The Monthly Round-Up: March

Look, I don’t know how this has happened either, but, apparently, I have read 33 books this month. It seems ridiculous to me because I have actually done LOADS of work this month too, as well as, far more importantly, watching all of Nashville season 4. So maybe I have been reading in my sleep or something. Anyway, here’s my March reading:

  1. Everywoman: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth by Jess Phillips
    Phillips is the MP for Birmingham Yardley, a staunch feminist and a general legend, if this book is anything to go by. This is part-memoir, part-manifesto, and it’s both entertaining and inspiring.
  2. Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin
    I had really high hopes for this YA novel about a future society in which men have almost been wiped out by a virus, but there were too many missteps. It’s an interesting idea, but not one that’s terribly well-executed.
  3. March Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
    My mind has been completely blown by this trilogy of graphic novels about the Civil Rights movement. I can’t recommend these books enough.
  4. Letters from Medea by Salma Deera
    This poetry collection was surprisingly good – I only say “surprising” because I’ve come to really hate modern poetry without punctuation – and I particularly liked the way the Medea myth was interwoven into the poems. It’s worth reading.
  5. Shrill by Lindy West
    I officially love Lindy West. This collection of essays about being fat, online trolling, rape culture and being a socially inept teenager was both entertaining and touching. I loved it.
  6. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    What was wrong with this book? I am still deeply disturbed. This is in part because I have clearly got it mixed up with another graphic novel and was not prepared for super-creepy murder stories. It was really good. I was just not expecting to need to sleep with the light on after reading it.
  7. The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney
    A sequel to McInerney’s debut, Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious Heresies, this follows Ryan, the young drug dealer from the first book. It’s as gritty as its predecessor, completely absorbing you into the dark underbelly of the Cork drugs scene.
  8. Alpha: Abiidjan – Gare du Nord by Bessora and Barroux
    This is a brilliant picture book/graphic novel about a man trying to make his way illegally from Cote d’Ivoire to Paris to find his family. It’s really harrowing, with the simplicity of the language and illustrations completely contrasting with the detailed and horrific depiction of a refugee’s journey.
  9. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
    This book annoyed me almost intolerably for the first 200 pages, and then got really intriguing towards the end. The story of a teen with amnesia, who has to write reminders on her arms in order to function, it’s massively unrealistic and bears a lot of similarities to another YA novel (which I won’t name because that would be a massive spoiler). The ending was intriguing, but probably not worth the frustration of the rest of it.
  10. Selected Poems by Langston Hughes
    Although I have now come to the conclusion that reading selected poems is not actually the best way to experience a poet’s work, I enjoyed this collection; Hughes’ poems deal with big issues of race and poverty in an accessible way. His language seems really simple but conveys far deeper emotions.
  11. The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson
    This was completely nuts and I really liked it. It’s about a young woman who finds her identity fracturing into multiple, competing personalities, with the narrative broken up into different versions of Elizabeth, as well as the voice of her doctor and aunt. It’s weird but cool, like all Jackson’s writing.
  12. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
    I don’t know why I’d never read this before, as it’s a children’s classic and I spent my formative years immersed in them. I would have liked more of the wolves that have overrun England in this alternate version of history, but the main story of mean relatives and children escaping them was fun.
  13. Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier
    This collection of short stories is based on Jane Eyre, although some of the stories are so loosely connected that they basically bear no relevance at all. I did like some of the stories (especially Audrey Niffenegger’s) but the collection as a whole didn’t do much for me.
  14. The Mare by Mary Gaitskill
    From the Baileys Prize long-list, this is about a Dominican girl from Brooklyn and the white, privileged woman with whom she forms a precarious relationship. It’s a really absorbing book.
