LoveReading has teamed up with Audiobooks.com to give you the chance to get 2 free audiobooks when you sign up. Try it for 30 days for free with no strings attached. You can cancel anytime, although we're sure you'll love it. Click the button to find out more:Find out more
Each week our team of book lovers choose a selection of books they have loved and think deserve an extra shout out. Everyone fights to get theirs on the list. Here are this week’s faves…
A searing, sometimes painful, yet fully rich and fascinating story. 21-year-old student Frances, and her ex-girlfriend Bobbi are interviewed by Melissa about their spoken word performances. They are invited to enter Melissa’s world, they meet her actor husband, their friends, join parties, even a holiday, yet as friendships form and blossom, one particular relationship threatens all. Sally Rooney is beautifully observant, she sees beneath the skin, testing, sifting through thoughts and feelings. Frances is one of the most intriguing characters I have met, incredibly bright and witty, she places herself on the edge of things, and can be frustrating, vulnerable, yet sharply aware and considered. I found myself analysing my thoughts as this dance of nerves and feelings began to close. Conversations with Friends can be uncomfortable and comforting in equal measures, this isn’t a neatly bound experience, instead it’s complicated, riveting, exciting, and certainly doesn’t end with the final line.
Take control of your finances and de-stress your relationship with money! Like food, money is something all of us use but none of us talk about-creating a stressful relationship that most of us suffer from, obsess over, and try to avoid altogether because it feels too impossible to manage. No matter your income, understanding and controlling your own financial position will allow you to not just exist securely but to be happy and free in your choices.
“Big sisters look after little sisters,” declares the mother of the two sisters at the centre of this fiercely enthralling story and that’s taken to the extreme when big sister Korede helps little sister Ayoola dispose the body of the boyfriend she’s murdered. And not for the first time either. Femi is the third boyfriend to be killed by beautiful, untouchable Ayoola, and Korede can’t not come to her aid. “I am the older sister – I am responsible for Ayoola. That’s how it has always been. Ayoola would break a glass, and I would receive the blame for giving her the drink”. The tale is razor sharp, courtesy of Korede’s wry narration. She’s a mistress of observation and insight, all-seeing, all-knowing and - so it seems – all-loyal to her self-serving little sister. Ablaze with dark humour and strident originality, this wickedly explosive debut heralds the arrival of a smart new voice in contemporary fiction.
A thoroughly modern, entertaining and seductive murder mystery, it felt as though I was enjoying a fabulously delicious and very guilty secret! It is New Years Eve in the Scottish Highlands, nine friends gather for a celebration, one is victim of murder, deep snow prevents the police from arriving and the killer from leaving. This is Lucy Foley’s crim debut, I love her writing style and have simply gobbled up all of her historical fiction. My attention was well and truly snared when I heard the premise of The Hunting Party, I snatched it up, and oh boy, was it worth it! Skating between ‘now,’ set after and ‘earlier’ set before the murder, the two time frames hurtle towards each other until they implode in quite spectacular style. This is one of those stories where I veered from being sure I knew where it was going, to realisation that I really didn’t… I almost felt as though I overheard too much, knew too much, and nearly started to fear for my own wellbeing. The mystery element certainly gave my mind a workout and the relationships are written quite beautifully too. I adore this change in direction by Lucy Foley, a wonderfully rewarding and fascinating experience awaits if you dare to join The Hunting Party.
Just gorgeous… this is an emotional and quite, quite beautiful read. After a particularly traumatic time at home, 13 year old Sal and her younger sister Peppa escape into the wilds of Scotland. Sal has spent a long time preparing, the wilderness beckons them, can they survive on their own? Sal tells their story, the first chapter is so clever, I started to realise what had been happening, and then a few carefully chosen, yet almost casually thrown away words, sent a shockwave running through me. I could clearly hear Sal’s voice, she is so individual and distinctive, her words entered my mind and expanded, filling my heart. Mick Kitson encourages the Scottish countryside to sing with intensity, while you can hear Sal, you can see and feel the clean and natural space she and Peppa find themselves in. Kindness flows from unexpected places, and love is behind every word shared by Sal, even in the darkness. Simple, beautiful, provocative yet touching, this is an outstanding debut, and a read I will return to again and again. Highly recommended and one of my picks of the month.
If you’re heading to Oslo to soak up some seasonal Scandi atmosphere, then do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy of this compact guidebook before you go! It’s a clearly laid-out, quick reference tool that gets to the heart of the city’s top attractions, including the Viking Ship Museum, the Opera House, the Nobel Peace Center and fabulous Frogner Park. Of particular interest to winter travellers is the excellent coverage of Marka, the spectacular forested hills that surround the city. This guide tells you how to get there, and what to do when you reach this true winter wonderland, from walking and hiking, to cycling and skiing. If you have time to travel further even afield, you might also like to check out the Insight Pocket Guide to Norway.