My Favourite Books of the Year so Far!

While I haven’t been strictly counting, according to my rough calculations I’ve read around 70 books this year so far. It’s been one of my most interesting reading years so far, which I can put down to two things.

1) The influence of my work colleagues, who are avid fantasy readers. Although I loved the fantasy genre well before becoming a bookseller, their interest in fantasy has piqued mine and their recommendations have led me to some truly stonking reads.

2) My decision to get an Audible membership. As you can see, three of the titles below are audiobooks, and it has completely changed my reading habits. I now always have two books on the go, one print and one audiobook. It’s definitely helped to speed up my reading and increase the number of books I’ve been able to get through.

So, below (in no particular order) are my favourite books for the first half of this year – do yourself a favour and read a couple. Continue reading “My Favourite Books of the Year so Far!”

Book Review – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I received my copy of Eleanor Oliphant at the Big Book Bonanza event held by HarperCollins in London (thank you very much!).  It was the first big publishing event I’d attended and it was something of a revelation to walk around tables piled high with all kinds of brand new hardbacks and paperbacks and proofs and just… take what you wanted. I was literally like a kid in a sweet shop. I may or may not have staggered back to the tube with a tote bag stuffed full of 10 books. Continue reading “Book Review – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman”

This Bookseller Recommends: Title Recommendations for Fans of The Martian by Andy Weir

MartianEveryone has heard of The Martian, right? Andy Weir’s debut sci-fi novel has been made into a film starring Matt Damon (which, incidentally, I haven’t seen) and has just generally been raved about by everybody who has read it, myself included. It follows the story of astronaut Mark Wattney, who is left stranded on Mars after his crew depart the planet, convinced that he has died in a freak dust storm. Armed with a rapidly dwindling stash of supplies, his wits and a rather wicked sense of humour, Mark must survive completely alone on Mars until a plan can be formulated back on Earth to rescue him. Continue reading “This Bookseller Recommends: Title Recommendations for Fans of The Martian by Andy Weir”

Double Book Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt & I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson

The YA genre can be a bit hit-and-miss for me. I’m now 25 and some YA novels that I might have obsessed about 10 years ago now seem twee, slushy and/or overly predictable. However, recently I read two British YA contemporaries that were hard-hitting, completely unpatronising and that dealt with serious issues in a mature and thoroughly compelling way. Continue reading “Double Book Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt & I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson”

Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Essex Serpent Blue
Beautiful blue Waterstone’s exclusive hardcover – you can’t see from this picture but some of the detail is stunningly picked out in gold foil.

One of our titles for May book club, I have wanted to get round to The Essex Serpent for an embarrassingly long time. Waterstones Book of the Year, Overall Book of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction… I could go on with its various accolades but let’s just say it’s one of the most critically acclaimed books of the moment. Continue reading “Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry”

This Bookseller Recommends… Title recommendations for fans of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

MiniaturistI remember The Miniaturist being absolutely huge when it came out. The combination of a richly imagined and evoked city, a cast of complex, flawed and mysterious characters, along with a hint of magical realism and plenty of intrigue, all combined to create a darkly atmospheric historical novel that people are still talking about today. Continue reading “This Bookseller Recommends… Title recommendations for fans of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton”

My Top 5 Audiobooks (So Far)!

I absolutely love listening to audiobooks – my Audible subscription has been my most worthwhile investment in recent years. Audiobooks let me work on my TBR while out and about, as well as enable me to enjoy books (certain slower paced classics, for example) that I might struggle to finish in regular book format. As with regular books, there are certain audiobooks that stand out from the crowd. They go beyond a simple narration of the story – they are outstanding performances in their own right, to the extent that I feel that I would have lost out on something significant had I simply read them in book format. Continue reading “My Top 5 Audiobooks (So Far)!”