Meet the Bookworm – Hannah Simpson

Welcome to a new feature I’m hoping to make a regular thing on my blog, how regular is yet to be seen as it depends on the response of willing contributors and reactions. I’ll be asking fellow bookworms 10 questions about books etc. and including a photo of them. This will hopefully, show the diversity and reach of literature and also give you some book recommendations you may have otherwise ignored.

My first wonderful contributor is Hannah Simpson, from the UK. She is an avid reader and blogger/writer (you can check out her blog here) What I love about Hannah’s answers is the sheer passion and excitement that comes through. You can really tell how much she loves getting lost in the pages of a book, so without further ado please welcome Hannah Simpson.

Hannah Simpson.jpgWhat age did you get into reading? I’m really privileged that reading has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Both my parents are avid readers and my mum is a school librarian, so I grew up surrounded by books and constantly encouraged to read.  Some of my happiest childhood memories are of being read to by my parents, or exploring our little local library.

What’s the first book that really struck a chord with you and why? My first instinct for this question was either Little Women (which we will come back to!) or Harry Potter, but since the question is the first book, we’re going back even further and I’m going to pick something totally different.  We have a stash of Christmas-specific books that we would break out every year and one that I remember being full-on obsessed with is called ‘A Letter to Father Christmas’ by Rose Impey – it’s a really sweet picture book about a girl called Charlotte who accidentally sends her mum’s shopping list to Father Christmas rather than her own wish list.  I have no idea why this book got me like it did, but it just makes me so happy when I look back on it now.

Do you have a favourite genre? I tend to read contemporary fiction and am mostly drawn towards stuff which is best classified as ‘first world white girl problems’.  Basically anything that’s a bit like Jacqueline Wilson or Judy Blume (the queens!), but for twenty-something women.

Is there a fictional character or characters that you can relate to? Jo March from Little Women was my first feminist icon and a big part of the reason I have always aspired to write for a living.  More recently, Johanna Morrigan from Caitlin Moran’s ‘How To Build A Girl’ and ‘How To Be Famous’ really spoke to me.  She is a character not often represented in (particularly YA) literature – bolshy and outspoken in contrast to the quieter, more reserved female characters who often narrate coming of age stories.  Johanna is a protagonist for the loud girls, the girls who have spent their lives being told to calm down and sit down and stop being quite so ‘much’.

 What’s the worst book you’ve ever read and why? This is a really hard question because I’ve got quite good at picking books that I’m fairly certain I’ll enjoy – my Goodreads account is just a load of four and five star reviews, because I don’t tend to read things that I don’t like.  One book I was really disappointed by was ‘The Virgin Suicides’ by Jeffrey Eugenides, because everyone loves it and so many women hold it up as this incredible piece of work so my expectations were high.  I just didn’t enjoy it that much – I didn’t really care about any of the characters.  Maybe if I read it again now, I’d get more from it?  I probably won’t bother.

What’s your favourite book to screen adaptation and why? I’m bending the rules and doing a top 5 for this (in no particular order) because I absolutely couldn’t narrow it down to just one.  ‘Prisoner of Azkhaban’ is my favourite HP book and the film is absolutely brilliant; the 1994 ‘Little Women’ has an insanely good cast and fills me with so much joy; ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ is one of the only book-to-screen adaptations where I think the film is actually better; the recent Netflix adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’ series is fantastic, with loads of diversity and LGBT representation within the cast; and the BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ remains some of the best TV I’ve ever seen and I loved all the nods to the books.

 What was the last book you read? The last book I finished was ‘Convenience Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata, which is a punchy little Japanese novel about a women who has worked in the same convenience store for eighteen years.  It’s a really compelling exploration of the way society tries to force us to conform and what happens to those who don’t.  Very funny, well worth a read.

What are you currently reading? I’ve ended up with two books on the go at the moment, which I don’t normally do.  I started ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ (really fascinating and not something I would typically pick up) and then had a load of books I’d reserved from the library come through, so that’s on hold for now.  ‘Daisy Jones and The Six’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the one that stole me away and I can’t put it down – it’s an oral history of a fictional 70s rock band, and I’m absolutely devouring it.

