Hi friends, so in the time since I last posted I’ve actually miraculously finished my Goodreads reading challenge for this year.
This is momentous for me as this is now the third time that I’ve tried to do this challenge and the first time I’ve actually succeeded!
In 2016 I think I hit around 29, whereas last year I did a bit better but still not great with 32.
HOWEVER, I actually did hit 50!!
I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favourites over the past 50, to give anyone who like me usually, might be struggling a little.
Here’s my top five from my reads this year.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
I have an entire post on how much I loved this book and I’ve waxed lyrical about it basically every time someone has ever said to me “I don’t know what to read” but it’s SO good.
It follows two main characters, Victor and Eli, who are college friends. For a thesis, Eli starts to look into the existence of EOs, or extraordinary beings. One thing leads to another, and they begin looking into the possibility of turning themselves into EOs.
Fast forward ten years, and Victor is breaking out of prison, where he’s been since college. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s much better when you don’t know that much, but it sees old relationships revisited, and how people can change.
The second book, Vengeful, was released earlier in the month which I am very excited about, and looking forward to picking it up.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
If you follow Booktube, or blogs, you will probably already have heard about Night Film. Originally I wasn’t sure what to think of it, but I ended up loving this.
It follows Scott, an investigative journalist who was shamed after being sued by a man called Cordova – a mysterious film director. Cordova’s daughter Ashley is found dead, which jump starts a new investigation for Scott into what caused her death.
There is so much to this novel that it really does keep you guessing. I was never really sure what was going on, or where the story would go next.
It’s a good mystery, and it’s quite gripping so I felt like I wanted to read it all to find out where they would go next, or what they would uncover.
What I would say is this book is long. Longer really than it needed to be, but where it gets a little slow, it picks up again quickly.
Cold Granite by Stuart Macbride
I’ve also already put up a mini review on Cold Granite, so I won’t go into it too much. It’s a classic detective crime novel set in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Aside from the fact that Stuart Macbride is a great writer, it’s also weirdly thrilling to read about the city that you live in, knowing the places that he visits are real (for the most part).
Logan McRae is serving in the police force, trying to get to the bottom of a missing child epidemic, to stop it before more children wind up dead in the city. And that’s pretty much it. It is very much a classic crime novel, which I honestly missed, as all the ones i’ve been reading recently have had some psychological thriller twist.
I’d recommend if you’re into that, but especially if you’re familiar with the city.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
When I bought this, I didn’t really know what it was about, only that a 16-year-old’s diary washes up on the beach.
A Tale for the Time Being follows two protagonists, Nao and Ruth, who live in different time periods, and lead very different lives. Nao, who lives in Japan, is severely bullied at school, and spends her time in an adult cafe which exploits her or at home with her suicidal father. She too, is suicidal, but wants to document the life of her great-grandmother Jiko before she ends her life. Ruth, who lives in remote Canada, finds Nao’s diary in a lunchbox which has washed up on the shore and begins reading, hoping to find out more about her life.
I loved this because Nao’s diary reads like she is speaking directly to you. Her story is fresh and exciting and different to anything I’ve read before. Ruth’s part mostly involves trying to piece together what happened to Nao, but also includes a magical realism element that sees the story warp and slip away from her. I liked Ruth’s section a lot less than Nao’s but it was still a fantastic book.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Since the film version was such a big hit, the chances are that a lot of people will have already read this by now, and I’ve recommended it to quite a few people as well since.
I have to point out, it seems like quite a divisive book, either it’s people’s cup or tea or it’s really not. I loved it. And i’m really not into romance novels.
It follows the summer relationship between two people – Elio, who is 17, and Oliver, 24. Oliver comes to work for Elio’s dad, and they end up spending the long Italian summer in close proximity.
Soon, Elio becomes what can only be described as infatuated with Oliver, but they share a very love/hate relationship, which sees them close and intimate one moment, and giving each other the cold shoulder next. It also jumps into the future, and revisits their relationship in the future.
It’s very much young love, but I am still very cautious about billing this as love, as I really do feel like it is more infatuation, that pairs with nostalgia.
It’s definitely worth a read, and the film is also fantastic.