Books I've Recently Read and Recommend.

By Char Shields - February 25, 2019

If you know me then you'll know that I'm a massive book nerd. I don't read as much as I would like to but in the last year I've read some great fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. Here are some I definitely recommend:

1. Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh

"On a fundamental level, I am someone who would throw sand at children."

You've probably seen the meme "clean all the things!" on Tumblr. Well, this is where it originated from.

This book is both hilarious and relatable. I borrowed this copy from my friend and it did not disappoint, it had me howling. She covers topics such as depression in such a brilliant and comedic way. I also loved reading about her dogs.

2. Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur

"If you were born with the weakness to fall, you were born with the strength to rise."

Again, something you probably recognise from good ol' Tumblr. I find this book of poetry greatly moving and inspiring. She sums up a lot of my feelings and trauma perfectly. I have all of my favourite poems bookmarked.

3. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

"Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die."

I am in love with this novel.

Set in Germany during WWII and narrated by Death, this story follows a young girl (who, spoiler alert, steals books) facing the cruel realities of Nazi Germany after her adoptive parents take in a Jewish man. This book is both powerful and heartbreakingly devastating. And it had me hooked all night long, I couldn't put it down.

4. Anya's Ghost - Vera Brosgol

"Impressing a bunch of snooty teenagers is a pretty lame life goal to have."

I've never been a fan of graphic novels before, or even properly read one, but I really liked Anya's Ghost. This cosy crime is both hilarious and painfully relatable at times. It's most certainly a great read if you want to start somewhere with graphic novels.

5. The Secret Life of Cows - Rosamund Young

"Cows are individuals, as are sheep, pigs and hens, and, I dare say, all the creatures on this planet however unnoticed, unstudied or unsung."

Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to read this book. I can't even begin to explain how in love I am with it and how much I enjoyed reading every bit of it.

The author talks about the cows, and other farm animals, that she kept on her family farm. These animals weren't used for meat or dairy, and so led long and happy lives. This meant that they got to appreciate every unique aspect of each animal's personality. And if you really believe that cows don't have personalities, then this book will change your mind.

6. Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen

"Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy."

This memoir is really great at showing the way mental health affects different people and the way they were viewed because of these issues. Some of it was really shocking, and I can't say I liked the film much as I found it quite difficult to watch. However, the book is really great and has some strong characters in it.

7. Faithful Place -Tana French

"Nobody in the world can make you crazy like your family can."

I had to read this book for my course at university but, my God, was I HOOKED.

Crime fiction is a personal favourite of mine and this novel delivers. The protagonist is a brilliantly witty and sarcastic detective who spends the majority of his energy trying to solve the murder of his childhood girlfriend. It's funny, it has great social commentary about Ireland and each chapter leaves you wanting more.

8. Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge

"Everyone is complicit, but no one wants to take on the responsibility."

This was also set to read for uni but I just had to include it.

Reading this has taught me so much about what POC had to go through in the UK... and we really aren't as perfect as we like to think. There's so much focus on America's racist history but we forget that our own history is so tainted with these disgusting and inhumane acts. There is so much history that is ignored and erased.

Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race is both interesting and educational to read, without patronising the reader.

9. Animal Farm - George Orwell

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

I wanted to read this book for such a long time. With the commentary on equality, it's right up my street. This was a somewhat short but fantastic read and really reflects the terrible aspects of society. George Orwell is a freaking genius.

10. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell 

"When I'm writing my own stuff, it's like swimming upstream. Or falling down a cliff and grabbing at branches, trying to invent the branches as I fall."

I don't have a picture for this one as it's on my bookshelf in Cornwall. This one was sitting there for a while, catching my eye, and I always like to turn back to Young Adult Fiction every now and then.

Fangirl is a lovely story about a college girl who writes fanfic and has a hard time fitting in. I massively connected with this character as I've always found fitting in hard and settling down in uni was quite challenging for me. I finished this novel in a few days as I couldn't put it down.

That's all for now. As always, I could have included a lot more but I feel like 10 is a nice number to stop at.

Thanks for reading.

Until the next time,


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