Books, oh beautiful, beautiful books!
I've been reading SO much in the past year, specifically since setting myself regular goals to pick up a book and find the time to sit down and get lost in it.
I was travelling more than ever this summer which has meant there's been plenty of time to get stuck into a book or two and, as promised here is a little round up of the books I've read in the past year and a little synopsis and review of each of them.
I've NEVER done this kind of thing before but reading is something I've always loved to do and I'm thrilled to have found my reading mojo once more. I read whenever I can, whilst on trains, planes, in taxi's and when I get the chance, in the bath and in bed, it's my most favourite outlet to relax and wind down after a busy day or two.
I really hope you enjoy hearing about the books I've got stuck into lately and hope this can become a regular thing. I'd love to recommend all the books I read in the hope that you too, will pick up a book and hopefully pass on your recommendations to me too.
It's always been a dream of mine to have a floor-to-ceiling bookcase and that dream is getting closer to becoming a reality so I need to purchase ALL THE BOOKS to ensure the case isn't looking too sparse, so share and share alike and I hope you enjoy!
Moving by Jenny Eclair
As a Sunday Times Best Seller I had high hopes for Moving by Jenny Eclair, but I must admit, she wasn't an author I'd ever read before or ever thought about reading before, known more as a comedienne rather than an author, but now I MUST read all of her books.
Moving is such a warming, wonderful read with characters you truly fall in love with. The story kicks off with Edwina, an older lady who has lived in the same HUGE Victorian house for the past fifty years. The house holds many memories and treasures but since her family have flown the nest, has become cluttered and too big for Edwina, who is now in her seventies.
She decides to put the house on the market and as she tries (and fails) to pack up her family home, she takes the reader down memory lane back to the sixties, where she bought the house with the love of her life and brought up their two children. The house is filled with heart ache, highs and incredible lows, all of which are shared with us.
Edwina is a truly gorgeous character, one you find yourself falling in love with as a loving, witty yet forgetful and terribly wise older lady; but just as we find ourselves falling for her, we are introduced to other characters and from their prospectives too.
I simply adore stories with multiple narratives and whilst I wont' tell you about the other characters in which we hear the story from (I don't want to spoil the read for you lovely lot) it's a beautiful yet heart wrenching read that spans from the 1960's to the present day.
It's a book I couldn't put down and a book I found extremely relatable indeed. It explores families and the highs and lows you go through, throughout life. I truly adored it and cannot wait to read more from Eclair, do you have any recommendations by her?
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
This book was actually recommended by a number of you lot and to be perfectly honest, not a book I would have picked up normally. Thrillers, as a book genre aren't something I gravitate towards naturally, I'm a bit of a scaredy cat I must say and prefer books with a happy ending.
However, as so many of you suggested it I picked it up on Amazon in one of my hefty book shopping sprees and set to work reading it.
To start with, The Farm by Tom Rob Smith, isn't an easy read. It is slow paced and I often found myself reading the same line over and over. However, once through the first few chapters I found myself completely gripped!
Set in both Sweden and London we learn how Daniel was brought up by a loving mother and father, Tilde (Swedish) and Chris (British) who decide to up sticks and move back to Tilde's hometown in Southern Sweden to buy a farm and live life a little slower.
Daniel remains in London when he receives a phone call from his frantic father telling how his mother is unwell and has been admitted into a mental asylum. He receives another call and a visit from his mother who claims his father is lying and that she was admitted unfairly and as part of a conspiracy.
It's a chaotic story line that keeps you wanting more. I constantly wanted to read on and to try and work out who was telling the truth, similarly to that of Daniel; Does he believe his mother in that his father is up to something sinister? Or is his father right in that his mother is unwell?
As far as my whole fear of thrillers go, this wasn't scary, so I'm not sure it really sits in that category or genre and after finishing the book, I read other reviews online and many said the same thing. It's a gripping read that kept me on my toes throughout, so if thats your kind of thing I would definitely suggest picking it up.
Have any of you read Child 44, Tom Rob Smith's award winning novel? Let me know if you think it's worth a read.
The One by John Marrs
Now this has got to be the best book I read this year. It was completely and utterly gripping from the get go, I was hooked instantly and found myself reading this faster than any other book I've EVER read.
I received this in my PO Box, something I was utterly thrilled about; receiving books before they had even hit the shelves was never something I thought would ever happen to me but my goodness was that a special moment for a book fanatic like me.
Basically, The One is based around a modern way of online dating; a DNA test that finds your perfect partner- the one you're genetically made for... WHAT A CONCEPT!
It was a fascinating read with five narratives (YAY another multiple narrative story) all based around finding their "one" through the gene they shared. Each characters story was utterly fascinating with juicy secrets, twists, turns, sexy scenes and deadly scenes, it was a complete page turner and one I was completely gutted to get to the end of as I enjoyed it OH so much!
If there is one book you pick out from this selection, I'd definitely suggest it be this one!
The Two Of Us by Andy Jones
This book I picked up due to the reviews stating "If you loved One Day and The Rosie Project, you will fall head-over-heels for The Two of Us" I had read both of those books and truly adored every single page, so this for me was a no brainer.
But I have to say, despite The Two Of Us being a really easy read, and despite me getting to the end of it (trust me, if I'm bored I am the kind of person to just ditch a book mid-way through) this isn't one of my faves due to the pretty simple plot.
William Fisher and Ivy have been together for 19 days when we are introduced to the couple. They're well into the honeymoon period which is really lovely to read and oh so totally relatable for many. Things move REALLY quickly and their lives are pretty much flipped upside down.
The bulk of the story explores the ups and downs of a relationship, again, something that the majority of us can totally relate to, however there is a strong emphasis about trying to stay together, a pretty bleak ideology for two people who are in love don't you think?
I really liked Fisher, he was head over heels for Ivy and a really understanding and kind character, but Ivy I liked less due to her negative attitude and often cold persona, but I think thats how we were supposed to feel.
It was an interesting read about love and relationships from a male perspective, it's a nice easy read, one I'd recommend for a holiday in the sun but if you're after something a little more gripping with twists and turns, this perhaps isn't for you.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
I've literally just finished this book and once again Jodi Picoult has nailed it.
Picoult was my author of choice whilst growing up, I've read almost every single one of her books and adored them all, despite her "chick-lit" reputation. She always knows how to take a tricky social subject and make a beautiful, thought provoking and often heartbreaking book about it.
Small Great Things is a story based upon racism.
Again a multiple narrative piece with Ruth Jefferson, an African American nurse at the heart of the story.
Ruth is a highly experienced labour and delivery nurse in a Connecticut hospital, a hospital she has worked at for the last twenty years. Ruth has spent her entire life working to give herself and her son, Edison, the best possible life; Ruth is a truly wonderful character who is caring, kind and funny at times.
However the story turns dark when on a double shift a newborn baby dies, the baby of a white supremacist. The story follows Ruth and the racist family through the court trial and beyond, sharing some down right disturbing and often hard hitting disclosures.
This story is often hard to read, it's upsetting in parts and is a really emotive book that puts white privilege and racism on trial.
It's a book about putting up a fight, a book that I truly loved reading, despite often having to have a break from it. I would highly suggest this book to each and every one of you.
Ohhhhh I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed writing that!
What do you think to my first ever book club post? Will you be picking any of these books up? Would you like this type of post to be a regular thing? And PLEASE let me know if you have any books you think I might like? I would absolutely LOVE to add them to my book collection and reading list.