Best Book Club Books

May 17, 2021 | 0 comments


I haven’t done a catch up post for such a long time, so thought I’d do one today.

Book Group

The book group I’m in has been meeting over Zoom. We usually have a good few months books chosen in advance, but with the current situation when everything has been so temporary, we’ve let that slide and have just been going month to month. A couple of members have found this difficult however, especially if they buy the book from eBay as it doesn’t arrive in time for them to read it.

The rules of the club are that we all take it in turns to choose a book; we can’t have read it before; and it must cost £5-£6 maximum.

So this month, we all had to choose three books and we will decide which ones to schedule in for the following 12 months. We all told each other our  choices so we can look at them online before meeting to discuss which ones we want to read. I liked the sound of many of them and I now have an enormous pile of books as I’ve already bought LOADS of them! Can’t read any yet as I don’t know which ones we will be choosing!

The Underground Railroad is now a series on Prime and I will be watching it, even though it will probably interfere with the reading of the book.

We have already decided that we will be reading Hamnet for June, that gives everyone the chance to buy whichever books we decide going forwards from there.

My choices were Girl, Woman, Other; Queenie, The Midnight Library and in case that was too sci-fi for the group, The Braid

I’m very much looking forward to some quality reading and can’t wait to get started on all those that aren’t selected for book group.

Other books I’ve read recently include lots of popular science ones.

I’ve not long finished Tall, a book about the good and bad things about being tall, written by an author who is herself 6’3″. As I’m almost 6′, or at least I was before I started shrinking, this was of great interest to me. It is, apparently, a huge advantage in life to be tall both financially and for health. Talls are supposed to be more confident as people as others literally and metaphorically look up to them. Which I’d known that 40 years ago! Nay, wish I’d known it as a child.

The Tall Book is a celebration of the tall-advantaged, which notes and explores the myriad benefits that come with living large–from the simple pleasures of being able to see over crowds at a parade, to the professional joys of earning more money, and having others perceive you as a natural leader. The Tall Book also offers well-researched explanations into the great unanswered questions of tallness, including: Why are people tall to begin with? How have tall people figured throughout history? Why are CEOs so tall? And how does tallness affect the dating game? Filled with illustrative graphics, charts, and piles of tall miscellanea and factoids, The Tall Book is a wonderful and much-needed exploration of life from on high.

And I loved all the myth busting in The Diet Myth. I love all things science related anyway, and this exploration of common beliefs, where they came from and what the science is was fascinating.

Why do most diets fail? Why does one person eat a certain meal and gain weight, while another eating the same meal loses pounds? Why, despite all the advice about what to eat, are we all still getting fatter?

The answers are much more surprising – and fascinating – than we’ve been led to believe. The key to health and weight loss lies not in the latest fad diet, nor even in the simple mantra of ‘eat less, exercise more’, but in the microbes already inside us.

Drawing on the latest science and his own pioneering research, Professor Tim Spector demystifies the common misconceptions about fat, calories, vitamins and nutrients. Only by understanding what makes our own personal microbes tick can we overcome the confusion of modern nutrition, and achieve a healthy gut and a healthy body.

My current read is Exercised and involves more myth busting. 10,000 steps, for instance, comes from the marketing department of a Japanese toy and not from any well documented research. It just happens, by chance, to fit in with what our bodies need and like, and so remains a good target for your daily walking.

The myth-busting science behind our modern attitudes to exercise: what our bodies really need, why it matters, and its effects on health and wellbeing.

In industrialized nations, our sedentary lifestyles have contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diseases like diabetes. A key remedy, we are told, is exercise – voluntary physical activity for the sake of health. However, most of us struggle to stay fit, and our attitudes to exercise are plagued by misconceptions, finger-pointing and anxiety.

But, as Daniel Lieberman shows in Exercised, the first book of its kind by a leading scientific expert, we never evolved to exercise. We are hardwired for moderate exertion throughout each day, not triathlons or treadmills. Drawing on over a decade of high-level scientific research and eye-opening insights from evolutionary biology and anthropology, Lieberman explains precisely how exercise can promote health; debunks persistent myths about sitting, speed, strength and endurance; and points the way towards more enjoyable and physically active living in the modern world.

Post Lockdown

We are due to come out of lockdown very soon now. I live with someone else, we don’t have to worry about jobs or our income and we don’t have young children to deal with. All that means that we have both quite enjoyed the seclusion of not going anywhere or doing anything much. I’ve never been bored and have found loads of things to do that I enjoyed.

I’m not sure as yet just how many of the hundreds of things I was involved with before I will be picking up again when we are allowed. I was already thinking beforehand that I really need to cut back. But I enjoyed book group, science club, pub lunches, garden meetings, choir, monthly speakers and meeting friends for coffee etc etc and there wasn’t anything I wanted to not do if you know what I mean.

Right now, I’m pondering which things to give up, but when it comes to it and someone says ‘are you coming to …..’, I will more than likely respond ‘oh yes’!

Decluttering Challenge

I’m still sorting through lots of excess stuff, much more noticeable when you have no loft to hide it in! I had to get a new printer last month as the last one died. Today, I sold the three remaining ink cartridges for the old one on Facebook Marketplace. They were priced to sell and sold within ten minutes!

Today I have parcelled up 6 thriller paperbacks to send to my Mum as she needs more reading material and likes nothing better than a nice gory story! They were given to my husband, but he wasn’t keen to read them, even though he too reads thrillers a lot. So that’s another pile going.

shoe box containing thrillers to be sent to my Mum

Today, I also sorted through 3 carrier bags of assorted greetings cards that had been given to me or my husband at various times. I’m quite sentimental in some ways but recognised that I really couldn’t hang on to all of those. It was lovely seeing things sent to me by friends and relations from long gone occasions. But I was quite strict and kept back just half a carrier bag, the rest going to the recycling.

carrier bag of old greetings cards

Actually, I just might pop it in FB Marketplace. People might like those greeting card fronts for craft projects. I’ll remove the written greetings part.



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Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you!

I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community.