Five isolation must reads and why I love real books

As much as Kindles are very useful for travelling around, I have to say there’s nothing better than holding a book in your hands. Smelling fresh pages. Turning back to re-reference a moment or re-read elements in shock or delight at what the characters are experiencing.

I’ve been patiently waiting to have a beautiful bookshelf in my life. Filling it with stories, colours, facts, fiction, books of different weights and lengths and admiring it across the room is something I actually think about before bed. You could say it was a dream. So, whilst we’re in lock down, I’m day dreaming about sexy bookcases and trying to read the books I didn’t ever get around to before I get the urge to buy any more.

Like myself, some of us are finding we have a little more time on our hands, or just genuinely rediscovering the joy of reading. Guys, there’s never been a better time to grab a book.

With that in mind here’s five books that I have very much enjoyed reading, some more recently than others, that I think you’ll enjoy too. I’ve categorised them into more descriptive categories to make choosing a genre slightly different. Enjoy, bookworms. 

The family upstairs book cover

A page turning mystery 

The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell

I read this in like one day during isolation the other week. Once you get into it, it’s really addictive. Written from a number of perspectives and with a range of time periods, the author, Lisa Jewell, pulls you through a twisted tale of a ‘moment’ in a household back in the early 90s. As the story unfolds you can start to guess, unpick and identify what really happened. I was hooked, I find it really hard to put books like this down as I just want to know what happened haha.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Jane green falling book cover, orange and blue

A cheeky romance

Falling, Jane Green

Escaping from New York City, the female protagonist, Emma, decided to completely change her life. She finds herself a beach cottage which she’s keen to re-design and decorate, with the landlord’s permission. The cottage however gives her more excitement than she bargained for, as she quickly falls for her charming landlord and single dad, Dominic. Their romantic journey, as all do, comes with highs and lows and you gain insights into the couple’s very different backgrounds. I really enjoyed the heart-warming nature of this book, the characters were realistic and the author, Jane Green, keeps you hooked in throughout the happy love story. That is until the end. I’ll say no more. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A guilty pleasure

Maestra, L.S Hilton 

I picked up Maestra in a charity shop before I went away last August, predicting a “Mr Grey’ type storyline given the way it had been pitched online and in reviews. Maestra is SO much more than that. It’s a thriller, sex, mystery combo which I did not expect at all. Our main character, Judith, sick of working with ‘snooty’ colleagues at an art auction house, finds herself as hostess of a fancy club in London. Before she knows it, she’s embroiled in fraud, insider trading and a life in the South of France she could never have foreseen. There are some great filthy chapters (hence the Grey references), but otherwise there’s a real plot line and I’m looking forward to reading ‘Domina’ and ‘Ultima’, the two additions to the trilogy. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A heartwarming giggle

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Balli Kaur Jaswal 

Tired of her father’s demands for a stable career, Nikki takes on a creative writing class for women at her local temple. After a few sessions, it’s clear that Nikki’s lesson plans aren’t being appreciated and the women start to take the sessions down their own paths, exploring ideals, sexualities and fantasy – topics Nikki had NOT expected to come up at all. This story explores tradition, religion, cultural clashes and sexuality in a way that you’d never expect. Heart-warming, interesting and so funny at times, it’s a great book and I honestly loved it. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Personal view of a book, reading on the bed
Sadly I don’t have photos of the other books as they’re in storage elsewhere.

An uplift 

Everything I know about love, Dolly Alderton

With stories from her teenage years and twenties, covering love from every angle, Dolly’s memoir makes you feel that you’re a normal person. No matter your emotional highs and lows over the years, it’s likely that Dolly has experienced something similar and written about it in this book. From front to back, this memoir gives you the authentic truth and hope you need in early adulthood. An easy, yet entertaining read, which I thoroughly recommend you get to over the coming weeks if you haven’t done so already. Now is the time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Let me know what you thought of these books? What are your recommendations to share?

Sarah xx

big orange W

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From guilty pleasures and cheeky widows to uplifting memoirs. Here's some must reads for isolation at the moment.

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  1. Opi Ger
    May 1, 2020 / 8:39 am

    Good morning Sarah (Thijs)πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
    Sorry I don’t like readingπŸ˜‚πŸ˜… biking and motorbiking that’s my life.
    But I like too read your blog.
    Verder nog een fijne dag.
    xx Opi

    • Sarah
      May 1, 2020 / 10:07 am

      Hey Opi – glad you like it. hopefully the new colour scheme too? oranje is perfect for dutch followers! xx

  2. May 1, 2020 / 8:39 pm

    These all seem like great isolation reads I really want to read The Family Upstairs it sounds like such a great book!

    • Sarah
      May 2, 2020 / 11:44 am

      It’s honestly so good, I read it in like 22 hours haha! Also, “when she was gone” by the same author is also a good page turner too!!

  3. May 2, 2020 / 11:40 am

    Great post! I loooove a real book, but moved over to the dark side and got a KOBO for my birthday last month. Basically I read multiple books at once for some strange reason so it’s much better for my back if my rucksack isn’t full to the brim with paperbacks. Can’t beat the smell of a fresh book though, it’s one of my favourites. I’m so intrigued by The Family Upstairs that it’s being popped into my Bol basket as we speak haha. I couldn’t get through Maestra. I loved it until about 100 pages in and then I lost interest for some reason :(.

    • Sarah
      May 2, 2020 / 11:45 am

      haha do you read fiction and non-fiction or more than one story?! Yeah I totally understand, for moving around an e-reader is so great, I used mine in London for years for that exact reason. Plus sometimes the books are cheaper aren’t they haha! Ohh I weirdly LOVED maestra, I definitely appreciated all those ad hoc naughty parts hahaha

      • Simone
        May 2, 2020 / 12:06 pm

        I’m not gonna lie, the naughty parts in Maestra were totally my favourite parts and I loved it for that lol, I think I just found the plot so OTT??? that I was like ‘reeeeeaaaallllly’ lol. Ok just looked up The Family Upstairs and it doesn’t have an ebook version so that’s cool xD. Yeah they’re always cheaper, which is perfect. Erm it can be two stories or a non-fiction plus fiction. Unless I’m so into the book that I just power through it.

        • Sarah
          May 2, 2020 / 12:08 pm

          Hahah riiiight, was totally on board with the Mr Grey-ish bits. YES the plot was so OTT wasn’t it haha. I do fancy the next one though, DEFO a guilty pleasure. Ohh it doesn’t, well when I’m allowed to come back the Netherlands I’ll bring it over for you πŸ™‚

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