Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

Wondering What To Read Next?

The 15 Books I Read This Autumn.

Autumn and Winter are definitely the seasons for reading. It's the time of year when I lost all motivation for everything else in the evenings except tucking into a good book! What definitely helps is now I have a fantastic reading corner where I can escape to read my book and it's the comfiest spot in my home. 

As we edge nearer towards a new season and the end of the year, I can see my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 50 books ahead of me. I only have 6 books to read before the year is out and I'm feeling really motivated that I will reach it too. This Autumn I have read 16 books, I've found some really fantastic reads and others which definitely didn't pull me in as much as I had hoped. I wanted to share some short reviews of that book and hopefully, it'll encourage you to read more this season and towards Christmas. 

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 

I've wanted to read this book since falling in love with the movie, so was delighted to find it in a local charity shop. This story is one that will inspire, frustrate and encourage you to tell your friends and family about. Hidden Figures tells the story of four extremely important women and pioneers of mathematics and engineering at NASA.  Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden's story as African-American women paving the way for the future of females is truly inspiring and this oozes in their story. 

Hubert Reeves Explains Biodiversity 

I read this short graphic novel in one sitting this Autumn. It's a fantastic informative tool to help us understand some of the depth behind biodiversity. It gives us an understanding of why it is so important, and how because of it, we have everything around us. I thought it was a lovely graphic novel to tuck into - the illustrations were fab too! 

*Stolen (Lucy Clayburn, #3) by Paul Finch

This book is the second book in a series of books around DC Lucy Clayburn and although it was the first I picked up, I felt it didn't need no real introduction to get into it. It got off to a slow start but after a couple of chapters, it definitely grew on me. This book provides you with a wild and crazy ride - expectant of a crime book and it nailed every twist and turn until the conclusion possible. Stolen is about members of the public who have begun disappearing, taken from the streets as they go about their everyday lives. It also involves a relationship with her estranged father who is one of the North West's toughest gangsters. Paul Finch has done an excellent job in creating and delivering Lucy Clayburn's character in this story. 

How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker by Lauren Juliff

I wouldn't usually reach for a book about people's experiences travelling but this book has completely changed that for me - I absolutely loved it! Lauren's experiences travelling were riddled with some pretty bad luck but there's also a fantastic journey we go on as she explores her anxiety, the world and discovers love too. It gave us a fantastic insight into countries like Croatia, Thailand and Cambodia to name a few.  I think Lauren's writing style in this book was incredibly engaging too. I could definitely recommend this title to people for sure! 

I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

It was most definitely the blurb that drew me into this book on the shelves of my local charity book shop. This thriller is an authentic portrayal of childhood and the tension in rural Italy and it's Michele's story in the summer of 1978 we discover. There are definite underlying tension vibes coming from the pages of this book and Michele's character is admirable as he battles with what trust he has for his family, even his father. It was an interesting book but it was not a book that has stuck with me and one I remember little about. 

*Failing in love: How failed relationships can lead to love at its finest by Juliette Sweeney

Juliette is my friend so I was delighted to be asked if I could read her debut short book Failing in Love during a rainy Sunday morning. I absolutely stormed through this book packed with personal experiences and questions surrounding relationships. It's a fantastic eye-opener and open-minded discussion that definitely has something for everyone to take from the pages. I loved how short but well constructed the chapters are and it gave me huge food for thought in my own relationship too! Juliette is a fantastic writer and I'm excited for more from her!

*All That's Bright and Gone by Eliza Nellums. 

Eliza Nellums debut novel All That's Bright and Gone is an unforgettable read. We are thrust into Aoife's world, a six-year-old girl who is searching for the truth around her brother whilst her mum is taken away to battle her own demons. We experience her grief and optimism as we go on this journey of discovery. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I couldn't put it down!

