Hello. My name is Lisa Bentley and I am a book addict.

Ok, so this isn’t new or groundbreaking reportage but I just wanted to share with you all the extent of this addiction.

I suppose the best way to describe my attitude toward books is gluttonous. I see books and I want them, not enough to fill m up and feel comfortably full. Oh no. That would be far too easy. I want them all. I am a slave to the “Buy with 1-Click” button; my first stop in any shop is the book section. I constantly have an inner turmoil happening, telling myself that I don’t need the book but damn it, I want it.

So I decided to look at my book purchases this month. It consisted of Kindle purchases, NetGalley downloads and the classic physical copy, both purchased and those I have borrowed from the library. Here goes:

 

Kindle Purchases

Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

Cigarettes and Alcohol by Phil Sloan

Bridal Bootcamp by Bella Bailey

Effortless With You by Lizzy Charles

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When Alice met Danny by TA Williiams

Love Always, Kate by D Nichole King

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough

Make it Count by Megan Erikson

Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon

Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kristen Chen

The Trouble with Knights in Shining Armour by Valerie Anne Baglietto

Ice Cream at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown

The One Before the One by Katy Regan

Written in the Stars by Ali Harris

Fan by Danny Rhodes

Reasons not to Fall in Love by Kirsty Mosely

Structuring Your Novel by KM Weiland

500 Ways to Write Harder by Chuck Wendig

One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond

Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell

Writers block by Judith Flanders

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan

Melo Hearts by Ella Marie

The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris by Evie Gaughan

The Dating Experiment by Jennifer Eddlund

The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Coffee Cigarettes and Crisis by Jana Misho

Legacy of Love by Louise Pakeman

Lotties Luck by Amanda Egan

Me Without You by Kellly Rimmer

Don’t Even Think About it by Sarah Mlynowski

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

The Reluctant Celebrity by Laurie Ellingham

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Butter by Erin Lange

Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff

Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern

Styling Wellywood by Late O’Keefe

Half Bad by Sally Green

The Etymologican by Mark Forsyth

The Truth about the Harry Querbert Affair b Joel Dicker

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The Breakup Doctor by Phoebe Fox

L’Amour Actually by Melanie Jones

A Part of Me by Anouska Knight

Are You Happy Now by Richard Babcock

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O’Porter

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Kingdom Collection by Marie Hall

The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell

Nerd Girl by Sue Lee

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight

What’s A Girl to Do by Aimee Duffy

A French Girl in New York by Ana Adams

Life in a Rut, Love not Included by JD Hollyfield

There’s More to Life Than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan

The Magpies by Mark Edwards

The High Street Bride’s Guide by Samantha Birch

Amanda’s Wedding by Jenny Colgan

 

Library Books

Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson

In Between Days by Andrew Porter

Last Bus to Coffeeville

Note To Self by Alina Simone

Submarine by Joe Dunhome

Youth In Revolt by CD Payne

60 Postcards by Rachael Chadwick

I Slept With Joey Ramone by Mickey Leigh

A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchinson

Havisham by Ronald Frame

Stuff I’ve Been Reading by Nick Hornby

Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust by Simon Goddard

 

NetGalley Downloads

The Final Testamony of Ralph Ignatious Phoenix by Paul Sussman

Only With You by Cecelia Gray

The Broken Heart Diet by Tom Formaro

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

Yours for Eternity by Damien Echols

One Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

Love Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson

Facing the Music by Tim Thorogood

Apart At The Seams by Melissa Ford

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill

Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Liberty Silk by Kate Beaufoy

How We Deal With Gravity by Ginger Scott

First Tango in Paris by Shelley Thrasher

Before You by Amber Hart

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen

Between the Lives by Jessica Shrivington

Your Beautiful Lies by Louise Douglas

It Had To Be You by Ellie Adams

These Days Are Ours by Melissa Himoff

Mademoiselle by Rhonda K Garlick

Chelsea Bird by Virginia Ironside

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

 

Physical Books

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Pitch Perfect by Mickey Rapkin

The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

All That Glitters by Pearl Lowe

Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell

Love Is A Mixtape by Rob Sheffield

Looking at the amount I feel a little bit sick. Holy crap. Anywho, my pledge to myself is to not buy any more until I have read the majority of the books on this list. The reasons for this are simple. It is costing me a fortune and also I am running out of space on my kindle.

If anyone can think of any aversion therapy that they think may help with my addiction please do get in contact.

Since Forever AgoTitle: Since Forever Ago

Author: Olivia Besse

Pages: 316 Pages

Publisher: Wunderland Press

The Blurb

Fresh off the heels of a devastating breakup, Riley Benson is a mess. But with her ingenious plan to become a ball-busting heartbreaker herself, she’s pretty sure she’ll survive. After all, what better way is there to get revenge than to move on?

