11 Books To Read If You Enjoyed Netflix’s Bridgerton

February 15th, 2021

Hi Readers!

I finally finished watching Sonderland and Netflix’s Bridgerton this week, and now I’m feeling that empty hole in my life that needs to be filled, and I’m sure a lot of you are feeling that as well. To help you get through the wait whilst they film season 2, here are some books that reminds me the Bridgerton.

The Bridgerton Books by Julia Quinn

This is an obvious one. But if you’ve only watched the TV show you have to know that it is in fact based on an eight book historical romance series. Each book follows a different Bridgerton sibling and they all have similar tropes of hate to love or forbidden romances. They’re a lot of fun, I’d highly recommend.

The first season of Bridgerton is based on The Duke and I, but there is also The Viscount Who Loves Me, An Offer From a Gentleman, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, To Sir Phillip, With Love, When He Was Wicked, It’s In His Kiss and On The Way To The Wedding.

Rokesbys Series by Julia Quinn

This is a prequel series to The Bridgertons following the romantic endeavors of the generation before Daphne and her siblings. The first book follows Billie Bridgerton, who would be Daphne’s aunt (her fathers older sister). So if you’ve finished the Bridgerton series but are dying for me, give these a go.

It’s still ongoing, but so far we have Because of Miss Bridgerton, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband, The Other Miss Bridgerton and First Comes Scandal (just published last year).

Jane Austen

If you fell in love with the regency era whilst watching Bridgerton then you need a bit of Austen in your life. Her writing is equisite and has all the balls, gossip and matchmaking that Bridgerton has. I actually see The Duke and I (which is the book the first series is based on) as a Pride and Prejudice retelling. Although I’m sure Austen would be scandalised by what the characters get up to…

Luxe by Anna Godberson

If it’s the gossip girl vibes you enjoyed, than this series following the high society of the New York scene in the late 19th century is one you should give a go. We follow the young New York societals as they party till dawn and find themselves embralled in scandals and messy hook ups.

Tessa Dare’s Books

I haven’t actually read any of these myself, but if you want more tropey historical romance books I’ve heard great things about her Castles Ever After series.

Vanity Fair by William Thackery

Set in the same time period, Daphne Bridgerton, Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair) and Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) could have been attending the same balls and trying to snatch up the same eligible bachelors. This books follows Becky as she tries to climb her way up the ranks of society in the most devious of ways. The ITV adaptation of this even stars Claudia Jessie, who plays everyones favourite Bridgerton Eloise.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

If you’re more interested in what’s happening downstairs and want an inside look into the life of a servant, give this retelling of Pride and Prejudice a try. After reading this book, you will feel a lot of sympathy for those maids and carriage drivers!

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Soon to be a Netflix film itself, The Selection is all about the Prince of a dystopian kingdom finding a match amongst a group of thiry-five girls. Think Bridgerton meets The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games.

Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

If your favourite character in Bridgerton was Eloise, then a more feminist historical romance might be just what you’re looking for. This one follows Annabelle, the daughter of a destitute vicar and among the first cohort of female students admitted to Oxford University where she finds herself become highly involved in the rising female suffrage movement.

A Lady’s Guide To Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins

What if Lady Whistledown didn’t just report on societal gossip, but also murder? In 1865 Lady Katherine Bascomb is Englands most norotious newspaper columnist and thinks it’s her mission to report on the nefarious and deadly criminals who prey on the fairer sex, when she witnesses a murder herself.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

If you want more of the ‘fake dating’ trope then there is a whole library for you to read, but To All The Boys is my personal favourite.

Hopefully these books will help get us all through the wait for season 2 of Bridgerton!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Books To Read This International Women’s Day

International Women's Day Reading Recommendations

Hi Readers!

We are just days away from International Women’s Day 2020 and, whilst there’s never a time when we shouldn’t be celebrating and supporting female writers and their works, this day is a good reminder of how far women have come over the past few decades in terms of equality, but also how far we still have to go.

This international women’s I’m going to be dedicating the entire week to reading women. If those are also you’re plans, here are some books to add to your list.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

It’s so exciting to see a revival of love for this book thanks to Greta Gerwig’s new adaptation (which, if you haven’t seen it yet, would make a great watch for this international women’s day).
Greta’s movie really brought out the feminist themes of this book and the novel itself was so ahead of it’s time. Every reader will relate to at least one of the March sisters, especially Jo, an avid reader with a wild soul.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

One of my favourite classics and Jane one of the best characters. When alive the Bronte sisters wrote and sold their books to help support their family. Their stories largely revolve around governesses and romance.
Charlotte commbines the two in Jane Eyre creating a twisty, gothic tale about an orphan who moves to Thornfield to become the governess of Mr Rochester’s ward.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Call me crazy, but I think this frivolous romantic novel that Charlotte Bronte apparently hated is just as feminist as Jane Eyre. Hear me out. Yes it’s mostly about women talking about men eligible for marriage but Austen more than once points to the inequality between men and women, particularly when it comes to the Bennet’s lack of a male heir, forcing them to forfeit their home to a distant cousin and the unfairness of it.

