12 Book Reviews in 12 Sentences

I can’t believe we are heading towards the end of February already. I’ve managed to read 12 books so far this year and I thought it would be a good idea to review every single one of them! For the sake of laziness brevity, I’ll condense each review to one sentence per book.

1. “Er ist Weider Da (Look Who’s Back)” by Timur Vermes

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Not as funny as I thought it would be, but a great premise and it was unbelievable scary how some of Hitler’s speeches in this novel are Trump-esque.

2. “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler

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I was completely beside myself after reading this novel and did a lot of public crying on Sydney’s trains while reading this novel.

3. “Before I Was Yours” by Virginia Macgregor

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An unexpectedly comprehensive story about adoption that made me feel all of the feelings on the emotional spectrum.

4. “Archie Appleby: The Terrible Case of the Creeps” by Kaye Ballie

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Probably the best example of a kid with anxiety who is prone to jumping to conclusions about the stranger extended family members.

5. “Jamaica Inn” by Daphne du Maurier

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A little bit scary and surprisingly really violent, but a well written story by one of my favourite authors.

6. “Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors” by Peter Acroyd

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Very detailed, comprehensively researched and well written, but unfortunately not enough focus on the “normal” people (those that weren’t royalty or connected to royalty) and their daily lives.

7. “How to Build a Girl” by Caitlin Moran

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All teenage girls need to read this novel – I think I laughed so hard in some places because I related so much to this story.

8. “Lives in Ruins” Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble” by Marilyn Johnson

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This book made me want to become an archaeologist – even though it’s clearly (partly) a warning against taking it up as a profession if you ever want to earn money and have a relatively stable family life.

9. “Foxglove Summer” by Ben Aaronovitch

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Probably my favourite book in the Rivers of London series – a seamless novel with perfect pace and as always in this series, plenty of laughs.

10. “Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice” by Colin Renfrew

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A really good starting point for beginners in archaeology – or just your every day archaeology enthusiasts!

11. “Fifty Shades of Feminism” by Lisa Appignanesi

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Two reasons why this book is worth reading – 1. Feminism and 2. The copy I found in the book story was wrapped up, as if it had some dangerous ideas inside.

12. “Skinny Liver: Lose the fat and lose the toxins for increased energy, health and longevity” by Kirstin Kirkpatrick

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Definitely the self-help book I needed to read on New Year’s Eve.

Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments section – try to keep it to one sentence!

Review: “Rivers of London” by Ben Aaronovitch

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I must have picked this book up 3 or 4 times in just as many visits to Dymocks over the last couple of years. I know exactly why – the cover is red (my favourite colour) and I am utterly obsessed with London. Call me Adrienne the Anglophile.

It wasn’t until I saw an entire shelf stacked with the first 4 books in this series that I decided to give this series a go. Yes, this is a series. I do not take starting a series lightly. They take a lot of commitment and I was burned by my last experience of impulse buying a series in one go and then being so, so disappointed (FYI – it was Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series. It was okay until the third book. Out of six. Ugh.).

This book made me excited for my time on the train to and from work. It was exactly how Diana Gabaldon described it would be on the cover – it is as if Harry Potter joined the Fuzz. And there are so many little jokes about Harry Potter that it made my little nerd heart even happier. Magic in the streets of London? Yes please! A wizard apprentice using old magic books to crack cases? Give me more! And by my bookish logic, a ten year fictional wizard apprenticeship means at least 10 anticipated books in the series, right? Right!?

If you can’t tell already, I highly recommend “Rivers of London”. It also reminds me of “The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley – so if you’ve also liked that book, you’ll love this one too.

From Goodreads:

My name is Peter Grant. Until January I was just another probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth. My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – We do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was dead, but disturbingly voluble, and that brought me to the attention of Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. And that, as they say, is where the story begins.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated. I’m dealing with nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden – and that’s just routine. There’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious, vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying. Which, I don’t mind telling you, would involve a hell of a lot of paperwork.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this series or have any other urban fantasy recommendations for me! What else has everyone been reading lately?