The Iggy & Burt team have got together to collect what our favourite reads of the last month were. If you follow us on Instagram you may already know what we planned to read over Christmas, but for those of you who don’t, here are the books, that if you haven’t done so are well worth a read:
Educated By Tara Westover
This book was everywhere in 2018, but we only got around to it at the end of the year, but it was well worth the wait.
Tara Westover’s memoir centres on her life growing up in Idaho, born to Mormon Fundamentalist parents and the youngest of 7 children. Her Father acted as a sort of Prophet to the family preaching about the end of the world and Government conspiracies.
As a result, Westover doesn’t set foot inside a classroom until she is 17. Rather than attending the local school, her job was to stew herbs for her mother or work on the junkyard for her father.
Westover describes her extreme upbringing along with the everyday dangers she and her siblings faced, which was continually trivialised by their parents. Rather than being a book about her struggle to move up in the world and educate herself, it is more of a story of abuse, manipulation and the slow unravelling of her relationship with her family.
It is the search to find her voice and identity amongst those she has known her whole life and the alienation she felt from everyone else. She doesn’t demonise her parents or siblings and paint a picture of good versus bad, but rather humans that fall into neither camp.
Throughout the book you feel her love, disappointment and hate for herself and her family. It is a captivating read that is incredibly hard to put down.
Buy now, World of Books £13.99
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China By Jung Chang
This book is perfect for a holiday read, it’s thick enough that a few days off really allows you to get stuck in. Huge in the early 1990’s Wild Swans for many was an insight into life under the Chinese Communist Party
Spanning three generations of women in twentieth century China, Chang blends an intimate memoir with deeply researched Chinese history. This best seller was translated into thirty languages and sold over 10 million copies worldwide but banned in mainland China.
An inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives of her family members.
Her Grandmother had her feet bound and was sold as a concubine, her parents were members of the Communist Elite. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures this moving and uplifting tale that details violence and love.
Buy Now, World of Books £4.99
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
For those who loved Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient this is definitely the next book to read.
Sally Thorne brings us the love-hate relationship between Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. Lucy is charming, accommodating and values being liked by everyone in her office.
Everyone that is except Joshua Templeman, who is always impeccably attired, efficient and physically intimidating.
Problem is they share an office together for 50 hours a week, where they become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when there’s a new promotion up for grabs.
Refreshing, fun and entertaining The Hating Game is a light hearted must-read romantic comedy.
Buy Now, World of Books £5.99
The New Me by Halle Butler
Millie, is thirty years old and cannot pull her life together. A biting satire that it both darkly funny and devasting that looks into a young woman’s unsatisfied mind.
Misanthropic and morose she spends her days at thankless temp job until she returns to an empty apartment, where she swings between self-recrimination and mild delusion, fixating on all the ways she might change her life. Followed by watching TV until she drops off to sleep, and the cycle begins again.
A quick read, it’s a blistering portrayal of a privileged young woman who is lonely and depressed to the point of self-destruction.
Buy Now, Amazon £6.47
Bel Canto By Anne Patchett
Based very loosely on true events in Peru on 1996, when rebels raided a party at the Japenese ambassador’s residence and took hundreds of civilians hostage.
Set in an unnamed South American nation, the famous Opera singer Roxanne Cross has been invited to perform at a private gathering. In the opening sequence, the kidnappers realise that the president decided to stay home.
Among the hostages are Russian, Italian, French diplomats. Days stretched to weeks and then to months, with no common language except for music. The 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds.
Buy Now, World of Books, £2.99
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Toby Fleishman is in his forties and undergoing a bitter divorce from his wife, who left him and his children, vanishing to a yoga retreat.
Suddenly Toby is surrounded by women who want him: women who are smart and funny and accessible by just a swipe in an app. Juggling his new life of part time Dad and serial dater, Toby welcomes the change from harried unloved husband.
That is until his ex-wife suddenly disappears. Either on a vision quest or a nervous breakdown, Toby doesn’t know. As he desperately searches for her whilst juggling the kids and is job, Toby is forced to face up to the real reasons his marriage fell apart and face-up to the fact that the story he has been telling himself may not be the truth.
Buy Now, World of Books £9.99