Books I’ve read and reviewed Summer 2022
Another season of books read, and some picks below I’ve reviewed. I’ve also been reading through more of the Virgin River books. I could just read one after the other, but I like to mix things up, otherwise I’ll never get through all my other books.
I’ve also tried to stop buying so many. My Kindle was full so I’ve had remove books (I rarely reread books). Hopefully this might help speed it up a bit too, and postpone my needing to replace it with a new one.
Number of books read in summer 2022 – 33
- June 7
- July 9
- August 14
Reviews of books read in Spring 2022
You can see all my books over at Good Reads. Feel free to add me as a friend over there too.
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The Resort by M.J. Hardy
The Resort is about a new luxury hotel resort that most of the guests have won a Facebook competition to attend for a ‘testing’ week. 3 couples each with issues in their relationships turn up, along with a single woman who then meets the rich owner, and a mystery creepy lone man. We read how their stay (and relationships) are panning out, as each chapter tells it from the women in the book. The week’s stay culminates in various bombshells and closure for many of the hotel’s visitors thanks to the owner.
Each woman in a couple gains strength through their stay, making decisions and ending with positive ways to move forward in life, gaining friendships along the way.
I did guess some of the links, but not the why until the big reveal. At first I found The Resort hard to get my head around which woman was married to which man, but it is quite a fast paced read, and just got on with the story, focusing very much on the people rather than making more of the setting which other authors may have done.
For a fast holiday read, this book will do the job, and I may look out for others by the same author
The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly
I read this just after the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which was a great time to read it. I found it really interesting to read about how Angela Kelly had got the role, and the ins and outs of choosing and creating the Queen’s outfits on a daily basis. And of course, how the dynamics between the staff and royals work.
It did get a bit repetitive later on in the book. But if you’re interested in history and tradition of the royal family, in fashion, or are just nosy, then it’s worth a read.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
A nice easy chick lit read, anything with book lovers as a title draws me in.
City workaholic Nora gets dragged to the setting of a romantic novel by her sister under the pretence of a holiday, with a list of experiencing everything romantic novel/film heroines do when they head off to the stereotypical small town where they discover themselves and love. Nora bumps into her New York work colleague who’s from the town, and things develop unexpectedly.
With themes of family relationships, emotional loss and being caught up in past experiences, being able to experience the current and enjoy life for what you really want and need. There’s plenty to enjoy in this book as well as the steamy repartee between Nora and Charlie.
If you’re a fan of romance books or movies, Book Lovers is intentionally full of the cliches within the plot. I loved it, and I got my happy ending.
Over My Dead Body by Jeffrey Archer
I would never have known this was a Jeffrey Archer book, it’s very different to all of his books I’ve read before, so I’m now going to have to track down some other Detective William Warwick books.
I quite like how this book felt like a slightly old fashioned detective book. Not slick and fast paced like the US crime books, but very middle England detective novel. There’s numerous cold cases that Warwick’s new team are investigating, all while trying to catch an elusive criminal who faked his death previously.
We see the personal relationships develop for the team members, but also their relationships within the team and with their boss.
Rcecommended book if you enjoy traditional detective novels.
The Vanishing Triangle by Claire McGowan
If you like reading about true crime, and have an interest in women’s rights then this could be the book for you. Claire McGowan re-visits numerous disappearances (and in some cases murders) of women of varying ages from a triangular are in Ireland over the years. She questions why they were never found, what might have actually happened to them, and explores how this seems to have been a travesty of womens rights, against the backdrop of largely rural, Catholic Ireland, where women were judged, and in many of these mysterious crimes, blamed and ignored as just disappearances. It was rare the perpetrator was found, leaving behind a trail of devastated families, even today. Cold case investigations failed to unravel the truth even with DNA testing now available.
It’s horrific to think no justice was brought for all these women. How many of the seemingly obvious links between them weren’t taken forward to serious investigation. And how many more might be out there, where Ireland was deemed a relatively safe place compared to large cities.
I found this a hard read, mainly because I like books to have a clear ending. But these cases are still unexplained, unsolved, so the book is an exploration of what might have been, thoughts, and investigations by the author. It felt like it went round and round in circles without what you’d hoped for, a satisfactory closure.
80s Kid by Melanie Ashfield
If you were a child in the 80s, this book is for you. Full of reminiscing about everything in the 80s from food to furniture, to fashion, to days out, and school. I laughed a lot and definitely recognised some the occasions having taken part in our families lives.
How to Kill your Family by Bella Mackie
Not like any other book I’ve read. Grace, with an unfortunately beginning, and family hardships, is out to revenge her father via the rest of his family. Written from her jail cell (incarcerated for a totally different reason), she tells the story of her life, her father’s and her plans.
