One of my new year’s resolutions is to read more. My real life occupation of studying History and Classics at university entails a lot of reading, like a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the texts I’ve been introduced to through my studies but sometimes, all I want to do is sink my teeth into a book about magic or something along those lines.
I struggle with guilt when it comes to reading for pleasure. If I have at least two books I can be reading for uni, then I feel horrendously guilty picking up Harry Potter. But as of 2017, I am planning for another hobby other than Netflix to be on my radar: reading.
I got lots of lovely books for Christmas including The Little Book of Hygge and The Student but I’m yet to tackle them all. I had a little trip to Prague in the Christmas break so there was plenty of time for reading on the two and a half hour flight from Glasgow to Prague. I managed to read #GIRLBOSS in about four hours!
Oh, and because I’m way behind schedule on blog posts due to deciding to uproot my site last week and not posting anything, I wasn’t able to include all my books in the picture because they are all sitting snuggly on my book shelf at home. Miss Olivia Organised over here.
#GIRLBOSS by SOPHIA AMORUSO
I saw this book being included in blogs everywhere over the last four/five months. Everyone was reading it and everyone was raving about it. I was definitely intrigued by it but I had about six books waiting patiently in my flat for me to tackle before I could warrant buying another one.
My mum then asked what I wanted for Christmas and I suggested this book. And I’m so glad I did. I read it in about four hours, from chilling in the airport to flying home to Glasgow. I was engrossed in it.
It was amazing. Sophia Amoruso’s attitude to writing is great: it’s so chatty, to the point and really makes you listen. It was inspiring, as cliche as it sounds, but it really is. It made me want to start running a business or following the career I want or even just making an effort with myself to be my best self.
Recommend for: inspiration-seekers and future #girlbosses.
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS by RICK RIORDAN
As I was a keen fantasy reader when I was younger, I’m surprised Rick Riordan’s work slipped under my radar. I’ve seen the films and have been informed by countless people that the films are SHIT compared to the books. I can now confirm I agree with them.
Classics often involves looking at bits of old pot and paintings and deciding which figure is who. Sometimes we have seminars completed devoted to this and embarrassingly, my Greek gods knowledge is not that good. Classics is not something that was offered at my school and I’ve never had an interest in it until university. I asked one of my friends (who really enjoys this part of the course) how she knew so much and she replied with the Percy Jackson books.
My other friend then backed this up as it was were all her knowledge came from so I asked for them for Christmas. I was not disappointed. These books are amazing.The storyline is engaging, funny and adventurous and made me feel like a kid again. The characters are great and well, my knowledge of the Greek gods is advancing.
Recommended for: fantasy lovers and future classics scholars.
THE PARIS SECRET by KAREN SWAN
This little champ was in a pile of books my Granny had gave my mum and I found it waiting patiently for me on my bed. This was before Christmas and I just looked at them all and thought “meh” and then ignored them.
After Christmas and once I’d smashed through Percy Jackson and devoured #GIRLBOSS, I was at a bit of a loss of what to read. I picked this one up because YAY PARIS and started reading.
At first it was a bit dull but it soon picked up and I ended up really enjoying. I loved the historical side of it, it was such an in depth story and full of lots of little titbits of history. Which made it a pretty damn ace read in my book. There was also a smudge of love story in there too for good measure and I really liked the main character Flora, she seemed a pretty ace gal. And she would not take to no for an answer.
Recommended for: mystery solvers and Paris lovers.
THE SHAKESPEARE CURSE by J. L. CARRELL
I read the first book in this series (The Shakespeare Secret) during my trip to Spain in September after Ali lent it to me. And I was hooked. I love murder mysteries and what made this book even more enticing was the inclusion of Shakespeare. Lewis is one of my fave TV shows ever and the reason I like it more than your average crime TV show is because of the complexity of the murders and relationship with classics, theology and literature.
The Shakespeare Curse was just as enthralling as the first book in the series. This time it focussed on Macbeth instead of Hamlet and you were introduced into a whole new cast of interesting and equally suspicious characters. As I have read the first book in this series, I knew not to trust any of the characters other than the protagonist Kate as anyone could be the killer. Even thought I knew this, I was still shocked and surprised by the end result. I read this book in one night as I just had to know who the killer was.
Recommended for: murder mystery fans and Shakespeare devotees.
LADY MIDNIGHT by CASSANDRA CLARE
As you might have guessed due to my love for The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, I’m a sucker for a bit of supernatural romance and drama. After Twilight, I grabbled to find every book of paranormal fiction I could get my mitts on and whilst this has calmed down as I’ve gotten older, I’ll occasionally pick up books of this genre to sink my teeth into.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with liking this genre and some of my favourite books come from it. Currently I’m obsessed with Shadowhunters which is on Netflix and is based on another of Cassandra Clare’s book series (The Mortal Instruments). After I watched the first episode of season 2, I did a bit of googling to see if Cassandra Clare had released any more books and I found Lady Midnight, the first in The Dark Artifices series.
I was not disappointed. This book is just as addictive as The Mortal Instruments or other supernatural stories I’ve read (The Percy Jackson books, Harry Potter, Through The Never Sky trilogy). So many twists and turns and not trusting anyone! And the primary love story appears doomed so that is always nice. The main character, Emma, is really great. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty and stand up what for she believes in.
Recommend for: lovers of a bad-ass heroine.
BLACK ICE by BECCA FITZPATRICK
I was searching through my books whilst packing for university as I couldn’t decide what I wanted to take back with me. I was coming across lots that I’d forgotten I’d owned and I found this gem. I’ve already read it and I was like “hm sounds good”.
Once I’d read a few pages the story came back to me but I still kept on reading as I really enjoyed the story. It’s just a chick lit book with a bit of murder thrown in on the side so it was right up my street. It’s easy to read and has a few twists and turns in it and the first time I read it, the ending was definitely was a bit of a shock.
The setting was also kinda different: hiking in Wyoming. It did kind of make me want to abandon my dream of hiking the PCT as this seemed like four days of hell. As if I’m ever going to hike the PCT though, I nearly cried today when my trusty Converse gave me blisters and ended up getting the Subway home from uni.
Recommended for: romance fans.
ALL FOR NOTHING by WALTER KEMPOWSKI
I’ve had this book since July and I started reading it around September time but as with most books when the semester started, I didn’t read anymore of it. I picked it up again over the Christmas holidays and well, I finished it.It reminded me a lot of Suite Francaise which I didn’t really like that much but I think it’s because these books are real. Like scary real. The author doesn’t hide any of the gory truths about war and war on the home front and the devastating effect it has. I think I’m too fragile for these things.
The storyline was engaging and you developed a really good understanding of the characters and I felt as if I knew them. I felt it was a bit slow in places and there was definitely a stage around the middle where I thought about it giving in because I was a bit bored but I stuck in and I’m glad.
It’s not a happy book and it’s not what you always expect, it’s more of a history book in my opinion and has helped me to understand a lot about the German home front in East Prussia which was really interesting.
Recommend for: history buffs.
GIRL UNKNOWN by KAREN PERRY
This book was recommended to me (and given to me) by my dad and he said it was better than The Girl On The Train. Except he didn’t like The Girl On The Train that much (I know wtf it was amazing) so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
But I loved it because Dads are always (mostly) right. It had me, hook, line and sinker. I liked the way the story was told – by David and Caroline after it had all happened, it was them telling their story. The plot continued to twist and turn and I always had an opinion about what was happening to the characters. Everything seemed so real. And I was let dumbfounded at the end, naturally.
Recommended for: thriller fans.