2015/2016 I hit a block in my reading road. No matter how many books I started I just couldn't get past half way through. During phases like this, my go to pull cord to kickstart my page mowing is the Harry Potter series, hence having read it right through around 5/6 times... but I had to stop myself.
Therefore I simply gave up for a while.
That is until Dad and I were on our charity walk in Kielder and before going to bed, after our first day of walking, I decided to borrow a random book from the hotel bookshelves to unwind before bed. I am one of those people that judges a book by the cover (don't even tell me you haven't) and so chose this particular book due to the colour of it and the crow on the spine.
When I got it to the room and read the blurb thats when it got a little weird. It was about a man who was walking the length of the UK. The first chapter was even weirder - he was walking to Berwick Upon Tweed, my hometown. It's not a big, popular or even well known town so I was enthralled.
Of course, I didn't read much of it as I had to go to sleep but I knew I was super interested and so bought it from a second-hand book charity as soon as I got home. That book is the first one I managed to complete in well over a year.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
And this is said book! Not only did it rescue me from my book drought, but it was also a fantastic story so will now forever have a place in my heart.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was Joyce's first novel, released in 2012, and won a few awards - so it's not just me who thinks that it's really well written and interesting. It centers around, you guessed it, Harold Fry a pensioner who receives a random letter from an old friend which spurs him on to deliver his reply by hand...in order to save her life. It was no short walk though as he lived in Devon and Berwick is at the opposite end of England, 627 miles of walking away! He meets some super interesting people along the way and it ends in no way that I could have expected. So thought provoking, heartfelt and adventurous. Even better that I could properly picture many of the Northern places as I've been myself!
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
Rachel Joyce ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Yes, this is another Joyce novel, the opposing point of view during the same timeline as the above book in fact. In my opinion, it is a must to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry first to fully appreciate this story...however, I can't say if it makes sense as a stand alone piece due to having already read it's predecessor.
As I said this is written from the opposite point of view, that being of the lady Harold is walking to - Queenie Hennessy. It explains a lot more of their relationship, her earlier life as well as what she faces, day to day, in the hospice. If you read and enjoy the first, you are bound to appreciate this too.
The Coming of the Fairies
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is something I have wanted to read for many, many years. I am a huge fan of fairies and do indeed believe in their existence so this was a must-read for me. If you have heard of, or seen Fairytale The Movie you will understand this book a little more, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle discusses his experience with the girls and what may or not be their meetings with the Cottingley Faries.
I found it a little difficult read due to its time of writing and style, though extremely interesting and loved following the events in which unfolded down to two young girls 'imagination'.
Unlike ACD's more popular titles, this definitely more suited to those interested more in the subject than the author.
A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale
Liz Braswell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Did any Disney fan not read at least one Liz Braswell Twisted Tale last year? I own all the TTs available yet because I don't make a conscious effort to read enough, I only managed to get through this one. It was fantastic, though. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it still felt Disney while being darker and more adventurous - completely answering its tag line of 'What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?' in a detailed and crazy way. Another real page turner, I'm looking forward to getting around to my other Braswell books.
Yep, that's it! Some people read this amount or more in a week but oh well, it took me 6 months to complete these 4, but I never seemed to have the time to read minus bedtime...and then I would fall asleep. I also know that I have no talent whatsoever for describing books haha but at least I know what I'm on about.
I have set myself the goal of 10 books this year and have made a Goodreads account to spur me on. It seems to have helped as at the time of this post going up I have completed two and am well on my way with another two :)
Feel free to leave links to your similar blog posts or tell me any recommendations you have for me!