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MY FAVOURITE READS OF 2020

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

What better way to lean into a lockdown than to pick up a book about another pandemic? The story takes place in Dublin, 1918, over three days at the height of the Great Flu. It is a short, claustrophobic tale of Nurse Julia Power and the women she meets, works with and takes care of in the maternity ward at an understaffed hospital in the city centre. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways.

I was more than a little bit destroyed by this one. I found it so powerful, the characters so brilliantly portrayed, and the scene and the atmosphere gave me chills. Absolutely loved it.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

In 18th century France, Addie LaRue is forced into a marriage she does not want. Willing to sacrifice anything to avoid a life in captivity, Addie makes a Faustian bargain for her freedom. Her wish is granted, of sorts, she becomes immortal – and free! – but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone has ever known, or will ever meet again. This is a perfect quiet story, but one that leaves ripples and waves in your mind nonetheless. One story that will never be forgotten, even if its title character is cursed to be. It is lyrical and melodic, genius in its own quiet way, and will stir up thoughts inside anyone who opens its pages.

The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Montimore

This is an absolute gem of a novel, all about a woman living her life out of order. A premise so completely my cup of tea, and the story was just as emotional as it promised to be. I loved the writing style. Very polished and clean, no messing around with purple prose, no focus on imagery. Everything was focused on bringing the characters to life, which Montimore achieved with a clear expertise. All of the characters were enjoyable, likeable, and 100% felt like real people – real people I immediately connected with. Highly recommend.

Why We Eat Too Much by Andrew Jenkinson

Quite possibly my favourite Health book of all time. A bold claim, but the scope of this book, everything the author delved into and how brilliantly he explained everything was remarkable. And as far as non-fiction, goes I don’t think I have ever felt so compelled by a read. We We Eat (Too Much) is a great starting-point book for further personal research on your weight loss journey. Understanding my own biology has been a massive part of my weight loss journey, and this book was an incredible help. Excellently-written and easy to understand, with game-changing research and health advice.

Circe by Madeline Miller

An excellent telling of the Greek myth Circe; feminist and thrilling – a really enjoyable read. The story definitely stirred my dormant childhood obsession with Greek mythology, and brought along Miller’s additional insights and flair. Circe is a phenomenally complex, yet relatable character. I cared about her from the start and was enthralled with her story and her relationships from the start. Beautiful, poignant, and quietly, thoroughly badass. Such recommend!


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