My year in books (2018)

Can you believe its the middle of January and here I am with no new year resolutions in sight (I’m working on it)!

The one resolution I do have, similar to that of last year – is to read more. Last year I discovered a gem of an app called ‘Goodreads’, it’s an absolute must for bookworms like myself.

Goodreads

Goodreads helps you to discover new books as well as add books to a virtual library, compartmentalising them into 3 sections: Want to read, currently reading and read. You can also see as a percentage how much you’ve completed & update your progress, throwing away the need for bookmarks (if you’re brave).

Goodreads have so many amazing features that can be explored both through their app and desktop site.  My favourite is their reading challenge which runs throughout the year. I started mid-year in 2018 and managed to read 12 books. This may not seem like a lot, but balancing a full-time job amongst other responsibilities/activities, makes it hard to sometimes even fit in 20mins of reading a day. This year I have challenged myself to read 15 books, starting off with ‘It’ by Stephen King.

Anyway, that’s enough of me rambling on. Below is a recap of the books I’ve read in 2018, and my thoughts as to whether or not I would recommend them.

Please, if you have any suggestions on books to read, both fiction & non-fiction, then leave a comment in the comment section. 🙂

My year in books

The introvert entrepreneur: Amplify your own strengths and create success on your own terms

This book is a must for both introverts and extroverts alike! It is a great tool to understand how to use our energy source in a way that will enable us to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship.

4/5

A feast for crows

All my GOT fans make some noise!! This book is a very hefty one, so you need time and patience to get through this. The details and plot twists outlined in these pages ties up everything we’ve learnt in the TV series so far.

4.5/5

The memory illusion: remembering, forgetting, and the science of false memories

If like me, you have trouble sometimes establishing what’s real & what’s not, or even confusing someone else’s memories with your own, then you need to read this! Forensic psychologist Dr Julia Shaw, explains in layman’s terms just how our brains function and why we cannot rely on it too much.

3.5/5

He said/ she said

A pretty average thriller with some confusing plot twists towards the end

3/5

The girl on the train 

I had to wait for the whole hype surrounding this book to die down, so in true typical Adina fashion, it took me years to finally get around to reading this. If you haven’t already then don’t bother.

2/5

The couple next door


This was the first ‘E-book’ I ever read, which at the time was only 0.99p. In relation to the price, this is a pretty good book with an interesting storyline. It’s not a must read but rather a book that will help to pass the time.

3/5

The power

One word: Amazing!! I have a review up on this which you can find here.

4.5/5

You let me in

THIS BOOK HAS THE BIGGEST PLOT TWIST EVER!! Will leave you never wanting to put your home on Airbnb.

4/5

Why we sleep: The new science of sleep and dreams

Honestly, everyone needs to read this. Matthew Walker explains exactly why we need 8 hours of sleep and the dangers that lay ahead if we don’t.

4/5

The hate u give

Right, so everyone ranted and raved about this film, I purposely didn’t watch it as I wanted to read it first… You guys will probably hate me for saying this but omg (sorry)… Too many pop culture references in a bid to be relevant. The storyline had so much potential but I think this book will age pretty quickly.

0/4

Into the water

This is the second book by Paula Hawkins that’s made it onto this list. A tad confusing in some sections but miles better than her first book ‘Girl on the train’.

4/5

Slay in your lane

Stop what you’re doing and order this right now! There are so many gems in this book, so many I wish I knew back when I was 15. I won’t say too much as I really want to do a separate post about it (yes it was that good).

I know this is a pretty lengthy post, so if you’ve reached this far then thank you so much for reading 🙂 Hope everyone is having an amazing new year so far.

“The Power” Review

I‘m going to take a wild guess and say that at least 1/2 of the people here have read ‘The Secret’, or have at least heard of it. My first thoughts around the Secret and everything that it is based upon were not very positive. Honestly, I thought people were crazy for reading into this nonsense.

