“Jailbirds” by Mim Skinner

Thanks to Seven Dials and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Although I am not teaching the subject currently, I started my teaching career as a Modern Studies teacher. By far my favourite topic to teach was Crime and the Law and I always found that resources and information relating specifically to women’s incarceration were thin on the ground. If only I’d had this book available then. Stats are one thing, but real stories and perspectives are invaluable. I have moved on from Modern Studies teaching, but I’ll be sure to recommend this book to the Modern Studies teachers in my school.

Continue reading ““Jailbirds” by Mim Skinner”

“Epic Continent” by Nicholas Jubber

Thanks to John Murray Press and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a pretty cool idea for a book. The author goes on a personal odyssey, visiting the locations from some of the great European ‘epics’ – myths, legends, literature and folklore, whilst exploring his own life and the impact these tales still have on cultures and people today. What an awesome premise for a book.

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“The New Silk Roads” by Peter Frankopan

Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This review is terribly late. In my defence, I was approved for it a good while after publication date. I also own both editions of The Silk Roads (the children’s version is absolutely fabulous) and bought the audiobook too so I hope I’ve made it up to Professor Frankopan.

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“They Were Her Property” by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

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Thanks to Yale University Press and NetGalley for providing me with an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is an important book in a much-overlooked topic. All too often in historical writing we see white women being given a free pass when it comes to their culpability for the horrors of slavery. This book seeks to set the record straight and change our assumptions about antebellum women slave-owners.

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“Notes to Self” by Emilie Pine

Thanks to Penguin Books UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I actually finished this book a few weeks ago but felt I needed some time to ruminate about it before writing my review. This book deals with some really tough subjects and issues that have also affected me. It’s raw, unflinchingly honest and personal and I think many other women will feel the same affinity with the author whilst reading it. Continue reading ““Notes to Self” by Emilie Pine”

“Salt on Your Tongue” by Charlotte Runcie

 

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Thanks to Canongate and NetGalley for the review copy. 

I’m beginning to wonder if Canongate are even capable of publishing a bad book. 

Salt on Your Tongue by Charlotte Runcie is a wonderful exploration of women and the sea. Interspersed with Runcie’s personal experiences as a woman and her relationships with women in her life, in particular her grandmother, are writings about myths, folkore and superstitions linked to the sea as well as history, art, religion, literature, culture and the natural world. There is a Scottish focus for much of the book, particularly the East Coast of Scotland. I grew up in the Highlands of Scotland very close to the sea and have always felt its lure. Some of my ancestors were fishermen and many relatives both current and distant still live by the sea. The author explores other coastal settings in Scotland familiar to me such as Skye, the Scottish Islands, Edinburgh, and the coastal regions around Fife as well as other settings around the UK and the world.   Continue reading ““Salt on Your Tongue” by Charlotte Runcie”

“How Scotland Works” by Andrew Conway

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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy.

As someone who has worked as a Social Studies teacher and currently works for local government in Scotland I was keen to see what this book offered to supplement my existing knowledge.

It covers an impressively vast amount of factual information and statistics about subjects including demographics, geography, language, immigration, energy, wealth and poverty, education, public spending, employment, exports and imports and political systems. Please note – this is not an exhaustive list! Continue reading ““How Scotland Works” by Andrew Conway”

“Mastering Adulthood” by Lara E. Fielding

Thanks to New Harbinger and Netgalley for the Advance Review Copy.

The title of this intrigued me enough to request it. I work a lot with young people on the cusp of adulthood so thought this might be a useful resource for them. I think this book is more aimed at older people however, perhaps those in their mid twenties.

The book is written in simple, identifiable language and contains easily accessible exercises and explanations of the topics written about in each chapter. There are reflective exercises throughout the book and an element of interactivity with QR code links to videos.

The author is clearly very experienced and the topics discussed are relevant to young people today including subjects such as self awareness, relationship dynamics, anxiety and social media, I particularly liked the Castle vs Village metaphor. There are also some cute illustrations used to enhance the content.

All that said, I couldn’t really take to this book. It’s written in a perky style and I could almost imagine a California yoga loving, life guru type shouting in my ear as I read it. There is also a criminal overuse of exclamation marks and some of the language was grating e.g. using the word ‘peeps’ instead of people. I personally prefer a more dispassionate writing style in these kinds of books.

The book is also supposed to be about mastering adulthood but I found some of the advice quite patronising and childish at times. Some of the reflective exercises were quite good but there were just too many of them to really be able to develop something meaningful from them.

The peppy style will appeal to some readers I’m sure but it was just not my bag.