book meme

WWW Wednesday | 04 Aug

Welcome back to another WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and the three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie. This has had a lot of hype around it’s recent release, and I was very much looking forward to it. It tells the story of Grace, who is writing from prison, jailed for a crime she didn’t commit. The twist is that she has actually killed 6 family members.

Despite really looking forward to this, I’ve been finding it very slow, one-note and overall disappointing. You’re told the conceit about her having killed 6 family members in the blurb and in the prologue, and then what follows is a really long and quite tedious recounting of how she did it. It’s not particularly fun, or funny, or interesting. I’m almost at the end and I don’t foresee my opinion changing on this one, unfortunately. It’s just not for me and I’m struggling to see what others are seeing and loving in this one.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Since my last check in, I finished Scenes of a Graphic Nature by Caroline O’Donoghue (2.5 stars), Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn (4 stars), The Mountain Sings by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (rtc, 5 stars) and Summerwater by Sarah Moss (rtc, 5 stars). I was blown away by both The Mountain Sings and Summerwater, and I heartily recommend them both!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think once I’ve finished How To Kill Your Family, I’d like to pick up either Cecily by Annie Garthwaite (a historical fiction that follows Cecily, mother to two future kings of England) or Plain Bad Heroines (a gothic horror following a secret society in a girl’s boarding school in 1902, and then also set 100 years later when a book is written about the events at the school and then adapted into a film). Have you read either of these? What did you think?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 14 Jul

Welcome back to WWW Wednesday, which is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and the three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Scenes of a Graphic Nature by Caroline O'Donoghue | Hachette UK

I’m currently reading Scenes of a Graphic Nature by Caroline O’Donoghue. I actually picked this up because I’d been listening to her Sentimental in the City podcast with Dolly Alderton, and was interested to see what her writing is like.

Scenes of a Graphic Nature follows lost 20-something Charlie, who feels like the world (and her friend, Laura) are passing her by and moving on while she is stuck in the same place, due to a disappointing career and the stress of her father’s illness. Charlie grew up in England, but has been recording her Irish father’s memories over the course of his illness – and when she gets the chance to visit her ancestral home, she jumps at it. however, Charlie soon starts to discover that maybe her dad wasn’t telling the truth about a tragedy that happened to him when he was a child, and so she starts to dig into it.

I’m about 1/3 of the way through this novel, and I’m enjoying the writing style – it’s very readable. Charlie isn’t necessarily that likeable, but not in a bad way; I think she’s got a lot of growing to do, which hopefully we’ll see over the course of the book. I also wonder if there are too many threads (the conspiracy around the tragedy in her dad’s past seems out of place at the moment) – but again, maybe they will all link beautifully by the end!

What did you recently finish reading?

When She Was Good - Cyrus Haven (Paperback)

I finished When She Was Good by Michael Robotham as part of the Tandem Collective readalong (this was gifted to me by Tandem and the publishers, but all views are my own). I enjoyed this book – I found it gripping, and I thought the characters were well written. However, I didn’t find the relationship between the two main characters (Evie and Cyrus) very convincing – there was a lot of telling us they were very close, but not much showing us. I also thought the ending was rushed and wrapped up too quickly. I’ll write a full review soon but I think this will probably be 3 stars.

I also recently finished House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, which I really enjoyed – you can see my review here – and Animal by Lisa Taddeo, which I still need to write a full review on.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I don’t know yet! I’ve been reading less ‘serious’ or heavy books recently because that’s just what I’ve felt like, and now I feel ready to sink my teeth into something a bit more serious. My favourite books of the year so far have been: Homegoing, Pachinko, Transcendent Kingdom and The Manningtree Witches. I would really like to read something with similar vibes/style to any of those books – does anyone have any recommendations? Thank you in advance!

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 26 May

Welcome back to WWW Wednesday, which is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and the three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward. I’m about 75% through it. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews of this one, and I really liked the first 50% but I’m not sure about the next part of the novel. A lot of people say that it’s not like anything they’ve ever written, and I’m not feeling this yet – it feels like a typical thriller to me. I’m hoping maybe something amazing/very surprising is going to happen in the last 25%.

