Mini Reviews: cities, summer, sex ed and self-invention

I got through quite a handful of books over the past few weeks, but I didn’t feel they all warranted a full review. Here are four short reviews for some of the books I’ve read recently.

behind closed doors

Behind Closed Doors: Sex Education Transformed by Natalie Fiennes

Not at all what I was expecting – instead of explanations of problems with current sex education and how these problems can be tackled, it was simply a book of sex education – basic information about things that should be taught in sex ed. Basically a sex ed handbook. I might suggest it as a good source of information for teens if I knew all the information was actually correct (there was a surprising error in one of the chapters which throws the whole book into question).

Rating: 2 stars

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

A sweet book of summer vignettes that take place on a secluded island off the coast of Finland, between a young girl and a her grandmother. It was lovely to read this in the sunshine of my garden, but its short length and lack of plot made this ultimately forgettable.

Rating: 3 stars

Educated by Tara Westover

It took me ages to get into this, and if I hadn’t been listening to it as an audiobook I probably would have stopped in favour of something else. It’s an interesting story of self-determination but I didn’t feel invested until about three-quarters of the way through. I wasn’t a huge fan of the narration, but it was fine.

Rating: 3 stars

London: A Short History by A. N. Wilson

The narrative voice of this was grating; we get it – modern London is full of ugly buildings and annoying tourists. It felt like there was a constant droning of “back in the ol’ days” under the flimsy surface-level history of the city. I didn’t learn anything, simply because the writing was so annoying I could hardly bring myself to retain any of the information.

Rating: 1 star

4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: cities, summer, sex ed and self-invention”

  1. helpful reviews! sorry none of these really clicked with you. what was the error you noticed in the sex ed book, if you don’t mind me asking?

    1. Ah well, you win some, you lose some!

      It feels like ages since I read this now, but the error was something along the lines of getting “top” and “bottom” mixed up when talking about queer sexuality/relationships. Just seemed like something that’s pretty basic stuff when talking about that topic and for a book that’s supposedly about sex education, I wouldn’t expect something like that to be so blatantly incorrect.

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