By Caitríona Ní Chonaill
These are the BookTok books that are worth reading – from someone who’s read them all!
The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t think I would like this book that much, having never been particularly interested in mythology of any kind. However, after what I found to be a bit of a slow start, the world-building and beautiful writing, especially of Achilles and Patroclus drew me in and I just read quicker and quicker as the story sped up. The only thing I didn’t like about this was the amount of Gods and various characters that all sounded the same to me (no fault of the author though) and I found that to be quite confusing the whole way through. But I will definitely be reading more from Madeleine Miller in the future!
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
Telling the story of Piper, an LA socialite, and Brendan, a grumpy sea captain, this romcom had me giggling and kicking my feet at the funny scenarios, and swooning along with the heroine. I was fully invested in the couple and the slow-burn romance trope.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Fast-paced and with well-developed characters, this is everything a good romance novel should be. I mean, the two main characters also work with books, so I was obviously going to love it. There were some very funny one-liners thrown in and I really enjoyed the barbed humour between the couple. I also really enjoyed the many other relationships explored throughout the book, such as with the main character’s sister, and liked how the author didn’t shy away from some of the darker elements of life. Brilliant descriptions of places and the characters feelings also helped the pacing of the book. Perfect escapism, and yet another BookTok favourite that deserves the hype!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid blowing it out of the water yet again! I read this whole thing in one day, the pacing was wonderful and she writes brilliantly convoluted characters – if ever a character was complicated, it’s Evelyn Hugo! Great writing, plot, and character development – an amazing page-turner all ways round!
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
This is one of the best (and most heart-wrenching) books I have ever read. People did warn me this might be a triggering book before I read this but did I listen? Evidently not. This is a masterclass in how to write a character so complex and yet so undeniably human that you feel as though you are Jude (the main character) and that you are living his life as him, almost like you are in his brain too. This book explores the power of our past in our lives as a whole, the power of friendship and love, and attempts to heal. It also digs deep into the melancholy, depravity, and loneliness of the human experience and even though I sometimes didn’t agree with how Jude acted, I absolutely understood why he acted as he did and how he felt. This book really really moved me and is definitely one of my top books of all time. One that will stay with me for life for sure.
The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
This was one of the best books I’ve ever read, it had so much heart and warmth behind every word. I was laughing out loud as I read (and occasionally throwing the book down in frustration because Tiffy and Leon failed to get together once again, only to instantly pick it up again because I had to know what happened!). I read the whole thing in 5 hours and it was absolute chicken soup for the soul. Made the world seem like a nicer place to be in, while not shying away from the darker elements either. It’s books like this that make me love reading. If any book deserves the hype, this one does!
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
A group of crime enthusiasts, all pensioners living in a retirement village, have to solve an actual murder when it happens on their doorstep. Thrilling, with several unexpected plot twists, a beautifully lyrical writing style, and many a comfort character, this is a cozy murder mystery and the perfect Sunday read!
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
This is an absolutely phenomenal read and should be compulsory reading in every household, men and women alike. The disparity in data collection a) being thought of and considered as necessary by men on more than half of the world’s population and b) not being effective or enforced in every sort of sector imaginable is astounding. This is a mammoth research project and I bookmarked more pages than I ever have before. Covering car accidents, drug effectiveness, social contributions, and much much more, this is a fact-packed encyclopedia of how far behind the research is on men vs women and how women’s contributions can help society as a whole
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
When I tell you I DEVOURED this book! This is one of the best-paced books I’ve ever read and the fact that I managed to read this 500+ pages book in one sitting and not get bored speaks for itself. The main character is stuck in a time loop and is reborn as a different person every day. They must figure out who killed Evelyn Hardcastle or be stuck in the loop forever. When I tell you this book is a page-turner, I absolutely mean it. Every page is action-packed and gripping, 100% kept me hooked until the last page.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
I’m not sure I have the words to describe how much this book impressed me and how much I have learnt while reading it. I read for enjoyment but also to gain knowledge and this is one of those books where you can almost feel your brain stretching to house all the new knowledge you’re stuffing in. This covers human beings from our very beginning to the present day and a very wide range of our structures in the process-religion, empires, money, and the pursuit of happiness among other things. I have a feeling I will need to reread this to pick up the pieces of knowledge that didn’t go in this time around. The clear and concise writing style also appealed to me as I would have found some of the topics very difficult to grasp if more complex language had been used.