My Favourite Reads banner 2020

Welcome to the goodness that is My Favourite Reads! This month we have fewer books than in my August update, but so what? Fabulousness beats numbers read any day.

I had one DNF (did not finish), disappointingly from a favourite author, and another that I read all the way through but which I’m too annoyed with to talk about.

I’m still grumpy with myself for persevering with that book. I should have set it aside when I first felt it going backward. Instead I carried on and ended up mired in a depressing slog and a totally ‘meh’ climax.

I don’t know about you, but I DO NOT need to be mired in depressing and ‘meh’ right now. There’s enough of that on the news.

Which brings me to my happy reads!

Oh, there were many. But my absolute favourite by far was…

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The Nancys by RWR McDonald

The Nancys by RWR McDonaldI’d thought The Nancys might be a good read when I first heard about it – the premise sounded very cool – but I hadn’t expected this. What. A. Blast.

The Nancys caught me in its charms from the opening page. Every character was brilliant. Vivid and alive and so much fun. Tippy, the heroine, was a sweetheart and a joy to spend time with. Her mum was a hoot, her neighbours quirky, but it was Tippy’s Uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon who really stole the show. I loved them so much.

While essentially an amateur sleuth murder-mystery, The Nancys is so much more. It’s about grief and families and friendship and love and diversity and small towns and… Nancy Drew!

I cannot praise this book enough. The Nancys was charming and adorable, and made me laugh and cry and feel all warm and fuzzy. Fabulous.

Can’t wait to see what RWR McDonald comes up with next.

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The Shadow Friend by Alex NorthThe Shadow Friend by Alex North

I enjoyed North’s debut novel (under this name), The Whisper Man (I talk about that here) so much that I grabbed the paperback of The Shadow Friend as soon as it hit my local Big W’s shelves.

Wowsers, what a book! As with The Whisper Man, in The Shadow Friend North has created a spine-chilling, page-turner of a mystery where nothing is as it seems. He’s great at atmosphere. The whole book has this marvellously claustrophobic feel. Everyone is trapped – in the past, in the trauma of the current.

Looking forward to his next.

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Marry in Scandal by Anne GracieMarry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Ooh, I’m enjoying this series SO MUCH. Like Marry in Haste, book one in Anne’s Marriage of Convenience series, Marry in Scandal was utterly charming. Lily is such a likeable heroine and Ned is wonderfully heroic.

I loved that Lily didn’t shy from taking care of herself. She had true backbone, which was especially nice given the sheltered life she’d led. And who can’t resist a tortured hero? Oh, and don’t get me started on lovely grandpa.

Book four, Marry in Scarlet, is already on my shelf, having arrived early, so now all I’m waiting on is book three, Marry in Secret, to turn up. Hope it gets a wriggle on!

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Nevermoor - The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica TownsendNevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a kid’s book. So what? Harry Potter was a kid’s book too and it made me very bloody happy and any book that makes me happy is a splendid thing in my reading world.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow certainly did that! This was a lovely fantasy, loaded with adventure, quirk, danger, friendship, and magic. Morrigan herself was great company and I’m completely intrigued by Jupiter, but I was intrigued by all the players, even the villains.

Great fun.

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One To Watch by Kate Stayman-LondonOne To Watch by Kate Stayman-London

A writer buddy recommended this contemporary romance, calling it possibly the best book she’d read so far in 2020. With that kind of praise, I had to buy it.

One To Watch proved an excellent read indeed. I devoured this in just over a day which is super speedy for me. Bea, the book’s plus-sized fashion blogger heroine, has been signed as the star of a reality tv show similar to ‘The Bachelorette’ (although having never watched ‘The Bachelorette’ I could be wrong with my comparison here) and while I wouldn’t call it my best read of the year so far, it was certainly a fab one. The book had a lot to say about diversity too, which was cool.

Plenty of plot twists kept One To Watch entertaining and there were well-drawn characters to cheer on or narrow my eyes at. I wasn’t so sure about the ending but once I’d thought about it I realised it was spot on.

Highly recommended.

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The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghyThe Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy

My second favourite read of the month.

The Last Migration was beautiful – haunting and heartbreaking and intense. McConaghy had me feeling I was on Franny’s impossible journey with her, and I was so invested Franny’s broken character that I really wanted her to succeed, despite her flaws.

I’m not sure what else to say about this book, except that it was gorgeously written, highly topical, deeply emotional, and an outstanding read.

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What have you enjoyed reading lately?

