A bit of a mixed bag this month, I’ve struggled a little bit with finding time to dedicate to reading but I did listen to three(!!) audiobooks via my library, something I’d forgotten I had access to but I can see becoming a handy way of getting to books I’ve been putting off.
Five Dark Fates ~ The fourth and final novel in the Three Dark Crowns series, I wasn’t ready for this to end and Five Dark Fates brought the whole thing to a dramatic close, I won’t go into plot details as not to ruin any of the earlier books, 4 stars.
The Testaments ~ I’ve waited patiently for my library reservation to come in and it did at the exact right time, just as we were going away for the weekend and I had some decent time to devote to this. Set almost twenty years after the The Handmaid’s Tale we switch between three perspectives, Aunt Lydia, one of the core founders of the way of life for women in Gilead and two younger female characters, one raised inside Gilead, the daughter to a commander being readied for marriage and one raised in Canada looking in from the outside. For me, this added even more depth to the world of Gilead and I was a little glad that I stopped watching the television series as this centred so much around Aunt Lydia; 5 stars.
Before I Go To Sleep ~ This has been on my TBR for years, it’s just never found its way to the top; after nearly giving up on it I came across the audiobook on my library overdrive. I enjoyed it, its a very cleverly written book; after an accident Christine has memory problems, waking up every morning shocked to find herself much older than she expected her husband explains to her each morning who he is and what happened to her, only for her to have forgotten again the next morning. I’d already seen the film so knew the story which obviously ruined some of the twists and turns; would recommend both the book and the film but maybe just pick your preferred media, 3 stars.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo ~ When old time Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo gets in touch with a magazine requesting they send a reporter they can’t believe their luck, nobody has been able to interview Evelyn for years, after marrying her seventh husband she became a bit of a recluse with minimal press coverage. When Monique arrives to meet Evelyn she’s given a choice; she’s not interested in giving an interview, she wants Monique to write her biography, a tell-all of her Hollywood career and seven marriages. I really enjoyed this, 4 stars.
The Gloaming ~ When Mara’s younger brother Bee is taken from them by the sea which surrounds the small island they live on her entire family is shaken to the core. The writing in this is beautiful, it focuses on the characters less than the plot and I enjoyed the magical elements, 3 stars.
You Look Like a Thing and I Love You* ~ Really engaging overview of AI, would be great for someone with no prior knowledge or exposure but also anyone who already has some experience of the topic. Great relatable examples and case studies throughout, 4 stars.
The Little Book of Hygge ~ Another audiobook, though not one I think I’d particularly recommend to listen to and wish I’d just got a hard copy. There are a few recipes in here and they just don’t translate well for me over audio. I’m all here for the premise behind this though, grab some close friends, some candles and enjoy a cosy, relaxed atmosphere of togetherness. Great little wintry read that will make you want to get home and warm asap, 3 stars.
The Habit Blueprint ~ I read Patrik Edblad’s second book about Self-Discipline last year when I was going through a bit procrastination slump and while it didn’t change my life it made some decent points; since then I’ve been waiting for this to pop up in a kindle sale; while that didn’t happen I did spot it as immediately available on my library’s audiobook site. This will only take up just over an hour of your life and is mainly common sense but it is explained quite well and breaks things down nicely, I liked that it didn’t make it sound as though setting new habits are easy and nobody is ever going to fail. Would be a good ‘new year’ read to get you in the right mindset to keep those resolutions, 3 stars.
Cilka’s Journey ~ The sequel to the Tattooist of Auschwitz follows Cilka in her life after the concentration camp. After the camp in liberation Cilka is questioned and imprisoned by the Russians, accused of working for the Nazis she finds herself in a sickeningly familiar situation fighting for survival, 4 stars.