January has (finally) been and gone. I am so glad to see the back of it, and this post is a little overdue because I've been feeling too down to write. But I'm back (for the weekend at least).
I've moved away from YA fiction this month to explore more adult fiction. It's something that I don't read masses of, but at the moment I'm absolutely devouring The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne and it's opened my eyes to the fact that there is some amazing adult fiction out there.
A lot of the books this month are ones I picked #fortheaesthetic because oh my gosh these covers are beautiful. I'm hoping that their contents are just as pleasing.
The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang. After gaining massive success in Korea, this book has come to the UK. The cover is one of my favourites I think I've ever come across. The novel (or novella - it looks like a v. quick read) is all about a hen who's sick of laying eggs. She sees the other animals roaming freely and wants to do it herself. I imagine this has an Animal Farm-esque quality about it.
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus. I haven't picked up a good dystopian novel in a long time. I'm ready to start reading more, so please pass on any recommendations if you have any! The Flame Alphabet is all about a virus that spreads through the speech of children. The words of children have become lethal, and this book tests how far we will go to stay with the people we love, even if they're a danger to us.
Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear. This is the book I got in January's Reading in Heels subscription box (which you can read here). The book takes you through each season, examining the small and significant in life. It follows the path of a birdwatcher, and explores how taking notice of the birds can impact everything.
The Good People by Hannah Kent. This novel is another one with a dreamy cover. Nora Leahy lost her husband and daughter, and is left with a grandson with a terrible illness. Terrified that others in her village might take his inability to speak and walk as sign of a hidden evil, Nora covers up his existence. But she wants him to be better, and the only wait to make him better is to get in touch with the Good People ...
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I picked up A Man of the People by the same author a couple of months ago, and I'm keen to expand my collection. This book is actually the first book in a trilogy ending in A Man of the People, so I basically need to get the middle book now too! The novel is set in Nigeria, and follows the life of a local wrestling champion, Okonkwo, and examines the impact of British colonialism.
The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion. Graeme Simsion is an author I fell in love with when I read The Rosie Project. I pretty much want to read everything he's ever written (or will ever write) now because that was just such a sweet story. The main character is a pianist, about to turn fifty, who's been married for over twenty years. But when an ex-lover comes into the foray, Adam's head is turned, and he has a tough decision to make.
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. A lot of the books I bought this month are ones that I've never read by authors I know and love. Donoghue is the author of ROOM, which is one of my favourite books that I read last year. The Wonder is all about an eleven-year-old girl called Anna living in Ireland who hasn't eaten in months. With tourists flocking to visit the child surviving off manna from heaven, a nurse is sent to her bedside to attempt to keep her alive.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. I've heard so many rave reviews about this thriller. Anna and Marco are a young couple with a friendly relationship with their neighbours. But after a crime is committed, suspicions arise, and everybody realises that they may not know each other as well as they previously thought.
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver. This author wrote my favourite contemporary novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin, so I leapt at the chance to read another book by Shriver. This one promises to be just as heart-wrenching as WNTTAK. Shep Knacker has been saving a nest egg to travel to a retreat with his wife in their old age. When he lets his wife knows he's finally ready, she tells him she's sick, and he spends his nest egg on her treatment. I imagine that this is going to be v. harrowing, but so heartwarming at the same time.