Hey stranger. Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. March and April have been very slightly busier than most of the past year. In the UK all our schools went back in March so after months of working from home, I returned to teaching. Kicking and screaming I might add. This month we have seen shops, gyms and some hospitality reopen and the beginnings of a social life returning. This has meant that I have perhaps been reading a little less and so have combined March and April in this post. As always, I hope there is something here that inspires you to read more.
She Will Soar
My lovely poetry book this month is She Will Soar. This was my March book from my monthly box with Books that Matter, possibly the best one yet. She will soar is a fucking stunning collection of poetry by female writers throughout history. What better tribute to international womens day.
Unnatural Causes by Dr. Richard Shepard
Unnatural Causes is a non-fiction written by one of the top forensic pathologists in the UK, Dr. Richard Shepard.
This book is not, I repeat NOT for the faint hearted. Shepard writes in graphic and harrowing detail about well known cases he has worked on including homicides, mass murders, terrorist attacks, accidents and brutal injuries. He vividly details the process of decomposition and the processes of what happens after we die.
This book is actually such a heavy read and at times I did wonder if I would be able to finish it at all. Having said this I am so glad that I did get to the end as it is absolutely fascinating. There always seems to be that bit of morbid curiosity that comes with the unknown element of death. Shepard answers all those questions and then some.
Unnatural Causes is a wonderfully well written, engrossing and absolutely insightful. If you can stomach the gore I would totally recommend this book.
Just My Luck by Adele Parks
Lexi and Jake have been part of a syndicate lottery group for the past fifteen years. The couple, along with their four closest friends have played the same numbers week in week out. That was until a week ago when the two other couples decided to withdraw from the kitty.
In a dark twist of fate, the following week the numbers come up. Lexi and Jake have won nearly eighteen million pounds.
Lexi and Jake soon discover that they have wildly different ideas about what to do with the money, Lexi is sure that they should maintain their privacy but when Jake arrives home with a bright yellow Ferrari their cover is blown. They are met with a local publicity storm, everyone is desperate for their cut of the win, including their old friends.
Me and @bethreadsfiction_ buddy read this and both absolutely loved it. It is a hugely provocative and captivating read that we both flew through. This is the next book you need to read if you like fast paced, TWISTY thrillers.
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed.
The Black Kids is a coming-of-age debut novel that explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager, Ashley. Set in 1992 Los Angeles during the riots following the Rodney King trial. Violent protests engulf LA and the city burns but Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal.
I found this book a little slow to start and I didn’t immediately gel with the protagonist however Ashley’s inner monologue is very snarky and funny, which immediately makes her incredibly relatable. Despite my reservations I am so glad I read it. It is such an insightful, timely and poignant story, it shines a light on important societal issues in an accessible way. Highly recommend.
Luster by Raven Leilani
My first April read. Luster is one of the books from the long list for @womensprize . Raven Leilani is an exquisite writer. Luster beautifully captures loneliness, centering around a young woman who is desperately craving stability and affection. It navigates some deeply important issues including both racism & sexism.
Luster follows Edie. A twenty three year old black woman who has just lost her job in a publishing agency. Broke and alone in a city that takes no prisoners, Edie turns to Eric. Eric is a mediocre white man in his early forties, he is in a ‘kind of’ open relationship with his wife Rebecca. In a bizarre twist of fate she finds herself embedded in their suburban family home wondering how she got there and what she should do next. Weird right?
There has been so much hype around this book, I expected to fall in love with it. Did I enjoy it? I am still not sure!!! I LOVED the writing but the story? Possibly little bit lackluster for me. 😜 I found that large portions of this book fell a little flat and were tricky to follow.
No one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood
Ok despite this book being only 200 pages I had to DNF and I feel really bad about it so don’t hate me please.
No one is talking about this is a relevant and totally bizarre look at the complexities surrounding online discourse.
The protagonist is a women who is famous for her viral online content on a platform which she refers to as ‘the portal’. The book highlights the frightening impact that the internet can have and the damaging effect on human connection.
This book gave me black mirror vibes, it is very distorted and abstract. It is unlike anything I have ever read before, very unique BUT I found myself skimming pages and decided to call it a day.
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
Sanatorium follows Elin and her partner Will as they arrive to celebrate an engagement party at a swanky new hotel high up and isolated in the Swiss Alps. The hotel has recently been renovated from an old Sanatorium and although it is now a modernist and luxurious spa hotel, there are still creepy and ominous reminders of its traumatic past.
Elin is a detective but has been taking some time off to deal with PTSD, however when a body is discovered in the middle of a storm and police are unable to attend the scene Elin throws herself back in to the detective role.
Sanatorium is a fast paced thriller with short sharp chapters. It is one of those books that you don’t want to put down, it has you guessing until the very last page. My one issue with this book was the ending, the author leaves it open for a second book which feels both unnecessary and leaves the reader with unanswered questions, having said that if you love do this genre, Sanatorium should be on your TBR.
Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan
HOLY MOLY this book is raunchy! This is the 2021 version of Fifty Shades of Grey only better written and more filthy. Daisy Buchanan is an insane writer, her characterization is flawless.
Insatiable follows Violet a twenty something women who is feeling lost both in her career and within herself. She has left a man she was engaged to and found herself in a dead end job, crappy apartment and feeling lonely and isolated in the world. Violet is craving validation and affection.
She meets Lottie and Simon an older couple who are rich, charismatic and oh so sexy. They are interested in Violet working for their start-up company but we soon learn they are not just inviting Violet to work for them, they also want her in their lives.
Funny witty relevant dark
This seems like light hearted erotica but it is so much more, it covers body dysmorphia, mental health, patriarchal structure that devalues women