I promised a book review a while ago and have only recently found the time to throw one together. With Christmas and my birthday all crammed into just under a month, it’s all been a bit manic! But I can now breathe and concentrate on my rekindled love affair with reading.
This new-found book hunger came about late last year: I made the decision I was spending far too much time watching telly in bed, and not enough nourishing my brain with words of any substance. So, I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more.
Growing up I was always a big reader. My favourite week of the school year was book week, where my sister and I would enter into competition with each other as to who could devour the most –unfortunately, she always won (she wins everything), but I still chugged on, because I loved to read.
But over the years my book consumption slowed. It’s not that I wasn’t reading at all, it’s that I rarely lost myself in a book. I’d often pick one up and give it a go, and after chapter one if I wasn’t hooked, I’d write it off. (Sorry books, I’m so offensive!) Plus, in my defense, it is difficult to find the time, and Netflix has some bloody good stuff on at the moment (i.e. Silent Witness re-runs from 2010, guilts).
I’ve been working on my attention span and reading more lately – pushing on and not giving up at the first sign of a lull in the story (I sound so proud of myself!). And now it feels quite alien not to have a book on my bedside table. All credit for my reignited passion goes to ‘Girl on The Train’ (which I thought was A-mazing – along with the rest of civilisation – bravo, Paula Hawkins). There’s nothing quite like a thriller whilst tucked up in bed with a good cuppa tea.
So, in tribute to my revived reading prowess, I thought I would share with you some of the recent reads that caught my attention! (All fiction btw if you’re into escapism.)
This is Camilla Way’s most recent novel, and it’s one heck of a creepy, psychological thriller. Centered around school friends, Edie and Heather, the plot weaves between the present day and the time of an ‘incident’ that 18 years later both women are struggling to move on from…
Edie is living in London after leaving the Midlands and is trying to put the past behind her. Until unexpectedly, Heather comes back into her life and rocks her simple existence. This book leads you up the garden path and back again. Likened to Girl on the Train, it’s unsettling and super addictive.
I’ll be honest, it’s not for everyone. At times, I struggled to keep reading. But the curiosity of needing to know the outcome overrode my desire for a happy tale about fairies and kittens. If darker books are your guilty pleasure, this one’s for you.
This is an awesome thriller and it’s one of the best I’ve read in a while. Based in London, the plot is split into two characters, Zoe-a 39-year-old mum — who works in the city, and Kelly, a British Transport Police Officer — trying to prove her worth in the force.
On her normal, claustrophobic tube ride to work, Zoe finds a grainy photograph of herself in the classified adverts of a London newspaper – alongside a website and phone number. Convinced it’s her she confides in family and friends, but they persuade her otherwise. Zoe sees images of more women over the following days, and then she recognises one of the women on the news…
I read this book on the recommendation of my sister who also has a penchant for this genre. Slow at first, it gets going a couple of chapters in. Keep at it and I promise you won’t be able to put it down!
Written by Australian author Lianne Moriaty, this is SUCH a good book. It falls into the chic-lit category but is a borderline thriller.
Set in a Sydney suburb, the plot is about the lives of three very different women. Jane is a young, single mother; Celeste’s married to a millionaire; and Madeline, a feisty socialite on her second marriage. The women become friends when their children start school together, and they all have one thing in common — they keep secrets.
The story takes place over six months, leading up to the finale (a school trivia night) where a character is murdered (FYI – this is not a spoiler, you find this out early on).
Although lighter than the others, it’s so ace. And I can’t be wrong as HBO have recently turned it into a mini-series starring mega-babes Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. I literally cannot wait to watch it!
Unlike the previous books, this falls into the steampunk sub-genre of science fiction. It’s Natasha Pulley’s first novel and an international best seller (which speaks for itself!) This a long, intricate read and took me a while to finish – one best not read tired. But, as you’re on my blog and chances are my wavelength, I think you’ll like it.
Thaniel Steepleton is the protagonist and lives an average existence in 1800’s London. One day he arrives home to find a pocket watch on his pillow, which (by setting off an alarm) saves his life from a bomb explosion six months later. Curious to his deliberate saving, he searches for the watchmaker and finds a seemingly kind-natured Chinese immigrant, Keita Mori. Alongside their friendship, Thaniel builds a relationship with Oxford graduate, Grace Carrow. She dislikes and disbelieves Mori’s good intentions, and this tests Thaniel’s loyalties between the pair.
The story flits between 1884 London and Japan just over ten years earlier. If you have a soft spot for English history and love a touch of make-believe, you’ll enjoy it. Also, one of the characters is a clockwork octopus. Need I say more?
So, there we go! My recent reading list. If you are feeling a little lost on what to pick up next, hopefully, these give you some inspiration.
What are your books of the moment? I would love to know as I’m always looking for my next fix!