Monthly Archives: December 2017

My 2017 Reading in Statistics

This is my review of my reading year. I’ve loved keeping this blog to help me with reading more and tracking what I’ve read. I’ve read 65 books this year, compared to 20 in 2016, and 19 in 2015 (so glad for the goodreads challenge to help me keep count!). I’m delighted to be back reading regularly after many years of feeling like I wanted to read more, but just not fitting it in. I have been regularly blogging this year, but didn’t create my blog last January. I had done the odd book review before this – twelve in total form 2015 and 2016.

The Books






How have I managed to read so much more?

Several things have helped. The first, and probably most important, is I am no longer in a job that requires me to work most evenings and some of the weekends. I changed jobs to one where I have an amazing amount of work-life balance compared to the eight years before. I also watch much less TV, sometimes spending a few hours in the evening reading instead. Finally, my children are slowly getting better at sleeping and I’m less completely knackered all the time!

The Statistics



I’m more than happy with the amount of non fiction I have read this year.


I’m equally happy with the gender split of authors I’ve read this year.


Here is somewhere I could definitely do better on. I need to prioritise reading more BAME authors.

Nationality of Author


It’s very clear that I mostly read British or American authors. It’s embarrassing how there’s no South American or African authors, and only a few from the entire of Asia. Definitely something I need to do better on next year.


Very happy with this. I’ve been discovering lots of authors this year, and have read a lot I just hadn’t got round to yet!


Sorting my books into genre was very difficult! I had to put a few categories together or I was going to end up with a lot of genres with just one entry and the pie chart would have been a complete mess! I already knew I had read a lot of literary fiction. I’ve probably put quite a few books in this section that shouldn’t strictly be there. I’m happy with the amount of other types of books I’ve read.

My top book reviews of 2017

Click the text to go to the review.

  1. The Power – Naomi Alderman IMG_6128
  2. Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor 33283659
  3. Nasty Women – 404Ink 41aalgyb8hl-_sx317_bo1204203200_
  4. Inferior – Angela Saini saini-inferior
  5. Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain 17204619
  6. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes me-before-you
  7. American Gods – Neil Gaiman american gods
  8. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead IMG_7025
  9. Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – Dallas Campbell AdAstra1
  10. The Girl On the Train – Paula Hawkins girl-on-the-train

Most of this top ten is not a surprise. Many are my favourite books of the year and also ones that I’ve felt have had a bit of a buzz around them that I have read quite soon after they came out (Inferior and Nasty Women are two examples).  Some won big awards (The Power and The Underground Railroad) and so people were generally interested in them. There’s a couple of the big bestselling type of books here (The Girl on the Train and Me Without You), and a few that I think my friends would be particularly interested in (Quiet, American Gods, and Ad Astra – science geeks yo). More cringingly, the second most popular review of the year is a book I really did not get on with very well. I write honest reviews, but I am very careful writing negative ones. I didn’t hold back much on this one for a few reasons: it’s a hugely popular author and my small opinion will not even register on anyone’s radar, plus generally the literary community bloody loved it.

But none of those are the most popular post of 2017, in fact one post got 14 times more views than the most popular book review… 

My Review of Rebellion Punk Festival


My review of this music festival got an incredible number of views in the week after I wrote it. I did a very short analysis of the gender makeup of the bands and their order of billing. I describe how I set out to support the female artists and musicians over the weekend, and also the BAME musicians (of which there were only a handful out of hundreds of performers). This post got shared amongst some (thankfully private) facebook groups and some people found it erm… not to their taste shall we say. I had some of the comments reported back to me, and lets just say I’m glad I couldn’t read them. They weren’t very nice. I saw some incredible bands over the weekend and will do exactly the same sort of analysis next time I go, because that’s what I enjoy doing!