Inside Broadmoor: Up close and personal with Britain's most dangerous criminals by Jonathan Levi and Emma French

I found this book incredibly gripping as we discovered life inside one of the most infamous buildings in the UK. It was very easy to digest this book and uncover some understanding about the building's history, patients and the dedicated staff. It gave me new knowledge about this building and how we portray the work it does. It wasn't massively detailed but it's definitely a book for those (like me) who find crime and psychology interesting to get stuck into, I couldn't put it down! I've known other people who have read and didn't enjoy this book as much as me but I'd definitely give it a shot for something different on your shelf!

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

This was one of the books I heard so many people shout about so I had to give it a go for myself this Autumn. An American Marriage is a powerful, subtle, sad tale about the criminal justice system in America and how injustices have personal and long-term consequences. Roy and Celestial's story really tugs on your heartstrings and frustrates you too.  The story definitely jumps between the characters and their journeys with Roy's prosecution and time in jail. It can make it quite difficult to stick with the story but it's emotional force definitely makes for a gripping read. 

*Our Autistic Lives: Personal Accounts from Autistic Adults Around the World Ages 20 to 70+ by Alex Ratcliffe

I work with children with Autism so this book appealed to me massively when I saw it on Net Galley recently. I enjoyed reading personal experiences from adults all over the world about how they experience autism and it was incredibly eye-opening. It's a really easy book to get stuck into and I couldn't put it down. I loved how the book was broken up into ages too - it showed the difference and similarities in the challenges presented to these people and how we can hopefully support them in the wider community too. 

Read More: The Last 10 Books I Read

The Chalk Man by C.J.Tudor

I think The Chalk Man is going to be down as one of my favourite reads of the year. I love how incredibly fast-paced and dark this thriller/horror book - I really couldn't put it down and it was the ideal read for the spooky month! The book shifts between the 80s and present day, showing a very obvious similarity with Stephen King's infamous book, IT. The plot is really gripping and I love how they created the story and the subplots. I think the characters were introduced well and played their part in the overall plot well.

*The Guardians by John Grisham

I've got friends who love John Grisham and he's pretty popular in the book world but this was my first read. Wow! I'll definitely be picking up more books by Grisham in the future because I was engaged with this story from the get-go. The plot was carefully created with many twists and turns, fantastic characters and a gripping conclusion. I couldn't put it down and it was a perfect read whilst on a holiday this Autumn. I'd definitely recommend this read!

*Good-Time Girl by Leslie M.Rollins

I had read some reviews before diving into this book and it was definitely any of the other books I've read this year. It got off to a slow start for me and then it most definitely had a steep change and I found it really engaging. Leah's character was fun but at times quite frustrating to read about - but her sheer determination and confidence were of appeal too. It has some really clever humour intertwined into a more serious storyline. It's not what I expected at all and was a quick read for me to dig into!

Will You Love Me? The Rescue Dog that Rescued Me by Barby Keel

This book was one of the most heartwarming reads of the year for me. I support and have worked at my local rescue shelter this year so this shone a light on the importance of the work we do for animals. Bailey's story is one I've witnessed and heard far too regularly for my liking and it's down to Barkby that we can help them. It's a fantastic book that kept me gripped and brought a few tears to my eyes too!

*The Pact by Amy Heydenrych 
This book had everything set up to be a great thriller but it was incredibly slow-paced for me. The author has placed in some fantastic twists and turns but it was difficult to stick with this book. I did complete it but the conclusion and journey of getting there could have been fitted into a shorter book for sure. It does have a good plot and characters though! I couldn't give it a higher star review for its slow pace.

What have you been reading recently?

If you enjoyed reading this post, you may also enjoy reading 13-18/50 Books of 2019 Reading Challenge.

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Books marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted by the publishers or NetGallery in return for an honest review. 



  1. Your list is very detailed. I have heard some of those books. Will definitely check the others. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a great list. I saw that 'How not to travel the world' book recently and nearly brought it. Think I will go back and give it a go now :-) Well done on your challenge!


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