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New Book Releases {Recommended}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I rarely have time to read anything other than emails these days, which makes me useless at contributing to Book Club (last time I was tasked with a feature on here I’m pretty sure I ended up talking about lipsticks and shoes).

Last week I took some annual leave and I was determined to lose myself in several thousand pages of fiction. I decided to go for brand new releases and was admittedly a bit slap dash in my decision making – it was a case of a mix of genres and what I perceived to be a fairly interesting summary/plot.

Tin Man – Sarah Winman

I’ll begin with my favourite. I had heard of “When God Was A Rabbit” by the same author and have always meant to read it. I didn’t realise that “A Year Of Marvellous Ways” was actually by the same author – which I have read and which I thoroughly enjoyed. A kind of magical fable is you will.

Tin Man is entirely different but absolutely beautiful. A tale of love, longing and loss, the story is poignant and heartfelt. Taking you though an experience of childhood in the 1950’s through to the AIDS crisis in the late 80’s/90’s, you will be routing for the main characters throughout the heartbreak and the tiny glimmers of hope and desire. And that’s what is for me personally, the core success of any book, that I remember the characters long after I’ve reached the end.

The Room Upstairs – By Kate Murray-Browne

This is apparently a “modern” ghost story, not usually my cup of tea at all, but being in a similar life stage to the main character Ellie, and the fact the story essentially revolves around property (and a property that needed completely renovating – I can relate to that!) I thought it would prove interesting. I didn’t find the story particularly chilling as such, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are a regular reader of horror. The plot revolves more around relationships, and how we are the choices we make – and that actually, changing your current situation isn’t always that straight forward. Neither can you guarantee the grass is always greener.

Some aspects to the book were unquestionably sinister, there is clearly something not quite right with “ The Room Upstairs” and I thought this added a intriguing dimension to a contemporary tale of marriage, maxing yourself to the hilt to be able to afford your “dream” home and navigating the journey towards bringing up a young family.

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

I have read nearly all of Lisa Jewell’s books, I find them easy reading but with characters that you grow to actually care about. Her books have moved on from the romance/flatmate type entertainment of the nineties and noughties (Vince & Joy! An all time favourite!) to more of a thriller genre.

Then She Was Gone is one of those books that was gripping and dark and really quite good, but I’m not sure I’m that happy about the fact I’ve read it. I will explain. The story centres around a missing 15 year old girl and a mother’s plight to find out what really happened to her long lost daughter. I have a daughter, and I know all sorts of terrible things happen in the world we live in and that I can’t pretend they don’t, but I can’t help feel that it was my own fault for not considering the consequences before I dived in and subsequently couldn’t put it down.

As expected, you really really care about the protagonists and despise the villain/s. Lisa Jewell is excellent at that.

I just wanted everything to be ok in the end.

There were aspects that were admittedly a little bit far fetched and bizarre, but actually, I’m not sure anything surprises me anymore. All you need to do is switch on the News to hear about outlandish kidnapping plots and strange disappearances.

Without wanting to sound like some crappy cliche, once I had finished this book I wanted to hold Mabel that little bit tighter. I am still thinking about it as I type.

I should probably make myself a gin and tonic and get over it. Or at least move onto a different book.

Have you read any of the titles mentioned above? Do leave some recommendations/and or a review of great reads in the comments section below.

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{Contributors}
Author
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea

34 thoughts on “New Book Releases {Recommended}

  1. I read the Lisa Jewell book in a day! Totally addictive – her books have really gone from strength to strength since she changed her style. I recommend her to everyone!

  2. I was desperately in need of some new book recommendations after I whizzed through several mediocre ones on my holiday – Tin Man is definitely going to the top of my list because I really loved A Year Of Marvellous Ways!! This has also reminded me that I need to get on the Lisa Jewell train, heard such good things about her writing (particularly recently) but have never read anything of hers… xx

  3. I’m a bit late to the party but I’m currently reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I normally like to binge-read a book in one sitting, but this one I am taking my time over as it is so thought-provoking, especially so in the present political and cultural climate. I started reading before the events of Charlottesville and naively thought that white supremacy couldn’t still be rife in present day America… anyway, if you haven’t read it yet, you should.

    1. Becs I haven’t read any Jodi Picoult for ages, yet there was a time where I read quite a few. This sounds really interesting, I’ll put an order in x

  4. Ha Charlotte, I am SO not reading the Lisa Jewell now – I’m paranoid enough about my daughter without adding to it by reading that story!

