Merry Christmas!! As you may know if you’ve read a couple of my most recent posts I was due to be getting a lot of books as Christmas presents from family and friends. They didn’t disappoint, and I won’t be stuck for things to read for s good couple of months. All the books that I’ve received have been books that I’ve been crazy excited about getting for the past couple of months. They include fiction and poetry and I thought it’d make a nice little end of the year post so you can all see what I’ll be starting on in January!
Without further delay, here they are!
- Empty Bottles Full of Stories – Robert M Drake/R.H. Sin
Maybe we feel empty
because we leave pieces
of ourselves in everything
We used to love
We yearn so badly to be healed
We let anybody in
We cram them into what small space
We have left
Hoping they have good intentions
Samantha King Holmes
and maybe the person
we wanted to hold on to
was never the person
we thought we needed
Thoughts: I am so excited to read this, I’ve read some of r.h. Sin’s work in the past and absolutely loved it. The poetry never failed to impress. I’m hoping that this will be the same and the cover is absolutely stunning. I love that the synopsis is a poem as well it gives you a little taster of what to expect.
- Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak
A lost typewriter. A dead dog. The bones of the snake that killed it.
Matthew Dunbar, eldest of the five brothers, is on a journey to find them all. Only then can he tell the astonishing story of his family, torn apart by tragedy and a long-buried secret.
He will learn of a mother who crosses continents for a new home; of a father searching for love in the keys of an old piano; and finally, of a brother named Clay, who will make the most challenging journey of them all, and change their lives forever.
An epic and spellbinding quest for redemption and greatness, Bridge of Clay will take you to many places, and in many ways, and will ask two eternal questions: where are you going, and who will you be when you get there?
Thoughts: oh my lord. I have waited so, so long for Markus Zusak to release more work after The Book Thief. His first book stayed with me for so many years and I still love it with all of my heart now. He genuinely is one of the best and most creative authors I’ve ever read. I’m hoping and praying Bridge of Clay matches up with The Book Thief’s amazing-ness. I can’t wait to get stuck into this one!
- She Just Wants To Forget – r.h. Sin
I have one more thing to say to you and I just hope I don’t run out of ink before I can finish. Your soul (has known a restlessness too heavy to carry and your heart has grown familiar with a pain that has made you stronger but I want you to know that I am proud of you and that I will always be in your corner and I will always be here to remind you that you are more powerful than you even realise at times and you must always use that power to overcome the struggles in your life.!
Thoughts: so I think you can tell that I love r.h. Sin. Same excitement level as the first r.h. Sin book on this list and again the covers are beautiful.
- I Looked Away – Jane Corry
Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more that anyone else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swears it’s over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.
Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And just for a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. What happens next will change her life for ever.
Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.
And what looks like an accident could start to look like a murder…
Thoughts: I mean, come on. Would this be a Bookish Bear book list without a little mystery and/or thriller vibe book? No of course not. This book sounds so tense and mysterious and I am so interested in what happens. What was so bad in Ellie’s past that could possibly make Josh’s death seem like it’s not an accident? I need to know!!
- Circe – Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is strange – not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. But she has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When Circe’s gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone cannot live in peace for long – and among her island’s guests is an unexpected visitor: the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.
Circe’s tale is a vivid epic of family rivalry, love and loss – the inextinguishable song of woman burning hot and bright in the darkness of a man’s world.
Thoughts: I used to read so many books as a teen based around mythology so this feels a bit nostalgic for me. I’m looking forward to reading it and also I’m loving the powerful woman lead as well. I’ve seen a lot of good reviews on this one so I have high expectations for a great read from this one.
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one option: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like all dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on whom her future hangs.
Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.
Thoughts: I’ve wanted to read this book for years but it was one of those that I never bought. We all have them on our TBR list in our Waterstone’s app (or equivalent) that stays there, were curious but it doesn’t get bought. The as the TV show came out a lot more people got on board with it, started talking about how great a book and story it is. So when I was shopping with my dad for my gifts I had to add it to the pile. After years, I’m looking forward to reading it!
- The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning
No announcements precede it…
It’s simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Thoughts: I feel like I’m so behind reading this. Everyone went through a phase of loving this book and it was on every bookstagram and blog going but I just never got around to reading it. I am interested to see what started the hype and hopefully it is as good as everyone says!
- The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
” What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent?”
Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Thoughts: I think this story is important to read. It could sadly happen to many people in our world and what is even more sad is that it has. I watched the film when I came out and it was powerful so I just have to give this book a go. As the review on the back from teen vogue says “an essential read for everyone.”
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Thoughts: this book will make me cry. It’s going to make me sad and angry and it will break my heart, like every book about the horrible events of the Holocaust does. But I find the strength of the survivors who are writing these books or these books awe inspiring. I couldn’t fathom being such strong a character to live through that and tell my tale. I’m just so sad that all those people actually went through it in the first place. I think it’s important to listen to what happened and make sure nothing like it happens again.
- This Lie Will Kill You – Chelsea Pitcher
You are cordially invited to tell the truth, or face the consequences…
One year ago, there was a party. At the party, someone died. Until now no one has told the truth about what happened.
Tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 prize…
Nobody questions the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it’s too late…
Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free? Or will their lies destroy them all?
Thoughts: part of me feels like I’ve read this before years, and years ago. Or at least something very similar. But I’m not sure. It’s a creepy, twisty sounding thriller, this girl loves a suspense ridden book, so of course I’m looking forward to this. It sounds so, so good!
- The Shining – Stephen King
Danny is only five years old but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control.
As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 21? and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?
Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that too is beginning to shine…
Thoughts: I said when I read the Outsiders that I definitely wanted to get back into reading Stephen King books again so I am so excited to have this book back! It’s probably the book he is most famous for and I genuinely love it. Highly anticipating the re-read of this! It’s been too long!
- Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
Following a childhood haunted by terrifying events at the Overlook Hotel, Dan Torrance has been drifting for decades. Finally, he settles into a job at a nursing home where he draws on his remnant ‘shining’ power to provide crucial comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes ‘Doctor Sleep’.
Then he meets Abra Stone, a girl with ‘the brightest shining’ ever seen. But her gift is attracting the beautiful but merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, the True Knot. They may look harmless, the sort of people who are devoted to their campers and RVs, it in their twisted quest for immortality they live off the ‘steam’ that children like Abra produce.
Now Dan must call upon his powers once more as he battles for Abra’s soul and survival – facing his fears and reawakening ghosts from his past.
Thoughts: you know I had to get more than just one Stephen King book. It’s needed and what is ,ore perfect to the follow up of the Shining. I’m excited because I’ve never actually read this one and since I got on so well with the first book, I’m hoping I’ll love this one just as much!
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy & the Hobbit – J.R.R. TOLKIEN