If you could recommend just one book to everyone you ever met, which book would it be and why? Either ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas or ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman.  Such powerful book.  Just read them.  Please.  They should both be on the national curriculum.

And finally, if you were to write an autobiography of your own life what would you call it? I mean, ‘First World White Girl Problems’ pretty much sums it up.

If you would be happy taking part, please comment below or alternatively you can tweet me here or send me a message on Instagram here.

Happy reading!

G.
x

 

Advertisements

An Evening with Joseph Knox

I’m fairly new to the work of Joseph Knox, my ex purchased me a copy of his debut novel ‘Sirens’ back in March (which is the nicest thing my ex ever did but I digress) The main thing that pulled me in was the fact that it was set in Manchester, my birthplace and home. Being able to perfectly visualise the surroundings made it easier to read, combine this with the fact all the chapters were named after Joy Division songs, albums or EP’s and instantly I was hooked.

Joseph wove a story full of complex characters, drama and dark imagery. At the centre of the story is Aidan Waits, perhaps one of the most intriguing characters I have come across in literature in recent years. I tore through Siren’s pretty quickly and moved onto his next book ‘The Smiling Man’ which pulled me in from the blurb on the back alone. So to have the opportunity to hear the man himself discuss his new release ‘The Sleepwalker’ wasn’t something I wanted to miss.

On a rainy evening in Manchester I sat and watched the unassuming Joseph Knox talk about his latest novel and the way he struggled with getting it out there. He spoke about how at times he felt like walking away from it. It’s commendable the dedication he shows to his craft, it took him 10 years to get ‘Sirens’ finished and published. He was working full time and only had time to write the book in the evening and weekends. Many people would have given up, he didn’t and thank goodness he didn’t!

Joseph Knoxx.jpg

It was clear to see when he was talking the amount of thought and passion he puts into his work, proclaiming that he has a fear of repeating himself or churning out something with a constantly familiar story line. He refuses to do it. He talked about how with other detective books, you usually learn so much about the main protagonist within the first few chapters, but with Aidan Waits you don’t and that is part of the intrigue and my love for the character. Two books in and I still only know a few details about him, he’s a character that leaves you wondering. As Joseph said Aidan “plays his cards very close to his chest” which is an incredible skill for a writer to have, to be able to lure people in without giving away too much. It’s no mean feat, but Joseph manages it. I could be ignorant and say he does it with ease, but that would be an insult to the apparent hard work and planning he puts into his novels.

Joseph quashed the rumour that he’s a Mancunian; he was born in Staffordshire but always had a romantic relationship with Manchester, moving and working here when he was a little older. This is something that, for me, comes across in his second book ‘The Smiling Man’ the way Aidan views the city in the hot summer months through almost romantic lenses. I was born and bred in Manchester but it made me feel moved to hear the love and respect that Joseph has for this city, and the way he felt that it was the perfect setting for his crime noir books and the even more complex character of Aidan Waits.

But it is when Joseph talked about the way the City has changed in the past ten years and the spice epidemic amongst the homeless and the people in Strangeways and the way it’s impacted upon the most vulnerable of people in our society that I was truly moved. Joseph talked about how when doing research for ‘The Sleepwalker’ he came across a Government website that was faulty, he saw the amount of mothers/fathers emailing Strangeways expressing concern about their sons who are currently incarcerated seeming suicidal or becoming addicted to spice. They were reaching out asking for help or an explanation and were given none. The very people becoming addicted to the drug seen more as an unseemly thing that should be overlooked as opposed to helped. He talked about how spice is taken because for people living on the street or in prison it passes 8 hours as quick as the click of a finger. Admittedly very tempting for those people and not something others should be so quick to judge. Joseph physically teared up at this and said he was hoping that his new book could give those people an answer they deserve. It’s refreshing to hear someone in Joseph’s position using his skills to highlight and shine a light onto something so prevalent in our society and is seemingly going ignored by the powers that be.