I will say it’s very readable and engrossing though – I read that first 75% all in one go!

I’m also listening to an audiobook of The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie. I only started this one today so I don’t have much to say about this.

What did you recently finish reading?

After a very slow start to the month, I’ve not done so bad recently!

I’ve finished:

  • The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. I really enjoyed this and I posted my review today, you can check that out if you’re interested.
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. I found this a really fun and cleverly plotted YA mystery. Though you do have to suspend your disbelief, once you’re over that, it’s a really enjoyable ride and it keeps you guessing! My review is here.
  • The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. This was my first Agatha Christie book, it’s the first Miss Marple and it was also my first time listening to a fiction audiobook! I really enjoyed this – I think it’s the perfect sort of book for audiobook, and I loved the humour and vivid characters Agatha Christie creates. The narrator was Richard E Grant, who does a really good job of bringing her characters to life. Though slightly convoluted, I also thought the mystery was pretty great, and Christie writes the sort of closed-room mysteries I prefer.

Overall, it’s been a really good reading week!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I don’t think I’ve successfully predicted what I’m going to read next for approximately the last 2 months or so… I’m reading aimlessly with no rhyme or reason! But I’m enjoying it, which is what matters. So I think I will just see where the next week takes me and will let you know next Wednesday!

Have a good week everyone!

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WWW Wednesday | 5 May

Hi all and welcome back for another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. I really enjoy doing these as I feel like my reading rate has slowed down a bit so I don’t have as many reviews to post – but it means I can still check in with you all!

So, the three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Little Stranger: shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Amazon.co.uk: Sarah  Waters: 9781844086061: Books

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. This is a ghost story set in a crumbling 1940s mansion. This is my first Sarah Waters book and I’m really enjoying it so far! It feels quite Shirley Jackson-esque to me, though much, much longer – I think my edition is about 500 pages? It’s a real slow-burn; I’m about half-way through and most people are still not admitting there’s any form of haunting happening. So it’s definitely not for people who love a fast-paced plot! However, I’m really enjoying getting to know the characters and experiencing the post-war world and class struggles that Sarah Waters is depicting.

One of the things I loved about The Haunting of Hill House (review linked) is her use of terror – it’s the anticipation of something bad happening, rather than the actually bad thing, that’s truly scary. And I can definitely see hints of that in this book, which I’m really enjoying – so I’m hoping the second half of the novel can keep me as transfixed and happy as the first!

What did you recently finish reading?

Since my last WWW Wednesday post (4 weeks ago!), I have finished four books:

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  • The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse, which I was enjoying when I last wrote one of these posts, but which I ended up giving only 2 stars to. I found it disappointing, especially the reveal at the end.
  • The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore – I absolutely adored this book! Wonderfully written, really clever and poignant. I gave this five stars and I definitely recommend you read my review then pick it up!
  • Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – this was a NetGalley ARC, and I haven’t posted my review for this one yet, but I really didn’t enjoy it. It’s a ‘Greek retelling’ of Ariadne (who appears in the Minotaur myth – she’s the Minotaur’s sister), but I found this novel really boring and dry. It’s supposed to retell the myth from Ariadne’s point of view, but it does that quite literally – not adding anything new or giving her more agency or a different role to the original myths depict. I found it a real disappointment as I was very much looking forward to it.
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  • Sadie by Courtney Summers – this book is told partly by first-person accounts from Sadie, and partly through transcripts of a podcast that is investigating her disappearance. I thought this was well-written and I read most of it in one go, but it is an incredibly bleak novel with no lighter moments to balance it out. It felt like Summers had thought ‘what are all the bad things that could ever happen’ and then made them all happen to Sadie. I’m not adverse to gritty, realistic or dark novels (in fact, they are usually my favourite kind), but this was too much for me.
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

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    I have no idea… my TBR has really flown out the window in the last couple of months. The Little Stranger was on my February TBR! I think I’ll see what I’m feeling, but potentially The Divines or maybe The First Woman. I also have Cunning Women to review and am really looking forward to it – but wanted to leave enough space after The Manningtree Witches as they are both books about the witch trials in the 1600s.

    book meme

    WWW Wednesday | 14 Apr

    Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

    The three Ws to be answered are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?

