Book Reviews – March 2020

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Good morning and welcome to my latest round of book reviews! I am really pleased to be sharing another set of fantastic reads with you and am already working through my TBR pile to bring you more next month.

Serial Killers: Butchers and Cannibals

by Nigel Blundell (ad/gifted)

The Blurb

Mass murder is awful enough. But some serial killers not only embark on slaying to slake their perverted pleasures but enjoy the mutilation of their victims bodies and sometimes also revert to cannibalism.

The simple act of slaying would sicken most people. Yet that is not sufficient a thrill for those who find the excitement begins once their victims are dead. Cutting up corpses is, of course, one way of disposing of the evidence. But here we examine the butchers who dismember for pleasure.

They are monsters like Andrei Chikatilo, the so-called Rostov Ripper, who tortured, murdered, chopped up and sometimes cannibalised as many as 50 victims. Or they can be quite unassuming perverts like Dennis Nilsen, whose London house of horrors so overflowed with body parts that they blocked the drains.

There is nothing new about this, the sickest side of homicide, of course. The most famous serial killer of all was Jack the Ripper and butchering maniacs have been slashing their bloody path through history ever since.

What I Thought

Wow! Not one for the faint hearted as it is very graphic with some of the worst crimes I have ever read about.

However, I really enjoyed it as a fan of true crime books, shows and podcasts. For someone who does read a lot about these types of things I was surprised to come across so many that I had never heard of before, especially as the crimes were so horrifying.

As I said, this book is not for the faint hearted but if like me, you have an interest in true crime and a strong stomach you will really enjoy it. The author has done a fab job ad I will be looking out for other books by them.

Where To Buy

Available on Kindle, in hardback and paperback

Craigslist Confessional

A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers

by Helena Dea Bala (ad/gifted)

The Blurb

For fans of Humans of New York and PostSecret, a collection of raw, urgent, and heartfelt stories, shared anonymously.

What would you confess if you knew it would never get back to your spouse, your colleagues, or your family? What story would you tell about your life if a stranger was willing to listen with no judgement, no stigma, and no consequences—just an unburdening and the relief of confession?

After graduating from law school, Helena Dea Bala was a lobbyist in Washington, DC, struggling to pay off her student loans. She felt lonely and unfulfilled but, after a chance conversation with a homeless man she often saw on her commute, she felt…better. Talking with a stranger, listening to his problems, and sharing her own made her feel connected and engaged in a way she hadn’t in a long time. Inspired, she posted an ad on Craigslist promising to listen, anonymously and for free, to whatever the speaker felt he or she couldn’t tell anyone else. The response was huge—thousands of emails flooded her inbox. People were desperate for the opportunity to speak without being judged, to tell a story without worrying it would get back to friends, family, or coworkers—and so Craigslist Confessional was born.

The forty confessions in Craigslist Confessional are vivid, intimate, and real. Each story is told in the confessor’s voice; they range from devastating secrets (like addiction, depression, and trauma), to musings on lost love and reflections on a lifetime of hard choices. Some confessions are shocking, like the husband who is hiding his crippling sex addiction from his wife. Others are painful, like the man who is so depressed he rarely leaves his hoarder apartment. Some give us a glimpse into a brief chapter of someone’s life—like the girl who discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her with a mutual friend, or the college student who became a high-end call girl. Others are inspiring, such as the woman who lost her son too young, but sees his memory live on through the people who received his donated organs.

Every confession presents a point of view not often seen, not often talked about. Craigslist Confessional challenges us to explore the depth of our empathy and it’s a call to listen to one another.

What I Thought

Wow! I absolitely loved the premise of the book and the stories included did not disappoint.

The author did a fantastic job of collecting these accounts and retelling them, in the person’s words as much as possible. The fact she disclosed her own story and how she came to do what she does was also a great read. It prompted the whole range of emotions from joy to despair. The stories were humbling and inspiring and I enjoyed every single one.

I found this an enjoyable read. Although the theme of each was different, I didn’t feel that I couldn’t keep reading or that it was stilted in any way. I am a fan of short stories, so I think this book played to that side of my reading enjoyment.

All in all a fantastic read that I would definitely recommend. I hope to seek out the newspaper column the author writes online if I can, so I can read more.

Where To Buy

Available in Kindle, Audible and hardback

F*cked at 40

Life Beyond Suburbia, Monogamy and Stretch Marks

by Tova Leigh (ad/gifted)

The Blurb

For every woman that has ever felt trapped; a funny, raw and empowering mid-life-crisis.

