It’s time for me to stop book blogging. This is for a health reason that I’m not going into detail about because I’m still undergoing tests.
I’ve enjoyed the book blogging experience, especially as it inadvertently made many of my dreams come true. I’ve always wanted to be quoted in the praise pages of novels and I am. I’ve been to literary festivals and met many writers, and it’s been wonderful to say thank you in person to many of those who’ve made a difference to my life. I’ve also made friends with many lovely writers and bloggers and people in the publishing community generally along the way.
I always wondered if I could write and now I know I can. Big thanks to author Megan Taylor and her inspiring writing classes, and to authors Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper for giving me an opportunity to read a couple of pieces at Five Leaves Bookshop.
Thank you all for following, liking and commenting on my book review posts. I have loved the engagement. My final great reads tips are as follows:
The Testament by Kim Sherwood – an incredibly moving exploration of survivor guilt. Beautifully written and unforgettable.
The Overstory by Richard Powers – an epic novel that will inspire you to rethink your relationship with the world around you. I love this book so much I found myself slowing down to savour the writing.
The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla – a wonderful novel about immigration and the challenges of integration, and how each new generation assumes that the previous generation is blind to their suffering, only to discover that courage comes in many forms. Told with humour, heart and insight into all sides of the debate.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce – which is one timely, gripping, fury inducing novel. If ever a novel made it clear that misogyny can happen to anyone from any walk of life, and be a stealthy, gas lighting experience that creeps up on you, this is it. Published next February.
The Unmapped Mind by Christian Donlan: A Memoir of Neurology, Incurable Disease and Learning How to Live – Christian became a dad just as he learned he had multiple sclerosis. Like his newborn daughter, he finds himself exploring a new landscape but always with a writer’s eye. The history of multiple sclerosis and the latest research is interspersed with his observations of life as a new dad coming to terms with having an incurable disease. Evocative, moving and a masterclass in observation for any writer.
My latest book purchase is The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes.
I know that Elizabeth has put her heart and soul into this book because she has been sharing the entire journey from the initial idea, to the research to the final product across social media. This is a passion project inspired by true events. Elizabeth is giving a voice to a young woman who was never heard at the time.
On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.
The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant.
Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. Her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover—all are suspects; each has a reason to want her dead.
Brimming with lust, mistrust and guilt, The Murder of Harriet Monckton is a masterclass of suspense from one of our greatest crime writers.
I’ve always loved Elizabeth’s writing and I suspect that this is going be an immersive and moving read that will keep me hooked from the first page to the last.
That’s it, my last six recommended reads on this blog. Farewell and happy reading!
Good books have always been an anchor through storms of change.