How do you tackle your to be read pile?

One problem that bookaholics are always dealing with is our never-ending to be read pile. I currently have more than fifty books waiting patiently for me to read them. Some of these books have been on my shelves forever.

My never-ending to be read pile

With such a huge pile of books to be read you would think that I would stop buying more books but unfortunately I don’t work that way. I am easily swayed by other people’s recommendations, pretty covers and new release books surrounded by buzz and so my pile keeps growing and growing. Maybe I should stop sugar-coating it and just admit that I am greedy when it comes to books. I see, I want, I will maybe read it later. Continue reading

My Best Reads of 2018 (Jan to April)

I haven’t been posting many reviews in the last couple of weeks because I’m six books into the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. This series is epic in scale, and I’m loving it, but it’s dominating my reading time at the moment. I don’t want to do a book by book review because of spoilers but I will post something non-spoilery about the series soon.

So to combat my review drought, I have decided to look back at the past four months of reading and pick my favourite books in a few different genres. If you are looking for your next great read, feel free to click on the links below to go to my original review. Happy Reading!

Best Fiction/Literature Reads

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

1 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a novel that deserves all the buckets of praise it’s getting. If you like books with a quirky narrator who is different from any other character you’ve ever read about, then this is a book that will warm your heart. I haven’t encountered a character like Eleanor before. The way she thinks and acts throughout the book had me laughing, cringing and pitying her. I also cheered her on as she opened up more to people and life.

My Verdict: Read this if you want to meet an unforgettable protagonist who gives you all the feels.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

2. Still Me by Jojo Moyes is such a delightful read and the perfect conclusion to the three book series which began with Me Before You and continued with After You. I know it’s rude of me to recommend you read a book that is the third book in a series, but I am urging you to go and read the whole series. If you want to get your heart smashed to pieces and then stuck back together again then please give this series a read.

My Verdict: I don’t give starred reviews on this blog… if I did, this book would get 5 stars. I loved it!

Little Fires Everywhere

3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a novel that is popping up everywhere and it’s such a great read that is worthy of all the hype! It’s a story about teenagers, mothers, families, parenting, art, race, class, creativity and love, told from many perspectives. There’s also a court case woven into the story that will have you debating both sides.

My Verdict: An absolute gem of a book that is beautifully written.

Best YA Reads

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Review

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, ISBN 9781409120537, 357ppAtta

Attachments is the third book I’ve read from author Rainbow Rowell and it just might be my favourite so far. While Fangirl and Eleanor & Park were written for a YA audience, this book is aimed more at adults. I loved the premise for this story. It was quirky, original and read like a chick lit book from a male perspective.

Attachments is set in a newspaper office in 1999, a time when the millennium was fast approaching and hysteria about the y2k bug was everywhere. Lincoln is a twenty-something IT guy who works the evening shift at the newspaper and his job is mostly monitoring staff emails and issuing warnings if there’s any inappropriate content. It’s in this capacity that he starts reading email exchanges between two female colleagues (Beth and Jennifer) who work at the newspaper during the day, as their emails keep being flagged by the security system due to inappropriate content.

Continue reading

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, ISBN 9781447263227, 480pp

I was very excited to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell after reading and loving Eleanor and Park last year. There’s so much love out there for Fangirl so I went into reading this with my expectations set sky high, ready to have my heart and mind truly blown. And while I enjoyed this YA book, there was a lot to like about it, it didn’t grab me as much as I thought it would.

For anyone who is not familiar with Fangirl, it tells the story of Cather or Cath, twin sister to Wren. When they start university, Wren wants to set out alone from the whole twin thing and party. Cath on the other hand, hides out in her dorm room like a hermit and works on her fanfiction story that is part of the world of Simon Snow (a Harry Potter like publishing phenomenon). Continue reading

My Love Affair with the Outlander Series

I discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon years ago when I was at university. It remains one of the defining moments in my reading life to date. I can still remember the absolute pleasure it was to read about Jamie and Claire for the first time. I often wish I could go back to this first time so I could be surprised all over again. This book fulfilled a lot of my reading loves: historical fiction, romance, adventure, a bit of fantasy and I loved all the medical aspects portrayed through Claire’s character.

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Surrogate: A novel by Tracy Crisp Review

Surrogate by Tracy Crisp
Surrogate by Tracy Crisp, ISBN 978174305083, 230pp, Pub Nov 2017, Wakefield Press

Surrogate by Tracy Crisp is a powerful, beautifully written novel about two women from different generations and their experiences with family, personal relationships and motherhood. Set in Adelaide in the present and past, it follows the story of Rachael Carter, a young nurse who agrees to house-sit for a colleague, Dr Cate O’Reilly, and then becomes deeply involved in Cate’s quest to become a mother. It also tells the story of Mary Bowen, a young woman who finds herself pregnant after her boyfriend heads off to the Vietnam War and is forced to give her baby up for adoption.

Two stories, two women and two generations entwine in Surrogate and as the story develops Continue reading

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn Review

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a compelling page turner which I pretty much inhaled in one day, thanks to the short, punchy chapters. I just kept reading ‘one more chapter’ and before I knew it I had finished the book. It’s another book with an unreliable narrator — these books are so popular these days — and was like a cross between Girl on the Train and Hitchcock’s Rear Window. I also thought there was a smattering of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in there in terms of the main character struggling with depression and trauma alongside other things.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, ISBN 9780008234164, 427pp, Pub Jan 2018

Without giving too much away, The Woman in the Window is narrated by Dr Anna Fox, a former children’s psychologist who suffered some trauma months ago and now has developed agoraphobia. She hasn’t been able to leave her New York house in ten months and exists on lots of prescription medication chased down with copious glasses of wine. Hence the whole unreliable narrator angle.

Watching her neighbours from her window is something of a past time. That and watching old black and white movies like Rear Window, Strangers on the Train and Vertigo. Continue reading

Force of Nature by Jane Harper Review

Force of Nature is the just released second novel from Jane Harper, author of the hugely popular bestseller The Dry. The two books are linked by the same main character, Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk, but this book takes place six months later and in a completely new setting.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Force of Nature by Jane Harper, ISBN 9781743549094, 377pp

I previously wrote a review about The Dry which I enjoyed but thought was a bit over hyped. I came to reading Force of Nature without big expectations as sometimes second books from an author suffer the dreaded second book syndrome (i.e. are a bit disappointing). Well, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Force of Nature. It had an interesting premise that kept me intrigued and guessing all the way to the end. In some ways I liked it even better than The Dry.

Force of Nature is set in the rugged bushland of the fictional Giralang Ranges east of Melbourne. A group of five women go on a team building hike through the bush. But on the last day of the hike, only four women walk out. One of their group, Alice Russell, is missing. Continue reading