Sunny Side Up by Susan Calman

Let me start by saying that I think that this book should be required reading for everyone! It’s fabulous.

Sunny Side Up by Susan CalmanIt’s not an autobiography as I half expected, instead it’s a book about the virtues of kindness and why it’s so important. There are examples of different acts of kindness that have touched people and stayed with them, and Calman’s own story about how kindness has made her life better and more joyful. 

I loved reading this book, in a time when every country seems to be fractured due to views on Brexit, Scottish Independence, Trump, gun reform, racism, homophobia etc etc, this book was a joy to read. The chapter about Brexit was fantastic and I found myself nodding my head and agreeing with everything Calman said. 

Right now everyone seems so angry all of the time and at each other, and yes there is a lot to be angry about, but if we could try to do something kind for someone everyday then I truly believe that the world would gradually get better. If we listened to each other and tried to understand why people held the views they did rather then judging them, cutting them off and staying in our echo chamber, then maybe we might actually get somewhere. 

This book is really well written, you feel like you’re just sat having a chat with a friend, it doesn’t jump about or do anything to interrupt your concentration – it just flows. Read the book! My review just cannot do it justice. Read the book, open your mind and heart and be kind. 

P.S. I’m pretty sure Susan Calman and I would be great friends if we met – so far I haven’t found a single thing that we disagree about!

Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs

Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs is the first book in the Temperance Brennan series which the TV show Bones was based on. I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while but kept being put off due to the fact that I’ve watched all of the TV show (ironically this was also the reason I wanted to read the book!). 

Déjà Dead by Kathy ReichsLuckily the book was chosen in a poll in an online bookclub I’m in, so at the beginning of May I started reading the book. 

I was quite surprised to see that the book was nothing like the TV show! Yes the main character is Temperance Brennan, and yes she is a forensic anthropologist, however that’s where the similarities end. The supporting characters are different, the setting is different (in Canada instead of America, and Brennan is working for the police rather than a museum). 

I found that this worked out really well for me. I already liked the character of Brennan (even though she was also different) so I very quickly got absorbed into the book. 

The story itself was a very good read. I had no idea who the perpetrator was and there were a number of occasions where I was tense and eager to read what happened next – I love a book that is able to make things feel suspenseful like in a film, but without all the background music etc. It just proves to me that the writer is really good at what they do. 

The only thing that pulled me out of concentration occasionally was when Reichs was explaining where Brennan was going and the layout of the city. The only reason it pulled me out was because all the place names were French so I kept tripping up over the pronunciation of them (even though it was in my head). I’m sure that once I’ve read a few more of the books I will be more used to them and reading more fluidly. And I will definitely be reading more of the series! The writing was fantastic and I really want to know what happens with Brennan and the rest of the characters. 

If you like a bit of criminal mystery, with some science thrown in then I highly recommend this book for you to read.