I don’t want to blow my own trumpet dollface but TOOTY TOOT TOOT! I have only 8 books left to go to in my 2017 reading challenge and I’m preeeeety sure I’m going to reach my target.
I’m absolutely loving the return of daylight savings and being able to sneak in a couple of pages before meeting my sis for a training run after work (also daylight savings in just marvellous full stop). Funnily enough 4 out of 5 of these books was written in the style of multiple perspectives, which isn’t usually my favourite, and there was some definite winners here…
The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena
Goodreads says… Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.
Rosie says… Holy shit, you left a baby on its own, what did you think was going to happen?! Right from the outset The Couple Next Door had me hooked. A page turning tale about just how far you’d go for money.
First, We Make The Beast Beautiful, Sarah Wilson
Goodreads says… Sarah Wilson – bestselling author and entrepreneur, intrepid solver of problems and investigator of how to live a better life – has helped over 1.2 million people across the world to quit sugar. She has also been an anxiety sufferer her whole life.
In her new book, she directs her intense focus and fierce investigatory skills onto this lifetime companion of hers, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism her own experiences.
Sarah pulls at the thread of accepted definitions of anxiety, and unravels the notion that it is a difficult, dangerous disease that must be medicated into submission. Ultimately, she re-frames anxiety as a spiritual quest rather than a burdensome affliction, a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.
Practical and poetic, wise and funny, this is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad sufferers of the world’s most common mental illness to feel not just better about their condition, but delighted by the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.
Rosie says… Ugh, so heavy! I was left feeling anxious reading about Wilson’s anxiety that I had to take a little breather and start another book halfway through. At times it gets a little bogged down in medical jargon and her tales of anxiety (I mean how can you make that subject light?) but it’s beautifully written and very interesting.
Good As Gone, Amy Gentry
Goodreads says… Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
Rosie says… I thought this was going to be a pretty simple and lightweight story of mistaken identity à la The Wife of Martin Guerre (by the way – fabulous book!) but how wrong I was! A great and unsuspecting twist left me happily blindsided.
Dear Mr M, Herman Koch
Goodreads says… Once a celebrated writer, M’s greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.’s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.
That was years ago, and now M.’s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbour who keeps a close eye on him. Why?
From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.
With racing tension, sardonic wit, and a world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed tour de force suspending readers in the mysterious literary grey space between fact and fiction, promising to keep them awake at night, and justly paranoid in the merciless morning.
Rosie says… This started off with so much potential as it reminded me of You by Caroline Kepnes and I thought I was going to thoroughly enjoy this book but then it all fizzled away. It’s a strange little tale of revenge but I felt like it didn’t really hit its mark.
Sometimes I Lie, Alice Feeney
Goodreads says… My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Rosie says… 4. and I’m super confusing.
Amber was in an accident and now we find her story unravel by reading what happened before and after in alternating chapters. This had me hooked from the very first page but I slowly got lost in the narrative. By the time the twist is revealed (isn’t there always a twist?!) I was left confused. I feel like there were too many ideas trying to be crammed into the one story yet it was an entertaining read.
Read any good books lately?…