I am three quarters of the way through my challenge to read 50 books by the beginning of September 2018. At the end of my previous update I was feeling a little disheartened because I should have been halfway through my target of 50 books and I wasn’t. I have picked things up and have made significant progress the past three months and I may be back on track to meet the target!
NB: Items marked with * are ebooks so I wasn’t able to photograph the cover images myself.
#1. Girl Online – Zoe Sugg
I do subscribe to Zoe on YouTube and was curious to see what her books are like. I commend Zoe for knowing her audience and what would be an appropriate book. The topics in this story are very relatable, even to me at age 23 despite the book being a little thin on plot. The social media aspects are relevant and the book confronts trolling and online hate. I don’t feel the need to read the other two books in the series. I don’t feel I’m missing out by not reading them.
#2. Taken At the Flood – Agatha Christie
This was the least action packed Poirot mystery of the ones I have read so far but the last 40 pages were really exciting and the ending surprised me. The way Agatha Christie writes is simple but she creates twists and turns that the reader doesn’t often expect until you think back over everything and realise it all makes sense. I love reading these mysteries and I’m looking forward to my next one!
#3. A Whole Lot of History – Kimberley Walsh
I haven’t read a musical biography in the longest time and this book reminded me why I love them so much. Not only do you learn about the people behind the songs and their personal stories you are told anecdotes about the songs themselves and given a small insight into the music industry. This book showed how lovely Kimberley is and I learnt more about different aspects of her personality. She was frank and honest but never in a nasty, judgemental way.
#4. The F Word – Lily Pebbles
First of all I want to defend Lily and stick up for her. Some of the reviews on GoodReads state that this book is like a diary and isn’t well written. The cover does say “A personal exploration of modern female friendship” so of course Lily is going to talk about herself and her friendships. I like that she gives examples of things that have gone well and haven’t gone so well in friendships. I did get a sense of Lily reading this book, it feels like you’re having a catch up with her and everything comes across naturally. One of my favourite parts was trying to identify which friend type I am, for example, the older sister friend, the realist or the work wife, to name a few. The main lesson I took away from this book is to look carefully at myself as a friend and analyse how I can be a better friend.
#5. The Mysterious Affair At Styles* – Agatha Christie
This is the very first novel in which Hercule Poirot is introduced. Out of the Agatha Christie books I’ve read this is one of my favourites. The story is gripping, simple and classic. Death by poisioning, check. Whole host of suspects staying in a fancy manor house, check. Adulterous affairs, check. I finished it in two days. I like how the story is told from Hastings’ viewpoint, it really sets up the relationship between him and Poirot for future novels.
#6. A Talent For Murder – Andrew Wilson
It wasn’t until I picked up this book that I notice I don’t read as many books written by male authors as female. There’s no reason behind that and I really enjoyed this book. The plot centres around the real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie in December 1926. The author comes up with a fictional scenario as to what happened (the sentence on the cover gives you a good idea) as the mystery has never been solved. A good read and I am looking forward to the follow up called ‘A Different Kind of Evil.’
#7. Murder On the Orient Express* – Agatha Christie
This is without a doubt one of Agatha’s most famous stories and a few movies and TV specials have been made based on this story. I have seen the 2017 film, the 2010 Poirot episode and now read the book so I know the story well. I found the book the most enjoyable and the least confusing, if you know the ending you might understand why but I won’t spoil it if you don’t. I’ve got yet more Poirot mysteries lined up to read – I really love them!
#8. Peril At End House* – Agatha Christie
This is one of Agatha Christie’s earlier Poirot novels, #8 in the series. This mystery is also told from Hastings’ point of view. I found this particular Poirot story very clever in the way it played out. I realised what was happening at the end and it really reinforces how talented Agatha Christie is with deception. I have been reading most of the Poirot stories in this seasonal update as ebooks and it’s really convenient, I have the books on my phone and my iPad so I can read wherever I am.
#9. Finding Your Path – A Guide To Life & Happiness After School – Amba Brown
I am thankful this book was only 100 pages. I didn’t find it useful and even though I’m not a recent school leaver I thought I could get something from it. I did like the graphic illustrations and the quotes!
#10. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd* – Agatha Christie
This is one of Agatha Christie’s most popular novels which I think is because of the ending and how Poirot solves the case. In 2013, The British Crime Writers’ Association voted it the best crime novel ever. I have seen the television adaptation of this novel which I recall I found more exciting than the novel. This isn’t one of my favourite Agatha Christie books if I’m being honest. I’m not sure if knowing the ending before reading skewed my perception of the story. I had seen Murder On the Orient Express before reading it and I enjoyed reading that as much as watching it. Despite that, the ending of Roger Ackroyd is really clever even if you know the story.
#11. And Then There Were None* – Agatha Christie
This is Agatha Christie’s bestselling novel and one of the world’s bestselling mysteries and books of all time. I remember the television adaption of this story and it is written so well and keeps the reader guessing right until the very end. The story is not predictable and there is even an epilogue which explains how all the murders were done. If you like mystery stories and haven’t read this one, I highly recommend it.
#12. Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex – Hannah Witton
I don’t remember how I stumbled across Hannah on YouTube but I have watched a small number of her videos and have always found her content to be helpful and informative. When I saw Angela (The Life of Angela) talk about this book on her blog I knew I wanted to read it too. I don’t know what I was expecting but I thought there would be more of Hannah’s personal stories. Yes, she probably shares those on YouTube but if you aren’t aware she makes videos you won’t get that information. Not a bad read but not groundbreaking.
#13. Afternoon Tea At the Sunflower Cafe – Milly Johnson
I started reading this book, I got a third of the way through and I put it down and came back to it. I did try to implement my 100 page rule; if I don’t like a book, move on to the next one but the fact I got to page 210 urged me to pick it back up and keep going. When I did pick up the book again I hadn’t forgotten the story and it was refreshing to read something lighthearted after a number of mysteries and a few non-fiction offerings. I’m glad I went back to this book, the story was slow to start but I was satisfied with the ending and I may look into other books from this author.
#14. Letters From Lighthouse Cottage – Ali McNamara
I love the cover of this book so much and the story was just as good! The story takes place over the course of 30 years and is split into parts. Grace (the main character) helped her parents with their antiques business and found a typewriter one day which she keeps. The typewriter adds a whimsical element to the story as it writes her letters and gives her advice throughout stages of her life. Grace goes off to university, travels and gets married but begins to realise that home is where the heart is.
#15. Break-ups & Breakthroughs – Lisa Messenger
This book only took me a day to read and the imagery inside is beautiful, the pages are full of cute designs and inspirational quotes. Lisa shares 50 tips to help people going through a breakup and I found myself identifying with some of the things she was saying and one of the biggest lessons I took from this book is that it’s ok to be sad for a while. You will start to feel better in time and feel like finding love again.
#16. Appointment With Death – Agatha Christie
This mystery started off a little slow but in true Agatha Christie form kept me guessing all the way through. I didn’t have any idea who the murderer was until that person was revealed by Poirot. Not one of my favourite Poirot mysteries but still not a bad read.
There were no unfinished books this season. Each one I started I finished!
Books finished in autumn = 16.
Total number of books read = 32.
Other posts in the series:
Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post?