Bookish Post – August 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

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

Number of books read: 7
Number of rereads: 0
Number of physical books: 1
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 5
Number of ARCS: 0

In previous years, I’ve started off slowly and sped up as I got closer to December. This year, it feels as though the opposite is happening. I’m only getting slower. It doesn’t help that I’ve had a lot of social engagements recently. It’s also due to a lack of motivation. Maybe 2022 had too strong a start and I’m burnt out?

5* reviews: 0
4.5* reviews: 0
4* reviews: 1

DEAR MR. M BY HERMAN KOCH

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Dear Mr. M,

I’d like to start by telling you that I’m doing better now. I do so because you probably have no idea that I was ever doing worse. Much worse, in fact, but I’ll get to that later on.

Mr. M is being watched. As a famous writer, he is no stranger to the limelight, although interest in his work has been dwindling of late. His print runs are smaller than they used to be, as are the crowds at his bookshop signings . . . Our narrator clearly takes a keen interest in M.’s work, and indeed in every aspect of his life. But what exactly are his intentions? And to what does Mr. M owe the honour of his undivided attention?

Our narrator seems to be no stranger to murder, while his own story appears to bear more than a passing resemblance to the plot of Mr. M’s most famous novel: a teacher has an affair with a student, only to be brutally murdered by the girl and her teenage boyfriend. The body is never found.

That’s the problem with fiction: in real life, bodies have an awkward habit of turning up. Mr. M has used some artistic licence, and our narrator is not pleased, not pleased at all. And just before he fades into obscurity, he’s prepared to give Mr. M one last review. And it’s unlikely to be a rave.

Dear Mr. M is an unsettling and irresistibly readable novel, set in the world of writing and bookselling, by Herman Koch, the author of the international bestseller, The Dinner.

Read my review.

THE FLATSHARE BY BETH O’LEARY

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

Read my review.

RUBYFRUIT JUNGLE BY RITA MAE BROWN

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Molly Bolt is a young lady with a big character. Beautiful, funny and bright, Molly figures out at a young age that she will have to be tough to stay true to herself in 1950s America. In her dealings with boyfriends and girlfriends, in the rocky relationship with her mother and in her determination to pursue her career, she will fight for her right to happiness. Charming, proud and inspiring, Molly is the girl who refuses to be put in a box.

Read my review.

CINDER BY MARISSA MEYER

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

Read my review.

NUTSHELL BY IAN MCEWAN

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Read my review.

GHOST WALL BY SARAH MOSS

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

The light blinds you; there’s a lot you miss by gathering at the fireside.

In the north of England, far from the intrusions of cities but not far from civilization, Silvie and her family are living as if they are ancient Britons, surviving by the tools and knowledge of the Iron Age.

For two weeks, the length of her father’s vacation, they join an anthropology course set to reenact life in simpler times. They are surrounded by forests of birch and rowan; they make stew from foraged roots and hunted rabbit. The students are fulfilling their coursework; Silvie’s father is fulfilling his lifelong obsession. He has raised her on stories of early man, taken her to witness rare artifacts, recounted time and again their rituals and beliefs—particularly their sacrifices to the bog. Mixing with the students, Silvie begins to see, hear, and imagine another kind of life, one that might include going to university, traveling beyond England, choosing her own clothes and food, speaking her mind.

The ancient Britons built ghost walls to ward off enemy invaders, rude barricades of stakes topped with ancestral skulls. When the group builds one of their own, they find a spiritual connection to the past. What comes next but human sacrifice?

A story at once mythic and strikingly timely, Sarah Moss’s Ghost Wall urges us to wonder how far we have come from the “primitive minds” of our ancestors.

Read my review.

MAX EINSTEIN: THE GENIUS EXPERIMENT

TBD

Synopsis:

James Patterson has teamed up with the world’s most famous genius to entertain and inspire a generation of children – with the first and only children’s adventure series officially approved by the Albert Einstein Archives.

Max Einstein is a typical 12-year-old. She…

Goes to college every day
Plays speed chess in the park
Builds inventions that help the homeless
And talks to Albert Einstein

All normal stuff, right?

Until one day when Max is recruited by a mysterious organisation! Their mission: solve some of the world’s toughest problems using science. She’s helped by a diverse group of young geniuses from around the globe as they invent new ways to power the farthest reaches of the planet.

But that’s only if the sinister outfit known as The Corporation doesn’t get to her first…

Review coming soon.

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