Okay, so I have previously done a monthly book club post which I loved but was finding each month would vary with the amount of books I’d read so instead I held back & am now giving you every book that I have read so far this year. At the moment I’m in a book bubble I read my last book in 2 days & current read I cannot put down so thank you Amazon Prime for being my saviour. I hope you enjoy my list there is a real mix so keep going to the bottom & let me know do you prefer the old way of a monthly book club or prefer for a big haul?
Origin, Dan Brown – I’ve always been a fan of the Dan Brown books & read all of them. So when I seen he had a new one out & a passenger on a flight had it also & told me how good it was I knew I had to get it, especially as Brown’s iconic character Professor Robert Langdon makes a return. From the offset I was gripped by the storyline, I like it when you are instantly brought into the story & we join Langdon as he arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The story line is easy to grasp with various characters leading to multiple who done it scenarios. Primarily based in Barcelona you see the depth of Brown’s research of the city & it makes me want to revisit. Although the lengthiest book I’ve read in a while, it was a real page turner & definitely up there with my favourite Dan Brown books.
The Christmas Secret, Karen Swan – This was one of my December reads pretty obvious with ‘Christmas’ in the title but it’s not heavily based on the holiday you can definitely pick it up & read it now. I’ve read Karen Swan’s books before one of my favourites I did a book review here, & I loved it. My best friend Stephanie was reading it at the same time & was ahead of me which in a way was helpful. We join top London business woman Alex Hyde on the beautiful island of Skye where she has been sent to help the troublesome CEO of Scottish Whisky company, Lochlan Farquhar, whose business is falling apart & Alex has been called in by Lochlan’s uncle to help rescue it, but you can’t help someone who doesn’t want saving. I’ll be honest it took me a while to get into the story, there wasn’t much going on until about half way, which only that Stephanie was ahead of me I kept reading & then I couldn’t put it down. The story picked up, more characters who I loved were introduced & there were several twists which help build it up, definitely worth a read just a shame it took a while to get going.
Girls Made Of Snow & Glass, Melissa Bashardoust – This book I came across on Instagram & there were so many people sharing their love for it that I decided to see what it was about & I loved it in a way that I didn’t expect. It’s girl power all the way, two very strong main characters who you can’t help but love for various reasons. It’s fantasy but not like I have read before, many are saying its the feminist revival of Snow White. Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious & her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart & replaced it with one of glass. Moving to Whitespring Castle she hatches a plan, marry the King but gain a Step-daughter Lynet, who the magician created from snow & in the image of her dead mother, but she wants to be every bit as regal & fierce as her Step-mother. Entwining the stories of both Lynet & Mina in the past & present, we follow the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. I was gripped from the start & it didn’t disappoint with abundance of fighting spirit & female empowerment.
Faking Friends, Jane Fallon – I am familiar with Jane Fallon’s books before, my girlfriends were hooked on ‘Strictly Between Us’ so when we heard she had a new book out we decided to all read it. Based on what can only be described as one of the worst betrayals between best friends & lovers we couldn’t see how this was going to go, simply put Amy thought she knew everything about her best friend Melissa, she also thought she was on the verge of marrying her fiancé Jack. Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat, then as you see the disaster fall off the pages it clicks, Melissa is the other woman. So what do you do, revenge, Amy is determined to get her own back. I had high hoped for this & I just could not get into it, I hate giving up on a book but I found it frustrating at times & it honestly irritated me I couldn’t take to the characters & I hate to say I had to give up on it.
Eleanor Oliphiant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman – If there is one book you have to read then this is the one, this is the book that sticks with you, you won’t forget the heartbreaking, funny & unpredictable story of Eleanor Oliphiant. Eleanor leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. I couldn’t put the book down as you gradually get to see the walls that Eleanor has built around herself begin to crumble. This book made me realise that the act of one simple gesture can make an impact on someone else that you didn’t think possible. Kindness rocks Eleanor’s ‘fine’ well structured life & we see her navigate her way through trying to get a balance & happiness in her life. I could not stop thinking about this book afterwards it really hit me that you never truly know what’s going on in other people’s lives & also how they view the world, if anything it leaves you wanting to be that extra bit kind to people as you don’t know who they are.
Caraval, Stephanie Garber – I love a magical/ fantasy book, maybe it’s the sense of being transported to a completely different world that appeals to my imaginative side, so I had high hopes for this book. So what’s it about, well, a invitation only to play a game where everything is not as it seems, but the prize, a Magical Wish. Weeks before here wedding to a Count she has not met Scarlett Dragna receives an invite for her & her fiancee to join the game, but as they say nothing is as it seems. Escaping from her evil father with her beloved sister for a game she will have to learn to play. This book had all the ingredients to be magical but unfortunately it didn’t live up to it. A book about the bond of 2 sisters who are separated for most of the story, a love story that is predictable whilst the game of Caraval left some loose ends.
Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng – Okay, so this book I first seen on my Instagram feed (which is where I pick up a lot of my book suggestions) then I discovered it is yet another book that Reese Witherspoon picked for her book club so I was intrigued plus the reviews were amazing but I wasn’t eager to start it I don’t know why but after the first 80 pages I was hooked & read it in a day! We are taken to Shaker Heights, an idyllic Cleveland suburb, to discover two families, The Richardson’s, rich, successful, follow the rules, all American do-gooders & The Warren’s mother & daughter duo who rent a home off the Richardson’s, are used to sharing a bed & live off leftovers from the Chinese restaurant Mother Mia works in when she’s not working on her artwork. All 4 of the Richardson children are drawn to Mia & daughter Pearl & when the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town putting Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia & her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. There was something about this book & honestly I don’t know what, I think the word is intriguing, covering a topic I haven’t read much about it definitely leaves you thinking. AA x