Thursday, January 11, 2018

Books I Read in November & December

Nothing to Disclose. ARCs clearly defined in accordance with review policy here


Every year my reading drops in November and December because it's a really busy time of year for me. This year I really wanted to try and read at least a couple of books, and I'm happy to report that I read 3 in November and 8 in December.



A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
This was a Kindle First pick for December. I don't usually get one, but this looked interesting on the basis that we don't really get to hear accounts from people who live in North Korea very often. It's harrowing, it's hard to read, and it's full of grief. I think it is worth a read, just to see exactly what it was like for this man over the 36 years he lived there - but it's not an easy read at all. 

Almost the Perfect Murder by Paul Williams
I can not abide Paul Williams, but I wanted to read about how the horrific murder of Elaine O'Hara was solved. When a friend lent me a copy, I read it in pretty much one sitting. I hate the title of this book, but it's fascinating to read about. Very, very graphic and very upsetting in parts. 

Devil's Bargain by Joshua Green
An account of who exactly Steve Bannon is and how he came to be involved with the election of Donald Trump. A much better book by all accounts than Fire and Fury, and very much worth a read if you have an interest in U.S. politics. 


How to Succeed in the Beauty Business by Ciara Allen
This is a must-read if you're in any way interested in beauty blogging or beauty as a career. Ciara has written a bible - with sections on how to start, how to make contacts, how to gain experience and much, much more. My own interest in beauty has waned significantly over the past few years but I enjoyed every second of this.

Into the Valley by Chris Clement-Green
I was a part of the blog tour for this release, so you can read my full review in that post here. This is an account of Chris' time spent as a Police Officer in London in the 80s. Anyone into Police procedurals would enjoy this, I think.

The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds by John Higgs
Yes, that KLF. Justified and Ancient. This is a really, really fascinating account of how the band came to be, and how they ended up burning a million pounds in cash on a small island in 1994. This is so engaging, and really witty. Even if you have no interest in the band, the chapters about shared thoughts and the existence of money are well worth the read. Great research, great book, one of my favourite reads last year.



My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Winter Romances by Various, edited by Stephanie Perkins
A Young Adult anthology containing short stories by twelve different authors, all set around the theme of winter romance. My favourites were by by Kiersten White (a story about a guy who cooks food at a diner based not on what people order, but what they really need) and Stephanie Perkins (a tale about a girl meeting a boy at a Christmas tree lot). Very sweet. 

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot (ARC)
I really like Mandy's Christmas books. This one is about a woman from Notting Hill who cares for her sister. She finds out that the company she works for are in talks to develop a Super Hotel in London, and the CEO is in town. Mandy's pop culture references and sharp wit always save her stories from becoming too twee and predictable, she's one of the first I look to when I want something sweet and romantic. 



Friend Request by Laura Marshall
Louise is (understandably) shocked when she receives a friend request from someone who has died years ago. Who is pretending to be Maria? Or, is she really dead? This features two of my favourite tropes: 80s flashbacks and school reunions. It was a good read, not one of my favourites but it was a nice little thriller and a good debut.

In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green
Neve inherits a cottage in the strangest of ways. Expecting a peaceful retreat to help get her life back on track, she ends up in a house of horrors. Someone does not want her there - and what was the previous owner really like? I enjoyed this a lot, it was an addictive read. Recommended!

Oh My God What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen
Fans of the Facebook page will be familiar with Ais and her boyfriend, Generic John. But you don't have to be a fan to read this - everyone knows an Aisling. A country girl working in the city, with a long-term boyfriend and no sign of an engagement ring. When Ais and John attend yet another wedding, Ais decides things need to change. Warm, witty, and friendly, this book was lovely, and managed to get a few really serious issues in there too. Also recommended!

And that's it - that brings my 2017 reading to a total of 138. As always, I'll update the Books 2017 page with clickable covers, just click any one to go to my full Goodreads review. I've a shiny new Books 2018 page that I'll update as I go, thanks for staying with me throughout another great reading year!