What Emily Read Next


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

I just wanted something that would be an easy, mindless read. The Notebook fit the bill perfectly. I enjoyed it slightly more than the film – and I didn’t particularly enjoy the film – and it got me through a few boring shifts at work. Can’t complain, but won’t bother searching out anything else by Mr Sparks. 2/5

The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan

It was 99p on Kindle, and it was compared to What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn, so I was obviously going to read this book. I didn’t like it as much as I thought that I would. It was okay, but nowhere near as good as What Was Lost, in my opinion. I would recommend it if you like books with naive child narrators. 3/5

The Drifting of Spirits by Gisele Pineau

I bought this book from a junk shop years ago because I thought the cover was nice. In a bid to clear out my ever expanding bookshelves I decided to read it. The Drifting of Spirits was a really enjoyable but rather odd book. The writing style was often truly bizarre – though whether this is due to it being a translation is uncertain. Overall I enjoyed the story and the depictions of Guadeloupe and its culture. 4/5

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

Another one bought from a charity shop many moons ago, and read in an attempt to get rid of some books. I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I was originally put off because I wasn’t that fond of Haddon’s first novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. (I get quite annoyed at naive child narrators, as awful as that makes me sound.) Then I was slightly put off by the length. It’s not that I shy away from longer novels – or that this was particularly long – it was more that after reading the blurb, I wondered why that story needed to take up so many pages and worried that it was just going to be endless tiring waffle. As it turns out, I thought it was funny, touching and fascinating. 4/5

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

This book was free! I love free things, especially books. I entered a competition on the Waterstones website to win a book from their Book Club collection, and was sent this one at random. I would never have picked this book for myself but I’m pretty glad I was sent it. My sister asked me what it was about and all I could articulate was ‘A librarian steals a boy… She’s half Russian… Something about a chocolate factory… Er…’ So yeah, it’s quite hard to explain this book’s appeal, but I found it funny and charming and ultimately an enjoyable read. 4/5

After reading three 4/5s in a row, I feel like I’m having a decent run in terms of reading. At the moment I’m halfway through Perfect People by Peter James – I got it for 20p on Kindle, I’m not sure if it’s still that price but it’s worth a look if you want it! – which is good-but-not-great. Next up I’m hoping to read If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. I’ve had it for years, started reading it about three times, had it recommended to me numerous times, and yet it still just sits on my shelf and taunts me.

What have you read/are you reading/are you going to read?

6 thoughts on “What Emily Read Next

  1. Glad you enjoyed Spot of Bother, I liked that one too. Currently trying to make my way through Dead Souls by Gogol, but, ugh, despite my love of Russian literature, I’m having a tough time with this one. I think The Warmth of Other Suns is up next (I’m on a nonfiction kick, so unusual for me), and I want to pick up Haddon’s newest, too.

    • It was really good- hilarious and harrowing at the same time. And so vivid, my toes were curling and my skin was crawling when he takes the scissors to his leg. *vom* I can imagine Russian literature being a bit tough to plough through sometimes! I’m liking the look of Haddon’s new novel too. I’m glad I read A Spot of Bother and realised that I actually enjoy his writing style, because based on Curious Incident I would not be bothering with his new release.

      • I liked Curious Incident, but I definitely agree that Spot of Bother was the better book in terms of writing style, etc. Just gave up on Russian literature (for the moment! I’m convinced I’ll come back and finish this book soon…) and went for some good nonfiction instead.

  2. I’d like to read A Spot of Bother and The Borrower, I’m glad you enjoyed them both. I actually quite liked The Curious Incident and I’ve been meaning to read more of Haddon’s work. Are you planning on reading The Red House?

    • I think I’ll give The Red House a go but given my track record of reading books many years after they come out, I can’t promise it will be any time soon, haha. Let me know if you read it!

      I didn’t hate Curious Incident, I just didn’t love it. Naive child narrators aren’t really my thing, and I studied the book at uni and wrote an essay on it and it was definitely one that was worse for being dissected and researched and analysed.

      I would really recommend The Borrower, it’s a really charming book.

  3. Pingback: What Emily Read Next « What Emily Did Next

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