Hello and welcome to my first blog post of 2020!
If you, like at least 92% of the Instagram world, have decided you’d like to read more this year, then this is the post for you. It’s crammed with my favourite reads of the past few years, including everything from millennial memoirs to historic accounts to crime fiction.
I’m always on the hunt for something new to get my teeth into, so let me know the books you can’t get out of your head in the comments below…
Anyway yes, these are the gems that I devoured in a couple of sittings. The books I couldn’t stop thinking about and was desperate to find time to curl up and gobble up more and more. I hope you like!
THIS IS GOING TO HURT by ADAM KAY
My absolute number one and the title I’d recommend to anyone who hasn’t picked up a book for a few years and is keen to dive straight in. This memoir from a junior doctor is broken down into small sections so super easy to dip into even if you only have a few moments (or a newborn who could wake at any moment – as I did when I devoured it).
It’s witty, it’s shocking and it’s gripping. I would say the only people who might benefit from giving it a miss are those who are pregnant (as a lot of the stories are based on the maternity ward) and those who are easily horrified by stories about men trying to squeeze their testicles into condoms. Enjoy!
THREE WOMEN by LISA TADDEO
This book follows the stories and complex love lives of three different women living in America – their tales are true, they were all followed over a series of months and years by Lisa Taddeo so she could write about each of their realities.
Whilst the ending felt slightly rushed and mediocre (which tbf is fairly standard with real-life stories where there’s no obvious event to signal a close), the book gripped me by its simple relatability. There were little sentences and paragraphs littered throughout which took me by surprise – emotions and ideas which have played out in my head which I had no idea were so frequently experienced by other people, and I absolutely adored that.
EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE by DOLLY ALDERTON
This is still absolutely the best millennial memoir I’ve had the pleasure of reading, although admittedly it did take me a good few chapters to get into, based mostly on the fact that Dolly’s start in life felt so wildly dissimilar to my own. But once you’ve got over yourself and moved on from that, it’s a bloody wonderful, well-written, nostalgic and relatable read for anyone born around a similar time to Dolly (late eighties to early nineties-ish).
I loved how much it made me consider my own friendships and relationships over the years and everything they’ve taught me in the journey to becoming who I am now.
THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by HEATHER MORRIS
I’ve read a handful of holocaust-focused books over the last year or so and this one is by far the one that comes out on top for me thanks to Heather Morris’s excellent story-telling ability.
The book hones in on the experiences of Lale Sokolov, who was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau during the Second World War, and all the things he saw, felt and lived through. It’s gripping, deeply sad, but also wonderful despite all the darkness. There’s also a follow-up novel called ‘Cilka’s Journey’ which was released last last year.
MY SISTER THE SERIAL KILLER by OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE
I bloody loved this crime thriller – super easy to read and fly through, and completely different to other books I’ve read of the same genre. The book is the debut novel from Oyinkan and is set in Lagos, Nigeria. I love the fact it focuses on female relationships and things from a female perspective which made it feel fresh and somehow warmer and more light-hearted, despite the dark theme running throughout.
DARK PLACES & SHARP OBJECTS by GILLIAN FLYNN
You’ll probably recognise Gillian Flynn’s name from her most famous book, Gone Girl (or you could have seen Sharp Objects which was turned into a television series which was shown on Sky last year). Whilst I was completely and utterly gripped by Gone Girl (and would absolutely recommend it), it’s her other two novels – Dark Places and Sharp Objects’ which are my fave.
Both equally dark and twisted and both absolutely take you through an assault course of a journey whilst reading. Gillian’s writing style is easy to read and flows wonderfully, so are absolutely perfect if you like a crime thriller but feel a bit rusty with getting through books!