My 2022 recommended reads..

I joined an ‘in real life’ book club to help inspire me to read more, it means I would commit to reading at least 12 books in 2022 but I set myself a goal to read at least 24! I will be updating this my 2022 recommended reads post each time I finish a book so do subscribe so you don’t miss the updates!

I have marked all my book club books as BOTM (book of the month)

The Paris Library – Jan BOTM

PARIS, 1939
Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, and her new job at the American Library in Paris – with its thriving community of students, writers and book lovers – is a dream come true. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade Paris, and everything changes.
In Occupied Paris, choices as black and white as the words on a page become a murky shade of grey – choices that will put many on the wrong side of history, and the consequences of which will echo for decades to come.

MONTANA, 1983
Lily is a lonely teenager desperate to escape small-town Montana. She grows close to her neighbour Odile, discovering they share the same love of language, the same longings. But as Lily uncovers more about Odile’s mysterious past, she discovers a dark secret, closely guarded and long hidden.

Based on the true Second World War story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable novel of romance, friendship, family, and of heroism found in the quietest of places.

It took me a while to get into this but once I did I actually quite enjoyed it. It took me a bit to work out the connection between the ‘then’ and ‘now’ sections.

It made me cry quite a bit so be warned it’s a little bit graphic in places, but I really enjoyed the story line.

The only let down was I REALLY hoped for a certain ending and it just didn’t come.

4.5/5

The Bell Jar – BOTM Feb

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.

I couldn’t get into this at all, I was just reading to finish it. I didn’t really follow the storyline very well

The story includes a lot of self harm / suicidal referencing with detailed descriptions which were a bit much and I just didn’t get it.

1/5

Where there’s smoke – Jodi Picoult -Feb

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have died. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts.

When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage – to both her reputation and her show – Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

This was a super short story – only 40 pages – but I really liked it – I think it leads onto some of Jodi’s other books so I will be looking those up next

3.5/5

Definitely Dead – Charmaine Harris – Feb

Sookie doesn’t have that many relations, so she hated to lose one – but of all the people to go, she didn’t expect it to be her cousin Hadley, a consort of New Orleans’ vampire queen – after all, Hadley was technically already dead.

But she is gone, beyond recall, and she’s left Sookie an inheritance – one that comes with a bit of a risk – not least because someone doesn’t want Sookie digging too deep into Hadley’s past – or her possessions.

Sookie’s life is once again on the line, and this time the suspects range from the rogue werewolves who have rejected Sookie as a friend of the pack to her first love, the vampire Bill.

Sookie’s got a lot to do if she’s going to keep herself alive …

Not my usual read this one features the (not so) secret lives of vampires, were(wolves) and (shape)shifters trying to live a ‘normal’ life

It actually had a really good storyline behind it and I couldn’t put it down! It was a great little find on the free bookshelf at the hotel

4/5

The Cornish Midwife – Jo Bartlett- Feb

A fresh start…

Midwife Ella Mehenick left the small Cornish town of Port Agnes for London and never looked back. But when her seemingly perfect life crashes down around her, there’s only one place she can heal her battered heart – the place she once called home.  

A new arrival…

Ella is quickly welcomed into the small community midwife team and loves her new job caring for mums and their precious babies – it’s what she does best! But being back also means facing ex-flame Dan Ferguson…the first man to break her heart. 

A second chance at love?

Dan is still as gorgeous as ever, but he’s never forgiven Ella for leaving. And now she’s back it’s clear that there is unfinished business between them. As Ella settles into her new/old life, she can’t stop the memories of how she once loved Dan so completely – and maybe never stopped.

Maybe coming home to Cornwall is Ella’s chance to love again…

Im obsessed with all things babies so when I spotted this one I had to read it! I really enjoyed it, its a nice easy read, although it does talk about labour and delivery it isn’t too graphic at all and it made me super happy talking about home births!

There are lots more in this series so I can’t wait to get through them.

4.5/5

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman BOTM March

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible . . .

I wasn’t sure about this one when I read the back but I actually couldn’t put it down. It’s really quite sad in places but I enjoyed reading it and I’m sure we all know an Ove!

4.2/5

I will keep updating my 2022 recommended reads through the year so I hope you will follow me on my reading journey and find yourself some inspiration of what to read next!

ChrissyJ xxx

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