However, everywhere I turned people were mentioning how the law of attraction and manifestation had worked for them. Intrigued, I believed this to be a sign from the universe that I should try and give it a go.

Me being me, I decided to start off with the 2nd book: “The Power” which I had found in a stationery shop called ‘the works’ for £3. The first page does note that you don’t have to have read the first book as it pretty much contains the same lessons. However, if you really do want to gain some background knowledge before you jump into the 2nd book, ‘The Secret’ is also a film which is now available to watch on Netflix.

In a nutshell,  ‘The Power’ is a handbook on how to achieve, create and change absolutely anything (with reason) using the power of the universe. The power being the law of attraction…imagining things you want as if you already have them.  Now you can see why I think this to be a crazy idea right?

I’m all for speaking things into existence, but imagining things have happened before they actually do, seems like a step too far. However, I decided to put all of my hesitations aside and try it out…I’m not sure if this a coincidence but my local shop has been out of stock of grapefruit for months, so I imagined myself going into the store picking up some grapefruit. Later on that day, I found my way to the fruit aisle and to my surprise there was one last grapefruit waiting for me. Now again, this could be a coincidence, however, there have since been other moments just like these, that have me thinking…maybe ‘The power/secret’ is real.

Even if you are sceptical, this book is a good read and I would definitely recommend it. Contained within the pages are some valuable life lessons that I personally think everyone can benefit from.

I will go ahead a post a few of my favourites below:

“So many people don’t live for today. They are completely consumed with the future, and yet it is how we live today that creates our future” – page 56

“Whatever desire you can imagine, already exists! It doesn’t matter what it is, if you can imagine it, it already exists in creation” – page 71

  1. Be grateful for everything you have received in your life (past)
  2. Be grateful for everything you are receiving in your life (present)
  3. Be grateful for what you want in your life as though you have already received it (future) – page 130

The Memory Illusion

For as long as I can remember I have loved to read, so much so that my childhood basically revolved around trips to the library and my local bookstore.

Once I had reached to University, reading for fun was non-existent. Long gone were the days where I would curl up next to the heater with a hot chocolate in one hand, and my favourite novel in the other. Instead, this was replaced by a structured reading list featuring massive hardbacks about epistemology, Corporate governance and operations & quality management.

However, with my graduation ceremony taking place last year, marking the end of my University journey, I no longer had any excuses. I am only on book 3/10 for the year. Although I have a long way to go I am pleased with my progress so far. I have even started a Bookstagram (an Instagram for books). Sounds weird I know but it’s actually pretty cool.

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The Memory Illusion

The memory illusion by Dr Julia Shaw showcases various facts and examples on why we cannot trust our memories, and how we are tricked into believing events have taken place, when in fact no such thing has occurred. Most of the memories we have are not even ours. They are simply conjured up and based upon the memories of others, evidently going on to create somewhat of a pseudo-timeline.

This book started off quite slow and took a lot of effort for me to keep on reading, hence the reason why it took me around three weeks to finish it. However one example really caught my attention, this was to do with false confessions or what some like to call coerced confessions.

Dr Shaw touches on the judicial system, and how interrogations when conducted in a particular fashion, can manipulate the innocent into believing they are guilty; eventually going so far as describing how they carried out the supposed crime. This is what many believed happened to Brendan Dassey from Netflix’s true-crime documentary: Making a murderer. Brendan’s age and lack of education were two of the apparent reasons that made him susceptible to this type of memory illusion. Research has shown that those aged eighteen and under are four times more likely than adults, to confess to a crime they didn’t commit.

Another thing I have learnt is that multitasking doesn’t exist…Yup, you heard me right there is NO such thing as multitasking. Our brains just do not have the capacity to focus on more than one thing at any one time. Instead, we do a thing called task switching. This means that instead of completing two or more things simultaneously, our brain switches off completely from that task the moment we introduce another.

Although reading this seemed like a chore at times, I did enjoy some chapters of this book and managed to learn a little about myself in the process. If you would like to learn more about memories and their illusions then you can purchase the book here.