Holiday reading – three little book reviews

I recently returned from a lovely holiday in the beautiful (and spectacularly hot) island of Rhodes in Greece. We stayed in a part of the island called Kiotari. If you haven’t been, I would highly recommend it. The scenery is gorgeous, the food is delicious and there is so much culture.

The best things about it were:

1) The gorgeous blue sea that was so clear I could see little fish swimming around my feet.

2) HALLOUMI CHEESE.

3) Most importantly…. Having lots of time to read beautiful books 🙂

The worst things about it were:

1) Trying to walk across the scorching hot sand to get a drink and feeling like my feet were actually on fire. (Ouch, ouch ouch!)

2) Thinking there was a bug in my dress and yelping/panicking loudly in front of fellow hotel guests, much to their amusement and delight.

3) Getting suncream in my contact lenses.

Relaxing on Kiotari beach, Rhodes, Greece.

Relaxing on Kiotari beach, Rhodes, Greece.

But stepping away from the joys and inevitable humiliations of holidays in the sun, I read some really fantastic books so I thought I’d do a triple book review. Here goes…

Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – by Susan Cain.

This isn’t the usual fictional novel that I go for. It was recommended by my mum and a colleague, they both said it really changed their outlook on life. I’m pleased to say it did the same for me.

Quiet celebrates introverts, not only explaining what an introvert is exactly (not what I originally thought… turns out I am one too) but also celebrating their achievements and how important they are in a world where it sometimes feels as if you can only get by if you are the loudest and brightest presence in the room.

I learnt a lot about myself and others through reading this book. I now know that I am a sensitive introvert, which explains why I very often feel hotter than other people do (I always wonder why office colleagues seem fine while I want to the open all the windows and buy a huge fan!!) and also why I find horror films absolutely unbearable. If you read this book, all of this will make sense…

Don’t think you are an introvert? You should still read it, because you will almost definitely know several, they may be your children, or you might be married to one. You will see them in a whole new light, and it will also show how your relationship can work in harmony with both personality types flourishing and all needs met.

Fantastic book for opening the mind and celebrating all people for their strengths. Loved it.

5/5

The Fault in Our Stars – by John Green.

Oh goodness. Where do I start.

What a beautiful book… Young Hazel meets Augustus Waters at the Cancer Kids Support Group and from then on unfolds a most devastatingly beautiful love story. Told from Hazel’s youthful voice, I found myself cackling out loud and then crying behind my sunglasses, absolutely heartbroken at this tale of young love in unusual circumstances.

How John Green has been able to write from the point of view of a teenage girl so effectively astounds me. Her outlook on the world and descriptions of the things and people around her were touching and memorable.

It’s the kind of book you can race through in a matter of hours, but be careful if you are on the bus or the train because you may well end up in tears!

I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to reading this, and I’m so glad I have.

5/5

Herd – by Mark Earls

Again, this isn’t a fictional book but another collection of facts and thoughts that blew my mind. Herd has attracted a strong following of marketers, business types, charity fundraisers, creatives and PR people through word of mouth recommendations and people generally raving about it – and that’s exactly what I am going to do.

Herd discusses human behaviour in the masses and then relates that back to the effective running of businesses and successful marketing. The book, which is a great introduction to the massive subject of social psychology is anything but dull, and includes studies and scientific information to back up some really inspiring points. Messages range from the importance of a belief system in business, to the brands that have taken on inspiring and successful campaigns, and all the while you learn about human nature as a whole that will make you look twice at some of the every day situations you might stumble upon.

The only slight downside was that occasionally I was desperate for the author to expand on some points he just mentioned briefly, but that only implies there is room for more work on the subject, which can only be a good thing.

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in really, there is always a lot to be learned from this book. Thank you Mr Earls for such an inspirational book.

4/5

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