Looking forward to 2018

Next year I want to read more. I want to make sure I read more BAME authors and also more authors from around the world – I will have to include lots of translations to make sure I do this. There are no graphic novels, horror (eeek!), or poetry in this years book – need to sort that out! No romance? I’m not keen, but I’ll have to give some a go. Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

2017 Reading Bingo!



Just for a bit of fun I’m going to see if I can fill all these reading bingo squares from my reading this year. I saw this on Cleopatra Loves Books Blog. I like the idea of looking at it retrospectively and have seen quite a few different bloggers do this over the last few weeks. I feel really happy that I have managed to find a different book for each square – even though I only had one choice for some, I still made it! Yey!

Click the images to go to my reviews for each book.

A Book With More Than 500 Pages.

american gods

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

At 635 pages, this is the longest book I read this year (3 were over 500 pages).


A Forgotten Classic.


The Awakening – Kate Chopin

I’m not sure about this being forgotten, but I’d never heard of it. I read it because it was on the reading list I was using for a bit of reading inspiration this year.


A Book That Became a Movie.


Lion – Saroo Brierley

And I haven’t seen the film yet!!!


A Book Published This Year.


Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie

I had lots to choose from for this one, eleven books in total. I went with Home Fire because it has such a lovely cover on this edition.


A Book With a Number in the Title.


Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor

I am happy I have read this one because it’s been a much talked about book this year, but I really didn’t get on with it very well. Still, it’s useful for having that number in the title (though I could have used Fahrenheit 451 for this too)


A Book Written By Someone Under 30.


Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley was twenty one when she wrote Frankenstein. Amazing! I had a few other options for this square, and a few that I suspect will fit, but I can’t easily find the author’s age, which is totally fine of course.


A Book With Non-Human Characters.


Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

We’ve got the White Rabbit, flamingos, the Cheshire Cat, and all sorts of other non-human characters in this totally bonkers book.


A Funny Book.


Living the Dream – Lauren Berry

I rarely read really funny books, but this was one of them. I had a few to choose from here. The Holly Bourne book I read was also funny, and I read two by David Sedaris and they would have fitted in very well here.


A Book By a Female Author.

39 of the books I’ve read this year are by female authors. I’d be horrified if someone couldn’t fit this square!


I’m going to choose What Happened – Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s so good.


A Book With a Mystery.


The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Probably the most straightforward mystery book I read. I nearly went with The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka but the mystery of happens doesn’t get solved so I went with this instead!


A Book With a One-Word Title.


Autumn – Ali Smith

I loved Autumn and I can’t wait to read Winter. I just picked it up and will read it very soon. 🙂


A Book of Short Stories.


A Winter Book – Tove Jansson

I read quite a few essay collections this year, but this was the only short story collection I read.


A Book Set on a different Continent.


Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut

I could have chosen one of the many book I read set in North America, but that’s a bit of a boring choice, so I’ve gone with Galapagos. It’s set, unsurprisingly on the Galapagos islands, so the continent is South America. I was quite socked actually to realise this was the only book I read that isn’t set in either Europe or North America. I will have to do better next year. I sippose I could also have picked Ad Astra by Dallas Campbell because that’s really set in space. 🙂


A Book of Non Fiction.


Inferior – Angela Saini

I read 22 non fiction book this year (yey!) but this was the one I’d like most people to read too. It’s about how scientists historically have let their societal ideas about women influence their science, how the barriers to doing science have prevented women from taking part, and finally, what the real scientifically proven difference are between me and women. I loved it so much I’ve just bought myself a paperback copy – I originally read an ebook version.


The First Book By a Favourite Author.


Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

I’ve still only read this one book by Celeste Ng, but I have Little Fires Everywhere lined up ready to read. I just know I’m going to love that too, and probably any other book she writes in the future!


A Book You Heard About Online.


The Good Immigrant – ed by Nikesh Shukla

Again, there are a few books I could have picked for this one, but I loved The Good Immigrant so much, and I definitely kept reading about it online and sought it out to read as soon as I could.


A Best-Selling Book.


Me Without You – Jojo Moyes

Definitely the biggest, best selling book I read this year! Or possible Girl On the Train, but I used that earlier.


A Book Based on a True Story.


Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

I just about made this by reading Lincoln In the Bardo, set on the night Lincoln’s son Willie is set to rest in a crypt in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Georgetown.