    What are you currently reading?

    The Sanatorium: The spine-tingling Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick, now a  Sunday Times bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Pearse, Sarah: 9781787633315: Books

    I’ve just started The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – a bit late to the party as I feel like everyone has read this book already! The Sanatorium is a thriller set in an isolated hotel in the Swiss Alps, which was recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium. When Elin arrives to stay at the hotel, she is immediately put on edge… and that nervousness turns to panic when people start to disappear.

    I only picked this up last night so I’m about 50 pages into the novel, but I’m enjoying it so far! It has very short chapters so it’s very quick and easy to read.

    I’m also sort of currently reading Amazing Disgrace by Grace Campbell. By ‘sort of’, I mean I picked it up and read a couple of chapters just over a week ago, and I haven’t picked it up since. I wasn’t immediately taken by this book, which is a memoir/nonfiction book focusing on the concept of shame. I just don’t know if I enjoy the author’s voice very much. But I do want to give it another try.

    What did you recently finish reading?

    Tall Bones: The Sunday Times bestseller. “Compelling” – Paula Hawkins:  Amazon.co.uk: 9780857527394: Books

    So, since my last WWW Wednesday post, I’ve finished three books: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Tall Bones by Anna Bailey and The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris.

    I really enjoyed Tall Bones – it’s a haunting, twisty and dark thriller. I was less certain about Piranesi – I read it predominately because it’s on the Women’s Prize longlist – and I thought it had a really promising premise and loved the first half of the novel, but found the second half to be a let down.

    The Other Black Girl was a really good thriller – it’s been described as a combination of The Devil Wears Prada and Get Out. I’ll be posting a review closer to its publication date, which is 1 June.

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    I’m not sure what I’ll read after The Sanatorium. I recently ordered some new books (as a celebration for some good news I received – though who really needs the excuse?) so it might be one of them. As March was a bad month for me, I was mood reading a lot more, and I’ve continued to do this through April. For example, 4 out of the 6 most recent books I’ve read/am currently reading have been thrillers – I’m really into that genre at the moment, as I’ve read some phenomenal ones (Girl A and Tall Bones have to be some of the best I’ve read!). I do want to change it up a bit, but I’ll just see what I’m feeling!

    book meme

    WWW Wednesday | 31 Mar

    Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

    The three Ws to be answered are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?

    What are you currently reading?

    I’m actually between books right now! I finished Girl A by Abigail Dean the day before yesterday, and I didn’t get a chance to pick anything up yesterday as it was randomly 23 degrees in London and lockdown is finally being eased – so I went out to sit in a friend’s garden. It was my first time seeing someone other than my boyfriend (who I live with) since before Christmas – how surreal is that?!

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    Anyway, I am waiting for a copy of Tall Bones by Anna Bailey to arrive (hopefully today!) and that will be my next read, as part of a Tandem Collective Readalong (so I guess this should be (#gifted). I’ll be posting some stories and content on my instagram as part of the readalong, so feel free to join me over there if you would like to hear more about it! For now, here’s the synopsis:

    When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abi at a party in the woods, she believes, like most girls her age, that their lives are just beginning. Many things will happen that night, but Emma will never see her friend again.

    Abi’s disappearance cracks open the façade of the small town of Whistling Ridge, its intimate history of long-held grudges and resentment. Even within Abi’s family, there are questions to be asked – of Noah, the older brother whom Abi betrayed, of Jude, the shining younger sibling who hides his battle scars, of Dolly, her mother and Samuel, her father – both in thrall to the fire and brimstone preacher who holds the entire town in his grasp. Then there is Rat, the outsider, whose presence in the town both unsettles and excites those around him.

    Anything could happen in Whistling Ridge, this tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark – the truth of what really happened that night out at the Tall Bones…

    What did you recently finish reading?

