Why hello, it’s been a while! Before I get into this new reading list feature for Moving Scouse, here’s a quick run-down of why I’ve been away for so long:
- We moved house!
- Consequently, we had no internet…
- …and two little rescue kittens recently moved in with us. Bilbo and Simba like eating, trashing the carpet, and throwing books off shelves, BUT they’re super cute and very snuggly
Plus, work has been really busy, and somehow writing just kept falling lower and lower down the priority list and here we are, five months later and not a blog post in sight. It’s a bit crazy, isn’t it, how life can get away from you so much that you completely neglect something that you love doing? Anyway. Here I am, behind the keyboard again, writing about something that I love doing and haven’t neglected these past five months – reading.
The Reading List Feature
The idea is that every month, or at least as often as I remember to, I’ll share what I’ve read with you. If you’ve read any of them as well, I’d love it if you got in touch to discuss it! Leave me a comment, or message me on instagram! I’ve also added all the links to the books in a handy grid at the bottom of the post, as part of a new format I’m trialling.
I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
I have to be honest, I was kind of disappointed with this one. I usually love Kinsella’s books, and one of my all-time favourites is Can You Keep a Secret. I Owe You One, however, did not live up to the hype. Why were all the characters so superficial and kind of just defined by one trait? Why was Fixie such a doormat? Why were there all these unrealistic emotions (or lack thereof)? It was an easy and enjoyable summer-time read, but I didn’t feel that it lived up to the hype. I’m glad I borrowed this from the library and didn’t buy it, because it’s definitely not going to be one to re-read!
Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson
Sorcery of Thorns is a new publication from a relatively new author, and I absolutely loved it. I think I read it in less than two days. It’s a beautiful YA fairytale about a girl who loves books (I was sold at that point). It explores some highly current political themes in a really clever way, including abuse of political power and the perceptions we’re taught as we grow up aren’t always the true picture. I highly recommend this as an addition to any summer reading list! Also, the world-building is fantastic. Not a tonne of text is wasted on descriptions and details, but somehow it all seems really intuitive and complete. Not sure how Rogerson did this. Magic?
A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
First things first – this thing has a holographic spine, and I don’t know how I feel about it. With that out of the way, this is a wonderful angle on Beauty and the Beast. The latter being my favourite traditional fairy tale (again, a girl that loves books, I’m easy to please), I have had A Curse so Dark and Lonely on my reading list for quite a while, and it didn’t disappoint. While there were some parts that were a bit unclear and lacked explanation, the overall plot was well-constructed. I can’t wait for the sequel!
The Bane Chronicles – Various
As a die-hard Shadowhunter fan, Magnus is hands-down my favourite character, and I’m always pleased to see that he appears in near every book. Despite this, he’s always a side character, so it was lovely to have this entire collection of short stories dedicated to him. I particularly liked reading about events from other books from his perspective. It probably doesn’t make a lost of sense if read as a stand-along, but if you’re sitting around waiting for Chain of Gold to be released, this will help tie you over!
Catwoman: Soulstealer – Sarah J Maas
I must admit, I’ll always take Marvel over DC. I mostly picked this up from the library because Maas is a favourite, and I love her writing style. It was interesting to read her take on a contemporary setting, as her previous books have always been set in traditional fantasy worlds. Plus, I have her upcoming novel on my reading list, which is set in a modern context, so it was fun to see how she might handle this. I think I might have connected with this origin story more if I had any previous knowledge of Catwoman as a character, but even without this it was a truly enjoyable and entertaining read.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce
My expectations for this were quite low, I must confess. I didn’t think I’d connect with the characters at all – different age group, different life story, we just have nothing in common. Harold, however, totally captivated me. Another one I finished in 24 hours, I hugely enjoyed reading about his journey from one end of the country to the other, about the people he encounters, about his reflections on his life as he walks. One thing I did dislike though, and this is kind of a spoiler so scroll down if you don’t want to know, is the whole ‘someone has been dead for decades but everyone pretends they’re not’ thing. It’s SO overdone at this point and I find it really annoying.
The Modern Faerie Tales – Holly Black
This is a bind-up of three books Holly Black wrote years ago. They are kind of a prequel to The Cruel Prince, which is a firm favourite, and introduce some of the characters and concepts of Faerie. As Black has said herself, these were some of her much earlier works, and it shows – the characters aren’t as deep, some of the world-building is a bit rough around the edges, the plot isn’t as slick – but they’re still fantastic stories. I had so much fun reading them and they added some valuable context to some of the events in The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King.
In the Sea There are Crocodiles – Fabio Geda
I read this one in German as it was a gift, but it’s widely available in English. In the Sea There are Crocodiles is the story of a young child who, threatened during the early years of the Taliban in Afghanistan, is spirited over the border by his mother in a desperate attempt to protect him. It’s a hard read at times, but somehow also life-affirming. I highly recommend adding it to your reading list, and also passing a copy to the next person you hear making negative comments about refugees.