I know I’ve mentioned here on the blog before that I’m obsessed with audio books… This year that obsession has increased, and I hardly ever listen to music anymore. All I do is listen to audio books, and the minute one ends I start another. Rinse, and repeat-I get so obsessed with what I’m currently listening to, I listen to them on my drive, when I’m getting ready for work, while I’m cleaning, while I’m working, etc. I even made C sit and quietly listen as I finished up my last book in the car, because I couldn’t wait until I was alone again to know what happened. So, suffice it to say, I have some book recommendations for you from my list of recent reads…
Recent Book Recommendations and Reviews
So, without further ado, here are the books I’ve read recently and some short reviews. These are all great ones that I’d definitely recommend you read if you’re looking for a new book to get hooked on. I listened to them via audio book, but I’m sure that if paper or digital is your preferred reading method, you’ll love these book recommendations too.
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
This book covers the story of Melanie, a pre-teen girl who doesn’t know any different than a life filled with locked cell doors and restraints. Her daily routine consists of guards strapping her into wheel chairs at gun point and being led to and from her classroom, where she and her classmates do all of their schooling while fully strapped down. She doesn’t understand why the guards look at her like she’s dangerous, or why her favorite teacher looks so sad when Melanie talks about growing up…
Until one day everything changes when things spiral out of control as the military base where they are is attacked. Melanie must escape with two guards who fear/hate her, the doctor who nearly dissected her, and her favorite teacher-Miss Justineau.
What I Thought
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey is the most fascinating take on a zombie story that I’ve ever heard. Not only does it include your standard flesh-hungry zombies (which they refer to as “hungries”), but there’s a new generation of children zombies who retain the ability to think and learn. The story takes on different view points throughout as you see the world through Melanie, who doesn’t even know she’s a “hungry”, but also through those of her human companions. Not only does she have a “coming of age” type experience, but she has to come to terms with what she is and the world she didn’t know existed.
This book was SO well-written and the story was so fascinating I’ve been singing it’s praises since I finished it. I had to tell C the entire story, and then I’ve been telling all of my reader friends to go read it ASAP. It was enthralling, and I’d definitely like to see this book turned into a movie someday.
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter
There’s not much that Althea Bell knows about her mother’s death, or her grandmothers and great-grandmother’s deaths for that matter. All she knows is that she was five years old and her father told her it was an aneurysm that took her mother away from her. Returning home after a stint in a rehab fascility to find her father suffering from Alzheimer’s and her brother and his wife unwelcoming. As she’s being forced out of her home, her father reveals that her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother’s all suffered mental breakdowns and died on their 30th birthday. He warns Althea that the same will happen to her, which takes her on a frightening adventure to uncover the truth before her birthday-which is in two weeks.
What I Thought
This book was a very good mystery which led to Althea uncovering huge family secrets that went back almost a century. It also throws in a hint of magic, interesting characters in the deep south, a touch of romance, and a whole lot of heartache. The emotions came across well in the book, and I really felt myself getting pulled into the story line and hoping to find out what had happened. If you like a thrilling mystery, definitely pick up this one!
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Good Omens follows The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. It also follows her descendant, a demon, an angel, a little boy who is the Antichrist and his friends, and the little boy that heaven and hell thought was the Antichrist as the apocalypse looms. The armies of good and evil are preparing to go to battle, while the demon and angel in charge of watching the Antichrist aren’t sure they’re ready to let that happen… Instead of going along with their sides, they set out to work together and prevent the world from ending.
What I Thought
Well, it’s Neil Gaiman, so of course I liked it… Plus, the book really feels like it’s written in the style of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which is another favorite of mine. It jumps around between characters and story lines in a similar fashion to HGttG, and has a similar sense of humor. I found myself laughing along with the antics of the demon and angel, neither of which seemed particularly good at their “jobs”, and even getting a good giggle at the hell hound who found himself less frightening as a boy’s trusted dachshund. With the show coming out sometime in the near future, I’d definitely recommend getting this one under your belt.
The Bear and The Nightingale by Katharine Arden
This dark fairy tale follows the story of Vasilisa, a young girl who grows up obsessed with the stories and legends of her forest. Mainly, she loves the story of Frost, a winter demon who shows up to claim souls. She is raised to honor the spirits and feed the household ones. However, her mother dies and her new stepmother is religious and will not allow her to continue the traditions, which causes the spirits to fade away and the protection they gave to go with them. Soon the danger of Winter is threatening her and those she loves and she must defy her stepmother in order to save them.
What I Thought
This book was so enchanting! It mixes in some wonderful old-time Russian lore, and it’s told in a magical and enrapturing way that really pulls you in. It’s like a grown-up fairy tale that you just can’t put down. It’s beautifully told, and I’m glad that it appears to be the first in a series so I can read more eventually.
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
This story alternates between modern day and 1708, as it follows the story of two different women. Carrie, a novelist that focuses on historical fiction finds herself off the coast of Scotland near Slains castle. Suddenly, writing seems easier to her as she documents the life of a girl who lived in 1708 and was trying to help the failed Jacobite uprising in 1708. But she soon wonders if it’s too easy, and if instead of making up the story in her head, she’s remembering things from her ancestors. Having not believed in ancestral memory before, there’s just too many things that are correlated for it to be coincidence.
What I Thought
I love just about anything Susanna Kearsley writes. She always does her research so you’re getting a history lesson as you follow along with the story, but there’s just enough fiction that it doesn’t read like a history book. She also always has a very real and fun romantic story line included, but it never takes over the main story line and it’s never too raunchy or racey. It’s subtle, which I appreciate. If you like historical fiction, with a touch of romance, definitely read anything by Susanna Kearsley-including this one! It is so good!
What are your recent book recommendations?
No really, return the favor. Leave me a comment and tell me a book you’ve read recently that you recommend-because I’m going to need something new here in just a minute… Thank you in advance!