Autumn, for me, always brings with it the desire to read more. The weather cools down and curling up with a warm cuppa and a blanket is infinitely preferable to facing the cold of the outside. I’ve conformed to type and read more. This post, however, is going to contain everything I’ve read between The Reading Nook | Two way back in May to the end of October (I managed 5 books this month alone!) You will have seen a few of them popping up on the Months Bests posts. I hope you enjoy! I’ve not knocked many off my TBR list from the last Reading Nook post – one read and one rejected – but it’s better than nothing! As always, the Kindle links are for the UK store!
Grab a cuppa and get comfy, this is going to be a looooong post!
A Court Of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas
THIS was the third installment of the Court of Thorns and Roses series, and the final of this story arc. I haven’t been this excited for a book release in years. A Court of Thorns and Roses wasn’t half bad. Nothing to write home about, but a captivating story nonetheless. A Court of Mist and Fury was fabulous. It too the second book fear and threw it out of the window while it burned. ACOMAF was sultry, dark, light, humourus, challenging, mystical, magical, heart wrenching and heart warming. Sarah J. Maas showed us here just what she could do. Hopes for A Court of Wings and Ruin were high.
THERE have been… mixed reviews of ACOWAR, making this commentary a little difficult to write. I’m going to keep it simple. I liked this book. Was it my favourite? Not so much. It wasn’t a patch on ACOMAF, amazing as it would have been to have topped that, I wsan’t too hopeful. Maas just about to managed to keep pace with ACOMAF, and began to get a little long winded in the end, but I still liked it – Morrigan revelation and more. That made sense to me, but hey – we all read and understand things differently.
NOW we’ve been introduced to more of the courts, and Feyre and Rhys’s storyline has been somewhat tied up, I’m looking forward to seeing where Sarah J. Maas goes from here. She’s widened her horizons, so there’s no telling what we’ll get next!
The Flame In The Mist – Renée Adieh
ADIEH’S Rose and the Dagger duology was fabulous, this is better. The Flame In The Mist was the book I didn’t even know I was waiting for! Set in feudal Japan, Adieh pulls you into a world of traitor’s, spies, and survival against the odds. Adieh did her homework and the world she creates is very real and vivid, and her characters are full of metal – take that as you will…
THIS book feels new, even if it’s not. They say there are only seven storylines, and I wouldn’t argue against that. Adieh is taking those storylines and weaving them into worlds and histories that don’t often make the mainstream. She’s bringing new places, people and cultures to the attention of a huge readership and fulling imaginations with new ideas. I love this.
I grew up on a diet of any book I could get my hands on and a boatload of cassette tapes. My favourites were the Russian fairy tales, the Indian fairy tales and Norse myths and legends (Loki has always been my favourite, and Marvel did me proud on that one – thank you!) I sadly lost one of the Indian fairy tales cassettes many years ago, but many of the stories from all the above stayed with me, and lit a fire of ambition to see the world. I hope the Adieh’s books do the same for a new generation!
A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar
A Man Lies Dreaming was something special. So special that when I failed to find this to take back to the UK for my dad to read, I ended up buying him another copy. It’s that good. I’d go so far to say that this is a must read. Read the dedicated post here. Be warned, there are spoilers!
Out of Bounds – Val McDermid
VAL McDermid never disappoints. She is a master of her craft. I mentioned this back in my July & August Months Bests. If you read that post, you may notice that this is a different cover – I’m hazarding a guess at it being the US one? – and it’s different simply because of aesthetics. I wanted to keep the cover sizes in this post as uniform as possible. I am This Geeky Teacher for a reason. But I digress. If you’re looking for a stellar British crime writer, pick up a Val McDermid. She really is one of the greats. Tight storylines, well developed characters, and a stark realism that works so well. Go – read one now!
Still Waters – Viveca Sten
Closed Circles – Viveca Sten
Guiltless – Viveca Sten
I’M going to talk about all three of these books in one go. Still Waters featured in my September Months Bests. I then went and sped through the following two books (and then accidentally pre-ordered book 4… but books, so who can really complain!)
SCANDANAVIAN crime fiction has really grown in the last few years. I wonder if it’s the comparative grey, coldness that tempts us, of the new setting and differing styles of writing and policing. Either way, it’s good stuff. I happened across these books when they were a whole 99p in the Kindle store, started reading one and then grabbed the others before the price went up again (they’re just over £3 now, so very reasonable) and I sped through them all.
VIVECA Sten’s Sandham series is more “normal” than say Nesbo’s or Larsson’s offerings. It’s lighter, with as much focus on the regular cast, as it were, as the murder investigations. It’s a little like reading a TV show along the lines of Engrenages (Spiral). Each series follows the same characters and is a constant extension of what has gone before, even if the crime is different, more so than with many other crime books that do still have this element, but focus more on the plot line of the crime.
IF you’re a fan of crime fiction and looking for a leisurely read, these may be right up your alley!
Lost Boy – Christina Henry
LOST Boy featured in my October Months Bests, and it thoroughly deserved it’s place on that list. I mentioned over there that I loved Alice, and was keen to read this as soon as I saw it (I bought it and started it then and there) but I had no idea it would grab my by the heart strings as it did. I’d never given any thought to Captain Hook, how he came to be, where Peter Pan himself came from, and Christina Henry breaths unique life into well-known characters as if they have always been hers from the beginning.
