Days Without End – Sebastian Barry
I honestly thought this was a completely perfect book. I don’t have a single bad word to say about it. My review is here, but TL;DR the prose is stunning and it’s a really moving examination relationships, the extremities of war and what constitutes a family.
The Cows – Dawn O’Porter
I have some reservations with this one, but it’s fun and feisty. There are three plot strands and I only really loved one of them, so I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Worth a read though.
See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt
Super creepy and atmospheric, but it hasn’t necessarily stuck with me in the way I would have expected. It’s about a murder, but don’t let that put you off if you’re not a crime reader – I’m not – it’s much more of a disturbing character study than a thriller.
Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo
Currently, this is what I’m rooting for to win the Bailey’s Prize. It’s really pacy and full of twists, but packs an incredible emotional punch. I didn’t think that I would read anything as good as Days Without End any time soon, but this is on par with it.
The Bombs That Brought Us Together – Brian Conaghan
I think I had a bit of a book hangover when I read this, so I didn’t love it as much as a lot of people seem to. I just didn’t get on with the writing: it’s very accurately written in the voice of a 14-year-old boy, which is not my thing at all.
The Children of Jocasta – Natalie Haynes
Another great read this month, this is a retelling of the myths of Oedipus and Antigone, with two of the minor characters from the original myths as the protagonists. My classics knowledge is next to nothing, but I still loved this.
Closely Watched Trains – Bohumil Hrabal
I’m very much still mulling this one over. It’s a tiny little 80 pager, but it left me with a lot to think about. It’s about a young man in Czechoslovakia (I know that’s not what it’s called now but it was at the time) during World War II, dealing with his own emotional issues as well as with the realities of living in a Nazi-occupied state.
Mr Loverman – Bernadine Evaristo
This is about an elderly Antiguan man living in Hackney, who has been in a secret relationship with his male best friend for the last 60 years. It’s about prejudice and aging and the way you can keep learning and changing even at the end of your life. I really enjoyed this one.
Geekerella – Ashley Poston
I found myself really craving YA romance at the end of this month, so rather than just rereading Fangirl or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (the only YA romance books I would really recommend) I picked this one up, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not going to change your life, but it is an adorable retelling of Cinderella set around nerd culture.