Creator, mother, lover, and social media phenomenon Tova Leigh explores what the hell you are supposed to do when you find yourself living a life you don’t remember signing up for.

“I was bored, angry, tired and sad. I felt all alone yet I had nothing to complain about. I had a good job, a husband who wasn’t shagging his assistant, three children who apart from being the occasional assholes were pretty good kids; a house, a dog and everything else we are told as little girls we should aspire to. But inside, I was growing restless. I didn’t want to be looked at as just a ‘mom’. I wanted to be desired, to make someone’s hair stand on end and go crazy for me. I didn’t want to live by some label that didn’t represent me. I looked at my messy minivan one morning and I wanted to vomit on it all. I panicked, thinking about how I am slowly approaching middle age and menopause and I wondered how many years do I have left of being ‘f**ckable’ before everything starts going downhill?”

In her first book Tova takes the reader on her journey of rediscovering who she is after motherhood and beyond the norms society forces upon women, whilst encouraging them to break free and just be themselves.

“When you find authenticity it’s hard to go back. It’s like opening a door to the truth and starting to breathe a new type of air. This discovery is what prompted me to write. It’s my way of saying HERE I AM”.

What I Thought

How I had not discovered Tova Leigh before reading this is beyond me! If you don’t already follow here on Instagram I would highly recommend you do!

I read this book in three sittings and stayed up very late as I just could not put it down. Tova is brilliant – honest, hilarious and smart. I am not yet 40 but could really resonate with her words.

This would make the perfect present for a 40th birthday – or indeed any woman approaching that or past that who has children! Even though I did not identify with every part of Tova’s life, it was great reading about another person who was different, but in so many ways the same as me. One for all the women out there, I guarantee you will love it.

Where To Buy

Available in Kindle, Audible and hardback

Mrs Hinch – The Activity Journal

by Mrs Hinch

The Blurb

THE NO. 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Take some time to relax and unwind with Mrs Hinch: The Activity Journal

‘A must for fans’ Mail on Sunday
________________

Hello! Mrs Hinch here! Welcome to your very own Hinch activity journal!

This little book is all about giving yourself the gift of time out: time to plan, time to dream, time to relax, time for us to have a bit of a giggle and a de-stress.

We all live such busy lives and it can be hard to take a moment just to breathe, but I want this book to be all about YOU. Something that we can all enjoy together.

So, make yourself a cuppa and curl up with this journal on the sofa in the mornings, or use it to wind down every evening before bed; whenever you get a spare few moments – just don’t forget your crystal pen, as there are loads of relaxing, light-hearted activities for you to have fun with. Plus plenty of pages for you to plan your own hinching lists ready for the week ahead.

Read from start to finish or dip in on random pages – there are absolutely no rules here! Think of it as a book-shaped slice of you time. You deserve it!

Love, Mrs Hinch xx

‘Get your Hinch on after the Christmas madness with to-do lists and plenty of relaxing, light-hearted activities to just have some fun with’ Heat

‘The perfect gift for anyone who needs to a deep breath and relax’ Good Housekeeping
__________________

‘The sensation’ Sun

‘We’re mad about Mrs Hinch’ Vogue

‘My new cleaning goddess’ Daily Telegraph

What I Thought

I picked up both Mrs Hinch books for myself (and have my eye on the new one she has coming out too) but wanted to share this one with you this month as I have started using it and am loving it.

There are a few pages of journal prompts and activities followed by a space for your Hinch lists so every Sunday/Monday I sit down and do a few of the pages and then plan my weeks Hinching. I have always loved a checklist so it really does work well for me and because I leave it on the table, if Ste does any jobs he can just pop a tick on there so we know what has and has not been done all week.

Where To Buy

Amazon Hardback (Prime eligible) – £6.99

I hope you enjoyed this little round up. I am well underway with next months reads already so will have plenty to share with you in my next book round up. Please let me know anything you have enjoyed reading in the comments this month and would recommend – I love seeing what everyone else is enjoying so I can have a read too!

Thankyou to NetGalley and the publishers for the books gifted to me in this post. These books were gifted in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Affiliate links do not affect your purchase in any way but when used earn the blog some pennies so thankyou!

11 Comments on “Book Reviews – March 2020

  1. The middle two look divine – I don’t think I could comfortably handle the Serial Killers – Ted Bundy freaks me the #*! – out. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. all the books look super interesting but i know i will have to skip the first one….thanks for the recommendations

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I may avoid the first one, being in the faint-hearted category. Others sound amazing

    Like

  4. Pingback: Book Reviews – May 2020 – The Spoonie Mummy

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