Title: The Enchanted Hour – The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction

Author: Meghan Cox Gurdon

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Piatkus

The Blurb

A Wall Street Journal writer’s conversation-changing look at how reading aloud makes adults and children smarter, happier, healthier, more successful and more closely attached, even as technology pulls in the other direction.

A miraculous alchemy occurs when one person reads to another, transforming the simple stuff of a book, a voice, and a bit of time into complex and powerful feel for the heart, brain, and imagination. Grounded in the latest neuroscience and behavioural research, and drawing widely from literature, The Enchanted Hour explains the dazzling cognitive and social-emotional benefits that await  children, whatever their class, nationality or family background. But it’s not just about bedtime stories for little kids: Reading aloud consoles, uplifts and invigorates at every age, deepening the intellectual lives and emotional well-being of teenagers and adults, too.

Meghan Cox Gurdon argues that this ancient practice is a fast-working antidote to the fractured attention spans, atomised families and unfulfilling ephemera of the tech era, helping to replenish what our devices are leaching away. For everyone, reading aloud engages the mind in complex narratives; for children, it’s an irreplaceable gift that builds vocabulary, fosters imagination, and kindles a lifelong appreciation of language, stories and pictures.

Bringing together the latest scientific research, practical tips, and reading recommendations, The Enchanted Hour will both charm and galvanise, inspiring readers to share this invaluable, life-altering tradition with the people hey love most.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

As a person who writes book reviews it seems a bit redundant for me to read a book extolling the pleasures of reading. It seems to be pretty much a given. At times, I could be accused of pushing my book agenda on everyone else. Read because it is boss. It is almost like my life motto – my own version of Hakuna Matata…or something like that.

However, one of my favourite types of book is a book about books and reading. Is that a little warped? I don’t know why but I absolutely love them ad find them fascinating. They are almost memoirs told through h books. This was one of the reasons that I wanted to read The Enchanted Hour. Unlike other books I have read about this topic, The Enchanted Reader by Meghan Cox Gurdon the therapeutic qualities of reading – although this is discussed, it also loves and the neurological development that reading produces. It is the scene behind it that is truly fascinating. The blend of these two features really make The Enchanted Hour a fascinating read. It is enlightening and one that all educators should read. 

The Enchanted Hour is fascinating look at the importance of reading and creating an atmosphere of stories that is enjoyable – the impact of which will be felt far into adulthood.

The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon is available now.

For more information regarding Meghan Cox Gurdon (@MeghanGurdon) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Piatkus (@PiatkusBooks) please visit www.piatkusbooks.net.

Title: Slay in Your Lane

Author: Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

Pages: 341 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

The long-awaited guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to make lemonade out of lemons, and find success in every area of their lives.

Observer’s 18 for 2018: the talent and trends tipped for the top

Elle’s 12 addictive books you have to read to get through in 2018

Metro’s best new books you have to get through in 2018

BBC’s hotly anticipated debut authors for 2018

Black women in 2018 are well past making waves – we’re currently creating something of a tsunami. From authors to politicians, to entrepreneurs to artists, black women in the UK continue to thrive against all odds and well outside of the world’s expectations. Women who look like us, grew up in similar places to us, talk like us, are shaping almost every societal sector, from the bottom and, finally, from all the way up at the top.

Black women today are facing uniquely challenging experiences in all aspects of their lives. Yet when best friends Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené’s searched for a book that addressed these challenges they realised none existed. So Slay in Your Lane – the lovechild of exasperation and optimism – was born.

From education, to work, to dating, to representation, money and health, this inspirational, honest and provocative Black Girl Bible explores the ways in which being black and female affects each of these areas – and offers advice and encouragement on how to navigate them.

Illustrated with stories from Elizabeth and Yomi’s own lives, and from interviews with dozens of the most successful black women in Britain – including Amma Asante, Charlene White, Jamelia, Denise Lewis, Malorie Blackman and Dawn Butler MP – Slay in Your Lane recognizes and celebrates the strides black women have already made, whilst providing practical advice and inspiration for those who want to do the same and forge a better, visible future.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Okay, let me preface this review by saying that I am aware that I am a white woman and therefore not the target awesome for this book. However, if we break the book Slay in Your Lane down to its parts there are still some sections of this book that I found applied to me and I took an awful lot from it.

Slay in Your Lane is a book about racism, feminism, the patriarchy and just what it is like to be living day to day as a black girl. How your everyday culture is questioned in modern (and predominantly white) society. It reveals the shocking day to day battles that black women face and how our two authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene respond to difficult situations. It is a powerful and empowering read. 

Slay in Your Lane is not just Uviebinene and Adegoke’s experience. Slay in Your Lane is sprinkled with the same, similar or downright shocking experiences of many famous black women throughout the world of TV, music, politics etc. You will not b forgiven for thinking that Slay in Your Lane is an angry feministic rant. It is not. It is a call to arms to stand up and be counted.

As I prefaced this review, I am not the target audience for this book. However, I did feel that after reading in that I am more equipped to fight for things I deserve and that I deserve to believe in myself more.

For an empowering read then you must pick up Slay in Your Lane.

Slay in Your Lane by is available now.

