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reading recommendations

Books can change your life for the better. There are so many tales that have shaped me into the 25-year-old woman I am today. Books have educated me, inspired me and encouraged me. They’ve been a form of escapism during dark times and a source of inspiration throughout my entire life.

Brooklyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Wuthering Heights are up their with my all time favourites, but it is one of my most recent reads that completely changed the way I think about my life.

That book is How To Fail by journalist Elizabeth Day.

How To Fail is the most eye-opening and reassuring read. It has altered the way I view my past ‘failures’ in life and has helped me embrace the lessons we learn from our failures.

The non-fiction book is inspired by her hugely popular podcast of the same name. The book focuses on the writer's 'failures' and what she has learned from them. Those failures include everything from Elizabeth’s early days as a journalist to her IVF struggles and the breakdown of her marriage.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It is raw and honest and unbelievably beautiful. Everyone will relate to this book in one way or another, because we have all ‘failed’ at one point in our lives.

Failure shapes us and teaches us vital lessons that improve our lives, even if the failures make us feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. 

This book is full of wisdom and reassurance. It taught me so much about being a writer, being a woman, the desire to be a mum and the importance of being a friend.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How To Fail reassured me about lost friendships, changed the way I look at my career and taught me so much about fertility and the harrowing experiences women have to go through. This book has been a source of joy, guidance and comfort.

It has educated me in ways I never expected. 

It is undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of How To Fail by Elizabeth Day.

How To Fail by Elizabeth Day is published by Harper Collins.

You can buy a copy here.

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We have long been a fan of Shari Lapena so were thrilled to learn that she had a new book coming out this year. Someone We Know is her latest psychological thriller and as you might expect, it does not disappoint.  

The story is set in the affluent neighbourhood outside of Manhattan.  

In a tranquil, leafy suburb, the story unfolds – the focus is on four main families. The book opens on one family (the Sharpes’) whose eldest son has broken into their neighbours house for no other reason than he can. 

This initially seems like an act of a bored and rather foolish teenager, but it swiftly unravels into a key moment of a story that will enrapture your attention from the get-go.  

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Meanwhile, their neighbour, Amanda Pierce has gone missing. Her husband Robert is an unlikeable piece of work, but seems distressed by her absence and after all, no-one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.  Very quickly the book turns into a murder investigation as Amanda Pierce is found by chance in the boot of her submerged car.

This is a story which reminds us that you never really know what goes on behind closed doors or what our neighbours are really like despite seeing them walking their dog in the morning and returning home from work in the evenings. 

From the outset there are many suspects who could have killed Amanda and the tension builds with each turn of the page. Despite the original friendships the book opens with, they quickly disintegrate as neighbour turns on neighbour to distance themselves from what the police are uncovering. 

This is a fast-moving psychological thriller that filled me full of intrigue and excitement. All in all, it’s a finely crafted read that held my attention nicely throughout and left me satisfied at the end.

Someone We Know is fast and twisty; full of intrigue, secrets, lies and murderous intent which you will race through.  

We highly recommend.

Published by Penguin Random House 2019.
 

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August is here and we’re ready for a month full of reading. There are so many titles to choose from but we’ve managed to whittle our August reading list down to six books. There’s something for everyone so we’re sure you’ll find a tale that tickles your fancy on our list.

All The Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (Penguin)

On Deena’s seventeenth birthday, the day she finally comes out to her family, her wild and mysterious sister Mandy is seen leaping from a cliff. The family is heartbroken but not surprised. The women of the Rys family have always been troubled- ‘bad apples’, their father calls them- and Mandy is the baddest of them all.

But then Deena starts to receive letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is a curse, handed down through generations of Rys women. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must begin a desperate cross-country hunt for her sister, guided only by the notes that mysteriously appear in each new place. What Deena finds will heal their family’s rotten past- or rip it apart forever.

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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton (Penguin)

Neena’s always been a good girl. But when her brother disappears without a trace, her family becomes fractured beyond repair- and Neena finds herself spiralling out of control as she tries to find out what happened to Akash.

Surrounded by broken friendships, a broken heart and an increasingly broken grip on her sanity, Neena’s never felt more hopeless. But, as she’s about to discover, sometimes it’s in our darkest moments that we find our true strength.

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The To-Do List and Other Debacles by Amy Jones (Penguin)

How not to be good? Let me list the ways…

Are you a woman? Do you make to-do lists to stop you losing your mind? Have you ever cried in the toilets at work, had a meltdown in the supermarket, or gone off the rails at a hen party?

And have you ever been saved from any of the above by your truly brilliant friends?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then this is the book for you. A moving, funny and brutally honest memoir of one woman’s millennial misadventures, The To-Do List and Other Debacles follows Amy Jones on her journeys through friendship, marriage and mental health disasters in a story that’s as relatable as it is riotous.

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I Confess by Alex Barclay (Harper Collins)

A group of childhood friends are reunited at a luxury inn on a remote west coast peninsula in Ireland. But as a storm builds outside, the dark events that marred their childhoods threaten to resurface.

And when a body is discovered, the group faces a shocking realisation: a killer is among them, and not everyone will escape with their lives.

Published on August 22.

Crossfire by Malorie Blackman (Penguin)

Thirty-four years have passed since Sephy Hadley- a Cross- first met Callum McGregor- a Nought. Their love was forbidden, powerful- and deadly.

Life is seemingly very different now for Noughts and Crosses- including for Sephy and Callum’s families. But old wounds from the past are hard to heal, and when you’re playing a game as dangerous as they are, it won’t be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire.

Published on August 8.

Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (Hodder)

Sixteen-year-old Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.

Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope. But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling: The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare.

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