  15. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
    I loved this graphic novel; it’s hilarious and the characters are all brilliant.
  16. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  17. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
    Another really good read, this one’s about a woman who moves back in with her parents to help care for her father, who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s.
  18. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
    Focusing on immigration and a young girl coming to Detroit from Haiti, this showed an interesting clash of cultures although was a bit more drugs-and-shouting than I had anticipated.
  19. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
    Another Baileys Prize long-list book, I enjoyed this although it’s quite a harrowing read. It’s about the murder of two young children and the police investigation into their mother.
  20. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
    More Baileys fun. This is quite a gentle book about two elderly women who hate each other, one of whom is black and the other is white. It’s set in South Africa so the idea of race is always in the background, but it’s mainly about the two characters. I liked it.
  21. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
    It turns out this isn’t the end of a trilogy but the third in an ongoing series. I am sad about this. I enjoyed this a lot more than Glass Sword, but was kind of ready for it all to be over.
  22. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
    This was fun and charming. It’s set in 1987 and is about a computer game-obsessed teenage boy and his mission to get his hands on a copy of Playboy.
  23. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
    As with her novel, Eileen, Moshfegh has constructed characters and situations which range from unpleasant to completely reprehensible. This collection of short stories is brilliant, but you may feel like you need a shower after reading.
  24. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
    I love Anna Kendrick and wasn’t disappointed with her memoir; her stories of her childhood on Broadway  and general social awkwardness made me want to be her friend even more than usual.
  25. Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans
    This kids’ book about a boy who inadvertently gets mixed up with Greek mythology was very clever and funny. I’ll be recommending it to the younger kids I teach.
  26. The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
    Another Baileys Prize longlist book, this is about a boy whose father died helping Jews in World War II and his relationship with his mother. It’s one of those books people’s mums like. Actually I am a person’s mum. Sometimes I forget that.
  27. Nasty Women by 404 Ink
    This collection of essays about different aspects of women’s lives in 2017 was really engaging and interesting. I especially liked the essay about Courtney Love because she is awesome.
  28. The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou
    My obsession with Alain Mabanckou continues. This is a memoir about his return to the Republic of Congo after fifteen years away. Unlike his novels, it uses punctuation. It’s a fascinating study of his family and how his home changed during his absence.
  29. The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas
    I really liked this YA novel about a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome; that’s not the main part of the plot, which was also refreshing. Grace, the main character, is really endearing.
  30. The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
    More Baileys longlist reading here. I didn’t really know anything about this 1950s set novel about twins recovering from TB in a sanatorium in Kent, but I actually really enjoyed it.
  31. Midwinter by Fiona Melrose
    Guess what: this is another Baileys book. It’s beautifully written but really plodding and dull. If it wins, I will not be pleased.
  32. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli
    This collection of tales about inspirational real life women is officially my favourite thing ever. It’s ridiculously beautiful and has given my four year old daughter her own feminist awakening. I am in love with it.
  33. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
    I finished this a few minutes before completing this list and I am still bathed in a warm glow from its gorgeousness. It’s quite reminiscent of Angela Carter’s Wise Children and, although it’s rough going at times (like, on the first page, for one), it’s an extraordinary book. Easily my favourite Baileys longlistee at this point.