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9 Responses

  1. Cathryn, thanks for sharing your reading adventures. There are a couple there that I’d love to read. I recently lost myself in Michelle Conder’s ‘Crowning His Unlikely Princess’ which was a real treat – short contemporary romance about characters who were so very real to me. So satisfying. I also found myself chuckling through an old Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse) called ‘The Riddle of the Third Mile’. It was only the second of his that I’d read and I’ll definitely by looking for more.

    • Hey Annie! *waves* Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your reads, especially the Michelle Conder. She’s an author I’ve been meaning to pick up for ages. Lucky you on getting to enjoy CD’s Inspector Morse series. I adored those books so much! Like many famous British crime books they were a lot of fun, although the final book made me bawl like a baby. If I still had my collection I’d loan the to you but I passed them all onto Jim’s mum.

  2. Nothing wrong with reading kids books, a lot of them are awesome. Must look into that one! I read 14 books and nearly all were audiobooks and all bar one were super- duper. But the most outstanding ones though were Daisy Jones and the Six – holy cow this one dazzles ones socks off. I was completely mesmerised by the full casts narration – mind blowing! The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku -heartbreaking but also uplifting. Definitely worth a read and it’s not a long story either. Tara Moss’s The Fictional Woman was interesting, thought-provoking and informative, I loved how she added personal bits as well. The other audiobooks were The Swap by Robyn Harding – a good thriller. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – the ending still gives me nightmares, so friggin’ tragic. My Brother’s Keeper by two journalists, Angela Kamper and Charles Miranda – about The Abberton surfer brothers (aka The Bra Boys) and Tony Hines – one of the most vile men I’ve come across in a biography. Too Close by Gayle Curtis – about twins, a few good twists in this one. Salt by Bruce Pascoe – a book of short stories. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – a book I need to read in print. The four physical books I read: BlueEyedBoy by Joanne Harris – a very clever but unusual premise, loved it. The Cookie Club by Ann Pearlmann – good story and some great (albeit very sugary) cookie recipes at the start of each chapter. Deserving Death by Katherine Howell – 2nd last book in the series 🙁 The White Earth by Andrew Mcgahan – a fantastic story set on a farm in the Darling Downs region. And I’m so very sad as I just been told he passed away last year and then I also found out that Carlos Ruiz Zafon died this year. Too many good authors have been taken because of that nasty Cancer.

    • Gah!! Another recommendation for Daisy Jones and the Six. I am really going to have to read it, aren’t I, Sue? So many fab reports! You know what’s really annoying? It was on sale the other day and I didn’t grab it. Double gah!!

      I, too, was devastated to hear about Carlos Ruiz Zafon. He was one of my favourite authors. So very sad to have lost him.

      Your reading is always so eclectic, Sue. I find it fascinating. I read Fahrenheit 451 in school and again several years ago and found it terrifying both times. I think if I read it now I’d find it even scarier because so much that was fantasy now seems a little too real.

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing!

      • Haha, you sure do but I highly recommend listening to Daisy Jones and the Six in audio due to the format, it’s set out in script form unless you like that sort of thing you might be ok but to get the full affect of the story and the characters the audiobook is superb. I’m going to buy the book this week I really need to see if I’ll love reading it as much as I did listening to the full cast. Hehe, yeah, you must always grab things when on sale, well, that’s what I do now because I always think I’ll come back for it and when I do it’s double the price LOL.

        Listening to the narrator reading Fahrenheit 451 in his dramatic voice made it sound so real but I think I tuned out a few times so didn’t really get the gist of what was happening so I can’t wait to read the print version but after what you said I’m a little scared now LOL.

        Oh, I forgot to mention in my last comment that I’ve added all the books on your list to my TBR, they all sound so interesting and fun except for The Last migration, I had no intentions of reading this book as I’m not into climate change stories but your review has me changing my mind. Or have I got it wrong and has nothing to do with climate change?

  3. What a great list. So glad you enjoyed One To Watch as I loved that one. I have several that are on your list waiting for me too. Including The Nancies. What a great premise for a book! I can’t wait to dive into it. I spent a significant portion of the month reading Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series — one after the other. Thank heaven’s there were only five of them or I’d still be reading them, LOL.

    • Oooh, I can’t wait for you to read The Nancys so we can talk about it, Michelle! I hope it warms your heart as much as it did mine.
      I really must try another Kristan Higgins. I’ve only read one of her early books and it was a lot of fun.
      Thanks for joining in the Favourite Reads fun!

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