#FridayFive: Five Books I’ve Recently Read | Chapter 11

Friday Five

Hello and welcome to another Ted Talk about books. There are now 55 book reviews on my blog, all of which can be found here.

For all of the books that I’ve read so far in 2020 (40 at the time of writing this), you can find that here. The full list is updated in real-time with every book that I finish.

I also have an Instagram solely dedicated to book reviews and you can find that (and follow) at @ocbookshelf. I’m no longer ashamed to admit that I’m a book nerd.

Anyhow, here are the most recent five books that I’ve read and their reviews:

1. ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE BY GAIL HONEYMAN

I had heard amazing things about this book before reading, but I really wasn’t overly impressed. It was an enjoyable book, but definitely wasn’t a five-star in my eyes.

I had a little chuckle here and there, but for the most part I found it quite predictable really. It’s a good read and I would recommend it, but I wouldn’t be rushing to the shop to buy a copy.

2. WHY ARE ALL THE BLACK KIDS SITTING TOGETHER IN THE CAFETERIA? BY BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM, PHD

I won’t give this a ‘review’ as such, as I read this to educate myself on matters of race and the Black Lives Matter movement in America. I found it in a Free Little Library in Jersey City and snapped it up as I’d been wanting to read as much as I could about race.

This book was first published in 1997, but again updated in 2016. There was a paragraph that started, “If you were born in 1997, you were x year’s old when x happened.” Since I was born in 1997, this put everything into perspective for me.

This book is a must-read and has opened my eyes to so many wrong-doings in America, not just with the policing system but with the education system, political system and voting system.

3. QUEENIE BY CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS

I’d seen so many reviews of this book on Instagram recently and had been very eager to get my hands on it when one of my friends produced the book at our weekend away in upstate New York.

I made sure I was next in line to read it and received it on a Sunday evening and had finished the book by Tuesday.

The book details the life of 25-year-old Queenie in London, dealing with heartbreak, men, mental health and racism. It’s a greatly written book and was hard to put down. A very good book that I would thoroughly recommend!

4. PERFUME BY PATRICK SUSKIND

Back when I worked in the fragrance industry, I had heard of this movie quite a few times yet never got around to watching it. I spotted the book in a Free Little Library in Jersey City and thought it was the best opportunity for me to finally know the story.

I don’t think I’ll be rushing to watch the movie any time soon as I didn’t rate the book. I loved reading the words that were familiar to me, olfactory, ingredients in the fragrances and the process of how fragrances are made.

I expected a lot more murders, a lot more gruesomeness as that’s the vibe I received when people spoke of the movie, so I was quite underwhelmed by the story. Plus the book kind of went from 0-100 real quick at the end like the writer had no idea where he was going with it and just threw random twists at the end. Not a huge fan.

5. HOME BY HARLAN COBEN

I read this book so quickly as it was an incredibly easy read. There is a lot of dialogue in the book, and if other Harlan Coben books are similar, then I can imagine why a few have been turned into TV series.

I’ve been wanting to read some mystery-type books for a while now and had enjoyed watching two Netflix TV series based on his books, so when I saw one of his novels in the half-price section in The Strand Bookstore (I rarely buy books that aren’t second-hand) I just had to buy it.

It was a very good story, but some of the plot twists I did see coming. I would definitely be keen to read more of his books!

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