Books & Writers

Book Reviews of 2021 :: Part I

Welcome to my book reviews of 2021.

I just about made it to 12 books last year, and in January I began a new dayjob and training course (because I really need more qualifications) which has limited how much reading I do for my own enjoyment. Still, I’ve been hoping that I can still reach 12.

Now it’s October and I’m 6 books behind, this feels less likely. Equally, I’ve come to accept that I’m in an ‘ebb’ right now, and my health comes first. 


April :: The Illustrated Happiness Trap – Russ Harris

5 Stars

I work in mental health for my dayjob, and thus wanted something to give me an overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I’m a qualified low-intensity practitioner of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which definitely has some overlaps and I can see could work well alongside some of the CBT strategies I teach.

In terms of an introductory book into the difficulties we experience around the cultural ‘shoulds’ of happiness and the core concepts of ACT, this is a great place to start. I feel that it gave enough useful information with multiple examples, and simple but useful exercises, in an accessible format and made this an easy read compared to many overly-academic books. 

I appreciate that I understood a lot of the concepts already from my previous training, but as the illustrated guide is designed as a ‘refresher’ of the longer book, I think it hit the mark 100%.


August :: Stuff That’s Loud: A Teen’s Guide to Unspiralling When OCD Gets Noisy – Ben Sedley & Lisa Coyne

5 Stars

I did some training in my dayjob and this was one of two books I bought following that training.

I do not have a diagnosis of OCD, however I do score above the cutoff for screening and my anxiety shows up with a high level of obsessive and compulsive traits.

This book was for me, for my family, and for my work.


October :: Secrets to Selling Books on Social Media – Bethany Atazadeh & Mandi Lynn 

5 Stars

I have not read the other books in this series, so can confirm this book works well as a standalone.

The tactics here are applied to writing and author-related business decisions, including specific templates and examples from Bethany’s own book launches on social media. I have also completed some sales training for my business, and I was reassured to see similar (non-sleazy) advice within this book. Having Mandi’s tips and perspective alongside was also super helpful to see how techniques could be applied in multiple ways. 

Disclaimer: I received an Early Reader Copy as I support Bethany on Patreon, and although I was not asked to review this, I review all the books I read.


It turns out 2021 has not been a big one for reading or writing, but nonetheless, I’d recommend all 3 of these!

What have you enjoyed reading so far this year?

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