Riley’s determined to become the perfect bachelorette—she’s going to drink like a bro, belch like a beast and swear so much that she’ll make even the most seasoned sailors blush. After all, those are the qualities that every guy’s secretly looking for…. aren’t they?

Max Fletcher is in love with the girl who gave him chicken pox and his first broken leg. When his best friend seems to finally be out of the picture, he can’t help but want to keep Riley all to himself. And, after coaching her with the very best of the very worst love advice, it seems as if he might actually get what he’s wanted after all those years. But just as the two come to the realization that they’re actually kind of perfect for each other, along comes a secret that threatens to tear them apart.

This novel contains graphic sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.

The Review

Riley has just found out that her boyfriend Noah has been cheating on her. Don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler. It happens on the very first page, heck it happens on the blurb. So like any girl in her early twenties she falls upon her band of friends for support to get her through this difficult time.

Her friends, Liz and Audrey ply her with alcohol and good times and chorus about how much of a douche bag Noah is. Her lifelong friend Max sees this as the perfect opportunity to make Riley fall in love with him. Max has loved her since they were children but never had the chance to act on his feelings but now his time has finally come. The only problem is will Riley reciprocate those feelings?

I knew what this book was going to be before I opened the first page. This is not a bad thing. There is a strange comfort in knowing how a story is going to pan out. What I was not expecting was for this classic tale of boy/girl romantic comedy to play out before my very eyes in such a fresh and relevant way. Besse has clearly got her finger on the pulse of NA fiction. The writing was sharp, witty and fast paced. The characters were likable – especially the female characters – with believable interactions bouncing between them.

I did at times feel that the story was heavily reliant on dialogue; however that also led me to the conclusion that this story would play out really well on-screen. If this book isn’t made into a movie I think it would be a crying shame.

I, for one, cannot wait to read more of Olivia Besse’s writing.

Since Forever Ago by Olivia Besse is available now.

4 Stars

Title: The Stonehenge Letters

The Stonehenge lettersAuthor: Harry Karlinsky

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

A remarkable new novel from the Wellcome Trust longlisted author.

While digging through the Nobel Archives in Stockholm, trying to figure out why his hero, Sigmund Freud, never received a Nobel Prize, a psychiatrist makes an unusual discovery.

Among the unsolicited self-nominations in the museum’s ‘Crackpot’ file there are six letters addressed to Mr Ragnar Sohlman, executor of Alfred Nobel’s will. Remarkably, all but one has been written by a Nobel laureate – including Rudyard Kipling, Ivan Pavlov, Teddy Roosevelt and Marie Curie. Each letter attempts to explain why and how Stonehenge was constructed. Diligent research eventually uncovers that Alfred Nobel, intrigued by a young woman’s obsession with the mysterious landmark, added a secret codicil to his will:

A prize – reserved exclusively for Nobel laureates – was to be awarded to the person who can solve the mystery of Stonehenge.

Weaving together a wealth of primary documents – photos, letters, wills – The Stonehenge Letters is a wryly documented archive of a fascinating covert competition, complete with strange but illuminating submissions and a contentious prize-awarding process.

But is this fact or is this fiction?

The Review

Have you ever wondered how Stonehenge happened to become Stonehenge? This mystical circle of stones has fascinated people for as long as it records began. It is this mystery that is the forefront of Harry Karlinsky’s book The Stonehenge Letters.

The story is told from through various correspondences all linking back to Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel prizes. And what sometimes reads as a factual text is in fact a fictional interpretation of events.

Firstly, let me say I really enjoyed this book. I was fascinated by the facts that were included and intrigued by the question of Stonehenge’s existence and indeed the thought processes of the people who tried to pose possible answers to this mystery – the likes of Madame Curie and Rudyard Kipling among others. However, I did become completely discombobulated by the mixture of fact and fiction. The Stonehenge Letters reads like fact but it is fiction. You have to adjust your way of reading and accepting the information given.

Furthermore, the tenuous link to Freud seemed misplaced. Initially it is given as a bit of backs story into the research of Nobel prize nominees but it goes no further than that and could have probably been omitted without consequence to the rest of the story.

If you take this book as it is, a fictional account of a historical figure then you will find the facts and information entertaining. However, I personally feel more could have been made of this book had it been presented more like a fictional text.

The Stonehenge Letters by Harry Karlinsky is available now.

3 Stars

Animals 2Title: Animals

Author: Emma Jane Unsworth

Pages: 257 Pages

Publisher: Canongate Books

The Blurb

‘There’s no ceremony for friendship, is there? If you go ahead with this wedding then you realise that what you’re actually saying is that your friendship with me is not meaningful and durable. That,’ she sipped her wine victoriously, ‘is the logical conclusion.’

‘Believe me, if I could marry you too, Tyler, I would.’

Laura and Tyler are best friends and drinking buddies. But things are set to change. Can their friendship survive? Or will growing up mean growing apart?

