Wednesday 16 September 2020

Books to Read Right Now

 I talk frequently about the books I am lucky enough to be gifted via Netgalley.

If you haven't heard of this site before and you are a lover of books, where have you been? Only joking. This is a place where you can request advanced digital copies of new books for free in exchange for your honest reviews.

No catches, it is that simple.

Perfect for book worms like me who like to read an abundance of novels as this keeps the husband from moaning at the my expenditures on the written word.

Last month I had a bit of a reading spree, trying to empty my Netgalley shelf. 

Now regular Netgalley users will tell you just how hard it is to achieve this because it's an effort to not keep requesting books that you fancy.

I regularly share the reviews I write on both Goodreads and Amazon but I thought it might be worth while sharing my recommendations via this little space on the web too.

So keep on reading for five brilliant books that you might still be able to request, pre-order or perhaps even buy if you like to have that physical copy in your hands:

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

Glasgow, 2025. Dr Amanda Maclean is called to treat a patient with flu-like symptoms. Within three hours he is dead. This is how it begins.

The unknown virus sweeps through the hospital with deadly speed.

The victims are all men.

Dr Maclean raises the alarm. But by the time the authorities listen to her, the virus has spread to every corner of the world. Threatening families. Governments. Countries.

Can they find a cure before it’s too late?

Highly recommended although not for the faint hearted. This book was actually written pre covid but is scarily realistic.

A book for our times.

Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

Ana and Connor have been having an affair for three years. In hotel rooms and coffee shops, swiftly deleted texts and briefly snatched weekends, they have built a world with none but the two of them in it.  

But then the unimaginable happens, and Ana finds herself alone, trapped inside her secret. 

How can we lose someone the world never knew was ours? How do we grieve for something no one else can ever find out? In her desperate bid for answers, Ana seeks out the shadowy figure who has always stood just beyond her reach – Connor's wife Rebecca.  

Peeling away the layers of two overlapping marriages, Here is the Beehive is a devastating excavation of risk, obsession and loss. 

A speedy novel that reads like poetry.

Addictive, raw and real.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. 

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. 

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

I adore Matt Haig, if you haven't read any of his works yet then I suggest you make an effort to do so now. 

Beyond meaningful, one that can make you open your mind a bit more and allow you to consider things in a way that you may not have been able to acknowledge before.

Our Story by Miranda Dickinson

Otty has just landed her dream job. She's about to join the writing team of one of the most respected showrunners in TV. And then the night before her first day, she's evicted from her flat.

Joe has been working with Russell for years. He's the best writer on his team, but lately something has been off. He's trying to get his mojo back, but when his flatmate moves out without warning he has other things to worry about.

Otty moving into Joe's house seems like the perfect solution to both their problems, but neither is prepared for what happens next. Paired together in the writing room, their obvious chemistry sparks from the page and they are the writing duo to beat. But their relationship off the page is an entirely different story, and neither of them can figure out why.

And suddenly the question isn't, will they, or won't they? It's why won't they?

Stepping into the world of TV script writing, we get to see the pressures that come with trying to juggle the work home life balance, especially when you happen to take your work home most nights. I adored the progression in this book. I loved the awkwardness that came from Joe and Otty, it felt more real because it wasn't perfect. 

Not your typical love story.

The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby

Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.

When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.

But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether.

In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages…

The front cover alone pulled me in.

This is one powerfully unique story.

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