Best Books of 2018!

img_0266[1]So I’m not getting this post up quite as soon as I would have liked, but it’s still one that I was determined to do.  I love seeing or hearing what people’s best books of the year were, often discovering many new reads that immediately make their way to my TBR. Knowing that they’ve stood the test of time against many other books always reassures me that there must be something worth discovering inside their pages. Plus its always very refreshing and exciting at the start of a new year to reflect back upon the reading year as a whole.

With all of the above in mind, I’m really excited today to be able to share my top ten books that I read in 2018! Narrowing it down is always hard, but I’m confident that the books I’ve selected are all worthy contenders that I not only thoroughly enjoyed reading, but have also stayed firmly in my mind months after finishing them! I also want to stress that these are placed in the order that I originally read them in, as having to further rank these ten was just too difficult of a task!

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Review: Heimat by Nora Krug

IMG_9942[1]I like to think that I’m a pretty broad reader, but when I actually sat down and thought about it I realised that there was one specific genre that I really don’t pick up; graphic novels and graphic memoirs. I’m not entirely sure why that is and I was never really aware of it as a conscious decision. I fell in love with words and language at a very young age so perhaps prose has always held my attentions since then. Either way, when I was contacted by a member of the team over at Penguin to see if I would like to review a graphic memoir I was thrilled. Firstly, it was an excellent chance to branch out in my reading, and secondly, I am a massive history buff!

Heimat: A German Family Album by Nora Krug is written from the authors own perspective. After growing up as a second-generation German after World War Two, we follow Nora as she struggles to come to terms with the past of both her country and her family. Across the book Nora comes to realise that she cannot come to terms with who she is without confronting the realities of where she’s come from. Delving deep into the history of her family members living under the Nazi regime, Nora is determined to face whatever the truth may hold.

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Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

IMG_9941[1]Right now my Instagram is pretty exclusively full of Autumnal reads, Halloween TBR’s and spooky book covers. Everytime I open up the app I am in heaven; Autumn is my favourite season and I love darker reads. That’s why it made complete sense for me to pick up a small but powerful book that I’ve had on my shelf since last Christmas. I’ve been holding off reading it as I waiting for the perfect reading opportunity, but now that Halloween is almost upon us the time is most definitely ripe.

I’m talking of course about the classic ghost story that is Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. Coming in at just under 200 pages this is more of a novella than a novel, but don’t let its small stature put you off as this book really does pack a powerful punch within its pages. Many of you may have seen the film or theater adaptation (both of which I really enjoyed), but for those of you that haven’t I highly recommend starting with the book first. The story is told by Arthur Kipps, recalling the time when he was a junior solicitor sent to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the only inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house is a solitary figure standing at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and uncertainty. When Mr Kipps first glimpses the figure of a young wasted woman, dressed head to toe in black, a sense of mystery and unease begins to creep upon him. This feeling is only heightened by his time spend alone in Eel Marsh House and the horrors he witnesses; horrors which the locals still refuse to talk about . . .

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

IMG_9661[1]Sometimes I just get a real craving for a certain kind of read. Last week I was after the cosy familiarity of a great classic piece of literature. This week I was craving some really good quality YA fiction. I do really enjoy YA but sometimes I feel that I’ve outgrown it a bit and I don’t pick it up as much. Having said that the YA market is booming at the moment and there are some really great reads to be had, so I still enjoying dipping into the genre as much as I can.

I recently went and bought myself a copy of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This came out last year and was a massive hit across the different bookish communities, providing a really relevant exploration of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.  It’s had such an impact that the film adaptation is actually coming out soon so I knew I had to get to it before then.

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Reading Wrap Up – August 2018

IMG_9591[1]As I’m writing this I can’t quite believe that August is over and we’ve already moved into September! The year is flying by and although the speed is slightly scary I am ridiculously excited for the cosy winter jumpers! But before I get carried away by the chill in the air and the thought of copious amounts of wool, I want to share with you all the books I read in the month of August.

Altogether I read nine books across August, which I’m very happy with. There was a real mixture of different types, including a play, non-fiction, YA and some Man Booker Longlisted books. Likewise, my ratings were pretty mixed as well, with some books which left me more disappointed than others. Without further ado, here are the books in the order I read them!

Review: Matilda by Roald Dahl

IMG_9464[1]When I think of my childhood and the characters I associated with the most, two main people always spring to mind; Belle from Beauty and the Beast  and Matilda, from the Roald Dahl book of the same name. I was obsessed with books from a young age, far more than anyone else I knew, which meant I quite often felt somewhat distanced from those around me. My poor parents would continually allow themselves to be dragged to the library where I would take out the maximum number of books to greedily devour at home. Remind you of anyone? As you might imagine I’ve always felt a connection to Matilda and I loved both the book and the brilliant movie adaptation growing up. Feeling a bit nostalgic recently I decided to re-reread the book!

For anyone who doesn’t know, Matilda is the story of a young and incredibly talented girl. With parents and an older brother who take little interest in her (unless it’s to shout at her), it’s amazing that this tiny little girl is naturally so very knowledgeable and intelligent. From a young age Matilda takes herself to the library, quickly reading all of the children’s books and moving onto the adult ones. By the time she starts school for the first time Matilda has far surpassed the rest of her class, a wonder her teacher, Miss Honey, is amazed by. Yet despite her talents and kindness Matilda is not loved by all. The headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is a fierce bull of a woman, who thinks nothing of grabbing a little girl by her plaits and swinging her high into the air. Can Matilda overcome not only this evil teacher, but also her criminal parents?

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