Friday, September 11, 2015

6 Books You Need to Add to Your Reading List

The Little Magpie 6 Books recommendations
As we’re off to Malta next week (have I mentioned that yet? Oh, only a million times?), and the first thing I think of when it comes to holiday is which books to take with me, I decided to share some of my favourite reads this year with you. It actually started off as three books, then five, before I had to control myself and draw the line at six. What can I say, I love my books. I fly quite often and made a pact with myself at the beginning of the year to stop buying shitty magazines and to start buying more books, so most of these were picked up at the airport based entirely on the cover art. That’s right, generally I buy my books based on the way they look and 97% of the time I’m right; sometimes you CAN judge a book by its cover, kids. There’s a mix of genres in there so hopefully there’s something for everyone! 

 The Girl on The Train 
by S J Watson

This one was actually given to me as a gift from my old flatmate who knows all too well how much I love a good thriller. So, basic plotline: it’s about a girl on a train – what do you MEAN you saw that one coming? – who takes the same journey back and forward every day. Each day she passes a couple who she begins to give names, personalities and lives to from afar, but on one fateful journey, sees something from the train that will change her life forever. DUN DUN DUUUUN. And that’s all I'm telling you because I don't want to risk giving anything away. It kind of reminded me of Before I go to Sleep (Best. Book. Ever. If you haven’t you haven’t read it then get on it but don’t, whatever you do, make the mistake of watching the film) with all its twists and turns. It’s not quite as well written and I did guess the ending about halfway through – not that I like to brag – but it is as suspense-filled and will have you shouting, ’NO!’ more than once throughout. The perfect page turner!

 Elizabeth is Missing 
by Emma Healey

Um, again a title that gives you a bit of a clue as to what’s going on in the book. It's another gripping one as well that’ll have you pointing fingers at everyone and anyone as the story unfolds. I managed to guess the ending about halfway through again, but my middle name is Sherlock so that can only be expected*. It's one of the rare books I've ever read that has a pensioner as the protagonist which made for a pleasant change too. Basically Maud is an elderly lady whose memory isn't what is used to be, but every morning she wakes up and knows one thing: her friend Elizabeth is missing. Follow Maud as she tries to solve the disappearance of her friend, whilst dredging up a long lost mystery from the past along the way.

 A Man Called Ove 
by Frederik Backman

One of my greatest finds this year, if not ever. Frederik Backman is a seriously, seriously talented writer, which begs me to ask: what are they putting in the water in Sweden and where can I get some? It actually took me a while to get into, for the first couple of chapters I was completely confused as to how I felt about it, but soon fell in love with his style of writing and his weird but perfect metaphors, 'Ove looks at him a little as if Mirsad has stopped him in a pedestrianised arcade, dressed up as a pirate and asked him to guess under which of the three teacups he's hidden the silver cin'. It’s witty, straight to the point - thanks to Ove's bluntness - laugh out loud funny (you’ll be that nutter on the train making everyone unconfortable, ‘oh god, are they laughing because their book’s funny or because they’re just mental’) with spot-on critiques of modern society woven throughout. It’s nailed that perfect balance between humour and sadness that’s so friggin' hard to achieve; towards the end I was crying to hard that Lilo had to come over and give me a nudge to make sure I wasn’t dying. Bravo Backman, you wonderful man.

 My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologies 
by Frederik Backman

 Oh what’s that? Yes, another Frederick Backman… who saw that coming? Heh. This one follows Elsa on a treasure hunt, set by her Granny, that will change the life of her, and those around her, forever. Elsa, by the way, is seriously the most rockin’ 7 year old ever and one of my favourite protagonists in any novel I've read. It’s so well written and imaginative, and will leave you wanting a Granny like Elsa's - and an Uncle like Alf - by the end of it. Again, it’s very, very witty, funny and sad at times too (more tears were shed, more mascara had to be bought). Entirely lovely and magical.

 Yes Please
by Amy Poehler

 I was so excited to read this after LOL’ing my way through Tina Fey’s 'Bossypants' (another important recommendation there. Seriously, read it) and, although completely different to what I was expecting, I still loved it all the same. It’s not so much a light, funny read as an unofficial self-help book, filled with life lessons from the wise owl that is Madame Poehler. It’s honest, heartfelt and a little bit scandalous at times (Amy P reminiscing about being on E, guhhh) but focuses mainly on what she's learned in life so far, dropping little nuggets of wisdom on us throughout, rather than focusing on her life in the limelight; 'saying “yes” doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying “please” doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission'. I can guarantee it'll leave you inspired by her mindset and wanting her to either be your best friend or to adopt you.

 Spoiled Brats 
by Simon Rich

Now this one is seriously weird, and not like anything I’ve ever read before. One of the reasons being that it’s a collection of short stories, which isn’t normally my kind of thing. Like I say, it really is very, very odd so leave your sensible brain at the door and it’ll have you laughing out loud a LOT. Each short story – some weirder than others (I'm looking at you, Gifted) – comments on an aspect of modern society and are always so spot on that, once you’ve stopped laughing, will stay with you for a long time. I still think now about the guy from the pickle story months on from reading it.

Does anyone have any shamazing recommendations of their own? I need me some new reads!


* It's not really. It's not even close to Sherlock