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Books to cozy up to this autumn

One thing that gets me real excited for colder weather, is snuggling up with a good book and hot chocolate. Not that I don’t read in summer, I absolutely do (but mostly on my Kindle, since fighting off mozzies and Christmas beetles makes reading “with the lights on” such a pain).

Can you relate to that?

Anyway, nothing beats a paper book and I’ve already kick started my colder weather reading with some fabulous titles, six of which I am sharing here with you today.

The hubs and I split them up so that we can bring you reviews on new books while they are still hot on the shelf, so hopefully if you’re looking for something new to get into, then I am sure you will find love in at least one of these newly released titles.

Books Featured in this post

Last One At the Party
Daylight
The Paris Library
Confessions of a forty something
Legacy of War
Last One At the Party
Daylight
The Paris Library
Confessions of a forty something
Legacy of War
Last One At the Party
Daylight
The Paris Library
Confessions of a forty something
Legacy of War

 

The Paris Library – Janet Skeslien Charles

This book has been one of my most favourite reads so far! The story goes between 1940’s war-torn Paris and the Nazi invasion to “modern day” 1980’s in the US, but the stories, or at least the characters intertwine. It’s a book about love and friendship, heartbreak and family, and if you’re a book lover, you will fall in love with it as it all centres around the American Library in Paris. Through the pages, you get to walk the isles and browse the titles of the ALP, but also meet the brave librarians who fought to keep the library going during the German invasion of France. Even more incredible, is that stories of the actual ALP are based on truth. Even some of the characters have been modelled off real life people.

While the book has many memorable characters -who I miss every single day as if I had known them personally- the two main characters, Odile and Lilly have a massive age gap, yet form an incredible bond. Both young Lilly and “war-bride” Odile fill gaps in each other’s hearts in ways they may not even be aware of themselves. You get to glimpse more into Odile’s life as young librarian in Paris, and find out what brought her to Montana, far from home and everyone she’s ever known and loved.

What I absolutely loved about this book is how author, Janet Skeslien Charles works “era-magic” with her words. So much so that the chapters revolving around the 40’s actually took me to that era in time, as did the chapters from the 80’s. The words she used, the slang, the way people behaved, the things they said and did, how they did them. It’s an incredible talent to be able to write a novel that flips between different generations, yet keep your readers hooked without missing a beat. I was whisked from 1940 into the “future” of 1983 by turning a page and back again and I didn’t feel I was flying all over the place.

I don’t usually enjoy “war stories” but I loved The Paris Library, so much so that I want more, more, more on World War II, especially when it can give me a small glimpse of what life was like then, without leaving my modern armchair and creature comforts.

Category: Fiction/ Historical Fiction
Click here for more information from the publishers

Legacy of War – Wilbur Smith with David Churchill

<Hubby’s review >

The sequel to Courtney’s War, Legacy of War, has all the trappings of a great Wilbur Smith novel. The story is told in his signature style with rich descriptive language, bucketloads of adventure, a smattering romance, and of course unexpected betrayals woven in-between actual historical events.

We join Saffron Courtney and Gerhard Meerbach as they are building their new life together on Leon Courtney’s Lusima Estate in Kenya.

Despite the war being over for many years, Hitler and the Nazi party’s legacy continues to cast a shadow. Gerhard’s Nazi brother, Konrad has escaped to South Africa with his stolen fortune and plots Gerhard’s demise and the return of the NAZI party.

The story follows Gerhard & Saffron’s adventures in tracking down and defending themselves and their family against Konrad’s evil plans. Set against a backdrop of a weakening of British Kenyan rule and the rising MAU MAU rebellion, the story captures the tumultuous times’ essence.

There are few authors who can create a world so rich and exciting that you can totally detach from reality and find yourself fully absorbed into it. I found myself enthralled into the world of the Courtney’s in Legacy of War.

Category: Fiction/ Historical Fiction
Click here for more information from the publishers

Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up – Alexandra Potter

Next up, something totally different and more in the “chick-lit”/ humour category, but please don’t let the title of this one put you off, as it is pretty fun read! Not that I’m prudish when it comes to fiction, and I don’t really bat my eyelids or gasp in horror at swearwords on the pages, but I think this title may put some people off and it really shouldn’t as it’s a great read.

One of those laugh-out-loud books you’ll be glad you picked up, especially during this time where everything seems upside down. It’s nice to escape into someone else’s mess. That’s the reason I love books so much, and especially ones that let you put your hours on hold, while you sneak into someone else’s world.

