April Reading Update

Thinking about what to read next? I keep a monthly list of what I read and listen to on audio-book. Maybe something here will take your fancy?


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If you decide to buy a book after reading my review you can do so from my BookShop.org shop

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Splitting all profits between participating independent book shops and giving 10% to people like me who are part of their referral scheme.


I have lots of other books listed there if you want any other suggestions!



Previously on Shona's 2021 reading...

If you want to read back over my year so far, here are links to January, February and March reading.


What I read in April


18. A Brief History of Seven Killings - Marlon James

How to do this book justice? I have to say I found it hard to engage with personally, but I found the scale and scope impressive.


There are so many characters and the story is told completely through view point narrative. Each time it moves to a new character you have to pick up where you are again as the story moves through different historic periods.


Those were my main reading problems, but I also found it interesting historically. It moves from the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976 and all of the political struggles within Jamaica at that time, to early 1980s New York.


It is very violent, with many gang scenes, and in many ways quite devoid of hope. The characters portrayed are all seemingly unconcerned with extreme violence to achieve their own ends.


It won the 2015 Booker Prize for the author. I think the quality comes in the scope and variance in the dialect and the sheer number of characters.



19. A Dance With Dragons - Part 1 -Dreams and Dust George R.R Martin


Back with the Game Of Thrones gang again. The author decided to split this book into two books because of the length. Dreams and Dust is the first of those.


If you have watched the series and are reading the books afterwards it can be a little confusing. I can't see where the plot line came from for the last two series of the TV show based on what is happening in this book.


It might also explain why Season 8 was so bad!


As with all of the books, because of the length and number of characters telling their story, you almost forget what has happened with each by the time we return to them.


No spoilers from me. But a plea to Mr Martin to please hurry up with The Winds Of Winter.....





20. 21 Lessons for the 21 Century - Yuval Noah Hurari


21 Lessons for the 21 Century, will make you think. The author examines concepts that define the way we understand the world.


For example, take the way that we as humans divide up our lives at present into childhood, adulthood (potentially giving 40+ years to marriage and child raising) & old age. Would things still be the same if we had longer life spans?


Looking after children currently represents a large percentage of a persons life if they become a parent, meaning we put such a lot of stock into how we perform, but if we were all living over 100 years as standard, would it still be such a life defining activity? Or just one of many parts to a life.


Do the labels we apply to religion or geography really matter at all when we look at the history of borders and religions. Will anyone consider themselves British or American in 1,000 years time. Will there still be Jewish people and Muslim people? Or will we have moved on to completely new ideological concepts?


Read if you like things that make you think. I'm looking forward to Sapiens and Homo Deus next.





21. Can't Hurt Me : Master Your Mind And Defy The Odds- David Goggins


This book is pretty epic. To sum it up, if you want to be the best, do the work.


Do hard things because you can. Never let yourself off the hook. Don't go the easy route because in the end you are alone with yourself and you need to measure up.


The basic plot is David Goggins was born into a violent abusive home, faced racism and difficulty with learning at school, and yet went on to break world records, and hold one of the best military records ever.


There are lot's of life lessons and hints on how you can also challenge yourself throughout the book.





22. The Ickabog - JK Rowling


JK Rowling wrote a book long before the Harry Potter stories, that was The Ickabog. I was quite curious about it having read all her other work, and fortunately my kids were given a copy at Christmas so I plunged in. It's a super easy read, with a traditional fairytale set up. The king is an idiot, his chief advisors are manipulating him, and the legend of the Ickabog is their chosen method of crowd control.


This copy has beautiful illustrations from children all around the world.



23. How To Market A Book: Over-perform In a Crowded Market


For anyone who has written a book and is interested in marketing advice this is a great read. It is currently free on Amazon.




Audio Books


The Good Immigrant - Nikesh Shukla


Incredible book. I am so glad I listened to this one because you really appreciate all of the different authors when you hear them being read.


I loved Darren Chetty & Nikesh Shukla's essays the best I think, but they are all really good.


This book covers the importance of representation, the poverty of history taught in the UK, cultural appropriation, the empire, what it truly means to be seen as British, & so much more.



A Promised Land - Barack Obama


Loved listening to Barack for almost 30 hours, this book covers the highlights of his political career up to his election in 2008 and then ends at the end of his reelection campaign.


There isn't really anything surprising in the book, it's all already been told in news and current affairs.





In Progress


Loud Black Girls - Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinené



Thanks for reading

Shona


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About Me


Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in SE London.

Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.

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