    Girl A: Abigail Dean on her shocking debut novel that's taking the book  world by storm | Books | The Guardian

    Girl A by Abigail Dean, which was so unexpectedly good! It wasn’t what I expected at all in terms of plot – it was very character-driven, in the best way , and not your typical plot-driven thriller. It follows a girl who escaped from her parents’ house, freeing her younger siblings from their captivity. When we start her story, her mother has just died in prison, causing Lex to have to revisit her past, and through flashbacks and conversations with her siblings, we learn more about what when on in that house. It’s a very dark novel, but it’s not as bleak as I was expecting – and I think Abigail Dean does a very good job of balancing the novel, making it sensitive and not exploitative of trauma.

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    Since my last WWW Wednesday past, I’ve also read Luster by Raven Leilani – review here – and Rescue Me by Sarra Manning, a very sweet rom com about two people who fall in love after starting to co-pawrent a dog. My review is still come.

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    Hmmm, well I still have two books left on my March tbr. These are actually the same two books I put in this section of my post for my last WWW post – I’ve just been mood reading since then. So, I think that I will probably read The Mountains Sing or The Little Stranger next (after Tall Bones), depending on my mood. I’m hoping to get lots of reading done over Easter, so maybe one of these will be in the recently read section this time next week!

    book meme

    WWW Wednesday | 17 Mar

    Hi all! I’m back after a bit of a break with another WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

    The three Ws to be answered are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?

    What are you currently reading?

    Luster: Amazon.co.uk: Leilani, Raven: 9781529035988: Books

    I’m currently reading Luster by Raven Leilani. This was always on my tbr for this month, but I made it my next read after it was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction last week. I’ve only actually picked it up once so far, but I managed to read about 1/4 of the novel in that sitting – it’s quite a short book and moves at a brisk pace. Currently, I would say that I think the writing style is fantastic but I find the main character (Edie) quite aloof and detached – though perhaps this is because I’ve only sat down with the book once so far. I’m interested to see if my feelings change as I progress with the book.

    What did you recently finish reading?

    The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale | Waterstones

    At the weekend I finished The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale, which is a nonfiction book about a 13-year-old boy who kills his mum in Victorian London. It encompasses his actions right after the murder, his court case and then his life afterwards. As you might know, I’ve read and enjoyed both The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale, but I found this one was probably my least favourite – which was a surprise. I don’t know if maybe I’ve read all of these books too close together (all since Christmas) but I found this one slower than the rest and a bit repetitive. I think I’ll still give it four stars when I write my review, but I think it will have only just edged that.

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    The Mountains Sing: Amazon.co.uk: Quế Mai, Nguyễn Phan: 9781786079220: Books
    The Little Stranger: shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Amazon.co.uk: Sarah  Waters: 9781844086061: Books

    There are two books left on my tbr for March – The Mountains Sing and The Little Stranger – so we will see what I feel like next. However, I’ve found reading particularly challenging the last few weeks as I have had a lot going on personally, so I will definitely be listening to my instincts and just reading what I feel like.

    book meme

    WWW Wednesday | 3 March

    Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

    The three Ws to be answered are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?

    What are you currently reading?

    Transcendent Kingdom

    I’m currently reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (thank you to NetGalley & the publishers for a copy of this book), which is out in the UK on 4 March. So far, I’m really enjoying this one! It’s very different Gyasi’s other book, Homegoing, which I absolutely loved – but that’s not a bad thing. Transcendent Kingdom follows Gifty, a neuroscience PhD student who is studying the affects of depression and addiction. Switching between the present and the past, it also tells the story of her childhood, as part of a Ghanian family living in Alabama. Her writing, as expected, is superb.

    What did you recently finish reading?

    Every Last Fear: Amazon.co.uk: Finlay, Alex: 9781250268822: Books

    My last read was Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay, a thriller which grapples with two mysteries about the Pine family. Did Danny Pine, the eldest son, really kill his teenage girlfriend? A new true crime Netflix documentary thinks not. And, when the Pine family (apart from Matt, our main character), is found dead on holiday, was foul play involved? Or was it an accident? I linked my review if you’re interested in how I found it.

