Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

IMG_8758[1]As some of you may already know, I’ve recently dived right into reading a lot of the Women’s Prize for Fiction books. I really want to read all of the shortlisted books this year, and although that list hasn’t yet been finalised, I’ve already started picking off some of the ones which have made the longlist. Prior to picking up this book I’d just finished reading Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done. I thoroughly enjoyed this historical crime novel, as you can see from my review. Wanting to continue the train of great books I decided to next read what is probably the most hyped up book on the list this year; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Everyone’s been raving about this book on Booktube and Instagram and everywhere in between. It’s made countless bestsellers lists, has won the 2017 Costa Book Awards and the rights to the film have already been bought by Reese Witherspoon. A lot to live up to then, but what is it really about?

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Review: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

IMG_8757[1]Everyone knows how much I love the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and this year I’m more determined than ever to read all of the shortlisted books. When the longlist was recently announced I was really excited to see such a diverse range of books, including some I already had sitting handily on my shelf.

One of the books I already owned was See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. This book had a lot of hype surrounding it when it was initially released, so the fact that it’s been longlisted for the prize was just an extra incentive to pick it up. It’s actually an historical crime novel which takes inspiration from the case of Lizzie Borden. Lizziewas an American woman who became infamous after being accused of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. In this novel Schmidt uses this crime to delve deeper into the lives of the family, exploring the dynamics and relationships between them whilst also exploring what might trigger someone to commit such an atrocious crime.

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Review: Perfume by Patrick Süskind

IMG_8739[1]For quite a few years now two of my goals in life have been to read every book from the ‘BBC’s  Big Read’ and the Guardian’s ‘1000 Novels Everyone Must Read’ list. It’s not something I’ve been following religiously, and I definitely need to make it more of a priority to actively begin ticking off more of the books which appear. When I realised the other day that it had actually been quite a while since I’d really ticked anything off, I decided to pick a book and kickstart my mission for the rest of this year.  I ended up picking Perfume by Patrick Süskind, a book which I actually got for Christmas in my Christmas book haul.

Perfume is an absolutely gorgeous book. I have no qualms in saying that I would definitely have picked up the novel purely for its intricate cover design. With a morbid combination of flowers, skulls and scissors, its a very thought provoking book. But what is it about? Well, as the subtitle suggests, Perfume: The Story of a Murder, is a novel which follows a man turned murder by the name of Jean-Baptise Grenouille. Born with an incredibly gifted sense of smell, Grenouille becomes a master perfume maker, capable of creating scents which other could never have even conceived off. Yet Grenouille tastes cannot be satisfied in the same way that the rudimentary noses of everyone else can be. He craves an illustrious scent, something which lays far beyond the realms of anything else he has ever smelt before. And when he find it, Grenouille will stop at nothing to capture the scent for his own.

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Review: Books For Living by Will Schwalbe

IMG_8694[1]If you’re a book lover and you stumble across something with the grand title Books For Living: A Reader’s Guide to Live, surely you’re going to pick it up! Am I right? I’m sure I must be right, because as soon as I saw this enticing title I knew I needed this book on my shelves. When I was lucky enough to receive a review copy in the post I was even more delighted, for the cover is absolutely stunning! It’s a naked hardback which feels pleasantly light and easy to hold in your hand, with the fresh and vibrant greens and blues of the cover only increasing my desire to consume this as quickly as possible.

The author of this aesthetically pleasing book is actually pretty well known for his previous best selling book, The End Of Your Life Book Club. In that book Will Schwalbe detailed the books he read with his mother as she was dying from cancer, giving readers an emotional insight into the power which books hold within our lives. His second book, Books For Living, explores similar ideas, albeit in a different way. In Books For Living the author takes us on a journey of his life through some of the most meaningful books he has read along the way. Using these books, he explores the ways in which literature can shape and influence our lives, filling us with stories from his own personal experiences whilst also fuelling our own ideas about how we view the books in our lives.

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New Look Clothing Haul!

IMG_8651[1]Spring is here! Well, it’s still raining as I sit here typing this, and I’m still wrapped up in my fluffiest dressing gown, but there has been a significant improvement in the British weather as of late! Don’t get me wrong, Autumn and Winter are my favourite times of the year, and I love nothing more than putting on a cosy jumper and wearing chunky boots. As much as I love it though, I am excited to see the spring/summer trends already making their way into the high street shops.

Feeling inspired, and telling myself that I deserved a little splurge, I had a little look online and found some new pieces that I couldn’t wait to collect in my wardrobe. This isn’t really a spring/summer clothing haul, as I think it’s still just a little too cold here in Wales to be baring the legs for Instagram just yet! There are still some slightly summery pieces in here though, as well as some great transitional jumpers and t-shirts! So without further ado, let’s get into what I bought!

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Review: The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson

IMG_8683[1]I love it when a book takes you by surprise! I think all too often we see and hear about books on social media or through friends, forming these impressions of the book before we even pick them up for ourselves. We see bestsellers and prize winning novels flaunted at us from every angle, basing our first impressions on the accolades the novel already possesses, listening to the buzz which follows furiously alongside it. How refreshing it is then, to pick up a book and to know relatively little about it. How exciting to form our own first impressions without any preconceptions which have been influenced by others; to simply read the blurb or the first few lines, and decide that this could be a book for you. And how much greater all of this is then made by the book being an absolutely brilliant read!

The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson is one such book. I initially picked it up purely on the merits of the blurb, free from any outside recommendations or reviews to skew my viewpoint, only to find myself drawn into a world which I couldn’t devour quick enough.

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