Sunday, January 10

- Good Reads #5...

So, my 'Good Reads #4' post was back in August. I'm such a fail.

I felt like I was doing so well with getting back into reading for pleasure, rather than academic reasons. There really is something about putting your feet up, winding down and escaping into another world.

I've never been one who minds commuting, because I see it as my alone time to get lost in a good book. Prior to my current job my journey to work was around 1.5 hours but then with changing jobs and moving flat, my commute's now down to just 15 minutes - hence barely any reading time.

As I've said I thought I was doing ok before this stunt, that is until I saw end of 2015 tweets such as, 'so happy to have read 80 books this year' - *insert queasy emoji face*.

Whilst that is definitely an unreachable aim for me at the moment, I would like to get back into my routine of regularly reading - during commuting or not. I usually feature 2-3 books in these posts but this time there's just one, as it took me so long to get through. The battered cover proves how many times it's been scrambled into my bag in a hurry not to miss my train stop #NotPinterestGoals.

Remember that this 'Good Reads' series is more recommendations than reviews, and there will no spoilers. They're a topic I enjoy posting as it shows another dimension of my life compared to my other content. I also love stumbling across book recommendations on other blogs and jot them down in my mobile phone notes, rather than having to trawl through hundreds of reviews on Amazon.

'It is 1922, and in a hushed south London villa life is about to be transformed, as genteel widow Mrs Wray and her discontented daughter Frances are obliged to take in lodgers. Lillian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, bring with them gramophone music, colour, fun – and dangerous desires. The most ordinary of lives, it seems, can explode into passion and drama…'

The book featured in this post is The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. In all honesty, I very nearly gave up on this book. But boy, am I glad I didn't.

Despite being set in one of my favourite periods, 1920s London, I seemed to find this a tedious read at first. I can't even tell you why as Waters' style is faultless, I just felt a bit...bored? However, I'm not one to just give up on a book as I'd be left constantly wondering what happened in it, plus this has received such great reviews, so I stuck with it. And wow, after 100 pages or so, things dramatically changed.

It wonderfully portrays the life of women postwar and the main character, Frances, is both relatable and likeable. In fact by the end of the book, she pretty much feels like your best friend. As I've said above, I don't want to give too much away, but this suddenly switches from boring to a page-turner. It's full of surprises and mystery, and I was definitely that person gasping on the train.

Have you read this book?
I've recently discovered this is Waters' sixth novel, so I'm keen to look at her others. I received my annual Amazon gift card for Christmas from my brother, so if you have any book recommendations then please do let me know!



  1. You're really not alone, I've hardly found any time this year to read books! I've never heard of this author before but the book sounds great, plus I enjoy reading ones set in the earlier periods too as they can be very interesting :)

    Velvet Blush

  2. I know what you mean, I rarely get the time to just relax and read books, as my free time is pretty much spent on the blog. I do wanna try read a bit more this year though because I also find it relaxing & enjoyable. This sounds like a good read though, I'll keep in mind that it takes a while to get into it though x

    Beauty with charm

  3. I hope you get back into reading this year. At the moment I am reading a physics book called "Why E=MC Squared and why we should care". I am taking my time with it to be honest. I really like the sound of this book though. I'd probably get really into it after 100 pages or so. Also I haven't been on your blog in ages. I miss this place.


  4. I absolutely love book recommendations because I never know what to go for when confronted with a huge book stand. I too wish I had more time to read, it's definitely a fave hobby of mine. Love the sound of this one too, added to the "must read" list :)


  5. I miss reading, I truly do. I used to finish 2 books a week but those days are long gone. These days I barely have time to breath between family time and blogging!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  6. Errmmm... *just remembers I had a Kindle Reads series going WAY back!* I really wish I'd read more last year too. Last year was crazy hectic so I only managed to sneak in some reading time again at the end of the year. I've recently got into Donna Tartt - I started with The Secret History which is a little slow to get going, but is so worth the effort and I'm currently reading The Goldfinch which she won a Pulitzer Prize for. I never usually get hooked on authors but she's such a brilliant writer that I'm already planning which books of hers to read next after I've finished. I would highly, highly recommend them if you're after a great read! x

    Kirsty - Life in Excess

  7. Well done for not giving up, I really struggle if I'm finding a book hard work, I find I tend to either LOVE a book and cant put it down, or find it a struggle to reaad.

    Corinne x

  8. Great post :)

    Sonya Thaniya
    read my new post here :

  9. You know how much I love your book series, They totally are a favourite of mine. I haven't read this book but seems amazing, thanks for the recommendation, Karen! Btw I totally understand you, these days it's really hard to find time for reading. Have a great week, lovely! xx (:

    Ale |

  10. I know this post is all about books but I can't help but notice how pretty your teacup is! So dainty! <3

    Angelie // Ramen Nagi Review

  11. I have not read this book. Thank you for the recommendation! ;)
    Follow you on GFC #229, maybe you follow me back? ;o)
    Have a great day! ♥

    My blog "Demilla". Welcome!

  12. I love the sound of this book, never heard of this author before But I will definitely check the book out :D! I haven't found a lot of time to read this past year! hahah, but I really need to start reading a bit more! <3

    Serene | I Am Serene L

  13. This book sounds super interesting. I definitely want to give it a try.

    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  14. This sounds fab, I love a complete turn around book- that is as long as I stick with it to find out haha! I am rubbish with book reading goals, but I am really trying this year, I decided to give myself a more achievable 12 book challenge xxx