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”

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)!”

This Bookseller Recommends… Title recommendations for fans of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

One of the most frequent requests I get from customers as a bookseller is, “I really loved [insert book here] or [insert author here], and now I don’t know what to read next.” With my This Bookseller Recommends series, I will take a highly popular book or author and recommend other books to read that I think are similar in subject matter, style or general feel. Continue reading “This Bookseller Recommends… Title recommendations for fans of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins”

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give
This is a proof – I believe that the UK cover is still black but has more detail; the US cover is VERY different – see which one you prefer!

This book is so important. It’s a book that I can not only see being hugely successful, but one that I believe will continue to be successful, and relevant, and maybe even studied in classrooms in the not-so-distant future. Inspired by the Black Lives Matters movement, this novel follows Starr, a 16-year-old black girl who witnesses the murder of her unarmed friend Khalil at the hands of a white policeman. Continue reading “Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas”

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I think I’m a little bit in love with Laini Taylor. She doesn’t just write fantasy; she writes bold, expressive, character-driven fantasy, with sentence after beautifully-crafted sentence building rich and complex worlds that demand to be explored. I absolutely adored the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, which made Laini Taylor my favourite fantasy discovery of 2016 (well, it’s a toss-up between her and Brandon Sanderson but it’s a very close competition). Continue reading “Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor”