June flew by for us, we had holidays and actual IN PERSON book events, and just so much busy-ness!! So here’s a round up of what we did and what we read.
What did we read:
PEOPLE PERSON by Candice Carty-Williams
Published by Trapeze (out now)
I actually really liked this. A few errors that should’ve been picked up in editing (which was a bit rubbish as it’s a hardback), but apart from those it was good. 🙂
Full disclosure, I didn’t like QUEENIE…. I know a bazillion people read it and loved it, but it just wasn’t for me. But not liking an authors book, doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t read more of their work. I heard about this on BETWEEN THE COVERS on BBC2 with Sarah Cox and it sounded amazing.
I promptly took myself off to the book store and picked up the BEAUTIFUL hard copy, and it is gorgeous.
It’s an excellent story, so much drama, so much confusion, I loved it. I think everyone can relate to the family dynamic we’ve got here – well I suppose an only child wouldn’t – but I certainly did. I have got 5 brothers and sisters, some half, some full, but all family nonetheless. I saw my relationship with them reflected in some of these characters, and it drew me further into this world.
The crazy story made this one a really fun read and I’m so glad I didn’t write off Candice Carty-Williams after QUEENIE.
THE START UP WIFE by Tahmima Anam
Published by Canongate (out now)
Love. Love. Loved this.
When Asha thought up her brand new, revolutionary start up, she had no idea the trouble it would cause. Along with her husband and best friend, she embarked on a journey of self discovery which revealed some ugly truths about the modern world we find ourselves in now.
I loved this one and couldn’t put it down to keep to the read along schedule with Canongate (thank you for my copy guys).
It’s so funny in all the right places, and it also has deeper lessons in going too far and self restraint. It touches on so many different topics – feminism, patriarchy, technology/AI, family dynamics, racism, sexism etc etc. All boldly explored with humour and sensitivity.
Congratulations to Tahmima Anam for a fantastic book, I will absolutely be reading this again in the future! (Also it has such a beautiful cover!)
PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee
Published by GC (out now)
This book took me forever to read ( I started it back in March) but I am so glad I stuck with it as it feels like a real achievement to finish a book that I wouldn’t normally read. Pachinko was highly recommended to me by my boss and then when I found out that the Apple TV series starring Lee Min-Ho was due to be realised soon I downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited to give it a go. Pachinko is a multi-generational story of one Korean family covering the 20thcentury, from Japan annexing Korea in 1910 up to (almost) the present day.
Sunja is our main protagonist, the book starts with her grandparents and goes all the way through to her grandchildren and Sunja ties it all together. What I liked about this book is that it was told through the eyes of very normal people, there is no political or economic justification for what is going on, it is just what is. But this at times was also what I didn’t like about the book, I didn’t know why things were happening and I wanted to know the bigger picture ( I spent a lot of time on wiki reading about
Korean/Japanese relations while reading this book). I feel like there are a lot of things that I could say about this book, and I actually want to buy a physical copy of it so that I can re-read and annotate it as its such a rich and interesting book, but also frustrating, some things need more of an explanation as some characters disappear or die and you are left to make your own conclusions as to why?
Would I recommend this book? Yes, but mainly so I can ask how someone else interpreted it. When I finally finished it my boss and I had a 30 min long phone call to discuss our different interpretations of certain bits.
UNDER ONE ROOF and STUCK WITH YOU by Ali Hazelwood
Published by Sphere (out now)
The STEMinist Novellas focus on Mara, Sadie, and Hannah who are friends first, scientists always and of course looking for love. Both novellas were pretty formulaic, female scientist meets hot guy who should be her nemesis (for one reason or another) but they fall in love and its all cute and lovely. When I say ‘formulaic’, I mean this is a winning formula and should not be knocked, as they are novellas they are quick easy reads so perfect pick me ups. I enjoyed both of them and the third novella is out in a few days 😊
FORGET ME NOT by QB Tyler
Self published (out now)
This was a total ‘book tok made me read it’, I saw it on booktok just after I finished work one eve, it was on KU…. And so by bedtime I had finished it. Bennet wakes up in hospital after a car crash to find how that he and his wife are currently going through a divorce, but of course he has amnesia so is pretty confused as to why he and Olivia are in the middle of a divorce ( and that Olivia basically hates him), this is a second chance romance with plenty of angst and emotion. I enjoyed it but not sure I would read again.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM by Danielle Jenson
Self published (out now)
This is another novella ( love a novella, I think these novellas were a perfect antidote to the heaviness of Pachinko as I read them intersped with Pachinko). This follows on from Traitor Queen and it was a lovely refresher to go back to Ithacana after reading the Inadequate heir. TBH I wished I had re-read The Bridge Kingdom and Traitor Queen before reading this novella as I had got confused on who some of the people are, but that’s my memory and nothing to do with how great this novella is.
