The Snowman (Book) Review

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In the spirit of Fall, colder evenings and crispy clean duvet covers, I added this crime thriller to my Autumn Reading List.

It’s recently been adapted for the big screen which could be interesting, though I’ll probably wait to stream it at home. There’s talk of it not really living up to the book – which is pretty good actually. It’s no Red Dragon, obviously but then what is?

The Snowman is Detective Harry Hole’s 7th outing but this is my first time meeting him. He is a damaged soul (but of course) haunted by a series of events that claimed the lives of several of his colleagues. He’s also just out of broken relationship that might not be as over as they think – though most of his woes are only touched upon briefly because our anti-hero has more on his mind, namely the uncovering and capture of Norway’s first serial killer.

The tale of The Snowman kicks off with the disappearance of a young mother. In her place is a small snowman constructed on the front lawn, her pink woolen scarf wrapped around its neck. Inside its belly is the missing woman’s mobile phone. This disappearance corresponds conveniently with a letter received by Harry Hole from a killer calling himself The Snowman – but where is the woman? And who is The not-that-terrifying-sounding Snowman?

What follows is a series of missing women, some of whom turn up dead and dismembered pretty quickly – at every crime scene Hole finds SM’s signature: a snowman. Hole entrusts his brilliant new colleague Katrine Bratt with the task of finding a connection between all the women and she does: all are mothers and have dealings with a very discreet clinic where all the kids are patients. Hmmm.

Luckily for Norway, Hole is a dog with a bone and will stop at nothing to catch The Snowman. Unfortunately, there are lots of suspects and subsequent accusations about who is responsible for the murders being thrown around, some hitting closer to home than others. Will Hole get his man? Or will the case kill him in the process?

I enjoyed this well enough. There’s a lot to like about it, even though by the climax I felt a little fatigued, there are three prime suspects who all turn out to be innocent. I had an inkling in the back of my mind of who it was but it feels like forever before we get there.

Hole is a weathered and fucked-up character with demons in his past. He is the best in the business, unorthodox in his approach, something of a loose cannon and because of all this he has lots in common with some of the best literary detectives.

The female characters are pretty liberal though they’re judged harshly for some of their behaviour through the eyes of The Snowman. Their fates are definitely of a misogynistic nature and that’s the point here. I’m not sure if Katrine Bratt goes on to appear in any of the later books but she’s a strong character despite the fact that an awful lot of effort goes into describing her looks. Rakel too is pretty fun, even if she can’t keep away from Hole for love nor money.

All in all, this is good gory fun and I might be tempted to pick up another Jo Nesbo in the future.

Book details:

The Snowman
Publisher: Vintage (6 Nov. 2014)
ISBN-10: 1784700924
ISBN-13: 978-1784700928
Bought paperback (new)

What are you currently reading?

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Book) Review

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You can imagine my joy when I found out Lisbeth Salander was back.

In her second story penned by David Lagercrantz, our heroine is incarcerated – Lisbeth in prison! – for her actions in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Despite the fact she saved the life of a brilliant young boy using any means necessary, the feds are keen to punish her for the those means – and it’s bullshit. But Lisbeth doesn’t really care as long as she has access to her physics books.

A girl like Salander can run her business from anywhere – and she does. This time round she’s not only fighting the corrupt prison system from within, she’s also protecting the life of a fellow prisoner who has suffered great injustice in her own life.

Meanwhile, Blomvist has been tasked with his own project – to find out more about a mysterious woman with a birthmark on her throat – who may or may not have an awful lot to do with Salander’s past.

Although I don’t think this secondary series can go on for ever, I’m always pleased to pick up on the further adventures of Salander and Blomvist. I have an awful lot of fondness for some of the lesser featured characters too and that’s why I’ll probably always pick them up.

In all honesty, the last two (including this one) are written competently but they’re nowhere near as memorable or as tight as the original trilogy (OBVS). There are no real criticisms from me on the writing and my bias would make it very hard to pull it apart, these books do exactly what I want them to. Although, if pushed, sometimes the flipping to and fro between each story arc can get a little frustrating, especially when I’m getting into something really interesting. (I know lots of books do this and it’s a technique to hook you in, but it seems to flit quickly between each chapter a lot here).

As the tale of TGWTAEFAE unfolds, we meet some new characters who share a connection with what happened to Lisbeth and her family. This keeps it fresh but I think personally there are often too many characters to keep up with. Thankfully, Lagercrantz has the sense to put a glossary of who everyone is in the front of the book, which helps immensely.

