What I Read While I Was In Hospital

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So three weeks in the hospital gave me some time to catch up on plenty of reading and I thought I would share my thoughts on them in one post!

Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh

The Blurb

It was a revelation. Moving, terrifying, funny and brilliant. I shall never forget it – an amazing achievement (Stephen Fry)

Brash and frightening and funny – tonally, think of Frank McCourt meeting Axl Rose. (The New York Times)

In this violent yet often comic memoir, Walsh writes of life as an English Gypsy … Gypsy Boy feels, in all its cocky, awkward affection and anguish, like the real deal. (The Boston Globe)

sobering and compelling portrait of Gypsy life that is written by an insider. (The National)

Best memoir since Running with Scissors (Attitude)

Touching, insightful, funny and incredibly shocking **** (HEAT)

This is a wonderfully readable tale of love, abuse, and eventual escape – all lived in the heart of an English Gypsy family. The father is one of the most frightening figures I’ve encountered in years. (Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story)

The earthy, violent, funny memoir of a gypsy boy in England. It’s absolutely riveting, un-put-downable. (Anne Lamott, The Miami Herald)

Gypsy Boy is a brilliant but bittersweet story, which reads like a magical fairytale. Although he could be excused for doing so, Mikey never descends into self pity – and has found the perfect balance between humour and harsh realityGypsy Boy sits somewhere between the grittiness of Irvine Welsh, and the charming warmth of Frank McCourt. (Dermot O’Leary)

Explosive, sparkling and hugely entertaining – this is a twisted fairytale from a truly original mind (Hayley Atwell, star of Agent Carter and Captain America)

Book Description

Gypsy Boy is the first commercial memoir written by someone on the inside of the notoriously secretive culture of the Romany Gypsies.

What I Thought

My mum bought me this one in as she had read it on holiday and thought I would enjoy it. I have read a lot of the Cathy Glass books about the children she has fostered over many years and she thought this was in a similar vein.

Mikey’s story is truly heartbreaking. At times I wanted to cry for this poor little boy, who went through so much at such a young age. It is not an easy read at times at all, but I was pleased to get through the whole story and see an update at the back as to how Mikey’s life is now.

Probably not one for everybody due to the content – a trigger warning for both physical and sexual abuse – but I found it interesting, saddening, occasionally funny and brilliant.

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Brace Yourself by S. E. Smart

Sleep by C. L. Taylor

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Blog Tour book review to come! Spoiler alert – it is a good one!

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The Tattooist Of Auschwits by Heather Morris

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The Blurb

Based on the incredible true story of Lale Sokolov 


Heart-breaking  – a tale of love and survival amidst the horrors of Auschwitz

Human – the real story behind one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms

Inspirational – the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances

Unforgettable – a story untold for over seventy years is finally shared

Life-affirming – one man’s determination to survive and live a full life with the woman he loved

Fully verified – Lale Sokolov’s background and story has been fact-checked against all available documentary evidence


The Story
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia.  In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.  Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive.  If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.

There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life.  He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners and he was determined to survive – not just to survive, but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full.  Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage.  It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story.  Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight and he determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure that Gita did, too.  His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting.  It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life.  But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone.  He chose to tell his story.

What I Thought

I have been wanting to read this for a while and a hospital stay seemed like the perfect time to catch up on one of the most popular books of 2018.

I was not disappointed. The subject matter is undeniably tough to read about, as expected due to the setting. The amazing story of survival and the strength of Lale and Gita, as well as the friends around them, is just inspiring. How they managed to keep going in the face of all the horror surrounding them on a daily basis is humbling.

I am so glad Heather Morris uncovered this story, and Lale decided to share it after all these years. Horrors like this need to never be forgotten and the first person account is truly the most horrifying and breathtaking you can read.

Any history fan like me will enjoy this but I would recommend to all. Looking forward to Heather Morris’s next book which follows another one of the people in Lale’s story.

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First Rhyme Mom by Leanne Stoneley

My Sister Is Missing by Julia Barrett

Is There Still Sex In The City? by Candace Bushnell

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The Blurb

Twenty years after her sharp, seminal first book Sex and the City reshaped the landscape of pop culture and dating with its fly on the wall look at the mating rituals of the Manhattan elite, the trailblazing Candace Bushnell delivers a new book on the wilds and lows of sex and dating after fifty. 

Set between the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a country enclave known as The Village, Is There Still Sex in the City? gathers Bushnell’s signature short, sharp, satirical commentaries on the love and dating habits of middle aged men and women as they continue to navigate the ever-modernizing world of relationships. Throughout, Bushnell documents 21st century dating phenomenon, such as the “Unintended Cub Situation” in which a sensible older woman suddenly becomes the love interest of a much younger man, the “Mona Lisa” Treatment—a vaginal restorative surgery often recommended to middle aged women, and what it’s really like to go on Tinder dates as a fifty something divorcee. Bushnell also updates one of her most celebrated stories from Sex and the City, “The Bicycle Boys,” a breed of New York man who was always trying to bring his bike up to women’s apartments. Once an anomaly, Bushnell charts their new ubiquitousness, in addition to where, and how to do your own man stalking via bicycle (and whether or not it’s worth it).

In Is There Still Sex in The City? Bushnell looks at love and life from all angles—marriage and children, divorce and bereavement, as well as the very real pressures on women to maintain their youth and have it all. This is a pull-no-punches social commentary and an indispensable companion to one of the most revolutionary dating books of the twentieth century.

What I Thought

I am a massive Sex And The City fan so couldn’t not read this one! The book literally continues where the story left off… this time Candace and ger friends are single, divorced and in their fifties – just how you may imagine the original SATC girls now.

I loved that her books have moved with the times and now we see the introduction of Tinder for example. There were some more serious parts to the book – suicide and mental health plays a big part in one story line (a trigger warning).

This book inn’t going to win any awards but is an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend to any SATC fans who, if anything like me, will read the story in their head as if Carrie Bradshaw herself was narrating!

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I think my list was pretty impressive for three weeks – although to be fair there isn’t much more top do when you feel very poorly and are stuck in hospital. Which one attracts you the most? Let me know in the comments below!

This post contains books which were gifted to me in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Clicking affiliate links will not affect your purchase in any way but may earn my blog some extra pennies – thankyou!

12 comments

  1. So sorry you had to be in the hospital but proud of you for making good use of the time to catch up on reading. Spectacular post!

    Like

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