On holiday, I’m a huge bookworm. I guess it’s just a long car ride thing; I get pretty sick of talking to my husband, pushing back my cuticles and playing I-Spy. I read on my phone, and just pound through novels like they’re going out of fashion. I’ll read almost anything that Google tells me is good value, and more often than not, I get hooked on what I read. Thrillers, psycho ladies in black dresses, witchy stuff, rom-com stuff (if I’m trying to sleep at night and have spent the whole evening reading witchy stuff), you name it.
Here’s 8 of my favourite from the last six months. (I tried to get to 10 but I’ve got a lot on my plate, okay, settle down. Gal can’t just read forever).
This book was brutal. Incredibly heavy subject matter and an overall grim feel throughout, but something I would without a doubt read twice. (Maybe I have a bit of a problem).
Read if: you are either sadistic (me), or have a thick skin and no emotional attachment to the misfortune of fictional characters (not so much me - I cried once or twice, can’t lie).
I liked this for two reasons. 1) I didn’t know what was happening for most of it and I wanted to, and, 2) I love stories that gives me the cold-tummy goosebumps that I make me blatantly refuse to get up at night to use the bathroom.
Read if: you pretend you think ghosts are stupid in public, but secretly want to believe in something out there that falls in the category of the undead.
Rom coms are tricky. More often than not, these are just a distorted representation of real life and relationships recycled from Hollywood feel-good films to the point where you read them knowing they’re stupid but figure you may as well read it, it was free after all (except it shouldn’t be - buy books properly, tiny thieves). I also find it difficult to find rom-coms with genuine “com”. Stale jokes and forced dialogue make me put down a book before I’ve barely started it. This book and Sally Thorne’s other, (called 99 Percent Mine) I found to be the exception. Her very human characters and quick wit is enough to get you to the end quite happily, and with minimal self-loathing.
Read if: you just spent the whole night reading about ghosts and murder and need a quick light-hearted laugh in order to get some shut eye.
I was a little late to the Sharp Objects parade, but it took up an entire Boxing Day and I’m not even sorry. I guess I like books with a little bit of a sickness behind them, and for that purpose alone, this was just what I was after.
Read if: you have an obsession with who-dunnit’s and love books that just hold up, even if they were written in 2009.
I was so caught up in this story that I read it even when it was so gross it gave me a headache. Crime books don’t always tend to be my thing, but what I was more invested in was the protagonist, who was a good guy in the body of a horrible one. Never thought I’d root for a cannibal.
Read if: you have a really strong stomach. Like cannibalism strong.
I love a good coming of age story that doesn’t make me bored in the middle. If you can write even the mundane aspects of a troubling life, you will keep my wildly entertained. Almost like Anne of Green Gables without the innocence.
Read if: you enjoy poetic metaphors and coming-of-age stories.
I went back and forth between deciding whether or not I liked this one, and then decided that the fact that I didn’t seem to be able to stop reading was as good an indicator as any. Written intelligently and in a way that resonates with anyone who has experienced post-teen pre-adult limbo (aka everyone), even far-fetched ideas seem like a practical step of Kate’s story-telling.
Read if: you like reading about middle-class intellectuals and trying to find symbolism in everything.
A fantastic book about mothers and children that is well worth your time. Written about everyday situations in a way that made me so invested I didn’t stop until it was over, and then I read the last page just to make sure it was, in fact, finished.
Read if: you like perfectly three-dimensional character background and just all around fantastic storytelling.
So, there you have it. A few picks from a bored lady in a car. If you have any suggestions, email me, because I’m getting short.