11th September 2020
Winter Reading Challenge: Personal Recommendations
To close out the Winter Reading Challenge, we’re challenging our readers to read a book recommended by a fellow WRC reader.
If you’ve ever read a book you’ve so desperately wanted other people to read, this is your time to shine. Let us know what you would recommend here. We give you full permission to rant about the books that mean the most to you!
With that being said, here are some personal recommendations from us, the Winter Reading Challenge team.
Black Iris by Elliot Wake (formerly Leah Reader)
I love this book because it is so beautiful and lush. This is one of those books that you want to savour, lingering over the words and the pictures they paint. Not only is it beautiful but the story is gripping and the characters are complex..
The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
Often with fantasy you have to either sacrifice good characters for great worldbuilding, or vice versa, but this book shows you that you can have both. The concept of the world is so simple but the way you discover things about it over the course of the novel feels so organic and interesting. The characters and world are steeped in tragedy, creating a mix of fantasy and emotional elements that I just love so much.
Who killed Angelique? by Emma Darcy
A book series by Emma Darcy beginning with this book. This is a murder mystery artfully written through the different perspectives of each main character (and potential murderer!). K.C Gordan, an intelligent romance novelist who continues to find herself involved in murder throughout the different books, is the only outsider. Excerpts from the murder’s perspective are presented throughout the book, leaving the reader guessing which perspective they belong to. I personally enjoy these murder myseteries as they aren’t conventionally gruesome or dark and are moreso like a puzzle. Also, they are written in àn Australian setting so it’s easy to picture it all!
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
An absolutely amazing book by Karen Joy Fowler, also one with a crazy twist. This book is personally very dear to me as it changed my perspective on a lot of things. It made me rethink what I know and question my own philosophy. In saying all that, it’s not all philosophical or dark, this fictitious book walks us through Rosemary’s life; a student trying to adjust to adulthood, still confused with her childhood. If not now, do put this book on your reading list for later!
The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
This book courses with so much raw energy — It’s confronting and brutal but also colourfully vibrant. The style and language is vivid and punchy and I loved the tidbits of Dominican history and geeky references. Back when I had read it, I had been stuck in a bit of a reading rut but this had jolted me right out of it.
Perhaps my favourite YA novel ever!! Heist plots are notoriously hard to pull off and this book does so brilliantly. I also loved the rich worldbuilding and magic system. But really it was the characters who stole my heart, they’re all so wonderfully messed up and complex. It was a joy to witness these characters develop bonds with each other over the course of the book — I’m also a sucker for a good found family trope. Be warned though this book does not shy away from gritty violence and dark themes, it will have you squirming uncomfortably in your seat.