I seem to be reading a lot of good books lately, which is lovely. It’s such a pleasure to settle back and immerse yourself in a great story, especially if it’s one that moves you. My read of the month did that and more. So much so I’m tempted to call it the read of the year, but that might be going a bit early (and if I think about it, Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost might still be a nose in front).
Anyway, enough speculation. Without further ado, my favourite read of May was…
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
Oh. My. God. This book! I laughed out loud and I bawled like a baby. It was funny, endearing, quirky, uplifting, topical, poignant and everything in between. I couldn’t stop laughing over the opening scene with Ove in the computer store. I could picture my dad behaving with similar ineptness (except not as grumpily – he’s more of a cheeky grinner than a scowler, my dad) and alarming a poor shop assistant with his technical ignorance. But this novel isn’t all giggles. There are some truly heart-wrenching moments that will have you sobbing and reaching for the tissues, and some wonderful ones that will have you smiling and thinking, ‘You’re a deadest legend, Ove.’
Ove starts out the crankiest, most taciturn old man you could imagine but beneath that prickly exterior lies a heart of gold. I guarantee Ove will capture yours as his marvellous life is slowly and cleverly revealed.
My second favourite read and a monster-sized one. It’s a real skill to keep a reader turning 768 pages until The End and Hill nails it with The Fireman. This is action-horror-thriller territory but I loved the touches of humour, of which there were many. I had quite a few Lord of the Flies thoughts too during some parts. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, then you’ll love Joe Hill’s work. Which is kind of no wonder given they’re father and son. This was very, very cool but Horns is still my favourite Joe Hill so far. Oh, and I should add my huge thanks to The Reading Room and Hachette Australia for my copy of The Fireman.
A sweet rural romance set in South Australia’s Flinders Rangers. Edwards really knows how to make you feel warm and fuzzy – the townsfolk of Stony Creek are adorable – but she also doesn’t shy away from some of the problems rural communities face. This will tug your heartstrings and make you hunger for an outback journey. Maybe even your own treechange!
I sobbed pretty badly during the ‘black moment’. I also had a good time throughout and read this fast, which surprised me because this had an uber alpha male hero and they normally leave me cold. Or wanting to thump them one. Great town, great characters and fantastically sassy heroine. Plus dogs. I can see why this has so many 5 star ratings on Goodreads.
As any good Jilly Cooper fan would be, I’ve been hanging out for this book ever since I first heard about it and was thrilled to bits to score an advance review copy from The Reading Room and Allen & Unwin (thank you, thank you!). Polo, ridiculously rich people, horses, glamour, and a wonderful romance combine for a rollicking tale that I romped through. Great fun. Can’t wait for the next two in the series, Wild One and Ride Free, coming veeeery soon. I’ll be buying. You should too.
What were your favourite reads?