If you follow me on Instagram, or if you read my recent post where I shared what I was watching, listening to and reading, you’ll have seen that I have really gotten into reading through lockdown. As I’ve got a lot more free time on my hands I have found myself naturally gravitating to reading, and a lot of people I follow also are reading more so i’m finding quite a lot of recommendations. Any who, I thought i’d share with you a few reads that I’ve loved recently!
A few reads I’ve loved recently…
Reading for me, was always something I did when I was on holiday. Lounging round by the pool, slathering on the suncream (factor 50 in my case) and getting lost into a few good reads! Alas, it’s gonna be a long while before i’m able to do that again so costa del England will have to do! I joke. The weathers been absolutely bliss recently so I really cannot complain and it’s made for lovely relaxing afternoons in the sun, with a good book and a cold drink. So, let’s get into the reads i’ve been enjoying!
Normal People – Sally Rooney
If you have read my latest post where I shared a few things that were making me happy, you will have seen that I had ordered this book after absolutely adoring the Normal People BBC series. I wouldn’t usually purchase a book following watching a series or film, but with how much I enjoyed the series I just knew that I needed to purchase the book just to be able to cling onto the love story a little while longer.
For those who have watched the series, you’ll know the premise and story behind this book but for those who haven’t. Marianne and Connell are in the same year at school, but are two very different people. Connell is a popular, but also shy character who comes from a lower class background, whereas Marianne comes from a wealthy background. Connell’s Mum cleans for Mariannes family, which is what brings them together initially in this story line, but as you delve further into this read they weave in and out of each others lives for many years. This books explores quite a few topics, from typical high school cliques and scenarios, young love, abusive relationships, sex, going off to uni.. pretty much everything you can potentially go through within your late teens to early twenties. It’s a relatable story, written beautifully and makes you hope for a sequel. Or at least I am!
The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary
This is a book i’ve seen doing the rounds for a little while now, but has really blown up through lockdown with every blogger out there reading it. And I don’t blame them! It’s a lovely little feel good read that also explores some slightly heavier topics that are often taboo/more difficult to be open about, but are written in such an open way.
Without giving too much away, this book is essentially about two characters who come to share a flat, but of different times of the day. Leon occupies the flat during the day, whilst Tiffy is at work and Tiffy occupies the flat of an evening and weekend, whilst Leon is working/staying with his girlfriend. Essentially they weren’t ever going to meet, but thats the great thing about this read, is that you can’t tell whats going to happen in the coming chapters.
The book is written in a way that i’ve not experienced before, but each chapter alternates between the two characters and each characters chapter is written to represent that character. Hopefully that makes sense? To begin with I found it hard to flip between two different styles of writing but the further you get into this read, the easier it becomes to decipher that characters and their characteristics. Being completely honest, I really didn’t like this book to begin with. I think the writing style threw me slightly (being a somewhat new avid reader) and the first half was potentially a little slow for me, but once the story moved and got more, and more exciting, the more I wanted to read and came to absolutely love this book!
As I mentioned, it covers some somewhat difficult topics including gaslighting, emotionally abusive relationships of which are covered in such a sensitive way. Potentially slightly triggering for some, but for me personally it gave understanding and allowed me identify situations in my own life where I may have been subject to these things. On the flip side, it covers some lovely and relatable topics including amazing supportive friendships, the woes of progressing through your career and also personal development, which is what made me fall in love with this read!
The Flat Share (£4.50)
Bared To You – Sylvia Day
In a few recent posts I have also mentioned this read, which is actually the first in a series of books that my Mum happened to have so I thought i’d give it a go. Being someone who read the fifty shades series (I mean what girl hasn’t), I knew i’d probably enjoy these books as they are pretty easy reads and although they do explore sex quite openly, I do also enjoy the love stories tangled amongst it all!
Eva, who comes from a pretty wealthy background has recently moved to New York from San Diego with her best pal Cary, where she is starting a new job at The Crossfire. She runs into Gideon Cross, the head of The Crossfire and from that moment, everything changes. Sparks fly and the tension between them is intense, and their chemistry is even more intense. Without giving much more away, although this book does explore sex in many ways and varieties, there is also other topics covered. Both characters have their own demons from their past, with elements of abuse, false love, the trials and tribulations of trust and so much more.
For me personally, I really enjoyed this read from start to finish and personally I found this to be better than fifty shades. The twists and turns within the story lines weren’t as obvious as fifty shades, nor was it at times cringey in certain ways. Having said that, I did find certain aspects of the story line repetitive and I did find myself skimming through the last few chapters because I couldn’t be bothered to read the finer details of an argument, that then turns to sex. Again. But all in all I really enjoyed this read. I haven’t yet moved onto the next book in this series, but I am planning to continue to read and see where this love story goes!
Moving onto a few reads I’ve added onto my list and following everything happening in regards to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I wanted to shift my attention to reading informative and educational reads on how I can do more. Beth Sandland shared an amazing post sharing An Anti-Racist Reading List for All Ages and from that I have ordered Queenie (£8.99). I’ve had it on my reading list for a while, so i’m excited to read, learn and hopefully apply! Another read that I want to get my hands on is Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (£8.99) but it is well and truly sold out, so i’m going to try and get the Kindle or e-book version. Please, if like me you are furloughed and you have a lot more time on your hands, please take this time to educate yourself on how you can support the BLM movement.
What reads have you loved during lockdown?