October 2020 Round Up

It’s the end of another month and despite the chaos of moving house and starting a new job, I’ve still managed to squeeze some reading in so please enjoy and happy Halloween!

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe

  • Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi
  • Publisher: Picador, 2020
  • Summary: Following on from Kawaguchi’s debut novel, this delightful sequel returns the reader to a little cafe in Tokyo that can transport customers back in time and explores how we’d go to see the ones we love.
  • Rating: 4/5

The Other Mother (Audiobook)

  • Author: Jen Brister
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Summary: Stand-up comedian, Jen Brister, recounts the trials and tribulations of raising twin boys as a same-sex couple, and being the ‘other’ mother.
  • Rating: 3/5

After the Silence

  • Author: Louise O’Neill
  • Publisher: Riverrun, Quercus, 2020
  • Summary: The infamous murder of the Crowley Girl has been talked about on Inisrun for the past years, but now a pair of Australians have arrived to make a documentary on the case and old wounds start to reopen.
  • Rating: 5/5

The Silent Patient

  • Author: Alex Michaelides
  • Publisher: Orion, 2019
  • Summary: Alicia was living what seemed to be a perfect life until the day she shot her husband 6 years ago and no one knows why. And she hasn’t spoken a word since.
  • Rating: 3/5

September 2020 Round Up

So life’s been slightly crazy and I may have been a little absent for the last month but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading so here’s another monthly round up.

Grown Ups (Audiobook)

  • Author: Marian Keyes
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph, 2020
  • Summary: The Casey’s are a glamourous family that spend a lot of time together. And they’re a happy family…at least on the surface. But when Cara, Ed Casey’s wife, bumps her head and can’t keep her mouth shut, the many family secrets start to unravel.
  • Rating: 3/5

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race (Audiobook)

  • Author: Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Circus, 2017
  • Summary: Awar-winning jouranlist, Reni Eddo-Lodge, offers an illuminating and necessary exploration of what it is to be black in Britain today.
  • Rating: 4/5

My Dark Vanessa

  • Author: Kate Elizabeth Russell
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate, 2020
  • Summary: In this original novel, a 15-year-old girl has what she understand as a loving, sexually awakening relationship with her teacher. However, years later, in a post-Me-too era, she is 32 and he has been accused of sexually abusing another former student, forcing Vanessa to confront it for what it was, and redefine what she thought was a great love story as abuse.
  • Rating: 4/5

The Graduate

  • Author: Charles Webb
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, 1999
  • Summary: The iconic novel of how college graduate, Benjamine Braddock, returns home feeling disillusioned with his future and starts an affair with his parents’ friend; Mrs Robinson.
  • Rating: 3/5

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

  • Author: Maggie O’Farrell
  • Publisher: Headline Review, 2013
  • Summary: In the middle of tending to her vintage clothing shop and avoiding her married boyfriend, Iris Lockhart receives a phone call informing her that a great-aunt, Esme Lennox, whom she’s never heard of, is being released from Cauldstone Psychiatric Hospital, where she’s spent the last 60 years of her life.
  • Rating: 5/5

July 2020 Round Up

Another month, another list of books…It’s that time again where I look back at everything I’ve read (and watched) over the last 30 days. More in depth reviews of the books will be up over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for those.

The Five People you meet in Heaven

  • Author: Mitch Albom
  • Publisher: 23rd September 2003, Hyperion
  • Summary: War veteran Eddie dies on his 83rd birthday in a tragic accident while trying a say a little girl. He wakes up in the afterlife to be individually greeted by five people who had an impact on his life and explain to him the meaning behind his life.
  • Rating: 4/5

Loveless

  • Author: Alice Oseman
  • Publisher: 20th July 2020, HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Summary: Georgia starts university with her two best friends in a town on the other side of the country. She went looking for romance but instead finds questions of sexuality and identity.
  • Rating: 4/5

Exciting Times

  • Author: Naoise Dolan
  • Publisher: 2020, Weidenfeld and Nicolson
  • Summary: Ava is a poorly paid Irish TEFL teacher in Hong Kong when she meets Julian. Julian is a wealthy English banker who likes to spend money on her and lets her stay in his guest room. Then Julian goes back to London and Ava meets Edith who actually listens to her and openly cares. But what will happen when Julian announces he’ll be returning to Hong Kong?
  • Rating: 3/5