A Book at the Bottom of Your TBR Pile.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

I chose this because I started reading it two years ago, and for some reason stopped and didn’t pick it up again until November. I absolutely loved it and can’t believe I took such a big reading pause with it.


A Book Your Friend Loves.


Bel Canto – Ann Patchett

I deliberated quite a bit with this one. No friends recommended Bel Canto, but after I’d read it, two people (both have book reading taste I trust) told me they absolutely loved it. There were a few books I read because other people told me they like them, but none that they LOVED so I went with Bel Canto, which I loved too.


A Book That Scares You.


Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

I don’t read horror. I don’t watch it either. I get too scared and can’t sleep! So there was no way there would be anything that scared me in that way. Instead I’ve chosen Farenheit 451. It scared me because it seems like how the world is going right now. Anti-intellectualism, “too many experts”, anti-science: there’s too much of this around at the moment and I can almost imagine if it continues, then the events in this book might not be so fictitious!

Also, I’m going to try reading an actually scary book next year as a personal challenge. Which one should I go for?


A Book That is More Than 10 Years Old.


It Cant Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis

I read loads of books that are over ten years old this year. I chose It Can’t Happen Here because I was astounded it was written in the 1930s – it reads like it’s directly influenced by Trump!


The Second Book in a Series.


How Hard Can Love Be – Holly Bourne

I got lucky with this one. I read very few series books this year, and luckily this is the second in The Spinster Club Series. I will make sure I read part three next year.


A Book With a Blue Cover.


The Trouble With Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon

Blue covers seem to be very popular. This was the bluest of blue covers. When I’ve tried to make a rainbow of book spines it is always purple that I struggle to find 🙂


All done! Thanks for reading. I managed to fill each square with a different book. I got lucky with some of the more obscure ones!

How many squares can you fill from your years reading?





My Top Fiction Reads of 2017

Oh this is going to be hard to narrow down! I have read 43 non-fiction books this year. A great achievement for me and I’m so happy to be reading a lot again after years of not finding the time (answer: I watch less TV). I am aware the year isn’t done yet. If I read any amazing books in the last two weeks of December I’m going to have to add them to next years list!

Click the images to go to my longer review of each book. Here we go:


The Power – Naomi Alderman

Women develop the power to give deadly electric shocks. Goodbye patriarchy. This winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 is a visceral, shocking look at a complete reversal in the power balance between men and women. I absolutely loved reading The Power and you would too!



Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

An emotional look at a family who are terrible at communicating with each other. 1970s America, white mother and Chinese Father, with three children. We meet them on the morning that the middle child, Lydia, goes missing and is found drowned. This book was such an emotional read and I loved it.

Also, one of the main characters shares my name, and that was really weird.



Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

Abraham Lincoln mourns the death of his beloved son, Willie. He visits his coffin twice during a night where Willie is residing in the Bardo – the middle place between life and death, along with a host of other ghosts, all with their own shit to deal with before they can move on. A beautiful poetic exploration of grief and parental love. I finished Lincoln in the Bardo feeling uplifted, and much more educated about Lincoln and the American Civil War.

It won the Man Booker Prize 2017 and I am not surprised at all.



Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Firefighters no longer put out fires in this dystopian future. They cause them when someone is found to be in possession of books, any books, they are all illegal. The population have been taught that thinking deeply is a bad thing and they are kept distracted and dumb with frivolous soaps and constant entertainment. Written in 1953, it felt like it could have been written last year. Brilliant.



Living the Dream – Lauren Berry

Late 20-somethings hilariously navigate life and friendship. Sharp and sarcastic, they are a fairly aimless group of friends approaching 30 and dealing with their lives not being what they expected they would be by this age. Funniest book I have read for a long time.



The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad is made physical in this story of Cora escaping slavery from a plantation in the Southern USA. Cora stops off in several states during her journey North and in each one the laws and atmosphere around slavery are different, but equally awful. Cora is trying to make it North, but is being hunted…

The Underground Railroad hits you in the gut with it’s stark and immersive description of Cora’s life on the plantation. It’s part thriller and we have to consider, will Cora ever be free?



Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Man creates monster. Man abandons monster. Monster starts out loving and intelligent but is changed by his treatment by humans and, more devastatingly, his creator. Monster wants revenge. The wretch! #teammonster



Beloved – Toni Morrison

This book will break your heart. Sethe was born into slavery and she will do anything to protect her family from suffering this same fate.

This is the first Toni Morrison book I have read and I’m so glad I did.



The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

A crisis with human reproduction means women capable of bearing children are forced to live with ‘important’ men and their wives. They are raped in an official, state sanctioned ceremony to try and save the population. Fear and control are everything.



Bel Canto – Ann Patchett

I came away from Bel Canto feeling like it was the most beautiful exploration of love I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to end and yet I needed to know what happens! A group of internationally important people are taken hostage while attending a party in a South American country. I don’t want to give any more of the plot away here!


These are all the fiction books I’ve read this year. Click to go to my longer review of each book.


What were your favourite fiction reads this year?

My Top Biography and Memoir Reads for 2017

Having looked at all the non-fiction I’ve read this year, I’ve decided to split them up into science, politics and feminism, and biography and memoir, otherwise I would have a really long blog post summing it all up! I can’t quite believe I’ve managed to read 22 non-fiction books this year! and there’s still a few weeks left… what if I read another incredible book before January?

These are my favourite non-fiction biography and memoir reads for the year, out of the ones I have read this year, not that they were necessarily published this year. Click on the images to go to my longer reviews.


Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored – John Lydon

You will like it if you like John Lydon, or are just generally interested in the Sex Pistols. I am both of these things and I loved it!


Night – Elie Wiesel

I read this because it’s on the reading challenge list I was trying to read from this year. I honestly had never heard of it before, but it seems it’s very well known in the United States. I don’t know if it’s just generally not as well known in the UK or if its just me? but we certainly didn’t read it at school, or anything like it. I realise we

Night is Elie Wiesel’s incredible story of his experience of the holocaust in Nazi Germany. He spent time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He wrote it because there were hardly any people who survived who could tell the story, and it must not be forgotten.



Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterson

A grim childhood in the grim north. My hometown is on the front cover. It’s like visiting an entirely different world. Combined with Jeanette Winterson’s extreme childhood, where the Apocalypse is just around the corner and books are not allowed, we get a fascinating portrait of life in 1960s working class Accrington.

Despite her childhood, Jeanette Winterson get a place at Oxford University and when she arrives she discovers the sexism and misogyny she now has to contend with. It’s a brilliant book that will make you want to reach for and achieve your own dreams.


Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

I know this isn’t strictly non-fiction. I’d like to think enough of it is to just about get into here! I’ve put this as one of my top of the year because inside it has the line that has made me laugh out loud, in complete hysterics because it’s so funny. I still get a little giggle when I think of it now. We can talk about what it is when you’ve read it too. 😀


Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens – Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard didn’t have quite the grim upbringing Jeanette Winterson had, but he has his share of hard times to deal with. Particularly his transgender identity is a struggle during his younger years, and he spent ten years trying and failing to make it as a performer. He had an idyllic childhood until his mother dies when he is six, and he is then shipped off to boarding school – at six years old. His success, when it comes, is lovely.

I had the audiobook version and it must be twice the length of the paper one because Izzard fills it with additional information in the form of numerous extra footnotes.


Here are all the non-fiction books I read this year (click to go to my review):

My Top Politics and Feminism Reads for 2017

Having looked at all the non-fiction I’ve read this year, I’ve decided to split them up into science, politics and feminism, and biography and memoir, otherwise I would have a really long blog post summing it all up! I can’t quite believe I’ve managed to read 22 non-fiction books this year! and there’s still a few weeks left… what if I read another incredible book before January?

These are my favourite non-fiction politics and feminism reads for the year, out of the ones I have read this year, not that they were necessarily published this year. I can’t believe I thought I didn’t like books about politics before this year… how very wrong I was! Click on the images to go to my longer reviews.



