Sunday, 6 November 2016

Read In October//November TBR

Last month was a pretty kick-ass month when it came to reading. It helped that I set myself the goal of reading five books (roughly one a week). But I also just really really enjoyed reading. When you spend all of your working day looking at a screen, there's something supremely satisfying about switching off the tech and curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. Here's a little look at the books I read last month.

Whenever I finish one of M.J. Arlidge's books, I'm always so excited for the next one. And yet, somehow, I always manage to miss the publication by a few weeks. It's usually only when I see the book in a bookstore, or supermarket, that I'm reminded. Then I eagerly pick it up, and don't put it down again until I've turned the last page. If you're a fan of crime fiction, then this series (I think this is the sixth book in the series now, and Arlidge seems to publish two a year) is a must!

Rating: *****

Of course I was going to read The Little Book of Hygge as soon as it was released. Hygge is THE concept right now; with bloggers raving about it, and big brands promoting it. I received a Bravissimo catalogue in the post yesterday, and even they were using Hygge to promote their range of cosy, Winter pajamas! This is an immersive, interesting and visually stunning read with some lovely photos. I did feel, though, that there was a little too much emphasis on the science side of things which, at times, had me feeling a little lost. But if you've heard of Hygge (and if you haven't, what rock have you been living under?!) and want to know more, this is a great book to get you started.

Rating: ****

Another book I'd somehow forgotten the release of...I really should start making a note of book releases in my diary, right? I've been wanting to re-read the Harry Potter series for some time now, and the new illustrated editions are the perfect excuse to (as if I need an excuse, though, right?!) The Chamber of Secrets is even better than it's predecessor with stunning artwork throughout. I absolutely loved Jim Kay's depiction of Dobby!

Rating: *****

A few years ago, I think, I read Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. It was one of my favourite reads that year. So when I noticed her latest novel whilst browsing the shelves at my local bookstore, I knew I had to have it. I finally got around to reading it, this month, and it was just as good as I expected. Completely different to her previous book, but also very similar; both books deal with incredibly sensitive subjects, suicide in her first novel and the death of an infant in this. But if you like thrillers, then Kimberly McCreight is a must-read author. And this, like her previous novel, is one of my favourite reads this year.

Rating: *****

Speak is a book I picked up on a whim; partly because, I wanted to read something a bit different. And science fiction is very different to my usual reads. Although I mostly enjoyed this book, I found the novel raised more questions than it answered; like, what caused the freezing in the children who had their babybots taken away, and why were the developments set up? And did Gaby ever recover? See, so many questions. The ending was also very anti climactic. I was expecting another chapter; it just didn't feel like the end. I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone with this one, but I'm not in a rush to read anything else by Louisa Hall.

Rating: ***

I have a big pile of Penguin Little Black Classics on my bookshelf, and every few months I make an effort to pick up one or two. Circle of Hell, by Dante, is an absolute classic, but I was inspired to read it this month after watching Inferno at the cinema; which features Dante's Circles of Hell. A chilling, sometimes horrifying read; I was surprised at how easy it was to read this novel (I often find the classics to be a little convoluted, or use language I don't understand, or can't follow).

Rating: *****

I ended the month with a few short, and mostly funny books. If you've heard of Off The Leash, a series of cartoons about the life of dogs (often seen on Facebook), then you'll love On The Prowl. By the same cartoonist/author, On The Prowl is a series of cartoons depicting the secret life of cats. And, as a cat owner, I could really relate! A very funny, easy read.

Rating: ****

I expected this to be funnier than it was. I expected a comedic book in line with the Ladybird How It Works books, recently released. Although it was a little humorous, some parts made absolutely no sense, or just weren't that funny. But it was a diverting, slightly comedic read. 

Rating: ***

Earlier this year, I picked up The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness, and found it hilarious. So when I saw How it Works The Cat, another Ladybird book, in the supermarket, I decided to pick it up. And I was not disappointed. I've already shared my favourite page on Instagram - about taking lots of photos of your cat - but the whole book was incredibly funny, and I could definitely relate to so many parts of this book as a cat owner!

Rating: *****

Phew, that was a long list. As you can see, I totally smashed my goal of reading 5 books in October. I actually read NINE! And I'm also on schedule with my GoodReads 2016 Reading Challenge now; I'm only one book behind! Right, time for a quick look at what I'm reading in November then...

- Bridget Jones Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding

- The Widow by Fiona Barton (I read a very good review of this in an old Glamour/Cosmo mag when I was in the GP's waiting room the other day!)

- Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg 

- Bridget Jones's Baby by Helen Fielding (It's definitely a Bridget Jones month - I want to catch up with the books before watching the latest movies!)

- My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry 

What books have you read recently? What are you hoping to read this month? 

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