A terrible start to the week, with some two-star ratings, but it picked up fairly quickly. Unbecoming and P is for Pearl were incredible, gut-wrenching YA novels, Spill Zone was a great graphic novel, and I adored Death on the Nile, my second foray into Agatha Christie. But ten books in one week is not bad at all!
Adventures of a Compulsive Traveller – Dominic Dunne (Australian author) (2 stars)
I wanted a fantastic travel memoir, I got something that could have been written by a washed out politician. The only interesting thing I discovered from this book is that there is a museum in Croatia called The Museum of Broken Relationships – I definitely want to visit. However, I remember nothing about the rest of the places Dunne visited. I didn’t find his style engaging or humorous…
And Then You’re Dead: A Scientific Exploration of the World’s Most Interesting Ways to Die – Cody Cassidy & Paul Doherty (2 stars)
This felt like it was written for a child, but the content was quite adult. I am rather interesting in death and morbid things at the moment, but this book honestly bored me to tears… At least I know I can’t die from boredom?
Unbecoming – Jenny Downham (4 stars) Read more
My overall favourite this week, and a strong contender for favourite of the year was The Growing Season! It is just amazing scifi. I also really loved the beautiful The Museum of Words by Georgia Blain and middle-grade mystery, The Lie Tree.
The Growing Season – Helen Sedgwick (5 stars)
I read The Comet Seekers earlier this year, also by Helen Sedgwick. I loved the writing, but wasn’t 100% sold on the story. However, I still thought I would give her another try. And I am THRILLED that I did! This book is phenomenal. It takes place in a world like ours, only pouches have been developed so that women do not have to carry babies and face the pain or risk of childbirth. Instead, the burden of carrying the pouch can be shared between parents. In this world, the task of child-rearing is more equal too. But FullLife, the company behind the pouches, has been hiding things. And Eva, an anti-pouch campaigner, is determined to reveal it to the world. Together with her ex, journalist Piotr, she searches for the truth. Why is FullLife suddenly promoting natural birth? The story was fascinating! Told through audio logs from an unknown older woman who developed the pouch, through the eyes of Eva and Piotr and Holly, the first woman to carry her child in a pouch. Beautifully written and a completely fascinating science fiction about women. Pertinent issues about abuse and misogyny were also raised, though more on the periphery than as the central story. Fascinating and completely brilliant.
The Truants – Lee Markham (3 stars) Read more
It wasn’t a bad reading week at all, though it felt slow while it was happening! Some of them were pretty skinny though! Favourites were Wayfarer and The Subtle Knife!
The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman (5 stars)
HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT WILL? He was basically my first crush and I kind of forgot about him completely! HOW? Anyway, this book is glorious and wonderful and I encourage EVERYBODY to read the series. Audio is a fabulous way to get into it, but so are the books!
In the Midst of Winter – Isabel Allende (3 stars) Read more
I started listening to The Northern Lights on audio this week, and it is amazing – everyone get on it NOW! I found a lot of the books I read this week slow to start, but I ended up enjoying them all! Cruel Prince and Zenith were my next favourites – so much fantasy this week! I’m hoping I’ll get through a greater stack next week; it’s been a bit slow…
The Northern Lights – Philip Pullman (5 stars)
Absolutely fantastic! I’ve been meaning to reread the series before The Book of Dust comes out in October, and audio was a perfect opportunity! There is a whole cast of voice actors which makes listening a really great experience. I had forgotten how wonderful the stories were. Lyra is a ballsy, wonderful character and her adventures are just wonderful. The armoured bears, the daemons, dust, Oxford, the alethiometer – all of these things come together to create a fantastic story. I also think I took a lot more away from it reading as an adult rather than a child.
Zenith – Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings (4 stars) Read more
Six books this week – finished off an eBook I have been reading for AGES! I had two days off work to get a wisdom tooth out, but didn’t get all that much reading done… Favourites this week were the sequels to A Darker Shade of Magic and In the Quiet. I was really disappointed in Quid Pro Quo – it was written as if for teenagers, and didn’t really give me any new information about the Latin language and its influence on English.
A Gathering of Shadows – V. E. Schwab (4 stars)
A Darker Shade of Magic left me with so many questions and this book answered *some*. It did, however, introduce me to my favourite character so far – Alucard, Lila’s captain on the privateering crew she joined! The main storyline revolves around the Element Games, a competition for magicians. Both Kell and Lila enter in disguise. And then, right at the end, in what I feel is a Schwab trademark, things get super intense and lead perfectly into A Conjuring of Light. I am so glad I had the third book ready to go – I don’t think I could have waited for this one!
In the Quiet – Eliza Henry-Jones (Australian author)(4.5 stars) Read more
A really really good reading week this week. I didn’t read a lot, but what I did read was AMAZING! I Am, I Am, I Am, a memoir by Maggie O’Farrell was just astonishingly wonderful, as was Naomi Alderman’s The Power!
The Power – Naomi Alderman (5 stars)
What an incredible piece of fiction. Fast-paced, thought-provoking, horrifying and wonderful, it tells the story of a world where women discover they can channel electricity. The entire structure of society shifts, and Naomi Alderman tells the story of the change through a variety of voices. Margot is a politician. Tunde is a young male journalist. Roxy is the daughter of a crime lord, with incredible power. And Allie is an abused young girl who becomes a cult leader. It is absolutely fascinating. I loved the little asides reframing historical artefacts in the context of the women’s power. A perfect book club read!
A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab (4 stars) Read more
I wasn’t sure whether to call this an August or a September recap… Technically we’ve only had three days of September, so I’m going with August! I moved back in with my parents, which means I have a horrendous commute again, but weirdly, I didn’t actually read all that much. Still getting used to the early mornings maybe? There was a lot of napping on the train. My favourite read this week was All the Birds in the Sky. READ IT! SO GOOD!
Heart – Johannes Hinrich von Borstel (2 stars)
I really really loved Giulia Enders’ Gut and I had assumed that this would be similar, a funny, but informative account of the workings of the heart. However, this book focussed primarily on the author’s own journey into medicine and why he himself was interested in the heart. The moments when he did talk about the workings of the organ used a fair amount of jargon, and I was disinterested. Not a fun science book by any means…
Strings – David Estes (3 stars) Read more