April Summary and Plans for May

I haven’t read much in the last month as I’m going through a non-fiction phase and these books don’t have the narrative drive required to persuade me to read for long periods of time. Instead I’ve just been dipping into them for the odd chapter here or there, learning lots but not reading for the entire evening. I’m going to try to read a more varied selection of books next month, so hopefully I’ll be back to my usual reading levels.

My stand-out read in April was The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanigahara. If you like to delve into the minds of the more unsavoury members of our society then this is for you – it is guaranteed to make you feel slightly uncomfortable!

Book of the Month

The People in the Trees

Books Reviewed in April:

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanigahara 

My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel 

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder 

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng 

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell 

Plans for May

I’m lucky enough to have been invited to the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Award Ceremony, so I plan to read as many of the shortlist as possible before the winner is announced on 27th May.

The shortlist is:

I also hope to read/review most of these (many of which I’ve already started/nearly finished):

Out in the Open by Jesús Carrasco

Demons by Wayne Macauley

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

School Blues by Daiel Pennac

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Euphoria by Lily King

I hope that you have a fantastic May!

Other Uncategorized

March Summary and Plans for April

I had high hopes for March, suspecting it might be my best reading month for a while. Unfortunately many of the books that I was excited about (The Buried Giant, Everything I Never Told You and Wolf Border (reviews for these last two coming soon)) failed to live up to expectations. Luckily both The Martian and I Am Radar were fantastic reads. They are very different in style (The Martian is plot driven, whilst I Am Radar is a slow, reflective book packed with beautiful prose), but the thing they both have in common is great science. I love it when authors aren’t afraid to tackle complex theories and stretch them in new directions.

Books of the Month

The MartianI Am Radar

Books Reviewed in March:

The Martian by Andy Weir (Audio Book) 

I Am Radar by Reif Larsen 

Scorper by Rob Magnuson Smith 

Redwall by Brian Jacques 

The Book of Fathers by Miklós Vámos 

Outline by Rachel Cusk 

Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey 

No Such Thing As Failure by David Hempleman-Adams 

Plans for April

The Wellcome Prize Shortlist

I’m planning to read the Wellcome Prize shortlist before the winner is announced on the 29th April. The Wellcome Prize celebrates the best new books that engage with some aspect of medicine, health or illness and I’ve had a very good experience with the winners from previous years (including Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot)

I’ve already read Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (review coming soon) and All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews and plan to read the rest of the shortlist soon:

Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss

The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being: Evolution and the Making of Us by Alice Roberts

My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel

The Iceberg by Marion Coutts

Non Fiction

I’m also going through a non-fiction stage. I’m listening to An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield in my car and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson in my kitchen. I’m also in the final section of School Blues by Daniel Pennac, so hope to have my first review of a non-fiction book in translation up soon.

Other books

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell is my book club’s choice this month and Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin and The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
are also high on my list. I’m also continuing my investigation of the Bailey’s longlist and will probably pick up a few random selections along the way.

Have a great Easter!


February Summary and Plans for March

February was a disappointing reading month. Most books had great potential at the beginning, but failed to carry the brilliance through to the end. The standout that bucked this trend was Into That Forest by Louis Nowra, a wonderfully atmospheric book about two girls rescued by Tasmanian tigers. I highly recommend that you get hold of a copy!

Book of the Month:

Into That Forest

Books Reviewed in February:

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra 

Lost and Found by Brooke Davis (audio book) 

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (audio book) 

The Darkroom of Damocles by W.F. Hermans 

If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie 

Esperanza Street by Niyati Keni 

Ben in the World by Doris Lessing stars21

Plans for March

At the moment I am listening to the audio version of The Martian by Andy Weir and I’m loving it! It combines survival and great science –  two of my favourite subjects. I hope to have a review up soon.

I am also taking part in Stu’s Eastern European Month by reading The Book Of Fathers by Miklos Vamos. It’s really good so far, but I’m a bit worried the magical realism is going to take over. I’ll let you know how I found it soon.

