Everyone! It is the first Recently Reading of 2018! I was a bit rubbish at reading last year but I’ve finally joined the GoodReads club, have set a reading goal and polished off my first book of the year. Reading is one of my ultimate escapes and I’ve been lucky that in the last months of 2017 I got a few books to review, one of which is included in this round up.
For 2018 I want to read lots. I want to escape in fantasy worlds, make use of my Kindle and scour charity shops for bargains. I got some gorgeous books for Christmas that I’ll be tootling through shortly but in this roundup we have a mix of thriller, murder mystery, young adult and a cookbook. If you’re looking for your next read of 2018, I got you covered.
The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
This was another charity shop find, I got it for a measly £1. I ended up enjoying it way more than I thought I would and there was a big ass plot twist near the end which I did not see coming. I think it is the first in a series of books so it got the ball rolling pretty nicely from that perspective but is also really enjoyable as a stand alone novel.
I’ve since passed it on to my dad as I know he loves a good detective novel just as much as I do. It starts with the disappearance of a woman which is considered unrelated to previous missing persons in the area but it all starts to knit nicely together (in a sinister way obv) and dun dun dun …
The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
My mum claimed this was the ‘best book she’s ever read’ which is a pretty high award. I was tempted after reading the blurb that this book was a must for fans of Kate Morton, who is the author of one of my favourite books The Distant Hours. It was a much slimmer book than any of Morton’s but it was just as juicy a story. Drifting between a secret romance of a Russian Grand Duchess and a soldier during World War One and the Russian Revolution, and an English journalist in the 2000s who uncovers her lost long relatives cabin and the secrets it holds.
I love books which switch between timelines as I love how it reveals elements of the story to the reader bit by bit and this book was no different. The two storylines are connected and slowly it is revealed throughout the novel. Whilst I would’t go as far as calling it the best book ever, it is one of the best I’ve read in a while.
Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I first read Murder On The Orient Express many moons ago during the period of my life where I watched ITV3 all day every day for the Poirot and Marple re-runs. Since there is a film adaption coming out v soon, I snapped up a copy when I was in my local Sainsbury’s. I then proceeded to read it in the space of two days.
Christie’s style of writing is very distinguished and I love that her work is getting recognised again. It is such an intricate story and I’d definitely recommend if you a fan of murder mystery. It begins with Hercule Poirot’s trip on the Orient Express where a passenger is murdered in his compartment, with the door locked from the inside. The murderer is on the train …
White Nights by Ann Cleeves
My great aunt gave me this book to read when I visited her in October but it was only recently when I got the chance to sit down and read it. I really enjoyed the Shetland series when it was on BBC due to the rugged landscape and the quiet detective.
The story developed at a slow burning pace, just giving a little away at the time and I never suspected who the murderer was. I was a little disappointed that the murders weren’t a bit darker, instead they were more emotional and historic but it was still a really well knitted together story. I really liked the main character, Detective Jimmy Perez, he was brooding, quiet and intelligent.
The Treatment by C. L. Taylor
I really wanted to like this book and it had all the ingredients for something juicy. It is Young Adult which I’m usually a fan of but this book kind of fell flat. I liked the idea of the story: a school where students appear to graduate from ‘brainwashed’, a strange man on the train and a shifty step-dad.
But it just didn’t deliver. The language was childish and a bit rubbish to read, it wasn’t engaging or interesting. I kept pursuing the book because the blurb had been so promising but I’m not sure it was worth my time. The main character of Drew was likeable and a lot of the characters were very interesting. However I felt the storyline was wrapped up far too quickly and it was suddenly all happy-ever-afters. Plus some of the story didn’t quite add up ~ like how did Drew’s nemesis from her old school suddenly end up at her current one?
The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza
This book was a super thrilling read. I love murder/detective style books as this was the first I’ve read by Robert Bryndza. The detective Erika Foster is a straight-talking copper who is brought to London after a tragedy involving her husband and to lead the murder case of a young woman found battered in the ice.
The book involves segments where the killer is inching closer to Erika herself as she uncovers the high society victim’s secret past and possible connections to other murders in London but this time of foreign prostitutes. I was constantly on edge and I didn’t have any suspicions who the killer was until it was timely revealed. A very satisfying read. Also my dad read this after me and he gave it the thumbs up too so ~ if my thoughts don’t persuade you, that might ~
Jamie’s Five Ingredients
Yes this is a cookbook in my Recently Reading and what of it? I had a full flick through this beauty on Christmas Day as I just couldn’t wait to get started. I’ve bookmarked the recipes I find most intriguing and as this goes live, I’ll definitely have tried some.
I think this book would be perfect to get someone who is just starting out in cooking as each recipe only has five ingredients and simple steps. The food photography is incredible too so definitely not one to flick through when hungry. Okay I’ll stop being boring now.
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
Anti-guru Sarah Knight’s second book is another absolutely must read if, like me, you need to get your shit together. I absolutely adore the chatty tone she writes in and the way the book is laid out. It is easy to dip in and out as you please ~ you don’t feel like you need to dedicate a whole afternoon to bashing through. I would go as far to say, it is a textbook for life.
If airy-fairy self help books are not your cup of tea, this one most certainly will be. With plenty of anecdotes and inside jokes scattered throughout, you will enjoy reading this just as much for pleasure, as well as a way to get your shit together. The tips are just really simple and straightforward and you’ll find yourself asking, why have I not done this before?
His Guilty Secret by Helene Fermont
You might have read my full review on His Guilty Secret back in December but I thought I’d mix it in with Recently Reading, as well, I did read it recently. I found His Guilty Secret to be a too simplistic and childish for my personal tastes but I really like my thrillers to be quite thrilling and dark. I reminded me of books my granny has passed on to me that she has enjoyed but again, I found too childish and simplistic so perhaps I just wasn’t the right match for it?
The blurb is super promising though and if you can look past the flaws (or don’t see them at all), you’ll enjoy what you read. There are plenty of interesting characters and interesting storylines, it just didn’t all add up right for me. It is a light and easy read though so good for taking your mind off things or reading for half an hour on the bus.
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