Title: Life in Pieces

Author: Dawn O’Porter

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

Dear 2020 – can we just start over?

Dawn O’Porter has been thinking about life. In lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard.

From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn’s daily diaries track the journey – for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.

LIFE IN PIECES is a book for anyone who’s been thrown into a life they didn’t plan, or who just wants to stick it to 2020. When it looks like everything’s falling apart, we’ll piece it back together.

Love Dawn x

The Review

One of the things that I wish I had done was to have made a record of all the weird things that happened during lockdown. Like when I lost my sense of taste and smell or how we had a mouse and it terrorised us so much that we were held hostage by it, or how we would watch the daily briefings with shock, despair and anger at our governments handling of the whole ordeal. Alas, I did not. But Dawn O’Porter did.

In her latest release, Life in Pieces, Dawn O’Porter tells us about her lockdown and how she handles things such as the isolation, Covid-19, home schooling etc. It was such a tonic reading it and knowing that you weren’t alone in the weird lockdown feelings. 

Some of the more poignant parts of Life in Pieces came when O’Porter talked about the death of her friend Caroline Flack. Her moments of stillness allowed you to take a moment yourself and realise that in times as strange as these have been to take note of the people around you that you love.

Another wonderful piece by O’Porter.

Life in Pieces by Dawn O’Porter is available now.

For more information regarding Dawn O’Porter please visit her Instagram page.

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

Title: How to Own the Room – Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking

Author: Viv Groskop

Pages: 214 Pages

Publisher: Transworld Digital

The Blurb

Most books about public speaking don’t tell you what to do when you open your mouth and nothing comes out. And they don’t tell you how to get over the anxiety about performance that most people naturally have. They don’t tell you what to do in the moments when you are made, as a woman, to feel small. They don’t tell you how to own the room. This book does.

From the way Michelle Obama projects ‘happy high status’, and the power of J.K.Rowling’s understated speaking style, to Virginia Woolf’s leisurely pacing and Oprah Winfrey’s mastery of inner conviction, what is it that our heroines do to make us sit up and listen – really listen – to their every word? And how can you achieve that impact in your own life? Here’s how.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Speaking in public is hard. It can be made even harder when your gender is an additional factor into why you may be judged, not listened to or respected. Viv Groskop’s brilliant book How to Own the Room is a powerhouse of a book. It is empowering and give amazing information, advice and real life stories on how to build up your confidence and to be able to give amazing speeches. 

I took a lot from this book. I work in a school and I don’t really have a problem with speaking to my students but I  know I would feel very different if I was speaking to my peers. If I am ever asked to address people on my level or higher I know I will return to How to Own a Room to help me with the delivery of my speech.

Additionally, it is the stories of well known people and how they deal with making speeches that makes you feel a little bit better about your own nerves. How to Own a Room is a practical guide and an enjoyable read.

How to Own the Room – Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking by Viv Groskop is available now.

For more information regarding Viv Groskop (@VivGroskop) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Transworld Digital (@TransworldBooks) please visit the Twitter page.

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.