2022 TBR | AD (affiliate links)

Disclaimer: If you click on the book title it will take you to an Amazon page to purchase it. If you do so I will get a cut of the money made from the book however it doesn’t cost you any extra! This is a great way for me to make a few extra pennies but there is no pressure to purchase through the link or purchase at all.

One of my favourite things at the start of each year is picking the books I intend to read and putting them on my bedroom bookcase. Last year I managed to read significantly more than the year before (although that wasn’t hard!) but this year I’m aiming high with 100 books! I know it’s unlikely and that’s absolutely fine with me but I love having an aim and I’ve always wanted to do 100 in a year! So I’ve decided to pick out 60 of the ones I want to read (or re-read) most on my TBR and pick the other 40 as I go along with new books (Mum & Dad I’m sorry but let’s be honest I’ll be purchasing at least one in the year) and old ones I find among the endless boxes stored at my families houses! Here are the ones I’ve chosen, in no particular order, please do let me know if you have read, or plan to read, any!

Overshare: Love, Laughs, Sexuality and Secrets by Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton

Blurb: Rose and Rosie are known for their candid and hilarious YouTube videos… but now they are taking oversharing to a whole new level. Discussing sexuality, revealing secrets and empowering others, OVERSHARE is a book packed with Rose and Rosie’s unique take on friendships, fame, mental health and LGBT issues. As visibly out members of the LGBT community, they open up about their own experiences, both together and as individuals, and have written this book in the hope that it gives strength to those who have faced similar difficulties. They are spreading a message of positivity and inclusivity, and want everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin, no matter what their sexuality. Delve deep into the unfiltered highs and lows of Rose and Rosie’s life: family relationships, secrets of a happy marriage, struggles with OCD and anxiety, finding love and navigating the world as a gay couple. Get ready to laugh, cry, cringe and OVERSHARE.

How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy by Lynette Rice

Blub: The first inside story of one of TV’s most popular and beloved dramas, Grey’s Anatomy. More than fifteen years after its premiere, Grey’s Anatomy remains one of the most beloved dramas on television and ABC’s most important property. It typically wins its time slot and has ranked in the Top 20 most-watched shows in primetime for most of its seventeen-season run. It currently averages more than eight million viewers each week. Beyond that, it’s been a cultural touchstone. It introduced the unique voice and vision of Shonda Rhimes; it made Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh and T.R. Knight household names; and injected words and phrases into the cultural lexicon, such as “McDreamy,” “seriously,” and “you’re my person.” And the behind-the-scenes drama has always been just as juicy as what was happening in front of the camera, from the controversial departure of Isaiah Washington to Katherine Heigl’s fall from grace and Patrick Dempsey’s shocking death episode. The show continued to hemorrhage key players, but the beloved hospital series never skipped a beat.

Soft in the Middle by Eileen Shelby

Blurb: A debut poetry collection about love, heartbreak, body image, how absolutely breathtaking girls are, flower blooms and starlight.

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

Blurb: What really causes depression and anxiety – and how can we really solve them? Award-winning journalist Johann Hari suffered from depression since he was a child and started taking anti-depressants when he was a teenager. He was told that his problems were caused by a chemical imbalance in his brain. As an adult, trained in the social sciences, he began to investigate whether this was true – and he learned that almost everything we have been told about depression and anxiety is wrong. Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains. In fact, they are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today. Hari´s journey took him from a mind-blowing series of experiments in Baltimore, to an Amish community in Indiana, to an uprising in Berlin. Once he had uncovered nine real causes of depression and anxiety, they led him to scientists who are discovering seven very different solutions – ones that work.

Good Girl by Angela Innes

Blurb: Angela Innes’ debut collection of poems is a raw presentation of intimacy gone wrong, the untold after and the quiet celebration of when it goes right. The pieces explore a lived experience of teenage frustration surrounding relationships and womanhood, to the difficulties navigating rage when all that we’re expected to be is polite.

Dear Body by Hannah Hodgson

Blurb: Hannah Hodgson, who suffers from an array of conditions that dramatically affect her life, draws on her own illness and disability in an explicit and courageous way with direct and artful poems that raise questions about the relationship between personal identity, the physical body and our place in the world.

