October Round Up

I wish I had read more books this month. It seems silly when you take into account that I read 12 books this month, but, I feel I should have read more. My head space has been all over the place this month, between having a head cold, having intense air pressure migraines and just experiencing general stress and anxiety, I haven’t found a lot of peace or enjoyment.

I found myself in a rut of books where I couldn’t connect to what I was reading. Or, even worse, I found myself with books that just stayed as ‘words on a page’ and never morphed into a story to carry me away.

For the most part, I’ve read some good books this month and those that didn’t make the ‘good of the month’, I can at least recognise that they’re good books – even if I didn’t find them good. So, of the 12 I’ve read this month, there are 6 I want to feature here.

The good first.

I finally got round to reading ‘The Last House Guest’ by Megan Miranda, which I picked up on my trip to New York and I LOVED it. I cannot praise this book enough. It was rich in character and setting, the characters were fully formed with plenty of room to grow and – very important to my reading enjoyment – I didn’t guess the reveal. In fact, my theories of the reveal were so far from the truth and the reveal was someone I hadn’t even considered. I enjoyed that I was kept guessing throughout the book and that the culprit was so hidden from me.

Off the back of reading that, I got ‘Perfect Stranger’ on Amazon and read it the day after I completed ‘The Last House Guest’. In the last few years I have come to greatly enjoy book that make me think, not just in general terms but books that make me think about the characters and the people I interact with in my daily life. This book made me think so much about how we present ourselves to each other and played with the notion of ‘how well do you really know someone’. It was a single sitting read for me and I was gripped from beginning to end. I found the story very captivating and having now read two of Miranda’s books, I can see that her writing style is something that I’m going to enjoy a lot.

I want to get ‘All the Missing Girls’ but I can’t seem to find it in Hardback anywhere! (if you know of where I can get a hardback copy, please let me know below.)

Next, I want to talk about these two books. Both of these books were read in one sitting.

I have fallen in love with Emma Carroll’s work over the course of this year and find her books to hold effortless charm, amazing creativity and excellent characters. I hadn’t actually realised that she had a new book coming out, I spotted ‘The Somerset Tsunami’ in Waterstones and was at the checkout buying it before you could say my name!

Carroll is such an inventive writer, and this story blended history with adventure, fear, curiosity and wonder. The characters come alive within the pages and I find the stories she creates to be so rich and vivid in details. There was something special about this story that had me reading without moving. I was fully committed to the story as I read it and thought the characters were wonderful and that the adventure they went on allowed them to grow and flourish in a way that was very pleasing to read.

‘The Lost Tide Warriors’ by Catherine Doyle is a book I have been anxiously waiting to read. I read the first in the series back in March and was very captivated with the story and the blend of magic versus reality. I literally could not wait to plunge back into this story and to continue reading Fionn’s story. I greatly enjoy the variety of characters in this book and that they can all come together to work towards a common goal. Fionn acts with the weight of the world on his shoulders but he learns with each turn of the page, that it is alright to accept help. I found this book very emotional and fiery and I was left wanting more by the end of it. I can’t wait for book three.

Now onto the bad.

It pains me to admit it, but these two books did not fill me with excitement, happiness or a burning desire to read. Both books irked me for the same reasons.

‘Cuckoo’ by Sophie Draper has been sitting in my Kindle library for a fair few months and I have been reading it on and off since. I felt that the blurb offered to me, told of a different story than the one I was actually reading. I couldn’t connect to this book no matter how hard I tried. I didn’t find the character of Caro as someone I could get behind or someone that I wanted to read about. The Pear Drum was the only part of the story that caused adrenaline to spike within me but overall I found myself having to force myself into reading this and my enjoyment dried up the longer I read. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure what it was that I did read. I really struggled with my ability to process, and I’m still confused by the whole story.

‘Beneath the Surface’ by Jo Spain in the second in the Tom Reynolds series. I LOVED the first book of this series and devoured it in a single setting. Naturally, I was excited to read this second installment but found myself in disappointment. Something about this book didn’t click for me and I couldn’t find any part of it that connected with me. Perhaps if I had a better working knowledge of Ireland and their parliament, I might have been able to understand the details of the plot better. The first book was so compelling with intrigue, suspense, tension and action on every page and I felt that the plot of this one was an odd choice and one that didn’t resonate with me. However, I am still interested in the series, and the first book in the series sounds a lot more promising.

Outside of reading, I have been busy buying a lot of books this month. I have, at the time of writing this, read 125 books this year and a fair few that I’ve read on my Kindle, I’ve enjoyed so much that I finally bit the bullet and purchased them in paperback. They were all purchased on ‘The Book Depository’, which I discovered shipped to the UK this month.

It’s a long list!

  • Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan
  • The Girl with No Name by Lisa Regan
  • Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan
  • Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan
  • The Bones She Buried by Lisa Regan
  • Her Silent Cry by Lisa Regan
  • The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney
  • The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney
  • The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza
  • The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
  • Dark Water by Robert Bryndza
  • Still Life by Louise Penny
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  • The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
  • Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie
  • With Our Blessing by Jo Spain
  • Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain
  • Sleeping Beauties by Jo Spain
  • The Darkest Place by Jo Spain

I read Patricia Gibney’s ‘The Missing Ones’ on Kindle this month and liked it so much that I brought the first and second in paperback. Similarly I brought the first two Tom Reynolds books by Jo Spain and then the third and fourth in the series also.

I have always wanted to read Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, I found the second book in the series in Waterstones ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ but wanted to get the first in the series – as I can’t stand reading series out of order. I also got the third and fourth in the series.

I also got these six books on Kindle this week – as I can never resist the lure of 99p books. I’ve just started reading ‘The Dinner Party’ by R. J. Parker, which is so far, both addictive and compelling.

As November comes I plan to read the Children’s Books on my tbr shelf (7) and the YA on my shelf (10) and probably anything else that takes my fancy.

Many bookstagram’s are into Halloween at the moment or have been reading scary books for the duration of October. I however, am more interested in Christmas. It is my favourite time of year, followed closely with any occasion where I get to give presents to people.

Yesterday just happened to be pay day and my colour coded spreadsheet (I kid you not!), is looking very filled. Actually I have two spreadsheets, one for presents to buy and one for presents brought. I had two big baskets lined up to buy on pay day and now I only have 4 people left to buy for and 2 items left to get for my Dad’s Advent Box. I buy presents for 22 people and though my friends and colleagues tease me for getting presents done so early, I do it to spread the cost out and also because I’m currently saving for my mortgage deposit and the earlier I’m done with Christmas, the more money I can put into savings.

Review 1 – The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman – ★★★★

Review 2 – The Lost Tide Warriors by Catherine Doyle – ★★★★★

Review 3 – The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll – ★★★★★

Review 4 – Max Kowalski Didn’t Mean It by Susie Day – ★★★★★

Review 5 – The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney – ★★★★

Review 6 – Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly – ★★★★

Review 7 – Truth and Lies (A DI Amy Winter Thriller) by Caroline Mitchell – ★★★★

Review 8 – The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda – ★★★★★

Review 9 – The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda – ★★★★★

Review 10 – Beneath the Surface (Inspector Tom Reynolds Book 2) by Jo Spain – ★★★

Review 11 – Cuckoo by Sophie Draper – ★★★

Review 12 – The Secret Child (DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 2) by Caroline Mitchell – ★★★

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