Greetings team, and how are you this lovely Wednesday morning? Sorry we’ve been a bit AWOL over the last few days, life’s just been busy and our planning has not been quite up to scratch. Clearly I should have followed my own advice and been a bit more productive. Obviously I’m a work in progress! Anyway, let’s get right onto today’s post – a bookish update for you all. Read on to for my November reading update, which is chock full of brilliant books.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Amazingly I’ve never read this book, crazy right! But with the most recent film adaptation starring Kenneth Branagh I decided it was time to give it a go. And I wasn’t disappointed. It’s Christie at her best, as she weaves an intriguing tale of murder, suspicion, secrets and danger. I love the character of Poirot and find the way he solves a crime fascinating. Needless to say I never manage to keep up with him. I much preferred the book to the film as the film had unnecessary changes, like a chase through the snow. *eye roll* How ridiculous!
The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders
This is a tale of a young girl, and her family, dealing with their grief at the loss of her older sister. It uses the idea of cuddly toys that live in another world, with the child that’s no longer here, to explore grief. And while it’s a lovely book with beautiful moments I found it a bit lacking in editing. It just felt like it was 200 pages too long and there was lots of information and sections that either didn’t add anything or make sense to the rest of the story. So yeah, not a huge fan of this book if I’m honest. Which is sad as I normally love Kate Saunders’ writing and I liked the idea of the book on paper. Just not in reality.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
I’m about two years late to read The Lie Tree, one of only two (I think) children’s books to win the overall Costa Prize. So you could say I expected a lot with this book. Thankfully it did not disappoint. It was excellent and is beautifully written. The story of a young girl trying to please her mother and make her father notice her in a world which prides itself on dutiful daughters. Rather than a girl who loves science, exploring and doing her own thing. The main character, Faith, is wonderfully written and you feel like you know her inside out by the end of the book. Story wise this is a brilliant read – I was hooked from page one. Basically you need to read it!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I had no idea what this book was about, only that everyone I knew who’d read it, adored it. And they were so right, it’s a great book. It follows Eleanor who sticks to the exact same routine week after week; with no deviation from it and no interaction with people other than with her work colleagues when she absolutely has to, or with the man who runs her local shop. Eleanor’s completely fine with this and sees no need to change. And then she helps a stranger who has a fall in front of her and slowly she beings to change how she lives her life – with a little persuading by Ralph, a new work colleague.
As Eleanor makes small changes to her way of life she starts to question events from her childhood that she’s tried to ignore and never properly considered or remembered. Can she survive what’s revealed? Basically Eleanor is the most wonderfully realised character I’ve read in a long time. She’s fully formed on the page and you can’t help but root for her as everything starts to happen in her life. It’s in parts a devastating book to read, but overall you finish it feeling warmed to the soul and hopeful about what the future means for Eleanor. I could not recommend Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine enough.
Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton
When I opened a surprise parcel from an ex work colleague and discovered a signed copy of book three in the incredible Rebel of the Sands trilogy I may have squealed with delight. That’s how much I needed to read Hero at the Fall. I finished book two back in the summer (you can read my thoughts on that one in my September book update) and since then have been really curious to see what’s going to happen at the end. I was not disappointed. While I felt it was a little long in sections and could have been edited a little more it was still an engrossing read and full of all the things I expect in this series – surprise deaths, unsung heroes, heroic acts, friendship, love and epic battle scenes. Definitely a good ending to an epic series.
Bring Me Back by B A Paris
This is the third of B A Paris’ twisty thrillers and all three books have had me hooked from chapter one. This one was perhaps my least favourite of the three. However I’d still recommend it if you love page-turning reads that keep you guessing page after page. The premise is that Finn’s girlfriend went missing 12 years ago and has never been found. He’s moved on with his life and is all set to marry her sister. But then mysterious things start to happen which make Finn question whether she’s really gone or not… So yes, Bring Me Back is another gripping read from B A Paris but not as good as her other books!
So there we go, those are the six brilliant books that made up my November reading. Have you read any of these books, what did you think of them?
– Fi x