My Five Favourite April 2022 Reads

favourite

I read 15 books in April; those blog tour deadlines definitely concentrate the mind. Links from each title will take you to my full review. You can find a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2022 here.  If we’re not already friends on Goodreads, send me a friend request or follow my reviews.

The Sunken Road by Cíarán McMenamin (Vintage) – One of the books on the longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2022 but which sadly didn’t make the shortlist. Set in the trenches of France in 1915/16 and Ireland in 1922 during the Irish War of Independence, it’s not an easy read but I found it incredibly moving, immersive and utterly gripping.

The Capsarius by Simon Turney (Head of Zeus) – The first in a new series featuring Roman combat medic, Titus Cervanius. It’s an impeccably researched and thrilling journey through 25BC Egypt.  If you like full-on action, it has it. If you like historical detail, it has it. If you like a protagonist who’s not just a one dimensional character, it has it.

Mr Bunting at War by Robert Greenwood (Imperial War Museum) – The latest in the IWM’s Wartime Classics series, the book features George Bunting, businessman, husband and father, who lives a quiet life at home in Laburnam Villa in Essex, until that is the Second World War arrives in earnest. The charm of the dogged and steadfast Mr Bunting was summed up for me by the quotation: ‘He was not brilliant, nor heroic, but there was one thing he could do – endure.’

The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey (Gallic Books) – The author’s retelling of the story of Pinocchio, the wooden boy created by the carpenter Geppetto who comes to life, is as quirky and inventive as I’ve come to expect from the author. Along with brilliant touches of humour the story is accompanied by wonderful illustrations.

Fortune by Amanda Smyth (Peepal Tree Press) – Fortune is one of the four books that has made it through to the shortlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2022. For me, the triangular relationship at the heart of the book had a real The Great Gatsby vibe and just about every character is playing a game of chance, with very high stakes. Based on real events, it’s also a fascinating glimpse into an aspect of Trinidad’s history.

What were your favourites books in April? Have you read any of my picks?

My Five Favourite March 2022 Reads

favourite

I managed to get through 15 books in March. After all, it was a long month wasn’t it? Links from each title will take you to my review. You can find a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2022 here.  If we’re not already friends on Goodreads, send me a friend request or follow my reviews.

A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy (Head of Zeus) Set at the end of the 9th century, the book immerses you in the heat of battle or one-on-one combat so you feel every thud of axe or sword upon shield.

Lean On Me by Serge Joncour (Gallic Books) – Set in modern day Paris, it’s an intimate, tender love story which feels absolutely authentic.

The Woman with the Map by Jan Casey (Aria) – The story of Joyce whose experiences during the Second World War have led her to lead a solitary, self-contained existence, reluctant to get close to anyone for fear they may disappear from her life. One of the most moving books I’ve read for a long time.

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu (Wildfire) – A multi-generational saga that provides an insight into China’s rich culture and takes the reader on an emotional journey through a turbulent period of Chinese history.

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay (Head of Zeus) – A a supremely well-crafted, totally absorbing and deliciously twisty crime thriller.

What books were your favourites in March? Have you read any of my picks?