On the shelf: August 2022 reads

I binge read my way through August with a total of 14 books! I read:

  • The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
  • The Truth about Lisa Jewell by Will Brooker
  • A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
  • The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey
  • An Unfamiliar Landscape by Amanda Huggins (short story collection – proof)
  • The Drift by C J Tudor (proof)
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas
  • What I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
  • The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
  • Both of You by Adele Parks
  • Magpie by Elizabeth Day
  • The Secrets of the Storm Forest: The Strangeworlds Travel Agency #3 by L D Lapinski
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  • The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

The Idea of You was a Richard and Judy pick and a fun read. It’s a romance between a woman in her late 30s and a member of a boyband with all the trials and tribulations of a relationship under the spotlight.

The Truth about Lisa Jewell is a non-fiction book charting a year in the life of bestselling author, Lisa Jewell. I enjoyed the insight into her writing process and her moments of doubt and triumph. This book would particularly appeal to writers.

The Mermaid of Black Conch was a beautifully written story which stayed with me long after I finished it. I enjoyed the different voices in this book and the way it explores themes of misogyny and colonialism through a traditional mermaid tale.

An Unfamiliar Landscape was a review copy of Amanda Huggins’ latest collection of short stories. Huggins’ atmospheric and evocative prose has the power to transport you to places all over the globe while tunnelling deep into your soul. The tiniest details make the greatest impact as Huggins explores grief, relationships and self-discovery. A masterclass in short form fiction.

C J Tudor is one of my favourite writers so I practically mugged her at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival for a proof of her latest novel, The Drift, which will be out in January 2023. This is quite a departure for C J Tudor in terms of genre but has the same page-turning element of her other books, with a clever twist.

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas was recommended to me by author Abby Davies, and I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I have also bought the workbook that goes with it and am making my way through it. Maas dissects every aspect of what makes a novel become a bestseller and encourages you to dedicate yourself to improving your own writing. Following all the advice in this book will be hard work, but I think it will be worth it! Definitely one I will be rereading many times.

Magpie by Elizabeth Day was one of the best books I read this month. It’s very well written and very dark. I loved the twist and the conclusion. It was a very accomplished thriller, and I am looking forward to reading her other books.

I’m really pleased that I have read Half of a Yellow Sun because I didn’t know much about the civil war in Nigeria in the 1960s. It was a very distressing read at times and I struggled with it for that reason, but I was glad I persevered. I loved the characters who will stay with me for a very long time.

After that I needed a lighter read, and I really enjoyed The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary. Imagine spending a long car journey to a wedding with your ex! That’s the situation Addie and Dylan find themselves in this romantic comedy.

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