I am hoping that this year I can continue my previous successful in reading.
The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware
It was not the best start to this reading year, I did not love this book. Part of this was definitely because I thought it would be something slightly different. I love a classic Agatha Christie style mystery and I thought that this book would promise it, as it focuses on a mysterious death and a house. It wasn’t quite that type of mystery. Also, I thought that there would be more mystery surrounding why she was offered the money – but while she was not related to Mrs Westaway and the name being the same was creepy, it wasn’t as mysterious as I wanted it to be. The book was not awful I just had high expectations and it was not quite the book I thought it would be.
The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner
This is an important book to read. I found it informative. However, I am not 100% sure if I agree with it all and it was a tad bit repetitive. But, if you think that this book will be useful for you then definitely pick it up.
Nothing Like I Imagined by Mindy Kaling
I love Mindy Kaling and this book is a great collection of essays about her life. If you like her sense of humour then this is definitely for you.
Sapiens: A Graphic History by David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave
This is a really informative book that makes you think about life and humanity – while also being fun. It was also nice to see that effort had been made to convert the dialogue into a graphic novel. I am glad I was gifted it (it is such a good gift book), especially in the graphic novel edition – it definitely meant that I picked it up quicker. I reckon it would have taken me a very long time to read the full book.
Bunny by Mona Awad
I listened to the audiobook for this book and because I listened to it at the gym, it now makes me miss the gym. This kinda leads to my thoughts about the book as while I did enjoy it, it was not the most memorable. It does feel weird to call this book unmemorable as it has a very unique plot that is definetly memorable. But, what I mean by unmemorable is that it is a book I forget I read, not a book I will forget the plot of. The book includes a lot of stuff that I love – it is dark academia etc – but it is not my favourite one I have read, perhaps this is due to the fantastical element, I don’t know. I really appreciated how it was told and everything, but for whatever reason it did not fully click with me.
Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh
This was not what I expected, but I still really loved it. I don’t know why I expected it to be more of a traditional horror story, I have read both of this authors other books and they too are focused on the inside of a characters mind and are proper isolated stories. I do love her books but they are a bit tough if you don’t wont to be inside the head of a lonely person, who’s entire life is lived in her mind.
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
2020 has changed me, not only do I read a lot of romance now, I also read historical romance – this is a genre that I previously thought was just not for me. I probably won’t read every historical romance ever but when I feel like it I will pick one up. The ebook was cheap and I really enjoyed the show, not enough to read the first one though. And I am so glad I read this book, I loved the dynamic between the characters – I loved their competition and protectiveness. I think they might be one of my favourite couples I have read about. After reading this and The Hating Game I have come to the conclusion that I just like enemies to lovers romances.
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
I read this for university and I really enjoyed it, until it started to be overly sexual. I found that it cheapened it a bit as it is such an obvious and easy way to make the reader uncomfortable – something smarter would have been much more effective. I did enjoy this much more than I thought I would though, for some reason I thought it would be a really dry book.
Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
The ebook was £1 so I picked this up on a whim and I think I made a mistake. Picking it up was not the mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and want to continue the series but the rest of it is way more expensive and I am cheap. It was such a cute and engaging story. At first I found the time jumps etc confusing but once I was in the story I was in the story and I ended up finishing this in just one sitting.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
This is a big book and in some ways it felt long. Although, the length is obviously very Barack Obama – he takes care and thinks properly about what he wants to say. I really enjoyed this book and I loved some of the detail he gave into his political decisions – I especially enjoyed it as I was so young when he became president that I was never really interested or aware of American politics. I will say I wanted a bit more about his early life or life outside of politics, but that might just not be what this book was trying to do – that was a me problem not a problem of the book.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sagar
I really enjoyed Lock Every Door by Riley Sagar but this one was not my favourite. It is a weird mix of a ghost story and a thriller that I just didn’t find engaging enough as either genre. A lot of the book tells the past by including a book within a book and I didn’t particularly enjoy those parts. There were some shocks at the end but I think in general this type of thriller rarely does it for me and I need to accept that.
A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir
Reading a final book in a series is always slightly scary, but this was a really good conclusion. I do think my reading tastes have changed slightly since I first read the series, so I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I still really enjoyed it but I was aware it was a young adult book and when I first started the series I remember thinking it felt more adult than young adult. When reading it reminded me of how much I loved the first book (that one is certainly my favourite), I loved the school and the spying etc. I think battles are not my favourite thing in a fantasy and this book had a lot of them.
An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
I did not think I would continue with the series but here we are. This one was not as good as the second one for me – the tropes were not my favourite and the story gets a bit more ridiculous. I also strongly want Benedict to explore his sexuality in the TV show as they kept hinting at it. It was still a fun book though and I will probably (read: almost definitely) read more from Julia Quinn.
The Shining by Stephen King
Another book I read for university and I have thoughts. Last time I read this book I don’t think it annoyed me as much as it did this time. There are a couple of weird scenes, like the scene where Jack feels up Wendy when she is emotional. A bigger thing that annoyed me was the idea that it was the Overlook Hotel that made Jack crazy, I think that, in some ways, rationalises abuse.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
I was listening to this audibook for a long time, like a real long time and I was a bit disappointed. I don’t think there was any pay off for just how long I was listening. Nothing really happens, or more accurately what does happen is super underwhelming. Also, for a book with so many characters, there should have been multiple narrators in the audiobook.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
I don’t think self-help books are for me, I’m not the biggest fan of the preachy tone. I did find some it it thought provoking but it general I wasn’t overly impressed. This book was a gift, I know rude, and I definitely wouldn’t have picked it up myself.
The Hunting Party by Lucy Folely
Another slightly underwhelming book. I don’t have lots to say about this one to be honest. It just wasn’t as good or as engaging as The Guest List and considering how similar the books are there are always gonna be comparisons.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I am actually getting around to rereading some of my faves. This book made it onto my best books of 2018 list and I loved it just as much this time! It is such a masterful novel about complex people. I cannot wait to read her next novel!
Slade House by David Mitchell
This was a wonderfully creepy book about a weird house. I kind of wish it was longer, although it’s short length does leaves you wanting more which is affective. I loved the structure of having lots of interrelated stories, that is one of my favourite things.