    In the 2 and a half years since I gave birth, my novel consumption has become virtually non existent – all I can find time for now is the news and the odd blog. But as I am about to start maternity leave again, I may optimistically treat myself to a copy of Tin Man. 🙂

    1. I did think I needed to put a warning in (!) definitely treat yourself to Tin Man, it’s such a lovely book x

  5. My recommendation is Calling Major Tom. It really cheered me up and I couldn’t put it down. It managed to make me laugh and cry so it’s got to be pretty good. It’s about an accidental spaceman on the first mission to Mars, who is a very grumpy middle aged man with a heart of gold.
    My hubby thinks it’s a bit like My Name is Ove, which is my favourite book of all time. No kidding – when I finished it I sobbed uncontrollably for about an hour. It’s that good!

    1. Mel these both sound intriguing! Is it Fredrick Backman – the Ove book? I’ve never heard of it but the reviews are glowing x

  6. A Little Life. It’s huge but wonderful, I finished it months ago but still think about the characters. . Have tissues.

  7. Ooh I just love a good book post. Thank you for the recommendations! Yes to both A Man Called Ove (my favourite book I read last year) and A Little Life (my favourite book i’ve read this year!)
    A Man Called Ove is a sad but really heartwarming story and I really loved the film too! A Little Life is a completely devastating and very dark story but one that stays with you for a long time afterwards. At 700-odd pages its a huge book but I became so engrossed with the characters I could have read 700 pages more! Highly recommend xx

    1. Oooh Tish it sounds like I need both of these! it shows what great books they must be with multiple recommendations x

  8. I just have to comment and tell you I’m loving the yellow mug – we have just treated ourselves to the matching cafetiere and milk jug and I LOVE them! In fact, it’s made me buy yellow cushions for the lounge too even though I had wanted millenial pink. It all look so sunny and cheery.

    1. Bunny it’s actually Adam’s, I had to ask him to take a photo of my books as I had failed – so it’s his bedside table. Honestly you would laugh at what goes on behind the scenes here sometimes “Sh*t I don’t have a bloody photo of my books for a header image!!!!!” so Adam has to order my books on Amazon Prime, and then go and style them himself the afternoon before the post is due to go live 😂

      He did an excellent job with that yellow accent though!

      1. I thought they looked like his specs! 😂
        Really enjoyed reading your recommendations Charlotte, thank you, as these are new authors to me. I am just about finishing ‘The Little Red Chairs’ by Edna O’Brian, also new to me. Quite harrowing in places, but utterly compelling and a sense of peace at the end. Not what I was expecting, which in itself is a rare surprise when blurbs can still give too many clues. Happy reading everyone! Back to Amazon…

        1. Absolutely agree Elizabeth, I actually don’t want the blurb to give too much away, I’ve not chosen books before because I feel I know too much about it already. Writing these reviews I didn’t want to say too much for the same reason x

            1. Thanks Elizabeth! I’ve really enjoyed getting back into reading and there have been some super recommendations on this post! x

  9. Loving all of these recommendations. They are all going on my to read list. I’m currently listening to Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult on Audible as I paint my kitchen. Does anyone else use Audible? I love listening while doing housework and driving

    1. I don’t Claire but I really should get into it, I would probably “read” a lot more books that way x

    2. Yes! Audible is what makes my commute into ‘me’ time instead of ‘argh this is so annoying’ time! Also yes to listening whilst doing housework, not sure it would get done otherwise!

      1. Alex I should really do this, I don’t do many long driving trips these days but when I do I know I would enjoy listening to a good book x

    3. Yes!! Audible – I am a complete addict. My favourite books of late (although they are not brand new) and the crime/detective novels that JK Rowling has written as Robert Galbraith. I’ve listened to them all through Audible and the performance is excellent. Definitely worth a read/listen if you’re into that genre X

        1. Oooh I saw an advert for this today but didn’t know the first thing about it, the trailer looked really intriguing, I didn’t have the first clue this was something JK Rowling wrote as someone else (I admit to not reading a single JK Rowling book, I know, I need to do something about it) x

  10. ‘The Girl Before’ by JP Delaney is brilliant and was a random Kindle pick but absolutely loved it – quite spooky and haven’t stopped thinking about it. Defo recommend. I’m a crime thriller fan so love lots in that genre. ‘Their Lost Daughters’ by Joy Ellis is a recent great read.
    Love these posts as love getting ideas. If anyone has any crime thriller options send my way! xx

  11. I absolutely loved A year of Marvellous Ways and am just reading Tin Man. Sarah Winman is a wonderful writer, without being too gushing.

    I read The trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon recently; I didn’t think it would really be my thing from the blurb on the back but I absolutely fell in love with it, although the story itself did leave me feeling a bit uncomfortable…but that’s probably the mark of a well written book! I don’t want to spoil anything so will leave it there.

    The Keeper of Lost Things is also a great read!

  12. I just finished reading “I found you” by Lisa Jewell and really liked it. I think I now have to read “Then she was gone”. Thanks for the recommendation.

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