Joseph talked about a 4th novel, but one that is not necessarily crime fiction and not part of the Aidan Waits series. Joseph said with Aidan being so complex and having a dark past, it was important for him to have a break from the character and I’m inclined to agree. I am yet to read ‘The Sleepwalker’ but the early reviews I have read have talked about how this book is his best one yet with some unbelievable moments. As much as I love Aidan Waits, I feel that Joseph has enough skill to pen something other than crime fiction, and know it would still be an equally compelling read.

Signed Copy of Sirens.jpg

It was a fantastic evening, from a very humble, wonderful and talented author. I cannot wait to read ‘The Sleepwalker’ and cannot wait to see what else Joseph has in store with his writing career. This guy’s going places and I implore you to check out his work. You will not be disappointed.  I will be posting a review of his new book on the blog once I’ve read it.

Happy reading folks.

G.
x

Love in the Time of Cholera – A Review

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I worked a lot during February, I was even working on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind work at all, I happen to really love my job, nor did I mind working on Valentine’s Day. I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s just another day and if you love someone that much you shouldn’t need that one day to validate it or say it. Anyway, I digress, I went to Waterstone’s (other book shops available) a few days before and saw that they was doing a “Blind Date with a Book” and I figured as I’d be working and alone that I should play along.

16425895_10154515190198650_8117656612771150265_n.jpg

All the books were packaged in red paper and tied with brown string, a slight synopsis of the book inside, written elegantly on a brown tag with the price. I spent lots of time mulling over the choices but picked one out that I kept going back to. When I got home, I put it to one side and promised that after my 16 hour day in studio I’d open it up. Sure enough Tuesday 14th February arrived, the penultimate day of filming, it had been a long week, but I was trying to stay positive, just a few more days and then I had some time off to catch up on sleep and let my hair down. As luck would have it, it ended up being a really great day…I spent most of the day laughing, largely down to the company I was in that day. I went home feeling good, a smile on my face and after taking a quick shower I pulled the book onto my lap and tore the paper off. It was like Christmas, only with a gift I’d bought myself. And there it was. A book I had picked up MANY times previously but never bought, I smiled again.

16683958_10154538265833650_8452087794125422393_n.jpg

I have mentioned previously how passion is important, passion ignites the soul, makes your eyes shine brighter, and puts a fire in your belly. I ended up having a conversation with an amazing person about books in April and they mentioned this one specifically. Their passion came across to me so clearly that it was tangible, even though the conversation took place via WhatsApp. I swore to myself that when I got home that evening I would start reading the book, and that’s exactly what I did.

The style of writing was so accessible and beautiful that it was hard not to fall in love with it very early on, with Marquez using language so perfectly that was easy to envisage the people, the surroundings, the feelings. I felt myself following Florentino and urging him on, holding my breath and feeling his anguish as he waited for Fermina to reply. I melted at the romance, the declarations of love making me sigh and press my head against the tram window on my commute to work. The book spoke to my hopelessly, romantic soul and I was hooked.

My heart broke when Fermina returned and rejected Florentino and yet I remained hopeful that all would be okay, it had to be okay. Learning how the two lived over the years, separately yet still tied to one another, Florentino in his promise to never let go of his love for Fermina, Fermina with the ghosts of memories of Florentino sat in the park. Gabriel Garcia Marquez penned something so honest about the anguish of unrequited love, but also about the power of the human spirit, to withstand pain and heartbreak and still remain so vehemently hopeful. He writes of the passion of life and love and loss and does it so lyrically that there were times I forgot to breathe.

Even the more sensual aspects of the book, where Florentino takes various lovers, were written with an understanding that most modern writers tend to lack. I am a stupid, hopeless romantic and this book touched me. Entirely quotable passages that made me dog ear pages so that I could re-read them, tracing my fingers over the page to make sure I hadn’t dreamed them. This book is more than about love, it’s about the power of love, passion, the power of the human spirit, the courage to keep on going and to always keep hope. It’s made me crave for a simpler time, for more open communication and for less negative stigma attached to matters of the heart. Love is frowned upon and given negative connotations, like the advancement of technology, the world has become cold and demanding. Everything has to be instant. But sincerely why isn’t it ok to pen a love letter and post it? The excitement of receiving something you wasn’t expecting, a letter written in ink by the very hand you long to hold. I’ve never personally received a love letter, but the idea is so romantic to me.

This book awoken my soul and stoked the fire in my heart. A truly beautiful novel that will make you realise the importance of happiness and taking chances.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

“Sometimes their letters were soaked by rain, soiled by mud, torn by adversity, and some were lost for a variety of reasons, but they always found a way to be in touch with each other again.”

love.gif

Happy reading.

G.
x

 

Promised the Moon – A Review

Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race by Stephanie Nolen.

ptm

I’ve had this book on my shelf for some years now, the more attentive amongst you will have noticed by now that I have something of a romantic fascination with space. As a young girl I was mesmerized by the night sky and have often beaten myself up for not paying more attention to mathematics and sciences, I think I would have loved a career in the sciences, especially something that involved astronomy. But this book is less about astronomy and more about aviation. The book starts off telling the story of some of the early ‘aviatrix’ including the more well-known Amelia Earhart, and the wrongfully lesser known Bessie Coleman (I’m actually looking to see if there are any books about her out there because she sounds like she was such a determined and inspirational woman)

After introducing some brave women, the author then takes a look at a group of 13 women. All who were determined to fly from an early age. Their stories alone are inspirational as it details the struggles they had, to not only fund flying lessons, but also to break through the social barriers that were existent at the time. Annoyingly it was believed that, following the war, women should leave the jobs they had to go back to being mothers and wives. Even those women who had more flying hours than men were told that the men had to come first. It often meant that the women, who were giving jobs flying, often earned less than the men and were told that passengers would rather avoid boarding a commercial flight with a female pilot. This meant that they often had jobs where they delivered goods, or worked fixing the planes.

‘Flying was dangerous, noisy, dirty – it wasn’t ladylike.’

But the women endured and you can imagine their hopes improved when a privately funded programme was started that took some of the strongest female fliers and allowed them to take part in the same tests as the Mercury 7. America was in competition (and at War) with Russia, and the Space Race became a focus of attention. Women like Jerrie Cobb, were put through the same physical and mental aptitude tests to see how well they would fare in space and it turned out they did pretty well. In a lot of cases the women actually did better than their male counterparts. Needless to say the women were excited, it seemed like they were finally being taken seriously, and they felt as if they stretched their hands out far enough they could touch the stars. So you can imagine their shock when they were told that NASA had made the decision that the further testing was of no use and no longer could be carried out. This caused problems as a lot of the women had to give up their jobs so they could attend, so they were left without work and their dreams dashed.

What proceeded was the battle of two of the most respected female fliers. Jerrie and her friend Janey, both took it upon themselves to write letters to NASA, to travel and give talks on the importance of a ‘Women in Space’ programme, they even wrote letters to the President. But at the same time they were arguing the benefits of putting a female in space (before the Russians) Jackie Cochran was playing a more political game. Despite her and her husband being the ones to fund the testing at Dr Lovelace II private clinic in the first place, Jackie played ‘the boys game’ and wanted to keep the right people on side so that in the future she could run any women in space programme. Perhaps it’s me but when I read this it really upset me, at a time in history when women lacked equality, I felt that Jackie should have helped support the cause a bit more instead of playing the long game to further her own power.

This is a really fascinating read, and I’m so glad that the author took the time to tell the story of these women because it’s one that’s not well known, if at all. But it’s also frustrating and heart-breaking in equal measure. To learn about these accomplished women who had worked so long and so hard to be taken seriously, just for their dreams to be snatched away because of nothing else but the fact they were born women. Another interesting element of the book is the way in which the women had to, not only defend their capabilities as pilots but also their sexuality. As the women were seen to be doing a ‘man’s job’ it meant that if they were unmarried they were believed to be a lesbian. To me it’s just ludicrous, and I often found myself shaking my head whilst reading it. It made me thankful to live in the era I do (although we still have a long way to go) If you’re interested in space and female history then this book is for you.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

‘…for a girl who had learned to be alone-the sky was the answer. I tumbled out of the airplane with stars in my eyes.’