Hope In The Dark – Rebecca Solnit

I came to this after hearing it mentioned on the Bookshambles podcast many, many times by Josie Long (this is also why I now have the first Elena Ferrante book on my shelves waiting to be read!). I loved reading this this book with every fibre of my being.

It’s under 150 pages and is a collection of essays on the role of hope in politics, environmental issues, and social problems. The dark is the unknowable future. It’s about how small acts of activism can have huge consequences. It’s about how hope is what’s needed to be an activist. There are examples of all of these things in Hope in the Dark.

Hope in the Dark was written in the aftermath of the re-election of Bush as President of the USA in 2004. I read a version updated to 2016 with a few extra essays about the intervening years. It inspired me to become more politically active – even in small ways – because that can make a difference. While it’s easy to feel like the world is falling apart around us – politically, socially, and environmentally – rather than stepping back and feeling despair and hopelessness (because that shit will get nothing done), we all need to feel hope and take steps to change the future to help change these things. I feel like I can do that after reading Hope in the Dark.


What Happened – Hillary Rodham Clinton

17 hours of Hillary Rodham Clinton reading her book to me (audiobook!) and I feel sadness at what american voters did last year, I feel like I understand the issues much better than I did before reading this. I know much more about her Clinton’s whole career and the chapters on feminism are excellent. I cried several times during this audiobook, I was so moved by how she talks about the loss of the election and compares it to personal grief, but I left this book feeling hopeful, and empowered.


The Good Immigrant – ed. by Nikesh Shukla

I wasn’t sure where to put The Good Immigrant in my crude categorisation of all non-fiction books, but I decided on politics because immigration is political. Brexit is political and has negatively impacted of the lives of BAME people in the UK. So here it is, in the politics category.

The Good Immigrant is 21 essays by BAME writers living in the UK. The stories deal with many themes, often about how feeling ‘other’ is rubbish, and stories about racism, but there’s also plenty celebrating positive aspects of being an immigrant in the UK. I enjoyed every single essay and it has also given me more writers to follow and find their other work. I would class The Good Immigrant as essential reading for anyone living in the UK. I’ve bought it for several people already! My longer review also inspired some good post-Brexit swearing *bonus*.



Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit

Another collection of essays, another by the amazing Rebecca Solnit, from 2014. This time she is dealing with feminism, and she does it so well. I read Men Explain Things To Me and wished I could have all these perfect arguments at the tip of my tongue whenever I talk about feminism.

The title essay is the one that brought about the phrase mansplaining (though Solnit dislikes the term) and highlights this phenomena many of us have experienced.  The rest of the essays deal with other aspects of just why feminism is still needed and necessary. There is also beautiful artwork between the essays by Ana Teresa Fernandez.

She has a new collection of feminism essays out: The Mother of All Questions : Further Feminisms. I have a copy of this but haven’t started it because I already don’t want it to be over!


Nasty Women – 404Ink

I love this collection of essays (theme!!! I didn’t even know how much I like essay collections before this year!). This time the essays are about being a woman in the 21st century. It was inspired by the Trump election, and of course his nasty woman jibe to Hillary Clinton.

The essays cover a huge range of themes: being fat and taking a flight, gendered violence in punk rock, being Puerto Rican and living under a Trump presidency, contraception, pregnancy, class, racism, loving Courtney Love, being a black woman in Scotland, and many more.

It also introduced me to the music of The Petrol Girls, and I am very grateful for this because they are brilliant!


Here are all the non-fiction books I read this year (click to go to my review):

What were you favourite politics and feminism reads this year?

My Top Science Reads for 2017

Having looked at all the non-fiction I’ve read this year, I’ve decided to split them up into science, politics and feminism, and biography and memoir, otherwise I would have a really long blog post summing it all up! I can’t quite believe I’ve managed to read 22 non-fiction books this year! and there’s still a few weeks left… what if I read another incredible book before January?

