It’s a New Year, which means new books! Hooray! Our librarian Eve has kicked 2019 off in style with these top reading recommendations. Whether you’re after a spellbinding whodunnit, a classic love story or a right good laugh, we’ve got it all, so why not make it your New Year’s resolution to read all five?!
Top non-fiction: This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
This Is Going To Hurt is a secret diary of a junior doctor that exposes the raw reality of working on the frontline of the NHS. From painfully funny anecdotes, to the harsh and heart-breaking realities of working 97-hour weeks; the diary entries disclose difficult truths and challenge our preconceptions of doctors and patients.
Kay cuts us open and plucks at all our emotions. We come around afterwards with a new-found respect, gratitude and absolute admiration for the doctors and the NHS.
Top fiction: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
The Wife Between Us is a novel you can read anytime, anywhere and for anyone who loves mystery and thriller.
The unpredictability of the characters juxtaposed with the unreliable narrator comprises this intriguing and gripping title. It explores friendship, marriage, betrayal and regret, with a plot that takes you in directions you could never have anticipated.
As the title suggests, there appears to be a love triangle – a jealous ex-wife and her beautiful, younger replacement. But things really aren’t as they initially appear. As soon as you think you know the intricacies of the characters and their flaws – I promise you will be wrong.
Top audio book: Normal People by Sally Rooney
Marianne and Connell have been friends since childhood. She is young and wealthy; he is from a disadvantaged and ill-reputed family.
Unlikely friends, and later lovers, their relationship is tested as they move from rural Ireland to the new world of student Dublin. As they grow together, their love tackles deep-rooted issues of class, power, and embedded values.
There is a relentless focus on relationships, and the ways in which they can change. This, in turn, supports a binding empathy for the characters and ensures that the topical issues which are confronted, such as family violence and class difference, are even more poignant.
Top kids’ book: The Last Chance Hotel by Nicki Thornton
A perfect blend of fantasy and mystery, this title is a spellbinding whodunnit to capture a child’s attention and imagination.
Seth is an aggrieved kitchen boy at the Last Chance Hotel, owned by the tyrannical Bunn family. He only has one friend to confide in – his black cat, Nightshade. But when a group of magicians come to the hotel for a secret meeting, and their leader suspiciously dies, Seth’s fate changes. He has to prove his innocence by solving who the real suspect is in an attempt to clear his name, which proves difficult when magic is involved.
A book to kickstart young readers on the path of mystery novels.
Librarian’s Choice: Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims
Told as a diary, we begin at the start of the school year and soon learn that for Ellen (mother of two), nothing ever goes to plan. We laugh and squirm alongside her, hoping that she will – one day – get some respite from her hectic and immensely chaotic life as a mother.
New to motherhood, this was a title that immediately attracted my attention. But do not be mistaken – I soon learned this is a book to be enjoyed by anyone interested in a laugh-out-loud, exceptionally up-front exploration of modern parenthood.
Have you read any of the books featured this month? We’d love to hear what you thought! Leave your reviews in the comments below. Missed last month’s top five? Catch up on them here.
You can find out more about libraries in East Sussex by visiting the East Sussex County Council website.