So as predicted several library requests decided to arrive on the same day mid-way through this month so I’m pretty impressed that only one book fell off my TBR this month
Stories we tell ourselves* – I ended up giving this 2 stars, I was expecting a bit more to happen but this is essentially a book about people and their relationships, not a lot actually happens. If you enjoy character and relationships focused books then definitely give this one a go, there quite a few thought provoking morality based scenarios/questions to tangent on. Main highlights for me included Gitsy, the five-year-old who plans to stay up to ‘catch’ Santa by fuelling up on clementines and Simon (the dog) contemplating how he would go about committing suicide while simultaneously wondering if he actually wants to or if he just wants to go for a walk. I received an uncorrected proof from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this book is expected to be released in April 2018.
Everything I know about Love* – An emotional deep dive journey through Dolly’s school, university and post-graduate years. Yes, there were plenty of quite funny dating stories but this also deals with her battles with eating disorders, drug/alcohol use, therapy and most importantly her friendships. I loved this, I think it helped that I’m a similar age to Dolly as there are a lot of time-related cultural references I could fully appreciate. Another massive thank you to Netgalley for this one, having already pre-ordered it I was extremely happy to be able to get an early look at this one. The current expected release date for this book is February 2018, 5 stars.
The Great Gatsby – A re-read of an excellent classic. The only reason this wasn’t a five star read for me is that there were a couple of times during conversations involving multiple people when I got a bit confused about who on earth was actually speaking, 4 stars.
Hortense and the Shadow* – Quite far from my normal type of read, this is actually a fully illustrated children’s book, I don’t have children but I gave this 5 stars based on how much I now want to read this to my friend’s children. Firstly the illustrations are amazing, they’re extremely intricate, delicately coloured full page pictures with plenty of detail that would be great for keeping a child’s attention. The story has a point, Hortense doesn’t like her shadow and goes to great lengths to try and get rid of it but during the book learns she’s just misunderstood her shadow so it’s slightly fable-esque in that respect without being overly long or dragged out. The prose is mainly short sentences that flow really nicely so would be great for children that are just starting to join in with reading along but I didn’t feel like the language had been ‘dumbed down’ at all which I like as it gives them a couple of challenges to try and sound out along the way.
The Silkworm – Continuing with my efforts to get through the Robert Galbraith books before the end of the year, in a result that always surprises me I actually preferred the sequel to the original. While I had some initial hesitations about the direction it seemed to be going in, this takes a fairly dramatic and quite dark twist, unlike the first I was actually at a bit of a loss for whodunit theories for this one which just made me want to keep reading. Looking forward to picking up book three next month, 5 stars.
Turtles All The Way Down – There is a hell of a lot of hype around this book so I was slightly dubious starting it but from pretty much the first chapter I was completely engrossed and didn’t want to put it down. While it is YA it tackles the very important and complex issue of mental health without shying away from the realities of those issues, which I think is extremely important, if even one person finds this useful in understanding their own thoughts more or helping someone else understand what they’re facing them its served an important purpose. The plot was good but this really is about the characters as with most John Green book. Unfortunately, it has very little to do with turtles but it did teach me what a tuatara is and they’re actually quite interesting, 5 stars.
How To Be Champion: My Autobiography – This book was exactly what I was hoping it was going to be; funny. How to be Champion is Sarah Millican’s autobiography and covers everything from being a child during the miner’s strike through to to her second marriage to Gary Delaney, would definetly recommend if you’re a fan of her stand-up, 4 stars.
Catch-22 – One that always appears on those ‘Top Books to Read…’ lists and decided to use the latest round of Tome Topple to actually get round to it, technically it’s a bit borderline for the readathon but my copy had 530 pages so I ran with that. I definitely enjoyed it, but I’m not going to lie I was quite confused at times as I wasn’t aware it’s not chronological. It jumps about a bit without much clarification of any dates so in one chapter it’ll be mentioned that a character has died but then the next chapter and they’ll be back. Overall 4 stars.
Beta – This picked up for me about a third of the way through, quite a lot of the book is based on experiences the author has had around working in female-heavy roles and job where she’s had a female boss; working in IT I’m generally used to being the only woman in the room so those chapters weren’t the most relatable for me. Having said what I did like was how well Rebecca puts her points across, her points are well thought out and very well backed up by her own experiences and quotes from a lot of other people, overall 3 stars.
All titles marked with a * were received for free in exchange for an honest review.