Well hello there! This is just a tad behind, sorry about that! But here it is finally, my What I Read for August. It was the month of the Book Festival so it was pretty crazy, but I managed to squeeze in as much reading as I could!
Is there any author more magical than Matt Haig? Matt is by far one of my favourite authors of all time, I really can’t get enough of him and his incredible books right now. Ever since I read Reasons To Stay Alive I have been hooked.
How To Stop Time is his newest novel, and might just be his best. I was hooked right from the first page. I love how he creates these worlds that you feel so apart of that real life seems like the fiction. Tom Hazard has been living for centuries, but if you seen him you would think he was only 40. From Elizabethan England to Modern New York, Tom has seen the world. The only thing is, he doesn’t want all that. All he craves is to live an ordinary life. In order to find that life, he becomes a history teacher in a high school in London. He teaches children moments in history that he has seen with his very own eyes. As the story unfolds, we are treated to snippets of Tom’s past, where he meets key figures throughout history. But this story is all about his future, it is about his hunt for meaning in life, and most importantly love. Matt Haig writes about human relationships so eloquently and captures your heart so perfectly. There is so much depth to this novel, and it is a story that will stick with you forever. I never wanted it to end, it was just so beautiful.
If you haven’t already, you really have to read this.
(Also, I met Matt Haig at the book festival and just about ended in tears! I bloody love this man!!)
This is one of these books that I picked up because there was so much hype surrounding it. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. Ever since watching the Handmaids Tale (I better be honest and say I haven’t read it yet!) I have been really into this whole dystopian future genre, so The Power was a perfect choice.
one day out of the blue, girls across the world develop a power within them that can inflict pain and even death. As more girls develop this power, they begin to awaken it in older women, to the point that every female in the world has it. The power varies between women, but it is present in everyone. The world suddenly changes very quickly. Women become politicians across the globe, God is now a female and armies are made up of women. Society has been flipped on its side, now women are the dominant gender and men are fleeing in fear around the world. The novel follows 4 characters throughout the process of the power, showing different viewpoints on the same story.
When I first started reading, I thought it was going to be an empowering novel, but really it demonstrated the horrid world we live in and that no matter what, power is power and humans will always fight for it. Although people in the real world don’t have any super natural powers coming from their bodies, the book felt almost real. It made comparisons to the real life, sexist world we live in, where women are still not equal and face all sorts of barriers in all four corners of the world. It is a fabulously written, thought provoking novel that I just couldn’t put down.
So, you may have noticed I have a love for psychological thrillers and crime novels. It is certainly a genre I keep getting drawn back to and the majority of books on my shelves are crime based. I just love how engaging they are and this novel is no exception.
It has been 10 years since Nora last seen Clare, and then out of the blue Nora is invited to her hen weekend. The party is planned to take place in a remote country cottage, away from city life and any form of mobile service. After 10 years apart it was never going to be an easy weekend, but Nora wakes up in hospital with no memory of what happened the night before. The story goes back and forward between Nora in hospital and the events leading up to her getting there.
There isn’t much else I can say without spoiling the story, but all I can say the end was very unexpected! I absolutely loved Ruth Ware’s writing style and was completely drawn into the story from the very first page. In a Dark, Dark Wood is an incredible debut novel and I am very much looking forward to reading more from Ruth Ware in the future.
To finish the month off I went for some non-fiction. For those of you that don’t know, I am Scottish and a total political nerd! Common Weal “is a think and do tank campaigning for social and economic equality in Scotland”. They are a not-for-profit organisation that works on policy and campaigns for a better Scotland. They are basically just a super cool group of people that believe, like me, that there are so many ways to make Scotland a better country.
A Book of Ideas is a great “guide book” for a Scottish Government. There was a Scottish government election in 2016 and the idea of this book was to set out a whole range of policies and ideas that the Scottish government can use now to make Scotland a more just and equal country. It is a book that shows that there is a way to do things differently and that Scotland isn’t “too wee” to do these things. Ideas are the foundations of change, and we need these ideas to start to become more socially and economically equal as well as shaping a better future for the country.
This is just a fantastic book of well researched ideas and I’d urge everyone to give a read. It is laid out in sections and is so easy to understand, even if you aren’t hugely into politics. And buying it supports Common Weal and the super cool things they are working on!
So, that’s it for August. See you next month for more books!