As I haven’t written one of these before, these are some of the books I’ve read over the past year and loved. I only got back into reading when we went into lockdown so I guess that is one positive I can take from these weird few years.
The Book I Wish I Could Read For The First Time Again
Normal People by Sally Rooney: I felt this book deep in my soul. It was a rollercoaster of emotion. I literally couldn’t put it down, I’ve never read a book so quickly. I’d say this is possibly the best book I’ve ever read. If someone asked for a book recommendation it would be this. I fell in love with the characters, the storyline, everything. Even the television series was incredible and it is often hard to do a book justice (read the book first though).
If you love Normal People I recommend: Conversations with Friends. Also by Sally Rooney, this book is similar to normal people in writing style and plot. It too is about relationships and just as addictive. The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary. This too has a similar style to Normal People, jumping between characters each chapter, about a romance, also very sexy and yes addictive.
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell: If you want a book that is sort of a murder mystery sort of not then this book is fab. There’s no detectives trying to work out some crime, but instead a woman trying to work out her family history and what happened to them with plenty of plot twists and (in my case) wrong guesses. I gave this book to my nana to read and she really loved it, so Linda also recommends this one. I found another book written by Lisa Jewell in a charity shop so I am excited to give that one a read too.
If you love The Family Upstairs I recommend: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. This one takes even more of an unexpected journey and what I thought was happening did not.
The Slow Burner
Where The Crawdads Sing by Deila Owens: This book me (and some of the friends I’ve spoken to) a little bit longer to get into, but when we did it is hard to put down. It is beautifully written, deep, thoughtful and so detailed. It was a bit of a journey for me this book as I took a while away from it due to being so busy with university work, but when I did come back to it I could get properly invested. This isn’t like any other book I’ve read and is a fusion between romance, murder mystery and nature. It covers topics like race and class in a well written way.
Another slow burner: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo: I’m sure everyone has heard of, seen, or read this book by now and it deserves the recognition. When I say it was a slow burner it doesn’t mean I didn’t like it from the moment I started reading (because I did), it just wasn’t as instantly gripping and dramatic as books like Normal People. That’s because, like Where The Crawdads Sing it covers issues of gender, race, sexuality, identity, and domestic violence. It is so beautifully written and thought provoking in the way the different characters lives intertwine and connect.
The Murder Mystery
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osmond: This book became “the” book and was everywhere! I did enjoy this book, it is an easy read, great characters, humour and a different take on the typical murder mystery. However, it wasn’t that gripping for me. Towards the end when you’re trying to work out who it is and there’s lots of curve balls, confusion and guessing it is very addictive, I just wasn’t as invested in the plot as I have been with other books. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, as I did, and I will be reading the new one that has come out.
Another murder mystery I loved: All The Rage by Cara Hunter. I have only recently just finished this book and I found it very addictive I finished it pretty quickly. This is your typical whodunit book, it is gripping, dark, unexpected, and character driven. I’m definitely more of a romance girl I think than a murder mystery but I would read more of her books in this detective Fawley series.
I have so many more books on my read list so I will do more of these book recommendations as I read more.