Recent Reads, TBR and Book Haul!

Hey everyone! Recently I realised that my byline for CoffeeeAndCream is baking, books and everything in between, yet I have never actually published a full post centred around books – which is weird because I have always loved to read. That’s why today I am bringing you a HUGE post on everything reading related.

I fell out of love with reading for a little while because I didn’t really have time to sit down to do it and I didn’t have anything I desperately wanted to read, but the other week I went out with one of my friends to some charity shops as we like to do sometimes, and we ended up discovering this amazing second hand book shop called Keats and Chapman which could be referenced the Aladdin’s cave of the book world as there are so many hidden gems in there for such affordable prices!

There are honestly so many gorgeous hidden book stores in Belfast and Northern Ireland overall, so I am planning to do a rundown of all of the best ones soon – stay tuned for that!

Bookish Buys

I ended up purchasing five books when I was out and another one off Amazon.

The Fault in Our Stars

I feel like everyone and their mother has heard of this best seller by John Green; and even non-readers have read this, which is why I decided to purchase it even though the hype has died down on it. When it came out I watched the movie starting Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (who had previously played brother and sister in Divergent?!) and fell in love with it. I loved the cynical attitude and humour of Hazel Grace as she suffered with Cancer, and how the story followed her falling in love with Augustus Waters as he manages to change her perspective on life. I’m excited to read the book and experience John Green’s writing style as I haven’t actually read any of his work before.

Gone Girl

This is another well known book that has been adapted into a movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, however I haven’t actually seen it. Crime Thrillers are the best kind of books if they’re done right, and Gillian Flynn has received stellar reviews for this so I think I will enjoy this one. Gone Girl begins on Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary when Amy is discovered as missing – and Nick is the prime suspect. The story goes between the perspective of Nick and past diary entries of Amy which is quite interesting and kind of similar to the structure of Dracula which I really enjoyed (keep reading to see my review on it!)

The FBI’s most Famous Cases

This was one of the hopeful hidden gems I discovered in Keats and Chapman. I always find murder and crime mysteries so intriguing as I mentioned above about Gone Girl, and this is a fiction book released in 1966 by Andrew Tully, who was an American war reporter and writer. He writes about the most well-known FBI cases since World War 2; including the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Junior, Machine Fun Kelly, the Rosenburgs and more. I’m really excited to get into this and learn more about these fascinating events.

Cambridge Book of English Verse 1900-1939

From Keats and Chapman I also picked up 2 poetry books as I’ve been wanting to get into it more, so I wasn’t too sure where to start (if you know a lot about poetry please help me out!) Allen Freer and John Andrew edit together a collection of most well known and active poets from this period of time including Thomas Hardy, W.B. Years and more; so I thought this might be a good place to start to gain a bit of perspective on the time period and discover who I like to read.

On the inside of this one there was a cute birthday note from 1971 which I thought was pretty cool too!

A Puffin Quartet of Poets

The other poetry book I picked up contains poems by four poets famous mainly for children’s verse including E.V. Rieu and Ian Serraillier, James Reeves and Eleanor Farjeon and was only £1.50 so I decided to give it a read too!

World War Z

The final book in this book haul is World War Z by Max Brooks, which I actually purchased from Amazon a few weeks ago for my Moving Image Arts film in school. As you can probably tell by the cover, it follows a UN Postwar Commission agent after the zombie apocalypse has broken out, as he interviews the survivors of the plague. This has also been adapted into a movie which I might watch afterwards if I enjoy it!

Recent Reads

Beautiful Broken Things

I read this book by Sara Barnard earlier this year and it has become one of my favourite all time books. The story follows the life of quiet Caddy, when the beautiful and cool Susanna moves to town. Caddy instantly takes a disliking to her as she feels as if Susanna is stealing her best friend from her however she soon discovers that everything is not what it seems behind the ‘popular girl’ exterior.

I really fell in love with this book because not only is it an easy read, but it covers relatable topics in a down-to-earth way such as bullying, drinking and mental health while also tugging your heartstrings at every twist and turn in the plot.

I really recommend this book if you are a teenager or young adult – 5 stars from me!

Anne of Green Gables

I recently decided that I want to start reading more classic books as I have been rewatching Gilmore Girls and have been inspired by Rory’s wide range of book knowledge. I also love to experience what culture was like during the times the classics were written so decided to start with a children’s classic: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

We follow the life of orphan Anne as she goes through life in the 19th century, constantly getting herself into trouble along the way. As far as classics go, this was quite an easy read and pretty enjoyable too, however at times it was quite slow and others went by too fast which I wasn’t particularly fond of.


The most recent book I have read is Dracula by Bram Stoker. Set in the 1890s, I’m sure you know the story of the story that shaped vampire culture for what it is today. I really enjoyed how it was written in epistolary form so we can experience the different perspectives of each character, however again, I think it was quite slow in parts with long seemingly pointless passages; however you couldn’t ever skim past them as everything written becomes important later on in the plot.

Other TBRs

Gathering Water

I got this book for free while looking for something to read a while ago on the Apple book store and never got around to reading it, so it’s next on my TBR.

This follows the story of Della who grows up in the foster system as her mother died while giving birth to her, but when she turns 18 she learns her mother’s real name and that she has living family. Della sets out to find out why they never came to her and why her grandfather kept her a secret.

This is Reagan Claire’s debut novel, however from reading reviews it seems like it doesn’t seem like it – so let’s see if this book lives up to its expectations! (Updates to follow at a later date).

A Christmas Carol

This Charles Dickens book is probably one of the most well known stories of all time and I’m sure we have all seen the countless film adaptations produced (the muppets version is my personal favourite), so I thought as the Christmas season is approaching, I’d finally give it a read!

The Great Gatsby

The final book in this post I’m going to mention is this classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve always been interested in the newfound glitz and glam of American society post-WW1 ever since studying it in history class a few years ago, and still haven’t seen the film so I’m excited to read this too!

If you’ve made it this far – you’re a trooper! I’m sorry this post was so long but as I’ve been gone for so long and been on a bit of a reading spree, I just had so much to include in this post so I hope you don’t mind… don’t worry though, most of my posts won’t be this lengthy!

What’s your favourite book and what have you enjoyed or not enjoyed reading recently? Let me know!

Until next time, CoffeeeAndCream

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