Happy Friday y'all. I'm getting my April book recommendations blogged just in time. This month I read four books in total, just finishing the fourth one last night. I'm so happy with this month's selection, especially as they were all recommendations from real life people; the best type of recommendations. All four of them I really liked and all four of them I'm more than happy to recommend here. This month, I have three novels for you and one self-help style book that is packed full of insight and revelations.
Keep scrolling for April's book recommendations and if you guys have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments section below. I have no idea what I'm going to read in May, so I would love some suggestions... xx!!
Holding by Graham Norton
I knew Graham Norton had written a novel, but I didn't know anything about it and I wasn't all that intrigued to find out more. Last month, two people recommended it to me and one very kindly gave me a loan of their copy. Thanks Sinead! I'm so glad they did as I don't know why I had a preconceived idea that I wouldn't like this book. I really like Graham Norton, so I'm not sure why I wasn't all that interested in his novel. Anyone, people, put any preconceived ideas to one side. This is a really good read. It's set in a remote Irish village and the star of the book is the local Garda Seargeant, PJ Collins. Human remains are found on an old farm in the village and PJ is tasked with working with a Cork detective to solve the case. As he does so, the village's dark past is uncovered. The beauty of this book isn't so much in the plot, but rather it's in the characters. Graham Norton succeeds in creating very human characters, but in a very understated way. There is no character that is mocked or cliched. Instead, there is a real sense of struggle and suffering. I finished the book, feeling a sense of empathy towards each of the characters. If you have an idea that this books will be all laughs and sarcasm, or that it is playing on it's famous author, put those ideas to one side and give this book a go. I can pretty much promise that you will feel better in yourself for having read it.
I See You by Claire Mackinstosh
This was one of my library reads and I flew through it. I started it on a Friday evening, read a little on a Saturday and spent all day Sunday finishing it. It's really gripping and will hold you from start to finish. A word of warming though, the plot will freak you out. The novel is set in London and centres around women whose daily commutes to work and home are being secretly tracked and published online. The main character is Zoe Walker, who is a mother of two teenage kids. One day on her way home from work she is flicking through the Metro newspaper and comes across a picture of herself in the personal ads, with a website address called www.findtheone.com. While her family try to persaude her it's nothing to worry about, she knows there is more to it than that. I won't give any more away than that. This is a page turner of a thriller with a story line that is not all that remote. I promise that you will not want to put this book down, that you will be surprised with the ending and that you will be a little creeped out on your next commute to work. P.S. A good read for a book club.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
This book is beautifully written. It's not gripping in a page-turning, high adventure kind of way. Rather it's so beautifully written and the main character so charming that without any effort you find yourself reading from one chapter to the next with very little effort. I read a review that described this book as "a story designed to make you relax, to appreciate your surroundings, to be a person on whom nothing is lost". A perfect description of this book. The book is set in Russia from 1922 to the 1950s and tells the story of a Russian aristocrat, Count Alexander Rostov who is sentenced to house arrest in the famous Metropole Hotel in the years following the Russian Revolution. As the years pass, the novel charts the Count's days in the hotel; the relationships he forms with workers and fellow guests and how a young lady whom he comes to call his daughter comes into his care. The book explores how the Count mastered his circumstances rather than becoming mastered by them. It's a novel of optimism and class. Not class in a upper class / lower class kind of way; but rather class in how one deals with their circumstances. I loved this book.
What I know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
Another library borrow, but I'm going to buy my own copy. This reminds me of a book I have called "Miracles Now" by Gabby Bernstein. Both are books made up of short chapters of insight and advice. They are the kind of books that you keep on your bed side table and dip in and out of. What I Know for Sure, is based on the column of the same name that appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine for fourteen years. They are now all collected together and available in a book. It's packed full of inspirational stories, of insight and revelations. It's honest, uplifting and inspirational. In the words of Oprah Winfrey.... what I know for sure.... is that everyone should have a copy of this book to hand.