1. Over the Rainbow by Paul Pickering
I read this book on my holiday in Lisbon earlier this year and literally could not put it down. I can't quite put my finger on what made me so interested in the characters, but I was totally caught up in their lives. The book starts with 'I'm afraid you cannot buy a drink, Monsieur... you cannot buy a drink in this club unless you're dead.' -GENIUS!! Over the Rainbow is set in 2009 in Afghanistan and follows American aid pilot Malone as he offers to fly the beautiful and mysterious Fatima Hamza out of Kabul to Bamiyan. He gets drawn into her life and her quest to to find out more about the country she is from, and starts to develop feelings for her. Meanwhile his wife, a medic, is kidnapped by the Taliban on the road to Kandahar. This book was unlike anything I'd read before, but it still sticks with me. This one is highly recommended!
2. The Revenant of Thraxton Hall
by Vaughn Entwistle
This book features Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde as its main characters. The book starts just after Arthur has killed off Sherlock Holmes and he has become perhaps the most hated man in London. He is called to the house of a well-known medium and asked to investigate a murder- mostly a murder that hasn't happened yet- and the victim is the medium, the beautiful Hope Thraxton. She predicts that her murder will take place during the third seance at the meeting of the Society for Psychical Research at her manor house in the English countryside. Arthur Conan Doyle agrees to attend and brings along his friend Oscar Wilde.
This book was a real page turner and had the feeling of a great Agatha Christie novel, mixed with Victorian drama. I loved the characters who were all sinister and just a little odd. It was definitely one of the best books I've ever read.
3. The List by Joanna Bolouri
This book is probably considered chick-lit, but I don't think the stigma that comes with this genre does this book justice. I loved it. It was funny, and had the vibe of a really good friend telling you about her embarrassing night out on the weekend- the sort of story where you're cringing and laughing at the same time. The main character is Phoebe Henderson, newly single after finding her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman. To take back control of her life, she writes up a New Years' Resolution list- 10 things she always wanted to do in bed but never had the courage to do. The concept seems set up for embarrassing experiences and boy does it deliver! By the end of the book, I felt like Phoebe was one of my best friends and genuinely cared about what was happening to her. If you need a book to lighten the mood and give you some laughs, then this is the perfect book.
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