I would have loved to have had more time in the prison system with Lisbeth and maybe learned more about the motivations of the prison bully and her crew. But this is minor and I got enough action to keep interested.

I think it would be fitting for Lagercrantz to round his series off as a trilogy then hang up his hat. I would never want to get tired of this universe or any of the characters that inhabit it – although, didn’t I just say above that I’d always pick them up again? You got me. Bring it on – just keep it good, yo.

Lisbeth 4 eva.

Book details:

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
Publisher: MacLehose Press (7 Sept. 2017)
ISBN-10: 0857056409
ISBN-13: 978-0857056405
Bought hardback (new)

What are you currently reading?

Part of my Autumn Reading List, here.

Winter Reading List 

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I failed miserably in my Summer Reading Challenge, unfortunately. I put it down to being too busy but I think we can safely say it was just a laziness issue.

I go through phases as a reader. I’m either reading everything in my path, or nothing at all. There’s no in between. But, as the light fades in the evenings and the temperature drops significantly, I’m lining up a list of reads to smash through.

Here’s a little peek at what I’m planning on reading beneath the covers:

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Synopsis: Many years after their divorce, Susan Morrow receives a strange gift from her ex-husband. A manuscript that tells the story of a terrible crime: an ambush on the highway, a secluded cabin in the woods; a thrilling chiller of death and corruption. How could such a harrowing story be told by the man she once loved? And why, after so long, has he sent her such a disturbing and personal message…? Originally published as Tony and Susan.

Thoughts: This is the book the film is based on. I picked it up in a 2 for 1 type deal in a supermarket. I’ve so far not got to see Tom Ford‘s adaptation but I hear it’s good and I still hope I get to catch it. I love a thriller and this seems to have quite a dark premise. High hopes.

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Synopsis: Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming. Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil. But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms. Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows…

Thoughts: Books like this are perfect Winter reads. They’re like tasty morsels of something that isn’t particularly ‘good’ for you but is so delicious you don’t give two fucks. I like mystery and expect this to deliver nicely. I am so over the lazy Gone Girl/The Girl on the Train comparisons though. Can we move on now? There are other great thrillers.

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Synopsis: When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but when he fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy.

Thoughts: I recently saw the pilot of the TV adaptation of this book, starring the gorgeously talented Kathryn Hahn and became quite smitten with Chris. Although it only gave me a snapshot of the story, I know it’s something I want more of. Then somebody I follow on Twitter started raving about the book and I grabbed a copy immediately. It’s so easy to persuade me to part with my cash. I’m looking forward to this, plus it’s got a LOL-worthy title/cover, which never hurts.

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Synopsis: In 2003, an independent film called The Roomstarring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau – made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Over a decade later, The Room is an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising and thousands of plastic spoons.

Thoughts: I’ve already started reading this and it’s so much fun. I’ve just been giggling all the way along. Of course you do have to have seen The Room to have context for all this craziness, and particularly Tommy’s unique brand. It’s great to get a companion piece for a film that makes zero sense and to get behind Tommy’s personal philosophy, and Greg Sestero (although I doubt he’s actually written much of the book) gives us interesting nuggets of Hollywood life, through his own experiences on movie sets and via flashbacks to the acting class in which he fatefully met ‘The Pirate’. Both the film and the book are a must-see/read for any shit film lover, there’s nothing else even remotely like it.

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Synopsis: When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.

Thoughts: Ooooh sounds good, doesn’t it? And it’s a graphic novel. I picked this up on a whim while I was in a ‘witchy’ mood and I regret nothing. Ghost/horror is perfect for this time of the year.

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Synopsis: Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one of the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance.

Thoughts: I know Carrie mainly from Portlandia but she’s also a member of Sleater Kinney, once pegged as ‘America’s best rock band’. This appeals to my massive love of the Riot Grrrl movement, something I will always been interested in learning more about. So I’ll be reading this in my Docs and stripey shirt with a snarl on my face. In a good way.

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My Brilliant Friend – Book 1 (Neapolitan Novels)

Synopsis: A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila.  Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.

The Story of a New Name – Book 2 (Neapolitan Novels)

Synopsis: Elena and Lila are now in their twenties. While marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. The two young women share a complex and evolving bond that brings them close at times, and drives them apart at others. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the centre of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women.

Thoughts: I was gifted these by my lovely mother last Christmas and still haven’t gotten round to them, which is unforgivable. Another Twitter recommendation and a double whammy of literary goodness I’m looking forward to. There are four books in the Neapolitan Series and these are the first two. I just hope my heart can take them.

~

You might be wondering why all the reads on this list are different to those in the Summer line up. Is it just me who carefully selects stories to suit the season?

What are you reading? ❤

Book Would You Rather

I’ve stolen this from Jill because I love a questionnaire and especially book themed ones. You can read my wife’s answers here, they’re good ‘uns.

Now, to the book version of ‘Would You Rather’! I’m not sure why but I feel like I should have a line of shots in front of me while I do this. (Relax, it’ll be shots of tea).

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Would you rather: read only trilogies or stand alones?

There’s only one trilogy I can recall loving the living shit out of and that’s The Millenium Trilogy (I’m not counting the fourth, written by a different author), so I’m going to go with stand alones. Except this is a hard one because sometimes one isn’t enough and you just want your favourite characters to live forever.

I feel like this is going to be a hard series of questions to answer…

Would you rather: read only female or male authors?

Eek! Some of my favourite authors are men (Haruki Murakami, Steig Larrson, Douglas Coupland). However, my very favourite is a woman (Sarah Waters) and women write a lot of thrillers and crime novels. PLUS, they’re women goddammit so I’m sticking with the girls. No brainer.

Or is it?

Would you rather: shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

I’m in the UK so sadly I don’t have access to Barnes & Noble. However, reading between the lines because I’m a clever sausage, I think what this question really means is, do you prefer to browse a big old bookshop or shop online, sight unseen?

I love both: never underestimate the quick fix obviously but there’s nothing quite like mooching for hours among the beautiful books. I prefer secondhand to be fair ‘cos they have a history, even if I have to make it up myself.

Would you rather: all books become movies or TV shows?

I don’t care as long as they’re good. How lame is that answer? It depends on the book, always – some stories need time to develop subtly over several seasons and some are so grand they need a silver screen to really convey what they’re all about.

I can’t think of any examples as I type this which I feel is very helpful.

Would you rather: read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

It would have to be 5 pages because is the latter even possible? I’m not actually a machine, despite popular rumour.

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Would you rather: be a professional reviewer or author?

Author because I would just love to write for a living but I’m not disciplined or ambitious enough. Notice I haven’t said I’m talented enough because I think I might be able to do a good job of my own book if I only had some original ideas. One day.

Until then, amateur reviewer, baby!

Would you rather: Only read your top 20 favorite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven’t read before?

Does this mean I can never revisit my faves? That’s fine: always read news ones, then. There are too many incredible stories and authors out there waiting for me to find them and there will never be enough time to discover them all which upsets me. I can only do my best!

I’m not a big re-reader to be honest. Unless it’s Red Dragon or The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, the first book to make me cry.

Would you rather: be a librarian or book seller?

Book seller. I’d love to have my own shop or stall. I’d be excellent at it but might not let books go if I didn’t think they’d be getting the love they deserve.

I talk too loud to be a librarian…

Would you rather: only read your favorite genre, or every genre except your favorite?

Only read my favourite genre, though I’d have to have regular breaks because murder without moderation can mess with your mind.

Would you rather: only read physical books or eBooks?

I’m all about the printed word, forever. I never read eBooks except graphic novels. No thank you very much. I need to feel the book in my hands.

~

So that’s me!

If you want to do this yourself please feel free. I’m not tagging anyone but would love to read your answers if you do it. ❤

All images via Unsplash.

Me Before You (Book) Review 

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“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.” ~ Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

I’m three or four books down on the 20 Book Summer Challenge and I think that’s okay. Perhaps 20 was a little ambitious but I’ll do what I can.

I particularly enjoyed this book, spending much of a Saturday in bed devouring it. I should say I found this surprising, as I hadn’t expected to like it that much.

I’m not a massive “chick-lit” fan (doesn’t that term just stick in your craw?) but I love Marian Keyes, Dawn French‘s lovely novels and a cheeky bit of Jenny Colgan, especially as Autumn turns to Winter and thoughts turn to Christmas cookies and hot chocolates by the window.

Apart from those though, I often find myself swerving the sugared almond covers of books ‘like that’ in favour of the reds and blacks of crime and thrillers. So, imagine my bemusement when I couldn’t put this one down.

I went out for brunch and spent an hour in the gym but all the time I was out and about, I was thinking about Lou Clark and Will Traynor.

WHUT?

*Beware spoilers* (I’m really going to try not to).

