Books to Read #1

Photo by me.
Photo by me.

Autumn. Tangerine and maroon coloured leaves flood the streets, the air begins to pierce your skin and the rain thuds hard against your window screaming to be let in. In times like these, I crave for nothing more than to curl in bed with a hot brew in hand and an interesting book to dive into.

So, I’ve decided to pick out three book that I’ve enjoyed reading recently and recommend them to you guys in case you’re looking for something new to read this chilly season.

  1. Elizabeth Is Missing
Photo by me. Elizabeth is missing - Emma Healey
Photo by me. Elizabeth is missing – Emma Healey

This is a heartwarming but at times frustrating tale of an 82-year-old woman living with dementia who is trying to solve a mystery. I say frustrating because of the struggle Maud, the protagonist, faces every day in trying to remember and of the frustration she herself faces in trying to make sense of her life and of the countless notes she has in her pocket and around her house telling her things she cannot understand.

It’s a book that is set in the present time, but the storytelling is composed of flashbacks that retell the story of a young Maud living with her family and of her sister, Sukey, who suddenly disappears. The story of Maud’s past intersects with her current life as she believes her current best friend, Elizabeth, is missing. At least, that’s what her notes tell her. However, no one seems to believe Maud, not her daughter nor Elizabeth’s own son. The clues she finds along the way seem to help her to resolve her sister’s disappearance instead of Elizabeth’s.

Emma Healey, the author, writes beautifully and makes it a thrilling and captivating read. The story can get confusing because of the constant time changes, but I think they’re all intentional in trying to make us feel psychologically disorientated just like poor old Maud. It was a book that I finished in a couple of days because I just couldn’t put it down.

2.  The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The lost art of keeping secrets - Eva Rice
The lost art of keeping secrets – Eva Rice

This second book is a funny, sometimes awkward, and mysterious tale of Penelope, an 18-year-old girl who lives in an old manor house with her beautifully glamorous mother and brother who is obsessed with America, and who meets Charlotte, a flamboyant and outgoing character who happens to spark a meaning in Penelope’s currently dull and boring life.

The story is set in 1950’s England, and is beautifully written with rich descriptions and captivating details that make this an enjoyable read.

After finishing this book, I decided to leave it on the tube for someone else to read. On the front page, I wrote a little message trying to encourage whoever found it, to leave books on the tube as well with the hashtag #FoundFreeBookOnTube. But no luck. Couldn’t find anything on social media to relate back to this book. But I’ll keep trying!

3.  Pigeon English

Pigeon English - Stephen Kelmen
Pigeon English – Stephen Kelmen

This book is absolutely bo-stylez, let’s start with that. It’s the story of an 11-year-old Ghanian boy called Harrison Opoku, or Harri, who lives on a council estate in a rough area of London with his mother and sister. The story is written in his point of view, and is one the funniest and most good-natured narrations I have come across. Advise yourself!

The story begins with a crime scene, a young boy was stabbed to death, and throughout the story, Harri and his best friend Dean try to find out who killed him. Harri is such an innocent character who faces bullying, violence and harassment for the first time in his life and tries to deal with it in such a naive and pure way that makes you smile.

This is Stephen Kelmen’s first novel and is brilliant in orchestrating humour within dark and distressing situations. The narration is written in broken English, as Harri tries to learn the lingo whilst trying to absorb the strange elements of city life. His love for Haribo and his passion for becoming the fastest kid in school with the new trainers his mum bought him from a charity shop just add to the innocence of his character. However, as the story progresses so do the twists and turns and your emotions become a mess, that when you reach the end of the book, I’m sure you’ll cry a river.


I’d love to hear if you guys have read any of these books before and if you’ve liked them as much as I did. What other books do you recommend this autumn?

Laila xo


9 thoughts on “Books to Read #1

  1. Great post hun! I read and met Stephen Kelman in my first week of University – I can’t say I enjoyed his book so much but I understand why it is so important. I thought some of the more explicit moments weren’t appropriate and I never got the Pigeon! It’s really well-written though 🙂 I have to pick up the other two soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Ellie! I never understood the point of the pigeon either actually, hmm. Stephen Kelman came to give a talk at my university too, but was so busy I never got to go and meet him. I hope you enjoy the other reads though! x


  2. Love this post! I read quite a lot, but somehow haven’t gotten around to reading any of these! I’ve wanted to read Elizabeth is Missing for a while now, and this post has definitely convinced me to get hold of a copy as soon as I can 🙂


    Lucy //


  3. I haven’t actually read any of these books! I love reading but it feels like I haven’t got any time recently to sit down and enjoy my book. I really need to make time! Will definitely be checking these out. I also love that you left the book on the train, haha. That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂



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