On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back by Stacey Dooley

Blurb: Over her ten years of documentary film making, Stacey Dooley has covered a wide variety of topics, from sex trafficking in Cambodia to Yazidi women fighting back in Syria. At the heart of all her reporting are incredible women in extraordinary situations: sex workers in Russia, victims of domestic violence in Honduras, and many more. On the Frontline with the Women who Fight Back, draws on Stacey’s encounters with the brave, wonderful women she has met over her career to explore the issues of gender equality, domestic violence, sexual identity and, at its centre, womanhood in the world today.

Sisters of Shadow by Katherine Livesey

Blurb: All she knew was vengeance… Alice has lived in the forest on the fringes of Alder Vale ever since her parents abandoned her. Alone, exiled, feared by all. All except Lily. But something is stirring beyond the mountains, whispers of spectres stalking the moors, women of unfathomable power luring children into a cult that has haunted local lore for a generation. Then, in the dead of night, Alice receives a letter promising answers to the questions that have always tormented her. And so she meets Grace. The red-cloaked cultist pledged to protect her, a scarred warrior born of storm and sea, the girl who will steal her heart.

Mind The Gap: The truth about desire and how to futureproof your sex life by Dr Karen Gurney

Blurb: Did you know that there is an orgasm gap of around 30% between heterosexual couples when they have sex? In Mind The Gap, Dr Karen Gurney, a clinical psychologist and certified psychosexologist, explores not just this gap, but the gaps in our knowledge of so much of the most important new science around sex and desire. In this book, you will learn that nearly everything that you’ve been led to believe about female sexuality isn’t actually true. And that, despite what you might think, it is possible to simultaneously feel little to no spontaneous desire and have a happy and mutually satisfying sex life long term. Exploring the mismatch between ideas about sex in our society and what the science tells us, Mind The Gap also explains how this disconnect lies at the root of many of our sexual problems. Combining science with case studies, practical exercises and tips, this is a book for anyone who wants to better understand the mechanics of desire and futureproof their sex life, for life.

A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

Blurb: This is not a comprehensive study of every sexual quirk, kink and ritual across all cultures throughout time, as that would entail writing an encyclopaedia. Rather, this is a drop in the ocean, a paddle in the shallow end of sex history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless. The act of sex has not changed since people first worked out what went where, but the ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed have varied significantly through the ages. Humans are the only creatures that stigmatise particular sexual practices, and sex remains a deeply divisive issue around the world. Attitudes will change and grow – hopefully for the better – but sex will never be free of stigma or shame unless we acknowledge where it has come from.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Blurb: When Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables, she surprises everyone: first of all, she’s a girl, even though Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew specifically asked for an orphan boy to help around the farm. And second of all, she’s not just any girl: she has bright red hair, a wild imagination, and can talk a mile a minute. But she also has a sweet disposition and quick wit, and Anne (with an “e” of course—it’s so much more distinguished!) soon finds her place in Avonlea, making a friend in her neighbor Diana Barry and attending the local school, where she spurns the advances of the popular and handsome Gilbert Blythe when he commits the ultimate sin of making fun of her hair. Anne has a temper as fiery as her hair and a knack for finding trouble, and she also has a big heart and a positive attitude that affects everyone she meets. This classic and beloved story makes a wonderful gift and keepsake.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Blurb: The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

