Wednesday 25 August 2021

Some 5* books that I've enjoyed recently

 This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Over the last year the number of books that I've read has increased massively, and the main reason for this has been my local library. It's only small so I wasn't in the habit of visiting regularly, but since they introduced free reservations last spring I've been going there at least once a week to both pick up the books that I've reserved and to browse the shelves for more books. I will really miss those free reservations once they've come to an end!

So I thought I'd pass along just a few of the top books that I've enjoyed recently, in case anyone is looking for reading inspiration.

The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin This was a very moving dual timeline book about an old man suffering from dementia, with only vague and fleeting memories of his life in the Second World War and the young woman that he fell in love with. I'm not always a fan of dual timeline historical fiction but this one worked really well and the details of the full story were revealed at a good pace. Perhaps not the most cheerful of topics but it was beautifully written. 

Mr Wilder and Me by Jonathan Coe Before reading this book I was only vaguely aware of the famous  Hollywood director Billy Wilder, having watched a couple of his films during my Media Studies A-Level many years ago. The story follows a young woman who also knows almost nothing about him but finds herself working on the set of his film Fedora. It's a coming of age story ,and although the story is fictional it's rooted in fact. It was a fascinating behind the scenes look at Hollywood in the seventies.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery This was recommended by my sister and I enjoyed it very much. It's the story of Valancy Stirling, unmarried at the grand old age of 28 and living with her overbearing mother and aunt. She dreams about living in a Blue Castle where all her dreams of romance can come true. When she is diagnosed with a heart condition and given only a year to live she decides to rebel and finds herself living for real the life that she's always dreamed about. But what will happen when the year is up?

Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Schriver This is a very cleverly written book. It's about a couple in their fifties that decide, rather than becoming a burden on their family and society as they age, they will commit suicide together at the age of 80. The book then takes a look at a variety of different scenarios that could play out - some realistic and some not so much! It was a funny read, and also leaves you thinking about the decisions that we make and how they affect our lives.

The Skylarks' War by Hilary McKay I picked this one up in the children's section when I was looking for books for Mia. It's a book about a group of children and how their lives are affected by the outbreak of the First World War. It reminded me of children's classic books like The Railway Children and Carrie's War, as well as the memoir Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. It was a beautiful read and left me in tears. It was one of those children's books that are wasted on children, it should definitely be marketed at adults as well!

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid This book tells the story of a young black woman, who at the start of the story is apprehended in a supermarket for 'kidnapping' the white child that she's babysitting. The book explores her story and that of her employer. It's a gripping read and a very relevant and timely tale about all sorts of issues, including but not limited to, racism and privilege. 

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys This book follows several stories set during the Second World War - a man in a German prison camp, his young wife back at home and his sister. I loved the descriptions about the natural world and I was pleased to discover at the end that some elements of the story were based in truth. Despite the seriousness of the setting it was a really lovely read about enjoying the simple pleasures of the day.

I've also been on a bit of a book buying spree. I'm reluctant to buy new books as I read them so quickly that it seems like a waste of money. Instead I buy books that I've previously read and enjoyed. The Breaking Point by Daphne du Maurier is a collection of short stories from one of my favourite authors that I remember reading when I was younger (in a previous edition published as The Blue Lenses and Other Stories.) There are eight stories in the book and the one that had really stuck in my mind and that I wanted to reread is called The Pool. It's a story about a young girl on the brink of adulthood, and for some reason it really resonates with me. It had been years since I last read it and I finished the story in tears! I'm glad that I now have my own copy to read whenever I want.

If you've read any great books recently I'd love to hear about them, leave me a comment below!

1 comment:

  1. I love the sound of these books especially Should We Stay or Should We Go. It sounds like a very interesting story x


I love reading your comments!