I’m co-hosting this week’s Weekend Rewind link-up and I have to admit, I was pretty chuffed to be asked to do so! Weekend Rewind is a weekly linky hosted by, Maxabella Loves, Life, Love and Hiccups, A Life Less Frantic & this week only- ME!
I love Weekend Rewind because it’s a great reason to put my feet up on a Friday night and settle in for a good read. I’m a total party animal like that. Nothing distracts me from the computer.
Aside from blogs, I’m a big fan of books. Not e-readers so much. I prefer a real, paper book that has that distinctive book aroma. I know they take up room and e-readers are probably much more eco-friendly but I simply can’t help myself. I must have all the books!
So, in the spirit of a evening of reading, I thought I’d share just 3 of the books that I’ve read this year and loved, in no particular order.
1- The Happiness Show by Catherine Deveny
This is a great story about a woman called Lizzie who meets up with an old lover by chance. Sparks fly, of course. Problem is, she’s well and truly married… and so is he. She even actually loves her husband. Lizzie and Tom, her old boyfriend, reconnect when Lizzie is given a chance to make a documentary for the BBC on, you guessed it, happiness. The story is written with Catherine Deveny’s trademark wit and humour and is filled with vivid characters. Lizzie is a brave, fiery comedian who loves a good laugh. Tom, her old lover, is more refined but very likeable. It’s a story filled with yearning, it’s a bit on the sexy side and you do really want everyone to live happily ever after. I loved how the story dealt with infidelity in all it’s shades but without any moral hand-wringing or smugness.
2- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Okay, so I’m years behind. I’m possibly the last person to actually read this book and I’ve still yet to see the television version. Pathetic, right? But I surely get a few points for trying to remedy the situation? If you somehow have not read this book- you must! It all centres around a BBQ where several families have come together. The drinks are flowing and the personal problems are hidden below the surface when a child is slapped for a perceived misdemeanor by someone who isn’t their parent. This sparks a court case and as it approaches, tension rises. The narrative weaves between characters, with each having a perspective on the incident based on their own situations. What sort of person they are, their parenting style, their habits, their problems, their pasts. The actual slap is simply another thread that binds these characters together. They are already bound by friendship, marriage, sex or blood. I won’t lie- some of the characters are damn hard to love- but they are gritty and real and you can’t help but keep reading.
3- Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
I’ve literally just finished this one and it was great! I knew nothing about it, just had a vague memory of someone saying they enjoyed it. The cover has a quote saying you’d like it if you liked “Gone Girl” and that was good enough for me, because I loved Gone Girl. So I dove in without even reading the back, because I’m wild and crazy like that. The story follows mum and humanitarian Heidi Wood, who encounters a homeless teenage girl and her baby at a train station. She becomes determined to help them and brings them home, much to her husband and 12 year old daughter’s confusion. Initially, Heidi seems determined to do what she can to get the baby back to health while trying not to upset her quiet and mysterious teenage guest. However, things get stranger and more suspenseful. Part of the story is told by Willow, the teenager Heidi is trying to help, in conversations with a social worker. Both Heidi and Willow must face traumatic events in their pasts before they can move forward. What I loved, without giving anything away, is the way this book shatters your heart on more than one level. Strange thing to love, right? I guess it’s because I love the fact that a writer, a skilled one, can make you feel things for characters that don’t even exist. It’s quite a gift.
Anyhoo, that’s my top 3 for the year so far. Feel free to add your recommendations in the comment section below- I’d love to know what you’ve been reading!
Weekend Rewind Time!