January 2016 reads
So…We’ve finally reached the end of the most miserable month of the year. Admittedly, I feel like it went faster than it usually does, but that’s probably because I’ve done nothing but read continuously. My bank balance is crying. I seriously need to learn how to pace myself (or maybe it’s time I found another hobby).
Here are the books I’ve read this month. Feel free to let me know what you’ve read and enjoyed, or recommend books to get me through February!
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
I discovered that I owned this book on New Year’s Day and I have no idea when I bought it. I thought I’d be disappointed after reading all the hype about it, but I was pleasantly surprised (not to mention ashamed for not reading it sooner). I loved discovering more about Rachel’s life, her alcoholism and the reason why she’s obsessed with observing strangers from the train. Rachel is a great protagonist – she’s flawed, embarrassing and basically all over the place (just like the rest of us). The movie adaptation is coming this year – something to look forward to!
Published: January 2015 by Doubleday // Twitter: @PaulaHWrites
The Lie – C.L. Taylor
I read The Accident by C.L. Taylor last year and it kept me on the edge of my seat, but The Lie was even better. A group of friends go on a girls’ holiday to a retreat in Nepal to kick back and relax. The retreat is atop a mountain and is run by a creepy and sinister cult – perfect ingredients for a thriller. The friends think they’re in for a stress-free holiday of massages and yoga, but the cracks in their friendship show very quickly and the holiday turns nasty. The plot was dark and unpredictable and I liked how the girls’ clashing personalities made their relationship become toxic. I think a lot of female readers can relate to the problems these friends encounter in their group – feeling overshadowed by someone with a big personality, jealousy, subtle bitching and suppressed anger. I’m excited for C.L. Taylor’s next novel The Missing which will be out this year.
Published: April 2015 by HarperCollins // Twitter: @callytaylor
The Widow – Fiona Barton
This psychological thriller is about Jean Taylor, a woman whose husband is accused of kidnapping a toddler from her front garden. The mystery gradually unfolds, alternating between three characters’ points of view: Jean, DI Bob Sparkes and journalist Kate Waters. Although I was expecting more of a grand finale from this book, I was still hooked on each chapter. Read my full review here.
Published: January 2016 by Transworld // Twitter: @figbarton
My Life on the Road – Gloria Steinem
This is the first read in Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf feminist book club. It’s an intriguing insight into Gloria Steinem’s early life, career and her extensive campaigning for equality and women’s rights. She gives details about the people she’s encountered on her global travels, shares the wisdom of the remarkable women she’s come across and outlines the barriers encountered by activists over the decades. This is such an inspiring and educational autobiography – everyone needs to read it.
Published: October 2015 by Oneworld // Twitter: @GloriaSteinem
Disclaimer – Renee Knight
Disclaimer is one of the many thrillers that have been likened to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl over the past couple of years. In all honesty, it’s irritating to see this comparison thrown around all the time. The protagonist Catherine receives a mysterious novel from a stranger and is horrified to find out someone has written about the secret she’s been hiding for years. Someone wants to punish her and unearth a terrible part of her past, but this person doesn’t know her side of the story. I found the plot quite hard to get into and it moved at a slow pace, but the curveball definitely made it worth while.
Published: April 2015 by Doubleday // Twitter: @ReneeEKnight
Sweet Memories of You – Ellie Dean
This is a wartime novel about love, loss, friends and family, the most recent in Ellie Dean’s Beach View Boarding House series. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, as the plot was lacklustre and and only a couple of the characters were mildly interesting. Check out my full review here.
Published: January 2016 by Arrow
Without Trace – Simon Booker
Without Trace is the debut novel from screenwriter Simon Booker and the first of the Morgan Vine series. Morgan is a fiercely protective mother and she’s passionate about miscarriages of justice. She’s convinced that her old boyfriend Danny has been framed for a murder he didn’t commit. Her own daughter goes missing shortly after Danny is released from prison and she’s no longer sure he’s innocent after all. Morgan is a smart, funny and snarky leading character and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to in the next instalment. Take a look at my full review here.
Published: January 2016 by Twenty7 // Twitter: @SimonBooker
Now… can anyone recommend any good books for February?