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

Georgina.

x

Time to Book Ahead

With each New Year comes new ideas, this year already looks promising for the publishing world and various websites and newspapers are already speculating about what they think the next big thing in the Literary world is going to be. As you know, I don’t always review the latest releases, however here are some novels (some of which I’ve already purchased and are waiting on my bookshelf) which I’m looking forward to reading this year.

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

The Disaster Artist
This is a book all about the cult film ‘The Room’ starring the strange, and weirdly captivating, Tommy Wiseau. If you haven’t seen the film then you really should, it’s unintentionally funny and there are some great moments where time seems to get lost and goes from being a day to an evening to the same day again. This book is all about Greg (who starred in the film) and the process of the filming being made. I only read a short exert online and it made me laugh, so I’m really looking forward to reading it at some point this year.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Go Set a Watchman
I know this came out last year, and I was excited by it. I mean To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the books in my Top 5, so I was excited to hear that the familiar nostalgic characters were back. But then slowly but surely there was something of an outcry with people saying that it wasn’t a great book, and that previously open minded characters had become racist, so I kept putting it off. I guess I was apprehensive of losing the respect and love I had for the Finch family, but I need to read it. Who knows I may just like it, and if I don’t at least I’ll find out what happened to them.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
I made a promise to myself that this year I would try to read more varied genres. I picked this up in a book shop yesterday for the sheer fact that on the label it said ‘If you like Star Trek or Firefly then this book is for you’ I was instantly sold. But when I read the blurb on the back there was something that appealed to that aspect of me that still wants to be an astronaut exploring space. The idea of exploring vast galaxies with a mishmash crew of different species just struck a chord with my younger self. I haven’t read a lot of Sci-fi in the past so hopefully this will be the start of a long and beautiful relationship with the sci-fi genre.

Things We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanagh.

Things We Have in Common
Something about this pulled me in, perhaps it was the praise that said it was similar to Gone Girl (a book which I enjoyed until the ending ruined it) I guess what piqued my interest more was the blurb on the back, it was captivating, just as the novel is supposed to be. Dealing with themes of teenage obsession and isolation, I have a feeling this is going to make for a compelling read.

Your Heart is a Muscle The Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa.

Your heart is a muscle
I love books that really seem to observe humanity and this one seems to capture it perfectly. Set during Seattle’s 1999 WTO Protest, the book follows the course of one afternoon and how the lives of seven people are changed forever. In the mix are an estranged father and son, two protestors who don’t believe in violence and the financial minister from Sri Lanka. Needless to say this should make for a raw and conflicting read.

Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta.

innocents-and-others
I think the main thing that’s intrigued me about this book is the fact it’s about two female filmmakers. Working in the media industry can be quite eye-opening and there’s always so much to be thinking about, so I was intrigued by these two filmmakers (best friends) who have very differing views on sex, morality and movie-making. It just sounds appealing and I can’t wait to grab a copy.

Zero K by Don De Lillo.

Zero K
I haven’t read much by Don De Lillo, in fact I’ve only read one of his other books ‘Americana’ and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of a long, hot, dusty summer and not really knowing what to do with my life. The subject matter of Zero K really intrigued me; a billionaire tries to cure his ailing wife by the use of body preservation until medical research can find an answer to eternal life. I think mortality is a very deep subject matter, and we all have thoughts on life and death but when money is introduced it’s even more fascinating. I’ve often thought that wealthy people seem to think they can live forever and I feel this will make for an incredibly thought provoking read.

Other titles I’m keen to read at some point this year;

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig – What can I say I loved Star Wars so much..JJ did such a great job and it’s reignited the love of the originals in my soul.

The Tria by Matt King – Matt’s a promising writer and my review and interview with him last year was one of the most viewed posts I had, so I’m really looking forward to giving this a read.

Americosis Vol.2 by Haydn Wilks – Volume 1 was crazy and intriguing enough that I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – I’ve NEVER read them OR seen the films, but I’ve heard great things. I think it’s high time I give them a shot!

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

Zodiac by Robert Graysmith – I think like the majority of the world I’m working my way through ‘Making a Murderer’ on Netflix and it’s really kicked off my intrigue in true crime. I love the film, so it makes sense to give this book a read.