Nell is forty-something, unemployed, single (and practically homeless since she leaves her California lifestyle to return home to London). But as life would have it, things are never as they were when you left them behind. Her parents have “evolved”, her friendships have changed and in her eyes, Nell is a self-confessed F##k Up.

Honestly though, reading the pages, she’s not quite what I would call a F##k Up at all. But, when she finds herself at her “mid-life” point and nothing like she had hoped or planned, you can understand her feeling like a failure. The worst for Nell, is not only how her life has not quite lived up to her own expectations, but how her relationships with friends have changed after hitting the big 40! Priorities change.

Anyway, I don’t want to ruin the story and tell you everything (when honestly you can get that kind of info from the synopsis), but I can tell you that reading this book taught me a lot! It taught me to realise we are not all perfect, some of us may feel like losers watching winners, that the younger generation is stomping all over us (age before beauty or does beauty before age offer a whole new level thinking when you reach the big four-oh)? We spend hours constantly comparing ourselves to what is “the right” way of thinking, feeling or acting, when we are all just human after all.

If you’ve ever found yourself feeling down on life, this book will surely lift you up. It’s packed with very “of the moment” things like podcasts and hashtag generations, gratitude lists, hot dads and a wonderful friend named “Cricket”.

Read it, I’m telling you, you will love it!

Category: Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Humour

Daylight – David Baldacci

< Hubby’s review >

Daylight is the third book in the Atlee Pine series. FBI Agent Atlee Pine continues her search for her missing sister who was abducted at the age of six and has been missing ever since. With pressure from her superior officer to bring her investigation into her sisters’ abduction to a close and return to work, Aitlee gets a promising lead, the identity of her sisters’ kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

As she follows up on the lead by investigating Ito’s family, she unknowingly interferes with her old friend John Pullers’ investigation. Together they uncover a drug ring with tentacles into government officials and army personnel with devastating consequences.

David Baldacci shines at detective novels and Daylight is him at his best.

Category: Thriller/ Mystery/ Crime Fiction
Click here for more information from the publishers

Last one at the Party – Bethany Clift

< < Hubby’s review >

This is the epitome of the old cliché- ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. The pink spatted cover and the title has you almost expecting a fluffy romance novel.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In the not-too-distant future (2023) a deadly virus named Six Days Maximum (6DM) has devastated the world and wiped out almost all of mankind.

Last one at the Party is Bethany Clift’s debut novel. It is a gritty, hard-hitting tale following a woman’s lone quest to survive and find out if she is indeed the last woman on earth.

It manages to be funny, sad, uplifting and horrifying all at the same time. I could not put it down, waiting to see if the next page would have me elated or have my stomach churn. Reading this during the Pandemic made it all the more real.

I do hope there is a follow up, because the only disappointing part for me was the ending which felt a little underdeveloped. Hopefully this was just to leave the story open for a sequel.

Category: Fiction/ Dystopian Thriller
Click here for more information from the publishers

Everything is Beautiful – Eleanor Ray

Everything is Beautiful is a debut novel by author Elenor Ray and its one of those feel-good kind of books that’s not necessarily mind-blowing or super intriguing, but a wonderful escape kind of book.

It follows the story of Amy Ashton, a hoarder (sorry if you guys read the book and don’t agree – but she is the very definition of a hoarder) who has such an emotional attachment to her belongings that she’s basically stuck when it comes to living. So much so that she practically can’t even move in her own home. But not without reason;  events have happened in her life to make her feel the comfort of holding onto things. Why she would hold onto lighters and wine bottles is beyond me, but each to their own I say!

Anyways, there’s a little bit of friendship, a little bit of drama, a little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery and little bit of life in this book, which made it enjoyable to sit out on the patio on a Sunday afternoon with my feet up on the couch and just chill.

It’s a book you can easily escape into, although I did find it dragged on a bit. That could also be because The Paris Library captivated me and Confessions… made me eager to turn the pages to see more of Nell’s drama, so maybe that’s why I found this one a little too stretched out!

Overall, it’s an easy read, and I liked the bit of mystery that the author wove into the plot. I am looking forward to reading Eleanor Ray’s second (still to be released) book The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton as I want to understand Amy’s attachment to her hoards. I do think that one will be more up my street.

Category: Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

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Dimi Ingle
Dimi Ingle

Dimi is the founder, editor and creative force behind StyleScoop. She curates the very best of fashion, beauty, travel, decor and lifestyle, every day, right here!

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