Here we are in 2018 thinking well that went quickly. 2017 flew for so many reasons. The world went ever so slightly batty. Life got busy and I travelled loads. But I still read books! I can’t sleep without reading. Apart from my family it is the one consistent thing in my crazy life.
Getting that inspiration on what great book to read next is hard, apart from the odd favourite author I very much go off recommendation. My biggest source being the lovely Hayley she hasn’t let me down with a book recommendation yet.
And here are the best of the bunch from 2017, I don’t think I have read a bad book, but the following books are the page-turners, the books I found myself sneaking off to read and have stayed with me.
Wonder by Rj.Palacio
I read this in 5 days, and it generally takes me forever to read a book. It the most inspiring story about August a child with facial disfigurement, it had me laughing and crying all the way though. But it’s not a sad story, it’s inspirational and focuses on how August adapted to being integrated into mainstream school. How he overcome being the boy who was different to become a fully integrated popular member of the school community. He had to tackle bullies and bullying and how he did so with grace and bravery. The book also follows the people around August, highlighting how they dealt with prejudices against him. The book gives you so much hope and shows how human kindness is a wonderful thing.
Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear
I can’t really tell you much about this book apart from the fact that in 1998, Maryanne Doyle went missing and many years later Alice Lapaine has been found strangled. Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is working on the Lapaine case but starts to discover things are getting a bit close to home. Her investigations uncover a tangled web of lies and corruption that cross over from her professional life to her personal life.
It’s a must read, one of those books that is a bit of a slow starter but once you get engaged in the plot you can’t put it down.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgendstern
The circus arrives without warning, it just appears. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is a world of magic and intrigue, eternal life, illusion and sparkle called Le Cirque des Rêves, which it is only ever open at night.
The tale tracks a magical duel between Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood for this purpose. It is a game in which only one will be left standing. However Celia and Marco fall in love, the worse thing that can happen, which puts the future of the circus and all its dependents in jeopardy.
I adored this book; it feels like the most indulgent escape into a magical world. It was a book that I never wanted to end, and is a must read for anyone that loves a bit of magic and sparkle in their fiction.
Great Small Things by Jodi Picoult
Ruth Jefferson is a midwife with more than twenty years’ experience. During a shift, Ruth attends a check-up on a newborn baby, only to be told minutes later that she is not to attend the baby again. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African-American, to touch their baby. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby falls ill while Ruth is alone in the nursery.
She is left with the choice of ignoring orders and intervening or leaving the infant alone as instructed. Ruth hesitates but performs CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime.
Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice, to not mention race in the courtroom. The book follows all parties involved in the case, it really makes you think. I loved Great Small Things despite how uncomfortable reading it is at times; it made me see race issues from a whole new perspective, and shows just how hatred can eat a person up inside, and emphasises how it impacts on our world.
Flawed and Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
Flawed and Perfect reminded me very much of the Hunger Games. But they are different! Aimed at the teen market I was not sure the Flawed would be for me but being a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern I failed to see how I could dislike anything she produced.
The stories revolve around Celestine North and her perfect life in a seemingly perfect and black and white world with clear rules and a divide between those that conform and those that don’t. That is until Celestine inadvertently breaks a rule and finds everything she thought was true was not necessarily the case.
Don’t be put of by the target market; I could not put either of the books down.
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern
Deep in the woods of south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests Laura lives alone totally secluded from the world, cocooned a world of her very own, that is until she is discovered. She possesses the most incredible talent, the likes of which no one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.
The book tracks Laura’s journey into reality and how her up bringing has protected her but also left her naive to life, people and their intentions. It’s a beautiful story of innocence and trust and how Laura adapts to modern-day life.
Caraval by Stephanie Garner
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, and is desperate to leave the island and capture the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is a magicial mystery journey and for Scarlett and her sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
Finally the sisters’ dreamt of invitations to Caraval arrives, their dreams of magic have come true. After an escape from the island and their arrival at Caraval Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. However she quickly becomes aware that this is a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.
OMG this book is riveting so far from reality and every day life that pulls you into to question what is true and untrue in an imaginary world, the perfect book for a little escapism.
So there you have it 8 great holiday reads for the beach or pool. Or just snuggling up by the fire on a winters day with a cup of coffee. All very different yet equally engaging and absorbing, happy reading!