Enough of this madness. Have you read any of these? Have I made you want to?

The Monthly Round-Up: February

February is short but my TBR list is not, so I’ve been reading like a demon this month. Here’s what’s been occupying my attention in February.

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
    This book about what ensues when all girls develop electromagnetic powers really freaked me out. I am not over it.
  2. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
    This was sweet; it’s about a selective mute girl and a deaf boy and the obstacles that face their relationship.
  3. Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong
    A quick and easy read about corruption in Nigeria.
  4. March: Book 2 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
    I am obsessed with this series and treated myself to the trilogy in a beautiful slipcase. Book 2 carried on with Lewis’ role in the Civil Rights movement. I’m learning a lot from these books.
  5. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
    Obviously this was always going to be lovely, coming from the author of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It’s the story of never-been-kissed Molly and her crushes, her relationship with her twin sister and all the romantic happenings around her that make her feel left behind. Features guest appearances from Simon characters too!
  6. Jane Austen, The Secret Radical by Helena Kelly
    I really enjoyed this revisiting of Austen’s novels from a more political perspective. I didn’t agree with all of Kelly’s readings, but it’s so pleasant to see Austen treated with proper critical consideration.
  7. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
    This is the delightfully weird follow-up to the equally bizarre Binti. In this one, Binti travels back to Earth, with her weird tentacle things. I love it.
  8. The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
    This weird tale of gods and the underworld and odd rituals started really well but I lost a bit of interest when the main character turned into a wasp.
  9. Ms. Marvel, Volume 1 by G. Willow Wilson
    I’ve not particularly enjoyed the superhero-centric graphic novels that I’ve read, but I loved this; Kamala is a brilliantly normal heroine and I loved how the cultural aspect was embedded in the story.
  10. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
    I was on a right roll at this point in February because I really liked this too. It’s a really good sci-fi novel, with time travel and futuristic tech, as well as confusing parallel dimensions and general craziness.
  11. Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
    I was expecting this to be a bit more feminism-focused than it was, but this is, nonetheless, an interesting collection of essays. The title essay was the one that resonated most; it reminded me of the time a few months ago when a middle-aged dude explained to me what feminism really was. That was an enlightening conversation.
  12. Giant Days, Volume 1 by John Allison
    I bulk-requested a load of graphic novels at my local library and they didn’t let me down; this was excellent too. It was a very realistic but entertaining depiction of university life. I really want to read the rest now.
  13. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
    Almost unbearably poignant at times, this is Fisher’s memoir of her time filming Star Wars and the impact it had on her life. Obviously, the big news in the book is her affair with Harrison Ford, and the way it’s dealt with in the book is simultaneously affecting and hilarious. I loved the writing.
  14. A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta
    This was firmly within my Nigerian-set-novels-written-by-women comfort zone, and it was good, but didn’t grab me particularly. I think I was unfairly comparing it to other books, which is silly as it’s a good book in its own right.
  15. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Really powerful account of race in America, told through a letter from Coates to his son.
  16. History is All You Let Me by Adam Silvera
    You can read my review of this here at Fourth and Sycamore should you feel that way inclined. It is very sad.
  17. Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen
    I really liked this scrapbook-style feminism primer, with lots of intersectionality and inclusive insights. I recommend.
  18. The Mothers by Brit Bennett
    I had a big issue with this book; early on, one of the characters, at the age of seventeen, has an abortion, and it’s as if this means she can then never be happy. There’s a lot of language relating to this in the book that I objected to. It ruined the book for me, which is a shame as I’d really been looking forward to reading it.
  19. The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
    My love affair with Jackson’s writing continues. I’d read a couple of these before but most of the stories were new to me and I loved them.
  20. What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford
    It’s that time of year when I start reading shiny new children’s books in preparation for the next school year. This was fun; there was a lot going on beyond the whole invisibility thing.
  21. I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1 by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
    I’m having a great run of graphic novels at the moment. This was demented and hilarious; the contrast between the ultra-violent content and fairytale visuals was brilliant.
  22. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
    I will admit to being a little bit disappointed by this; I loved Rebel of the Sands for all its action-packed excitement, and that was pretty much lacking from the sequel. Fingers crossed for a frenetic and fast-paced end to the trilogy.
  23. American Housewife by Helen Ellis
    I really enjoyed this collection of short stories, generally focusing on the rivalries and dramas of bored women. It’s darkly funny with some Palahniuk-ian twists.
  24. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
    Yes, yes yes. Although I thought this was excessively long (as I feel about all books that go over 400 pages), it had everything I wanted in a series-closer; all the characters I’ve loved so much, all together rather than split off in separate narratives, satisfying developments and plenty of action.
  25. Rotten Row by Petina Gappah
    More short stories, this time set in Zimbabwe. I loved Gappah’s novel The Book of Memory and really enjoyed these stories too; I liked how certain characters kept popping up across the collection and Gappah’s writing is immersive and enthralling.
  26. And Then There Was Me by Sadeqa Johnson
    A slightly soap opera-y family drama, focused on a woman about to give birth to a baby for her husband’s cousin. Full review on the way.
  27. Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
    Here ends the run of excellent graphic novels. I have literally no idea what was going on here.
  28. Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou
    I really enjoyed Mabanckou’s Broken Glass earlier this year so I was pleased to find this in my local library too. Like Broken Glass, it’s very weird and features minimal punctuation and, again, I really liked Mabanckou’s dark humour. It’s narrated by an actual porcupine. Yes, really.
  29. Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
    This was an excellent YA, split between a modern-day, mixed-race Tulsa teenage girl and a 1920s teenage boy. In the modern narrative, construction work at Rowan’s house reveals a dead body, and the historical chapters gradually reveal the mystery. It’s a really compelling and enthralling story; I highly recommend.

Have you read any of these? Or have I inspired you to with my immense words of wisdom? Please let me know.

 

The Monthly Round-Up: December

Despite my lofty ambition for December of reading all the books I acquired this year and didn’t read, I just read whatever I wanted and kept acquiring more books. Oh well.

