Stories from a book club #5

The Stories from a Backpack Monthly Online Book Club
Stories from a book club #5

Sometimes I wish you could read a book just by touching it.

I wish the words would soak up through my fingertips and all the knowledge, and the stories would wedge themselves into my brain and heart. Just by a touch. I think that might be the one superpower I’d wish for. Do you know what I mean friend?

But the truth is, what we learn from actually reading a book is the commitment, the energy, the time expelled turning pages and living in new worlds. We learn from the emersion and the dedication. To be apart of the story.

Touching a book and absorbing its knowledge would never live up to the same experience as smelling the pages and creasing the spine.  Writing in the margins and lingering on passages and highlighting the words that resonate. We wouldn’t enjoy the experience if we didn’t live it.

“Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of thier contents.”

Arthur Schopenhauer.

This last month I’ve overwhelmed myself with the number of books I want to read. Dredging up dusty covers from the back of my bookshelf. Ordering bright shiny new books and hoarding library books, now on infinite lend. Where to start? Where to end? I’m determined to spend lockdown with my nose wedged into a book, toes curled under a blank, wine glass not too far away… you get the picture. What about you friend, how are you holding up?

Stories from a book club #5

Here’s the March round-up:

Total books read: 6
Fiction: 2
Non-fiction: 4
Total pages: 1,673

Book #1 – Bread & Wine – Shauna Niequist


Where was it from? Pre-loved, second-hand book from amazon.

Non- Fiction: A love letter to life around the table with recipes. There is something so truthful about this sort of writing, I love it. Honest snippets of a life. Finding the extraordinary in the everyday. All I’ve ever wanted is a tableful for people and this book is for others who feel the same. It’s a little American, so if you don’t like that type of writing, you won’t like this.

Read this book if:  You want some short snippet stories about everyday life and some easy recipes.

Quotes I think you’ll love: 

  • It’s easy to think that because you can’t do something extraordinary, you can’t do anything at all. It’s easy to decide that if you can’t change your life in one fell swoop, then you might as well do nothing. We started where we could, with what we had.
  • I always wanted a home filled with people.
  • Your home and your heart open and expand when the people you love are gathered around your table.”

Book #2 – Start Writing Your Book Today – Morgan Gist MacDonald

Where was it from? Pre-loved, second-hand book from amazon.

Non- Fiction: Sort of says on the tin. A great introductory book about writing a book. It focuses on non-fiction, but there is lots of usual information about self-publishing and writing routines.

Read this book if: You are thinking about writing your own book. Everyone has got at least one book in them, right?

Quotes I think you’ll love: 

  • “Most successful authors began their writing career in the margins of normal life.”
  • “One undeniable truth: you can write a book.”
  • “You don’t have to wait until you’re already an expert before you start writing a book; you become an expert as you write the book.”

Book #3 – Chasing the Sun – Katy Collins

Where was it from? Library. (I miss the library so much already).

Fiction: Georgina Green is on the fast track to success, perfect job and boyfriend, and new house. Plus a best friend who is getting married in Australia which means one mega holiday! But when her best friend goes completely Bridezilla she finds herself fighting over wedding dresses rather than soaking up the sites and sun. An easy light-hearted travel fiction read.

Read this book if:  You want to lose a few hours reading a holiday book.

Stories from a book club #5

Book #4 –  The Gringo Trail – Mark Mann

Where was it from? Amazon. Lurking on the back of my bookshelf. I checked my Amazon orders. I bought it in 2009!!!! This book has sat unread in at least three different houses. £5.98 I paid in 2009. Bonkers. Let’s just say, I will not be keeping it for another 11 years.

Fiction/ Non-Fiction: Mark and his girlfriend set off to travel The Gringo Trail. The famous backpacking route across South America. Their friend Mark decides to tag along, excited by one thing, drugs. The crazy adventures have an unexpected yet inevitable devastating ending.

It’s a bit like The Beach if it was real, and set in South America and with way more drugs. It was a quick and easy travel book read, some parts had a lot of historic description, which was interesting but dragged in places. If you’ve been to South America you’ll love it.

Read this book if: You want a travel read or you’re thinking of going to South America.

Book #5 Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant – Joel Golby

Where was it from? Libray

Non- Fiction: Joel’s short essays and stories cover sad and poignant topics such as the death of his mum and dad and then random anecdotes, like the time he spent at the Saudi Arabia camel pageant. Yup, it’s as random as it seems.

Damn it. I wanted to love this book. I’ve had it on order for ages. I’m glad I didn’t buy it. The writing is excellent, amazing and some of the stories are really funny, but I didn’t love it.

Read this book if: You fancy a bit of laugh or want to read some excellent journalism style storytelling.

Book #6 On Fire – John O’Leary

Where was it from? Lurking on my bookshelf. I told you I was trying to use this time to dig out the brand new unread books on my shelves. This one wasn’t so bad. Ordered from Amazon in 2017.

Non- Fiction: John O’Leary was nine years old when he was nearly killed in a devastating house fire. His body was 100% covered by burns. This is the story of how he not only overcame the struggle, but fought for an incredible life chasing his dreams.

It’s hard to argue with some of the ideas and thoughts that are shared in the book, it makes you realise how weak our excuses can be sometimes.

Read this book if: You need a coaching session or pep talk.

Quotes I think you’ll love: 

  • “May you realise the impact of your life ad may you live inspired.”
  • “It’s time to dare to believe that who you are is enough.”
  • “There is a myth that love is soft. The truth is, sometimes love is hard. Love takes action. ”

Stories from a book club #5

Stories from a book club #5 I read and review some books each month, to find some I think you’ll enjoy. You pick one you like from the list and read it. We then get to chat on Instagram about all the things you loved and thought about when you read the book. No time pressures. No complicated questions.

Just two friends reading the same book and chatting through how it made us feel. Sound good? How about if we turn this into a Facebook group? Let me know if you’re keen.


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