Reading Challenge: 40 books – reviews of books 1-5!

I LOVE reading. I read before I sleep, I read whilst eating breakfast, I read on planes, I read in the car if I am early for an appointment and I read whilst walking my dog thanks to Audible! Last year I read 35 books for pleasure. This year I am aiming for 40! After every 5 books I’ll be writing a round-up blog review (without any spoilers!). Books 1-5 (all linked to Goodreads) are as follows:
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
This book inspired me greatly and was fantastic in enabling me to sow the seeds of starting my new business Penning and Planning using the simple comparison equation ‘keys + phone + wallet = sh*t together’ (you’ll see what I mean if/when you read the book!). Self-help books are not usually my go-to genre as I prefer the escapism of fiction but, if you’re floundering in a difficult situation yet willing to follow Knight’s advice and maintain the focus she suggests, it’s definitely worth reading.
A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
My husband bought me this book for Christmas, knowing how much I love everything crime related. A Murder is Announced is a much gentler tale than the gruesome crime novels I usually devour (from my favourite thriller authors Chris Carter and Karin Slaughter) but it was entertaining nonetheless and I didn’t guess the ‘whodunnit’ twist! I read it whilst on holiday and it was a perfect beach companion!
What Alice Knew by T. A. Cotterell
A tense story about trust and transparency within a marriage. Alice, a portrait painter, discovers discrepancies about her husband Ed which leads her to conduct some uncomfortable investigations of her own. I always love a book which teaches me about something I have absolutely no knowledge of so I enjoyed the art references in the story, the building tension throughout, and the ending was both unexpected and memorable. It reminded me quite a lot of The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty which I really enjoyed and would recommend too.
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
The first person stream-of-consciousness style narrative from protagonist Annie’s (a.k.a. Milly’s) point of view makes this story even more disturbing and compelling due to its difficult subject matter. Land has written about a controversial subject matter in such a way that Annie’s thoughts and actions reveal more about what happened to her than it being graphically described outright. It’s an uncomfortable read at times but very well crafted and although you may not agree with Annie’s behaviour at times, you can certainly understand (and perhaps even empathise with) why she is the way she is.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
An amazing premise and a talented storyteller combine to create The Power which offers its readers a glimpse into an alternative/subversive/dystopian way of the world where women possess the electrifying physical power to change everything. Unfortunately, despite being beautifully written (with a stunning cover!), it’s not a book I whizzed through nor carved out time for, which I always do when I’m gripped!
Have you read any of these books – what did you think?
Claire
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