It’s well written, keeps you reading wondering how someone could be so calm and audacious to think she’d get away with it, however awful her ‘family’ is.
I didn’t expect the twist at the end. It makes you feel a bit sorry for her, wondering how she ends up in the future.
Definitely recommended whether you’re for female strength, enjoy crime novels, humour and chick lit. It caters for all
Camino Winds by John Grisham
I’ve not read a Grisham book for years but spotted this in the offers. I love the ease and speed of reading these type of books. There’s just enough description to imagine Camino island, the weather, and the friendships and characters of the island inhabitants.
A nice easy read, I demolished it in a day, reading about a murder of an author under the cover of a hurricane, the destruction of the island, and the recovery while doing everything possible to solve the case. The method is unveiled early, although it’s not confirmed until the end, but it’s still a good read if you’re after something to get stuck into and read in a day or so over the holidays.
It’s book 2 of 2, but don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book. It’s fine to read as a standalone like I did.
A Stranger on Board by Cameron Ward
Former Royal Marine Sarah suffers PTSD but goes to work on a luxury yacht as security to try and get over her traumatic nightmares and memories. But everything goes wrong, with missing crew members and no power in ht emiddle of a storm in the Atlantic. She tries to work out who’s behind it, and how they can get to safety without communications and working engines.
Reading the book I was rooting for Sarah to get past her demons. I worked out who the culprit was before it was revealed, but there were some unexpected turns. At first this book makes you think that it’ll be a slow relaxing read, but once things start happening it becomes more tense and you feel like you’re there on the yacht with them, trying to work out who’s good or bad, and what secrets people are hiding.
If you’re a fan of fast paced action crime books or movies, then this could be for you. I loved it.
My Life as an MP: Everything you really need to know about politics by Jess Phillips
Even if you’re not a Labour supporter, this is worth reading to understand more about how British politics works, and how someone who’s not a typical public school boy MP got into being a politician.
From stories about her constituents, to expenses, voting and what goes on in the houses of parliament, nothing’s omitted. An amusing, frank account of things that we should all know about how the government and political parties make decisions and work.
Mad about You by Mhairi McFarlane
Nice easy summer read. Harriet’s running from a relationship break up which then turned toxic, and ends up renting a room from Cal, who’s also trying to get away from a mad ex. While it’s obvious to the reader and the other characters which way their unexpected meeting goes, it takes Harriet longer to realise, and stop running. Like most chick lit novels, the characters are likeable enough, and there were some funny moments, as well as the more serious back stories and experiences they’ve had to go through previously.
Magpie by Elizabeth Day
Magpie is one of the best books I’ve read for a long time. (If you’re sensitive to fertility issues, then maybe avoid it)
Marisa is moving in with Jake and expecting his baby, things are going well. They decide to have a lodger and Kate moves in. Then the suspicions start and Marisa starts to feel shut out. But is that really what is happening?
I couldn’t put this book down. I didn’t expect the twist, and for the second part of the book I had to reread pages to just I was reading it right. So clever and unexpected, it makes you wonder who’s actually telling the truth.
If you want a psychological twist, difficult family relationships, a strong couple relationship which will last through everything life throws at them, then try Magpie. I’ll be looking out more books from this author.
The Herd by Emily Edwards
If you’re a parent sitting on either side of the vaccination arguement, then The Herd is a book that could rile up the emotions. I’m on the side of vaccinations, so all the way through was siding with the one family. Although you can see everyone involved believes what they do because they’re protecting their children
The story is told interspersed with narration from other parents, members of the public, charity members or supporters and their experience. It isn’t until the final part of the book that these fully make sense, and then there’s the courtroom finale, where you wonder what the defence barrister has in his arsenal to win the case. It was certainly a surprise ending to the case, not what I expected at all.
You finally see some realisation and an acceptance from both parties, but you do wonder how things change in their future beliefs as we leave them moving on.
An interesting story, and certainly one that many readers could get emotional about. After all, we all just want our children to be healthy and well.
Read all my reviews on Goodreads
I read pretty much all my books on my Kindle, but I did start reading a paperback from my to read pile this summer. Now just to remember it’s there, dig out my reading glasses that I need for anything that’s not bright white background like my Kindle, and actually finish it.
Are the Virgin River books good? We’ve watched the whole of the Netflix shows and I do like something absorbing.
I’ve enjoyed them. Some of the characters are quite different (Hope for example), and the relationships/stories of some of the characters are too. As well as the books being tamer than the TV show. But I’m a romance reader anyway so they’re my easy read. A bit same old, same old but I quite like how the series links everyone’s stories.
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