Lou Clark is a 26-year-old woman living with her working class family. Recently unemployed after the cafe she’s happily worked in for years closes, she has no idea what she wants to do. I mean, there aren’t that many options for a girl with no qualifications but she could train as a PT and then work with her boyfriend Patrick – but is that what she really wants?

Things at home aren’t great either, given that her income was a great help to her parents. Poor Mr Clark is on the verge of losing his own job to redundancy so when a new opportunity pops up to be a carer for a quadriplegic man, Lou feels she really should take it. Turns out she’ll be caring for Will Traynor, a former banker paralyzed in a motorcycle accident.

With no experience to speak of, Lou is surprised to be offered this job by prickly Camilla Traynor and her husband, Steven. But Camilla assures her she has been hired to brighten his spirits and not for her professional skills.

Can you guess the rest?

Actually, that’s unfair. Although this is a romantic story with a predictable (to a point) plot line, it really doesn’t lose anything from that. If anything it’s as comfortable as one of those crocheted blankets your nan used to make (well, not my Nana) but a really nice soft one. And, I didn’t know the whole story as I went in so there was enough there to keep me hooked.

I won’t reveal too much but I will say that there is more to this story than just boy meets girl, boy is mean to girl at first then they get on and girl cheers boy up. Lou quickly learns that her expected role in Will’s life comes with far more responsibility than she thought. Once she learns just how unhappy Will is and, in turn how far his parents and sister would go to change that, she commits hard.

With the help of her family and Will’s, will Lou be able to make Will value his life again? And how will she cope when her long-term relationship begins to feel less important to her as a result?

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My Thoughts:

I thought I may have become immune to a story that didn’t have at least one horrible murder in it but I’m kind of glad that good and wholesome can still hold my attention. I very much enjoyed my time in this world, identifying with Lou’s lack of direction, getting annoyed at her thoughtless boyfriend and just wishing for the epic happy ending to end all happy endings. Whether I got that I’ll keep to myself.

Revision: I should add somewhere that there is a more serious underlying topic here which not everyone will agree with. Without spoilering, there’s a decision made by a central character that I certainly wasn’t expecting to actually happen, nor did I agree with. I’ll leave it there.

Jojo is a decent writer who shapes her characters well. Some of it is a little whimsical but I don’t mind a bit of whimsy every now and again. In fact, now more than ever I feel like I need a regular injection of it, though this comes with a side order of weepy.

Thankfully for me there is now a film adaptation (in cinemas now) starring Mother of Dragon’s herself Emilia Clarke AND a motherfucking sequel (After You, released 30 June) so there’s plenty more to enjoy over the next month.

10/10 would recommend if you’re open to a bit of cheese (more like 8/10 but who’s counting?). There are worse ways to spend a rainy Saturday, that’s for shiz.

Book details:

Me Before You
Publisher: Michael Joseph; 01 edition (5 Jan. 2012)
ISBN-10: 0718157834
ISBN-13: 978-0718157838
Bought paperback (new)

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d be interested in your view, good or bad.

Also, I’m going to take myself to see the movie tomorrow afternoon (and so I can cry freely without being ribbed), anyone else seen it yet? ❤

Dietland (Book) Review

 

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It’s only the first few days of June and I think I’ve already found my book of the year.

I’m going to try to review this without giving much away because I think it’s a fun, dark and interesting look at society, feminism, revenge, beauty and self love, amongst other things – and I want people to read the hell out of it.

Dietland gives us a fat protagonist, Plum which is a treat to find in literature. Or at least, it’s less common to have a fat character presented in a positive light. This seems to be changing, however despite placing a lot of ‘fat main character’ books on my Amazon wish list recently, it still feels like a novelty.

That last statement might not be strictly accurate btw. I should say that I haven’t noticed main fat characters much in the books I’ve read but I would be open to recommendations on books that do feature them. As many as possible! Ones that aren’t the DUFF or end up having massive makeovers to deem themselves acceptable, obvs.

Alicia ‘Plum’ Kettle is deeply apologetic about the fact that she’s fat, so any change in this attitude is a way down the line. More than apologetic, she is obsessed in her quest to lose weight and become her real self – just ‘Alicia’.

Here in the current day, Plum fills a wardrobe with clothes she’ll wear when she’s skinny, when she’s had the stomach stapling surgery she’s booked in for and can finally transform into her true self. She’s been on a diet for most of her life and tends to stick to the safety of her immediate environment to avoid drawing attention to herself. Which doesn’t work really but hey ho.