For more information regarding Yomi Adegoke (@yomiadegoke) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Uviebinene (@lizuvie) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: What I Know for Sure

Author: Oprah Winfrey

Pages: 228 Pages

Publisher: Flatiron Books

The Blurb

As a creative force, student of the human heart and soul, and champion of living the life you want, Oprah Winfrey stands alone. Over the years, she has made history with a legendary talk show – the highest-rated program of its kind, launched her own television network, become the nation’s only African-American billionaire, and been awarded both an honorary degree by Harvard University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. From all her experiences, she has gleaned life lessons—which, for fourteen years, she’s shared in O, The Oprah Magazine’s widely popular “What I Know For Sure” column, a monthly source of inspiration and revelation.

Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated, and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful cloth bound book with a ribbon marker, packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power—these essays offer a rare, powerful and intimate glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women—while providing readers a guide to becoming their best selves. Candid, moving, exhilarating, uplifting, and frequently humorous, the words Oprah shares in What I Know For Sure shimmer with the sort of truth that readers will turn to again and again. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

I didn’t know much about Oprah Winfrey. I knew that she was one of the most (if not the most) successful black woman on television. I knew that she worked hard to get her production company Harpo. I knew she had won lots of awards and I knew she was generous (YOU GET A CAR) but I didn’t really know anything real about her. 

I decided to read What I Know for Sure and naively I read it with the knowledge that I just mentions. Now What I Know for Sure is a short book and it is told in small standalone chapters but I learned a lot about Oprah Winfrey and my distant knowledge grew to admiration. This woman has lived, she has lived a difficult life and she has worked so very hard for all the success she has had in her life and she is someone who has earned the right to be revered. 

What I Know for Sure is a glimpse at Oprah’s life, yes, but it is also a manifesto on how to be positive. I really enjoyed it. 

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey is available now.

For more information regarding Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) please visit www.oprah.com.

For more information regarding Flatiron Books (@Flatironbooks) please visit www.flatironbooks.com.

Title: Filthy Rich – The True Story Behind the Jeffrey Epstein Sex Scandal

Author: James Patterson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Century

The Blurb

A shocking true crime tale of money, power, and sex from the world’s most popular thriller writer.

Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins to the rarefied heights of New York City’s financial elite. A college dropout with an instinct for numbers–and for people–Epstein amassed his wealth through a combination of access and skill. But even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. And that unceasing desire–especially a taste for young girls–resulted in his stunning fall from grace. From Epstein himself, to the girls he employed as masseuses at his home, to the cops investigating the appalling charges against him, FILTHY RICH examines all sides of a case that scandalized one of America’s richest communities. An explosive true story, FILTHY RICH is a riveting account of wealth, power and the influence they bring to bear on the American justice system. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

The Jeffrey Epstein case has fascinated and revolted many of us since it became public knowledge. However, Epstein’s insidious actions have been happening a lot longer than his arrest and subsequent death in 2019. In James Patterson’s book Filthy Rich we look at the historic sex crimes committed by Epstein and others who are implicated by association. 

Filthy Rich is an in-depth look at who the man was, where he came from and how he got to be as powerful as he was at the time of arrest. With short, to the point chapters, this no frills book really does get straight to the point and doesn’t quibble with speculation or drama. 

True crime is not really a genre that I am au fait with however, if they were all written as well as Filthy Rich was written then I would be reading much much more.

Filthy Rich – The True Story Behind the Jeffrey Epstein Sex Scandal by James Patterson is available now.

For more information regarding James Patterson (@JP_Books) please visit www.jamespatterson.com.

Title: Dear NHS – 100 Stories to Say Thank You

Author: Adam Kay

Pages: 295 Pages

Publisher: Trapeze

The Blurb

Curated and edited by Adam Kay (author of multi-million bestseller This is Going to Hurt), Dear NHS features 100 household names telling their personal stories of the health service. Contributors include: Paul McCartney, Emilia Clarke, Peter Kay, Stephen Fry, Dawn French, Sir Trevor McDonald, Graham Norton, Sir Michael Palin, Naomie Harris, Ricky Gervais, Sir David Jason, Dame Emma Thompson, Joanna Lumley, Miranda Hart, Dermot O’Leary, Jamie Oliver, Ed Sheeran, David Tennant, Dame Julie Walters, Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzai and many, many more.


The Review

Dear NHS is a collection of tales from celebrities celebrating our NHS. Now, more than ever we need to protect this fabulous institution. Each celebrity featured in this book has a personal connection with the NHS. It could be when they themselves were cared for, a loved one was cared for or even when they worked there. What is palpable from every story is just how much it is valued.

With this collection, Adam Kay has once again highlighted the importance of protecting the NHS from the nefarious hands of our current government who seem desperate to privatise it for monetary gain. The money from the sales of this book will go back into the NHS so even if you aren’t a reader, don’t want to read this book then please buy it anyway. Appreciate the NHS now, not when it is gone.

Dear NHS – 100 Stories to Say Thank You by Adam Kay is available now.

For more information regarding Adam Kay (@amateuradam) please visit www.adamkay.co.uk.

For more information regarding Trapeze (@Trapeze Books) please visit their Twitter page.