Summer Reads

used to be SUCH a big reader, but now it seems the only chance I get to read is on holiday. So I like to binge-read in the summer to make up for the fact that for the other 51 weeks of the year my reading material is comprised solely of the www. 

This holiday (and one binge-reading day afterwards) I managed a total of nine novels, plus a couple of non-fiction books, which I have reviewed in very brief fashion for you below. If you don't like thrillers, sorrynotsorry. I do. 

I should probably mention that I read all of these on the Kindle app on my ipad. I was SO anti e-readers for the first year or so after they came out, but then I realised that taking one device on holiday rather than a suitcase half-full of paperbacks would save me space, muscle damage and excess baggage charges. So I got a kindle. Then when I got an ipad I sold that on and have been using the app ever since. I prefer the app to the Kindle device, but I do get distracted mid-read by checking Facebook or blogs... I'm sure my reading days are numbered with el kiddo on the way, but I'm sure I'll be grateful for the one-handed operation of the app when I've got a tiny attached to my body in the middle of the night. 

On to the books... 

+ The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman 
I had high hopes for this book. It promised so much - I mean, it's a story about a librarian-cum-spy! It was disappointing. I think this might actually be Young Adult fiction, something I hadn't realised when clicking the 'download now' button on Amazon. Vampires, adventure...a bit too 'teen' for me. 3/10 

+ The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
I loved this. If you liked Gone Girl or are a Sophie Hannah fan (which I am), this should be right up your street. Mystery, intrigue, suspense - it's got it all. 10/1000

+ The Palace of Curiosities - Rosie Garland
I just didn't 'get' this. Is it historical fiction? Sci-fi? Romance? I didn't think the plot really went anywhere and it just left me feeling a bit...odd. 2/10 

+ Elizabeth Is Missing - Emma Heale
Loved it. This story is told from the point of view of an elderly woman with dementia and, as well as being a fab story, it really made me think about what it must be like to continually have things slipping just beyond the reach of your memory. A great story and a good plot twist. Fab. 10/10 

+ My Cleaner - Maggie Gee
I really enjoyed this. I liked the various characters whose  points of view you hear the story from, and I enjoyed the cultural dynamic portrayed in the book. 7/10 

+ The Lie - CL Taylor
A great, suspenseful tale about a group of friends who go travelling in their early 20s and experience a life-changing series of events. Fast forward about ten years or so and the past catches up with one of them. Good if you like a thriller, but the writing style didn't have me as captivated as The Girl on the Train. 8/10 

+ The Other Child - Lucy Atkins
Another thriller (so sue me - I like to be scared by books). A creepy tale that'll raise your anxiety levels just the right amount. 9/10 

+ Big Little Lies - Lianne Moriarty
I'd read a book or two of hers before, and not loved them, so I didn't have high hopes for Big Little Lies. I'm pleased to report I was wrong - this story is a great blend of humour, drama and thrills to keep you gripped until the very last page. Fantastic characters and I loved the way it was written. 9/10 

I also read a couple of baby-related non-fiction books, Minus Nine to One by Jools Oliver and Things I Wish I'd Known: Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood, which is a collection of essays edited by Victoria Young. The latter I enjoyed, even if some of the essays weren't super-relevant to me as they dealt with parenting older children. The former.... I really wish I could think of something positive to say about the Jools Oliver offering, but I can't. So I shall follow the oft-given 'if you can't say anything nice...' advice and say nothing. She is rather beautiful, though. There - something nice. 

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