Friday, 4 September 2020

What I've been reading through August

Lockdown has been bloody marvellous for reading, hasn't it?

This month I hit my Goodreads Challenge of 75 books! I set my total at 75 because that was what I read last year so I'm intrigued to see how many I can clock up by the end of 2020. We're still staying home a lot at the moment - we've ventured out a little more than we have been and it's been nice but I'm not quite ready to let go of our time at home as a family, it has been so valuable to us all. 

With September here, our routine is starting to look a lot more normal especially with our son going back to preschool which I'm so not ready for but that does mean I can spend his mornings there with a cup of coffee and a book so not all so bad! 

This is the first month I haven't read over ten books - I've only read three! What I've done is include those three and one I read in July but forgot to include so there are four mini-reviews for you to look over. 

As always, I keep everything I've read on my Books 2020 highlight on my Instagram so if you're looking for any more recommendations - be sure to look there too. 

Dominicana by Angie Cruz
In a bid to diversify my reading list, I stumbled across Dominicana and fell in love. It follows Ana, a 15-year-old girl who is forced to marry a much older man and move to New York where she knows no one and doesn't speak the language. It's a story of how she grows into herself and it is told perfectly - the writing is beautiful, simple and poetic with descriptions that bring the entire book to life - I felt if I closed my eyes, I could almost taste the food that Ana prepared to remind her of home.

I also loved the interplay between Ana's memories of her life in the Dominican Republic and her present in New York. The writing really allows you to understand female immigrants who found themselves in the United States in the '60s. It's a really brilliant book that you should absolutely add to your reading list. 

The Nidderdale Murders by J.R.Ellis (read as part of an AD on Instagram)
Love a gritty murder mystery? The Nidderdale Murders is for you! It is full of shocking twists that'll keep you guessing until the very end. Set in the Yorkshire Dales in a village where everyone has a motive for murder or so you think - there are a number of possible suspects, I changed my theory so many times and I was so sure at one point but nope, the author truly tricked me.

I really loved the character development, DCI Oldroyd was such an interesting character and the description of Nidderdale really helped conjure up the atmosphere of a remote Yorkshire village. I couldn't put it down. Sign of a fab murder mystery? I think so!

The Mothers by Sarah J. Naughton 
I stumbled across this on Amazon and the reviews were really good but I was kinda disappointed as it was so predictable. Five women, Chrissy, Electra, Skye, Jen, and Bella - all with very diverse personalities and who, on the face of it, only have one thing in common, they're children. They wouldn’t normally be friends if they hadn't met at an antenatal group but for some reason, their friendship has endured and they continue to meet for drinks at each other's houses, even though it sometimes seems that they actually don't really like each other very much. 

It follows the women's friendship and a missing husband - I'm sure you can figure out the rest. I found it quite an addictive read but more so because I wanted to know if I'd be proved right. I'm glad I didn't spend days on it as I would've felt like I'd wasted my time. 

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
I'm a huge fan of Shari Lapena and devour her books in a day and this was no different but it wasn't my favourite. Lapena is brilliant at writing short chapters that end on a cliff hanger making you want to keep reading but this felt really underwhelming. 

There was so much build-up but towards the end, it started to get quite repetitive and just very blah. The characters were very unlikable and to be honest, I wasn't that fussed who committed the crime - I just wanted to see the end. I'm hoping her next novel redeems this one for me. 

What have you been reading recently? 



  1. I was reading so much earlier in the year but the last few weeks I've hardly touched a book. I'm currently reading a series about burracombe by Lillian Harry. I love the sound of the Nidderdale murders, you've read some great sounding books.

  2. Love finding out what others have been reading and getting some recommendations! I've been wanting to read The Mothers but I keep hearing mixed things about it! xx

    Tiffany x

  3. I actually like that last book - I need to read more of their books x

  4. Thanks so much for the recommendations! Honestly, I have not read any books of late.

  5. I’ve tried reading Shari Lapena’s books before and I’ve just found them all so “meh” which is a shame cos there’s great reviews. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t your favorite!

  6. I need to start reading again so might check some of these out xx

  7. Wow, 75 books is amazing! Fair play to you. Both Lyme & Covid have really affected my sight so I don't get to read as much as I used to x


  8. 75 books?! That's amazing Alice, I've only read 15 books so far this year! x

    Lucy |

  9. I like the plot of the book the Mothers. It reminds me of a book I read before but I can't remember.

  10. I'm a big fan of Shari Lapena's books too and found this one didn't quite hit the spot! I felt like the story was dragged out way more than needed and wasn't anywhere near as gripping as her other ones

    Steph -

  11. I am going to be adding some of these to my reading list!


  12. I found lockdown had the opposite impact on my reading! I spent so much time at the start stressing about the state of the world that I really struggled to focus. I'd managed about 40 books in the three months before and I'm only on 60 now, nearly 6 months later. It's a shame you found a couple of these underwhelming x


  13. I really hit the ground running with reading then I got to one book and wasn’t into it and I’ve fallen out of the habit.

  14. I'll definitely check out Dominicana - I hadn't heard of it before, so thanks for the recommendation!

    Jasmine xx

  15. Congrats on hitting your goodreads goal!! That's amazing, well done! I hate when books are so predictable but you just want to get to the end and call it quits!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

  16. Congratulations on hitting your goal for the year! Looks like you have been reading some excellent books! I recently finished The Year of the Witching and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

  17. That's a bit annoying that you didn't enjoy the Shari Lapena book too much, I've only read one of her books but it was good, hopefully the next one will grip you more! I always love reading your book reviews as you're really fair and open about what you like and don't like - and I feel like I have really similar taste to you! Congratulations on smashing your Goodreads goal too!


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