As many of you know, I am a reading addict. I absolutely devour books and often have a few on the go at once. It's absolute escapism for me and relaxes me no matter what time of day. I don't even have to be on holiday! I am absolute advocate of a printed book and have always been surrounded by books. All my family are readers but none of us seem to have very similar tastes in our literature!
So far this year I have read some wonderful books, along with a hefty amount of childrens' books. I like to read one childrens' series a year, I've done Malory Towers, Harry Potter and 2020 is the turn of The Famous Five. Through audiobooks, VHS and the books themselves I think I probably know all the stories but I want to read all the books.
So here goes, my 2020 list of books (so far...)
1. Five Go Gluten Free - 5/10
Yep, this is not part of the official series but I thought I would give one of the modern tongue-in-cheek pastiches a go. I would safely say it was not worth the 20 minutes it took me to read.
2. Hinch Yourself Happy by Mrs Hinch - 8/10
I do like to have a dose of non-fiction each year and I started off with the woman who has become a fixture in many people's households. Mrs Hinch shares her tips and hints for cleaning to help out with anxiety. It really has helped me get my house in order!
3. Lie with Me by Philippe Besson 8/10
I absolutely loved this autobiographical novella. Translated from French, it was a truly beautiful look at first love, passion and how it consumes you. Thoroughly recommended.
4. Reluctant Adult by Katie Kirby 9/10
I picked this up at the till in Waterstones only because it was half price. But what I found inside was absolutely brilliant. Hilarious, heart rending stories of mother & adulthood told through words and Katie's distinctive drawings. I laughed out loud and cried (not hard for me I know) but I LOVED this!
5. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackery 10/10
Everyone should own a copy of this truly beautiful book. Not only is it a wonderfully made book, it is full of incredibly evocative drawings. You can read it as a book from start to finish or just open it at any page for a dose of optimism.
6. Turbulence by David Szalay 8/10
Another novella, I found this through Waterstones weekly emails. A thought provoking set of stories about different people who coincide through various flights around the world. It just shows that while some places may feel a lifetime away, the world is in fact incredibly small.
7. The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen 9/10
Now, you all know how much I love sheep. And Yorkshire, especially Swaledale. I also am a huge fan of this particular woman, Amanda Owen, who lives a few miles from my parents. This no nonsense look at a remote family farm gives just a snapshot into a totally different kind of life. Well worth the hype - plus it's the first of three!
8. Five on A Treasure Island by Enid Blyton 7/10
The first in my journey with the Famous Five and their first adventure together! It's such a shame that Blyton's writing doesn't always relate to today's children as it is the ultimate escapism and a true story of good over evil!
9. Five Go Adventuring Again by Enid Blyton 7/10
Another classic. This is one adventure I distinctly remember from watching it on VHS. Two artists, a mysterious new tutor who doesn't like Timmy the dog (always a bad sign) and some documents going missing... clearly a job for the Famous Five!
10. Talking It Over by Julian Barnes 9/10
Ok, so I listened to this one. I use a free service called BorrowBox which is much like your local library (which I am also a huge advocate for) except it's with audiobooks. This one was fantastic, read by actors including Alex Jennings, it really brought to life the story of 3 regular people in London whose lives and relationships take on twists and turns you could never have foreseen. Well worth a read, or a listen.
11. Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton 9/10
This has to be one of my favourites in the Famous Five series. It's a proper mystery (unless you've read it 3 times...) as the daring quintet escape (yet again) to their beloved Kirrin Island. But things are not all as they seem...
12. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 7/10
I'm ashamed to say I'd never read this book although it's been on my bookcase for over 10 years. To be honest, I found the characters absoutely insufferable. However, the final chapter is worth the weight of the book in gold, it's magical and so relevant for our times.
13. Five Go To Smuggler's Top by Enid Blyton 7/10
Not my favourite it must be said. This was so confusing, even to my adult brain. Still a good story but I feel like Blyton was not having a good week when she wrote this one.
14. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell 10/10
It took me 4 months to read this hefty historical novel but WOW was it worth it! I miss the characters so much already and the writing was just heavenly. A true literary epic.
15. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 7/10
An enjoyable romp through European cities that cleverly weaves reality, myth and pure fiction. However, I would not say it's worth the hype at all.
I would love to hear your recommendations of books! Comment below with them!
Have a great day, stay safe
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