I cannot believe another month has almost gone by. It's been a busy month with three family birthdays and lots of positive things happening so hopefully the good times will carry on in June! Today is my Dad's birthday and I am on my way over there now. As usual, my daughter has fallen asleep en route so I have pulled up on a country lane to let her rest before the fun begins. I thought I may as well take the opportunity to round up what I've read this month. I've had a really successful few weeks, and I've read more five star books this month than at any other point in the year so far. I thought I'd do a brief rundown of each book starting from my most recently completed. Here goes... Heart Berries by Therese Marie Mailhot This book blew me away. It is a raw and honest memoir that deals with incredibly important issues, such as; motherhood, sexual and emotional abuse, mental illness, relationship break downs, identity and race. I think this book comes in at about 120 pages or so but nothing is lost and no emotion is spared in its brevity.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby Another memoir but this one is written in essays. This book made me laugh out loud while in an A&E department (a few odd looks came my way) but there are also many tender moments woven through the humour and self deprecation, so you know Samantha Irby is a woman that we can all relate to.
The Republic of Motherhood by Liz Berry This short collection of poetry (I hate the word pamphlet) is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Google her, watch her on YouTube, get your hands on anything you can. Liz Berry's poetry is exquisite; I don't know how she does it. In so few words she is able to convey situations that, as a mother, are so relatable and visceral that I wanted to shout and tell everyone to read it. I haven't ever read a collection like it. With such beauty in her language, this is an absolute treat!
Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne Maurice Swift is a bastard. Not in the old sense of the term, but in the modern, 'he's an absolute 'shit', sense of the word. I've never read a book where I have hated a character as much, but what a fantastic book this is! Boyne keeps you hooked even though as a reader we can see him for what he is. No one else sees through his dangerous charm until it's too late. John Boyne is a master writer. I love, love, love him.
The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman This book follows a group of five, or is it six(?) adults reflecting back on their childhood when they were a part of 'The Gunners'. One of them commits suicide and the characters try to work out why Sally disappeared from the group when they were 16. Very LGBTQ positive and a fast read.
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh This is the story of three teenage girls living on a remote island to escape the toxic and crumbling society on the mainland. Is everything as it seems? No. Is this the best dystopian fiction novel I've read in years? Yes! It is incredible! One of my favourites of this year, for sure.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce A thriller about a Barrister who makes all the wrong choices in her personal life. Affairs, lies, abuse, rape with a dark twisty ending. I read this in a day as it's compelling and I think Tyce did a good job as this is her debut. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.
I've really enjoyed this month's reads. In June I'm going to be following the Reading Women (https://www.readingwomenpodcast.com/) and using their prompts to read a selection of books by diverse female writers. Should be good!