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Contemporary

The Adults by Caroline Hulse

Published August 12, 2019

The Adults by Caroline Hulse

I don’t always like comedy fiction because it can be quite hard to get the right tone coming across in the written word. This book, though, grabbed me straight away with relatable and funny characters getting themselves into all kinds of mishaps. Quite quickly, you realise that someone has been shot with an arrow at a holiday park, and then we spend a lot of time seeing how events led up to that, whilst also keeping an eye on the police investigation into what happened.

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Published July 26, 2019

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

As I started reading this, I suddenly wondered why it all felt familiar and then I realised, I’d seen the TV show. I genuinely can’t remember if I’ve read this before, but as I started turning the pages, it all started to come back to me. I like the format of the book, bringing the story along through the eyes of a different character for each part, each adding their own viewpoint and problems to things.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Published July 11, 2019

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

This is one of those deliciously short but beautiful works, translated from French to English and losing nothing in the process. It tells the story of a simple guy who goes to work, looks after his friends, feeds his fish, and dreams of books. He also salvages single pages from the pulping machine he works with, and reads them aloud on the train to work.

Speed Dating by Nancy Warren

Published September 1, 2010

Speed Dating by Nancy Warren

So, when you pick up a romance novel, you know exactly what you’re getting and they are not my kind of book. It being set in the beautiful motorsport paddocks made no difference to this whatsoever. Romance novels are silly, this we know. They are nothing like real life, people don’t ever talk to each other like that, and things like this don’t happen to regular people. Even so, to bring motorsport into the mix is interesting to me, so I read it. Oh dear.

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Published November 4, 2004

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Julie’s good, Mike’s too good to be true and Richard’s a regular psycho. They’re good characters but exactly as you would expect them to be, no surprises. It bugs me how simple the writing is. Sparks would rather tell you exactly how Julie is feeling about a situation instead of maybe writing about what is happening and letting you feel what she’s feeling instead.

One for My Baby by Tony Parsons

Published November 3, 2004

One for My Baby by Tony Parsons

The book is about grief, so it’s hard to really judge it for being a wallowing look at life, but that is just what it is. Alfie comes across as completely self-involved, which grief will only excuse so far. He won’t listen to his friends or anyone who tries to help him, and I lost patience with him several times.

Uptown Girl by Olivia Goldsmith

Published November 1, 2004

Uptown Girl by Olivia Goldsmith

The plot of this one is your traditional rom com - a guy earns a reputation as every girl that he dumps gets married a few months later. Kate’s friend wants to get married so they set her up, but as always, the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly and Kate ends up falling for him herself.