These are my favourite non-fiction science reads for the year, out of the ones I have read this year, not that they were necessarily published this year. Click on the images to go to my longer reviews.


Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story – Angela Saini.

Inferior is a wonderful look at the history of scientists letting their own attitudes to women get in the way of the science they are doing. It looks at difficulties faced by female scientists through history, and the discrimination they faced which was then thrown back at them as ‘well look, women just aren’t as good at science’. You wouldn’t let double Nobel prize winning Marie Curie join the French Academy of Sciences because she was not a man. Imagine what all these women could have done with support and access to scientific education!

It looks at what are the actual scientific differences between the sexes, and is a rallying cry to get more women into science to end the dominance of old white men. Ok, that last bit may just be more my feelings after reading it.  As well as being really easy to read and understand, it’s funny (see my review for a bit more on this!).


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot.

Straying into the world of cell biology with this one. Henrietta Lacks was a poor, black women whose cancer cells were taken from her without permission. She died from this aggressive cervical cancer. Her cells turned out to be an immortal cell line (they keep dividing and don’t seem to have a limited number of divisions before they die, like most cells). They have revolutionised many areas of medical research and are known to scientists as HeLa.

The story of the cells would be interesting enough, but the real genius of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the story of Henrietta’s family. Her children didn’t find out about the cells until 25 years after the original sample was taken. The family had not received any science education and didn’t know what a cell was – they imagined the scientists had Henrietta chopped up in labs, and all sorts of horrific ideas. By the time Rebecca Skloot investigates the story it is a further 20 years later.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a celebration of the advancement of science, and a heart breaking story about the human, and the family, behind those little samples of cells.


Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – Dallas Campbell

This is a beautiful book full of pictures and stories and facts and history all related to leaving planet Earth. Dallas Campbell has found the most interesting stories about the history of space travel, the current state of space travel, and where it might go in the future. You will read about space cats and tortoises, things smuggled into space, astronaut testing, and moon rock detectives. It’s a book I know I will find myself dipping back into many times to re read.


Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Quiet is about the strengths of introverts. We live in a society that seems to put all the value on extrovert qualities, yet introverts have brilliant things to offer the world. Quiet can help people understand their own introversion, help them accept and recognise its value, and can help extroverts understand the introverts around them.

I’m very clearly an introvert and it was nice to read a book all about how great that is. It also deals with a personal bugbear of mine: that being quiet and being shy are not always the same thing 😀


Here are all the non-fiction books I read this year (click to go to my review):

What were you favourite science reads this year?

Book Review: The Trouble With Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep is a nostalgia trip back to a childhood in the 1970s. Ten year olds Grace and Tilly have the long, hot, heatwave summer of 1976 ahead of them. They need a project and they decide to find God. They know God is ‘everywhere’ (and each time they say this, they gesture around themselves, waving their arms around).


blue wall. 

They have decided to find God because Mrs Creasy, a neighbour, has gone missing. This provides the central mystery to this easy to read, nostalgic trip. We quickly get to know the cast of characters who live on the same close as Grace. They know the ins and outs of each others lives and have been a close community for a long time. Very quickly we learn that a *bad thing* happened 10 years previously. This involves child abduction, the ‘weirdo’ at number 11, a house fire, and a death.


gold glittery shoes

The themes get quite dark, but it’s handled in a very light way, made easier by most of it being told from the perspective of children. There are some very funny exchanges between the ten year olds and the adults. There are some lovely descriptions and a lot of personification is used. I liked this, it gave it an unusual feel, but felt cosy at the same time.


reading at lunchtime amongst the desk debris.

This was a book club read, and most people really, really enjoyed it. I think the people who go the nostalgia hit for the 1970s liked it the most. I’m not a child of the 1970s, but its close neighbour the 1980s, and lots of the nostalgia was still relevant to me. Payphones and sherbet dip. A local who doesn’t fit in, sexism, and roller skates! It’s a quite light book, though it does deal with dark themes, it still feels like a bit of a break from reading *difficult* books, and a welcome one 🙂 I breezed through all 450 pages in a few days.