You wouldn’t know it these days but I love reading and would happily hang out in book shops if I had the chance (anyone else like the smell of brand new books?).  Not only are they great for a little bit of escapism but I feel that they’re good for my soul and with each read, I feel that my horizons have been broadened a little.

So after being on a somewhat unscheduled (thanks kids) book break, I’ve made a pact to make more time for myself and buy a book regularly – and by that I mean at least once a month.

I’ve written my thoughts on five books that I have read so far this year, so I’m already ahead of my target!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

There has been a lot of talk with this book and I decided to add it to my collection after seeing it mentioned literally everywhere. When a book comes so highly recommended, then it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to see what it’s all about.

Initially it was slow progress and it wasn’t down to the style of writing or the story, it was simply the fact that I’d made a start on it, when I just didn’t have the time to invest in it and I began to think that it wasn’t for me.  I was maybe 40 pages in when I grabbed it again (over the bank holiday weekend) and I ended up finishing it that very day. A complete book binge but I just had to see what happened and for once, I just didn’t think about what else I could be doing.

Part of my reservations were formed because I wasn’t initially taken by Eleanor’s character when I started reading the book and if you’re not invested in the main character, then it can make for heavy reading can’t it? However, as the story started to unfold, I quickly developed an empathy towards her and became increasingly intrigued about her life story, to the point that I couldn’t put the book down – always a good sign.

It’s a tale of tragedy and survival really. I found it fascinating how Eleanor saw the world around her and how people perceived her. It made me also think of people that are often the source of ridicule yet often we don’t know what people’s circumstances might be. I found it a riveting read that really makes you think afterwards.

The Cows

This book I saw featured a lot in people’s insta stories, I felt that the cover most definitely drew me in. I immediately got into the flow with this book. It’s based around three women whose lives eventually cross each others.

One character I wasn’t so invested in and I admit to almost skimming some sections that focused on her towards the beginning of the book – interesting really as she was the one who plays a blogger and a social media influencer. The main character for me, had a funny and downright cringeworthy incident which the story forms around and I really liked her and related to her (apart from the cringeworthy scenario, ha ha). The third woman was completely different with several issues that come into play as the story unfolds.

There was a part in the book that I really wasn’t expecting and I had to read the paragraph a couple of times before I believed it. I didn’t see it coming as it was so final but it all added to the pieces coming together and I like a book that isn’t too predictable.

All in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read about three women and aspects of their lives that we can all relate to. It’s funny, sad and completely addresses the issues that modern women have in these times!

The Girl Before

I picked this book up when we were at the airport on our last holiday as I hadn’t even got around to buying a book beforehand or even really thought much about it to be honest. I think that I assumed that I wouldn’t really get much opportunity to read. Of course I soon realised that this was ridiculous and couldn’t possibly go on holiday without a new book or two! So after an extremely costly trip in WHSmith’s, I came out armed with this thriller – which wouldn’t be my usual genre of choice.

It turned out to be the perfect gripping holiday read and I genuinely looked forward to bingeing on it when I could grab a moment by the pool or later at night before bed.

It’s based around two women who rent an ultra minimalist house at separate times, so the book is always jumping between the past and present (which works well). The rental contract comes with an extensive list of ‘terms’ which are extreme to say the least..

It is one that keeps you guessing throughout and the more you read the book, the creepier the house seems to get.  The story of what happened to the dead predecessor of the house takes a twist at the end that I didn’t expect and the concept of the ‘all seeing house’ made it quite sinister. I’ll definitely be trying some more of JP Delaney’s books and thrillers in general.

The Keeper of Lost Things

I really wanted to like this one.

I received this as a present and again, I’d heard lots of praise about this book, so I was keen to start reading it. I gave this book a really good go and I’m sad to say that it just didn’t grab me. I guess it happens every now and then and what is one person’s cup of tea, is always going to be someone else’s.

It’s essentially a story of love and loss and has some heartwarming parts to it. I didn’t much enjoy the flitting between different era’s and found that some characters in the book held less interest to me than others and I found that a little grating.

I plodded on through regardless but sadly I was easily distracted! Perhaps I just missed the point of this book?

Big Little Lies

I’ve read the book and watched the series and I loved both.

It follows the lives of women living within a coastal town. You soon come to realise though that something much deeper and darker is going on amongst all of the bitchiness at the school gates.

You know early on in the book that someone has been murdered and the story revolves around all the circumstances that lead up the murder.  It’s a whodunnit type book where you’re left guessing who has been killed and who is the murderer. The plot kept me guessing until the very end and even though I had a list of a few people in my head, none of them ended up being the person that died.

I had my favourites throughout the book who I was wishing wouldn’t be the ones to meet a grisly end and I was pleased with the eventual reveal!

Watch the series if you haven’t already, I really enjoyed it.

And that’s it for my reads so far this year.

I’m impressed that I’ve managed a reasonable amount before we’re even halfway through the year.

I’m now busy trying to put together a list of books to add to my reading pile and all suggestions are always welcome…