May has been a pretty busy month and I ended up going couple of weeks without posting, however I was still reading! Lockdown seems to have lead to some pretty mammoth wrap up posts so I may start doing a mid-month one if I’ve reached more than 6/7 books, let me know what you think?
The Thing About Alice* ~ Centralised around Alice Otto who has always known all her neighbours business and as her memories of her friends weaken she clings more to a book that a previous resident based on the street. There’s quite a lot of characters and events crammed into less than 150pages and I think that did stop me connecting as much as I would have liked to but I did enjoy reading something completely out of my comfort zone. 3 stars.
The Authentic Lie ~ One of last years Pound Project releases, in this journalist and podcaster Pandora Sykes explores our current obsession with being authentic and the pressure we put on celebrities and people on reality TV to be ‘believable’ people, 5 stars.
Environment* ~ This is part of the Object Lessons series, a series of short, non-fiction books on a wide variety of things, from animals, everyday objects and more abstract topics like this one. This packs a lot into less than 200 topics, its written by a scientist but the writing is still accessible, 3 stars.
Conversations with Friends ~ At the start of this book, college students Bobbi and Frances meet Melissa, when she spots them performing their spoken word poetry. In turn Melissa introduces them to her husband Nick and from this a complicated relationship develops between Nick and Frances. This didn’t quite rip my heart out like Normal People but it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, 4 star
Finale ~ The third and final instalment of the Caraval series continues to follow sisters Tella and Scarlet since leaving their home and getting tied up with the magician Legend, there’s not a lot I can say without spoiling the previous books but overall I’m glad I saw this series through and while it has many crazy plot twists I was satisfied by the ending, 3 stars.
I,Robot ~ I’ve been meaning to read this all the way through for years but I think because the book is quite detached from the film I knew younger me struggled to get into it. If you can detach the two, the book is great even now 70 years after it was published. Ok, its quite funny to look at some of the dates since its not exactly that futuristic anymore but remove all ideas of Will Smith from your head and enjoy some really good sci-fi writing – I can now see why this was one of my Aunty’s favourites growing up, 4 star
Coffee* ~ Another Object Lessons series this time focuses on coffee, while part of most people’s everyday lives I don’t think I’ve thought of coffee in enough detail to warrant a book before. The author poses the question of whether coffee is more than just a drink and having read this I’d be inclined to agree, 3 stars.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society ~ This was the Lauren and the Books Patreon Book Club May book, after a few months off reading the chosen book as they’ve been a few much longer books picked I was pleased to see something pop up that I’ve been meaning to read since the film was released a couple of years ago. The book is made up of a series of letters/telegrams/cables throughout 1946 primarily between author Juliet and the residents of Guernsey, I found the format to be really refreshing and also learnt a lot about the WW2 occupation of Guernsey, will be watching the film and posting a full review soon – 4 stars.
The Vegetarian ~ One I heard about via the Books Unbound podcast, translated from Korean this follows Yeong-hye who stops eating meat much to the alarm of her husband and family. The first third or so focusing on their reactions I really enjoyed but we then jump forward and switch perspectives and I began to lose interest, 3 stars.
Girl, Woman, Other ~ I’ve been talking about reading this for nearly a year and I finally got round to it in audio form! Split into parts which each follow three main characters in turn, funnily enough a girl, woman and someone else. They’re intertwined in subtle ways which I enjoyed. From what I’ve heard I do think I might have missed out by listening to the audiobook because the book has been written with an unusual structure/prose style that is obviously lost when you’re just listening but still really enjoyable and would recommend, 4 stars.
Loss & Hope ~ The latest Pound Project release is a collection of short works by a miriad of different people all around the the difficult topic of loss, specifically suicide. The main hope of the work is to provide some kind of reassurance to people whose lives have been affected by suicide, 5 stars.
Just Friends* ~ There’ll be a full review of this June release coming soon but a great, light-hearted read with plently of moments to have you both giggling along with our main character Bea and others that’ll have you cringing at her slight clumsiness, 3 stars.
Go Set a Watchman ~ I finally got around to this one via audio, its read by Reese Witherspoon and she has such an easy voice to listen to with a great slightly county twang to her voice to the dialogue and I definitely think I enjoyed listening to this more than if I’d read it. If you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird then this is a great revisit of Jean-Louise ‘Scout’ Finch as she returns home from New York, 3 stars.
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Titles marked * have been provided for free in exchange for an honest review