Big Birthday To Birthday Book Bonanza

Now I did a post a few months ago about my love of books and reading etc and the fact that I was undertaking a little personal challenge to see how many books I could plough through from my birthday last year to my birthday this year.

This challenge was mainly dreamed up to make use of a fancy little notebook I’d received as a birthday present but also to see just how many books I could get through in a year.

I don’t know what I expected results wise really, it’s not something I’ve ever quantified.  I just love reading.

And books in general.

And choosing books.

And buying books.

And talking about books

And passing books on to other people to enjoy.

You catch my drift…..

So anyway, the results are in and i’ve managed *drum roll*…

A quite respectable 54 books. Which with my Einsteinian mathematical knowledge equates to roughly a book a week….or to be precise 1.03 books per week. (Just call me Carol Vorderman…….actually Rachel Riley).

Now I reckon this result is alright, don’t you? I’m quite proud of my little self.  I work full time and have 2 young (ish) children so I think It’s quite admirable that I’ve achieved this (nowt like blowing your own trumpet eh?).

Now, what do I do with this information?…..Well I’ve always wanted to try my hand at reviewing books but I find it quite difficult to do without giving the game away as to the ending or simplifying it down to ‘It’s ace, read it!’ or ‘It’s shite, don’t bother’.

I had contemplated being a ‘booktuber’, which in a nutshell is talking about the books you’ve read on YouTube. BUT I’m hindered by the following facts:

  • I’m crap at all things techie and the thought of filming and editing fills me with dread.


  • I’d probably swear.


  • I’d be distracted by whether my head looks fat.


Don’t panic, I’m not going to review all 54 books because that would be madness (and I can’t quite remember all the details of some of them….it’s been a year after all!). So, I thought I’d choose my top 10 ‘Must Reads’ (It was going to be 5 but there were just too many good books in there).  I’m also going to do my top 5 ‘Don’t Bother’s’.  I’m seeing it kinda like a public service, but as always don’t take my word for it, it’s just my preference.

Top 10 Must Read:

  1. The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer
  2. Stalker – Lars Kepler
  3. First One Missing – Tammy Cohen
  4. The Drowning Lesson – Jane Shemilt
  5. Disclaimer – Renee Knight
  6. Haus Frau – Jill Alexander Essbaum
  7. Behind Closed Doors – B. A Paris
  8. The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters
  9. Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey
  10. The House On Cold Hill – Peter James

 If they’ve made the Must Read list then it’s probably because I enjoyed the storyline (obvs) usually psychological thrillers. Or I’ve loved the writing style (good example being The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – very detailed and descriptive, Sarah Waters is ace at making you feel like you’re actually there in the time period shes writing about.

Top 5 Don’t Bother:

  1. Fractured – Dani Atkins
  2. The Lie – C.L Taylor
  3. Rebound – Aga Lesiewicz
  4. The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly
  5. Putting Alice Back Together – Carol Marinelli


If it’s on the Don’t Bother list then that’s probably because the characters have been unbelievable, the plot line weak or the writing quality not great (in my humble opinion).

As I said earlier, don’t take my word for it, try any of the above and you may love them. I’ve heard people rave about The Lie for example but I thought it was dreadful.  Whatever blows your frock up!

I had written the draft of this post before I’d finished The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood and I would now like to add a new category of ‘Just Chuffin Read It!’…of which this book takes the crown.  Dark and uncomfortable reading with the most god awful characters. Vile people. Brilliant!

So I’ll see you again this time next year and I’ll see if I can smash 54 books *flexes reading muscles*.