I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

My book of the year

I’ve always enjoyed read­ing and for as long as I can remem­ber I’ve read fic­tion. Sev­er­al years ago I got sur­prised with a Kin­dle for Christ­mas by my par­ents and it caused me to increase dra­mat­i­cal­ly the num­ber of books I was reading.

This year is a dif­fer­ent sto­ry. Read­ing has been a dif­fi­cult task, some­thing that is very unusu­al for me since it has always been a point of com­fort. When I was in junior school I had a series of books I would read when I was strug­gling with being bul­lied. When I was in my teens I would go back and read famil­iar books when I need­ed to find some­thing calm­ing. A few years ago when I was bat­tling my first bout of depres­sion I read Har­ry Pot­ter books that were famil­iar and pro­vid­ed a way for my mind to imag­ine instead of a spi­ral of neg­a­tive thoughts.

So when the world implod­ed this year, I thought once again I would be able to find refuge in books of fic­tion. But for sev­er­al months I strug­gled to read. My mind could not focus, so it was a sur­prise to me when I looked at my read­ing stats in Book Track and Goodreads to dis­cov­er that I had read more books this year than last. The thir­teen books I’ve read (so far) this year is still low com­pared to my nor­mal lev­els, but there is a def­i­nite uptick in the final half of the year that I’m pleased to see.

When I set out to write this post it was going to be a top 5 books of the year, as I start­ed writ­ing I realised there’s only one book I want to high­light. I read it right at the start of the year, and it’s a book that has con­tin­u­al­ly come to mind ever since. I was giv­en a print of one of the pages in it for my birthday.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Char­lie Mack­esy is a mas­ter­piece. It has been so relat­able over the course of this year.

The quote that has been hang­ing in my liv­ing room is one which many peo­ple have remind­ed me of and one which will no doubt have me return­ing to time after time.

“Being kind to your­self is one of the great­est kind­ness­es,” said the mole. 

At a time when peo­ple often become quite intro­spec­tive and look back at what they’ve done with the year, it’s easy to see all the peo­ple shout­ing about how they have utilised the lock­down to achieve so much and feel inad­e­quate. It would be easy to begin beat­ing our­selves up. So we should take notice of what the mole has to say, and be kind to our­selves, because actu­al­ly get­ting through this year is pret­ty good going.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Author: Char­lie Mackesy
Book pub­lished: 2019
Rating: ★★★★★
Fin­ished on: 9/2/2020
Absolute­ly loved this book. Very inspi­ra­tional and thought-pro­vok­ing. A book that is firm­ly on the favourites list for a long time.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris
Book pub­lished: 2018
Rat­ing: 4
Fin­ished on: 2019/12/29
I’ve want­ed to read this for a while and final­ly got around to it. Whilst it’s a very sad sto­ry, there are moments of hope in there. We must all pray that noth­ing like it ever hap­pens again.

Author: James S.A. Corey
Book pub­lished: 2011
Rat­ing: 4
Fin­ished on: 26/03/2019

Author: Bernard Cornwell
Book pub­lished: 2018
Rat­ing: 4
Fin­ished on: 19/02/2019

Author: Robin Hobb
Book pub­lished: 2017
Rat­ing: 5
Fin­ished on: 21/01/2019

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

Author: Michael Pollan
Book pub­lished: 2008
Rat­ing: 4
Fin­ished on: 2019/01/07
The fol­low up to the book and film doc­u­men­tary which gives a few prac­ti­cal hints. I still like the main premise the most:

Eat food. Not too much. Most­ly plants. This was the bot­tom line, and it was sat­is­fy­ing to have found it, a piece of hard ground deep down at the bot­tom of the swamp of nutri­tion sci­ence: sev­en words of plain Eng­lish, no bio­chem­istry degree required.