If I am honest, I haven’t been overwhelmed by my recent reading. I haven’t found anything new and exciting for a while (apart from one book which I’ll share with you today…) So I’ve used this as an excuse to return to some old favourites. As some of my very favourite authors have written a ridiculous number of books, it felt time to pick up yet another one – which is a good test of a favourite author. If they really are your favourite, you won’t ever get bored…
So with this in mind, I have a fairly mixed bag for you this month but also quite predictable of me. I have a brand new, brilliant book with a character you will fall completely in love with, a historical fiction yomp of a read exploring some fascinating, but all too often forgotten, women, and finally a classic thriller you won’t be able to put down.
*For an entirely unique character: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman. I am too cheap to buy hardbacks. But I spotted this one in Waterstones and my Mum, having heard excellent reviews (which I coincidentally hadn’t!), picked it up for me for my birthday. Gail Honeyman’s debut novel centers on Eleanor Oliphant, who leads a simple life and is terrible at social interactions. I loved this book and, above all, I loved Eleanor. Everything is told from her entirely unique point of view, and there are plenty of funny parts as she despairs of the people she works with and comes across in everyday life. What I didn’t expect though, was how touching this book also is – with a final twist that you absolutely weren’t expecting.
*For some historical girl power: Three Sisters, Three Queens, Philippa Gregory. I love a good historical fiction novel and for this, Phillipa Gregory is queen. I actually went into Waterstones to look for her brand new book and, even though I did find it, I was sidetracked by Three Sisters, Three Queens. This follows (unsurprisingly) three queens – Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England, Margaret, Queen of Scotland and elder sister to Henry VIII and Mary, Queen of France and younger sister to Henry VIII. Both Margaret and Mary are placed in powerful arranged marriages and then, incredibly, marry again for love – and Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne as Katherine fails to have a son. Most of the story follows Margaret, who spends the majority of her time cast out from the English court in the wilds of Scotland. It is an incredible, unknown story that follows the much more famous rise of Anne Boleyn.
*For a classic thriller: Reflex, Dick Francis. I love a good thriller, and all too often find myself disappointed by the novels that claim to be the next Gone Girl. But nothing can beat the classics, and Dick Francis is one of my all time favourites. He has written a million books and all of them are, in some way, based around horse racing. This time the central character was a jockey/photographer, but every book is different. In this one an unpopular photographer dies in a car accident – but then his widow is attacked and his house burnt down. Suspicions arise that his death wasn’t an accident, and it becomes a race against time to work out what he knew, and what his killer wants… As is only to be expected of a Dick Francis novel, it’s a brilliant story and guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.