Stalkers, Secrets, & Sorcery: Best Books Of 2015 (Part 2)


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Wow, got a bit behind with this book reviewing thing, didn’t I? I thought with the start of my new job and an even longer commute, I’d be all about that forty book reading challenge… but as it turns out, when you’re on a train at 7:01AM, you’re more interested in staring aimlessly out the window and saying “why, God? Why?” rather than reading. So I’m pretty behind. Nonetheless, I did a tonne of reading over the summer, so I did have some choices for this second installment of my favourite books. The following aren’t exactly what you’d call ‘summer reads’, and I actually think they’re more suited to autumn/winter reading, so I held off on posting them until the weather turned. I’m so considerate. If anyone has any other recommendations, please let me know! I’ll pretty much read anything at the moment.

4) The Night Circus– Erin Morgenstern:

Real talk, I bought this book years ago, and although everyone says it’s great, it’s just been sitting on myself… waiting. I’ve had no real strong desire to read it. But this year, upon my biannual return to the UK, I was bored and figured I’d read one of the many books piling up on my shelves. Admittedly, I didn’t finish it in the two weeks I was home… but something kept me thinking about this book upon my return to Madrid, and I ended up buying the digital copy to finish it. Although I don’t really think it’s up to the hype people say, clearly something in this book sucked me in. The plot may be practically nonexistent, the characters two dimensional, the the romance increasingly stale; but this book was magical. The writing alone makes it a real winner. It might not be for everyone, but I’d recommend you give it a try.

3) Into The Darkest Corner– Elizabeth Haynes:

Something has happened to me recently… I ask my mum for book recommendations now. I know, gross, right? But she was insistent I read this book, and because it was 99p on the Kindle store, I caved. It took me a while to get into, but damn, once it did, I couldn’t put the it down. I’ve been reading a lot of the mystery/crime genre this year, but this book was just so refreshing and unexpected that it’s definitely shown that there are still surprises out there. I won’t say anything about the plot, as it’s best to go into it a surprise, but damn, it’s a good one.

2) The Girl On The Train– Paula Hawkins:

Okay, so everyone has read this book this summer– BUT THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S A GREAT BOOK! Initially I was feeling that TGOTT was a poor Gone Girl ripoff, but as I got more and more hooked into the story, I began to realise that it really stood on its own. I love me a good unreliable narrator, and Rachel really encompasses that through the tropes of her obsession and alcoholism. If for some reason you haven’t picked up a copy yet, it’d be the perfect creepy read for these cold autumn nights.

1) Dark Places– Gillian Flynn:

After I read GG in January, I knew I needed to read the rest of Flynn’s library… imagine my disappointment upon learning it was only another two books. Dark Places was the final Flynn book I read this summer, because for some reason I was less interested in the blurb than the other offering. Boy, was I wrong. As much as I loved Sharp Objects and Gone Girl, this one really took things a step further. It’s definitely the most unsettling of Flynn’s stories, and the one with the most unexpected twist. There’s so many red herrings and so many dead ends that by the time the reveal comes, you’re like “WHAT?!” As you probably know, it’s best to go into Flynn’s novels knowing absolutely nothing, so I’ll leave it here. But if you enjoyed Gone Girl and are looking for something grittier and creepier, this is the book for you.

In regards to my reading challenge, I recently opted to lower my goal to thirty books. I am ashamed. But also super tired all the time so reading is kind of impossible right now. As of today, I’ve read 24 books, which is already beating last year’s measly 19, so I can’t be too hard on myself. Hopefully with the return of the cold weather and the fact a giant Primark just opened in Madrid, I can reach my goal with the aid of copious amounts of peppermint tea and a fluffy onesie. Living the dream.