Good Reads List 1

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I try to write categorised reading lists but sometimes I just haven't read enough of one genre to make a whole list. So I'll be writing up some lists of good reads that are worth a mention. So here's 10 books you should try.

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden- Jonas Jonasson

The second novel from Jonasson (he also wrote 'The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared') is just as funny and enthralling as his first. Starting with ___ a girl living in the slums of South Africa, the story introduces you to a cast of interesting and loveable characters across the world. The book is cleverly written and offers a slightly different perspective on some important historical events. Thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read.

The Comoran Strike Series- Robert Galbraith

(The Cuckoo's Calling, Career of Evil and The Silkworm)

This is actually J.K Rowling writing under a pseudonym but bears little resemblance to Harry Potter, although I found them almost as addictive. They are crime novels with the same characters running through. Comoran Strike, a one-legged veteran who starts up his own private detective agency. And his assistant Robin who arrives as a temp and realises her affinity for working in crime. Great characters, gripping plot twists and decent writing.

Sweetness in the Belly - Camilla Gibb

This book bounces between 1980s Britain and 1970s Ethiopia to tell the tale of a white Muslim nurse who grew up in Africa. When she returns to the UK she bonds with Ethiopian refugees and together they find new meanings for ‘family’ and ‘home’. This book is well-written and feels like a real insight into others' lives.

One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night - Christopher Brookmyre

This book is not my normal kind of thing but I absolutely loved it. The main character, Gavin,  is creating a new hotel and invites his school friends for a reunion which ends in a lot of gore and death. It sounds terrible but the book is so well written I found myself between laughing and gasping with shock on almost every page. The book is set in Scotland so be prepared to read (translate) some Scottish dialect!

Americanah -  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This book is essentially a love story. But one that mixes in many other big issues and ideas including race, gender and migration. As with 'Half of a Yellow Sun' (also a brilliant read), I got really involved with the characters and their stories. It presented an interesting insight into the lives of Nigerian people who move abroad for more opportunities. This book was a great way to feel like I was reading something a little intellectual while still indulging my need for gripping narrative.

The Expats- Chris Pavone

A quick page-turner about an expat couple living in Luxembourg. It's a fast-paced story of lies, manipulations, crime and expat life. Some of the story gets a bit complex but it all sorts itself out by the end of the book. A good holiday read, especially for an expat.

On Beauty - Zadie Smith

A tale of two families, one living in America, the other in the UK. The story follows each of the family members through a series of life events that intertwine their families. I found it honest, entertaining and engaging. I also enjoyed 'White Teeth' but much preferred this one as I found the plot more realistic and the characters more likeable.

Incendiary - Chris Cleave

I had to look up what this word meant but it is the perfect title for this book. When a bomb goes off at the Arsenal football ground a woman loses her husband and son. This book is a letter to Osama, telling him what happens in her life following the attack. Spookily it bears some resemblance to the 2005 London bombings which happened the day the book was released. There was also a movie made (which I haven't seen) starring Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams.

The Book of Strange New Things- Michel Faber

Sci-fi isn't usually my genre but I got on well with this book. A British pastor is sent to a colony on a new planet to try to satisfy the native alien population. His wife is left behind and through her messages you get an insight into what is happening in her life on Earth. I found the characters interesting and while the plot was not 'edge of your seat' stuff, I found myself wanting to read the next chapter well after bed time. It was particularly interesting to read while I was literally on the other side of the world from Max. I wasn't so taken by the ending but it was a good journey there.

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Yes, it is as good as all the hype. Max and I both literally couldn't put it down. A thoroughly gripping thriller about a woman with alcohol issues who watches a young couple from the train window each morning. She then gets caught up in the missing persons case and slowly pieces together memories to solve the crime. The movie is decent but definitely read the book first (do I even need to tell people that?)

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