June lit review

I had intended to write this book review post at the end of June, and I know it's now two weeks into July, but better late than never, right?? 

Basically how this is gonna work is I'm going to talk you through my last three reads. Technically two of them were listens, but you get what I mean. I have to say, Audible has become my new work bestie - staves off the cabin crazy. 

Let's dive right in. The first book under the microscope is Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall.

Let it be known by all the sinners in hell, that I know (or knew, rather) next to zilch about Geography or Geopolitics. Lines on maps have never much held my interest.

So I went into this book with a head full of empty geographical space waiting to be filled with knowledge of both the far flung and close to home.

And boy did it deliver.

In a depressing, humanity-nearly-always-sucks way.

By the end of this book I seriously wasn't holding out much hope for the future of the human race. Did I enjoy it? Kinda. It’s hard to enjoy something which focuses so thoroughly on what could/would/will go wrong in the future between nations. I am, at heart, a hopeless optimist, so reading stuff like this - true as it might be - can hammer me into a slump. 

Look, I learned a lot I didn't know. Most fascinating to me was the knife-edge point-of-war hatred between India and Pakistan. I literally hadn't the faintest clue how much these countries cannot stand the living sight of each other.

The parts written about the situation between Russia and Ukraine were also scarily accurate (this book was written before current events). 

If you're interested in Geography or just want to round out your knowledge of the world, this is probably a book you'll find...useful? I can't say enjoyable. But I suppose it isn't really meant to be. 

Next up is Quiet by Susan Cain.

I’ve recently become Susan Cain’s #1 fan - having found her through her TED talk on the power of introverts. If you happen to be introverted, you’ll immediately identify with every word she speaks.

I found this book FASCINATING. Although I’ve learned to be (and love being) a little more outgoing, it's still often a struggle. And that’s OK.

Maybe you’re also someone who prefers to listen than talk, who would rather be in a small group than a crowd, and who gains energy from being in your own company as opposed to being with a buncha people.

If so, this book is one hundred million percent for you. You'll learn how to meet your own needs, which are often neglected or misunderstood in a world that idolises the gregarious. 

Of course after finishing this book I immediately went and bought Susan’s other book, Bittersweet.

And it was every bit as good as I expected. The tagline is ‘how sorrow and longing make us whole’ and I know that seems super depressing but it honestly isn’t.

You ever been homesick for a place you’ve never been? Fallen in love with a stranger on the street you may never see again? Teared up at a piece of music?

These all bring about emotions of the bittersweet - that certain beauty tinged with a coat of sadness. This bittersweet feeling can spark great bursts of creativity, as well as a better connection to both ourselves, and the world around us.

This is another book I’d definitely recommend if you like something a bit different, it's not too heavy, but also deep enough to make you focus and chew over the message.

Also Susan’s voice is so lush, I could listen to her every day of the week.

That's it for my June book reviews. Hope to have a few more interesting ones for you next month (ALSO PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR RECS!).

Over and out,


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