let's go straight to today's reviews, shall we?
I loved the first two books of the Guinevere trilogy, The Warrior Queen and A Champion's Duty, so I was really excited when a copy of the final book, The Day Of Destiny, ended up in my Kindle. It didn't disappoint. In fact, it's the best book of the trilogy.
Guineviere's affair with Lancelot has become public and Mordred forces Arthur to obey the law and burn her. But, just in the nick of time, Lancelot saves her, starting a war that could destroy everything. Guinevere, though, has no intention of being just a pawn in a game of power and war, and is determined to fight for her chance at happiness. I really fell in love with Guinevere in the first book and, although since then, she has sometimes annoyed me, I still admire her passionate and strong personality. It is so refreshing to read about the Arthurian legends from the perspective of such a powerful female character.
Collins perfectly portrayed Guinevere's inner feelings and turmoils, her loves for both Lancelot and Arthur, and the sense of danger, foreboding, and fear she must have experienced as she watched her world crumble down. The other characters are all very well-developed too. They all, with their dreams, emotions, and ambitions, come alive, making the Arthurian legends seem real. The ending is very poignant and pulls at your heartstrings. I won't spoil it for you, but I will tell that I had a lump in my throat and almost shed a tear or two. That rarely happens to me, which just goes to show what a brilliant writer Collins is.
Overall, the trilogy is a refreshing and modern take of a very old story that will make you fall in love with the Arthurian legends all over again. Compelling and engaging, you won't be able to put it down!
Available at: Amazon
The Justified Tight B****rd's Guide to Life is described as "a book of down-to-earth, no-nonsense, everyday financial advice written and presented with curmudgeonly black humour in the style of Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave." I couldn't agree more. P.J. Moore takes a look at our modern consumerist mentality and lifestyle choices, pointing out how, although most of us earn enough money to live a modestly comfortable life, we often struggled to make ends meet because of poor financial literacy and bad spending habits. For instance, a lot the stuff we buy is not just unnecessary, but, such in the case of fast food and alcohol, can also be harmful to our health. Therefore, by changing our perspective, we can live comfortable within our means and save some money too!
In his book, Moore shares more than 300 tips, divided in four sections, about how to save money on household and personal care items, transportation, going out, and more. That doesn't mean that you will have to stop using or doing what you love. On the contrary, Moore points out how a lot of the things we buy can be gotten for free. For instance, you can borrow books from your library or exchange, with a friend or a stranger online, something you don't use anymore for something else you need. He also mentions how you can take advantage of the share economy to buy products and services at a reduced price or to sell/rent your unusued possessions to make a few extra euros every month.
You don't have to implement all the tips, though. Some of them are pretty radical, and won't appeal to many people. That's ok. Even Moore himself doesn't follow them all, although he tried most of them while writing his book. This guide is simply meant to offer you lots of suggestions. It's up to you, based on your needs and lifestyle choices, to pick and choose the ones you'd like to follow. Start with one or two at first and see how that goes. Chances are, you'll soon want to implement more.
The Justified Tight B****rd's Guide To Life is not just about saving money, though. The author doesn't suggest that you become a miser (although, when you read some of his most radical tips, you might think otherwise). Instead, his philosophy is all about cutting back on unnecessary expenses and putting to good use what we already have so that we can save enough money for those things that are important to us but we never get around to do or buy for lack of funds.
The tone of the book is very witty, colloquial and humorous, often in a black way. It will make you laugh while giving you useful advice on how to spend and save your money. Reading it, feels like talking to a friend. An Irish friend. Being Irish, Moore uses expressions that are popular in Ireland but there are a couple that foreigners may not be familiar with. Some of the tips also focus specifically on living frugally in Ireland (for instance, when he discusses the benefits available in that country), but the vast majority of them could be implemented by anyone, anywhere.
If you struggle to make ends meet, or are curious to find new ways to save some of your money every month, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book.
Available at: Amazon
Let's face it. A lot of self-help books tend to be way too long, with their authors repeating a concept 5 times in 5 different ways in a few lines, before moving onto the next, and doing the exact same thing. Not Sophie Venable Ma. In her book, Mylf (which stands for Make Your Life Fabulous) 101, she goes straight to the point. This book is sort of a short summary of many self-help volumes on the market, featuring tips on how to take care of yourself and get more "me time" even when you're juggling a job, children, parents, and household chores; how to find and enchance your strengths; how to manage your emotions; how to actively respond to what's going on in your life rather than passively reacting to it; how to change your perspective on life, and more. Yet, the author never preaches. On the contrary, she dispenses practical and common sense advice in a compassionate and encouraging way that makes you want to implement her tips straight away. And you'll have to if you want to change your life. Reading a book and changing your mentality won't do you much good if you don't change your behaviour as well.
If you don't have the time to read lots of self-help books, or if this sort of book isn't your thing but think you could benefit from reading one anyway, then I highly encourage you to pick up this book. In a few pages, you'll find all the wisdom and tools you need to turn your life around.
Available at: amazon
What do you think of these books?
Disclaimer: I received these books in exchange for my honest opinion. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.