After my new year's resolution to read more which started well in January, I've had another great reading month. I'm into the habit of reading a few hours most days now and really loving it.
So, here's what I read over the past month. I've linked titles to their Goodreads page which also has links to buy.
The Vegetarian - Han Kang ★★★★★
Blimey. This was a powerful, beautiful and haunting read. I was intrigued by the title but got so much more than I'd anticipated - a story of trauma, escape and obsession. It felt both dreamlike and viscerally real. I look forward to reading more by Han Kang.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell - Nadia Hashimi ★★★
Telling the stories of two young women in Kabul, this novel explores what it meant to be female in Afghanistan across two centuries - and corresponding ideas of liberty and destiny. It was a tough read looking at bleak situations which I was interested to learn about, though I had hoped for more from the writing itself.
Furiously Happy - Jenny Lawson ★★
A funny memoir exploring mental illness sounded right up my street, and at first it was - I was laughing more than I have with any other book. But I struggled with how meandering this was - random stories and conversations, and rare discussion of mental illness. I found I struggled to keep reading because of this and the relentlessly high-energy writing style.
Wonder - R.J. Palacio ★★★★★
Why didn't I read this earlier? This is such a lovely, lovely book. I smiled throughout and did some crying too. This is the story of Auggie, a young boy with a facial disfigurement, as he begins going to school. It's a heartwarming, wonderful read.
Not Forgetting The Whale - John Ironmonger ★★★
This seaside, small-town story follows one man's escape from normality and the adventures that ensue. It was a nice read but didn't blow me away and, perhaps because of being so dialogue heavy, felt a little like watching an ITV drama. A good one, but still.
Sum: Forty Tales From The Afterlives - David Eagleman ★★★★
I loved this! Each short story proposes a post-death scenario of what happens and what it's all about. It's thought-provoking, often funny, and definitely worth a read.
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart ★★★
A story of youth and friendship set over several summers - this was an enjoyable, intriguing read with playful writing that felt filmic at times.
The Other Hand - Chris Cleave ★★★★
Another novel telling the story of two women with alternating chapters, here it's the story of Nigerian refugee Little Bee and English mother and magazine editor Sarah. Through unexpected circumstance they meet and change each other's lives. The writing here is brilliant - with believable characters and a story you feel really invested in.
Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari ★★★½
When I first saw Aziz had a book out I presumed this would be another comedic memoir but I was wrong - this is a really interesting and enjoyable look at, as the title suggests, modern romance. There are indeed personal experiences in there but the basis of this is a legit sociological study.
The Girl On The Train - Paula Hawkins ★★★★
I needed a fast-paced, easy-to-read thriller to get absorbed in and this was exactly that. Gripping, addictive and a lot of fun.
Find me on Goodreads, and let me know any recommendations you have here or on Twitter.