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Recent Reads: July 2018

Jul 27, 2018 | Lifestyle, Reviews | 9 comments

I love a good book recommendation, and will read pretty much anything from trashy beach reads to autobiographies. I was recently interviewed on a podcast and asked about my best recent read, and I struggled to come up with one that I thought was ‘worthy’ or inspirational enough.

However, I know that a lot of people read for fun, a disconnect or just to pass the time by the pool or on the commute so I thought I’d share my recent reads. I would LOVE to bring back the fitness/running bookclub that I started last year and just couldn’t keep up with – perhaps this time doing a book every 2 months so that I don’t get stuck. Let me know if that’s of interest…

recent reads July 2018

When Life Gives You Lululemons (called The Wives in the UK)

I LOVED The Devil Wears Prada and in fact aspects of Miranda remind me of my editor at Good Housekeeping (she used to click at me and simply shout ‘cookery’ when I worked in the cookery dept), so I was so excited when I spotted this in Tampa. I’m not sure why they’ve changed the name for the UK market, perhaps they don’t think enough of us know about Lulu? Regardless, this book is the perfect holiday read. It’s easily digestible, good fun but enticing at the same time. It doesn’t hold up against The Devil Wears Prada but it is fun to see what Emily is up to having left Runway (you don’t need to have read DWP to get a grasp of the storyline).

Let Your Mind Run 

Olympic Bronze medallist in the marathon in 2004, Deena knows a thing or two about running. I listened to this on audiobook during long runs and it is both motivating and inspiring. But also reassuring that Deena goes through similar mental and physical struggles that the rest of us do. It was so fun to learn more about this amazing runner who is still racing in the masters division. I was lucky enough to meet her back in 2016 – you can read her trail running tips here.

Eleanor Oliphant is Absolutely Fine 

I loved this book! It was heartbreaking yet heartwarming at the same time, providing you with a protagonist that you don’t quite like for most of the novel, yet feel sorry for. I found this to be quite a quick read that would be perfect for a commute, beach or a pre-bed pick-me-up, however definitely has more depth than a lot of trashy holiday books!

Soldier Spy

Anyone else obsessed with spy films and books? This one is about a real life MI5 agent who had to retire due to PTSD, sharing what life was like ‘on the job’. It’s a lot less glamorous than the TV shows make out, and I’m rather glad I don’t know anything about 99.9% of the security threats that go on around us. Random fact, but at uni i was obsessed with Spooks and actually applied for a job at MI5 – LOL!

The Tattoist of Auschwitz 

Harrowing. I’m not sure why but since a visit to Auschwitz back in 2007, I have read a number of books documenting people’s experience during WW2 and in particular, concentration camps. This true story shows the scale of the horror that occurred in both Auschwitz and Birkenau but also the strength of the human spirit. Of love, friendship and endurance.

The Maids Room 

If you loved The Help, you’ll probably like this. Having spent time in Singapore when I was younger (I had family living there), I could really set the scene of this book, based on the experience of the Filipino maids working in the country. It feels particularly relevant after the remarks of this Kuwaiti blogger were published recently.

What have you read recently? Any recommendations for holiday/motivational/inspirational books? 


  1. Sian David

    Ive recently read’ Leap in’ by Alexandra Hemingsley. It’s all about how she started Open Water swimming and really helped me. It was a really good book for anyone interested in that sort of thing!

  2. The Running Princess

    Oh I’d definitely be interested in the book club if you started it up again.
    I’ve read both “Eleanor Elephant” and the Deena Kastor book and loved them. My recommendations for you are other books I recently read on my holiday – “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr and “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” by John Boyne.

  3. Lizzi

    Loved Eleanor oliphant. The Rosie project and the Rosie effect are both great easy reads. I’m just doing them back to back. Born to run: the hidden tribe by Christopher McDougall is next on the list after it was recommended to me.

  4. Cindy

    I read Elenor Oliphant as well and I couldn’t put it down! I didn’t know the Devil Wears Prada had become a series, so I can’t wait to get stuck into that! I’ve been reading a lot of police procedurals lately and just finished the Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey.

  5. courtneyrob

    I’m listening to Deena’s book right now. I save it for long car rides so I feel like I’ve been savouring it a little bit. For a physical book, I’m about to start The Summer That Melted Everything this weekend.

  6. Erin Leighty

    What podcast were you interviewed on? I would love to listen.

    I just finished Lilac Girls, true story of ww2 ravensbruck atrocities. Very good.

    Also, the Alice network is one of the best books I’ve read, it has wwi and ww2 as well as female spies. Highly recommend!

  7. Cari

    If you like spy books, you should absolutely read Daniel Silva’s books. They’re amazing.
    Saving some of these.
    If you don’t have it in you to re-start the book club, Wendy’s is great. I’d be up for yours as well though

    • charlotte

      Ooh thanks, that’s a great recommendation for both, thanks!


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