The Book Corner: Recent Reads 2017, Part 6

It December! Which means that it’s time for my last recent reads post of 2017. I mean really, how did that happen? How are we at the end of the year, where did the time go? This year has seen me read a total of 61 books. Which means I’ve finished, and surpassed, my GoodReads challenge of reading 50 books this year. Hooray for that!




Over the last couple of months I’ve read eight books. Which feels like a few less than normal. That does make sense when I remember that I’ve been to Paris, Manchester and Hamburg over the last eight weeks. So no quiet weekends to while away a few hours reading. And also my evenings have been busier with all the festivities too. So let’s take a look at my final set of recent reads for 2017.


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Recent Reads #54 – Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This book follows two half sisters Effia and Esi who’s lives take different routes. One is sold into slavery and the other marries a slaver. The book opens with a chapter on each sister and then continues to alternate as we move through the generations of each family. We follow the two strands of the family through 250 years and journey across Africa to America. I have to admit that I felt a lot of rage while reading this book, the history of the slave trade and how people have been treated is atrocious. And I can only imagine that this book shows only a small part of that, which also makes me incredibly sad. This book is so wonderfully written and I was utterly gripped by each story. I think it might be one of my favourite books of 2017.

Recent Reads #55 – The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

I was slightly disappointed by The Pale Horse, as it took me so long to get into it. I think my problem was that normally I am fully invested when I read an Agatha Christie novel, but that wasn’t the case this time. Don’t get me wrong, once I was into the book (at about 150 pages in) I was utterly gripped, but getting there was an effort. It is a suitable spooky read though, with psychics and witches and death, so it was a pretty perfect read for Halloween time.

Recent Reads #56 – The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co is an agency that investigates hauntings in London. We meet Anthony Lockwood and his associate George Cubbins when Lucy Carlyle joins the team. The Lockwood investigators are all young, as in this world it’s only young people who have the abilities needed to find, and fight ghosts and spectres. I’m not normally one for ghost stories, but I utterly loved this book. It’s spooky and intense and utterly intriguing at the same time. We follow along as Lockwood & Co. investigate the mystery of the screaming staircase at the grand Combe Carey Hall. This is a wonderful first book, I can’t wait to read the rest in the series.

Recent Reads #57 – Can You Keep a Secret by Karen Perry

I was a big fan of the last Karen Perry book that I read, so when this one was going free at work I nabbed a copy and started reading it straight away. We follow Lindsey as she meets up with friends from her past and revisits the site of a murder that took place twenty years ago. I’m not completely sure what to say about this. It’s full of suspense and mystery and it has the standard flashbacks to years past. But there’s something about it that I didn’t quite get. I think the characters could have been explored more as I had so many questions about them. Plus the ending seems incredibly rushed and that really irritates me. There’s nothing worse than a book that doesn’t end well.


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Recent Reads #58 – Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig

Book three in Matt Haig’s festive series is lovely. We follow Amelia as she learns to live in Elfhelm with Father Christmas and Mary. It’s a story of not fitting in and of finding your place in a new world. Of course there’s a marvellous mystery to solve and evil plans to thwart.  As with the other two books Father Christmas and me is packed full of glorious illustrations from Chris Mould, which manage to add an extra layer of magic to the story.

Recent Reads #59 – Murder on Christmas Eve

This is a collection of 10 crime mysteries, from various authors, set at Christmas time. There are some really interesting short stories in this book. My favourites were The Trinity Cat, The Santa Claus Club and A Wife in a Million. As with other collections this one ended up being a really quick read. As each story is between 10 and 20 pages, so it’s easy to read one on the morning commute. Which I like. There’s something poetic about starting and completing a story during the same train journey.


Recent Reads #60 – Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery by Gladys Mitchell

Oh look, Christmas read number three. It’s that time of year, what can I say! This one was a freebie from work, which I picked up and started reading on the same day. Reading this made me want to spend some time in the Cotswolds. Preferably for Christmas and while it snowed too! Mrs Bradley is a fascinating character and it feels like she’s up there with Poirot and Marple in terms of storybook detectives. Overall this was a good read, and I’m hoping I can find some more stories from Gladys Mitchell that have Mrs Bradley solving the crime.

Recent Reads #61 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling

I’m slowly but surely rereading the Harry Potter series. It’s no secret that this is my favourite book series ever and I am really enjoying rereading the books. With Order of the Phoenix I’ve rediscovered so many moments that I’d forgotten. Also there is just so much going on in Order of the Phoenix, it’s very heavy in terms of plot. I loved reliving the Professor Umbridge moments all over again, and rediscovering Grawp and the Thestrals and Harry’s angry emotions throughout the book. The battle at the Ministry of Magic is still absolutely enthralling and utterly heartbreaking at the same time. {Full disclosure – I’m still reading this one, but I do plan to have it finished by the first of January so I’ve added it to this post}.

So there we have it, post number six in my 2017 recent reads series. This year I did think about doing a round up type of post on what I’ve read, and sharing my favourite reads or my most surprising reads or something along those lines. However, I decided against that in the end as I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to write that post. Clearly logistics are really not my strong suit! If I do figure it out then I may just post it. And if not you can always check out the rest of my 2017 recent reads posts at the following links (recent reads one, two, three, four and five).

What have been your favourite reads of the year? Any must reads from the year?

Laura xx