Title: Girl – Essays on Black Womanhood

Author: Kenya Hunt

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

In the vein of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, but wholly its own, Girl is a provocative, heartbreaking and frequently hilarious collection of original essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today’s ever-changing world.

Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated. But for every new milestone, every magazine cover, every box office record smashed, the reality of everyday life remains a complex, nuanced, contradiction-laden experience.

Award-winning journalist and American in London Kenya Hunt threads razor sharp cultural observation through evocative and relatable stories, both illuminating our current cultural moment and transcending it.

The Review

I know that I live in a very privileged position purely based on the colour of my skin and so whenever possible I will try to read books by authors or writers who can give me insight into their lived experience so I can at least attempt and possibly begin to understand a world so close yet so separate from my own. Girl by Kenya Hunt is one such book.

Through a series of essays you are given an insight into what it is like to be a black woman in a modern world. The everyday struggles that those of us in privileged positions take for granted. Until the harsh realities are presented to you then you don’t have a clue. It is books like Girl (among others) that are helping to change and re-mould the narrative that will hopefully be more prevalent in the future.

Girl – Essays on Black Womanhood by Kenya Hunt is available now.

For more information regarding Kenya Hunt (@KenyaNHunt) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Speed Reading – Learn to Read a 200+ Page Book in 1 Hour

Author: Kam Knight

Pages: 118 Pages

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

The Blurb

#1 Speed Reading Book on Amazon for 2 Straight Years

This has become the go to book for students, teachers, educators, professionals, and home-school parents & children to rapidly improve their reading.

It offers simple tips to not only accelerate reading, but comprehension and memory.

Unlike other books that merely teach you to skim & scan, this book taps into your brain and eyes’ amazing power to naturally read more words in a shorter time.

In fact, this isn’t your average speed reading book.

I spent years to refine the techniques to double or even triple you reading speed with a few simple shifts. No skimming, no scanning, but reading every word with double or triple the speed.

Then with the additional tips and exercises, you will raise that level until you are comfortably reading a 200+ page book in 1 hour.

The Review

I am a quick reader. I read an awful lot of books per year yet my TBR pile never seems to go down (and my NetGalley percentage never seems to go up). I saw the title of this book and how it could teach me to read a 200 page book in one hour and my curiosity was heightened.

Some of the techniques that are taught in this book are really impressive and when you try them out you see that Kam Knight, the author, is on to something. For me, I found reading between the spaces to be the best technique and I am going to practise that one much more.

Speed Reading is definitely worth reading and giving a go. I plan to and hopefully my TBR pile will decrease.

Speed Reading – Learn to Read a 200+ Page Book in 1 Hour by Kam Knight is available now.

Title: Ramble Book

Author: Adam Buxton

Pages: 376 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Ramble

/ˈramb(ə)l/

Verb

1. walk for pleasure in the countryside.

‘Dr Buckles and Rosie the dog love rambling in the countryside.’

2. talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way.

‘Adam rambles on about lots of consequential, compelling and personal matters in his tender, insightful, hilarious and totally unconfused memoir, Ramble Book.’

Ramble Book is about parenthood, boarding school trauma, arguing with your partner, bad parties, confrontations on trains, friendship, wanting to fit in, growing up in the 80s, dead dads, teenage sexual anxiety, failed artistic endeavours, being a David Bowie fan; and how everything you read, watch and listen to as a child forms a part of the adult you become. 

It’s also a book about the joys of going off topic and letting your mind wander.

And it’s about a short, hairy, frequently confused man called Adam Buxton.

The Review

I didn’t know much about Adam Buxton before reading Ramble Book – I know, where have I been? In my defense, the only programs I watch on TV are Bake Off, Gogglebox, Line of Duty and Richard Osman’s House of Games. The rest of my time I spend reading. Anyway, I gave his book a go because from the paperback cover we seemed to have a few mutual loves – David Bowie being one of them.

The more and more I read his book the more I felt that me and Adam Buxton were meant to be together but only if we had a time machine and there wasn’t the 20ish year age gap.

Then he ruined it. He was mean about Labyrinth. Now I think we should just be acquaintences.

In all seriousness, Ramble Book is a wonderful coming of age story with such visceral growing pains that you can’t help but feel for Buxton. Especially in the passages about his father. Whilst he is a grown up middle-aged (sorry) man you are still your parents’ children and when the child essentially becomes the parent or the care giver there is a part of childhood that dies. It is with this that your heart breaks for Buxton.

Ramble Book is a great read for anyone who was a child of the 80s or a lover of that era.

Ramble Book by Adam Buxton is available now.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Sounds Like Teen Spirit – Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll

Author: Tim English

Pages: 175 Pages

Publisher: Self Published

The Blurb

This 2016 edition of Sounds Like Teen Spirit provides hundreds of pairings of songs that appear to have “borrowed” their melodies from earlier songs. Readers will discover the music that influnced the songs of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and many more.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit covers recent plagirism cases involveing Robin Thicke, Sam Smith and Coldplay as well as famous cases such as when George Harrison was sued over his song “My Sweet Lord” by the publishers of the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine”

Readers will never hear the familiar songs in quite the same way after reading Sounds Like Teen Spirit. For example, the Doors’ “Hello I Love You” has the same melody and the Kinks’ “All Day and All Night,” and the riff that powered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a variation on the guitar riff from Boston’s “More than a Feeling.”

Sounds Like Teen Spirit explains that creative artists are influenced by a wide and often surprising range of sources. For instance, John Lennon’s song “Imagine” may have have been influenced by a novelty song that his father recorded to cash in on his son’s fame, and Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” contains the melody from “The Banana Splits Theme!”

The Review

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is a music nerds dream book. It looks at the similarity between songs throughout history and the court cases that followed. It is informative and entertaining and also highlights some music similarities that I hadn’t noticed. It is really interesting.

For me, sometimes the sections were too long. If you weren’t a fan of a particular band or artist that had been focused on then the chapter seemed to drag but there is enough more entertaining information in the book to outweigh this small negative.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is the perfect stocking filler book for the music lover in your life. Yes I did just mention stocking fillers in April.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit – Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll by Tim English is available now.

Title: The Moment of Lift

Author: Melinda Gates

Pages: 273 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

‘We need this message more than ever’ Malala Yousafzai

The right to:

Spend your own money. Go to school. Earn an income. Access contraceptives. Work outside the home. Walk outside the home. Choose whom to marry. Get a loan. Start a business. Own property. Divorce a husband. See a doctor. Drive a car.

All of these rights are denied to women in some parts of the world.

A Sunday Times bestselling debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.

‘How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.’

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares the stories of the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world and the lessons she’s learned from them. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book – to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention – from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world – and ourselves.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

The Review

I won’t proclaim to know a lot about the Gates family. Besides knowing that Bill Gates owned Microsoft (I think) before reading this book I wouldn’t have been able to tell you much else except maybe the conspiracy theories surrounding the Covid jab but even then that was all conjecture. What I know now after reading The Moment of Lift is that the Gates family seem like pretty alright people.

Okay, so the book is hardly subjective being written by Melinda Gates and therefore being her perspective and highlighting the positives but if we look at the positives as a whole then the work that she does to help people seems pretty great. Educating girls about how to keep themselves safe, how to deliver babies safely in underpriviliged countries. Encouraging young women to get into STEM – on paper it all sounds wonderful.

Even if it turns out that all the conspiracy theories are true the things that you can take from this book is that it is well written and that it does elevate you to think differently about other people and how we all could do with helping others. That is a message that really resonates.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates is available now.

For more information regarding Melinda Gates (@melindagates) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.