A Long Way Home – Saroo Brierley

What the Cover Says:  Aged five, Saroo Brierley was separated from his older brother and ended up alone on the streets of Calcutta. After weeks surviving alone, he was taken into an orphanage and later adopted by an Australian couple.  Although happy with his new family, Saroo couldn’t help but think about the family he’d lost. Years later, he swapped the map of India on his wall for Google Earth scouring it for landmarks he recognised from his childhood. One day, he saw something he recognised.  And he set off on a journey to find his mother, half a world away . . .

Why I Picked it Up: This was the September Rebel read.  The theme was ‘adventure classics’, which makes a refreshing change from some of the hard-hitting books we’ve read recently.

What I Thought: This was my fastest Rebel read yet.  The book arrived in the office on Monday and I had finished by Wednesday evening!  I absolutely loved it.  It was a compelling read that had me hooked from the start.  My heart broke reading this story of a little boy getting lost and then it broke all over again when he was reunited with his family twenty-five years later.  It gives you hope that, even in extreme adversity, good things can happen.

Touching the Void – Joe Simpson

What the Cover Says: Touching the Void is the heart-stopping account of Joe Simpson’s terrifying adventure in the Peruvian Andes. He and his climbing partner, Simon, reached the the summit of the remote Siula Grande in June 1995. A few days later, Simon staggered into Base Camp, exhausted and frost-bitten, with news that that Joe was dead.  What happened to Joe, and how the pair dealt with the psychological traumas that resulted when Simon was forced into the appalling decision to cut the rope, makes not only an epic of survival but a compelling testament of friendship.

Why I Picked It Up:  This was one of the other books on September’s vote at Rebel Book Club.  I’ve never read it, not the seen the film and didn’t really know the story but really wanted to read it so bought it along side A Long Way Home.

What I Thought:  Reading this reminded me of reading The Kite Runner.  You know something awful is coming and spend half the book effectively peeping out from behind the sofa waiting for IT to happen.  I loved it reading this book but really had to force myself to keep reading – my heart was in my mouth the entire time.  I mean, you know Joe must get out okay because he wrote a book but still!  Hearing the two men tell the unfolding story was gripping and horrifying all at the same time.

Be A Free-Range Human – Marianne Cantwell

What the Covers Says:  Free Range is the new career change.  Trapped in a job that’s ‘just not you’? Always dreaming of your next vacation and counting down to the weekend? Imagine getting paid to do something that brings you alive, without ever having to walk into an office again. It’s all possible with this smart guide that breaks you out of the career-cage and puts you in control of your life. Be a Free Range Human is a breezy, energizing and straight-talking guide to creating an amazing lifestyle and a great income, doing what you love (on your own terms). Packed with inspiring case studies from people who’ve done it, this book shares unconventional ideas and practical steps.

Why I Picked It Up: I bought this month’s ago on an Amazon recommendation, I think.  Having made a big career change out of the military two years ago, I’m still working out what I want to do when I grow up and this seemed like a good book to help me think about alternative careers.

What I Thought: I really liked the tone of this book – very down to earth and practical.  Marianne made the big career shift seem totally manageable and accessible.  There were lots of thought-provoking exercises to work through and start your journey towards free-range freedom.  This is a book I’m going to keep go back to as I keep working on this; I’m definitely feeling a bit stuck and short of ideas at the moment but I’m going to keep going!