This month has been characterised by angry political marches and books that made me cry. What a great start to 2017! These are the titles that helped distract me (and ruin me emotionally) when global news became too much:
A Monster Calls
I cry. I cry so much. And then I watch the film and I cry some more.
A beautiful, heart-breaking read with obvious parallels to other “children’s” titles like The Bridge to Terabithia, A Monster Calls is about dealing with grief and the coping mechanisms we use to keep ourselves together. Patrick Ness just delivers again and again (though I’m still too scared to read the Chaos Walking trilogy). I bought the illustrated edition and I highly recommend it as the rawness of Jim Kay’s art adds a fantastic layer to the narrative.
This One Summer
Written and illustrated by sister team Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, this coming of age graphic novel is poignant, tragic, and life-affirming all at once. Although criticised as slow and lacking in a driving narrative, it perfectly captures the drawn-out weeks of the summer holidays and the confusion of being stuck between childhood and the adult world. Content note for suicide.
The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman
The death of popular high school student Hattie Hoffman sends her rural town into chaos. This murder mystery is an intriguing mix of forbidden teen romance and small town detective work. I found it veered into predictability near the end with a few “convenient”plot devices which made me almost give up on it, but then it surprised me with the final twist. An interesting study in how we manipulate the way others see us.
My colleagues are already sick of me raving about this one! As the title suggests, it’s rather weird. Mysteries abound in the small town of Rotherweid, a place cut off from the rest of England where the study of history is forbidden. This is a twisty, hilarious, magical story crammed full of intricate characters and nefarious plots. Not one to read as you drift off to sleep, but the alertness you need to follow the narrative and keep the kooky characters straight is very much rewarded.
This is one I’ve been eager to read since the film, and it met all my expectations. Although Kafka on the Shore is still my favourite Murakami thus far, Norwegian Wood captured me from the first page and kept my absorbed right till the… rather odd… end. Sad and repetitive and slow and dark, but all in the best ways possible. Another that needs a content note for suicide.
Because my TBR is getting crazy out of control, and I have no idea where to even start with it, I’m going to *try* to be more structured with the way I read. And force myself to explore new genres/authors in the process!
So February will be particularly centred around diverse authors (though reading diversely should always be the goal), and although I already have a few titles in mind, I would love to get some recommendations from you all. So who are some great/underrated authors from diverse backgrounds that you would recommend? TELL ME WHAT TO READ!!!