Happy Friday friends!
This is my second instalment of the book club and compared to the first posted back in June when heatwaves and summer stay-cations were a thing, today is WINTER. I’ve spent the last couple of days back in jumpers and socks, craving days on the sofa with my candles; escaping the torrential wind and rain that has hit us outside. I’m excited to get cosy and was actually pretty buzzing at the prospect of working from home with winter upon us, but now that it’s here, I feel like I might need a few more motivation pills (not real life pills don’t worry) to get me through the day.
As you may or may not know (I do talk about it enough), I’ve recently started studying back at uni to get my master’s in Creative Writing. Whilst I feel SO good about getting back into education and getting passionate again, the thought of how much I’m going to have to read is a little daunting. Saying that, I am so so pleased to have read 9 books so far this year, I’m actually amazed at myself after the last couple of years track record of basically zero. I’m ready for a challenge and reaaaaally loving getting back into books. The last few in the book club have been goodun’s so here’s a little round up for you in case you’re after some inspo.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Starting strong as this one is up there and might possibly be my favourite book so far this year bumping Little Fires Everywhere and The Tattooist of Auschwitz off my top spots! It tells the story of Ruth, a little baby and his parents Turk and Brit. Ruth has been a nurse for years and is one of the best but when the new-born baby dies after a routine procedure, the parents blame only one person, the nurse that was banned from taking care of their baby – Ruth. It’s a shocking story about racism, prejudice and power and I could not put it down. If you’re after a book that will open your eyes, have you hoping and questioning everything that divides us, then this is one. There’s very few books that I would read again but I think I could re-read this one.
Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng
We went for Celeste again in July, choosing her debut novel, Everything I never told you. It starts with a mystery, “Lydia is dead”, and the rest of the story keeps you wondering. I’ve loved the way these books are written, gripping you by getting to know every inch of the characters and I really felt it this time, heartbroken for brother Jack who was left to cope with the pieces. Lydia was the favourite child, keeping a crumbling family afloat but when she is found in the local lake, their lives are destroyed. It’s about secrets, love, lies and is the heart wrenching reality of too much pressure. My only criticism is that it hasn’t stayed with me. The story delves right into the lives behind the crime and for me, I think there may have been a few too many characters to keep up with. I’m also sucker for a short chapter which made this one, a tougher read. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable and still had me thinking.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I loved loved loved this one. I’m torn on whether or not it makes my top place and if it doesn’t, it’s a very close second. The story is honestly beautifully written. It’s another murder mystery but filled with innocence and love and a celebration of one girl’s life. Kya is known as the ‘Marsh Girl’ and has survived on her own since she was small, learning every inch of the land that she calls home. When handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the town immediately suspect Kya but nobody knows the truth. Pining for love, it tells the story of how two young men open her up to a new life and how she goes ahead and changes it all on her own. The twists are fab, the characters are thought out and extraordinary and I won’t forget the story for a long time.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
I’ve had this one on my list for a while. I wanted to read it before I gave the BBC series a go and I’ve really enjoyed. The title is telling as it follows the stories of two very normal people, Connell and Marianne. They grew up in the same town, Connell popular and well-liked and Marianne friendless, the freak. They could not be more different but when they start talking their mutual fascination with one another grows. We follow their lives through college and root the whole way through for them to be together (or at least I did). Despite the style of writing which is all written in prose and no structured speech, it’s an easy read, a beaut and believable story and at the same time, completely heart breaking.
That’s it for this instalment! So excited to get stuck into the next as we have so many fab books lined up for the rest of the year – Ken Follett might even be making a cheeky return 😉 If you didn’t catch my first post covering what we read in January through to June then definitely give it a read!
As always, if you have any recommendations – send my way!