The Little Bookery Round-up: January to March 2016

The Little Bookery Round-up: January to March

Jan to Mar book covers.png

I’ve decided that at the end of each month, I’ll post a round-up for the books I’ve read, with a brief description and ratings for each, plus any thoughts I simply have to share. I’m aiming to read 7-8 books per month for 2016. It would be amazing to reach 100!

Since we’re now in April, I’ll stuff January, February and March in the same post.

A quick note before we begin: I am lucky enough to be a reviewer on the Amazon Vine programme – which means I often get sent books before they’re published (SO MANY BOOKS, OM NOM NOM). So not all of the books I’m going to list will be in the shops right now. Because obvs, you will want to read all these books after reading my fantastic blog post.

A quick extra note: the links go to the books’ Amazon pages, but I’ve used Amazon for convenience. It’s a policy of mine now not to buy books from Amazon because they’re sold way cheaper there than they have any right to be. We’ve got to pay a fair price to publishers and authors!



A feast of a book focusing on the author’s regular visits to the “edgelands” near his home in Harrogate over the period of a year. Heaven for lovers of nature writing.

Adult fiction. But about dogs gifted with intelligence by Greek gods. Very odd. Not quite as profound as the Guardian review of it wanted me to think.

Run of the mill adult fantasy.

A suspenseful and poignant literary thriller set in 1700s Iceland. Highly evocative.

Fun shortish YA about a sassy blind girl. Who loves to run, which makes her super awesome in my books (Such pun. Very laughs. Much humour. Wow)

  • Ice by Ulla-Lena Lundberg – 9/10

A bestseller in the author’s native Finland, this book has now been translated. Unexpected and remarkable.

And I am still not over what happened in it.

Seriously. I asked my line manager if the organisational policy on bereavement leave extended to book characters.


Sea squirts.




  • Gut by Guilia Enders – 9/10

A popular science (all “pop science” as is sometimes used these days) book about the digestive system and in particular the gut flora that populate it. Fascinating and accessible. You’ll never think about your innards in the same way again.

Familiar thriller story about a young woman escaping the man who held her prisoner for years. Sort of compelling but overall, pretty meh.

A bit like The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but set in Mumbai.

Plus a baby elephant who loves Cadbury’s chocolate.

“Lite” but lovely nature writing, mostly about the Luangwa Valley in Namibia.

Author’s first foray into adult fiction. Mildly entertaining.

I have very few favourite authors but Carys Bray is one of them. Everything about her writing and her books is perfect. Words like “genuine”, “bittersweet” and “comedic” all apply, but really, this book covers everything. The pages are packed with life.

Slightly erratically-written memoir on a young woman’s experience of fighting cancer. Quite profound.

YA “adventure” fantasy that sadly fails to reach its full potential.



Reviewed on this blog already. Definitely recommended.

A book-long version of the part in Gravity when George Clooney is towing Sandra Bullock through space with his jet pack. Quite nice though.

Literary fiction about a couple in San Francisco. *Shrugs*.

Philosophical work arguing that no human has the right to more than one child, given the impacts of overpopulation on people and planet. Niche, and more for academics, but given my interest in the issue, I found it quite compelling.

Quirky but passionate account about one journalist’s mission to find all of Britain’s rarest species within the space of a year. Some cringey attempts to be funny, though…

Same author as higher up and a much more enjoyable book this time! YA thriller.

  • Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan – 6ish/10

Looks like this is going to be one of Penguin Random House’s big book pushes in 2016. Meant to be “grip lit” in the tradition of The Girl on the Train but it isn’t quite.

I couldn’t actually finish this one. I found the writing dreadful. But everyone else on the internet loves it so I’m very confused.


Best books so far:

  • Common Ground
  • Gut
  • The Museum of You (sadly not out till June but when it is, READ IT)
  • Skyfaring


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