October Reads

I had a bit of a slower month in October as I was on holiday and didn’t end up having as much time to read as I’d have liked. As usual, if you’ve read any of the below I’d love to hear what you thought.

The Girl With All The Gifts – M.R. Carey (Orbit) – 4/5

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I’m not usually a lover of sci-fi/ dystopian novels, but seeing as countless friends recommend The Girl With All The Gifts to me I thought I’d give it a go. Throughout, we follow Sergeant Ed Parks, teacher Helen Justine, hungry Melanie and scientist Caroline Caldwell as they deal with a funghal infection that has wiped out most of humanity. This was a thrilling read that really captured my imagination and attention. I was expecting a really predictable ending, and thought I knew the outcome, but instead I was met with a clever twist – if you’re looking for something a bit different from your usual zombie thriller, definitely give this a go. 

Spectacles – Sue Perkins (Penguin) – 4.5/5

I actually listened to this on audio book, but boy did I enjoy it – I think it was made even better because Sue Perkins narrated it herself. Spectacles had me both laughing and crying on my commute to work, it was everything I’d hoped it would be, funny and personal but also unexpectedly tender. Perkins embraces weird by the scruff of the neck and reminds us that it’s okay not to live a perfect life, in fact it’s probably better off that way. If you’re a lover of Bake Off, or are a fan of Sue, I highly recommend this one!

The Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream – Katharine Norbury (Bloomsbury Paperbacks) – 4/5

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This was one of the books I’d won as part of the Wainwright Prize package, from Mercy’s Musings. The Fish Ladder follows Katharine’s journey, where she challenges herself to follow a river from the sea to its source – it’s much more than a physical journey and one also of self-discovery. I found this book touching and tender, and the way in which Norbury weaves nature into the narrative is beautiful.

His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband) – 4.5/5

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When the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced I knew I had to read His Bloody Project. I’m well aware you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw this book in Waterstones I knew I had to give it a read – it is so beautifully published and it looked right up my street. This year it was great to see independent publishers, such as Saraband, on the shortlist. His Bloody Project is a story about a crime, rather than a crime story, if you’re expecting a who dunnit or murder mystery then you’ll likely be disappointed. Throughout, we follow Roderick Macrae who has committed a crime in his isolated Scottish hamlet – Macrae Burnet tells the story lyrically and keeps you captured to the very last page. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

Luckiest Girl Alice – Jessica Knoll (Simon and Schuster) – 3/5

This is your typical trashy ‘crime’ novel. Mid-month I was in a bit of a reading rut and this was the ideal book to speed through and get me out of it. We start off hearing about TifAni FaNelli’s perfect life, which quickly unravels as we learn about her dark past and a high-school event that changed her life. I wouldn’t rush to recommend this, but I did enjoy it for what it was; a quick and easy read.

#Girlboss – Sophia Amoruso (Portfolio) – 2/5

I was disappointed by this. I was expecting this to be part memoir, part business advice, but instead it just screamed of Amoruso’s huge ego. Don’t get me wrong, she’s got every right to be proud of the ‘empire’ she’s created, but to keep going on about the meteoric rise of it and millions she has made was not what I was expecting. When I posted a picture of this on Instagram I had other business book suggestions to read including Step Up Club and Lean In.

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