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

Imagine what it would be like to have to constantly choose between your fiancé and your soul mate. This is the ever present predicament for Laura Joyce. She is engaged to Jim, dependable, clever and creative yet her best friend (and resident wild child) Tyler keeps pulling her to the dark (and arguably more fun) side.

The lifestyles chosen by Tyler and Jim couldn’t be more different and whilst Laura should be a natural balance between the both of them things just do not work out that way. When Laura is with Tyler she becomes party to a lifestyle of decadence; a Valhalla of drama, drink and drugs – all of which she overindulges in.

Then there is her life with Jim. She almost becomes a different person; Laura enjoys his stability and his assuredness; all the kind of things that Tyler despises, and she makes her feelings known.

You do get the sense that Laura feels that she is dependent on Tyler that she needs her yet as the story reaches its conclusion you realise it is the complete opposite. Tyler needs somebody, anybody really, just justify her antics. Animals shows us how friendships, even the closest say-things-with-a-look-and-finish-each-others-sentences friendships are not always the healthiest things. It also reminds us that growing up is not the harshest thing to ever happen.

Personally, I felt that Animals is a story about choices. I found myself urging Laura to make the right choice, to not go to another reckless party with Tyler or to not take any of the emotional blackmail that Jim threw her way and as the story develops we watch Laura unfold in front of us and grow into the most rational of the characters. She takes the better elements of Jim and Tyler and forms a better version of herself.

Overall, I would say this is one of the funniest books that I have read all year. I do feel that the translation of the humour comes from the fact that I identified with both Laura and Tyler due to their station in life. They both are growing older but aren’t quite sure how to actually grow up…gracefully at least. It is another literary triumph from Unsworth.

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth is available now.

Follow Emma Jane Unsworth (@emjaneunsworth) on Twitter and visit her official website www.emmajaneunsworth.com.

For further titles from Canongate Books (@canongatebooks) please visit www.canongate.tv.

5 Stars

Never Google HeartbreakTitle: Never Google Heartbreak

Author: Emma Garcia

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Bookouture

The Blurb

Never has heartbreak been so amusing… a refreshingly honest, achingly funny read for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding and Paige Toon.

When Viv’s ex-fiancé, Rob, proposed to her three months after she slept with him she thought it was one of those whirlwind romances you read about in magazines. Five years later, after Rob calling off the wedding for the third time, she has finally moved out.

As Viv passes through the three essential stages of grief (denial, vodka, disastrous haircut), she becomes determined that it’s not too late to try and get Rob back. One drunken declaration of love at an extremely inappropriate moment later, and Viv’s scruffy, tequila-swilling best friend Max is there to pick up the pieces.

Just when Viv’s starting to realise that maybe the real thing has been under her nose all along, she makes what might be the biggest mistake of her life…

Can love sneak up on us unexpected? What’s the answer to heartbreak? And what’s a girl to do when even the Internet doesn’t have the answer?

The Review

Vivienne Summers has been engaged to Rob Walters for five years….well sort of. See the thing with Rob is that he is a little bit unsure of marriage. He has already cancelled the wedding twice before and now he is doing it again for the third time. That is three weddings to cancel, three dresses to return and three times to have to pick up the pieces. Vivienne has had enough. This time she calls Rob’s bluff and walks away from him. It is ok though. She knows that once he realises what he is missing he will come crawling back to her and things will be ok again.

Imagine Vivienne’s surprise when Rob starts dating someone else. Searching for answers, Vivienne turns to the almighty oracle that is Google (seriously, what did we do before Google?) looking for ways to win back her lost love.

With a band of merry helper friends – Lucy, Christie and Max – surrounding her Vivienne’s search for the true meaning of love and heartbreak begins.

I had wanted to read this book for a long time. I admit the allure of the pretty cover was the main thing that piqued my interest. I also thought the concept of ‘Googling’ for answers on heartbreak was quite inventive. In our fast-forward society we know that most answers are a finger click away so why shouldn’t the answers to love be equally as easy to find.

I have to admit that when I first started reading the story I was extremely put off by the character Vivienne. I didn’t like the way she tried to solve her problems; she came across as needy and undignified and a little bit selfish. I couldn’t warm to her. However, as the story and the character developed I found myself growing fond of her and also a little protective. Talking to the book and begging Vivienne not to make the mistakes she was inevitably going to make.

The story and the character development made the latter half of the book all the more enjoyable. However, the book was left unresolved (obviously because of the recently released sequel OMG Baby!) and I wanted more. I wanted to be there for the dramatic ending. Instead, we the reader are left with just a little bit of hope.

One thing I definitely came away from this book wanting was an Où est Max t-shirt.

Never Google Heartbreak by Emma Garcia is available now.

Follow Emma Garcia (@EmzaGarcia) on Twitter and visit her official website www.emmagarcia.co.uk.

For more titles from Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit the official website www.bookouture.com.

3 Stars