8 Books You Need To Read This Month

January brings a lot of stress with it. We start on the high of a new year, determined to up our game in every aspect of our lives, vow to go to the gym every morning at 6am, promise to stop spending money on frivolous things, make a point to spend more time travelling and less time moaning. We tire of these new resolutions quicker than we thought, forgetting the whole reason we decided to overhaul our lives in the first place. 

We start back to work. We take down the Christmas decorations. We mark pay day with a bright red circle on our calendars, sometimes going so far as to download a countdown app on our phones until the day comes that we finally have a sustainable amount of money in our accounts again after the Christmas spending spree. 

The resolutions begin to dwindle and we’re back to reality. Stressful, bright, joyful or dull, whatever your reality feels to you, there’s one sure fire way to boost your mood, bring you comfort or add a little excitement to your life again. One thing that won’t drain your bank account thanks to increasingly accessible deals and promotions. It’s the one resolution you’ll never have to worry about maintaining. Reading. 

Buying a new book is never a purchase you’ll regret. Losing yourself in the story and the characters, that’s something you can’t put a price on. When you’re having a hard day, longing for an escape, forget searching cheap flights, trust in the pages of your book to give you an escape that no amount of ‘holidaying’ could ever provide. So while the wind is blowing, the rain hammering and the temperatures dropping cosy up with these books all January long and January blues will seem a totally foreign concept to you.

A Cat, A Man, And Two Women By Junichiro Tanizaki

Note From Cecelia:

“Junichiro Tanizaki - one of Japan’s greatest writers.

In this book, Lily, a cat, becomes the focus of a struggle between two women and a man; a husband who has left one woman for another.”

About The Book

Shinako has been ousted from her marriage by her husband Shozo and his younger lover Fukuko. She’s lost everything: her home, status, and respectability. Yet the only thing she longs for is Lily, the elegant tortoiseshell cat she shared with her husband. As Shinako pleads for Lily’s return, Shozo’s reluctance to part with the cat reveals his true affections, and the lengths he’ll go to hold onto the one he loves most.

A small masterpiece, A Cat, a Man, and Two Women is a novel about loneliness, love, and companionship of the most unexpected kind. In this story of Japanese society and manners, Tanizaki gives us a perfectly-formed oddball comedy, and a love triangle in which the only real rival is feline.

The Invisible Life Of Euridice Gusmao By Martha Batalha

Note From Cecelia:

“Written originally in Portuguese, it tells the story of Euridice, a talented woman living in 1940s Rio de Janeiro who gives up her dreams, to follow society's expectations of being a loving wife and mother, as is expected of all women.”

About The Book

Euridice is young, bright and ambitious. A talented musician, she dreams only of fame and fortune. But this is Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s, and the one thing society expects of its women: to be loving wives and mothers. So when her rebellious sister Guida elopes, breaking her parents’ hearts, Euridice sacrifices her own aspirations to marry conventional Antenor, spending her days ironing his shirts and removing the lumps of onion from his food. As his professional success grows, so does her feeling of restlessness. Throwing convention to the wind, the irrepressible Euridice dreams up an array of creative ventures to escape her humdrum family life, to the distress of her tradition-loving husband. And then one day the free-spirited Guida suddenly reappears, and together the two sisters set about forging their own paths in life.

With a cast of unforgettable characters, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a darkly comic novel from one of the most exciting new voices in world literature.

The Temptation To Be Happy By Lorenzo Marone

Note From Cecelia:

“The Temptation to Be Happy by Lorenzo Marone, written originally in Italian it’s about a seventy year old widower and trouble maker named Cesare who lived a life by its rule but discovers a new purpose.” 

About The Book

Cesare is a seventy-seven-year-old widower and cynical troublemaker. He has lived his whole life by his own rules and has no intention of changing now. Aside from an intermittent fling with a nurse called Rossana, he spends his days avoiding the old cat lady next door and screening calls from his children.

But when the enigmatic Emma moves in next door with her strange and sinister husband, Cesare suspects there is more to their relationship than meets the eye. He enlists the other residents to help him investigate and soon discovers a new and unexpected sense of purpose that leads him to risk everything for a future he had never thought possible.

Laced with humour and pathos in equal measure, this is a delightful book to savour, for young and old alike.

Moonrise By Sarah Crossan

Note From Cecelia:

“The first book I read by Sarah Crossan was “One” just last year, and it quickly became one of my favourite novels. She is an incredibly talented writer who writes in verse. If you havent read it, add it to your list.”

About The Book

They think I hurt someone. But I didn't. You hear?Cos people are gonna be telling you all kinds of lies.I need you to know the truth.

Joe hasn't seen his brother for ten years, and it's for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row.

But now Ed's execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think …

From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

Good Me, Bad Me By Ali Land

Note From Cecelia:

“If you’re looking for fresh, original, unique psychological suspense, I highly recommend "Good Me, Bad Me”

About The Book

When Annie hands her mother over to the police she hopes for a new start in life - but can we ever escape our past?


Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way Annie can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

With a new foster family and a new name - Milly - she hopes for a fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But as her mother's trial looms, the secrets of Milly's past won't let her sleep…

Because Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water…

A Perfect Crime By A Yi

Note From Cecelia:

“This novel is in a category of it’s own (the best kind of story) so I’m not going to pigeon hole it, but it’s a story about crime told from the perspective of a murderer and I think it’s excellent.”

About The Book

On a normal day in provincial China, a bored high-school student goes about his regular business. But he’s planning the brutal murder of his only friend, a talented violinist. He invites her round, strangles her, stuffs her body into a washing machine and flees town. On the run, he is initially anxious, but soon he alerts the police to his whereabouts, surrenders to undercover agents in a pool bar, and sabotages all efforts by China’s judiciary system, a steady stream of psychologists and his family to overturn the death penalty, all without ever showing a shred of remorse.

A PERFECT CRIME is both a vision of China’s heart of darkness – the despair that traps the rural poor and the incoherent rage lurking behind their phlegmatic front – and a technically brilliant excursion into the claustrophobic realm of classic horror and suspense.

Perfect By Cecelia Ahern

This month sees the release of the Perfect paperback. Complete with a beautifully bright cover, there’s no better way to shake off the dark winter evenings than by immersing yourself in Cecelia Ahern’s thrilling, shocking and romantic sequel to the bestselling YA debut FLAWED.

About The Book

When we embrace all our flaws, that’s when we can finally become PERFECT…

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured – all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with the complicated, powerfully attractive Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret – one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save only herself, or risk her life to save all the Flawed. And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed…?

To hear an audio excerpt from the book, find out more about the inspiration behind the book or to pre-order Perfect paperback, click here. 

Flawed By Cecelia Ahern

If you’re going to embrace Perfect, you may as well start from the very beginning of Celestine North’s perfect life and get stuck into reading Flawed. Sit back and get lost in the society depicted by Cecelia Ahern, one in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. 

About The Book

The stunning YA debut from internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And when one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

To hear an audio excerpt from the book, find out more about the inspiration behind the book or to purchase Flawed, click here.

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