  1. Armada by Ernest Cline
    Too geeky for me. I reviewed it here.
  2. The Wicked and The Divine Vol.4: Rising Action by Kieron Gillen
    A return to form; volume 3 was awful, but this was excellent. Great artwork and interesting character arcs.
  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
    I loved this; the Prague setting, the creepy fantasy elements, the stuff with angels – it was all good. Now I need to get the second and third books.
  4. Angel Catbird Vol.1 by Margaret Atwood
    I love Atwood and this was an interesting development in her work. Aside from the animal-merging of the main character, I was baffled by the little fact boxes about domestic cats. It was weird.
  5. The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis
    This was brilliant; a historical novel with an anachronistically badass female protagonist. Here’s my review.
  6. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
    I am still not over this one; set in Nigeria, with an Adichie-esque combination of relationship drama and cultural idiosyncrasies. It’s out in March and I strongly urge you to buy it.
  7. Saga Vol.3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    Hurrah, more Gwendolen. At the time of writing this list, I am halfway through volume 5 which has rendered me incapable of remembering anything about this one. Whoops.
  8. Silver Stars by Michael Grant
    The sequel to 2016’s Front Lines, Grant continues with the story of his female GIs in WWII. My review will be up in February when this comes out, but suffice to say it’s violent and Frangie isn’t in it enough.
  9. Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
    Set in a Mexican border town ruined by drugs and gangs, this is a dark and depressing story but features some amazing writing.
  10. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Muhajan
    My review of this will be on Fourth and Sycamore in January. It’s a compulsively readable account of a bomb blast in Delhi and its short and long term impacts.
  11. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
    YA f/f love story; this was funny and touching at the same time. I really enjoyed the time I spent reading it.
  12. We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
    You might know Crossan from her verse novel One, which remains one of the best YAs I’ve read. This is also in verse, telling the story of a troubled teenage girl and a Romanian migrant boy who meet in community service. It’s out in January and it’s excellent.
  13. Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy
    I really enjoyed some of the poems here, particularly the one about the laughing school girls (my copy is all the way upstairs so that’s all the detail you’re getting, folks).
  14. The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
    All young people I know rave about Walliams; while I’m not the biggest fan of his TV persona, I can confirm that he can write a funny children’s book. Although the Dahl-esque demonisation of the big-boned is not necessary, dude.
  15. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
    This was ace; starting with narrator Darling’s childhood in Zimbabwe and transporting to America later on, it’s a brilliant representation of contrasting cultures.
  16. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
    I loved Fuller’s last novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, and this was excellent too. It’s a family drama in which the mystery of a long-disappeared mother is unravelled.
  17. American Savage by Matt Whyman
    Not as funny as The Savages, but still entertaining, with some bizarre plot twists.
  18. The Global Novel by Adam Kirsch
    A short consideration of how novelists have reacted to globalisation in their work. I’ve not read all the books mentioned here, but Kirsch’s discussions of Atwood and Adichie were interesting.
  19. Saga Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    I enjoy this series more and more as it goes on, although I do need to read the books closer together to avoid forgetting everything that happens.
  20. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
    I am officially obsessed with Adichie. I’ve written a raving, nonsensical review of this collection of sublimely good short stories which you lucky people will be able to read later in January. You’re welcome.
  21. Saga Volume 5 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    Yes, I am still reading this series.
  22. Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe
    Making a late play for my favourite non-fiction of the year, this was funny, touching and made me want to punch the air and shout “CRUSH THE PATRIARCHY.”
  23. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
    The sequel to Passenger, this was good in all the ways that book was (time travelly goodness, numerous locations) with added familial complications. Also, it turns out it’s a duology, which I did not know.

And that’s 307 books read in 2016! Woohoo. Now I need a sleep.

The Monthly Round-Up: November

23 books read this month, although the beginning of November seems so long ago that I basically don’t remember reading at least 5 of these. I’ve reached 284 books on my Goodreads challenge (originally set at 151 – I may have set this deliberately low to maximise my sense of achievement); 300 books read in 2016 is looking very doable. I am proud.

Here’s what I’ve read in November.

