Confession: the other night I finished Speaking In Bones by Kathy Reichs and was so petrified by it I didn’t get to sleep till half two. Honestly I was crippled in fear. It was an amazing read by the way, one I snapped up when I had an hour to kill in Waverely Station last week at nine pm and had just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It had me gripped for the next two days and I totally didn’t see the ending coming. Shame I decided the best time to finish it was at midnight – queue the fear that followed.
Anyway I’ve just rediscovered my years long love of reading books. So much so that I stumbled through one of the most DREADFUL books I’ve ever read the other week as I just didn’t want to give up. It was honestly mind-numbing. I’ll spare you the details as it was ughhhh but I won’t be reading one of Catherine Cookson’s books again. Just totally not my thing.
I recently just posted my summer reading list on The Monday Project (read here if interested) and I think it contained 14/15 books? All books I’d either had for years and never had time for or new additions from my Granny. I’ve been reading in my lunch break at work because I’m a productive Paula and even though it’s only fifteen minutes, it’s enough to keep me going with a book. Sometimes I get totally stuck with reading, I either have too much choice and don’t know where to start or I hate everything and can’t find a decent read. This August I’ve been really lucky with everything I’ve sunk my teeth into so here’s a little review of the five best books I’ve tackled this month!
THE LAKE HOUSE by KATE MORTON
Kate Morton is probably by favourite author alongside J. R. R. Tolkien. So big praise for Kate Morton. This is the fourth book of hers I’ve read and I loved it just as much as the previous three. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton is one of my favourite books ever. I knew what I was expecting when I bought this book. A beautiful intricate plot filled with mysterious and charming characters set in an enchanting backdrop. I wasn’t disappointed.
The plot grabbed me from the start and I was immediately sucked in as Sadie uncovered the secrets of Loenneth and the Edevane family. I love the way Kate tells her stories, flicking between the event happening in the past and someone in the present uncovering the truth. It really keeps you thinking and on your toes! Recommended for: someone needing to solve a mystery.
THE MINIATURIST by JESSIE BURTON
I’ve had this book in my bookcase since January 2015. I bought it with an Amazon voucher my dad gave me and choose it because the critics RAVED about it. Although I was really excited to get stuck in, life got in the way (or I got lazy) and I didn’t rediscover it till last month. I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam last July and saw Petronella Brandt’s dollhouse and it is pretty impressive in the flesh too. I wish I’d seen it after I’d read the book though as it would have really just hit home with me.
This was a wonderful, quite sinister story set in my one of my favourite cities, Amsterdam. It was brilliantly descriptive of both the Dutch way of life at the time and of the plot line. Although I didn’t fully understand the ending at first (a reread and the reviews on GoodReads helped), it was perfectly written from the beginning and the plot just swallowed me up. Although I saw a couple of plot lines coming, others I was totally astounded by. Also there is a cool list of phrases and their meanings and the prices of things and today’s equivalents which really appealed to the historian inside me. Recommended for: someone dying to discover a faraway place or time.
WILD by CHERYL STRAYED
This is a beautiful book. I also bought this in January 2015 and didn’t pick it up again till just now. I’d heard so much good press about the film and I do really like Reese Witherspoon so I don’t know why I didn’t get stuck in earlier. After realising The Luminaries was a little too big to take with me to Glasgow for one night, I decided on this choice as it’s a slim read. I got stuck in on the train there and was immediately humbled by it. The writing is fantastic, Cheryl Strayed tells a heartbreaking yet inspiring story and she really does travel from lost to found. I wanted to meet all the people she described meeting along the way and every time she made a triumph on the trail, I felt like I’d made one too.
I sat balling my eyes out in Waverely Station in the last chapter as it was such a beautiful ending and I just had so much hope for her. It kind of inspired me to do something like the Pacific Crest Trail myself one day but maybe I’ll start hiking around the Trossachs before I tackle America’s most challenging trail. This book just shrunk all my problems down for me once I realised how rough life really can get, especially if you have no one. Recommend for: someone needing to go on a journey.
THE GIRLS by LISA JEWELL
I’d heard about this book from one of the girls at work who was raving about it until she read the ending. Then she raved not so much. I therefore wasn’t planning on reading it as she was so disappointed by it but when I was browsing in WH Smiths during my hour long wait at the station, I noticed it and decided to just give it a go. I wasn’t disappointed with the beginning. From the beginning it just felt mysterious and you could tell there was a lot of secrets kept in this idyllic part of London.
Although the storytelling was a lot less serious compared to Wild, I was still really enjoying it as the plot began to unfold. However I was disappointed by the ending as it was shaping up to be really sinister and then the author just kind of stopped. You never truly discovered what had happened and I for one, do not like cliffhangers all that much! Whilst I don’t mind it when authors give you the opportunity to have a unique perspective on a character, but I don’t like that with events. I just need closure man. But this book was such an excellent read throughout I don’t want to forget about it due to the ending not being to my taste. Recommended for: someone who is there for the journey, not the destination.
SPEAKING IN BONES by KATHY REICHS
The aforementioned fear maker. This was a fantastic read. I’d definitely recommend if crime thriller is your thing! I loved how the main “detective” was a forensic pathologist compared to a police officer as I’m a big fan of Body of Proof and other shows which have background case solvers at the forefront. Abby from NCIS is my gal. I didn’t realise this is the author who inspired/created the TV show Bones and I’m definitely going to start watching it.
The plot in captivated me from the start and by the end, I was low-key shaking with fear at how sinister and real the plot was. The main character was a logical, interesting person who helped the reader through the case in a logical way. The added element of the websleuths made it more accessible and understandable. It was a great book, interesting plot and great cast of characters. I never guessed any of the outcomes and was enthralled throughout. Recommended for: someone needing a good scare.
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