Recent Reads // January 2019

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but January isn’t even over and I’ve already finished five books… I’ve always loved reading, but I definitely go through phases of not reading as much. I’m so glad I’ve found the time to read so much this month. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but it looks like I’m on track for my 2019 reading goal.

If you’re on the lookout for a new book to read or fancy seeing my thoughts on a book you might have already read then this is the post for you…

1)  The Widow by Fiona Barton

Jean Taylor lived a very ordinary life. However, that all changed when her husband was accused of the worst thing imaginable. He denied all allegations, but it is up to Jean to finally share her truth when he is no longer around. Will she be brave enough? 

I actually started The Widow last year, but I ended up abandoning it during exam hell. However, I decided to pick it back up as my first read of the year. I will admit it didn’t live up to my expectations… I’d heard so many great things about it, but I got a bit bored about halfway through. The story did pick up towards the end, but I do think the plot was lacking in excitement. It is also worth mentioning that the point of view changes chapter by chapter which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

2)  On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Evie Snow is 82 years old when she dies. She lived a good life surrounded by family who loved her, but when she reaches the door to her personal heaven it won’t open. An old friend is there to help. Her soul is too heavy to pass through the door, and she must unburden herself of everything weighing her down. After years of keeping secrets, she must share them with those closest to her and it couldn’t be done without a little bit of magic. 

Now I mentioned this book briefly in my chatty catch up, so I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you again… This is such a feel good book! While it does address some sad life lessons, I found it to be a really positive read overall. While I didn’t enjoy the questionable names that Carrie used, I truly enjoyed everything else. I’m now desperate to read Carrie’s other books, so I’d say that’s a good sign!

3)  In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora is a writer in London who largely left the memories and relationships of her childhood behind when she left school. However, when her childhood best friend invites her to her hen party out of the blue, she decides to go. Thinking this would be an opportunity to put the past behind her, Nora quickly realises she is very wrong. As all the secrets and lies are revealed, it seems that not everyone will get out of the house in the woods unscathed. 

This is a book that didn’t disappoint. I thought Ruth Ware did a great job of creating uncertainty and suspense throughout the story. Although some of the characters annoyed me, I think this was probably intentional on Ruth’s part and I thought the story was very well written. Definitely a book for those of you who like a little bit of mystery and fear!

4)  Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

This is my first non-fiction of the year… Now I’m not the biggest fan of non-fictions, so please prepare yourself for a very bold statement… I think this is the best book I’ve ever read.

No, it didn’t allow me to fall into a magical fictitious world, but what Matt Haig did do is put all of my jumbled thoughts into coherent, articulate words. It is such a comforting read, and I am absolutely sure that I will come back to this book in the future. If you struggle with anxiety or depression or both, I honestly couldn’t recommend this book enough. I’d also really recommend it to those of you who have loved ones with mental illnesses as I think he does a great job of putting things into perspective.

5)  Room by Emma Donoghue

All Jack has ever known is Room. Room is 11 feet square and as far as Jack’s concerned, Room is the whole entire world. When Jack turns 5, Ma reveals to him that there is actually lots of life beyond their four walls. While Room is home to Jack, it has also been his Ma’s prison. After years of isolation and imprisonment, they plan to escape but Jack is going to have to be very brave. 

I only finished this last night, but I couldn’t resist adding it into this post. I honestly couldn’t put it down. The story is told from Jack’s perspective which is what made it so enjoyable for me. Hearing the strange ways that an isolated 5 year old boy describes situations made the story even more amusing. I know Room was also made into a movie, so I’m not sure how that compares! However, the book is definitely a must read.

What should I read next?! Do you have any recommendations? 


Make sure you’re all caught up! Take a look at my January round up.

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This post contains affiliate links. This does not cost you any extra if you buy through my link! It simply means I’ll receive a tiny percentage of the cost.

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  • Eleanor says:

    Room is one of my all time fave books! Have you read any other books by Emma Donoghue? I definitely recommend The Sealed Letter by her!

  • Molly says:

    Woah! Congrats on reading 5 books! I’m trying to read more this year but haven’t finished one yet!! Hopefully will get it done soon!!

    I’m reading Vox by Christina Dachler at the moment. I’m not really enjoying it but would love to know your thoughts if you get round to it!

    Lots of love,

  • Abi says:

    5 books in one month is insane! I’ve heard so many good things about Reasons To Stay Alive so I’ll definitely be adding this to my list, and Room sounds really intriguing too!

  • Emmie says:

    Reasons to Stay Alive is one of my favourite reads, ever! Well done for the reading motivation, I’m hoping July is a more productive month in reading for me tbh.

    • rbekhaj says:

      It’s an all time favourite for sure! I’ve definitely read more this month than I have over the last few months combined – hope you manage to get a few books ticked off your list too x

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