Bookish Discussions

Favourite Books of the Year So Far:


I know, I’m late to the party, but I wanted to get this up.

Before July started, I had read 51 books. I’m on track to read roughly 110 this year, which is my new goal, but let’s focus on the first half of the year.

I had some good reading months, and some naff ones, but I’ve managed to whittle down 51 books to five *really* great onesMost of them, if not all of them actually, are historical. We’ve one non-fiction, and then the rest are historical fiction, mainly set in the Victorian period.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

I find it hard to believe this is Collins’ debut novel. It was complex, emotional and original.

Reminiscent of the 19th century, people can visit book binders to rid themselves of painful or treacherous memories. Once bound, their memories lose the power to haunt them. Emmett Farmer, our protagonist, is sent to be a binder’s apprentice. His curiosity is peaked when he is forbidden to enter the room in which the books are stored, and by the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection with.

The Binding had such an innotivate storyline, taking something we are familiar with and turning it on its head. Who would have thought that books could possibly be someone’s unwanted memories? It’s immersive and beautifully written, with an unexpected romance and an excellent set of characters. A must read!

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Bookish Discussions

Lockdown Reads // Top 5:

Hello… it’s been a while.

I haven’t really felt like blogging – my master’s just emotionally drained me and I turned to bookstagram as a way of sharing content (@bookishbyron_). I want to get back into writing about books, especially as I loved it so much, and it was a way of expressing my passion for classic literature. So… as a way to fill in the all of those months of silence, let’s talk about the books I’ve been reading during lockdown.

The Murder of Harriet Monckton

I bought this rather chonky book last year and I’ve been putting it off because of it’s size. I’m not usually bothered by big books; I’ll happily pick up a 1,000 page novel and read it. I just wondered how you could drag out a murder mystery for 500 pages?4DA61028-4991-4625-83B0-FDD024A67A6B

I was stupid to put it off for so long.

It’s set in 1843 as we follow an investigation into the mysterious murder of Harriet, who was found poisoned behind her local chapel. It’s based on a true story – I don’t exactly know how much of it was fictionalised, but it was bloody brilliant. I was kept in suspense the whole time, and didn’t see that final page plot twist (oh, god, so good). I wasn’t phased by the general slowness of the story, and I enjoyed being able to dip in and out of different perspectives.

Just a really great book.

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The Confessions of Frannie Langton:


Well, what a compelling story.

It’s 1826. Crowds gather to watch Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, go on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth. For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London. Could Frannie Langton have murdered the only person she has ever loved?

I have been waiting, ever so patiently, to get my hands on the paperback edition of Sara Collins’ debut novel. I love murder mysteries set in the nineteenth century. There is something so fascinating about them. Despite being a century of progression in terms of detection and policing, there is a darkness that still shrouds the century, making it the perfect atmosphere for a chilling story like this. Collins’ definitely didn’t disappoint. She kept me in suspense the whole way through. Never did it become predictable. Never did it become boring. Never did it falter. It was convincing, emotive and powerful.

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