So a bit of a mixed bag from me this month with four very different books in my pile.
First up was The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes which must have been sat on my shelf for years now. I have to say that I am still really enjoying working through the books I already have before buying more (although I did cave and buy a new book this month, more on that later) but I feel a bit bad that so many gems have been sat there right under my nose for all these years gathering dust. Anyway, I loved The One Plus One. It was one of those stories where you get sucked straight in and never want it to end. Jojo Moyes creates the most incredible characters. One single mum with one heck of a chaotic family meets one handsome stranger and then comes one of the most unlikeliest of love stories. It would be easy to write this off as fluffy nonsense (not that there is anything wrong with fluffy nonsense) but it is so much more than that. She writes with real heart and again it comes down to the clever way she creates the kind of characters that you are rooting for from the get go.
Next up is the book I broke my book buying ban for, How to Survive the End of the World (when it’s in your own head) by Aaron Gillies (you might know the author better as @technicallyron on Twitter I know I did!) I am not a self-help book buying person normally but I was really interested to read this having read and enjoyed other things that Aaron Gillies has written about mental health over the years. Anxiety is a tricky beast and although no two experiences are ever quite the same, sometimes it is reassuring just to know that you are not alone. From helping you to identify the enemy to safeguarding the vulnerable areas of your life, the book carefully examines the impact of anxiety and even gives you guidance to find the tools to fight back, whether that is through medication, therapy, CBT, coping techniques or simply laughing in its face. Personally, I didn’t learn much that I didn’t know already but that was reassuring in itself if that makes sense. One thing that I did take away from this book though was that so often we are programmed to think that anxiety is just a symptom of modern life and we should just be able to crack on with it but of course, as with any other illness this is just not the case. I know that this recommendation probably isn’t for everyone but for my fellow nutcases, it is well worth a read.
Now to move on to something completely different with In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings. I’m probably late to the party with this one as yet again, it has been sat there waiting to be read for years but this is a stonkingly good book. Amanda Jennings is a brilliant writer and this story had so many twists and turns. A family tragedy reveals a twenty-five year old mystery that changes Bella’s life forever. This psychological thriller questions the nature of family and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking of crimes are committed closest to home (but I really don’t want to give anything away in case you haven’t read it already!) Suffice to say, a proper page turner I loved it.
And last up is Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood which I started out loving but I’m sad to say that I got to about halfway through then really struggled with this. I did plough on but it took me about two weeks to finish it in the end which is not like me at all. Margaret Atwood is a genius and the thought of her rewriting Shakespeare’s The Tempest with this play within a play in a novel should be nothing short of a triumph but despite the excellent start, it just didn’t work for me. I only have a very vague recollection of The Tempest from school so maybe that hampered my view? I’m not sure but it just lost pace for me about halfway through. That said, I don’t give up on a book easily and I am still glad I persevered and finished it.
So that was me, what have you been reading this month?