Recent Reads #7: the strongest voices.

Whoa, another Recent Reads within a month? Madness. As I said in the last post, I'm on a roll with reading at present, and coincidentally a lot of excellent books have been coming my way lately.

The books mentioned in this post are just a few of the ones I had sent to me recently, and I ran them through my usual 'test' of sorts (read the first couple dozen pages, wait to be hooked in by the story or the characters, or hopefully both), and while loads have been good, these few stories were told through the best voices. 

(Photo taken outside Camilla's Books, Eastbourne, by a very handsome bookworm.)

'Almost Midnight', by Rainbow Rowell. 
I hadn't realised how much I missed the quite magical romantic feelings that only RR can create and then stir up within me as a reader with her astounding, adorable, unique writing style. 
This gorgeous sparkly mini-hardback contains two perfect short stories; 'Midnights', and 'Kindred Spirits'. I have already read the latter (but obviously re-read it upon buying this) but the former was completely new to me. And despite it only being 50 or so pages, it's easily one of my favourite romantic reads of the year. I was swept away! 

'The Unpredictability of Being Human' is a charming - and only quietly upsetting - coming-of-age story about Malin, the girl who doesn't attempt to fix the big things in life, instead she watches from the sidelines and lets everything happen around her. All the while, she keeps an eye on her watch. 
I heard about this novel from Stephanie King, Commissioning Fiction Editor at Usborne via Twitter DM, and was immediately immensely excited by the levels of...well, excitement coming from their team about this one. 

(Published January 2018; Usborne)

Next up, we have 'The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night', the latest beautiful offering from Jen Campbell. This is such a treat for the eyes and the mind; it's a stunning illustrated collection of stories, all of them fantastical and delightful...if creepy, in some cases...

I really enjoyed this book, sent to me by Emma at John Murray, because it was just the kind of thing I needed in the run up to Halloween and mixed up my mind a bit after it being in YA mode for some time. I loved every voice within it - but especially the young girl and her auntie who ran the coffin hotel on the island...

(Published in November, with Two Roads)

(This photo and the one below are both the work of Mama Latter. Didn't she do well!?)

Now the penultimate 'strong voice novel' has to be 'The Last Days of Archie Maxwell', by Annabel Pitcher, published with Barrington Stoke (one of my favourite publishers of all time, ever). 

Archie Maxwell has recently had received life-changing news: his parents are splitting up. But that's not all. As if that weren't enough, at the same time he's having to deal with the fact that his dad is...not like other dads. None he knows, anyway. And now he must keep this shocking information a secret; if the other guys at school find out, he's in danger. 

I really did come to adore poor young Archie, and felt for him even if I didn't identify completely with his issues. I was right there with him throughout. In the past I've had trouble with Annabel Pitcher's novels, but this one was a winner. 

And finally, I recently heard about 'No Filter'; a collection of essays about life as a millennial and the struggles one faces within a certain generation in today's society. It's in production, being crowdfunded with Unbound. I am definitely innately interested in this one – and having read an excerpt, I can confirm: it's lit.
For more info, see Hilary Bell's Twitter.

'Millennials are lazy.
They don’t vote.
They spend their money on lattes and avocados instead of saving for a house.
They want unrealistic careers.
They are entitled.
With this thinking being perpetuated more and more every day, there’s a real risk of issues close to the younger generation being ignored. In fact, MPs recently issued a report on millennials, producing a handbook for their 650 members on a generation which they say is ‘much talked about and arguably misunderstood’. The average age of parliament members is 50.
Right now, millennial voices aren’t being represented, and we need to change that – in order to change any of the issues affecting the young people today.'

I have held Twitter giveaways for some of my Recent Reads, and now as I am technically away for several weeks (but I'll almost always still be online tbh) it may be a while before I am able to do another one, but keep your eyes on my tweets just in case! 


What have you been reading recently?
Anything you think should have been included in this post?
Comment or tweet me with your ideas!


posts you've really liked.