  1. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
    As my daughter and I continue to plough through Dahl’s works on audiobook, I am struck by how bloody weird this one is. I have read that he enjoyed a G&T with his lunch before returning to his writing shed; I can only assume The Great Glass Elevator was written after a really large glass.
  2. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
    This was very strange too; the strange dialogue and focus on setting gave it much in common with We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which I loved. I didn’t connect with this to the same extent, but it still served as a good, post-Halloween read and I’ll be continuing to read as much Jackson as I can.
  3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
    I’ve read really mixed reviews of this and I had quite conflicting feelings. I loved the premise (every generation, triplet queens are born, only to fight to the death when they come of age), but the execution was too plodding for my liking.
  4. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
    This was excellent; set in 19th century Ireland and focusing on what’s really going on with an 11 year old girl who is said to have eaten nothing for 4 months. It’s a really good mystery as well as being very twisty.
  5. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
    This was extremely weird; twins, a creepy house, psychological problems and chalk eating kind of sums it up. The chalk eating thing made it an interesting book to read after The Wonder, which was about not eating at all.
  6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
    I read this to see what all the fuss was about. It’s definitely compelling (I read it in one sitting, staying up way past my bedtime to finish it) but I guessed the plot twist so it wasn’t as shocking at the end as it might have been.
  7. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    Another audiobook listened to with my daughter, James is a very strange but sweet book, with lots of themes shared with Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator but less of the social judgement. I liked the earthworm.
  8. The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
    I really recommend this; it’s a very recently published anthology of essays by BAME writers about what it means to be an immigrant in Britain today. God only knows what this book would look like if it was published a year from now; post-Brexit, there’s some disturbing madness happening over here.
  9. Deadpool Killustrated, Vol 1 by Cullen Bunn
    This was the first Deadpool I haven’t really enjoyed; although I thought the concept of Wade traveling through the world of fictional characters to kill them all and, hopefully, bring about his own end interesting, the story just wasn’t as well-executed (haha, hilarious pun) as the other Deadpool comics I’ve read.
  10. Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
    I’ve not seen much talk about this rather lovely YA series-started; it’s set in 1950s America, focusing on a young girl who wishes to escape her abusive father, and a homeless boy who cares for a group of orphans in a subway tunnel. It sounds far more miserable than it is.
  11. Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr
    Sigh. I’ve been looking forward to reading this for months, having pre-ordered it about 6 months before its release. Sadly, it didn’t really live up to my hopes; when I read a music autobiography, I probably already like the artist, so I don’t really need them to so frequently proclaim the greatness of everything they’ve ever done.
  12. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
    This is set in an Australian refugee camp and was really quite heartbreaking. Told mainly from the perspective of a young boy who was born in the camp, it’s a really strong indictment against the system in Australia and how refugees are treated.
  13. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    A late contender for best book I’ve read this year, this ticked some key boxes for me: firstly, it’s partly set in Africa and, secondly, it follows generations of a family over the course of 200 years. I absolutely loved it.
  14. More of Me by Kathryn Evans
    I think I may have misread a synopsis somewhere, because this book was not what I was expecting. Sixteen year old Teva lives with her mother and a dozen younger versions of herself, none of whom ever leave the house. It seemed to be about one thing, then seemed to be about that thing but with a twist, then turned out to be about something else entirely and was very weird.
  15. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
    Another audiobook listen with my daughter: this is the point when Dahl’s presentation of parents really started to worry me. Seriously, Danny’s dad leaves him alone at night, makes him work in a filling station and then allows him to be an accomplice to an actual crime? Oh bravo, those are parenting goals right there.
  16. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
    I’ve had this in my sights for ages and I was so disappointed. I thought I was going to be reading something adventurous and pirate-y and what I got was a vaguely boring bodice-ripper. Boo.
  17. If You Look For Me, I Am Not Here by Sarayu Srivatsa
    I can’t decide how I feel about this book; having given birth to twins but seeing one of them die soon after, a mother treats her son as a daughter, giving him serious identity issues. Parts of it were excellent, but it did drag a bit.
  18. Let Them Eat Chaos by Kate Tempest
    Tempest’s latest poem is another masterpiece of the modern age, skewering the concerns of life in the 21st century. There are some bits in it so good I shrieked.
  19. The Blazing Star by Imani Josey
    Gloriously demented time travel, ancient Egypt craziness. I didn’t always understand it, but I did enjoy it.
  20. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    I’ve been reading this with a class at school and got to the end this month. I really love this play, especially the potential it has for spawning brilliant theories and the opportunity to teach 15 year old boys about toxic masculinity.
  21. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
    I’ve wanted to read this for ages and it was so worth the anticipation. It’s a brilliant depiction of mental illness that all people should read.
  22. The Outside Lands by Hannah Kohler
    Something else I’ve had my eye on for a while, this is an excellent take on the Vietnam war, from the perspective of an enlisted Marine with anger problems and his sister in California left to try and deal with them.
  23. In the Dark, In the Woods by Eliza Wass
    I was very disappointed with this; I was expecting some seriously dark and disturbing weirdo religious stuff, and actually what it offered was more in the realm of adolescent drama. Boo.

I’m having a very bad spell at the moment with starting books I’ve been wanting to read for ages and then finding it impossible to get into them. I don’t know if it’s that the books aren’t great or whether the amount of work I have to do is distracting me. I have also spent an inordinate amount of time this month stressing about my daughter’s birthday cake, which is ridiculous and should not be distracting me from reading.

My plan for December is to finally get to all the books I’ve bought this year and not read yet. So, hopefully, December’s round-up will include Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, Darkness Follows by L.A. Weatherly and Armada by Ernest Cline. I might even go crazy and finish The Mill on the Floss.