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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

20 Books of Summer - books 16, 17 and 18!


How are we all getting on with this years' challenge?!  Not struggling I hope!  I seem to have had an extra burst of reading ability recently, mainly thanks to the sunshine I think, so have made extremely good progress and can't believe I'm on the final push before this challenge is all over at the beginning of September!

So here is what i've been reading recently...

Book 16

Hideous Creatures by S.E. LISTER


An extraordinary, magical odyssey into the dark heart of the New World . . .

Arthur Hallingham is the youngest son of an English earl. He’s on the run from his former life – from a family where painful, half-understood secrets lurk.

Arthur travels on a slave ship to the coast of America. Amidst the teeming squalor and vaulting ambitions of the New World, he encounters Flora, the tough daughter of an outlaw, and Shelo, a native medicine man with mysterious powers who seems to have a plan for him.

The three set off on a journey through the thick forests and along the wide rivers of the lush southern wilderness. As they near their destination, Shelo’s terrible and destructive purpose is gradually revealed.

Hideous Creatures is a rich, beautiful and compelling novel that will appeal to fans of Audrey Niffenegger, Erin Morgenstern and Neil Gaiman, by a young debut author destined for literary stardom.


Found this to be a little tougher to read than I'd hoped! Thought the cover was beautiful so was hoping to be swept away with the story inside but it just fell flat for me.  It was an odd and quirky journey which definitely picked up as it went along, and i found the descriptions quite dark, gothic and appealing.  Took a while to work out what was really going on so am tempted to read it all again sometime to see if it makes any more sense at a later date!  Still an enjoyable read though!




In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .


Had heard so many good things about this book, so I bumped it up my TBR pile to include it in this challenge and I'm very glad I did! A real rollercoaster read which had you on the edge of your seat at times, wondering just what would happen next and the twists were cleverly introduced.

The story is told from a number of perspectives after the death of a 5 year old boy in a hit and run, and this works so well in building up the tension as to exactly what happened that day and in the days, weeks and months afterwards.  Looking forward to reading more from this author in the future as she has a great way of telling a story!


One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey


Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. Ken Kesey's extraordinary first novel is an exuberant, ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness


This wouldn't have been my first choice of books to read, but the Facebook reading group I belong to picked it as their August Book Club read, and I was intrigued enough after seeing the film, to see where it all began.  

This was a tough read, as i knew it would be, but for some reason I didn't seem to enjoy it (if that's the right word for it!) as much as I hoped to.  Not sure whether the writing style was just too matter of fact for me, or maybe if i'd not seen the film beforehand it would have been a different experience for me.  Found the characters fascinating but just didn't have that empathy, until towards the end, that would have made the reading experience more enlightening.  I'm glad I've read it now though, but doubt I'll be reading it again anytime soon!

So, now the final countdown begins!! I've already started Book 19 and am loving that so far, so doubt it will take me too long to finish it and then have a big decision as to what to make my last book!! Decisions, Decisions LOL!!  It doesn't help when I keep going on little book buying sprees and keep adding to the paperback pile!  My aim was to read 20 books and then clear that space on the bookshelves..... but i've enjoyed some books so much on this challenge that I'm not sure I can part with them!  Maybe that's a topic for another blog post another day...... to hoard, or to let go?! What do you do??!!

Happy Reading!! 

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