|All Images from Google|
*Ink and Bone by Lisa - available nowFirstly, I love the cover and I love the premise of this book; it was free as an e-book via Netgalley. The book follows Finley, a misunderstood young woman who has experienced family tragedies and as a result she has an unusual ability which she shares with her grandmother. She has to use her 'gift' to solve the mystery of missing girls. Finely's ability is that she has a kind of psychic ability so she can see/hear ghosts or links to people which is so interesting. The ghost element, the awful mother and the strong grandmother figure as well as the special and misunderstood abilities really reminds me of another book I've read recently - The Witches Kiss. If you've read Ink and Bone and The Witches Kiss then you'll probably see the connections too. It's a mystery/thriller with lots of paranormal and psychological aspects as well as a focus on family and relationships (whether they are loving or destructive). It definitely gave me a Sleepy Hollow vibe in terms of the setting and paranormal elements which I loved. All of the characters, whether good, bad or plain evil were interesting and I love the story on the whole even though some characters and relationships were quite annoying to me. The writing style is quick and easy to read so I will be looking for other books from this author. I did find the switching from locations and in.out of Finley's visions a bit disjointed and confusing. The book was a lot darker than I thought it would be, in terms of the crimes and missing girls so I think it would be a great halloween read. To summarise, it's a dark and gripping but easy to read story of family tragedies, gruesome crimes, paranormal entities and relationships; it's definitely not perfect with a couple of very annoying characters and an air of predictability but well worth checking out. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3.5/5.
*Caribbean Vegan Cookbook by Taymer Mason - available 29th NovemberI haven't tried any caribbean cookbooks so I was excited to check this one out and again, it was a free e-book from Netgalley. I have tried a few vegan cookbooks and I love them and this one is no different. I love the food photography, the layout and how colourful the e-book is. I also love the snippets of information about caribbean food culture as it's something I know nothing at all about. I have tried a few recipes in the e-book so far including the chickpea curry which is so yummy and I like the lentil stew too. As with any vegan cookbook, it does include some hard to find or obscure ingredients but not so much so that it makes the recipes unrealistic to make. The only thing I don't like is the font used and I wish there were more photographs but other than those minor points, it's fantastic! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
*Man, I Hate Cursive by Jim Benton - available 18th OctoberI have read a few illustrated books and graphic novels so far this year and I have loved reading them, especially in-between longer and more heavy reads; they act almost as a refreshing read or a way to get out of a reading slump. I haven't tried anything from Jim Benton but I love his style of illustrations - the style changes throughout the e-book but I love all of the illustrations. It's a very quick, easy and funny little e-book. The illustrations and stories they convey can be cute, sarcastic, funny, relatable and entertaining. The topics the illustrations cover include: daily life, pets, technology, relationships and more. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
*Crafting With Feminism by Bonnie Burton - available 18th OctoberI have to be honest and say that the cover and the title of the book instantly drew me in! It is a craft book like no other, I don't have anything else like it with feminist quotes throughout as well as interesting craft projects. There were really useful tips for sewing beginners like me and explanations of various crafting tools, some of which were useful but others were so self explanatory I don't know why were they included. There is a recommended feminist reading list and must watch feminist films list which I will definitely be looking into. There were really fun and interesting craft ideas such as a girl coat of arms banner, which I think I'm going to try and make although I will adapt the design and a cassette business card holder. Then there are more obscure craft ideas such as a high heel planter (which again I might actually attempt because it looks pretty amazing), vagina christmas tree ornaments...and a huggable uterus shaped pillow. Overall, it's the most interesting and unusual craft book I've read but I think it's equally amazing. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.
*The Harrowing by James Aitcheson - Available nowFirst up, the cover of this book really intrigued me! It looks like a dark historical fiction and to me, it is. The story follows five main characters as well as a host of others and it is set during the time just after the battle of Hastings which like every British school child knows was in 1066. The characters are so vivid as is the setting and the harrowing times it must have been to live through with Norman raids and such uncertainty which I think the author captured really well as well as the atrocities, gore and brutality of the time. The main themes for me were survival, morality and friendship and I haven't read anything quite like this before; it was so interesting to read and I wanted to know if the characters were all going to make it to their destination. The ending for me was bittersweet and I think it had to end the way it did to make it realistic and believable. The book did take me a lot longer to get through than I thought it would at around eight/nine days as there were slower and slightly tedious points throughout but overall it was an thought provoking and interesting read but it was quite repetitive at times. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.
*My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! by Kirsty Turner - available 15th NovemberI've read quite a few vegan cookbooks but I'm always looking for more as there are so many vegan recipes and options out there and I want my diet to be more vegan than vegetarian - this cookbook is amazing! The food photography and recipes in this book make me SO hungry just flicking through it! Some of the recipes are very simple and I don't think they really needed to be included, such as avocado toast but other recipes are so delicious and don't contain a tonne of hard to find ingredients. I love the explanations at the beginning or various vegan ingredients/tools and how to cook the basics so I think it would be perfect for people who are new to a vegan lifestyle. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
*Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley - available 11th OctoberI love the cover and the photography in this book it's so clear, crisp and fits the book perfectly but I really don't think that a e-book is the best format for it; I think it would be a great coffee table book. There are some sections of the book that aren't of interest or relevant to me such as the pregnancy but those sections were still interesting to flick through. The writing style is that of a friend talking to you or an informal letter, it's seems truthful and unforced. The chapter I liked the most was definitely chapter three, all about planning and organising. It is written by an American author so some of the phrases etc aren't familiar to me and make the book a little less relatable. Overall, it was an interesting e-book to flick through and refer back to but I don't think it was created for my age group on the whole. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.
*How Not To Disappear by Clare Furniss - Available NowI haven't read anything like it before, it is not the kind of book are usually go for but that is one of the reasons why I wanted to try it! The story follows Hattie, her family and friends as well as a long lost relative, who has a lot of secrets! If you like books involving relationships and family mysteries then definitely pick this one up but be warned that it is not a happy book – it is one of the most melancholy and at times upsetting books I've read recently. The book deals with a lot of important but difficult and potentially triggering topics such as rape, domestic abuse, racism, dysfunctional families, adoption, dementia and more so if any of those topics might be upsetting or triggering to you then maybe this isn't the book for you. I love writing style, it was such an easy and quick read; I loved Gloria, she is such a vivid, interesting and entertaining character – she was my favourite character from the book as well as Hattie! My only problems with the book was a couple of the characters were a bit annoying such as Reuben and Kat as well as the mum at times. Additionally I think the cover/blurb doesn't explain how triggering the book could potentially be although that would take away some of mystery and shock factor I guess. Lastly I think it was a little repetitive in places but that might be the authors way of making the reader feel as people with dementia, and those who care for them, could feel. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
Those are all of the books, illustrated books, cookbooks and craft books I've read during August!
Have you read any of these? What are you currently reading? Will you be picking up any of these books?