Blurb: A novel for anyone who has loved and lost, and lived to tell the tale. As a young woman boxes up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings and prepares to see him one last time, she wonders where it all went wrong, and whether it was ever right to begin with. Burdened with a broken heart, she asks herself the age-old question . . . is love really worth it? Out of Love is a bittersweet romance told in reverse. Beginning at the end of a relationship, each chapter takes us further back in time, weaving together an already unravelled tapestry, from tragic break-up to magical first kiss. In this dazzling debut Hazel Hayes performs a post-mortem on love, tenderly but unapologetically exploring every angle, from the heights of joy to the depths of grief, and all the madness and mundanity in between. This is a modern story with the heart of a classic: truthful, tragic and ultimately full of hope.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Blurb: Rich or poor, we will keep together and be happy in one another. Christmas won’t be the same this year for Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, as their father is away fighting in the Civil War and the family has fallen on hard times. But though they may be poor, life for the four March sisters is rich with color, as they play games, put on wild theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Blurb: When Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy she is repelled by his overbearing pride, and prejudice towards her family. But the Bennet girls are in need of financial security in the shape of husbands, so when Darcy’s friend, the affable Mr. Bingley, forms an attachment to Jane, Darcy becomes increasingly hard to avoid. Polite society will be turned upside down in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, and love—Jane Austen’s classic romance novel.

Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuznair

Blurb: A spell-binding retelling of The Nutcracker, filled with enchanted toys, decadent balls, fierce feminine friendships and a forbidden romance. For fans of The Toymakers, Caraval and The Bear and the Nightingale. There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms. When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary. But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella

Blurb: The Talbots are having one last party at their family home. But Effie hasn’t been invited. Effie’s still not over her parents splitting up a year ago. Her dad and his new girlfriend are posting their PDAs all over Instagram – and no one should have to deal with photos of their dad with the hashtags #viagraworks and #sexinyoursixties. Now they’re selling the beloved family home and holding a ‘house-cooling’ party. When Effie receives only a last-minute ‘anti-invitation’, she decides to give it a miss. Until she remembers her precious Russian dolls, safely tucked away up a chimney. She’ll have to go back for them – but not as a guest. She’ll just creep in, grab the dolls and make a swift exit. No one will know she was ever there. Of course, nothing goes to plan. Not only does Effie bump into her ex-boyfriend (who she’s very much not over), she can’t find the dolls. And as she secretly clambers around dusty attics, hides under tables and mournfully eyes up the dessert table, she discovers unexpected truths about her family – and even about herself. With time (and hiding places) running out, Effie starts to wonder if she’d be better off simply crashing the party. Perhaps that’s the only way to find out what’s really going on with her family…

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Blurb: Carmen has always worked in her local department store. So, when the gorgeous old building closes its doors for good, she is more than a little lost. When her sister, Sofia, mentions an opportunity in Edinburgh – a cute little bookshop, the spare room in her house – Carmen is reluctant, she was never very good at accepting help. But, short on options, she soon finds herself pulling into the snowy city just a month before Christmas. What Sofia didn’t say is that the shop is on its last legs and that if Carmen can’t help turn things around before Christmas, the owner will be forced to sell. Privately, Sofia is sure it will take more than a miracle to save the store, but maybe this Christmas, Carmen might surprise them all.

Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel

Blurb: Jews Don’t Count is a book for people on the right side of history. People fighting the good fight against homophobia, disablism, transphobia and, particularly, racism. People, possibly, like you. It is the comedian and writer David Baddiel’s contention that one type of racism has been left out of this fight. In his unique combination of reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes, Baddiel argues that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of anti-Semitism. He outlines why and how, in a time of intensely heightened awareness of minorities, Jews don’t count as a real minority.

Drama Queen: One Autistic Woman and a Life of Unhelpful Labels by Sara Gibbs

Blurb: ‘It has taken me several years of exploration, but I am at a place now where I see autism as neither an affliction nor a superpower. It’s just the blueprint for who I am. There is no cure, but that’s absolutely fine by me. To cure me of my autism would be to cure me of myself.’ During the first thirty years of her life, comedy script writer Sara Gibbs had been labelled a lot of things – a cry baby, a scaredy cat, a spoiled brat, a weirdo, a show off – but more than anything else, she’d been called a Drama Queen. No one understood her behaviour, her meltdowns or her intense emotions. She felt like everyone else knew a social secret that she hadn’t been let in on; as if life was a party she hadn’t been invited to. Why was everything so damn hard? Little did Sara know that, at the age of thirty, she would be given one more label that would change her life’s trajectory forever. That one day, sitting next to her husband in a clinical psychologist’s office, she would learn that she had never been a drama queen, or a weirdo, or a cry baby, but she had always been autistic. Drama Queen is both a tour inside one autistic brain and a declaration that a diagnosis on the spectrum, with the right support, accommodations and understanding, doesn’t have to be a barrier to life full of love, laughter and success. It is the story of one woman trying to fit into a world that has often tried to reject her and, most importantly, it’s about a life of labels, and the joy of ripping them off one by one.