I’d love to hear what you lovely lot are looking forward to reading this year, so please comment below.

Happy reading, Georgina.

x

2015 – My Year in Books

Now back to books. 2015 was a very varied year for me, I was reading and reviewing books for ‘Belle About Town’ but also reading a book a month with my book club. I have to say having not one, not two but three outlets to discuss the books I read is really rewarding and I know I have said it in a previous post but thank you so much to all the people who have read, commented and liked my blog. It really means a lot, and this year I want to try and make sure I’m writing a least a blog post a week. I thought it would be fun for me to share some stats with you about my reading habits in 2015, and I’d love to know yours too, so please do comment below.

The first book I read in 2015 was ‘Foxcatcher: A True Story of Murder, Madness and The Quest for Olympic Gold’ by Mark Schultz and the last book I read in 2015 was ‘Forever’ by Judy Blume.

The book that made me cry the most in 2015 was ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce. I’m talking full on crying with snot and everything, I’m just glad I was at home when I finished reading it as I think my fellow commuters would have been fearful had it been on the train.

The book that made me laugh the most was ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey. I genuinely laughed out loud and even snorted like a pig at one point, unfortunately this did happen on a rather crowded train during peak time and the person who was sat next to me moved seats at the next stop…How subtle.

The most powerful book I read was ‘Asking for It’ by Louise O’Neill. I read and reviewed this for ‘Belle About Town’ it was without doubt one of the most raw and infuriating books I have read. An incredibly important YA novel that all teenagers and adults alike should read.

Favourite literary magazine had to be ‘The Happy Reader’ by Penguin Classics. A seasonal magazine that interviews a well-known celebrity about their reading habits and then dissects a chosen book. Perfect for book recommendations/inspiration.

My favourite book of the year has to be ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir. It had me hooked from the opening sentence and kept me that way until the very end. Weir seemed to perfectly balance, science, tension and humour and it was the top of my list of book recommendations whenever people asked me what they should be reading. Also the film adaptation was pretty accurate and perfectly executed which is a rarity.

I only re-read TWO books this year and they were ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl and ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. This is a miracle for me as I tend to re-read books out of some form of need for comfort and nostalgia so this is like a breakthrough for me.

I have plenty of books on my ‘TBR’ pile and there’s plenty of new titles coming out this year that I am looking forward to reading, so I have a feeling 2016 is going to be just as good as last year. Please comment below with your favourite read of 2015 and anything else you want to share.

Happy reading my lovelies.

Georgina.

x

Book Review – The Waiting Room by Alysha Kaye

So, I’ll admit when I first started reading ‘The Waiting Room’ by Alysha Kaye, I rolled my eyes a couple of times because I thought it was going to be an overly cheesy story about a man who loves a woman so much he can’t rest in peace. But I hold up my hands before you now and admit, I was wrong.

The Waiting Room follows the story of Jude who dies, leaving his wife Nina, just at the cusp of what should be the start of their real life together, planning to have children, starting their own business. Upon dying Jude finds himself in ‘The Waiting Room’ a bland room with a receptionist, where people go when they die. They have windows, which they can look through and watch the people they left behind, until their name is called out and they go on to live another life.

The Waiting Room soon becomes a book full of depth that gives different perspectives on what actually happens when we die. There’s reincarnation, people believing they’re being given a second chance because they didn’t fully live their first life to it’s full ability and plenty of mentions of God and Heaven. But Alysha has left the book open to interpretation, which is great, because it really does allow you the space to ponder what you think the room is or represents.

My only criticism would be the ending. We see three or four more interpretations of Jude and Nina living another life, and it felt just a tad too much. Aside from that it’s a great little novel that definitely provides plenty of food for thought. You’ll enjoy this if you want something that will offer new perspectives on the afterlife or a love story with a difference.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

You can follow Alysha’s Blog here; http://alyshakaye.wordpress.com/

 

**Side note – if you want differing perspectives on the after life you may also want to check out ‘Sum: Tales from the Afterlives’ by David Eagleman. A great book that offers different thoughts on what happens after we cease to exist.