    Just before that, I finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – I absolutely adored it and I will be posting a very gushing review very soon, I’m sure.

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    Luster: Amazon.co.uk: Leilani, Raven: 9781529035988: Books

    I just posted my March tbr, so you can check that out to see all of the books I want to read this month. I haven’t decided what I want to read next – I think it’ll be very dependent on my mood. Perhaps Luster by Raven Leilani. I’m very intrigued to see if that lives up to the hype.

    What are you currently reading? And what do you think you’ll read next?

    book meme

    WWW Wednesday | 24 Feb

    Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

    The three Ws to be answered are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?

    What are you currently reading?

    Pachinko: The New York Times Bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Min Jin Lee:  9781786691378: Books

    I’m currently reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and I’m absolutely loving it! This is a generational saga following a Korean family who moves from Korea to Japan in the 1930s. I’m about 50% of the way through this book and I’m excited to see where it will go! The writing is really beautiful, the characterisation is rich and I’m learning so much about Korea and Japan in this period that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve only managed to pick it up twice, but considering it’s a large book (over 500 pages), I’ve made really good headway into it because it’s just so captivating. Obviously I have to see what the rest of the novel brings, but I could see this being a five star read.

    What did you recently finish reading?

    Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters, 1): Hibbert, Talia:  9780062941206: Amazon.com: Books

    Before Pachinko, I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown, which I really enjoyed! I hadn’t read a contemporary romance in ages – it’s definitely my first of the year and might be my first in like 6 months, so I found it very refreshing. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book and I think that if you like contemporary romance, you will like this one; it’s fun, fluffy, steamy, well-written and has really good representation. Chloe, the main character, has a chronic illness and Red is trying to overcome trauma from a previous abusive relationship – and I think both aspects were handled really well! I’ll definitely be able picking up the next two books.

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    I think probably Transcendent Kingdom, as I loved Homegoing and I want to get to it before it’s released in the UK in early March. After that, I’m completely unsure! I’ll be thinking about my March tbr later this week, so that should help me narrow down my options at least.

    What are you currently reading? And what do you think you’ll read next?

    book meme

    WWW Wednesday | 17 Feb

    Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

    The three Ws to be answered are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?

    What are you currently reading?

    Image result for get a life chloe brown

    I started reading Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert last night. I’ve seen lots of hype around this book and I’m really in the mood for a good rom com, so I’m very excited about this! I read around 10% of it last night before bed and have found it fun and captivating so far!

    What did you recently finish reading?

    I picked up The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson a couple of days ago (thanks to NetGalley for the eARC), but really struggled to get into it and I put it down for good yesterday evening. I just wasn’t enjoying it – though it has made me feel a little bit guilty as I hate dnf’ing books!

    Image result for the night swim

    Before that, I read The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, a thriller that I really enjoyed! [CW: Sexual abuse, skip to the next paragraph to avoid.] My review is still to come but I think I’ll give it four stars. It follows Rachel, a host for a true crime podcast, as she covers a trial for a rape case in a small town. While she’s in town, she also gets pulled into a cold case from 20 years before; the sister of the victim believes she was murdered, but the case was ruled an accidental drowning. I liked the juxtaposition of the two cases, and I found this a quick and engaging read. I think the author handled the sensitive subject matter particularly well.

    Before that I read Bunny by Mona Awad – my review will be posting for that soon, but in short: what on earth did I read?

    What do you think you’ll read next?

    Image result for pachinko min jin lee

    I set myself a four book tbr for this month, and I’ve already read three of them. The fourth is Pachinko, which I think I’ll dive into after my current read; a slight change of pace but I like mixing it up and reading some quicker books followed by some heavier ones. I think after Pachinko, I will jump into Transcendent Kingdom – the UK release date is 4 March and I have an eARC from NetGalley to read before then. I absolutely loved Homegoing so have very high hopes for that one!

    What are you currently reading? And what do you think you’ll read next?