An American Marriage | Tayari Jones | a review

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Karina ReadsRoy and Celestial are newlyweds, a year into marriage with the world at their feet until tragedy strikes. Roy is wrongfully sentenced to 12 years in prison and life as they know it shatters. An American Marriage is a powerfully addictive and moving character-driven novel that follows three people as they love, learn and grow and doesn’t shy away from exploring the difficulties lovers encounter when life unfolds vastly different to their expectations. Roy and Celestial’s story is heartbreaking in many ways but I think, ultimately, hopeful.

‘how you feel love and understand love are two different things’

While the focus is primarily on Continue reading “An American Marriage | Tayari Jones | a review”

Hamnet | Maggie O’Farrell | a review

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell | KarinaReadsI am sure Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet needs no introduction. This book is brilliant and utterly addictive – I finished it in two sittings. Hament follows Agnes and her family as they come together in a time of terrible grief. By never naming the famous husband the reader is able to focus on the everyday domesticity of 16th Century life and consider how Shakespeare-the-man interacted with others as a husband, son, tutor etc…He is never the focus, Agnes very much is and the author does an excellent job of rooting her and her family in Elizabethan England. It could have been any other family, Continue reading “Hamnet | Maggie O’Farrell | a review”

Slump Busting TBR | bookends #021

slump busting tbr, Karina ReadsI am currently experiencing the affliction dreaded by bookworms everywhere: a slump.

I know I am not alone and many of us are finding that the current climate is negatively affecting our reading habits. My motivation to pick up any of the books I bought pre-lockdown has all but disappeared. I can’t concentrate from one book to the next and keep putting down books I was really excited about two months ago. But my desire to read is still strong so instead of feeling frustrated about, let’s face it, a very privileged problem, I have devised a cunning plan. Kind of. I’ve picked Continue reading “Slump Busting TBR | bookends #021”

A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes | a review

‘…this was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them. A war does not ignore half the people whose lives it touches. So why do we?’

A Thousand Ships, Natalie Haynes, Karina Reads ReviewI love a good myth retelling & Natalie Haynes’ recent novel A Thousand Ships is no exception.

In Haynes’ epic, she tells the story of the Trojan war, focusing not only on what happened, why it happened and what happened after, but on the lives and consequences of war on the women.  Each chapter is told from a different woman’s perspective and while we follow Continue reading “A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes | a review”

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro | K.S. Villoso | a review

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, Karina ReadsI loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso. Originally a self-published fantasy novel, Orbit published Villoso’s debut this February and it blew me away. Fast-paced, action packed and well written, I’m going to be thinking about this for a long time and I’ve already pre-ordered the sequel. What is it about, I hear you ask? In a nutshell, Continue reading “The Wolf of Oren-Yaro | K.S. Villoso | a review”

The Library of the Unwritten | A.J. Hackwith | a review

The Library of the Unwritten | AJ Hackwith | KarinaReadsWith blurbs by two of my all-time favourite authors, Juliet Marillier & Seanan McGuire, I had very high hopes for The Library of the Unwritten. The synopsis also caught my attention; there is a library in Hell where all the unwritten books live and when one of these novels manifests as one of its own characters, the head librarian, a muse and a nervous demon messenger must venture to Earth (as well as other afterlife realms) and trouble ensues. Magic, books, muses, demons, angels, mythology, Heaven & Hell and a tonne of sass and snark – this book is certainly good fun. Continue reading “The Library of the Unwritten | A.J. Hackwith | a review”

March 2020 TBR | bookends #020

March 2020 tbr | Karina ReadsIt’s finally March! Spring is on the way and will hopefully bring with it lots of beautiful bright flowers & a little more sunshine. And maybe some more greenery… Anyway, I have the last week of the month as holiday so I’m hoping I will have lots of time to read in between redecorating our bedroom. I’ve pulled together some of the books I’d like to get to in the next few weeks. Continue reading “March 2020 TBR | bookends #020”

Why Women Read Fiction | Helen Taylor | a review

Why Women Read Fiction | KarinaReads reviewWhy Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives by Emeritus Professor Helen Taylor seeks to understand why women are the primary readers of fiction, their relationship with novels and how that affects their everyday lives. The answer to these questions is something I would love to learn more about and thus was the impetus for me to pick this up. Unfortunately,  it did not meet my expectations. Before I go into why this wasn’t for me, I’d like to say that this review is very much my own opinion and wouldn’t dream of  stopping others from picking this up for themselves. If you would like to go in blind, don’t read this review. If you would like to know why this didn’t work for me, read on. Just know, this is not a book I would recommend, especially not to keen readers looking for an insightful and balanced look at the reading habits of women. Continue reading “Why Women Read Fiction | Helen Taylor | a review”

She Said | Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey | a review

She Said - Jodi Kantor & Megan TwoheyShe Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement by New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey probably needs no introduction. However for those who aren’t in the know, She Said recounts in real-time how the reporters came to work on, write and publish their expose on Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.

It feels wrong to say that I ‘enjoyed’ reading this memoir as the accounts of so many women’s experience of sexual harassment from such a powerful figure are extremely repugnant. Although the content is shocking, the reading experience was enjoyable as the Continue reading “She Said | Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey | a review”

Female Fantasy Authors | a few of my favourite things

I see so many booklovers writing that they would like to read more fantasy novels by female authors but they struggle to find the books. I am here to help! Over the past couple of years my female to male authors ratio has been essentially 99:1 so I thought I’d share as many as I can to help those looking for inspiration. I haven’t loved all of these, but reviewing/ranking these women is not the intention of this post. The first section I have loosely divided into sub-genres and are all books by female authors that I have read/started reading and want to continue. Then I have listed some ‘Honourable Mentions’ which are books by female authors I have on my radar either on my Goodreads tbr shelf or on my physical bookshelves. Continue reading “Female Fantasy Authors | a few of my favourite things”