Today’s recent reads post marks the reading of fifty books in my GoodReads challenge. I’ve been doing the GoodReads challenge for a few years now and I really enjoy it. Yes I like the achievement but I also like the record of what I’m reading, and the way that I think about books now. I used to always finish whatever book I was reading, I would never stop halfway through. But with this challenge I’ve realised that life is too short to continue read something that you’re not enjoying. There are so many wonderful books out there, books that will take you on an adventure and challenge the way you think. Those are the books that I want to be reading. So now if I come across a book that I’m not into then, as long as I’ve given it a chance, I’ll give up on it. This has happened to me a few times this year and I’ve embraced it. Who knows I may one day go back to those books and finish them, but for now they can sit on my couldn’t finish shelf.
Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
I had very high expectations for this book, as I remember it being a highly talked about book a couple of months ago. And I think that is probably the issue here, I was expecting too much, and it just didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s a psychological thriller, but it really didn’t work for me, it was a little too much I think. That being said do give it a go if that’s your sort of thing.
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
Next up on my recent reads list is the first in a series of seven(!) by Lucinda Riley. This one has been on my Kindle for a while and it seemed like the perfect gentle read after the events of Behind Closed Doors. Seven Sisters focuses on Maia D’Apliese as she gathers with her five sisters at their family home after the death of their adopted father. From there we follow Maia on her hunt for her biological family. We visit Paris and Rio de Janiero in the late 1920s to learn the story of her heritage. It’s a great read and a wonderful tale that weaves through history. The remaining books in the series follow the other sisters in their own journeys to discover who they are.
King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
This is book three in the Red Queen series and a grieving Mare is being kept prisoner by Maven. Meanwhile the red rebellion is regrouping and preparing to fight. This is another epic tale from Aveyard and it had me wishing to have book four in my possession. If you’re looking for a YA novel with adventure, superpowers and war then this is the series for you.
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
I spotted the next book in The Millennium series in the airport on my way to Faro, so of course I had to purchase. I’m a huge fan of this series and Lisabeth Salander as a character. We need more characters like her with an unshakeable search for truth and justice, and without a need to please people. As with the other books I raced through this one in no time at all. It’s my favourite kind of beach read. I don’t want to say too much more here, as I don’t want to ruin anything if you haven’t read The Hornet’s Nest. But basically go read that and then this and then we can talk about what happened and why I’m a little heartbroken….
Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Following along on the YA theme of King’s Cage is another epic YA series with a powerful female lead. With this book we are well into the series now and I can’t explain how excellent this series is. I would absolutely love them to create a TV series of this as I think it would work so well on screen. I firmly believe that if the main protagonist in this book was male, instead of female, then the series would be far more lauded than it is. Honestly the level of storytelling puts it way above something like Game of Thrones, and we all know how obsessed everyone is by that book series and show.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Before this book I’d only read Matt Haig’s Christmas books, because I’m a Christmas book person! That’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to read others, I’ve just not gotten around to it.
Anyway, How to Stop Time was another airport purchase. Yes, I took my Kindle and two other books with me and I then bought two more at the airport. That’s just how I roll! How to Stop Time follows history teacher Tom who seems to be your average 41 year old. Except he’s actually been alive for centuries, from witch hunts to befriending Shakespeare and playing the piano in 1920s Paris. Tom tries not to fall in love and tries to keep his secret, all while searching for someone he lost a long time ago. I thought this was a beautiful book, and I implore you to read it. I’m definitely planning to read more from Matt Haig, so look out for his other books in future recent reads posts.
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
This book completely deserves the hype that it’s getting. It’s a children’s book about Morrigan Crow, a cursed girl who is set to die on her eleventh birthday. But then just before her birthday Morrigan meets the mysterious Jasper North who whisks her away to Nevermoor. Adventure awaits as she competes to enter the mysterious Wundrous Society. This book is chocked full of magic, mystery, suspense and adventure. Jessica Townsend has created an enchanting world of magic and I cannot wait to read the rest of this series.
You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris
Anotine Leiris’s wife died at the terror attack on the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. This book is how he coped with that tragedy, it’s really a long essay that takes us through that time and shares how he coped. It’s an unforgettable memoir that shows one man’s response to hate.
The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley
So this is book two of The Seven Sisters series that I mentioned near the beginning of this very long recent reads post! The Storm Sister follows the same timeline as book one but follows Ally, Maia’s younger sister. Ally’s search for her family takes her to Norway and to the history of one of Norway’s most famous composers. Just like The Seven Sisters this one weaves wonderfully through history to create a fascinating story and a gripping read.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
This is a classic who dunnit set on the Orient Express. A murder takes place overnight while the train is in the middle of a snowdrift. This is possibly/probably my favourite Poirot book of all time. The characters, the story, the setting, the big reveal, I loved it all. It’s so clever! There’s a film version of this one coming soon so I’m excited to see how this works on the big screen. Plus the cast list is amazing. As always I am reminded just how much I love Christie’s writing, I will read all of her stories one day.
Nomad by James Swallow
This is book one in what I know is going to become one of my favourite series. It’s a dark twisty thriller set in the world of government agencies and counter intelligence. Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent who survives an attack during an operation. Suddenly he’s on the run, trying to prove his innocence and attempting to stop an attack on a major city. He gets help from Lucy, a member of the mysterious Rubicon Group, and it becomes a fast-paced hunt to find the truth. This is exactly the kind of thriller I love. It reminded me a little of I am Pilgrim with all the different paths, and people that the book encounters. If you are a fan of those sorts of books then you must add it to your TBR pile.
If You Tell Me to Come, I’ll Drop Everything, Just Tell Me to Come by Albert Espinosa
This book had been sat on my desk for a few weeks, when I finished Nomad and needed something thin to take with me on my commute one evening. Basically I was meeting people for dinner and I knew I’d be early, so a new book was needed. But I didn’t want anything too big. One because I’d have to carry it! But also because I wanted to get started on The Midnight Peacock as soon as possible!
Anyway, cue this one from Albert Espinosa making its way onto my recent reads list. It opens with Dani’s girlfriend leaving him, and him receiving a phone call about a missing child. Dani has spent his life searching for missing children so is soon on his way to Capri to help the distraught father. The trip to Capri also starts to stir up memories from Dani’s own childhood. This book is very different to anything else I read. And I think that’s why I liked it. The way the story weaves from the present day to Dani’s past is really well done, and each chapter seems to move seamlessly into the next. I also like the chapter names as it gives a glimpse into what’s to come in that section.
The Midnight Peacock (Book Four in The Sinclair’s Mysteries series) by Katherine Woodfine
So my final recent reads for this post is The Midnight Peacock which is the final book in The Sinclair’s Mysteries. Set in Georgian London we follow detectives Sophie and Lil as they solve mysteries surrounding their workplace; Sinclair’s department store. I mentioned this in my last Friday Favourites post, which tells you how much I love it. This series is just wonderful. It’s the sort of thing I would have absolutely loved to read when I was younger. I mean I love it now, but it would have been magical to read it as an eight or nine year old! Anyway the way this book wrapped up the mystery of the midnight peacock and the overarching mystery of the four books is perfect. I really can’t sing its praises enough. My only issue is that it’s now all over!
Phew! That’s a lot of recent reads for me over the last two months. I guess that’s what happens when you have a week in Portugal. Followed by Autumn hitting and suddenly snuggly sofa evenings are the best way to pass the time. Tell me about your recent reads. Do you have any recommendations for me? As always you can keep up to date with my what I’m reading over at GoodReads here. Also catch up on previous 2017 recent reads posts at the following links (post one, post two, post three and post four).