I will use our first blog post to highlight just a few of the gems I have read in the last 6 months. Some of these books have been released already and some of which I can’t wait for you to read later on this year! All the books I choose to read throughout the year, really have to captivate my attention with working full time buying for ALEF and having a toddler to look after. So these are my standout favourites, the books that have gotten me through the fog of toddlerdom and made me forego my much needed naps on the commute to and from work. This is high praise in itself!
Move over Sherlock, finally Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson are given the limelight they deserve! The first in a new series following the two women from Conan Doyle’s stories, as they take on a case Holmes turns down. Enlisting the help of the Baker Street Irregulars and Irene Adler, they become entangled in an increasingly complex investigation.
A thoroughly enjoyable mystery, I can’t wait to read the next.
The Last Act of Love By Cathy Rentzenbrink
In 1990, Cathy’s brother Matty was knocked down by a car, leaving her and her parents by his hospital bedurging him to live. This memoir follows the difficult struggles that faced Cathy and her family following this terrible event.
A very brave and heartbreaking memoir, which often had me in tears.
Not Working By Lisa Owens
Claire has quit her job to find herself a new vocation, finding herself in a situation where she doesn’t really know what to do with her life.
An often funny and unexpectedly moving debut novel.
The Versions of Us By Laura Barnett
Eva and Jim meet at the age of 19 in Cambridge while studying at University. The book follows the different paths their relationship could take by staying together or deciding to stay apart. An exploration of fate and a brilliant choice for book club discussions. How the small decisions we make in life can ultimately completely change the direction our lives take us.
We’ll Always Have Paris by Emma Beddington
Emma Beddington, after finding a copy of French Elle as a teenager, begins a life long affair with all things French. Following a family tragedy Emma finally moves to Paris with her French husband and children, and finds it more difficult than she had ever imagined. A witty and moving memoir filled with heart and cake.
Out Later This Year
This Must Be The Place By Maggie O’Farrell
Claudette is a feisty Hollywood actress and now recluse married to Daniel, a New Yorker now living in rural Ireland. This novel is a portrayal of a marriage at a major crossroad. Lovable characters and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I might even go so far as saying it is one of my favourite reads so far this year!
Harmless Like You By Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
A stunning debut novel of loneliness and despair. Yuki, a young Japanese girl in New York in the 60’s struggles to cope with fitting into society, making a series of heartbreaking and tragic decisions, that affect the lives of those surrounding her. An impressive novel, Rowan is definitely an author to watch.
An incredibly powerful memoir following novelist Hisham Matar’s return to Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, to try and discover the truth about what happened to his father, Jaballa. Jaballa was kidnapped and taken to a Libyan prison when Hisham was just 19 years old. This is a moving tale of personal loss within the context of a tumultuous period of Libyan history. A memoir I’d urge everyone to read.
Life Moves Pretty Fast By Hadley Freeman (out in PB in June)
And finally a fun and nostalgic look back at Hadley’s favourite films of the 80’s. You’ll read this and then want to spend the whole week watching Say Anything, Top Gun, Pretty in Pink, Die Hard, the Breakfast Club and more!