Next week I’m going to see David Hempleman-Adams talk at my local library so I’ve got his new book, No Such Thing As Failure: The Extraordinary Life of a Great British Adventurer, to read in advance of the evening. I’m looking forward to hearing him speak, but after seeing the dangerous trips he enjoys I am really glad I’m not his wife!

March is packed with fantastic new releases. I’m lucky enough to have review copies in advance so I will be reading:

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

I Am Radar by Reif Larsen (I’ve nearly finished this chunkster and it is amazing!)

I also plan to read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.

I have high hopes that this could be the best reading month I’ve had in a long time. Fingers crossed!

I hope you have a fantastic March too!


Other Uncategorized

January Summary and Plans for February

This month I read two outstanding books. Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius and Strangers by Taichi Yamada  were both fantastic and I highly recommend that you give them a try. 

Books of the Month

Strangers Ghost Boy

Books Reviewed in January:

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius 

Strangers by Taichi Yamada

The Room by Jonas Karlsson

Wake by Anna Hope

Minor Angels by Antoine Volodine

Like a Virgin by Richard Branson

Pandora in the Congo by Albert Sánchez Piñol

Hummingbirds in my Hair by Pamela O’Cuneen

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Plans for February

I haven’t got any firm plans for the month ahead, but these books are near the top of my TBR pile:

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

The Darkroom Of Damocles by WF Hermans

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra

Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Strange Telescopes by Daniel Kalder

The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day

In the Time of Madness by Richard Lloyd Parry

I hope you have a wonderful month!


November/December Summary and Plans for January


I hope that you’ve had a wonderful 2014 and are looking forward to the year ahead. 2015 promises to be an exciting year for me and I look forward to letting you know how my new business progresses. I plan to continue book blogging, but will spend less time writing about the books I didn’t enjoy. I’ll still mention most, but full reviews will probably be reserved for books that I really appreciated. 

Books of the Month:

 The Book of Strange New ThingsCooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Books Reviewed in November/December: 

Cooked by Michael Pollan 

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber 

I’m Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti 

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada 

The Lake District Murder by John Bude 

The Day Of The Owl by Leonard Sciascia 

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hirade 

Plans for January

I’ve tried all the books in my sidebar so will give you a brief summary of them soon. I abandoned most, but there were a few gems amongst them. I wonder if you can guess which ones I loved?

I also plan to try the following:

Minor Angels by Antoine Volodine

The Room by Jonas Karlsson

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans

The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Ben, in the World by Doris Lessing

The Sweetest Thing by Fiona Shaw

Have a wonderful start to 2015!


October Summary and Plans for November

October has been a busy month for me. The building work is almost complete so I’ve been gathering boxes from storage and unpacking them. It is a slow process, but almost over now. I’m continuing to read at a slower pace, but I’m enjoying it and have no plans to increase my reading volume in the near future.

Books of the Month:

Two very different books, but both give a fantastic insight into the human pysche.

Alive: There Was Only One Way to SurviveThe Moth: This Is a True Story

Alive isn’t for the squeamish, but it shows the strength of the human spirit and the importance of keeping hope alive.

The Moth is a wonderful collection of stories that show people at important junctions in their lives – it’s inspirational!

Books Reviewed in October:

The Moth: 50 Extraordinary True Stories 

Alive by Piers Paul Read 

Black Rainbow by Rachel Kelly 

Mice by Gordon Reece 

The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster 

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion 

Plans for November

I’m planning to participate in German literature month. I’m going to start with Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, but I love reading German books so may squeeze in a few more.

I also plan to try some of the following:

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide

Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day

The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia

The Lake District Murder by John Bude

Pandora In The Congo by Albert Sánchez Piñol

I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

The Blood Of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

The rest of the month will be reserved for random choices. I hope you have a wonderful November!