My Life in Books – Molly Williamson (CHS External Relations)

Molly Williamson

Sorrow and Bliss – Meg Mason

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

I read this book in February half term. The book follows the life of Martha Friel, who we meet when she is a 40 something woman who is beautiful, clever and has been loved her whole life by one man, Patrick. But everything in Martha’s life starts to break, Patrick decides to leave, Martha is essentially jobless, friendless and is often sad for reasons no one has been able to explain. I loved this book because of the way it could make made laugh out loud one minute and cry the next. Mason writes unflinchingly about a woman’s experience with mental health but manages to do it without the novel becoming too heavy or hard going. Sorrow and Bliss has, so far, been the best book I’ve read this year.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The Book Thief: Zusak, Markus: 9780552773898: Books

I read this book when I was around 15 years old, on holiday in the South of France and couldn’t stop crying when I finished it. The Book Thief is narrated by death. It follows the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who is in the car of Hans and Rosa Hubermann living in Nazi German. Liesel quickly becomes aware of the deteriorating political situation in German and Liesel’s foster parents conceal a Jewish man, Max, under their stairs. Hans, who becomes close to Liesel, teaches her to read because of his belief in the power of words and written language, motivating Liesel to steal books that the Nazis wish to destroy.  This book is one I will always recommend and I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to ruin it for people. I have loved it for well over 10 years and will always tell people how fantastic it is.

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

Everything I Know About Love: Now a Major BBC One Series: Alderton, Dolly: 9780241982105: Books

This is another book I read during lockdown, after finding ‘The High Low’ podcast. This is a memoir of Dolly Alderton’s life up to the point of being around 30 years old. It follows her life through university, her dating life, family, heartbreak, self-worth and most importantly the female friendships she has made throughout her life. It is heartbreakingly honest and relatable.  Dolly writes beautifully about what it is like navigating both university and your 20s.   This book is warm and funny. It is one I reread regularly and would highly recommend it.