Best Books of 2015 + Giveaway

I made a conscious decision to read more books written by women this year, so it’s hardly surprising that my best books of 2015 list is comprised solely of women.

I’ve read and enjoyed many books, both fiction and non-fiction, but these six affected me the most. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Some did both. They all made me think. They all made me want to seek out people who had read them so we could discuss the stories at length. They are all books I know I will re-read and that’s the sign of a great book for me.

Best Books of 2015

Continue reading Best Books of 2015 + Giveaway

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth

I was doing my little stand-up shtick, the one I did for pretty girls, so they’d like me quickly and wouldn’t try too hard to actually get to know me beyond my role as wisecracking Cameron the orphan.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth tells the story of Cameron Post, a 12 year-old who lives in a small town in Montana. Cameron’s relationship with her best friend Irene becomes more than friendship, leaving Cameron feeling confused and excited. When her parents are killed in a car crash Cameron’s first thought is that at least they won’t find out that their daughter is gay.

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Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker is published on November 17th. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) via Netgalley included. 

Dear Mr You by Mary Louise Parker

There was such a fog around me that I felt like I had entered a Whitesnake video.

Dear Mr. You is not your typical Hollywood memoir. It is a brilliantly crafted literary memoir written in letter form to the men who have helped shape Mary-Louise Parker’s life.

The men in these letters include her grandfather, her father, an oyster picker, the doctor who saved her life, and a taxi driver. There is even an apology to NASA.

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Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

So much is lost when you lose yourself. Not just your pride, or your hope. But worse things, things that affect others. Like your ability to help them when they need you, to notice when they’re hurting.

Evie is sixteen and desperately wants to be normal. She is almost off her medication and is finally making new friends at a college where no one knows her past. She is no longer known as the girl who went crazy. Having a boyfriend would be the final step in being a normal teenager, right? Continue reading Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Places I Stopped On The Way Home by Meg Fee

Places I Stopped On The Way Home by Meg Fee, $8.00 (available to download from the wild and wily ways of a Brunette “Bombshell”). No Advance Reader Copy (ARC) included.

Places I Stopped On The Way Home by Meg Fee

I am the stumbling, stubborn belief that one word becomes two and one foot in front of the other. I am every man who has ever hurt me, and the promise we’ve only got to get it right once. I am all that has yet to happen and the hope that it’ll be worth the wait.

One of the reasons I love blogs so much is that they have led me to discover some brilliant writing by women. Places I Stopped On The Way Home by Meg Fee is one such example. I stumbled across Meg’s blog, the wild and wily ways of a Brunette “Bombshell”, last year and felt compelled to read the entire blog. When Meg announced that she had published an ebook the decision to purchase it was a no-brainer.

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The Book of Brave by Laura Jane Williams

The Book of Brave by Laura Jane Williams, £4.95 (available to download from Payhip). No Advance Reader Copy (ARC) included.

The Book of Brave by Laura Jane Williams

You’re not fucking up like you think you are.

As soon as I heard about The Book of Brave by Laura Jane Williams I knew I had to read it. Laura’s blog, Superlatively Rude, is one of my favourites and I’m always on the lookout for more essays and non-fiction.

Laura Jane Williams is all about living her life to the fullest, something that has taken her to Austria, Russia, Malaysia, Bali, Thailand, India and Italy. She has learned a lot along the way and focuses on doing the things that scare her. No matter how small those things are.

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The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein by Antoinette May

Advance Reader Copy (eARC) via Netgalley included.

The Determined Heart by Antoinette May

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley’s (née Godwin) life was bound to be an intriguing one. To describe her life as unconventional would be an understatement.

What Antoinette May does with The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein is take the details of Shelley’s life and weave them as a fictional narrative that hooks the reader from the beginning.
Continue reading The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein by Antoinette May

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill

“They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”

Asking For It, Louise O’Neill’s second novel, tells the story of Emma O’Donovan a secondary school student living in small town Ireland. Emma and her friends like to have a good time. This includes nights out, with pre drinks while they are getting ready and being in constant competition with each other to be seen as the prettiest.

Following a party, Emma wakes up on her doorstep with little memory of what happened or how she got home. She can’t explain where the bruises came from. She remembers going to the party, the drinks, flirting and taking pills but after that everything is blank.

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Blue Eyeshadow by Paul WS Bowler – FREE until September 4th

Blue Eyeshadow
Cover design by Robyn Morton (@robyntmorton)

I don’t usually write about books unless I’m reviewing them, but Blue Eyeshadow by Paul WS Bowler is different. It was written and self-published by my husband. I was involved in the proofreading and copy editing process, so if you find any residual typos do please let me know.

As a result, I can’t review it objectively but it is a novel I think worth reading and it’s currently free on Kindle so I’m telling you about it.

Continue reading Blue Eyeshadow by Paul WS Bowler – FREE until September 4th

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

 

“MINDS ARE UNIQUE. They go wrong in unique ways. My mind went wrong in a slightly different way to how other minds go wrong. Our experience overlaps with other people’s, but it is never exactly the same experience.”

I first came across Matt Haig on Twitter via some articles he wrote about living with depression, I then read The Humans and loved it and was looking forward to reading Reasons to Stay Alive.

Reasons to Stay Alive is part memoir, part self-help book with some analysis of depression, suicide statistics and the science behind medication thrown in. This genre hopping sometimes works, at other times it doesn’t.  Continue reading Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig