What’s Currently in My ‘To Be Read’ Pile

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Although my work schedule hasn’t allowed for much more than eating and sleeping at the moment, I’ve somehow managed to make my way through three and a half books so far throughout February. Usually, my reading lists and book hauls are largely taken up by thrillers of the psychological kind, but this time, I have a book with a hint of romance (omg) and a historical saga featured!

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

Synopsis: Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.

Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.

On a rainy Sunday, if my work schedule allows me, I love nothing more than cosying up with a good historical saga. One I always recommend is All The Light We Cannot See, and I actually bought Beneath a Scarlet Sky because it didn’t sound too dissimilar; the plot line is entirely different, but the theme of hope and humanity in a time when there was little of both around features heavily in both books. I have a feeling this book will be really engaging and memorable, and I’m hoping it lives up to the rave reviews I’ve seen!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Synopsis: Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

This was actually in the parcel of books that Tris bought me as a Valentine’s Day present, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. Particularly because it isn’t a genre or something I would generally lean toward, but also because it doesn’t sound as vapid as a lot of books that sit in the same genre; it explores loneliness and the protagonist I guess, Eleanor, sounds really interesting and a great gal who’s lost her way a bit which I think we can all relate to. I’m also insanely envious of the author’s surname.

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Synopsis: Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table. The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.dThe offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

If I’m honest, I purchased this on a whim. It was on offer for £2 Amazon. I mean.. that’s nearly half of what I pay for a Mcnugget happy meal that I consume within approximately 4 minutes. Luckily, it seems to have great reviews online, and an easy-read thriller is something I often crave after reading something a little more hard-hitting. I also think the plot is unique and compelling, which I think is quite hard to construct in an overflowing sea of thrillers!

The Shining by Stephen King

Synopsis: Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Pardon the pun, but much like little Danny, Stephen King has a gift. How cheesy was that? Anyway – I cannot believe I haven’t read this. I’ve read several other King novels and novellas, but I’ve not read two of his most famous: IT and The Shining. I think my reasoning behind picking other novels of his to read in lieu of these two is that I was scared that they wouldn’t live up to their film adaptions. Fool, I know.

I’m already half way through this, and I couldn’t have been more wrong; it’s as fantastic as everyone says it is. The prose is perfect and the way he writes is just so atmospheric. You really do feel as though you’re at the Overlook Hotel with the Terrance family. I know this book is famed for leaving readers sleepless and terrified, but as I suspected, it’s had no such effect on me! As much as I (desperately) want to, I’ve yet to find a book that really terrifies me. I just seem to be un-phased by everything; regardless of how unsettling or disturbing – maybe I’m a psychopath, who knows. Lol. Any recommendations?

Have you read any of these books? Lemme know! Jess x

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