3rd year in a row, my dad and I are doing the Popsugar Reading Challenge.
Here’s how I’m doing so far:
Category – A book becoming a movie in 2019
Book 1: Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
Ok, so first book of the year, and I couldn’t find a suitable category for it to go in. Technically it is is not being made into a movie as it is already a brilliant TV series but the book was fantastic and I really enjoyed it – interesting characters and it kept me guessing to the end.
Category – A book about a family
Book 2: The Lost Man – Jane Harper
Another fab book by Jane Harper – I loved her first novel, The Dry, and her second novel Force of Nature was ok, but this one was as good as the first. Gripping and well-written, it also kept me guessing and the descriptions of the Australian outback are brutal and very vivid. An excellent read.
Category – A book featuring an amateur detective
Book 3: Shelter – Harlan Coben
This was just utterly awful in every way. A dreadful book. Don’t read it.
Category – A book with a two-word title
Book 4: Spook Street – Mick Herron
The 4th book in his spy series, and I have loved every one so far – all of them are fab – quick and easy reads with likeable and funny characters.
Category: A book about someone with a superpower
Book 5: How to stop time – Matt Haig
This one was ok – not the best book I’ve ever read, but certainly not the worst, and DEFINITELY not as bad as a previous book of his I have read (The Radleys, which I hated). It was an interesting reflection on what it would be like to live forever, or at least for several centuries, and the unique pain and sadness that would go along with that. It certainly made me think.
Category: A book told from multiple character points of view
Book 6: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
This was recommended by several people – a strange murder mystery in which the narrator wakes up in the body of different guests at a party, reliving each day over and over again while he attempts to solve the crime. It was VERY weird, a bit too long in my opinion – there’s a lot of plot, some of which was a bit unnecessary and it got very confusing. I slogged through it, and it was ok, but not quite my cup of tea really.
Though it is perfect for a Netflix series and I would probably enjoy it more on tv (it’s a little bit Black Mirror-esque)
Category: A book recommended by a celebrity you admire
Book 7: How not to be a boy – Robert Webb
I saw Robert Webb promoting this on TV and thought it sounded really interesting. It was a fantastic read – a memoir with a difference, as he goes back to his childhood to try to unpick the moments when things had damaged him. It’s a fascinating reflection on feminism and toxic masculinity which I found helpful as it’s a topic of interest to me at the moment, as is of course also very zeitgeist-y!
Category: A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover
Book 8: What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
This was a fun and frivolous chick-lit style book. Easy read, interesting but nothing to write home about.
Category: A book with a plant in the title or on the cover
Book 9: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart – Holly Ringland
While I loved some parts of this book (the flower theme running through it, the elements of fire and water woven into the narrative) I also found parts of it too fantastical, and the author clearly doesn’t like men, which came across as bitter and left all of the male characters rather flat and one-dimensional.
Category: A novel based on a true story
Book 10: A really good day – Ayelet Waldman
This was fascinating and interesting, lots to think about and dwell on, but also the author was extremely irritating and came across as a neurotic, paranoid woman which rather affected the narrative voice and ruined it a little for me.
Category: A book written by an author from Asia, Africa or South America
Book 11: Sick, A Memoir – Porochista Khakpour
This was also interesting and different. A memoir of a woman with a severe and complex disease that was undiagnosed for years, combined with lots of misdiagnoses, drug and prescription dependencies and more. An interesting and different read – not my usual type of book, but nice to be outside of my usual comfort zone once in a while!
Category: None (can’t find one that fits)
Book 12: Don’t let go – Michel Bussi
This was ok – a standard thriller/mystery, set on the island of Reunion. I suspect it may have been better in the original French rather than as a translation (which I read in English).