My reading goal for 2021 is to read fifty books because I feel so much better when I’m in a good reading routine and I find goals really helpful to keep me on track. This month I’ve read a variety from fiction, YA fiction and biographies and that is my reading style. Since bookshops have closed, I can no longer wander around and make a wish list of my next reads so recommendations are always welcome.
- Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall
Three university friends have now grown up and are living very different lives, when one of them is murdered, Elenor and Mary try desperately to put the pieces together of what happened to Nancy that night whilst navigating their own tricky relationships.
I liked this novel, it illustrates the complexities of friendship as the tie that keeps them together is loosened and the characters are very real. Split into three sections, POV from each of the girls, there’s a few good twists and turns. I think it’s a loose fit as a thriller, I don’t think that dimension was very strong, more mystery.
- No Shame by Tom Allen
A candid, funny yet heartbreaking memoir of comedian Tom Allen as he reflects on his childhood, coming of age and life as a young adult. He’s honest as he tells stories about being an outsider, navigating the gay scene and his journey into comedy.
One of my favourite comedians, Allen writes as he speaks with a dry, sarcastic humour that allows him to get very honest with himself. It focuses on the Tom Allen we don’t know, rather than the one we do, which I think speaks volumes of who he is as a person. Thoroughly enjoyed it as a fan, and from a human interest point of view.
3. The Magpie Society – One for Sorrow by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch
Audrey moves to Illumen Hall, an English boarding school, to escape the drama of her past, little does she know she’s about to walk into a whole new drama. When Lola Radcliffe tragically dies at a school party, the police put it down to mis-adventure but an anonymous podcast cries murder and Audrey, along with her roommate Ivy, try to figure out who killed Lola, and who is the voice on the podcast.
Anything rich, boarding school tale, I’m generally sold on. While it has hints of Wild Child at the beginning, it quickly finds it’s own and I was hooked from early on. The chapters are told from Audrey and Ivy’s point of view but, like some novels, it doesn’t ever get confusing. I did work it out, but only with 20 or so pages before the reveal and it didn’t spoil it. It does end on a cliffhanger but not in the way you’d expect. I really enjoyed this and already can’t wait for the sequel.
4. What Would the Spice Girls Do? by Lauren Bravo
From the first three pages I felt like I was talking to one of my best friends, or someone who I’d love to be friends with. I remember thinking, damn this girl gets it and I was hooked. This book is about the girl power generation and how the spice girls influenced the millennial generation. It’s a really interesting read, regardless of your personal thoughts on the Spice Girls. If society has ever made you feel like you’re doing something wrong by putting yourself first as a young woman, you must read this. It’s an empowering, reassuring and relatable read and Bravo’s narrative is fantastic.
That was my January reads, I had aimed for five but with launching this blog, it may have been slightly overambitious. Next month my list is Becoming by Michelle Obama and Because of You by Dawn French to start me off. Any other recommendations are so welcome, please leave them in a comment below.