The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams

Blurb: One canceled wedding: When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong. One unexpected encounter: After a chance meeting with Patrick, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on. One spare ticket for the honeymoon: Could a spontaneous trip with Patrick be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband.

The Shelf by Helly Acton

Blurb: Everyone in Amy’s life seems to be getting married (or so Instagram tells her), and she feels like she’s falling behind. So, when her boyfriend surprises her with a dream holiday to a mystery destination, she thinks this is it – he’s going to finally pop the Big Question. But the dream turns into a nightmare when she finds herself on the set of a Big Brother-style reality television show, The Shelf. Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV and must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned ‘The Keeper’. Will Amy’s time on the show make her realise there are worse things in life than being left on the shelf?

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Blurb: Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young-but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

Blurb: Without question, Fawn Birchill knows that her used bookstore is the heart of West Philadelphia, a cornerstone of culture for a community that, for the past twenty years, has found the quirkiness absolutely charming. When an amicable young indie bookseller invades her block, Fawn is convinced that his cushy couches, impressive selection, coffee bar, and knowledgeable staff are a neighborhood blight. Misguided yet blindly resilient, Fawn readies for battle. But as she wages her war, Fawn is forced to reflect on a few unavoidable truths: the tribulations of online dating, a strained relationship with her family, and a devoted if not always law-abiding intern—not to mention what to do about a pen pal with whom she hasn’t been entirely honest and the litany of repairs her aging store requires. Through emails, journal entries, combative online reviews, texts, and tweets, Fawn plans her next move. Now it’s time for her to dig deep and use every trick at her disposal if she’s to reclaim her beloved business—and her life.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? By Dr Julie Smith

Blurb: Drawing on years of experience as a clinical psychologist, online sensation Dr Julie Smith provides the skills you need to navigate common life challenges and take charge of your emotional and mental health in her debut book. Filled with secrets from a therapist’s toolkit, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before teaches you how to fortify and maintain your mental health, even in the most trying of times. Dr Julie Smith’s expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient, whether you want to manage anxiety, deal with criticism, cope with depression, build self-confidence, find motivation, or learn to forgive yourself. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before tackles everyday issues and offers practical solutions in bite-sized, easy-to-digest entries which make it easy to quickly find specific information and guidance. Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Packed with proven strategies, Dr. Julie’s empathetic guide offers a deeper understanding of how your mind works and gives you the insights and help you need to nurture your mental health every day. Wise and practical, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before might just change your life.

Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Gill

Blurb: Let poetry help you examine the depths of your wounds. Let it remind you that no matter how deep it goes, you will be able to heal it because you have been able to heal every single wound inflicted on your heart and soul before. Let these words show you that you will be able to find the light at the end of the wound because you have always found your way before.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Blurb: In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ that led to this book. Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

Hearstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman

Blurb: Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more? Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner.

Entreat Me by Grace Draven

Blurb: Afflicted by a centuries-old curse, a warlord slowly surrenders his humanity and descends toward madness. Ballard of Ketach Tor holds no hope of escaping his fate until his son returns home one day, accompanied by a woman of incomparable beauty. His family believes her arrival may herald Ballard’s salvation until they confront her elder sister. Determined to rescue her sibling from ruin, Louvaen Duenda pursues her to a decrepit castle and discovers a household imprisoned in time. Dark magic, threatening sorcerers, and a malevolent climbing rose with a thirst for blood won’t deter her, but a proud man disfigured by an undying hatred might. Louvaen must decide if loving him will ultimately save him or destroy him. A tale of vengeance and devotion.

Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding

Blurb: Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. Congressman Todd Akin’s “legitimate” gaffe. The alleged rape crew of Steubenville, Ohio. Sexual violence has been so prominent in recent years that the feminist term “rape culture” has finally entered the mainstream. But what, exactly, is it? And how do we change it? In Asking for It, Kate Harding answers those questions in the same blunt, bullshit-free voice that’s made her a powerhouse feminist blogger. Combining in-depth research with practical knowledge, Asking for It makes the case that twenty-first century America—where it’s estimated that out of every 100 rapes only 5 result in felony convictions—supports rapists more effectively than victims. Harding offers ideas and suggestions for addressing how we as a culture can take rape much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused.

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

Blurb: An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy. Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never exist—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness by Miriam Kaufman

Blurb: The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is the first complete sex guide for people who live with disabilities, pain, illness, or chronic conditions. Useful for absolutely everyone, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation, the book addresses a wide range of disabilities — from chronic fatigue, back pain, and asthma to spinal cord injury, hearing and visual impairment, multiple sclerosis, and more. Expertly written by a medical doctor, a sex educator, and a disability activist, The Ultimate Guide provides readers with encouragement, support, and all the information they need to create a sex life that works for them. The authors cover all aspects of sex and disability, including building a positive sexual self-image; positions to minimize stress and maximize pleasure; dealing with fatigue or pain during sex; finding partners and talking with partners about sex and disability; adapting sex toys; and more.

When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Blurb: In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players. Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

Educated by Tara Westover

Blurb: Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

Blurb: Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory. But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviours. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Blurb: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Blurb: How do you stop a murder that’s already happened? At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Blurb: Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As new member Mia gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. Soon, though, Mia reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down her long-lost love. An inventive world, a breath-taking love story, and stunning art come together in this new work by award-winning artist Tillie Walden.

Talking with Female Serial Killers: A Chilling Study of the Most Evil Women in the World by Christopher Berry-Dee

Blurb: Christopher Berry-Dee, criminologist and bestselling author of books about the serial killers Aileen Wuornos and Joanne Dennehy, turns his uncompromising gaze upon women who not only kill, but kill repeatedly. Because female murderers, and especially serial murderers, are so rare compared with their male counterparts, this new study will surprise as well as shock, particularly in the cases of women like Beverley Allitt, who kill children, and Janie Lou Gibbs, who killed her three sons and a grandson, as well as her husband. Here too are women who kill under the influence of their male partners, such as Myra Hindley and Rosemary West, and whose lack of remorse for their actions is nothing short of chilling. But the author also turns his forensic gaze on female killers who were themselves victims, like Aileen Wuornos, whose killing spree, for which she was executed, can be traced directly to her treatment at the hands of men.

Greek Myths: Meet the Heroes and Heroines, Monsters and Gods of Ancient Greece by Jean Menzies

Blurb: Journey into a world of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, extraordinary creatures and fantastic monsters with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Ancient Greek mythology. Perfect for children aged 7 to 9, this collection contains more than 30 enthralling new retellings of favourite myths as well as some you might not have heard before. Including Theseus and the Minotaur, The 12 labours of Herakles, and the escapades of Jason and the Argonauts, each myth is told in engaging modern language, which is easy for children to understand yet still retains the humour and intrigue of the original tales. Stunning illustrations by multi-award winning artist Katie Ponder breathe new life into each classic story.

The Universe Has Your Back: How to Feel Safe and Trust Your Life No Matter What by Gabrielle Bernstein

Blurb: In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back , New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live. Making the shift from fear to faith will give readers a sense of power in a world that all too often makes them feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book will help guide them back to their true power. Gabrielle says, My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. The happiness, safety, and security we long for lies in our commitment to love. When readers follow this path, they’ll begin to feel a swell of energy move through them. They will find strength when they are down, synchronicity and support when they’re lost, safety in the face of uncertainty, and joy when they are otherwise in pain. Follow the secrets revealed in this book to unleash the presence of your power and know always that The Universe Has Your Back.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Blurb: Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle. But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Five Hundred Miles From You by Jenny Colgan

Blurb: They live five hundred miles apart. Yet their lives are about to collide. Lissa loves her job as a nurse, but recently she’s been doing a better job of looking after other people than looking after herself. After a traumatic incident at work leaves her feeling overwhelmed, she agrees to swap lives with someone in a quite village in Scotland. Cormac is a restless. Just out of the army, he’s desperately in need of distraction, and there’s precious little of it in Kirrinfief. Maybe three months in London is just what he needs. As Lissa and Cormac warm to their new lives, emailing back and forth about anything and everything, finally things seem to be falling into place. But each of them feel there’s still a piece missing. What – or who – could it be? And what if it’s currently five hundred miles away?

