I’m a big reader, always have been and hope always will be!
I read for pleasure, I love zoning out, entering the world of the book and getting lost in the pages. I read mostly fiction although I do love a memoir/autobiography and travel stories.
Last year I read around 20 books and when I look back at that list, I only remember what happened and my thoughts on a few of them. This year I want to start keeping track of what I’ve read and giving my own rating of the book.
This blog post will be updated every month this year with the books I’ve read that month. I hope you get to add a book or two to your reading list! Happy reading.
The Seven Sisters Series by Lucinda Riley.
***** 5/5 stars.
This month I finished the final book in this series [at the moment]. A solid 5 stars for me, I loved every book and am jealous of anyone who gets to read them for the first time. These books are about 6 adopted sisters who live in Switzerland with their “Pa and Ma”. Their Pa passes away quite suddenly and leaves behind letters and clues to where each of his adopted daughters are originally from. Each book is the story of a sister finding her way back to her birthplace. Each book takes you to a new part of the world immersing you in the culture and going between the past and present. There are six sisters as Pa always said he didn’t find the seventh sister so there are currently six books but the final book of the series about the missing seventh sister is being released in May… I’m so excited for that but equally sad as its the last one! Definitely recommend getting stuck into these books and as there are six/seven books in total, you’ll be set for awhile.
Aroha by Dr Hinemoa Elder
***** 5/5 stars.
My mum gifted me this book for Christmas and I’m so thankful she did! Dr Hinemoa Elder shares 52 whakataukī, traditional Māori life lessons. The book was both emotional, enlightening and full of lessons. It bought tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips and I loved it from the first to the last page. As much as I learnt, I also connected to a lot of subjects. Its well written, short chapters, easy to follow and so interesting. I recommend that everyone should read the book to learn more about Māori culture, especially all New Zealanders and also Māori people in a place similar to myself of learning where you come from, about your ancestors and who is interested in getting in touch with themselves on a spiritual and wellbeing level. This book really touched my heart and I hope it is read, experienced and absorbed by many many others.
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton.
** 2/5 stars.
Following a 32 year olds love life, a cook book writer living in London who joins a dating app and gets ghosted by a guy she was seeing off there. This book was ok. It was an easy read that really didn’t go or end anywhere. Something to read and tune out to after a long day maybe.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens.
*** 3/5 stars.
Two people born in the same hospital on the same day and one “stole” the others name. They meet later in life and the story goes from there, getting to know about eachothers lives from work, relationships, friends and families. I liked this book, it was a nice easy read.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
*** 3/5 stars later changing to **** 4/5 stars.
A story following the life and generations of two half sisters from Ghana that don’t know of each other and were brought up in different tribes. The two sisters lead very different lives as one sister stays in Ghana and marries a British official who came to Ghana with the slave trade and the other sold a slave to America. The book dives into racism and slavery from the 18th century to now between Africa and America. Each chapter introduces a new character who tells their story from their generation as the years go on. This book taught me many things and opened my eyes to the slavery between Africa and America. It’s made me more aware of the colonisation of Africa and how some lived during the early centuries. Truthfully I found this book hard to follow and I wanted to rate it more than I did but reading other reviews, it seems like I’m in the minority.
EDIT: I’m coming back a few weeks after finishing this book as I’ve been thinking back on it and I’m going to give it a 4*** now. Only leaving one star out as the characters are hard to follow. But I’ve found myself thinking back to this book often during the month, slowly understanding it more as time goes on. It’s a really powerful read that will probably stick to you even once you’ve finished it too.
Olive by Emma Gannon.
*** 3/5 stars.
I like the subject this book explores! A woman in her 30’s who doesn’t want to have children. If you’ve read something similar, please let me know. The book is based around a woman called Olive who’s in her 30’s and doesn’t want to have children. As her close group of girlfriends start settling down and becoming mothers themselves, Olive is constantly faced with the assumptions and questions from others about when she will reproduce. The women all have different struggles when it comes to falling pregnant and having babies and it was interesting to read different views of this. Olive takes us through her internal mind battle of figuring out her feelings between herself, family, girlfriends and long term boyfriend while fallouts, breakups and new connections are made.
Jump by Daniella Moyles.
*** 3/5 stars.
A travel book! Memoir of Irish woman, Daniella. Daniella shares with us her childhood and the path that led her to travel then into her travel stories. I don’t want to give too much away from this book as moments from her upbringing influence her adult life and a lot of it connects into the woman she is today. It’s an interesting book and I enjoyed reading about the places Daniella travelled, what she did there and who she met along the way. I didn’t “feel” too much about it hence the 3 star rating but glad I’ve read it.