Recent Reads | One Week's Holiday!


Hey hey! I've been home for a few days after a lovely relaxing week in Menorca and feeling very well rested thankyou very much! I did nothing but lounge by our pool at the front of our villa and occasionally donning a swimsuit and dunking my brother. Because of all my free time I got through 5 books in a week! I'm only reviewing 4 as one was a sequel and can wait for the next Recent Reads. 

When God Was a Rabbit - Sarah Winman

There wasn't much information on the back of this book except that it was about love, and a brother and sister. I really enjoy books that are about non-romantic love so I geared myself up to love this book.It follows a girl from childhood to young woman-hood through snapshots of her life, just a few days worth of narrative at a time. Mostly it focuses on her relationship with her brother and the people who come in and out of their lives and in again. I felt this book tried very hard to be a literary masterpiece but didn't manage to get much further than doggy paddling with it's head above the commercial fiction it was marketed as. Winman's writing was beautiful and her characters and narrative charming, but I felt that the plot and overall meaning of the book was somewhat lacking. It's like Winman had some deep thoughts about life and love but couldn't quite put them into words and so her attempts at deep thought provoking stuff sometimes came off a bit... 'twee'. I still liked this book, and Winman's still new to the writing game so I imagine all she needs is a little experience. I'll be looking out for future publications by her. 

Veronika Decides to Die - Paul Coelho

Confession time: I wasn't that taken with The Alchemist *ducks behind table*. I liked it, I just didn't understand the colossal hype behind it. It was supposed to convey a life changing meaning but I just came away with the same fuzzy 'follow your dreams' deal that you get from nine out of ten Disney movies. This on the other hand blew me away. It's about a woman who attempts to commit suicide, and fails. Upon waking up she is told that her overdosing has left her with a heart condition that will see her dead within the week.
I expected it to be a bit like the film The Bucket List (great film if you haven't seen it) but instead of the character running off and doing all these crazy things, it was almost like an internal, spiritual bucket list. There's a great emphasis on the contrast between suviving: going through the motions doing what you think you should, and really living: Taking each day, each breath as the utter miracle that it is, opening your eyes to your own soul and staying vigilant to the privilege that simply being alive is. Very profound and actually, I think, a very important book. One that should be read by as many people as possible. 

Quiet - Susan Cain
This book is in such a state, not because I found it in a charity shop, oh no it was nearly new then, but because I gave it to my mother to read first. So it's been abused and left in sticky handbags and dusty drawers and... something wet I don't know what. Ugh.
Regardless this is a non fiction book highlighting the difference between extroverts and introverts and detailing why, although extrovertism (put very simply, being vocal, good with people and feel most energetic around others) is more prized in our society at the moment, introverts (again simply: More quiet, enjoys alone time and needs to rest after being with people a lot and can sometimes seem quite awkward) can fit in and, in fact, thrive. I loved that Cain explains the science, and brain makeup behind introverts. When people think we're shying away from social events because we're nervous or awkward, it's actually because our brains are working hard, taking in more information, making us want to be alone to rest! It's a great book for anyone who's ever felt socially awkward or like their friends or business associates are too loud or overpowering (even when they're not saying or doing anything useful!) I found it a bit of a stodgy read going from cover to cover but as a dip-in book it would be a lot easier. I wish this stuff was more common knowledge, and that our society valued all personality types as having something to offer! I'm tempted to talk a bit more on introvert/extrovertism at some point, as it's something I feel very strongly about. 

The Emperor's Edge - Lindsay Buroker
I really enjoyed this, I had my doubts, as it was free on Kindle, often a synonym for 'a bit shite' but I was pleasantly surprised! It's set in a vaguely steam-punk-esque universe in which Amaranthe Lokdon a young enforcer (police officer) discovers a plot to assassinate the Emperor! The plot and narrative aren't the most sophisticated but it's a lot of fun and the characters just stole my heart. They're hilarious and witty and I feel like there's so much that could be done with them as the series progresses. Amaranthe is also a great female protagonist. Determined, tough and respectable but also vulnerable and a little out of her depth, giving her character a lot of room to develop and grow. I've also read the sequel and have just bought the third installment which I plan to read in September (I need to pace myself! I don't want to run out of them like I have with the ASOIAF books!) It wasn't a deep thought provoking book but sometimes you can't be bothered to ponder the meaning of life and you just want to read a good story. I'd definitely recommend this one!

Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you've read any of these books and any recommendations you have for me! 


  1. Oh god, how I love Coelho. Veronika decides to die is brilliant and even the movie with Buffy is actually great! x

    1. I didn't know there was a movie! I'll have to check it out :) x

  2. I quite liked The Alchemist but also enjoyed Veronika Decides to Die much more - it's such a beautifully written book! xx

  3. thank you for your comment!:) I LOVE reading, and I like the sound of Veronika Decides to Die so I think I'll have to get my hands on a copy!
    Hannah xx

    1. No problem :) Definitely do, it really think it's one of those change your life reads. x

  4. I need to speed myself! I don't want to run out of them like I have with the ASOIAF books!) It wasn't an in-depth believed invoking guide
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  5. Gona go download them all! On my 4th book in the last 10 days now, Im on a roll haha. Kindles are the best invention ever <3 xox

    The Style Khaleesi


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