July Picks

Williams, Pip (2021) The Dictionary of Lost Words. Affirm Press.

This is a book about words, based on the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, exploring how word meanings differ in importance for men and women. In 1901 the word ‘bondmaid’ was discovered to be missing from the OED and in this novel it is the fictional central character, Esme, who pockets this discarded word. Esme spends her days beneath the sorting table in the Scriptorium, where the lexicographers sort and assess potential contributions and where she collects words that have been misplaced, discarded or neglected by the dictionary men. It is through her story and her collection of lost and women’s words that we learn about the dictionary in the context of events that shaped the early twentieth century. A slow but curious insight on the power of language to elevate or repress.

Rating: 8.5/10

Jones, Sandie (2021) The Guilt Trip. Macmillan

Ali and Will are getting married and they are inviting their friends and family on a weekend getaway to a stunning villa in Portugal. But Ali is hiding a secret. An explosive secret that will destroy the carefully built couple friendship that Rachel and Jack have with Noah and Paige, and lead to mayhem and death on her wedding day. A relationship soap opera with undercurrents that ebb and flow throughout. A twisty plot which wanders a bit, but has plenty of thrills and spills.

Rating: 8/10

Baker, Chandler (2021) The Husbands. Hachette.

Nora is finding the responsibility of having a successful legal career, a child, and a home too much, especially when her husband Hayden is not helping out. Her house-hunting efforts introduce her to a affluent suburban neighbourhood where the men actually pull their weight and the women “have it all”. When Nora takes on a wrongful death case, involving a local resident in the neighbourhood, she discovers that having it all can be far more dangerous than she first thought. Intriguing feminist thriller.

Rating: 8.5/10

Andrews, Alexandra (2021) Who is Maud Dixon? Tinder Press.

Florence Darrow is determined to become an author, no matter what! When she is fired from her publishing job the ambitious Florence becomes the assistant to renowned author Maud Dixon, aka Helen Wilcox. Maud’s identity is a well-kept secret and Florence’s role requires a high level of secrecy and discretion. When the pair take a research trip to Morocco, the setting of Dixon’s new book, things take a villainous turn when Florence wakes up in hospital after a horrific accident, and Helen is missing. Maybe finally this is the chance for Florence to begin her literacy career…. Cunningly plotted in the vein of The talented Mr Ripley. Stylish page-turner.

Rating: 8.5/10

Bacon, Linda (2010) Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about your Weight. BenBella.

Nutrition therapist and researcher Linda Bacon (now Lindo) outlines all the lies that we have been fed about obesity and weight loss and shifts the blame. It provides a treatise for all who have ever thought, or been told, they are fat.  The message is to stop judging ourselves and others by size. Weight is not an effective measure of attractiveness, moral character, or health. The real enemy is weight stigma. A positive book about deconstructing weight, respecting food, and body acceptance.  A book that acknowledges well-being and healthy habits are more important than any number on the scales.

Rating: 8.5/10

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