During the current lockdown in the UK, I’ve been finding myself reading a lot more – which is quite the achievement considering I’m an English student and should be reading a lot anyway! It’s been so nice to have more time to read novels for pleasure rather than for a module and I’ve been well and truly taking advantage of this and have found myself reading some books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. For that reason, I thought I’d share my absolute must-reads books so far in 2020! I’m sure they’ll be plenty more by the time we come out of lockdown!
Must-Read 1: The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
The Flatshare focuses on the lives of Leon and Tiffy as they navigate being flatmates who have never actually met each other (at least to start with). They’re also not flatmates in the traditional sense as they also share a bed, though not at the same time. The Flatshare has been a book that I have found myself devouring, willing the characters to meet and get on. The notes they leave around the flat for each other are my favourite part of the novel and I loved watching the relationship between them blossom. If you’re after a book to get you feeling more positive during quarantine then give this one a go!
Must-Read 2: Black-Eyed Susans – Julia Heaberlin
Tessa, dubbed a ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ by the media, is the only survivor of a serial killer. Years later, the black-eyed Susans so-called killer is about to be executed but Tessa knows that this isn’t the right man. Someone has been leaving her flowers in various places in the years after the trial and the novel slowly reveals the real killer as more evidence and forensics come to light. I did not expect the ending at all with this book so that’s always a plus and I found myself guessing (incorrectly) right until the very end. If you’re a psychological thriller fan then definitely check this novel out!
Must-Read 3: Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M Forster
If classics are more your thing, or you fancy trying something a little less contemporary then any novel by Forster is fantastic (his A Room with a View is the inspiration behind the blog name). The story is set in Italy and follows Lilia as she falls in love with Gino but it is not all smooth sailing. She soon marries him and becomes pregnant, but Lilia’s English family disagree with the marriage and believe that the child would be better off brought up in England so they embark to retrieve the child from Gino’s care. It’s a novel concerned with societal expectation, family and love. Despite being a ‘classic’ it’s very easy to read and digest and it’s also an incredibly short book with a twist that I didn’t see coming.
Must-Read 4: Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams
If you’re looking for a bold and vivacious character then look no further than Queenie. The story follows Queenie as she navigates life in London as a Brit of Caribbean descent. She’s just split up with her boyfriend, Tom, she’s struggling to be noticed in her job and her family don’t seem to listen to her. If that isn’t enough, she’s trying to fit into a world that doesn’t seem to understand her. Queenie is a novel that examines life in both a comic and dark way, exploring issues of race, sex, love and family all in a deeply gripping and highly enjoyable way – I would definitely recommend!
Must-Read 5: The Tattooist of Austwitzch – Heather Morris
The Tattooist of Austwitzch is a remarkable novel, based on the true story of Lale Sokolov who worked as the tattooist in the most formidable of concentration camps during Nazi rule. The book follows his encounters and story through the many gruelling years of camp life and the desperate need to survive. It is a novel that reminds you never to give up despite the adversities you face and prompts a reader to never lose hope. It’s such a touching and unforgettable story which everyone must-read!
Those are some of the best books of 2020 in my opinion! Throughout lockdown, I’ve been reading so much more and I’ve been absolutely loving it! It’s been so nice to have the time to start reading all the books on my to-read list instead of them just being sat on my shelf!