How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide by Toni Bernhard

Blurb: Chronic illness creates many challenges, from career crises and relationship issues to struggles with self-blame, personal identity, and isolation. Beloved author Toni Bernhard addresses these challenges and many more, using practical examples to illustrate how mindfulness, equanimity, and compassion can help readers make peace with a life turned upside down.

In her characteristic conversational style, Bernhard shows how to cope and make the most of life despite the challenges of chronic illness. Benefit from:

• Mindfulness exercises to mitigate physical and emotional pain

• Concrete advice for negotiating the everyday hurdles of medical appointments, household chores, and social obligations

• Tools for navigating the strains illness can place on relationships

Several chapters are directed toward family and friends of the chronically ill, helping them to understand what their loved one is going through and how they can help.

Humorous and empathetic, Bernhard shares her own struggles and setbacks with unflinching honesty, offering invaluable support in the search to find peace and well-being.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Blurb: Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered. There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal. Once you’re inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die. El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school’s many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school. Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it… that is, unless she has no other choice.

Illustrated Ballet Stories by Susanna Davidson

Blurb: Discover the tales which inspired famous ballets in this selection of twelve stories, retold especially for readers today. A perfect introduction to the famous ballets. Includes Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and Don Quixote. Beautifully produced, with stylish illustrations by Yvonne Gilbert Nanos.

Proud by Juno Dawson

Blurb: A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN. A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read. Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.

Letters to my Fanny by Cherry Healey

Blurb: How much more fun in life could I have had if I’d just stopped worrying so much and stopped beating myself up? In this book, Cherry reveals the things she wishes her mother had told her, through a series of hilarious anecdotes and excruciating confessions. Each chapter opens with a letter to a different body part: ‘Letters to my Fanny’ covers sex, orgasms and periods; ‘Letters to my. Brain’ covers education, memory and media; ‘Letters to my Tummy’ covers crop-tops, pregnancy and sit-ups.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Blurb: ‘Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?’ A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time. Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

My Confessional by Janet Devlin

Blurb: In 2011, Janet Devlin wowed X-Factor judges and charmed the nation with her unique vocals and performances. She consistently received the highest consecutive public vote out of all the contestants and gained a place on the live arena tour. But rather than this steering her towards greater musical success, Janet faced numerous challenges which almost cost her her career… “Believe it or not, you’re holding my life in your hands. Not the picture-perfect version we’ve all become accustomed to, thanks to social media. This is my life as I’ve lived it – no filters. Each chapter in this book unlocks the truth behind a song from my album Confessional. They span ten years of intense self-discovery married with a lot of self-sabotage. My broken brain has taken me to dark places both in my own head and in the real world. But, with destruction comes creation. I genuinely hope that My Confessional does not personally resonate with you and that you’ve not been to the same Hell that I’ve come to call Home, but if you have let my life be proof that it all works out in the end. I see now that the world is truly what we make of it and that everything happens for a reason. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself. Here lyeth my confessional of the sins I want so much to be free from and to finally forgive myself for what I’ve done. I confess. Janet Devlin”

Break the Glass: An Essay on Mental Health by Rachel Edwards

Blurb: In a deeply personal and beautifully written essay, author Rachel Edwards explores the process of opening up about one’s mental heath and her own journey. Exploring her family’s history with mental health, stigma, and support systems, this essay is not only a touching personal memoir, but also reads as a supportive guide to navigating mental health struggles in the modern world.

