REVIEW: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

'I can feel myself being slotted into place, a cog in a massive ticking clock, propelling a mechanism I'm too small to understand.' Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Author: Stuart Turton Rating: 5/5 I bought this book from the tiny English language section of a book shop here in Genova, Italy. I moved here back in August and have since exhausted the supply of books I brought with me, and so I needed to find something new to feed my addiction. I'm not usually one for murder mysteries or crime fiction, but I saw The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle on the shelf and remember hearing great things back when it was published a few years ago. This relatively spontaneous purchase has become one of my favourite books I have ever read. I found myself wanting to read "one more chapter" every night. I fell in love with the setting straight away. A grand manor in the woods and a madman on the loose, what more could you want? It took me right back to my A Level

REVIEW: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff Rating: 5/5 Illuminae isn't a book. It's an experience . I could sum up the plot to try and sell it to you, but that wouldn't do it justice. What makes the story special is the way it is told; the way it puts you in the driving seat of this massive spaceship and guides you through it, rather than just telling you. Illuminae is a quasi-graphic novel, but with an emphasis on the 'novel' part. We don't get the detailed illustrations of characters and settings you would normally expect from a regular graphic novel, but it's certainly still 'graphic' in other ways. Every time I picked the book up, I was excited to explore all the different types of documents it uses to tell the story - emails, text messages, transcripts of announcements, conversations ... you name it. You truly feel like a detective sifting through these documents to find out what really happened. I particularly liked how the writer

When #BLM Meets Fantasy: Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi has said many times before that  Children of Blood and Bone was written in response to cases of racism and police brutality in America. Now, almost 6 weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I want to analyse Adeyemi's debut novel in light of this tragedy, and how it made a mark on the Black Lives Matter movement. 'Children of Blood and Bone was written during a time where I kept turning on the news and seeing stories of unarmed black men, women and children being shot by the police. I felt afraid and angry and helpless, but this book was the one thing that made me feel like I could do something about it.' (Tomi Adeyemi, 2018) I read this book back in 2018 when it was first published, and instantly knew it was one of my favourite books I had ever read. I decided to re-read it the day after George Floyd was murdered, and was overwhelmed by just how powerful the story is to the BLM movement. As a privileged white girl, I felt like Childr

Right Book, Wrong Time: Reading in a Pandemic

Have you ever started a book, got a few chapters in, and then decided to put it down? There are many, many reasons for doing this. Maybe you're too busy with work, maybe you're not in the mood for ______ right now, or maybe you simply don't like it. But have you ever put down a book because it's affecting your mental health? I recently had to stop reading The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe for this exact reason. The Librarian of Auschwitz has been on my TBR for quite some time, and lock down seemed to be the perfect time to get some reading done - it's one of those books I've been meaning to read but never got round to it. Back in 2018 I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris and found it heartbreaking, don't get me wrong, but also enjoyed learning more about that period in history. So, when I got Iturbe's book from my bookshelf last week, I thought I was ready to read it. Turns out, I was wrong. Lock down is not a

COVID19: A World Without Bookshops?

Recently, Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller , said: what we see in the charts now is a glimpse into a world without bookshops. This got me thinking. What impact will COVID19 have on the publishing industry long term? Shopping culture At the moment, gone are the days you could make a day of strolling around your favourite bookshop, carefully choosing what to buy. This is what I have been missing most recently, just being able to go into town and mill about for a while. Instead, Amazon's sales have increased by a staggering 27% in the first quarter of 2020 alone. It's not like Amazon wasn't a retail giant before corona, but Jeff Bezos has certainly asserted his dominance now. Everyone has been forced to temporarily change their shopping habits, but this raises the question of will shopping culture ever return to what it once was? Will people choose convenience over experience more than they already do? Bestsellers Especially for the first few weeks of lock down

REVIEW: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

You know that feeling when you start a new book that's 600+ pages long, part of a trilogy and you fall in love with it from the first chapter? That was The Name of the Wind for me. Even though it took me nearly four months (!!!) to read it, it definitely consumed my life for the past few weeks. Let's just say it was the perfect lock down companion. First off, the medieval vibe was incredibly refreshing. (I say medieval even though Rothfuss has never confirmed this but it's what feels right to me.) The medieval trope can sometimes be overdone and repetitive, especially in fantasy for adults, but not this one. It was medieval enough for my brain to place it in time and space pretty easily, but Rothfuss has put his own interesting twist on details such as money, clothing style, languages etc. It could literally be anywhere in the world at any point in time. Title: The Name of the Wind Author: Patrick Rothfuss Rating: 5/5 You can buy it here Kvothe may just be one

My (Optimistic) Lock Down TBR

Lock down is in full swing and like many, I'm going to read everything I've been meaning to read for the past few months. I'm coming to the end of my studies at university, so this is the perfect time to catch up on my reading! Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Horror First off, I have Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Horror. I picked this up at my university bookshop as I had a gift card and wanted to make the most of it before I graduated. I had briefly studied Poe in my first year back in 2016 and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would delve a bit deeper and read some more! The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss Last week I finished the first book in this series, The Name of the Wind, and REALLY enjoyed it (read my review here ). It's quite a chunky one with almost 1000 pages, so this will probably be a whole summer read in itself... I should probably stop the TBR here, but I'm an optimistic person.

Bethany's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Martian
tagged: currently-reading
tagged: currently-reading