Bookish Post – March 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads: 1
Number of physical books: 3
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 7
Number of ARCS: 0

5* reviews: 2
4.5* reviews: 0
4* reviews: 7

March started out pretty slowly because of my birthday. It’s always the way. Suddenly I have loads of social events to fit in and I end up not reading as much. But, thanks to a few quick audiobooks, I managed to get my number up. I also didn’t have a bad month in terms of ratings. Mostly pretty good and nothing as bad as February.

EXCITING TIMES BY NAOISE DOLAN

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents’ money, it’s called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she’s not sure what to call it, but it involves:

– a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children;
– Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room;
– Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks;
– money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections.

Exciting times ensue.

Read my review.

NO SHAME BY TOM ALLEN

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

When I was 16 I dressed in Victorian clothing in a bid to distract people from the fact that I was gay. It was a flawed plan.’

No Shame is a very funny, candid and emotional ride of a memoir by one of our most beloved comedians. The working-class son of a coach driver, and the youngest member of the Noel Coward Society, Tom Allen grew up in 90s suburbia as the eternal outsider.

In these hilarious, honest and heart breaking stories Tom recalls observations on childhood, his adolescence, the family he still lives with, and his attempts to come out and negotiate the gay dating scene. They are written with his trademark caustic wit and warmth, and will entertain, surprise and move you in equal measure.

Read my review.

THE ROYAL RABBITS OF LONDON BY SANTA MONTEFIORE AND SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible – by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage!

Shylo has always been the runt of the litter, the weakest and quietest of all of his family. His siblings spend their days making fun of him for not being like the rest of them. But when Shylo stumbles across a band of ratzis and overhears their evil plan to take a photo of the Queen in her nightie, it’s up to this unlikely hero to travel to London and inform the Royal Rabbits of London about the diabolical plot! 

The Royal Rabbits have a proud history of protecting the royal family and now the secret society need to leap into action to stop the ratzis… But can a rabbit as feeble and shy as Shylo convince them that Queen is in danger?

Read my review.

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY BY DOUGLAS ADAMS

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Go on a galactic adventure with the last human on Earth, his alien best friend, and a depressed android. Introducing younger readers to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this YA edition of the funny sci-fi classic includes an introduction from Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer.

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. It’s the final straw for Arthur Dent, who has already had his house bulldozed that morning. But for Arthur, that is only the beginning . . .

In the seconds before global obliteration, Arthur is plucked from the planet by his friend Ford Prefect – and together the pair venture out across the galaxy on the craziest, strangest road trip of all time!

Totally hilarious, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been a radio show, TV show, stage play, comic book and film, and is a work of utter comic genius from Douglas Adams.

Read my review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

This is the story of an unusual family. Though they are nothing like yours, you will recognize them. They are the last Cannibal-Americans. And they have a problem.

When their mother dies, twelve children gather to dispose of the body in the traditional manner . . . by eating it. But can they follow the ancient rituals of consumption? Is their unique cultural heritage worth preserving if it’s this gross? And what about dietary requirements – one of them is vegan. Surely it can’t be this hard to do the right thing?

Mother for Dinner is a dark comedy about modern life and its many difficulties.

Read my review.

BLACK DOGS BY IAN MCEWAN

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Black Dogs is a dark and brooding masterpiece from Booker-prize winning Sunday Times bestselling author Ian McEwan.

In 1946, June and Bernard set off on their honeymoon. Fired by their ideals and passion for one another, they had planned an idyllic holiday, but in France they witness an event that alters the course of their lives entirely. Forty years on, their son-in-law is trying to uncover the cause of their estrangement and is led back to this moment on honeymoon and an experience of such darkness it was to wrench the couple apart.

Read my review.

BLACK VODKA BY DEBORAH LEVY

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

London, 1936

‘Elisa said Yes and I said Yes. We said Yes in all the European languages. Yes. We said yes we said yes, yes to vague but powerful things, we said yes to hope which has to be vague, we said yes to love which is always blind, we smiled and said yes without blinking.’ (‘A Better Way to Live’)

How does love change us? And how do we change ourselves for love – or for lack of it? Ten stories by acclaimed author Deborah Levy explore these delicate, impossible questions. In Vienna, an icy woman seduces a broken man; in London, a bird mimics an old-fashioned telephone; in adland, a sleek copywriter becomes a kind of shaman. These are twenty-first century lives dissected with razor-sharp humour and curiosity, stories about what it means to live and love, together and alone.

Read my review.

CAMP CACOPHONY BY JESSICA KHOURY

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

It’s two months before Amelia’s big audition for the Mystwick School of Musicraft. If she gets in, she will learn to spin music into powerful magic – but her Gran has one last-ditch plan to persuade her out of it: sports camp.

A week of softball, sprinting, and sweaty socks isn’t exactly Amelia’s idea of a good time – in fact, she’s deeply, appallingly unathletic. By the end of day one, she’s puked her guts out in track, gotten a black eye in no-contact flag football, and firmly established herself as the Least Valuable Player at camp.

As head counselor, Coach Shawn is determined to make an athlete of Amelia, despite her complete inability to land a single basket in basketball and her high effectiveness at scoring in the wrong net in soccer. And all Amelia wants is some time to herself, so she can practice her flute for the Mystwick auditions.

But everyone’s plans are quickly derailed by a series of disasters that strike camp, putting everyone in mortal danger. It’s clear that strange magic is at work, and as the only musician around, Amelia suddenly goes from benchwarmer to MVP. But can she discover the source of the malevolent magic – and how to stop it – before the deadly spell reaches its crescendo? 

Read my review.

INTIMACY BY HANIF KUREISHI

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

‘It is the saddest night, for I am leaving and not coming back.’

Jay is leaving his partner and their two sons. As the long night before his departure unfolds, in an unforgettable, and often pitiless, reflection on their time together he analyses the joys and agonies of trying to make a life with another person.

Read my review.

LOKI: A BAD GOD’S GUIDE TO BEING GOOD BY LOUIE STOWELL

RATING TBC

Synopsis:

Wry, witty and very funny diary-style story packed with doodles and comic strips about the frustration trickster god Loki feels at having to live trapped in the body of a weedy eleven-year-old boy.

After one trick too many, Loki is banished to live on Earth as a “normal” school boy. Forbidden from using his AWESOME godly powers, Loki must show moral improvement. As he records his lies THE TRUTH in his magical (judgemental) diary, it becomes clear Loki hasn’t a clue how to tell good from evil, trust from tricks, or friends from enemies.

Review coming soon.

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