Sunday Shelf Vol. 6

Half-Year Reading Roundup

As of 30th June 2021 (how have we reached the second half of the year already?) I’ve read 25 books since New Year’s Day. I’m an avid reader, as regulars to the blog will recognise, but for the last three years my book total per year has stalled around 35 titles for the whole year. Therefore, I’m pretty impressed to have reached 25 by the end of June! Here are the 25, linked where possible with affiliate links to bookshop.org (a brilliant site which supports independent bookshops across the UK – if you make a purchase from one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

  1. The Truths We Hold, by Vice-President Kamala Harris
  2. milk and honey, by Rupi Kaur
    • I’m not usually one to go for poetry, but I was drawn in the by the hype around this book (albeit quite a bit late to the party!) And yet I found it to be a capital-s Something kind of read. So much of it spoke to me deeply, and made the whole book feel like a warm tealight glow on a dark day.
  3. As Old as Time: A Twisted Tale, by Liz Braswell
  4. No Such Thing As Normal, by Bryony Gordon
  5. The Diary of a Bookseller, by Shaun Bythell
  6. The Astounding Broccoli Boy, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  7. How to be Champion, by Sarah Millican
  8. The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Q. Raúf
  9. Zikora, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  10. Closing the Reading Gap, by Alex Quigley
  11. 1984, by George Orwell
    • This was my second time reading 1984, and it still had me totally gripped. I had the same visceral shock reaction to a huge plot twist, that I felt the first time around. Once again I was lulled into the same false sense of security. It’s a powerful, thought-provoking read for sure.
  12. The Rules of Modern Policing, by Guy Adams/DCI Gene Hunt
  13. The Future of Modern Policing, by Guy Adams/DCI Gene Hunt
    • This and the above were complete impulse buys, in the wake of binge-watching both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes in quick succession. But I have no regrets, both were short, quick reads that made it impossible to keep a straight face.
  14. The Queen’s Gambit, by Walter Tevis
    • Yes, I watched the Netflix series first… But reading the book felt even more intimately wonderful. This book made me want to play the kind of chess that the main character plays – a game that can be elegant, sophisticated and effortlessly intelligent. [I cannot play good chess, in the least.]
  15. The Little Village School, by Gervase Phinn
  16. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark
  17. Pizazz, by Sophy Henn
  18. Pages and Co: Tilly and the Bookwanders, by Anna James
  19. Meet Me at the Museum, By Anne Youngson
  20. Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  21. Bloom: The Surprising Seeds of Sorrell Fallowfield, by Nicola Skinner
  22. The Wages of Sin, by Kaite Welsh
  23. A Girl Called Justice, by Elly Griffiths
  24. On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
  25. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle
    • An absolute classic, that surprised me with how accessible and easy-to-read it was, considering it was first published in 1902! I love the energy between Holmes and Watson – it’s honestly a delight to read alongside wrapping your head around the mystery at hand.

The summer holidays are approaching rapidly. Hopefully so are more immersive reads!

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