Reviews, Round ups
April 30th, 2017

My favourite books of 2017 so far…

We’ve made it through the first four months of 2017 without blowing up the planet. So to celebrate I’ve decided to have a look through the books I have read so far this year and pick out my favourites.

This year so far I’ve read 34 books which sounds like a lot (for me anyway) but it’s actually because I have got massively into graphic novels and manga which are obviously quicker to read. I’ve read a really interesting mix of books this year and I’ve enjoyed most of them, which is always a plus.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

BOOM.

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. I can easily fall into a reading slump if a book doesn’t instantly grab me but I whizzed through this one. I could not put it down. It might sound ridiculous but reading this was like reading a movie – fast-paced and just absolutely mind-bendingly awesome.

If you’re interested in science and the prospect of multi-verses then you’ll love this book.

See more on Goodreads.

The One by John Marrs

The one

How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

This book was just so interesting. It follows a lot of different perspectives so it can be hard to keep up at first. But luckily all of the storylines are brilliant so once you’re sucked in you’re just desperate to find out what’s going to happen with each.

Just imagine – you’ve decided to take a DNA test to find out who your one true love is. But what if…

  • the person isn’t your partner?
  • the person isn’t the gender you thought you were attracted to?
  • the person is dying of a terminal disease?
  • the person isn’t quite who they say they are…

I gave this book 4/5 stars when I first reviewed it as it did drag (very slightly) at parts. But it’s definitely a book that will give you a massive book hangover and stay with you for a long time afterwards.

See more on Goodreads.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Wind up bird chronicle cover

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

I was away with my work for over a month and took this book with me to read when I got the chance. My colleagues would ask me what it was about and I’d have to answer “I have no idea… but it’s great!”.

This book is totally surreal and I times I found myself thinking, “What the eff just happened?”. Usually that would be a bad thing but in this case it just made the book even more interesting. Murakami just writes so wonderfully (and I suppose you can thank Jay Rubin’s translation for a big part of that).

To summarise – I still have very little idea what happened… but it was great!

See more on Goodreads.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

my not so perfect life

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

Confession: I am a Sophie Kinsella fangirl. I have read all of her books. But usually I read them as a fluffy guilty pleasure – especially her last couple of Shopaholic books which haven’t been great.

However this book for me was Kinsella back at her best.

I’m sure a lot of people could see themselves in Katie. Trying to maintain a perfect image on social media and feeling the pressure from everyone else who all also appear to have a perfect life. It’s a vicious circle and one that a lot of young people know well. So story aside, it featured some really good social commentary.

This book was also genuinely funny and I loved the strong female relationships that appeared towards the end.

See more on Goodreads.

Dummy by Matt Coyne

dummy cover

Dummy is no average parenting book. It’s packed with completely impractical, hands-on advice for the inept mum or dad – stuff you just won’t find in any baby manual or guide: ‘Profanity Bingo’ for labour; a categorisation of various nappy disasters; how to counteract the baby plank manoeuvre, and much more. But it is also a story of how becoming a parent is a kind of beautiful insanity. A thing that changes you.

If you’re a fan of the Unmumsy Mum and her books (one and two) then you’ll definitely love this book.

I’ve been a fan of Man vs Baby for a while (I think my Facebook friends are probably confused why I always ‘like’ parenting-related posts when I don’t have kids myself). Matt’s posts are some of the few that genuinely make me laugh out loud and his book did exactly the same thing. Even when a book I’m reading is funny I very rarely give it more than a mouth twitch. But at times Dummy made me genuinely LOL (sorry).

You really don’t need to have kids to appreciate and enjoy this book but it’s definitely helpful if you’re planning to have them one day. For me it was worth it just for my favourite ever description of a baby: “a furious, sleep-murdering, unstable and incontinent, breasts-obsessed midget lodger“.

See more on Goodreads.

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