Read in November

Err please excuse my little mistake on the photographs taken for this post as I didn’t actually read Hollow City this month it was actually last month and I’ve no idea how I ended up taking photos of this book for this set. I somehow even forgot to take a picture of the cover for Eileen as well which is completely unlike me but to be fair, I was rushing to get my lights packed away at the time because the cat is on a mission to chew everything in sight that’s bad for him.

Needless to say I’ve been struggling to reach my reading challenge target by the end of the year because we’ve had so much on at home and I’ve been so busy but I’ve still managed to squeeze in some crackers this month:

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

The Man Booker Prize is a big event in our household with Rick usually getting the majority of the shortlisted titles through the door for his own review purposes so if there is a book on the list that has caught my eye it’s not hard for me to get my hands on it. I find it quite difficult to transition myself into reading purely adult fiction simply because I find YA so easy to get my head around (and because I detest crime fiction SO MUCH) it was a surprise to me when I found myself drawn to this novel in particular.

I’d read quite a few things about this book, with the majority of them championing how unlikable the main character Eileen was. Well, I’ve read plenty of books with much more unlikable characters who share the most of a book and make the turn of every page a real chore but this one wasn’t too bad. To be truthful, Eileen herself wasn’t massively unlikeable – she was actually very enlightening which is why I believe this novel has done so well.

Eileen deserved it’s place on the shortlist because Moshfegh’s character reaches into that adolescent selfishness, self-doubt, loathing and levels of obsession that has reached us at some point from teenager to young adult and dances a blatant truth all over the page. I daren’t even mentioned too much about the plot because I’d heard hardly a thing about this book before reading and it made my experience ten times more interesting. I read this within an afternoon or two on my Kindle and I was entranced, but somehow very glad for the ride to be over by the last page.

I was honestly hooked on this book but I don’t want to mention much more about it other than to explain that new reader’s should think of this as a character study type of book and take it’s plot with a pinch of salt to avoid unnecessary dislike. Honestly, read it and figure it out for yourself because it’s one heck of a journey.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K Rowling

I’d had barely a passing thought for this screenplay until Rick had pre-ordered it and it was sitting on our coffee table one day just looking at me. The art within the pages is beautiful and after reading The Cursed Child I felt ready to embrace another script-reading experience so I delved right into this one afternoon. Well, I got about a quarter of a way through before I put down the book and demanded we go to the cinema and watch it instead. I think it was a combination of finding it difficult to visualise a new environment that Rowling was working to create and the exciting pace that  this story written under that I had to see it for myself.

Well, the film was a joy to watch and the first film in a long time that I’ve really relaxed enough to enjoy watching, and it was a complete bonus that we booked ourselves an executive experience at a cinema local to us for unlimited popcorn, pop and cheesy nachos throughout film. After rolling each other home that evening it took me another few days to get round to finishing this but after a good half an hour’s worth of wait time in traffic during my morning bus commute I’d gotten back into the swing of the plot and was happily finishing the tale.

Our copy will now get leant out to family and friends for a few weeks before it comes back to us to take pride of place on our bookshelves once more and I couldn’t be happier to have this as a part of our Potter library. I feel like Fantastic Beasts somehow makes up for some of the things that really irked me in The Cursed Child with that thrill of adventure the wizarding world seems to hold for us lot who keep going back and experiencing the it again and again through the books, films and play.


The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland

I unearthed my Kindle a few weeks ago and got about reading e-books again for the commute to and from work. I hate how when it takes me a while to read a book it can get quite battered going from bag to bag so an e-reader is a perfect solution to save my tatty books. Along with bringing my Kindle back to life I also tend to have a look for some new books to get my teeth into and The Girl From the Sea was a story I was auto-approved for on NetGalley and on reading the summary seemed decent enough for me to click download.

Mia washes up on a British beach during the height of summer in a state and is taken to a local hospital where she realises that she doesn’t remember anything about her previous life before being found. She doesn’t even know her own reflection and struggles to even know where she lives, what she does for a living or if she has any family to speak of. Enter Piers, her near-perfect boyfriend who takes her under his wing and explains that she’s been living a life many could dream of so why can’t she remember anything if her life was so perfect? And why did she end up washed up on a beach? Was it an horrific boating accident or something more sinister?

This is a story for anyone who really enjoyed Gone Girl and likes their plots with a good old twist at the end. Generally I quite enjoyed it and I found Mia to be generally likeable as a major character until the end (spoilers). For saying I read this in the lead-up to Christmas I felt transported to those and warm sticky summer days of an English heat wave and the author does a great job of describing to settings of the location this novel is set in. The only character who got right up my nose was Piers, Mia’s oh-so-amazing boyfriend, but I feel like he was meant to anyway – by the time Mia showed him the door I was pretty glad to see him go because he so damn cliche I was giving up two fingers to the page and cheering as he exited the plot.

A decent enough read and not too crime-y for my liking, I was happily sitting down with a cup of tea and completing this on the sofa one evening and it put me in such a positive reading mood going onwards that I was more than happy with it.

Have you read any of the books highlighted in this post? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments.