As enthusiastic as I was about starting a blog back in June, I have to admit that after the initial excitement it kind of fell by the wayside. 2020 was a bit of a strange year for creative endeavours, because on one hand I had more time and a lot of drive to create – mostly to distract myself from all the doom and gloom. On the other hand, there were so many horrible and pressing matters at the forefront of my mind, and they took up a lot of energy and space. In the end that meant that there were spans were I was more creative than ever, but also long spans of time where I ended up not doing anything at all. I did, however, read a lot of books, and here are some of my favourites:
The Humans by Matt Haig
An absolute must read for anyone who’s ever had a disassociative episode! The Humans tells the story of an alien, who must pass as a human – and slowly starts to unravel the mystery that is Earth and its inhabitants. When I read this book, I was right in the middle of my worst ever mental health episode, and this novel was like looking in the mirror for me. It was a tough read at the time, but left me ultimately feeling better and much more hopeful. Can’t recommend it enough!
Radio by J. Rushing
Radio was the only book I actually managed to write a review for in 2020, so that should tell you how much I liked it. It’s an incredibly unique mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, throwing in some mythology, the roaring 20s, Jazz music and Paris. After the other gods stage a coup and take over his invention, Marduk will stop at nothing to recover his precious masterpiece – A Radio that can broadcast the god’s manipulations across the entire globe!
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
I have to admit I am a sucker for period dramas and all things history. The Familiars – which is Halls’ debut novel, btw! – is a wonderfully refreshing take on the genre. It is set during the Witch Trials of Lancaster in the early 17th century. Our pregnant heroine, Fleetwood Shuttleworth, finds a letter that predicts that she will die in child birth. Desperate, she turns to a local wise woman for help – who soon gets embroiled in a local witch hunt of unprecedented proportions. Unlike a lot of other period pieces, The Familiars does not shy away from accurately portraying the time period – even the parts that leave a sour aftertaste to the modern reader.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
The writing style of this novel is incredibly unique, and I found it impossible to put it down. It tells the story of the Soria family, who have the ability to perform miracles. These miracles, however, are not what you might expect. The main characters are the three youngest cousins of the family, each of them in need of their own miracle without realising it. It’s a fantastic read about self-improvement, the power of inner demons and the work that is required to find out who you truly are!
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
The Vine Witch has an incredibly unique take on witchcraft, one that I have never seen before. The vinyards of France depend on Vine Witches to create their world famous vintages. Elena Boureanu is one of them, and she bears her title with pride – that is, until she falls victim to a malicious curse. When she returns, her precious vinyard has been sold to a stranger from the city, who doesn’t believe in witchcraft and other superstitious hocuspocus – and even worse, it is riddled in curses. Can Elena save her home and find out who cursed her all these years ago?