Becoming by Michelle Obama Review

Becoming memoir by Michelle Obama
Becoming by Michelle Obama, ISBN 9780241334140, 426pp

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.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles Review

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle review
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, ISBN 978014199177, 189pp

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 Baskervilles by 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

An Anonymous Girl Review

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks book review
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, ISBN 9781529010725, 371pp

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

The Wicked King by Holly Black Review

The Wicked King book review
The Wicked King by Holly Black, ISBN 9781471408038, 322pp

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

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus Review

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus by Charlaine Harris review
The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus by Charlaine Harris, ISBN 9780575096448, 935pp

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:

  1. Shakespeare’s Landlord
  2. Shakespeare’s Champion
  3. Shakespeare’s Christmas
  4. Shakespeare’s Trollop
  5. Shakespeare’s Counselor

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 Review

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton review
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, ISBN 9781408889510, 510pp

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 Creek by Daphne du Maurier Review

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier review
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9780349006598, 272 pp

Frenchman’s Creek by 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

My 2019 Bookish Resolutions

My penguin clothbound classics

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:

Classics on my shelf that I want to read

  1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  2. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  4. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  7. Nineteen-Eighty Four by George Orwell (re-read)
  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (re-read)
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (re-read)
  12. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  14. Persuasion by Jane Austen (re-read)
  15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read)
  16. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (re-read)
  17. Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)
  18. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (re-read)
  19. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  20. The Iliad by Homer (re-read)
  21. The Odyssey by Homer (re-read)
  22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  23. The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
  24. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
  25. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  26. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)

Fiction & Crime fiction on my shelf that I want to read

  1. My Jojo Moyes collection

    The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

  2. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
  3. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
  4. The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (11 books in the series!)
  5. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  6. Night Music by Jojo Moyes
  7. The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
  8. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
  9. The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (re-read)
  10. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  11. The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (and the next few books if I like this one)
  12. The Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  13. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  14. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  15. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  16. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

YA fiction on my shelf that I still need to read

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
  4. The Rift by Rachael Craw
  5. Dry by Neal Shusterman

Books from my husband’s shelf that I might read

  1. Misery by Stephen King
  2. Carrie by Stephen King
  3. The Shining by Stephen King
  4. The Outsider by Stephen King
  5. Elevation by Stephen King

There are a lot more books but I’ll see how I go! There are only so many weeks in a year!

Books I want to get (even though I already have so many books to read)

  1. The Wicked King by Holly Black (the sequel to The Cruel Prince)
  2. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (I loved The Hating Game so really want to get this when it comes out at the end of January).
  3. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks (I enjoyed The Wife Between Us so look forward to getting this book some time soon).
  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama (I’m hoping to get my hands on this biography and devour it).
  5. 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!)
  6. 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).
  7. 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).
  8. 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.