If Only by Melanie Murphy

Blurb: Erin is about to turn thirty and her life is definitely not where she thought it would be. She hates her job, she’s jealous of her perfect flatmate – and she has just called off her wedding. A trip home to Ireland to celebrate her birthday with her beloved grandmother is exactly what Erin needs, and she’s spent days preparing herself to break the news about her broken engagement. What she’s not prepared for is the gift she receives: a secret family heirloom that will change everything. Could this be the answer Erin has been looking for – the key to the happy life she’s always dreamed of? Only time will tell…

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Managing Ehlers-Danlos (Type 3) – Hypermobility Syndrome: Working with the Chronic Complex Patient by Isobel Knight

Blurb: The complex effects of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Type 3, Hypermobility), or EDSIII, on a patient’s physical and mental wellbeing are extremely challenging for everyone involved, requiring a multidisciplinary care team and enormous dedication from the patient. This book presents an overview of what it means to be a chronic complex patient, examining the wide range of physiological and psychological implications associated with EDSIII and other conditions such as endometriosis and fibromyalgia. It explores the exercise and rehabilitation work involved in managing the condition effectively, considering a diverse range of medical treatments and complementary approaches including physiotherapy, Bowen Technique and Feldenkrais Method(R). There are contributions and insights throughout from experts in the fields of physiotherapy, rheumatology and health psychology, all of whom have extensive experience of working with complex chronic patients. The author links her own symptoms and experiences to those of other EDSIII patients and discusses how she has been able to reach a point where she can successfully manage the condition. This book will be essential reading for professionals working with EDSIII and other complex conditions including medical professionals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, counsellors and complementary therapists, and will be of interest to patients with EDSIII wanting to learn more about effective management of the condition.

Into the Spotlight by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Blurb: Inspired by the much-loved classic Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, Into the Spotlight is a magical new story from bestselling author and acclaimed performer Carrie Hope Fletcher. Great Aunt Maud visits seasides the world over and has become quite the pebble collector. Pebbles of all shapes, sizes and colours and even one that looked a bit like Elvis Presley if you held it up to the light and squinted a bit. Her favourite pebbles, however, are Marigold, Margot and Morris. One by one, and by strange and unusual ways, each child arrives at the stage door of Great Aunt Maud’s theatre in the heart of London. They spend their summer holidays backstage with an extraordinary cast of theatre acts – Dante the miraculous magician, Petunia the storyteller and seventy-year-old contortionists – the Fortune Sisters! One day, as they are exploring the many nooks and crannies of the theatre, they stumble upon something they were never meant to find

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
Blurb: A hugely entertaining novel of sex, lies and Americans in Paris, dripping with the sarcasm those Americans are not supposed to have. Published as part of a beautifully designed series to mark the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics. The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the Guardian observes, ‘one of the best novels about growing up fast’. Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It’s the 1950s, she’s young, and she’s in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he’s single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted “citizens of the world”; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn’t come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence?

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Blurb: With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw’s Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a “you-only-live-once” perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

Stop Surviving Start Fighting by Jazz Thornton

Blurb: Jazz Thornton first attempted to take her own life at the age of 12. Multiple attempts followed and she spent time in psychiatric wards and under medical supervision as she rode the rollercoaster of depression and anxiety through her teenage years – yet the attempts continued. Find out what Jazz learned about how her negative thought patterns came to be, and how she turned those thoughts – and her life – around. Who and what helped, and what didn’t help. The insights she gives will help create a greater understanding of those grappling with mental illness, and those around them who desperately want to help. Jazz went on to attend film school, and to co-found Voices of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those with mental health issues and show them there is a way forward. She creates online content to provide hope and help.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

Blurb: What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love? One woman struggles to choose between her honor and her heart in this enthralling espionage drama that deftly hops between New York and West Africa. It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Thomas is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving over the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Thomas, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (reread)

Blurb: Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

Blurb: I decided to talk to women about their vaginas, to do vagina interviews, which became vagina monologues…At first women were reluctant to talk. They were a little shy. But once they got going, you couldn’t stop them. Women secretly love to talk about their vaginas. They get very excited, mainly because no one’s ever asked them before.

a photograph of a white bookcase with all the above mentioned books on it
ID: a photograph of a white bookcase with all the above mentioned books on it

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