Before the Coffee gets Cold

  • Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi
  • Publisher: December, 2015, Pan Macmillan
  • Summary: There’s a small cafe in Tokyo that offers its customers the chance to travel to the past. However, they cannot leave their seat and they have to finish their coffee before it gets cold.
  • Rating: 4/5

Difficult Women

  • Author: Roxane Gay
  • Publisher: 2017, Corsair
  • Summary: A collection of short stories exploring the nuanced and varied experiences of being a woman.
  • Rating: 5/5

The Vanishing Half

  • Author: Brit Bennet
  • Publisher: 2020, Dialogue Books
  • Summary: Twin sisters who were once inseparable grow up and choose to live in two different worlds; one black, one white.
  • Rating: 5/5

Unorthodox (Netflix Original)

  • Network: Netflix
  • Based On: Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman
  • Summary: An orthodox Jewish woman flees her aranged marriage in Brooklyn to start a new life in Berlin.
  • Rating: 5/5

May/June 2020 Round Up

These past two months have been a slower in terms of reading while I was finishing university so here’s a round up of both May and June.

It’s not about the Burqa

  • Author: Mariam Khan
  • Publisher: 21st February 2019, Picador
  • Summary: An anthology of essays by Muslim women on their experiences relating to faith, sexuality, feminism, racism and various other topics.
  • Rating: 4/5

Motherhood

  • Author: Sheila Hetti
  • Publisher: 7th June, 2018, Henry Holt and Company
  • Summary: A novel exploring what is gained and lost when a woman chooses to become a mother.
  • Rating: 4/5

Frankisstein: A Love Story

  • Author: Jeannette Winterson
  • Publisher: 21st May 2019, Jonathan Cape
  • Summary: Winterson brings together speculative fiction and historical fiction in a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein.
  • Rating: 3/5

Little Eyes

  • Author: Samantha Schweblin
  • Publisher: October 2018, Simon and Schuster
  • Summary: A slow burn, psychological thriller in a world filled with kentukis, of which you are either a keeper or a dweller. Would you rather be inside someone elses home or have someone in yours?
  • Rating: 3/5

April 2020 Round Up

The one upside to being in lockdown, if there even is one, is that I’ve had plenty of time to read this month.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

  • Author: Cho Nam-Joo
  • Publisher: 14th October 2016, Minumsa
  • Summary: The novel depicts the everyday sexism experienced by Kim Jiyoung from being a young girl to becoming a housewife and stay-at-home mother.
  • Rating: 5/5

Girl, Woman, Other

  • Author: Bernardine Evaristo
  • Publisher: 1998, Vintage
  • Summary: Follows the lives of twelve different characters, most of whom are women, most of whom are people of colour.
  • Rating: 5/5

Queenie

  • Author: Candice Carty-Williams
  • Publisher: 19th March 2019, Orion Publishing
  • Summary: Queenie Jenkins is a young Jamaican British woman living in London and trying to cope after a messy break up with her long-term white boyfriend.
  • Rating: 4/5

The Night Circus

  • Author: Erin Morgenstern
  • Publisher:2012, Vintage
  • Summary: The Night Circus arrives without any warning and disappears as though it was never there to begin with. Visitors marvel at the wonders inside but they know little of the true secrets of the circus.
  • Rating: 5/5

Normal People (Novel)

  • Author: Sally Rooney
  • Publisher: August 2018, Faber and Faber
  • Summary: Marianne and Connell try to maintain their relationship in the face of class differences whilst transition from high school to university.
  • Rating: 4/5

Normal People (BBC TV Adaptation)

  • Network: BBC One
  • Original Novel: Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Synopsis: See above summary.
  • Rating: 4/5

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

  • Author: Matthew Walker
  • Publisher: 3rd October 2017, Penguin Random House
  • Summary: A popular science book about the science behind why we sleep.
  • Rating: 3/5

Thanks for reading, keep an eye out for my reviews of Normal People and The Night Circus over the next week, or follow the blog to receive email alerts!