LONDON WITH LOVE by Sarra Manning
Published by Hodder (out now)
Love love love this book. Okays, so I am along time fan of Sarra Manning ( I am pretty sure I read my first one of her books when I was 13), but this book is something special. A love story set over many years ( from the 80s up until now, like literally now- COVID and the lockdowns get mentioned), I found it really eye opening that I was fully immersed in this story but I was always aware of the dates at the top of the chapters because you know what is about to happen ( much the same way when I reading a WW2 love story and you know exactly that the Battle of Britain/ Pearl Harbour, D-DAY etc are right around the corner and about to cause trouble for our heroes). Princess Diana, The millennium bug, Sept 11th…. Its all here and I found it very eye opening all the historical events that we/ I have lived through. Nick and Jen are a couple that are fated, or not, to be together. Its like we know it, they know it….. but they just cant seem to get it together. I really enjoyed that this wasn’t a smooth sailing romance and Manning’s love for her home city really shines through ( as it does in her YA fiction novel, London Belongs to us).
What did we do:
June marked our re entry into the world of IN PERSON book events! So excited, we managed two between us.
First up was an in-conversation with Sheena Patel at Bookbag in Exeter.
We both attended this one and really enjoyed hearing Sheena talk about what inspired her to write her debut novel; she’s quirky and interesting and made the whole audience giggle a few times.
We picked up a copy, so watch this space for a review in the coming months.
Next up was the Lyme Crime Festival in Lyme Regis. I (Becca) went to watch a debut panel with Sarah Pearse and Sarah Bonner, hosted by Erin Kelly.
Whilst Sarah Pearse now has her second book out (THE RETREAT), she was on the debut panel as her first book THE SANATORIUM was published during lock down and so she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do the panel when she was actually a debut! 🙂
Both Sarah’s were lovely. Really engaging and chatty, and had so many interesting things to say. Sarah Bonner’s debut is HER PERFECT TWIN and is out now.
I got my copy of THE SANATORIUM signed and also my proof copy of THE RETREAT which is out 21st July 2022. There is a review of Sarah’s debut here.
Both Karin Slaughter’s GIRL FORGOTTEN and CL Taylor’s THE GUILTY COUPLE released this month, and of course I had pre ordered both. I read early copies of both and they are amazing, so I have no hesitation in recommending you go out and buy both. GIRL, FORGOTTEN is one of my fav books of the year (obviously – it’s KS!)
What are we looking forward to in July?
If you want to know what is coming up on our reading calendar then head over to our Instagrams or Goodreads with the following links:
Why read one book when we can read multiple – something we both do and have no intention of stopping:
What’s coming up for Kate?
- MEET ME AT THE WEDDING by Georgia Toffolo. Becca has read this, I have nicked it from Becca’s bookshelves 🙂
- FURY BORN by CLAIRE LEGRAND
- THE AWAKENING (ZODIAC ACADEMY 1) by Caroline Peckham
- THE SPANISH LOVE DECEPTION by Elena Armas
- TO MARRY AND TO MEDDLE by Martha Waters
New releases in July I am looking forward to adding to my TBR pile:
- 15th Anniversary CITY OF BONES – THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS Special Edition by Cassandra Clare – 7th July – I think I already have 3 physical copies of this book, but what’s one more? I am also going to see Cassandra Clare on her Last Hours book tour at the end of the month.
- THESE TWISTED BONDS by Lexi Ryan – 19th July 2022, The follow up to last years, THESE HOLLOW VOWS. While I found HOLLOW VOWS to be predictable but enjoyable, its been my experience that with these books, book 1 is world building and a tad predictable (oh shocker, the blonde guy is evil…. Seriously, why is the blonde Prince always the bad guy??? Hmm I see my future YA novel here as the blonde Prince not being the bad guy), but book 2 is where the author throws off the cliché tropes and really goes to town so I am excited for this.
- BELOW ZERO (THE STEMINIST NOVELLAS 3) by Ali Hazelwood released 5th July.
What’s coming up for Becca?
- THE REDBREAST by Jo Nesbo – been on the TBR for years, finally started it in June, hoping to finish it soon.
- QUARTER TO MIDNIGHT by Karen Rose – one of my highlights of every year, is the new KR release, and I had the opportunity to read an early copy again this year. Just finished it so review will be up on The BBB very soon! It is released early August 2022.
- WHEN YOU DISAPPEARED by John Marrs – another that’s been on the TBR for far too long.
- THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by Lisa Jewell – I’ve been sent an early copy of this one too, so can’t wait to start it. It is released 21st July (I’ve already pre ordered the hardback) so definitely keep an eye out for it.
- THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris – Originally earmarked for my June TBR, this one got away from my Hannibal series read through. So very much looking forward to this sequel as RED DRAGON has been one of my favourite reads this year!
We’ve all been enjoying a first half of the month heatwave and second half of the month wash out, so hopefully in July the weather will be a bit more stable and we can read our books in the sunshine 🙂 Let us know what you read this month, or what you are planning on reading in July.
Becca and Kate x