Hi and hello 👋
I come to you today with a list of the best books I read this winter. Over the last three months I’ve somehow managed to read 26 books, most of which I’ve enjoyed, and yet my five favourites (and one special mention) were very easy to pick out.
These are the books that have stuck in my brain, changed my life, and would now never not like to live without. Only some of that is an overexaggeration.
Special Mention: Daisy Jones & The Six Audiobook!
When it comes to my seasonal favourites I never include rereads. They’ve had their time to shine and all that but I’m making an exception when it comes to Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. In preparation for the TV show I read this again, but this time I listened to the audiobook and holy crap was it amazing.
I’d heard great things about the audiobook since even before I read this for the first time last year but it was somehow an even better experience than I imagined. The format of the book being written in the interview style made it so easy to consume and just added this whole other layer to the story. If you’ve been wanting to read this, for the first or fiftieth time, I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook!
How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlo
Here we have a book I just didn’t shut up talking about for the entirety of December. No regrets cause this book was great and everyone should know about it. I loved it so much that it was on my 2022 favourites list.
How to Excavate a Heart includes many things that are impossible not to love: an adorable corgi named Rapahel who really steals the show, a couple who’s meet cute involves one almost being hit by a car, plus characters with actual personalities and hobbies.
What I really loved about this book was the characters, how they had external conflicts outside of just their relationship which made them flawed and caused conflict in all the right ways. As I mentioned, I especially enjoyed their hobbies! Shani is into paleontology, that’s how she finds herself in D.C for winter break as she has an internship at the Natural History Museum, and May was interested in the weather. I was in D.C and went to the Natural History Museum just a month or two before reading this so that definitely helped it have a special place in my heart.
While this book is set over the holiday period please don’t single it out as “a holiday book” only to be read in December. I truly think this is a great romance for any occasion. Read my review for more of me gushing!
Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White
Another book I have found any opportunity to talk about lately. Listen. If I find a great book I’m going to try and share the love as much as humany possible.
Hell Followed With Us was gross and I loved every second of it. It’s set in a post apocalyptic future where a religious cult has essentially taken over what’s left of the world after they released a deadly virus. Benji is on the run from this cult that no only raised him but also infected him with a strain of this virus that won’t kill him, but instead will turn him into a mutated monster that they want to use to completely wipe humanity from the world.
This book won’t be for everyone, it was filled with graphic and gross imagery and it kind of got a horror vibe to it that won’t be to everyone’s taste. It was definitely my vibe though. I loved this so much; the characters, the plot, the writing. I’m so excited to read more from this author and I’m very glad I dragged my friends back to Barnes & Nobel for me to pick up a copy of this book. I’ve got a review for this one too 🙂
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Know My Name was not a fun, fast or easy read but I was entranced by the writing and Chanel Miller herself. Chanel Miller is the survivor of the Stanford Assault case, previously only known as Emily Doe and this is her telling her story.
It took me a long while to read this book. I listened to it on audio which Chanel herself narrated. It gave me goosebumps, made my stomach drop at times. Obviously major trigger warnings for this book but if this is something you’re “comfortable” reading, definitely consider listening to the audiobook. Hearing her talk about her experience not only of the assault but the aftermath and the trauma this caused not only her but her family and close friends, I feel it’s very important and impactful read.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.
Three cheers cause I’ve completed Alice Oseman’s backlist! Woop. This really feels like a major accomplishment for me, more so because I actually really enjoyed Radio Silence, whereas I’ve not always enjoyed Oseman’s full length novels.
My main takeaway from this book was the themes of friendship. As someone who’s not always had an overabundance of friends (tiny violin playing in the distance rn) I related to France’s feelings of finding a new friend in Alec who she clicked with almost right away.
Maybe it’s recency bias but I think Frances might be my favourite of Oseman’s main novel characters (not including Charlie and Nick obviously).
Next of Kin by Hannah Bonam-Young
Finally we have a book that snuck onto this list at the possible moment. When I picked up Next of Kin I was just expecting a quick and cute romance. A pallete cleanser of sorts after reading a couple books that just didn’t and I ended up reading this in one night.
This book follows two twenty-something year olds who are both trying to foster their younger siblings but are each lacking something. Chloe is a recently graduated freelancer and doesn’t have a steady enough income, while Warren is struggling to find a suitable apartment so the two get paired up as part of a CPS programme to live together in a way that benefits them both.
You’ve got hints of grumpy/sunshine and dislike-to-love at the start there but overall this book was just so sweet. It’s only short and yet it feels so well rounded in how the characters develop and how the relationship between Chloe and Warren plays out. I wrote a full review for this book so I’m going to stop talking about it now but I loved it and highly reccomend it! (… and it’s free with Kindle Unlimited).
So those are my five favourites. They made me happy and chances are high that they’ll make you happy too! I’d love to know what books you’ve been loving recently, thanks for reading 🙂