I feel like I read quite a lot at this time of year, and I really want to be on my game before Uni begins and I inevitably run out of time. Since this is my first proper books post of 2017, I'll preface this by saying my reading goal for this year is 50 books - 10 more than last year. Reading for fun is always something I need to prioritise! Anyway, enough rambling, let's get on with some reviews for the last two months.
This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire
Published by Penguin on 11 August 2016
Admittedly, this was the only book I got through in December - not sure how that happened, but life gets in the way I suppose. I enjoyed flicking through this immensely, mostly when I was in a bath filled to the brim with bubbles. I got this book for my birthday, and I feel like it's such a nice gift. This is a very short read, but it's poignant and understated, and nice to dip in and out of. I particularly loved the first third of the book where there were letters to people's crushes because I'm fond of beginnings and the initial excitement of something (if that even makes sense?).
Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole
Published by Orion Publishing Co on 5 February 2016
I always love delving into feminist non fiction now and again, and I really do try to read a variety of things. I had heard a couple of people rave about this whose opinions I really trust, and I wasn't disappointed. Girls Will Be Girls is a little bit more scholarship filled than some books like this, however I found it fascinating to learn about gender and feminism from someone who is a professional. Don't worry, this wasn't hard to read and instead I found it quite accessible. She also shared personal anecdotes throughout, some of which have really stuck with me. If you are into reading about feminism and more so, gender, definitely pick this one up.
It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane
Published by Harper Collins on 1 January 2014
This is a book I picked up on a whim after reading and thoroughly enjoying Mhairi's newest book, Who's That Girl? Her writing has a very similar feel to it and explores similar themes, but I found this one particularly explored what it's like to get over someone and deal with someone when they cheat on you. There's a sense of feminism or girl power, if you will, in this book, and I loved the main character, Delia's fighting spirit and humour. I think this book did fall slightly short in the wow factor for me personally, but there were some nice elements to it, which always makes me enjoy Mhairi's books. If you're after a new author to try who writes contemporary 'women's fiction' you should check her out.
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay*
Published by Hachette on 10 January 2017
You may know Roxane Gay from her book Bad Feminist, or at least I do. I'm still yet to read that book, but my ears perked up when I heard she was coming out with a new book, Difficult Women. It's a collection of short stories, some more like vignettes, that explores themes surrounding the modern woman. I'm not going to lie, this wasn't light reading. The stories explore a number of themes such as child loss, abuse and sex, and various types of women - women who don't think they deserve love, women who find pain a coping mechanism, women who feel like they can't go on at the loss of a child. One of the things I loved about this book was the way Roxane Gay was able to completely absorb me in some of the story lines and characters - she created fully formed lives in just a few pages, with simple but effective prose. I definitely recommend reading one story at a time so the full weight of it sinks in. This is a sad, and at times draining book, but one I'm glad I read.
Published by Hot Key Books on 2 June 2016
I had looked forward to reading this book for a while as I've heard it's such a fun, short read. There have been some exciting YA titles coming out recently and I would say this is one of them. This is the perfect beach read that doesn't contain anything like insta love or cheesy romance. I love that the main character, Sunny, has a love affair with London, and not a person. She essentially parades around the city with two French boys in search of her cheating boyfriend. It takes place over just one night, and is just the thing to get you back into reading if you need a nudge.