According to Goodreads I have already read 53 books this year and it’s only part way through June. But here is a list of my favourite eight books so far. I have tried to include a number of first time authors as well as established authors. They are in no particular order:

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

I just loved this book. It’s 1911 and Peggy Battenberg works in the Moonrise Bookstore in New York. But Peggy is no ordinary shop girl. She’s an heiress belonging to one of the countries richest Jewish families. Then one day, while making martinis for an eminent – if rather salacious author – and his agent, Peggy is dragged away by her Uncle David to spend the summer in New York’s illustrious and hedonistic Coney Island with her extended family.

For my full review click here…

The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby

This book is so beautiful and sad, words cannot give it justice. Yes it’s slow at times – especially in the middle – and I guessed at some of the tragedies that do not come to light until the end, but don’t let that put you off. It’s not yet another book full of twists and turns and a shocking reveal. This is a gentle read about Romilly’s coming of age and one that will have you in tears at the end.

For my full review click here…

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor

Probably one of the reasons I loved this book so much was because it is set in my era. I was only 10 at the time, much younger than Evie, and still at Primary School, but I remember everything she talks about, from Adam Faith (I loved him – his was the first record I ever bought) to Atora Suet (still don’t know what that is but I can still see the packaging) and our Dansette record player, though ours was red.

For my full review click here…

I Am Dust by Louise Beech

Magical realism is my favourite genre, but I Am Dust is all out supernatural featuring dead crows, bad dreams, Ouija boards, strange voices and ghostly happenings. And I lapped it up. Every scene and every word. Brilliantly written, it revolves around three teenagers in 2005 who mess around with dark things they don’t understand.

I can’t praise this book enough. It’s spooky and entertaining and I love the seance scenes…

For my full review click here…

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman

This is such a hard book to review. It made me cry – buckets at times. It made me mad – how could ‘that’ have been allowed to happen? It made me sad many times for the wonderful, beautiful, real characters that Charity Norman has created. I loved every minute of this book.

For my full review click here…

Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton

I can’t praise this book enough. It has everything. Tears of sadness, tears of joy.

I literally read this in two sessions. I wasn’t sure what to expect, this being my first Fern Britton novel, thinking it was probably a romance set in Cornwall or a bit like The Shell Seekers (though I loved that book in my thirties). How wrong I was! This is a tale of three generations of incredible women.

For my full review click here…

The Split by Sharon Bolton

This was a roller-coaster of a ride from South Georgia (where even is that?) to Cambridge and back again. At times the pace of the story leaves you breathless and winded and you have to remind yourself to breathe. By the end I needed three Yoga sessions to bring my heart rate down.

For my full review click here…

Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar

You can read this book in two different ways. You can simply regard it as another psychological thriller featuring two main female protagonists or a protagonist and an antagonist, depending on whose shoes you are standing in, but if that is all you may be disappointed. Or you can see it as something much deeper. A power struggle between two women who should have been helping and supporting each other in the male-dominated world of publishing.

For my full review click here…
Nostalgia book
I also have two other categories:

Most Original Read of 2020

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

The Constant Rabbit is a serious insight into the human condition and how it will take another so-called ‘lower species’ (in this case rabbits) to make us realise who we really are and what we have done to this earth. It uncovers the hidden racism and the not-so-hidden hatred of anyone who is different. They’ll take over and then where will we be? It says a lot about our society and many people may even recognise themselves as marginally leporiphobic. I even cried at the end though I can’t say why without spoilers. And I laughed out loud many times throughout the book.

For my full review click here…

My Least Favourite

Mary Toft or The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer

Only one word I’m afraid – why?

It’s so well-written and educational but it’s tediously overlong and I just ask myself why anyone would want to use their undoubtedly talented writing skills to tell this awful tale.

For my full review click here…

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