London series – a seamless novel with perfect pace and as always in this series, plenty of laughs.

10. “Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice” by Colin Renfrew


A really good starting point for beginners in archaeology – or just your every day archaeology enthusiasts!

11. “Fifty Shades of Feminism” by Lisa Appignanesi


Two reasons why this book is worth reading – 1. Feminism and 2. The copy I found in the book story was wrapped up, as if it had some dangerous ideas inside.

12. “Skinny Liver: Lose the fat and lose the toxins for increased energy, health and longevity” by Kirstin Kirkpatrick


Definitely the self-help book I needed to read on New Year’s Eve.

Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments section – try to keep it to one sentence!

Review: “The Lifestyle” by Melissa Giovanna

The Lifestyle is a book that is designed to help you, by shifting your thoughts, words and behaviours through value-based action. Don’t worry, value-based actions aren’t anything scary or overwhelming – it’s as simple as acting on what you value (think kindness, patience and gratitude) and practicing these values consciously in your day-to-day actions until they become habits. We’ve all heard the saying that “Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes” – this is the same principle for action-based values. The Lifestyle will guide you through recommended value-based actions over a four-week cycle and bring you that much closer to developing and achieving full potential, that is, becoming your “actualised-self”.

I know that this book isn’t meant to be read cover to cover in one sitting, since the idea of it is to work through the “Days of Action” and only read ahead for the next couple of days at a time. But let’s just say I took one for the team and read it in one go anyway.

I’m not one for that fluffy, motivational stuff, (so I don’t say this lightly) but this book was inspirational and gave me goosebumps at the thought of all of the amazing ways it could (and will) change my life.

What I found absolutely enchanting and hypnotic was each example of the “admissions from your actualised-self”. These were great, beautifully written examples of how to incorporate the specific value-based action for that particular day into your everyday life. It also helped to highlight how much your life, and the lives of those around you, will benefit in the long run when these value-based actions become habits and you reach self-actualisation.

I’ll be honest – I haven’t yet embarked on my conscious quest for self-actualisation and followed the Days of Action, but from reading through The Lifestyle, I know a couple of things for certain:

  1. I don’t have anything to lose and so much to gain from exercising these value-based actions as outlined in The Lifestyle.
  2. I am absolutely going to rock it.

Overall, The Lifestyle is a book which will help you live a better way of life and become a better human. So if you need a bit of hand-holding to get you through a rough patch, or you’re not quite sure what it is that you need to do to become a better person right now, you need to buy this book (or at the very least, visit the website for more information).