What I Read This Summer

If you read my New Year’s Resolutions post you would know that one of my goals for 2019 was to read more for pleasure since as an english student, most of my life is consumed with reading for my degree. As fun as that is, I do prefer just reading in my downtime and not having to read with the analytical part of my brain turned on. So I used this summer to get on top of that ( and to make my Goodreads reading challenge look a bit better) and thought it would nice to share what I actually read!

  1. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella- Now…before I get more into this review I will say that previously I have really enjoyed Sophie Kinsella’s work. Her shopaholic series is the one of the most popular book series ever, Can You Keep a Secret? and I’ve Got Your Number are two of my favourite books ever, but (and it’s a big ‘but’) I Owe You One just really failed to hit the mark. The plot lacks originality and depth and it’s really hard to like any of the characters. (Literally the whole way through Fixie liking Ryan…what was even going on..) To top it off, the thing that mainly annoyed me about this book was how the female characters are written. The vast majority of women in this books seem to be spineless, weak and have no independence at all. ‘Fixie’, the main character doesn’t seem to be able to do anything without a man giving her the means to do so first. *SPOILER WARNING* She only realises that Ryan is a massive twat after he dumps her. Later on in the novel, there are moments when ‘Fixie’ gains the confidence and motivation to overcome her own insecurities and sort problems out but only after she’s been given a pep talk by a man. I would have liked to see Fixie be strong and independent (a more accurate representation of modern day women), realise right and wrong by herself but it just doesn’t happen. ‘Fixie’s’ best friend (who I can’t remember the name of at the moment!) seems to be the only female voice of reason in the novel but she is made out to appear crazy because of her OCD. Even ‘Fixie’ the main character who ‘fix’s things’ which in another context could be a good personality trait, is made to appear crazy and obsessive. So not my favourite novel, and the portrayal of women is just disappointing.
  2. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris- I read quite a few books this summer around the subject of World War 2 and the Holocaust because I find books on those subjects really interesting and I also went to Krakow this summer and saw a lot of the Jewish history within the city as well as going to the actual Auschwitz camp. I really enjoyed the book, it tells a personal story within a tragic part in history very well and I thought Heather Morris did justice to Lale’s story. It is well worth reading.
  3. The Krakow Ghetto Pharmacy by Tadeusz Pankiewicz/ The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford- Again, following on with a similar book subject, I read The Good Doctor of Warsaw early on in the summer before I went to Poland and The Krakow Ghetto Pharmacy after I had been and after I saw the actual pharmacy. Both are very sad parts of history and the reason I’ve put them together is because they’re parts of history which I didn’t really know existed. It sounds bad but in school I remember being taught about World War 2,the Holocaust the British history, the political side of the German history but not so much the specifics of the polish history like the Krakow and Warsaw ghettos and the uprisings. Both books were really interesting, well written and I learn’t a lot and above all, they tell very important stories about what tragedies befell to a lot of people, stories that should be shared told and shared over and over again.
  4. Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon- I picked this book up kind of on a whim from a charity shop but I really liked it. Not only does Bryony Gordon write in a really funny and captivating way (very similar to Dolly Alderton’s style and her book is one of my all time favourites!) but her story is very inspiring and I can imagine it would resonate with a lot of people. I followed her on Instagram after I read her book and she also posts a lot of body positive/ mental health awareness content on there so not only do I recommend reading her book but following her on social media!
  5. Daughter of the House by Rosie Thomas- *Sigh*. Yeah, you could say that this book was a bit of a disappointment. Again, I picked it up from a market stall and the blurb made it seem quite interesting so I thought for £2, I couldn’t really go wrong, might as well get it and read it. However, this book just has no direction. It took me ages to get into it because the first couple chapters just seem to be a bunch of characters jabbering at each other. The characters also aren’t that interesting and like I mentioned in my review of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle I find it really hard to keep going with books when none of the characters are likeable because there’s no chance of me giving a rats arse about what happens to any of them. Regardless, around the middle I kind of got into it a bit more, finished it but then the ending didn’t seem to resolve anything. I didn’t finish it and think ‘are you kidding me, give me more’, it was more, ‘are you kidding me, I can’t believe I just wasted all that time into this book’. The ‘uncanny’ which I thought was going to be massive part of Nancy and her life seemed undeveloped, which I felt was disappointing because it seemed like something that if developed properly, could have made an amazing story.Instead, it was just a bit …eh.

Hopefully inspiration can be taken from this list if you’re looking for a book to read because I did really enjoy the majority of what I read this summer. I didn’t read much but it was nice to read at a leisurely pace rather than the two book a week grind I’m on during term time!

Happy reading!

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