Book, Review, Wrap Up

December 2017 ~ Wrap Up

The books below bring my total for the year to 110 books, which I’m fairly sure means I should probably get a new hobby or get out a bit more.

 

Not Working – Claire has recently left a job which was leaving her unfulfilled, which has left her with a lot of free time; throw in a falling out with her mother and plenty of misunderstandings with her boyfriend and you  I was torn with this one as a character I wasn’t that keen on Claire but I loved the way it was written in small sections, some of which are just completely random scenes from her life and I think I read it in just under 2 days, so 4 stars.
Six of Crows – I’m so annoyed that I waited so long to read this, initially I was a bit unsure about but I got quite hooked quite quickly and was loathe to put it down, very glad there’s a sequel! I do think I enjoyed it more having read the previous trilogy first, you could read this without reading the Seige and Storm books but I think they give a fuller background of the Grisha that you wouldn’t get completely just from reading this. 5 stars.
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night* –  This is a collection of short stories all set in the same bizarre, enchanting world, there’s a magical realism about each of them which makes them more like fairy stories.  I loved the way the world building was strung together throughout each tale, the further through you get the brighter, bolder picture you have of this alternative reality I didn’t want to leave.
There’s variety between the way some of the stories are written, one is simply a conversation which keeps up the pace of the book.  Some are left slightly open-ended and I kept my fingers crossed until the end that those ends would be tied up but alas I was just left to my own imagination to determine how the lives of those characters may have panned out – which is what I want from these kinds of stories.  Would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a bit of light-hearted escapist reading. 5 stars.
No-one ever has Sex on Christmas Day – This was exactly what I wanted this to be, it was quite predictable and cheesy at times but that’s what I love about this series.  This is set a few years after the last instalment, Milly is now three, Braindead is still ridiculous and Katy’s mother has a new boyfriend who she’s bringing for Christmas.  I’d recommend this series for anyone who enjoys romantic comedy  – 4 stars
A Quiet Kind of Thunder – This was an interesting one, Steffi has severe anxiety around her speech having previously been diagnosed as a selective mute.  On her first day of sixth form she’s introduced to Rhys who’s deaf as she has a basic grasp of sign language.  Things develop in an awkward teenagery way culminating in the pair of them escaping on a mega bus for a weekend away in Edinburgh to prove to themselves and their parents that they can cope on their own.   It has reignited my desire to learn BSL, the chapter headings are all pictorial descriptions of BSL numbers which I thought was nice and there are a few descriptions throughout the book of how to sign words and phrases. 3 stars.
A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea – I’m far from an expert but I’ve read a few books on North Korea and people’s escape stories and this one was quite different. The author spent his childhood in Japan before returning to North Korea in the 1950s, he spent a large part of his life there before managing to escape in the 1990s. Like the others I’ve read before this was an upsetting and distressing read for the most part but I’d of been really interested in another few chapters on his in Japan following his escape.  I got my copy through Kindle First, and its due for release in January 2018.  3 stars.
There’s Probably No God: the Atheists’ Guide to Christmas – This is a collection of works from various celebrity atheists that I believe was published back in 2011 for charity which has sat on my kindle for about 4 years waiting to be read. Like most collective works this was a bit hit and miss, there’s also a great variety of opinions and angles covered, some talk of how they love Christmas despite not partaking in the religious side of things, others question the lack of atheist representation in the media and some serve as reminders that not everyone is fortunate enough to be wrapping their pets in tinsel and eating way too many Quality Street for the festive period. 3 stars.
Career of Evil – Another Robert Galbraith book, another plot twist I couldn’t have guessed; I’m not normally a murder mystery fan but I’ve really enjoyed this series, as predicted I’m now joining the hoards on twitter eagerly watching JK Rowlings’ feed for any mention of book 4!  5 stars
A Christmas Carol – The main reason I had this on my to-read list was mainly an excuse to read the leather-bound copy I got earlier in the month, that didn’t really work and I ended up reading a free kindle copy in the car, as much as that’s not the same I always enjoy this one.  4 stars.
The Sun and Her Flowers – After reading Rupi Kaur’s first poetry collection back in May I bought this one up pretty sharpish, I can’t quite decide which I enjoy more but this was another 5 star read.
Wishful Drinking – A quick read based on Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show of the same name, this covers some of Carrie’s earlier years and her relationship with her parents, I picked this in a post Star Wars, 4 stars.
The Suffragettes – A dinky penguin little black classic which covers, the history of women’s suffrage movement and the anti-suffrage league, its a great mixture of transcripts of speeches and copies of posters from the early 1900s.  4 stars
Charlotte’s Web – A forgotten childhood favourite, the main thing I’m confused by is how I’m not an expert on spiders.  5 stars

All titles marked with a * were received for free in exchange for an honest review.

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