Saturday, November 17, 2018

Grace's Book Club #1 November '18 Reads

Hey everyone! Welcome back to Grace With Love Blog or if you are new here thanks for taking the time to stop by. Winter is truly in full swing and those long dark evenings are the perfect time to chill out with an interesting book (or five!) haha. As a dedicated bookworm there are always new titles on my TBR (to-be-read) list and I truly believe that reading is an incredible hobby! Not only is the activity stimulating for the brain and imagination, a great book has the power to transcend you to different times, places and life experiences. For me reading is a form of magic and a piece of bliss and escapism and it is super important to take time out to enjoy a book as often as possible. Alas, this post will provide you with six very different book recommendations from various genres such as literary fiction to historical fiction. Hopefully you will find a book on my list that appeals to you to cozy up with this Winter. Are there are any books you have read lately that you absolutely loved? Leave a comment below or over on my instagram @gracewithloveblog . Happy reading! 

1. Roar by Cecelia Ahern

Synopsis- Have you ever imagined a different life? Have you ever stood at a crossroads undecided? Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar? The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged Her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change. Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

Grace With Love Rating: 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Admittedly this is the first book I have read by Cecelia as I am not into romantic reads and her work always gave me this impression however ROAR has opened my eyes to her immense talents as a writer. ROAR is a feminist book dealing with topics such as the work-life balance, aging, relationships, gender equality, reproductive rights, beauty standards and social media. Each story has an important lesson and this reminded me of reading Aesop's Fables as a child. Ahern's use of humor and metaphor in dealing with often very serious subjects creates an immensely enjoyable experience.

Read ROAR if you enjoy short stories that you can dip in and out of, if you are interested in feminism and gender equality. Purchase here.

2. A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington

Image via Harper Collins 

Synopsis- Where is home? Wherever the people you love are. Single mother, Ruth and her son, DJ, have never truly fitted in, but that's never mattered as long as they were together. When their home in Dublin comes under threat, their quiet life changes forever but not in the way they imagined. DJ meets Tom, a man who ten years ago walked out of his house and never looked back. Ruth, DJ and Tom have all felt like outsiders. Burdened with grief and insecurities, they are not living their best lives. But together these three ordinary people will do an extraordinary thing.

Grace With Love Rating- 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sometimes a work of art comes along at just the right time to illustrate societal issues on a much deeper level. Just as Asking For It by Louise O' Neill brought the timely issue of consent to the table A Thousand Roads Home offers a poignant and emotional insight into the current housing and homelessness crisis facing Ireland at present. This book is a moving take on how people tackle adversity such as poverty and illness and yet manage to find the willpower to keep fighting and surviving. On a bad day a book like this can be a great reminder and motivator to ponder upon.

Read A Thousand Roads Home if you enjoy timely literary fiction that paints a picture of major issues in contemporary society and if you appreciate true, raw and honest story-telling. Purchase here.

3. The New Fashion Rules by Victoria Magrath 

Synopsis- The rules of fashion have changed. The new digital era is all about being seen, liked and inspired. So how do we define ourselves through style? And why has the evolution of the Internet changed the way we buy and wear clothing? Victoria Magrath AKA Inthefrow reveals the pivotal moments that have transformed the fashion world, from the Nineties through to the Noughties and shares insider secrets and practical tips for navigating the ever-changing fashion landscape.

Grace With Love Rating: 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
To be brutally honest I wasn't expecting much from this book. The title left me with the impression that this may be one of those stylish reads with no substance that ends up as a decoration on coffee tables. Alas, I was wrong! The New Fashion Rules is an extensively researched take on navigating fashion in a digital world and charts the explosion of online shopping, the business of fashion blogging and the need for diversity and social and ethical responsibility in the fashion industry.

Read The New Fashion Rules if you are a fashion lover or content creator! Purchase here.

4. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent 

*Trigger Warning- This book deals with sensitive themes such as rape, physical and sexual abuse. 

Synopsis- At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall. She knows how to snare a rabbit, sharpen a blade and splint a bone. She knows her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world and he'll do whatever it takes to keep her with him. But she doesn't know why she feels so different from the other girls at school; why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see. Or why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done. Sometimes the people you're supposed to trust are the ones who do the most harm. And what you've been taught to fear is the very thing that will save you....

Grace With Love Rating- 5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Absolute Darling will be hard to top as my *absolute* favourite book of 2018. It is a heart-breaking and challenging read from beginning to end but it is a story that will stay with you forever. Hailed as a masterpiece by Stephen King, My Absolute Darling is not a book for the faint- hearted and it will take you on an emotional rollercoaster throughout. The strength and bravery of protaganist Turtle (Julia) Alveston is remarkable and she truly deserves to be described as a heroine. This is a story you will never forget.

Read My Absolute Darling if you are a fan of dark fiction and feminism. Purchase here.

5. The Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney 

Synopsis- Two people. Twenty years. One love. Erin and Dom, Dom and Erin. Everyone said it wouldn't last. They loved each other too much, too quickly but they knew their love would last. And it does. A wedding present- a notebook- brings them together and sees them through the good times and the bad times. It's the pages of their love and their life. They write down what they can't always say- the secrets, the devotion, the heartbreak, the highs and lows of living and loving. And this is where their story begins...

Grace With Love Rating- 3/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐
I rarely read romance novels as they just do not appeal to me. This novel is quite similar to The Notebook (this may delight some but it was cringe-worthy for me). However, the saving grace of this book is that it deals with important themes such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, separation, anxiety and grief in a well written and emotive manner. As love stories go The Book of Love is realistic not fantasy like a lot of romantic fiction.

Read The Book of Love if you are looking for a romantic read that is based on real-life and not vomit inducing tripe. Purchase here.

6. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Synopsis- A sweeping and epic historical novel inspired by an extraordinary true story.

1938: when nineteen year old Matilda Emmerson steps from the pier at Cobh onto the TSS California headed across the Atlantic to New York, she faces an uncertain future. Sent away from Ireland in disgrace, she must stay with her reclusive relative, Harriet Flaherty, the lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. Once there, Matilda discovers a discarded portrait that opens a window onto a secret that will change her life forever...

1838: when a terrible storm blows up off the Northumberland coast, Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, knows there is little chance of survival for the passengers on the ship battling the waves. But her actions set in motion an incredible feat of bravery that echoes down the century and touches Matilda in ways she could never have imagined....

Grace With Love Rating: 5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter blends fiction with impeccably researched fact and is inspired by the courage of real life heroine Grace Darling. The manner in which Hazel Gaynor intertwined two stories into one overall mosaic and transitions from the tale of 1838 to 1938 is a testament to her talent as a writer. This is a book I could not put down and really did not want to end. If you are a fan of historical fiction this is one of the most enjoyable books of its genre.

Read The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter if you are a fan of historical fiction and if you like stories with strong and brave female protagonists. Purchase here.

There are some true gems on this list so hopefully you will fall in love with reading them too! I will be back in December with a post on my favourite books of 2018! Chat soon bookworms. Remember you can stay up to date with my latest reads and more on Instagram @gracewithloveblog

*Please note the links to purchase the books below are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase a small amount of commission will go to Grace With Love Blog. This supports our work and helps us to continue creating content on this website and beyond. Thank you x


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