I have loved reading since I can remember. Getting lost in the pages of a book, rendering yourself completely to the characters, and filling your mind with your own creative imagination as the story unfolds. A good book is something that easily excites me. 2016 showed me an array of books and authors I would not have otherwise read if they weren't on my varsity reading list - not all were exactly my favourite, but still, I think it's good to be open to read things that you aren't used to, or isn't your natural genre. There's so much knowledge and art within the pages of books, and that is something I absolutely treasure.
With the busy, frantic reality of life, sometimes sitting down with a book can be the last thing on your mind - I've been there so many times. But I always find that when I make the time, even for 15 minutes at the end of my day, I am thankful for it. That little portion spent enthralled in the words and vision of another is magical! And so, these are the books that I have been reading recently and have yet to read. I hope you enjoy my list!
1. Jodi Picoult: Harvesting the Heart
For a while I was hesitant to pick up a Jodi Picoult book, in knowing the famous heartache and grief that's not spared between her pages. (She's the author of My Sister's Keeper) But this book had been on my mom's bookshelf for a long time, and in a hurried packing up of our previous house, I put it into one of my boxes and it landed up on my own bedroom shelf.
Eventually, I picked it up and began to read it. And I was literally (no joke) instantly captivated. Her writing is simple, but so fascinating. This story is about a man and a woman from completely opposite backgrounds, who somehow fall in love. And of course, there's a huge twist that leaves you craving more. I think because she writes in a very realistic way, it is easy to assume (if you're familiar with her style) that it is not always going to be a fairytale, happy ending type of book. But it is really beautiful and I don't want to give too much away! Though this particular story is not heart-wrenchingly sad, but it has its parts, and I would still recommend this to anyone looking for a drama/love story.
2. Susan Lewis: The Girl Who Came Back
I picked this book up at a book sale last month, having never heard of the author before. I felt like trying something different and unfamiliar though, and since I had no idea what the author's style of writing was or any other of her books, the blurb on the back just intrigued me.
I wasn't hugely in love with the writing style, but I will admit that the plot really grabbed me and made it hard to put down. It's about a girl, Amelia, who is (I'm pretty sure from the events in the story) psychologically ill. She makes friends with another girl, Daisy, who seems to have the life that Amelia did not - a loving family, friends, talents in every aspect - and from there it kind of turns into a thriller, I would say. The story unfolds quite slowly, and at first I was expecting it to be easy-going and not intense at all. But that definitely didn't last!
I wouldn't call it one of my favourites, but I definitely enjoyed the unexpected twists of the plot, and it certainly freaked me out a bit! So if that's the kind of thing you like, this one could be for you..
3. Kate Harrison: The Starter Marriage
I am always down for a 'nonsense book' as I like to call them. Something that isn't very serious, but is a fun, light read. And this is exactly that!
The Starter Marriage is a concept from the book that explains how a first marriage that falls apart can sometimes be referred to as a 'starter marriage' - as in, one that's merely for practice. It sounds a bit somber, but it's actually a very cute story. The characters join a support group for divorced people, and through this they make strange friendships and end up doing a lot of crazy things together.
These kinds of books are always good to read between serious, grief-stricken stories, that can sometimes leave you feeling a little drained!
4. Khaled Hosseini: And The Mountains Echoed
One of my favourite authors of all time. I read his book The Kite Runner first a few years ago, and it was one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. The way he describes even the simplest of things leaves you feeling as though you really are there, in the story.
And The Mountains Echoed is one I am currently reading. I am about half way through and every chance I get I pick it up. It's a really moving story of the bond between a brother and sister, and the struggle-filled journey that life takes them on.
Khaled Hosseini has such a way with words that I have just been in awe of since I first started reading his books. They are also written very realistically, in the context of real events that have taken place in history. It's these elements that bring to life his stories and makes emotions of all kinds wash over you in massive waves.
5. Marian Keyes: The Mystery Of Mercy Close
Anyone who loves a light storyline, interesting characters, a bit of romance and a wonderfully written book, surely loves Marian Keyes. This woman is the queen of the book version of a rom-com! Her books are always centred around a female character who will always, without fail, bring embarrassment, humour and wit to the fore.
This book is based on a woman named Helen, a private detective with a downward spiralling life. She takes on the only job she's had in months - a missing person case for one member of a boyband. The whole story unfolds in a hilariously, brave manner, with hints of the darker reality of depression. I loved this book, as I do all of Marian Keyes novels!
6. Nicola Moriarty: The Fifth Letter
My last book on this list, and the one I have yet to read after And The Mountains Echoed. I bought this book at the book sale as well, and again, I have never read anything by this author. But I am really looking forward to getting into this one!
After the intense read from Khaled Hosseini, a scandalous plot will be perfect - and it seems that is what this book is. It's about four friends that have grown up together, and are now in their thirties. Life in general has torn them apart a bit, so they decide to take a trip. On this trip, each women must write a letter (anonymously) to share the truth about what's happening in their lives... And I can only imagine what truths will be coming up in each one. I am so excited to read this! I'm almost certain it will live up to its scandalous blurb!
That brings me to the end of my September reading list - even though most of them I've read already... But hopefully it can give you a little bit of inspo' to dust that bookshelf and get into some new novels! Have you read any of these?