Becoming by Michelle Obama is a bit of a departure from my usual reading material. I rarely read biographies and when I do they are usually written by female comedians and are full of laughs. But Becoming hooked me from page one. It was written with so much warmth, personality and wisdom. I loved learning more about Michelle Obama’s life and getting a peek into what it was like living in the White House and being the First Lady of the United States.
I remember watching President Barack Obama’s first inauguration on TV. I was living in the UK at the time and it was one of those moments that I knew I’d remember forever. Even though I am Australian, it was just such an historic moment to see America elect their first African-American president. Since that time, I have always been fascinated by the Obamas.
One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read more classics. Last year I planned to read a huge pile of classics but unfortunately only ended up reading a handful of books in this category. This year I’m determined to read as many of my classics as I can. The Hounds of the Baskervillesby Arthur Conan Doyle is my second classic novel of the year. It features the wonderfully eccentric, brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr Watson. Continue reading →
I’m trying to sort out my thoughts after reading An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This is their second book (I read their first book The Wife Between Us last year) and I have to say it wasn’t as good as their debut. But it was still a fast-paced thriller which had me burning through the pages to get to the end.
An Anonymous Girl is about twenty-something Jessica who is a struggling makeup artist living in New York. Money is an issue for her as she is paying for her disabled sister to get therapy (unbeknown to her parents) as well as trying to pay rent and bills.
When Jessica hears by chance about a psychology study that is paying great money for young female participants, she seizes the chance to participate. She then finds herself sucked into a study about ethics and morality run by the mysterious Dr Shields. Soon the study becomes more and more intrusive and starts to take over Jessica’s life. Who is Dr Shields and what is the secret agenda behind the study? Continue reading →
I never know how to review books that are part of a series. I tend to only review the first book in a series and then make vague references to the following books because I don’t want to spoil anything for new readers. So I’m going to tread very lightly (and vaguely) as I review The Wicked King, the second book in a YA fantasy series by Holly Black. I read the first book The Cruel Prince about this time last year. I’ve also read other books by Holly Black including Tithe. In case you don’t know, this series is all about faeries, and the few mortals living with them, and is set in the Shifting Isles of Elfhame.
The main protagonist is a human girl named Jude. Her mother was once in a relationship with a faerie general named Madoc, but she ran away from him into the mortal world when pregnant with his child (Jude’s older sister). Jude is completely human, as is her twin sister. When Jude was a child, Madoc came and killed their mother and then took all three sisters to Elfhame. Being mortal in a faerie realm is not a good thing so Jude has had to learn to be sneaky, dangerous and as cutthroat as the faeries around her. Continue reading →
For Christmas my husband gave me The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus (along with a whole stack of other books). This bumper bind-up includes five books by Charlaine Harris. For those of you who don’t know, Charlaine wrote the Sookie Stackhouse series of thirteen books which the TV series True Blood was based on. She’s also written a few more series.
The five Lily Bard books in this 935 page brick of a book include:
These five stories revolve around Lily Bard, who is a plain speaking, tough woman in her thirties who runs a cleaning business. She lives in a sleepy little town named Shakespeare which is located in Arkansas. Lily always seems to get involved in the murders and mysteries that crop up in this small town. She is also the survivor of a brutal attack that left her scarred and in the news a few years ago and she came to Shakespeare for a fresh start. Continue reading →
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle* by Stuart Turton is a book which defies classification. It’s uniqueness will have you puzzling out an unpredictable mystery and at the mercy of an unconventional plot. It’s a hybrid of a book which mixes a classic whodunnit with Groundhog Day, Downton Abbey and The Good Place.
This complicated mystery is set in a once great, but now moldering, manor named Blackheath House. Every night Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered at a party thrown by her parents. This happens every night at the same time. Each day Aiden Bishop, inhabiting the body of a different guest (host), has to try to figure out who the murderer is. He will finally be allowed to escape this ongoing time loop and leave Blackheath once he identifies the murderer. But he is not the only one tasked with solving the murder and other people are bent on stopping him by any means necessary. Continue reading →
Frenchman’s Creekby Daphne du Maurier is my first read of 2019. I read this a long time ago, so was happy to do a re-read as I had forgotten most of the plot. I’m so glad that I read this again as it was a fantastic read which I enjoyed so much.
Frenchman’s Creek is a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure set during the Restoration period in England. Lady Dona St Columb, the mother of two small children, is fed up with the shallow life she leads at Court. She is known for being a daring woman who drinks with her husband, his friends and their mistresses and is known to engage in wild escapades. Continue reading →
Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 I read 105 books. I enjoyed reading books across many different genres from YA to historical fiction to romance. In 2019 I want to read more books from my unread shelf. I have so many books that have been waiting patiently for my attention, many of them classics, and this is the year that I want to get stuck into them.
Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books and ended up blowing that goal out of the water. But classics take me a bit more time to read than modern books. For that reason I’m going to set my goal at 70 books this year so I don’t feel too much pressure.
Books that are on my to be read pile in 2019 include:
Mythos by Stephen Fry and Heroes by Stephen Fry (I love Greek mythology and have had my eye on these books for a while. Maybe this is the year I get them!)
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (This book looks so intriguing and I’m seeing it everywhere. I’ll keep my eye out for an inexpensive copy).
The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (These books are all over bookstagram and look like the perfect, frothy holiday reads. I might get them ahead of my holiday in March).
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This is a New York Times #1 bestseller that I’m seeing everywhere. It looks like a powerful book so I’m hoping to grab a copy at some stage).
I’ll leave my list here for now. I’m going to try very hard to read books that I already own but I’m an impulsive reader who is easily swayed by what other booklovers are reading. So I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I buy too many new books. Still, I will give this list my best shot.
What about you? What are your bookish resolutions for 2019? I’d love to hear them.