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

The Five // A New Favourite Non-Fiction

I’ve been desperate to read The Five by Hallie Rubenhold since its release in early 2019. I had to wait a whole year for the paperback. I consumed it all as soon as I got it; I was that impatient.C709A50A-8037-4965-8F51-17FC5FA3BB4C

The Five is different to the other non-fiction books on Jack the Ripper. Rubenhold isn’t interested in trying to understand the motives behind these gruesome murders, nor is she interested in trying to uncover the true identity of the Ripper. She is interested in the victims; she gives us a timeline of their lives, starting with childhood through to their life in London.

Rubenhold wants these women to be remembered.

I love that Rubenhold didn’t romanticise the murders. We seem to have an odd, voyeuristic obsession with the tiny details of a murder: how did they die? What did their body look like when it was found? What was the murder weapon? Dead bodies become something to probe and scrutinize. The Five didn’t actually discuss the women’s deaths – it was a passing comment. Rubenhold humanises these women, who were much more than just “victims”, by giving us a historical timeline of their lives. We get to know them on a personal level.

By focusing on just the women, and by rarely even mentioning the Ripper, and I mean rarely, Rubenhold questions why we, as the modern world, romanticise Jack the Ripper instead of acknowledging him as a murderous misogynist. We have moulded him into some sort of legend – the uncaught killer – who is remembered in history and, at time, is celebrated (or so it seems?). As a result, we leave his five victims to be forgotten about – at most, being remembered as nothing more than “prostitutes”.

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Bookish Discussions

2020: New Releases

I’m back with my final end-of-the-year post!

I wanted to have a lil chat about the books I’m most looking forward to reading in 2020 – I’ve tried to actually find books that are released this year, not just books that are being released in paperback, which is usual the “new releases” that I tend to buy.

Anyway, here’s the book I’m most excited for in 2020:

The Foundling by Stacey Halls8F5B7708-DE3E-44A0-B6EE-B85A3DE42DF3

OK, so Stacey Halls’ debut, The Familiars, was my favourite book of 2019 and is definitely in my top 5 favourite books of all-time. Once I saw the hardback edition of her second book, The Foundling, with the stunning end pages, dust jacket and spine, I couldn’t resist pre-ordering it and I passionately HATE hardbacks.

I’ve bought my ticket to her author event at Waterstones, Liverpool, next month to hear her talk about her The Foundling. I didn’t wanna go without having read this, so I’m going to start on it as soon as it arrives in the post. It sounds like yet another amazing read. I won’t give too much of the synopsis away, but it’s set in London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim that child she has never known.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave 

Next up is The Mercies. I’m not sure if I’ll end up buying this in hardback or if I’ll wait till later in the year for its paperback release, but I’m super stoked about it. I’m always after a new witchy book and this one sounds like a dream.

The blurb on Goodreads says: After a storm has killed off all the island’s men, two women in a 1600s Norwegian coastal village struggle to survive against both natural forces and the men who have been sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraft.

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