I’m on a roll this year, if I do say so myself. I’ve read some incredible books so far. I’ve been getting a lot of my recommendations from colleagues at work and YouTubers like Lucy Wood and Literary Diversions, so I feel like my success is down to some reliable positive reviews.
(Click the bold titles for books I have reviewed).
1.) The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes // I picked this up from Forbidden Planet when it was newly released, and I’ve only just gotten round to reading it – for shame! A good start to the year though, I gave this 5/5 on Goodreads.
2.) The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman // I picked this up for the sole reason that the cover disturbed me. The illustrations inside disturbed me too, and then finally the story. A very Gaiman experience, for sure.
3.) The Girl Who Became a Tree: A Story Told in Poems by Joseph Coelho // I wanted to enjoy this so much, because it was set in a library and had a friendly librarian, and was about tackling some serious topics. Plus, I think Joseph Coelho is really cool. And yet, I just didn’t *get* the poems. It was almost just slightly too creative and out-there for me?
4.) There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura // I had a dozen interesting conversations with my Mum after reading this book, as I had leant it to her immediately after finishing it; an unofficial little Mother-Daughter Book Club. A good discussion piece.
5.) Olive by Emma Gannon // I’m a huge fan of Emma Gannon’s work, and unsurprisingly, her amazingness stems to fiction writing too.
6.) Slay in Your Lane Presents: Loud Black Girls by Yomi Adegoke (et al) // I thought I had lost this book, and it turned up in the back of my sister’s car. Hey presto, I finished it!
7.) Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon // More Emma Gannon greatness.
8.) Maria’s Island by Victoria Hislop // This incredible book about Greek families coping with leprosy in their small community made me cry.
9.) Galatea by Madeline Miller // I devoured this book in one small sitting. It worked perfectly as a standalone, as I’ve yet to read anything else by Madeline Miller just yet.
10.) Fault Lines by Emily Itami // This book hurt my heart a little bit, but it was brilliant nonetheless.
11.) Gut Feelings by C.G. Moore // Thematically, I think this is a very important piece of writing, as it is probably the first time I’ve seen the gut (medically) highlighted in any book I’ve ever read?! (Especially one targeting young people). Which now I’ve typed that, makes me realise this area is seriously under-represented, and that should be fixed! Despite me being an advocate for the topic, the writing style just wasn’t for me.
12.) In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt // This was my first (non-graphic novel) horror book of the year, and it did an excellent job of creeping me the hell out.
13.) The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami // This book was utterly bizarre, a ‘real slice of life’ set in a little Japanese thrift store. Featuring a stressful will-they-won’t-they relationship, and an eccentric shop owner who I couldn’t get enough of.
14.) The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett // And the award for the character I wanted to yell at the most goes to… Stella!
15.) Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason // This became my new favourite book! Until I read number 22 on the list.
16.) Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid // I don’t know why I resisted reading this book for so long, because the chaos and drama and complicated family dynamics were addictive. I found minutes here and there to speed through paragraphs, because I was so desperate to find out how the fire started and why. Would the family survive it? Emotionally and mentally, as well as literally survive the fire?
17.) The Imagination Chamber by Philip Pullman // I think I needed more context to properly enjoy this one. Obviously I should have read His Dark Materials first.
18.) Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer // Hilariously, last time I did one of these posts (a year ago), I was listening to Midnight Sun on Audible, narrated by actor, Jake Abel. And yet, I only finished this one a few weeks ago! It was so, so damn long, it just kept going and going, I thought it would never end. And even though it was like a long and painful re-read with a twist, I stand by the fact it was such a guilty pleasure hitting ‘play’ on Audible, and I have not a single regret about spending 25 hours and 49 minutes listening to this story. Dare I say it… I would do it all over again. It’s like putting on your favourite pyjamas but they have holes in and have torn at the seams, you’re a bit ashamed of them (not as ashamed as your family are when they see you wearing the), but they just fit so damn well and they’re so comfortable… TL;DR Comfy Cullens
19.) Tabatha by Neil Gibson // This graphic novel definitely took a turn for the unexpected. MULTIPLE times!
20.) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert // I heard Elizabeth Gilbert speak on the Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, and ordered this book immediately from work. I don’t imagine many people pick this up before they tackle Eat Pray Love, but it meant I could approach it more organically, and found Gilbert’s words so inspiring!
21.) Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney // This book is split into two narratives, and I loved one of them and found myself raging at the other. That balances out to make it a pretty all right read. I do have Conversations with Friends lined up to read soon, so I’m hopeful for a good time, as long as it’s more of the half I loved!
22.) Matrix by Lauren Groff // Officially my new favourite book! Good job, Lauren Groff, for proving women are the superior sex!
23.) Something is Killing the Children, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV // I read this on a train journey, immediately handed it to my friend next to me, and when she had also finished it, we just turned to each other and said “woah”.
What have you been reading so far this year?