She works for a big magazine, answering personal emails to her shithead boss, Dear Kitty, who doesn’t have the time to do it herself. Plum spends each day in the local cafe sending advice to ‘her girls’, on anything from self-harming to sexual abuse and life’s what it
is. Kind of in limbo until the real living begins – when she’s thin.

A quick aside from me: I love Plum because I’ve thought like her and I know a lot of people have and still do. I’ve tried to stop this damaging thought process and accept that how I look now is more than likely how I will always look. The concept that “Life begins” at a certain (and mostly impossible) point is incredibly sad.

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Photograph not mine

One seemingly ordinary day, Plum notices that she’s being followed by a dark-haired girl who appears to be making notes about her in a journal. She’s used to comments and people taking her picture on the street but somehow senses this is different.

Little does Plum know that her stalker is about to change her life completely and in the most dramatic way possible.

Running alongside Plum’s ‘rebirth’ is news of a  feminist terrorist organisation named by the media as “Jennifer”, who are committing violent acts of retribution against rapists and abusers, as well as major media outlets and the porn industry.

Sweet and fluffy this book is not and I love it all the more for that. There are horrific descriptions of some of the acts, by both the terrorists and those they are carrying out revenge against. It doesn’t shy away from rape culture and it’s powerful stuff.

Plum’s story is wonderfully empowering and I actually love her. I feel like in many ways she is me, she is every woman and when she starts to figure out where she belongs in this world and begins to enjoy the space she takes up, I may have whooped.

I also love many of the supporting characters who open Plum’s eyes to the all the bullshit out there, without too much personal judgement. Plum undergoes such a transformation by the time you reach the last page that I think it would be impossible not to feel happy for her – and it probably won’t be in the way you’re expecting.

Does Plum undergo the weightloss surgery she’s so focussed on, and start that brand new life that’s been waiting for her since she was a teenager?

And the question you’ll no doubt be asking yourselves: what has the mysterious “Jennifer” got to do with Plum, if anything at all? Find out by picking this book up ASAP.

My Thoughts:

You may not agree with everything that takes place within this book but I think for the most part, any woman can identify with the exhausting notion that we have to look and be a certain way to be deemed acceptable by society.

The issue here is not just fat but beauty on the whole – from the tips of our toes to the roots of our hair. And beyond beauty, there’s an interesting comment on the porn industry that made me think a lot more about it.

I find stories like this empowering while others may not and that’s okay but I think the story fits in a lot with the way I’ve been viewing myself over the last year which might be why it resonates so. I’m learning that I don’t have to be sorry for anything, let alone the amount of space I occupy.

I really just want to read this all over again.

Book details:

Dietland
Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (5 May 2016)
ISBN-10: 1782399291
ISBN-13: 978-1782399292
Bought paperback (new)

If you read this book, or anything similar, please let me know. I’m always up for a good recommendation ❤

20 Books of Summer

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Every single Summer I fantasise about lying in a beautiful park reading beneath a huge shady tree to my heart’s content. This more or less never happens but maybe this will be the year.

Since I’m enforcing a No Shopping ban upon myself for the next two months (have I mentioned that?), I’ll be looking for thrifty ways to entertain myself until August and this might just be it.

Thanks to Cathy of 746 Books for the idea, I am totally in. 20 books is an awful lot and they’re supposed to be done between 1 June and 5 September but I will try my damnedest to stick to the plan. For the record, that’s 20 books in three months or 7 books a month for 3 months (give or take)!

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Image via Unsplash

I’ve been a bit lame about my choices and simply picked from the ‘To Read’ side of my bookcase. Turns out there was a lot of good stuff chilling there. I’ve been buying books and then forgetting about them a lot. Which is frankly criminal and must stop.

Here are my 20 books:

  1. In a Dark Dark Wood – Ruth Ware. I love crime and this ticks that box nicely. I’m also drawn to the fading friendship element, something I understand all to well. Let’s hope this really is the ‘Crime Novel of the Year’.

  2. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter. “Fairy tales reimagined for feminist times” – what’s not to like about that? Taking inspiration from some of my favourite fairy tales, including the sinister as all fuck Bluebeard, this is right up my street. I cannot wait.

  3. Capital – John Lanchester. This tale was recently turned into a BBC series which I didn’t see but it caught my attention anyway. Plus, both my brother and mother recommended it. The residents of a London street all receive the same mysterious note through their doors: We Want What You Have. But who sent it and what does it mean?

