Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Reading round-up: November

November 2013 books

87. The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales by Kate Mosse - 6/10. This collection of short stories has a ghostly theme, but it would be more accurate to describe them as winter tales than haunting ones. The main strength is the stories' magical and atmospheric settings, rather than the plots, which tend to be quite weak. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
88. It by Alexa Chung - 6/10. A combination of irreverent commentary, fashion advice and autobiographical anecdotes from style icon Chung, mixed with photography and illustrations. An attractive coffee-table book that would make a good Christmas gift for the fashionista in your life. Read my full review / Buy the book
89. A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan - 8/10. This debut thriller has a very unreliable narrator indeed: William Heming, an untrustworthy estate agent who secretly keeps a set of keys for all the properties he deals with. It's thought-provoking and effective, although personally I would have liked it to be a bit more shocking. Read my full review / Pre-order the ebook
90. Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse - 7/10. A dissatisfied wife uncovers a host of secrets surrounding her seemingly perfect husband in this third novel from Lucie Whitehouse. While I didn't enjoy this as much as the author's previous two, it's incredibly readable and unpredictable. Read my full review / Pre-order the ebook
91. The Sleep Room by F.R. Tallis - 8/10. Sent to work in a mental hospital deep in the Suffolk countryside, a young doctor discovers that his boss is experimenting with controversial treatments for schizophrenia, and also has to contend with a potentially supernatural presence. An evocative (sort-of) ghost story which delivers some great scenes and a couple of real surprises. Read my full review / Buy the ebook

November was a month of books that defied my expectations. I was really looking forward to The Mistletoe Bride and Before We Met, and while I enjoyed both, they weren't quite as amazing as I'd hoped. Meanwhile, I'd heard It was terrible, and instead found it to be a perfectly pleasant, visually pleasing book. The Sleep Room started slowly but built up to some fantastic, unexpected twists. I think my award for best book of the month would be tied between that and A Pleasure and a Calling, an enjoyably twisted read.

As previously discussed, in December I'm going to try and read my way through a sizeable pile of advance copies. The less said about that daunting task the better; I'm just going to take it as it comes and fit in reading whenever I can!

Finally, in case you haven't been checking whether anything's changed on my sidebar on a daily basis (why not?!), I've set up one of those Amazon store things. I thought this might be more useful than a list of recommendations on a separate page that nobody would ever look at. If there are any more categories you think should be added, leave a comment and let me know!

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1 comment:

  1. A Pleasure and a Calling sounds rather disconcerting, in a very good way! I recently read Engleby by Sebastian Faulks, and I've never come across a more disorientatingly unreliable narrator! It was way over my head, so maybe this would be a good reattempt at a thriller book!

    Nell at And Nell Writes