Book Review: What I read in January

Updated: Feb 23

I've been writing monster quarterly reading roundups and quite frankly they take me ages and I suspect may be hard to actually get through? So starting this year I'm going monthly instead.


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  1. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I started the year in style re-reading a classic. If you haven't already enjoyed The Great Gatsby you are in for a treat.


Set in 1920s America, also known as the 'Jazz Age' it tells the story of Jay Gatsby. Holder of great parties in his Long Island mansion, no one really seems to know who he is, or where he comes from.


Gradually his obsession with an old girlfriend becomes all consuming.


In many ways he seems to be the first self improvement guru, an early Dale Carnegie in others more The Talented Mr Ripley

2. How To Raise Entrepreneurial Kids - Daniel Priestly and Jodie Cook In ‘How to raise Entrepreneurial Kids’ Jodie describes how it came out during a meeting of 12 fellow entrepreneurs, that 11 of them had parents, like hers that had developed their own businesses whilst their children were young. She felt astounded by this at the time. But it illustrated her own life experience, that children first learn at home.


This book is packed with ideas for people who want to raise their children to design their own futures. It contains case studies from famous entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jo Malone, Oprah. As well as ways you can encourage children to be more creative, to take more responsibility for their own direction, and to learn that if you can think it up, you can probably create a business from it.


I have reviewed this book for Parents in Biz magazine so I won't say too much more here.


3. Life In Pieces - Dawn O'Porter

This book is the lockdown diary of Dawn O'Porter and her family from the first lockdown March 2020.


On the face of it, it is fairly light reading. Dawn is funny, and tells the stories of her two young boys, pets and husband and how they get through their days.


There is quite a lot of sadness in the book too. Dawn lost her mother at a young age, and just prior to the lockdowns beginning, her close friend Caroline Flack.


The diary is used to record her highs and lows, food and alcohol intake.

4. Agent Running in the Field - John Le Carre


I think I'm right in saying this is John Le Carre's last book. He died in December.


It focuses on Nat a spy, or secret service operative who thinks he is out of the game, but ' M16 pull him back in again' he is no James Bond, and I remember reading that Le Carre was no fan of Fleming.


I must be honest and say I did not find this book a pager turner, and the conclusion was also less than thrilling, but it was a readable story anyway.


5. The Lonely Londoners - Sam Selvon


Written in the 1956, The Lonely Londoners is all about the arrival in Britain of West Indian men who come to build lives for themselves and their families.


The author was himself from Trinidad, a journalist by trade. The book is interesting because it is written 100% in the language style of the characters telling their stories.


There are a number of main characters who interlink and at times have separate plot lines.


Overall the impression is of community among people who tried to look out for each other in a difficult often hostile environment. But it also focuses on the good times that the people have, from nights out on the town, to the joys of bringing further family members into the fold.


This book is now classed as a classic on the life experience of the Windrush Generation


Audio Books


  1. The Palestine Isralei Conflict - Don Cohn Sherbok and Dawoud El Alami


In progress


6. Essentialism - Greg McKeown

7. Black and British: A Forgotten History- David Olusoga

8. Girl, Women, Other - Bernadine Evaristo


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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