Last year, I set myself a goal to read more because I'd been slacking, but tbh I didn't really track it, so I'm not sure how many I got through? I started the year off reading loads, then fell out of it, before getting back into it towards the end of the year. I mean, who doesn't love curling up with a good book, hot chocolate and a blanket when it's dark and wet outside? I haven't bothered setting myself a target in terms of reading again for 2018, but I do want to continue reading more and more; I have so many books on my shelf that I haven't yet touched, its quite bad! So to get myself into it I thought I'd share my top 5 from 2017. I know it's not my usual kind of content, but I did say I wanted to be putting out more posts with substance!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
I picked this one up after hearing Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton discuss it on their podcast (The High Low Show) and it is the fastest I've read a book in as long as I can remember. I completely devoured it! It was easy to read, but not in a chick-lit light-hearted kinda way, cos it's pretty heavy; just in that it draws you right in and you don't want to put it down. It focuses on one character (Eleanor Oliphant, if you couldn't guess!) and how she's suddenly being pushed out of her comfort zone of strictly set routines. I love how the story played out, and it really did make me evaluate how routines can, not necessarily be a 'bad' thing, but a bit much? Also, how you never really know what's going on in anyone else's life, and that being pushed out of your comfort zone can result in better things happening!

Ice Cream For Breakfast
I absolutely loved Laura's first book 'Becoming' and although ICFB is completely different, I knew I was going to love it just as much because her way with words is divine! If you don't know, it's about the life lessons that Laura picked up from two young girls when nannying for them, and it's an absolute breathe of fresh air. It's the kind of book perfect to read if you're feeling a bit lost and just need a reminder of what's important. Because at the end of the day, kids just tell it like it is, they're brutally honest and all they care about is having fun. We all need days like that sometimes! A personal favourite: 'sleep solves almost everything' because it really, really DOES! When kids get grumpy you know it's because they're tired and send them to bed, but when you can't write that blog post you wanted to publish, stop trying to will inspiration through copious amounts of caffeine; call it a day and try again tomorrow after a good nights sleep. 

The Secret History
This one took a loootttt of getting into! I considered giving it up at one point, it seemed to be going off on a lot of tangents and not actually getting into the story, but I AIN'T A QUITTER! So I stuck with it and boy am I glad I did! So although I found it slow to get going, once Richard joins the class and things start happening it picks up tenfold. I always find books much easier to read when there's dialogue? But I did love the combination of Greek language and mythology with crime and general college life! I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a bit of a mystery read, and as well as wanting to reread this and see what hints I didn't pick up on the first time, I am also desperate to devour every other Donna Tartt book! 

Catcher In The Rye
One of the classics that I FINALLY got around to reading last year after it had been sat on my shelf getting dusty for about 2 years prior! See why that resolution was necessary last year? I enjoyed this from start to finish, but I'm not sure I LOVED it? Maybe this was because I'd built it up in my head so much as one of the greats, but I'd still definitely read it again. I loved the narrative of it, and although it's reading from Holden's point of view, I think you can tell there's more to him than the angsty teenager he presents as, which only drew me in more! A big thing to remember when reading this hough, is that context is key. It's set post WWII and this language and behaviour from a teenager was far from the norm.

All The Bright Places
I'm ashamed to admit, but when I was whittling down my picks for this post I'd forgotten about this one completely! Then it came rushing back to me and I HAD to include it. It's the classic coming of age, YA novel which I love to indulge in. I went to update my GoodReads page with this when I realised I'd forgotten about it, and I saw a tagline on a review "It's about mental illness and being a freak and being alone and having a best friend" and I couldn't have summed it up better myself. This is another one that I instantly devoured; I loved how it switched between Finch and Violet narrating, the contrasts were so clear to see and I just think Jennifer Niven absolutely nailed it. Although I could kinda see from early on where it was gonna go, I couldn't see exactly how it would get there if that makes sense? A seemingly known plot but not overly predictable!

Do you have any must-read recs for me? I'd love to add them to my list!

Loves. Emma.
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