  4. Killer Next Door – Alex Marwood. I read The Wicked Girls, also by Marwood and enjoyed it, even though it’s very odd. I don’t even know what this one is about but I suspect that there’s a clue in the title.

  5. The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton. This has been on my shelf for so long and I’m not sure why I haven’t yet picked it up. Sometimes I struggle with period pieces but this comes highly praised, so we’ll see, won’t we?

  6. The Sisters – Claire Douglas. The tale of twin sisters, one dead and one alive following a tragic accident. I’m drawn to this because I find the whole twin thing naturally unsettling and how can I resist a deeply hidden family secret?

  7. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks. I know it’s pretty bad that I haven’t read this one yet, given that it’s a bit of an oddball classic, but there we are. Glynn read it a few years back and raves about it so this is another one I can’t wait to dig into.

  8. Feed: The Newsflesh Trilogy: Book 1 – Mira Grant. Zombie infection, two bloggers and a conspiracy theory, I’m into this concept and have had this waiting for me for over a year. Glad to be getting to it, finally.

  9. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen. This is heralded as Austen’s Gothic parody and draws my interest because it promises lots of twists and turns, mystery and decrepit old castles. Count me in, boi.

  10. The Hourglass Factory – Lucy Ribchester. This was recommended to me by my friend Helga. Set in 1912 against the backdrop of the Suffragette movement, Journalist Frankie is sent to interview a trapeze artist and becomes obsessed. Mystery and suspense entail – and I’m fully here for it.

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    Image via Unsplash
  11. The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith. I’ve already read the second Cormoran Strike novel, The Silkworm because I was given it and honestly, I really enjoyed myself. So I’m going back to the first. I think I might have a thing for Strike, ngl.

  12. Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey. Dementia scares the living shit out of me so I think this will be a hard read, even though it’s won heaps of awards and will be great. It tells the story of Maud, who’s very forgetful. Yet, despite this fact she knows one thing: her friend Elizabeth is missing and somewhere deep inside her mind is the secret to an age old mystery. Oooooh.

  13. Clown Girl – Monica Drake. I read somewhere that Kristen Wiig is attached to the film version of this novel and that can only mean one thing: I’m going to dig it. The heroine is Nita, a clown in the midst of a crisis as she navigates poverty, clown fetishism and heart ache.

  14. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler. You’ve gotta love a fucked up family and it sounds like Rosemary’s can give mine and yours a run for their money.

  15. The Road – Cormac McCarthy. I asked Tom at work what his favourite book was and he said this. I haven’t seen the film adaptation so all I know is that the story contains cannibalism. I loved No Country for Old Men though so I’m hopeful I’ll enjoy this.

  16. My Friend Leonard – James Frey. The follow on from A Million Little Pieces (which I’ve previously reviewed here), this focuses on the paternal relationship between James and former rehab buddy, Leonard. Leonard leads something of a criminal lifestyle – how will that impact James’ quest to rebuild his life?

  17. Filth – Irvine Welsh. Another familiar story, as we’ve reviewed the film adaptation previously for the collab. However, I love Irvine Welsh (even though his language can be difficult to get into) and I’m intrigued to see what the book adds to my life. Probably quite a lot. The story of DS Bruce Robinson is peppered with sex, drugs, violence and anything else you can think of (not that you utter perv!) but at the core is a heartbreak that explains (almost) everything.

  18. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes. Just about to be a film starring Emilia Clarke, this has been all over the place for a long time. I don’t know how I’ll enjoy it as I’m not a huuuge chick lit fan but I’m still curious. In short, everything changes when Lou Clark meets Will Traynor. A bit of popcorn never ever hurt anyone, right?

  19. Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll. I’m expecting this to be a difficult read given that Knoll has revealed she was gang raped during her teens. Not only that but she suffered horrific bullying afterwards. So to have written a work of fiction based on her own life experience seems incredibly brave to me. Dreading it but also keen to know what it’s like.

  20. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara. I’ve wanted to read Yanagihara’s ALL for ages, as Twitter seems to have been awash with appreciators. Then I saw it on Mum’s nightstand, so I’ve nabbed it for myself (relax ma, I bought my own copy). Amazon describes this as “an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.” Which sounds pretty intense. I might treat myself to this as my last book.

    So that’s what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future. I reserve the right to change my mind about any of these books and replace them, although I’m not allowed to buy any new ones, so it will have to be a gift or a lend!

    Anyone else up for joining me? ❤

    UPDATE: My dear friend Lightle has signed up for a 10 book challenge and I’m stoked as shit for it!