Henry has a way of twisting stories, warping them into something ‘other’ and spewing them out as something morally grey with shades of joy and despair in equal measure. She creates worlds and characters with which we are intimately familiar, and yet we don’t know them at all. I need her to write more…
When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon
THIS book, although not featured in my TBR list post, has been on my mammoth TBR list (and I kid you not, it really is a mammoth list) for months and months! I have finally managed to get round to reading it. I’d heard great things on booktube about this – I’ve never been a great goodreads lover – and wanted to give it a go.
WAS this a ground breaking book? Not so much. It’s a story that’s been told many times before. What stands out here, is the packaging of that story. We’re introduced to Dimple, and it’s made clear from the get-go that she’s one to buck trends for no other reason than she knows what she wants and has a pretty clear idea of who she is! She has a good relationship with her family, she’s not hugely bucking against tradition, she’s merely keeping it at arms length. She’s pretty cool! Then we meet Rishi, who is utterly charming and at ease with his parents guidance and their traditions. These two are two sides of the same coin, in many ways. They are thrust together, pitching passions and desires onto the roller coaster ride that is pre-university angst.
What I took from this book was one, very simple truth. Finding yourself, and being true to that self, is the most important thing. Alongside this, and no less important, is the way When Dimple Met Rishi gives a snapshot into the experiences of first generation Americans. Both our protagonists were born to immigrant parents, but in the United States. Perhaps I have a different understanding now that I have friends who have experienced this themselves, but I am pleased that this commentary is finding it’s way into young adult literature.
The Chemist – Stephanie Meyer
The only book on this list from my TBR post, and what a corker it was! First, Stephanie Meyer gave us the Twilight series and, for all it’s flaws, is a fun read and well written – the same can’t be said for the horrors that are the film adaptions. Then came The Host. This was an excellent stand-alone novel. I have yet to see the film adaptation and I’m not sure I want too. I’ve not heard good things.
THE Chemist brings Meyer up to a whole new level. Yes, the romance is still there – I highly doubt we’ll ever see a Stephanie Meyer book without it – but the cast of characters she creates in this new novel are strong, independent and rely on no one but themselves. Yet, within these parameters, she has created a cast of characters who’s rapport I really enjoyed. It’s most refreshing after Bella Swan’s damsel in distress act. With The Chemist, Meyer has shown she has excellent writing skills and that she deserves to be known for more than just Twilight. It’s definitely worth the read.
IT feels like Meyer is dropping us into the middle of the story, with no explanation for anything. This works perfectly in this book, as it allows the reader to find out slivers of information at the same time as the characters in the book. They themselves are often as in the dark as the reader is. Our protagonist, the titular Chemist, is a well realised character who is deeply flawed, but rationally so and also unapologetic about it – another refreshing thing about her. Her comrades are well rounded and they all balance each other well. The ending – well I actually really rather liked it… you’ll have to make up your own mind.
The Tangled Lock – Bill Rogers
THE physical copy of this book isn’t released until the 17th of December, but as a Kindle reader of Bill Rogers book, I got in there early.
THIS most recent book of Rogers is the third installment of his National Crime Agency series. With every book he has written, Rogers improves. His characterisation is more solid, his writing is tighter and the plot holes reduce. That said, this was not his most compelling outing.
I enjoy the way he refers to other characters and cases from all his books, giving a great sense of camaraderie between the various branches of the police in Rogers Manchester, and I also enjoy reading about somewhere that’s close to home, but The Tangled Lock was just that bit too long. While his writing has improved, it’s become wordier. There were too many people in this book – the investigation was too big. I would like to see him whittle it down again and focus more on the new characters he’s brought in for the NCA series, rather than relying on those he knows from the Tom Caton series. This was good enough that I am still keen to know where he’s going to go next!
Spectacles – Sue Perkins
I read this book in a day. I cried. Tears of joy, tears of sorry, tears that I can’t read this book for the first time again. I kid you not – it’s that good! Granted, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was so enthralled I couldn’t put it down even for a moment. This resulted in my wandering around the supermarket, kindle in hand, guffawing away. As if I didn’t stick out enough already… I got a few crazy stares, and I regret nothing!
I couldn’t tell you when I first became aware of Sue Perkins – Or rather I can’t remember a time I didn’t know Sue Perkins. Her memoir is as down-to-earth, real, funny and raw as she can be. It is so heartwarmingly normal, so much so that it feels like you’re reading about an old friend. It’s a book form of all those stories you tell your friends about your family, or escapades of youth – only far more organised than we tell them, usually with one too many drinks in us!
I loved this so much I was barely a tenth of the way through when I messaged my sister asking if she wanted a copy – I know better than to just go for it, what with her being an English Lit. grad and very difficult to find things for in general. It was a resounding yes, and I was so over-excited about the whole thing that I accidentally ended up ordering 2 copies – It’s that good that I’m not remotely bothered by this!
Book(s) I won’t get round to reading:
The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
After months of um-ing and ah-ing, I finally caved and bought this book. Sadly this just wasn’t for me. I gave it a good go, but it wasn’t resonating with me at all. I’m not one to force my way to the end of the book just for the sake of it! Something has got to keep me invested!