Review a fiction or well-being book

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The Goldfinch

The goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

The cover of the Goldfinch by Donna Tartt This book was absolutely enthralling; I was engrossed with the story and development of the young main character. There were many twists in the story so I struggled to put it down! Sinead English

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A thousand splendid suns

A thousand splendid suns
by Khaled Hosseini

The cover of A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini Such an insightful story in to the lives of two different women and a completely different culture. It made me realise how much I sometimes take for granted. A very moving read! Zareena Mulla

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How to be mindful

How to be mindful
by Anna Barnes  

The cover of How to be mindful by Anna Barnes This is a beautifully illustrated little book on every day mindfulness, to read in one go or to dip in and out of at your leisure. So pretty and useful in fact, that I went and bought my own copy! Eva Thackeray

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The angel’s game

The angel’s game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The cover of The angel’s game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon Not only have you got plural interwoven storylines for each of the characters, but the backdrop of Barcelona ends up being a storyline in itself. The gothic setting of 20’s and 30’s Barcelona is the perfect backdrop for the dark and gripping tale.  Sinead English
 

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Count Magnus

Count magnus and other ghost stories by M.R. James

The cover of Count Magnus and other ghost stories M.R. James arguably wrote some of the finest ghost stories in the English language.  His heroes are often lonely, not always likelable, bachelors who find themselves threatened by a malicious supernatural entity -- an entity that James never explains to the reader. Unlike a lot of modern horror there is little gore in James' stories. In fact, the supernatural creatures in this book never quite come into view, rather they are felt physically or seen out of the 'corner of the eye'. James always grounds his story in reality; the language he uses appears at first to be dry and academic.  But slowly James creates a sense of psychological unease, using the remote landscapes in his stories to emphasise the feelings of isolation experienced by his characters as they face their nightmares alone. My personal favourites include 'The Mezzotint' and 'Oh, Whistle and I will come to you, My Lad'.  Andrew Craig

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The Secret Rooms

The secret rooms
by Catherine Bailey

Cover of The secret rooms by Catherine Bailey A true story about the 9th Duke of Rutland who ended his days in the servants’ quarters of his home. After his death his son ordered the rooms to be sealed and they remained untouched for 60 years. This is the story behind why the rooms were sealed and what secrets lay within. Sarah Woodhall

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All the light we cannot see

All the light we cannot see
by Anthony Doerr 

Cover of All the light we cannot see The poignant story of a German boy and a blind French girl living in the midst of the events of World War II.  Despite the tragedy of war, this book is very life affirming and full of light!  Highly recommended 5/5.  Karen Hithersay

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Me before you

Me before you
by JoJo Moyes

The cover of me before you by Jojo Moyes As is often the case, the book is much better than the film. A very easy read, with likeable main characters. Even if you have seen the film and know the ending, it is still a satisfying read. Ann Green
 

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Wild: A journey from lost to found

Wild: A journey from lost to found
by Cheryl Strayed 

Wild: A journey from lost to found I really enjoyed reading this book, the author takes you on a physical and emotional journey of self- discovery and dealing with grief.  I enjoyed reading about how she finds solace in her isolation. Louisa Halton
 

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Talking to the Dead

Talking to the dead 
by Harry Bingham

Cover for Talking to the dead by Harry Bingham I didn’t think I liked crime fiction until I read this. It’s really well written and I ended up racing through it – a proper page turner! Set in modern day South Wales, the main character has lots of shadows in her own past that she has to deal with as well as murder cases while she’s at work. It’s a fast-paced thriller without being too gory -  If you enjoy it there’s another 5 in the series to read. Emily Hurt

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The Architect’s Apprentice

The architect’s apprentice
by Elif Shafak  

The cover of Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak This was such a magical book set in Istanbul in the 16th century. It tells the story of a young boy named Jahan who starts out as a naïve elephant tamer in the Sultan’s palace and over the years grows in to a wise man and rises in the ranks at the palace as the architect’s apprentice. I loved this book as there were so many twists in the story and like many other Shafak’s novels very descriptive and fabulously written. Zareena Mulla

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The secret place

The secret place
by Tana French

The secret place coverA psychological murder mystery set in an exclusive girls' boarding school in Ireland. This book is all about relationships, and as you get drawn into the teenagers' friendships and feuds, as well as the investigating  detectives' personal lives and professional ambitions, you will find yourself hooked - impossible to put down. Eva Thackeray

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In One Pot

In one pot: fresh recipes for every occasion
by Blanche Vaughan

The cove of In one pot This book gave me some great new ideas for family meals. There are lots of different styles of cooking, from traditional pot roasts to quick and easy veggie teas, even posh stuff for when you want to impress! I especially recommend the recipe for Moroccan New Year Chicken with Couscous. Emily Hurt
 

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Behind closed doors

Behind closed doors
by B. A. Paris

Behind closed doors This book is one that even though you think you know where the plot is going, you still get sucked into the story.  I found myself keeping wanting to read a bit more to see what else was going to happen and how or if Grace was going to break away from her “perfect marriage”. Ann Green

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The Lie Tree

The lie tree
by Frances Hardinge​

the lie tree An intriguing idea about a tree that swallows lies and reveals truths, set during the late 1800s when ideas of Darwinism were taking hold.  In addition, a murder mystery and coming of age story all rolled into one! A fast paced read 4/5.  Karen Hithersay
 

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South of the Border West of the Sun

South of the border west of the sun
by Haruki Murakami 

Cover for South of the border west of the sun This is a typical Murakami read where you don’t know where it will lead and you don’t care because it’s so exquisitely well written. Jane Corrigan


 

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