Book of the Week #10 – Life After Life


I know, I know…I was only supposed to read this book “if there was time” after reading the technical book about Hadoop. I was still sick though, so that’s my excuse for letting myself get away with spending the weekend on a story-book instead of relentlessly pursuing my goals. I have been mildy pursuing my actual goal for the week and have made some progress through the Hadoop book. Now that we’re into week 3 of the semester, I have no more time to waste though, so the public library won’t be seeing me for a while.

This Week’s Book Title [Week 39] : Life After Life

by Kate Atkinson



Hardback 477 pages.



This book was another recommendation from the same first episode (92) I listened to of my new favourite podcast “What to read next”. I had reserved it at the same time as A Dirty Job at the end of summer. I’ve stopped listening to the podcast for a while so that I’m not led into temptation and will have something to look forward to at Christmas when this last semester of my night course is over.

This book follows it’s central character, Ursula Todd, as she is born in 1910 but dies before taking her first breath, then is born again in 1910 and lives. She lives over and over again in the same time period, dying a different way each time.

Luckily the author doesn’t describe the boring parts of life over and over again each time (like going to school), but there are key points in Ursula’s life that do get visited over and over in each life and it’s really interesting to see what a difference a tiny change could make here & there, not only to Ursula’s life but to the lives of her family & friends.

It’s like the multiverse theory…that there are an infinite number of universes out there where you turned a corner and got run over by a bus or stopped to tie your lace and was saved. But weaved into a interesting story instead of a Wikipedia article.

It’s probably a bit macabre, but there were points in the book where I thought “she’s going to die here now” and then was disappointed when she didn’t. I put it down to knowing that she would come back again, not down to me having a dark soul or not caring about the book’s central character.



I highly recommend this book. It’s still got me thinking even though I finished reading it days ago. Does each universe she lived in go on after she dies, so in the lifetime where she did that really world-effecting thing, did the world go on completely changed for everyone else when she died?

P.S. I’ve realised that most of my recent blog posts end up with me “highly recommending” the book of the week. I think that’s because these books have been recommended by other readers. Believe me, I’ve read plenty of “meh” books, and no doubt I’ll read plenty more, so you will see that recommendation change over time.

Next week’s book

In case you want to read along with me, here’s what I’m planning to read finish reading during the upcoming week: Hadoop: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Data Science).

The Miracle Morning (Personal Development) finally came through from the Library early this week & I haven’t even opened it yet. I’ll be using it’s “get up before you have to” recommendation to get through the Hadoop book before work (since I’m too tired after getting home from work) and then I’ll read this book next.

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