I must admit, this post has been sat in my drafts for quite a while but these books still remain some of the best books that I have read recently. Lockdown has been incredible for reading! During the summer I managed to work my way through a fair few of the many books sitting on my bookshelf. Being an English student means that I barely have any time to read the books I actually want to. However, lockdown has meant I have finished almost everything on my shelf and had to buy more books (and a Kindle) to keep myself busy!
Daisy Jones and The Six
I have heard so many people rave about this book and I can see why! I devoured this book so quickly and absolutely loved the format. I still can’t get over how this band never existed as the novel is so authentic. Essentially the premise of the story tracks Daisy Jones and The Six through the beginning, their rise to fame and their demise. It’s all told in an interview-style which was refreshing and different but allowed you to gain a good insight into each of the characters thoughts and perspectives without the need for the author to explain what everyone was thinking. At first, I didn’t think I would be a fan of this format but it makes it such an interesting book to follow along with as you can carve out your own identities for each of the characters. It takes you back to the 60s and 70s effortlessly and touches on addiction, love, fame and music without being heavy. I highly recommend this – add it to your TBR pile immediately!
Never Let You Go
This novel follows the life of Lindsay after she has fled from her abusive husband Andrew, who ended up behind bars. It flits between past and present and is told both from the perspective of Lindsay and her daughter, Sophie. I always enjoy novels from multiple perspectives as it gives you a good chance to explore the dynamics and attitudes of both the characters towards Andrew. All is plain-sailing with Andrew behind bars until he gets released from prison; it is at this point that odd things start happening to Lindsay and she is convinced that it has to be Andrew out for revenge. One thing I will say is that I did not expect the ending – it escalates quickly and ended in a way that I did not see coming which is always good for a thriller!
The Prison Doctor
I was a big fan of This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay so something similar to that was always going to be right up my street. I read this in less than 2 days and it’s written in an incredibly accessible and easy to read style. Maybe this is just me, and whilst there are plenty of stories in there, I wanted to hear of even more gruesome or shocking stories. I found that a lot of the book was partly taken up by hearing the explanation as to why she switched jobs and I wanted more focus on the stories. Having said all that, I still devoured this book incredibly quickly and would highly recommend if you’d like to gain an insight into prison life! I devoured the second book too!
This started off as a bit of a slow burner and I didn’t immediately find myself hooked but as I started to get further through it I enjoyed it more. It follows an email correspondence between Annie and Tucker, an old musician – they both feel lonely and unfulfilled in their lives and it is through these emails that a relationship forms. I loved the characters in this as I felt I really got to know them and their thought processes, and the inclusion of the emails and snippets of musical interpretations really bought the book to life too.
The Things We Left Unsaid
This story follows Rachel and Eleanor – a mother and daughter who have a rather strained relationship where they know very little about each other. When Eleanor dies suddenly, it is down to Rachel to re-trace the past and find out what she never knew about her mother and to uncover her past! This is the type of book that gets you to appreciate your family before its too late whilst also reminding you to to make the most of them and learn whatever you can. It’s an enjoyable read and I loved the dual time-frame it uses. It’s definitely quite a poignant one to read during lockdown too.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
I loved this book – I cannot express how much I adored this! I absolutely devoured it and read it incredibly quickly. The story follows Lydia after the loss of her fiance Freddie; they’d been together for years and she thought they’d grow old together, yet fate had other plans. In the depths of her grief, Lydia struggles to cope with the loss of Freddie and cannot find a way out. She starts to take sleeping pills that cause her to start having intense and vivid dreams of what could have been and their life together had he not been taken away. But can Lydia have the life she always wanted in the dreams or is life not quite as rosy as it seems? I cannot recommend this book enough, but the only thing I will say is I’m not sure how I felt on the ending! If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts!
Everyone and their pet dog loved the TV series (except me it seemed, I only got to about episode 4 and then stopped) so I felt like I had to read the book before watching the show. I read this in one sitting as it’s quite a short book that isn’t particularly complicated to read. The story follows Marianne and Connel through school and university and the relationship between the two. Not a lot really happens in the book, though I think that’s partly the point of it – it seems to highlight the mundanity of real-life and relationships, stressing how the two characters are just normal people with normal lives. It’s an enjoyable and quick read, but I don’t think it’s as hype-worthy as the TV show makes out – it’s essentially a sex-filled story about two teenagers as they progress into adulthood. But hey, sex sells.
The Day We Met
I cannot express how much I adored this book! I picked it up on a whim in Aldi (don’t you just love Aldi) and I am so glad I did. Jamie and Stephanie meet at an art weekend and have instant chemistry, the issue is that both of them are in other relationships and realise that they cannot do anything about this connection so they agree to meet up once a year as friends. The chemistry between them is undeniable but as their lives and respective marriages move in different directions they cannot deny what they have or their feelings for each other. This book made me such a mess! I have never cried so much at a book in all my life, it was the type of book that I thought about for days afterwards and still shed tears over it – I cannot recommend it enough! It’s both a heartwarming and heartbreaking story that I will continue to recommend to every single person I meet. It. Is. So. So. Good!!!!
Those are a selection of some of the best books that I’ve read in recent months. If you’re looking for any more recommendations these are some of my favourite books of 2020!
Have you read any of these? What did you think? I’m always open to recommendations too!