I still can’t quite get my head around how quickly the past year has gone! It’s summer again! I’ve been so in need of a holiday for a while now after the long hours in the hospital, stress sorting all my paperwork as the submission date hurtled towards me, plus essays and exams – a holiday was so so needed!
I so love the part of a holiday where you don’t have to do anything. I mean, I love the exploring part too, where you get lost in funny little villages on the Amalfi coast in Italy, or climb 500+ steps to the top of a clock tower in Kosice in Slovakia (both things I have done in recent years and loved!) But the bit where you don’t have to do anything is just so special. I’m rubbish at that at home. I always find something to be doing. An odd job, and email to reply to, laundry to be put on, dishwasher to unload, food to cook, blog post to finish, essay to tweak etc etc. It’s got to the point now where if I’m having a night in with M, sometimes he literally has to tell me to sit down. I just find it hard to shut down properly.
So, being able to spend literally days of just lounging by the pool and swimming in the sea last week was absolute bliss! And with that, came holiday reading (well, not with the swimming in the sea bit…might not have been hugely practical!) And, I was reading books that didn’t have the word ‘labour’, ‘newborn’, or ‘pregnancy’ in – what a novelty!
For me, the picking out of the books is always the moment where I really feel like I’m going on holiday – it feels like the start. I LOVE bookshops. Between bookshops and stationery shops I could very easily spend every penny that I earn, and then some. I just love them. They are magical places where strangers smile at one another and where creativity and adventure lurks on every shelf – and they smell good too!
So, I headed to Waterstones a couple of weeks back with an idea of a couple of books I wanted to pick up (thank you to those who replied to my Facebook post with recommendations!), and also knowing the kind of thing that I was going to pick up for M too – I was anticipating buying maybe 3 books… Well, I tried, but I failed at the willpower thing completely and came out with double what I had aimed for….and I’m gonna be honest, I’m not ashamed in the slightest – I just can’t wait to read them!
I will do a follow up on this post at some point and let you know what I thought of the books once I’ve read them, but I wanted to share with you what I bought in case anyone is looking for something new to get their nose into.
1. ‘The Couple Next Door’ by Shari Lapena
I found this one on the Waterstones website when I was looking at what to buy. It sounds like it’s going to be a bit of a thriller whilst also tugging at the heartstrings a little too (always a good combo!)
The blurb on the back sold it to me, without question.
“Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party.
Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door.
You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take turns to go back every half-hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked her last.
But now, as you race up the stairs in your healthy quiet house, your worst fears are realised. She’s gone.
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there…”
2. ‘I Found You’ by Lisa Jewell
This one was a recommendation in a recent-ish vlog from the fabulous Hannah Gale. As soon as she started talking about it I had to screenshot and make sure it was added to the list – it just sounded awesome!
It says on the front “Everyone has secrets, What if you can’t remember yours?” which is just a really captivating little tag line, isn’t it?!?
Can’t wait to dive straight into this one!
“Lily has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no-one.
Alice finds a man on the beach outside her home. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement, she invites him into her home.
But who is is and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?”
3. ‘Truly Madly Guilty’ by Liane Moriarty
This was on the Bestseller wall at Waterstones when I went in and, I’ll be honest, I judged a book by it’s cover. The front cover image totally drew me in enough to pick it up and have a look, without even reading the title. But then looking at the blurb on the back and then seeing that it is written by Liane Moriarty who has written a bunch of Number One Bestsellers including “The Husband’s Secret” which I loved; I just had to buy it!
“This is a story which begins with a barbecue…
By the end of it a lifelong friendship will be in tatters, a marriage on the rocks and an innocent bystander dead.
In just one evening six lives will change forever…”
4. ‘Behind Closed Doors’ by B A Paris
This was one of the books I picked up for M, though I think I will also read it once he is done with it – it sounds dark but brilliant!
We actually found this one on amazon and read the reviews on there, which were all shining, so it wasn’t a hard decision to make. Plus, the blurb on the back, again, really draws you in.
I think this one is going to be really dark and a bit scary at times, but thats what you want from a Thriller I guess!
“Everyone knows a couple like Jack & Grace.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult. Because you realise they are never apart. Some might call this true love.
Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or can’t meet for lunch, without Jack.
And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.”
5. ‘Stalker’ by Lars Kepler
This one was on the New Fiction stand in Waterstones and jumped out at me, I think, because of the review on the front which simply says “Terrifying yet hugely enjoyable” which sounds masochistic to a whole new level but completely intrigued me.
The plot sounds like something that would make an amazing movie – think Gone Girl but more tense and time-sensitive. I think it’s gonna be a great read!
“A film arrives at Stockholm’s National Crime Investigation Department showing a woman in her own home, plainly unaware she is being watched. The police don’t take it seriously…until she is found murdered.
When the next video arrives, Detective Margot Silverman frantically attempts to identify the victim. But they’re already dead. Because at the time the video was sent, the killer was already inside their house…
Soon Stockholm is in the grip of terror. Who will the Stalker target next?”
6. ‘He Said, She Said’ by Erin Kelly
This one was recommended to me on Facebook and on searching it online, it turns out that it’s got LOADS of amazing reviews!
I think this will be an interesting one, based on the premise that you can never see everything and perspective changes all.
“In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.
She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear. And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden…something she never could have guessed.”
Let me know below in the comments if you have read any of these, are planning on reading any of them, or if you’ve got any other recommendations! As I said, I love a good book! 🙂