As a child, I used to love Summer holidays and heat waves – perhaps because August is my birthday month it used to get me giddy with excitement. As I get (a little bit) older I’m starting to gravitate towards the colder, cosier months. I’m loving the onset of Autumn where the leaves start turning and I can justifiably spend almost all weekend indoors curled up reading.
Last month I read four books, but had a couple of others on the go, which I’ll hopefully finish off this month:
The House by Simon Lelic (Penguin UK / Viking) – 4/5
Simon Lelic’s writing is great, every chapter reels you in inch by inch. As each layer peels away, we learn the truth – or deceit – behind The House, however every time I thought I had it sussed, I was wrong. My full review is here.
Wychwood by George Mann (Titan Books) – 4/5
At times Wychwood is gory, dark and chilling – it is a fantastic read, immersive and thrilling. It’s an ideal read for crime, horror and mystery fans! My mini review for the blog tour is here.
The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen , Translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books) – 4/5
A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What follows is a tale packed with dark humour as Jaakko tries to solve the mystery. I won’t say any more as my full review will be up on the blog on 17th October as part of the blog tour.
Spaceman: An astronauts unlikely journey to unlock the secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino (Simon and Schuster) – 5/5
This was my only non-fiction read of the month and it was out of this world (see what I did there?) – without a doubt it was one of my favourite books this year. I am fascinated by space, the universe, NASA etc. and this ticked all of those boxes. It was a story of incredible determination, strength, hard-work and how to never give up on following your dreams. I raced through this and was left feeling both humbled and inspired. I hope this gets into the hands of young dreamers to make them realise their wildest hopes can become reality with tenacity, compassion and the strength to get knocked down over and over again. If you’re interested in this subject matter I strongly urge you to pick this up as it was written in such an easy-to-read and relatable way; it wasn’t filled with jargon and technical terms as I’ve seen in other non-fiction Space books!
The two that I’m currently reading are:
The Good People by Hannah Kent
Nora, bereft after the sudden death of her beloved husband, finds herself alone and caring for her young grandson Micheal. Micheal cannot speak and cannot walk and Nora is desperate to know what is wrong with him. What happened to the healthy, happy grandson she met when her daughter was still alive? Mary arrives in the valley to help Nora just as the whispers are spreading: the stories of unexplained misfortunes, of illnesses, and the rumours that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Nance’s knowledge keeps her apart. To the new priest, she is a threat, but to the valley people she is a wanderer, a healer. Nance knows how to use the plants and berries of the woodland; she understands the magic in the old ways. And she might be able to help Micheal.
As these three women are drawn together in the hope of restoring Micheal, their world of folklore and belief, of ritual and stories, tightens around them. It will lead them down a dangerous path, and force them to question everything they have ever known. Based on true events and set in a lost world bound by its own laws, The Good People is Hannah Kent’s startling novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this long-awaited follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers.
Look For Her by Emily Wilmslow (Allison & Busby)
Annalise Wood has haunted the town of Lilling near Cambridge for decades. She went missing in 1976 and although her body was later found, the investigation went cold with no one held responsible. The memory of her and the grief and speculation surrounding her disappearance are engrained in the community.
Forty years on, another young woman stokes her obsession with Annalise, believing that sharing a name with the dead girl has forged a bond between them. When DNA evidence linked to the Annalise Wood murder comes to light, detectives Morris Keene and Chloe Frohmann reexamine the case, picking apart previous assumptions and finding sinister connections to a recent drowning.