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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.

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The Books I Read in July 2020

Leicester, UK
“Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
- E.B. White

We've sped through July and I'm already discussing what books I read over the past 31 days, doesn't summer go by so quickly? I can't wait for the Autumn evenings to draw in now when I can enjoy a good book next to a pumpkin scented candle and under a blanket, there's nothing better. However, I feel like July has reignited my motivation to read and I've picked up some great reads this month.

This month I have gone back to my normal pattern of 5 books in a month, one which I grabbed from my bookshelf after it'd been there for quite a while. I've also tried to ensure I read more from my Kindle because my TBR list from NetGalley is just as shocking as the one from my shelves. I'm really hoping August will be just the same, if not better for reading. I'm getting *so close* to my reading goal of 50 books this year too and hope to reach it way ahead of the end of the year! 

With that in mind, here are the books I read in July 2020. 


Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The one book I would encourage everybody to read before the year is out is Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. It draws on really important subject matters surrounding race and feminism that really drew me in. Reni Eddo-Lodge does a great job in introducing the links between gender, class and race in Britain and other countries in this book. It's an account of different areas within our history including the Atlantic slave trade, Indian soldiers in World War I and the 1981 riots. It really captures areas of history so well. I struggled with the last 40% of the book, it was hard to keep up with and it started to drag for me personally. I really had to push myself to the end which is a shame for a book that is really important to read as a white British woman. There's a lot of really important information and historic facts intertwined within this book but I would recommend you read it alongside something else, you can really dip in and off of this one to get the full effect of the subject matter.

A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins

This year I am really enjoying books around the subject matter of prisons and so A Bit of a Stretch really appealed to me from the get go. Chris Atkins, a former film producer shares his brutally honest account of his time in one of the worst prisons in the UK, Wandsworth Prison. He spent 5 years in prison for tax evasion and A Bit of a Stretch is just a snippet into what his experience was like. I couldn't put this book down after the first chapter and he's experiences with mental health and the prison system is incredibly eye opening for the reader to experience. Although the subject matter is quite serious and there's parts that really shock you, there's some hope intertwined that people can turn their lives around. I found it such an intriguing read and probably my favourite of the month. 


My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood

This is the physiological thriller I wanted to get my teeth stuck into this month and has been on my bookshelf for MONTHS. It follows war reporter, Kate as she returns to her home in Herne Bay, England after hearing the death of her mother. Kate not only encounters the wake of her mother's death emotionally, her father's abuse, and her sister Sally who is battling to stay off the bottle. There's many twists and turns in this story, including the introduction of Paul, Sally's husband. We shift through different times in Kate's life as well as shifting through different characters in the present. The pace of this story is fast but it works well within it's context, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to groups with My Sister's Bones and I'm just surprised I didn't pick it up sooner. 

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins
*kindly gifted on NetGalley in return for an honest review.

WOW! This book is up there as one of my favourites of the year, it was just so good! When I Was Ten kept me gripped to it's unwinding plot from the get go as we journeyed to figure out what happened in the Carter household that fateful evening. I sat and read the final 50% of it in one sitting as I was desperate to figure out what the conclusion was. The plot centres around Sara and Shannon Carter which one fateful night in their home, Hilltop House one of the girls stabbed their parents to death whilst they self. One of them was accused of the brutal murders and spent her teenage years in a secure children's unit. The other moved to a foster family and tried to rebuild her life.

Now it's in the present day, on the anniversary of the murder trial and a documentary team are determined to use tracking down one of the sisters to create a national sensation surrounding the  murders once again. There's 3 parts to this story and includes a journalist, Brinley. The shift between the characters and different parts of the plot made for a fantastic thriller. I enjoyed the inclusion of another character, the Justice Minister Geoffrey Heathcoates. You really need to read this book for yourself to see why I think it is S O good! 

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book I have seen circulating through many bookstagram accounts for weeks so I wanted to see what the hype was for myself. This love story is of a mother blinded by loss and her husband who insists on their survival as they undertake the Syrian refugee to Europe. The subject of this book leaves you lost for words and it leaves a mark on you but I didn't nearly get to grips with it as much as I had hoped. I think the account of people struggling to make it to a country gives you a stark reality of what happens all over the world and how fortunate we are to live in the country we do. I found the shift between the journey of gaining asylum and his life in the UK quite disorientating for me personally. The book definitely stuck with me but not as much as I had hoped, I'd definitely give it a go though for yourself.

What did you read in July? 
 


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