July – can you believe?! How is this year going by so quickly? I’ve moved into a flat of my own, loved and lost and read a lot of books, so settle in as I round up some of my favourite reads over the last few months.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
I picked up this book after hearing about it on The High Low podcast (an excellent source of reading list inspiration if you don’t already listen) and once I started, I had it finished within days. It’s about a young married couple called Celestial and Roy, whose lives are torn apart when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Whilst Roy tries to come to terms with life on the inside, Celestial turns to an old family friend for support and starts to moves on with her life. When Roy’s sentence is unexpectedly overturned, he returns home to Celestial looking to pick up where their marriage left off but is that what she wants too?
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
A spy novel with a female lead?! Such a rarity! Transcription tells the story of Juliet Armstrong who, in 1940, starts working at MI5 as a clerk but soon finds herself plunged into a world of espionage. The book flits back between World War Two and the 1950s where we find Juliet working for the BBC and trying to put her wartime career behind her but of course, this isn’t possible. Transcription had a twist that I didn’t see coming at all and would definitely recommend reading.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Pretty much everyone has heard of the Battle of Troy and probably seen the film Troy starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom too; The Silence of the Girls tells the same story but from the perspective of the women who have been overlooked by history. I’ve not read a book quite like this before, it’s part mythological, part historical, part fiction and initially I wasn’t sure I’d get on with it, but I was stuck on a very long train journey with nothing else to read so I persevered, and eventually I found myself absorbed. The ending wasn’t quite as satisfactory as I’d have liked but overall it was fairly enjoyable.
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
They say that this is one of those books that everyone HAS to read and I completely agree. After I finished it, I had a newfound appreciation for just how incredible the NHS is and how vital it is that it’s protected. This is Going to Hurt is filled with funny and warming stories from the daily life of a junior doctor and ends with the heartbreaking tale of why ultimately he decided to quit working at the NHS.
You Were Gone by Tim Weaver
Three days after Christmas, David Raker gets a call from the police saying his wife has turned up at the station. The strange thing? His wife died 8 years ago, so who is this woman? You Were Gone is a classic crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns and even though I managed to guess one of the main plot twists pretty early on, it was still one of those books that kept me hooked because I just HAD to find out what was going on.
Read any good books lately? Let me know, I’m always on the lookout for new ones to add to my reading list!