Books I have read: Call the Midlife

Books I have read: Call the Midlife

Last night I finished Call the Midlife by Chris Evans. The more I read of Chris the more I enjoy. This book is a mixture of reflections from the last couple of years, including his fab Breakfast Show on Radio 2, running a marathon without telling anyone until the last minute, bringing back TFI Friday and last but not least being offered a job on Top Gear.


Call the Midlife - Chris EvansThe first part is the most random part of the book. Chris does a series of interviews with professionals on areas linked to the male menopause including drinking, marriage, religion, sleep, work and happiness. Some of the interviews were brilliant, others were less so, and it came across as slightly random material for Chris Evans to be writing about.


As someone who is currently training for a 67 mile cycle ride this weekend it was inspiring to read how Chris was training for his marathon effort. Especially given how hard he worked to keep it under wraps until the last moment.


The last section was the most interesting section as the story as to how Chris was picked to be the lead host and creative for the new Top Gear line up happened alongside TFI Friday coming back after so many years. Chris has moved past the egotistical years and so this relatively humble and humorous look at the television industry is fascinating.


As someone who is a bit of a fan of Chris Evans, with his entrepreneurial side alongside his interest in music, showbiz and cars I enjoyed this book.

Hampshire Libraries

Hampshire Libraries

I’m a big fan of libraries.  I grew up regularly going into town to get out a wide range of books – especially biographies, sport and history books.

Hampshire Library Service, like so many others across the country, has been going through a review as part of the austerity measures.  A paper on ‘Library Service Transformation – Strategy to 2020‘ is due to be considered at the Culture & Communities Select Committee on 22nd March.

Hythe_LibraryWith my current role I find it difficult to make the time to regularly get to the library, let alone read for enjoyment.  But one of the best discoveries I made in recent years was the opportunity to download and read e-Magazines for free from the Hampshire Library Service.

More recently I’ve learnt that you can borrow up to 5 e-books and/or audio books for up to 14 days for free?  You can download eBooks and eAudio books onto your ereader, desktop, laptop or mobile device using Overdrive.

  • up to 5 items can be borrowed at a time
  • up to 14 day lending period depending on item
  • no charge for loans

For more information please do visit the Hampshire Library Service website.


Books I have read: Chronicles of a Desperate Dad

Chronices of a Desperate Dad

I picked up the Chronicles of a Desperate Dad by Mark Richards in a charity shop and I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for this book.

It attempts to be a humorous take on being a dad with Mark recording his attempts at parenting Tom, Ben and Jessica.  At the start this works, but after a while it should comes across as as a little dry and boring, and in the end I just gave up with this book – it will now be going back to a charity shop.

The Five Authors Who Have Most Influenced J. I. Packer

[youtube id=”sU5IWC7_TSU” width=”580″ height=”337″]

When asked, here are the first five books that come to mind for J. I. Packer:

  1. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 vols.)
  2. J. C. Ryle, Holiness
  3. John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
  4. Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor
  5. John Owen, Indwelling Sin and The Mortification of Sin

Books I have read: As You Do by Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond - As you do

For Christmas Hannah gave me a copy of As You Do: Adventures With Evel, Oliver, and The Vice-President Of Botswana by Richard Hammond.

The book focuses on four major stories:

  • The Top Gear North Pole challenge
  • Driving across Botswana for Top Gear
  • Running 17 miles through floods in Gloucestershire to be at his daughter’s birthday
  • Interviewing Evel Knievel

I always find Richard Hammond to be highly personable and enjoy Top Gear so was interested to read some of his reflections following “that crash”.  I hoped to gain further insight into how Top Gear works: how do they come up with the challenges, how do they really rip apart their cars and build them into some sort of new monstrosity

The book gives some good background to the North Pole challenge, and to his interviewing of Evel Knievel, but not much more.  I found the story of how he ran seventeen miles across the floods in Gloucestershire amusing but not something I’d re-read again.

It is an entertaining book, but not one I’d rush out to buy.