Last month was my best month of 2019 for reading so far this year: most of the books I read were great, I read a fair few of them and I finally finished reading the book on my kindle that has taken THREE MONTHS to get through ffs. I know this is going up a bit late, and I wish I could say that I've been busy, but, well that would be a lie. I've been reading, so that's something at least?
Let's kick start things with kindle reads (I think this was my busiest kindle month yet!).
First was the lengthy The Antiquary by Walter Scott, my only one star read of the month. It tells the story of an Antiquary who travels up to Scotland and encounters various adventures once there with the man that accompanied him on his journey. A lot of the text is written in Scottish dialect, which, as I was reading it before bed when I was tired, made the book a little difficult to get to. There were many philosophical discussions throughout, and I can see why this is recommended as an important book to read even though it wasn't for me.
Next was My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, my first read from this year's Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist. Korede, our main character, is a Nigerian nurse who receives an emergency call from her sister Ayoola to be told that she's killed her boyfriend (again). Korede's always lived in the shadow of her younger, prettier, more confident sister, and this story tells the tale of what it means to place family loyalty above all else in a pretty humorous way. This is a very quick read, so pretty ideal if you're in a bit of a reading slump!
Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane is my final August kindle read. Set in Derry and moving from 1945 through to 1971, the book tells us what it's like to grow up in Ireland from the point of view of a young boy. Deane includes lots of folklore, the kind of gossip you'd get in a place where everyone knows everyone else, and shows us the loss of innocence that comes about when you discover family secrets as you get older. It was quite a comforting read, but I didn't find it overly gripping.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez has been recommended to me over and over again and I've ignored it because I worried that the over-hype would make me think it was rubbish. However, after reading the most beautifully worded opening paragraph of my life (I was one wine in at this point so maybe this isn't 100% true in the cold light of day), I was hooked. This is a love story that focuses on old loves. Fermina Daza's husband suddenly dies at the start of the book. And what happens at his wake? Her ex-love interest turns up 50 years from when she last turned him down. The book looks at sexual love and familial love and comforting love; love in all its forms. It was exactly as good as everyone's always said.
Next up was a nice young adult fiction book to recover from the intensity of my last read. Sarah Dessen was my favourite author as a teen, and I'm so glad that The Rest of The Story lives up to my memories of her writing. Emma Saylor, our protagonist, has to spend a summer with her mother's family, who she's not seen since her mum died when she was very young. It leads her on a bit of a journey of finding out who she is in the face of discovering a whole half of her that she knew nothing about. This was a great comfort read, and honestly Dessen always nails it (in a sort of Jacqueline Wilson but for YA/adults kind of way)
And my final physical book (another 5 star read for this month!) was Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. I'm really getting back into thrillers and remembering why I went through *that* phase in 2016 of pretty much solely reading them. Thirteen is all about a serial killer who infiltrates the jury trying a man who's accused of a murder he (the serial killer) committed. Pretty intense right? Cavanagh really nails twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout and I was absolutely hooked.