Wednesday 15 December 2021

Some of my recent five star reads

This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Welcome to another blog post where I share some of the books that I've enjoyed recently. I hope that you find some reading inspiration!

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2021. I generally find that I get on well with Booker prize nominated books, and this one was no exception. It tells the story of Marian, born with the wish to fly and the drive to succeed. After flying during the war, in 1950 she sets off on a great circle flight circumnavigating the globe, an adventure from which she never returns. There is also a parallel story set in modern times following a young actress hit by scandal who is portraying her in a film. It seems like a straightforward story but there are lots of twists and turns as more information about Marian's life come to light, and it kept me gripped until the end. 

The Phone Box and the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina

This book is inspired by true events and by the windy hill in Japan where there is a disconnected phone box overlooking the sea. People travel there to pick up the receiver, release their words into the wind and pass on their messages to loved ones that are no longer with us. Set after the 2011 Japan tsunami, the book follows Yui who has lost her mother and daughter and Takeshi who has lost his wife. They meet at the phone box and slowly begin to build a life together. It's a really lovely story, sad and yet full of hope, and also written with a clever narrative structure with alternating chapters telling the story as well as filling in extra details. Hard to describe, but it works really well!

Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Reading Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink

This is mainly a personal story of growing up with books and the impact that they have had on the author, but it's also a treasure trove of book recommendations. In fact after reading I immediately ordered two books and reserved six more from the library!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Another Booker prize shortlisted book, and this one is not an easy read because it deals with some very difficult topics, in particular childhood sexual abuse and self harm. But it is also very well written with some excellent characterisation and although it's long it kept me wanting to read more. Even though I'm fortunate not to be affected by any of the issues in the book I still found it a tough read, and I'd recommend having a quick look here before reading- A Little Life trigger warnings

Life After Life and A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life was one of the books that I reserved from the library after reading Dear Reader above. I was pretty sure that I'd read it before and it was certainly very familiar, but I really enjoyed it! At the end of the book I discovered that there is a sequel, A God In Ruins, which I also enjoyed very much. Life After Life follows the story of Ursula, born in a snowstorm in 1910, growing up in turbulent times and finding that she is able to live her life over and over again with different consequences to her actions. A God In Ruins takes over the story of her younger brother Teddy and follows his story in the post-war years that he never expected to survive to see. Both books are beautifully written, very cleverly structured, and really bring to life the years in which they are set. 

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Finally, I've always loved Daphne du Maurier but only owned a few of her books and so have recently been building my collection. Jamaica Inn is one of her better known books and for good reason, it's an exciting and brilliantly written read with a gripping story. It follows Mary Yellan, who moves to Jamaica Inn on the Cornish moors after the death of her mother and discovers the terrifying goings on behind the front of the inn. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love reading your comments!