The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

Any opportunity I get to recommend this series, I do. Written by an anonymous author these books revolves around a friendship that spans decades, from childhood to old age. It’s characters and their relationships with each other are complex and the setting of an impoverished part of Naples is so vivid it comes to life on the page.

Review

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

This is probably the first book on this list that purposely has and explores feminist themes. It’s a dystopia novel set in a future where the fertility rate has dropped exponentially. A new republic, Gilead has come into force to try and fix this issue.
Now women have four roles, a Wife, a Martha, an Aunt and a Handmaid. Offred is a Handmaid and her purpose is to give her Commander and his Wife a baby.

The Power by Naomi Alberman

Winner of the 2017 Women’s Prize for Fiction this explores what would happen were the power between men and women to shift. Teenage girls begin to experience a ‘power’ that can inflict pain and death on others. In this novel it’s the men who need to be protected, who can’t go out alone, who are told they are weak because of their gender.

Review

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is such a powerful story. This follows a Dominican girl living in a very religious household who’s struggling to find her identity. She finds a way to express herself and her frustrations in slam poetry. It’s written in prose but don’t let that put you off. If you can’t get into it, I highly recommend the audiobook as it’s narrated by the author and she puts so much passion into her performance.

Review

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Everisto

Co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and longlisted for this years Women’s Prize, this book is high on everyones raider, and so it should be.
This is a multi-perspective book following mainly British, mainly black, women who each have their own story of womenhood and femininity to tell.

Review

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

Everyone has heard of Henry VIII but the most I ever learnt about his six wives at school was a rhyme to remember how they died. This book gives a detailed and exciting account of who there women were, what their ambitions were and what their lives were like. This book is the best non-fiction I’ve ever read. It’s tense and full of royal court intrigue. It’s 500+ pages but I read it in three days.

Review

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

This book is great if you have a little one in the house. It’s a non-fiction with a twist. Telling the stories of extra-ordinary women throughout history in a way that will capture the minds of little girls. A lot of these women I had never heard of so it’s a great starting place to learn what amazing things women can do.

Review

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

LGBTQIA+ Pride Book Recommendations

reading recommendations

Hi Readers

We’re currently in the middle of pride month where we celebrate all that are in the gay community. All of these books have great representation so if you’re looking for a pride read this month then here are some suggestions.

Becky Albertalli’s books – I feel like everyone has probably read these by now but if not then… why not?

Adam Silvera’s books – My personal favourite is History is All You Left Me but if you like contemporary with a bit of sci-fi, then More Happy Than Not and We Both Die at the End are the ones for you.

Cassandra Clare’s books – Honestly, urban fantasy at it’s best for me and Clare has never been afraid of featuring a very diverse cast of characters. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – One of my absolute favourites. Old time Hollywood, great bi rep and just makes you feel all the emotions.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – A great pool side, coming of age read.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williams – Another YA contemporary. This one following a girl who was born in a boys body.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – I haven’t read many fantasy with good LGBT rep but this is a pretty good one. Based on greek mythology we follow the lives and romance of two rather famous names.

What are your favourite Pride reads? 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

 

Happy International Women’s Day! Here’s Some Unlikely Bad Ass Female Characters!

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Hi Readers!

When you think of bad ass females is the first person you think of a character from a fantasy world? Who can kill men with swords or even her bare hands?

Whilst I love those females, this post is going to focus on a different type of bad ass female. Girls and women from this world who bravely defy the odds and come out on top. 

Xiomara from The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Why: On the cusp of 16 Xiomara lives in a home focused on religion. She constantly feels stifled by the expectations her parents and the world has for her. She gets through this by writing slam poetry. 

Elena from The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

Why: Elena lives in an impoverished part of Naples. Where violence against women is common, and education limited. These books feature strong female friendship and the consequences of toxic masculinity

Evelyn from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Why: This is about Evelyn’s strive for Hollywood success. It explores what women had to do just to get a chance there and what happens to their careers when they upset the wrong people (men).

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Why: The 1800’s was a time when women had two walks in life. Get married or become an heiress. Elizabeth didn’t have the second as an option and, being one of 5 daughters, needed a husband for security. But she stands her ground when not one, but two men offer her that security. She chooses her happiness over convenience. 

Mara from Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Mara’s twin is accused of rape by his girlfriend which causes Mara to start questioning her morals and strong beliefs. Overall this book is about believing women and the potential consequences when they aren’t believed. 

Patricia Noah from Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

I don’t often read non-fiction but I loved this one and his mother is a real hero in this book. She is so head-strong. So determined. So hard-working and so inspirational.

Isabelle and Vianna from The Nightingale by Hannah Kent

Set in occupied France this book follows two sisters and how the war effects them. 

These are just a few of the many amazing women in literature. Who’s your favourite? 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

These Are the Cutest Romances!

reading recommendations

Hi Readers

Valentines Day is tomorrow and whilst I find the Holiday vomit inducing (I’m really not a romantic) I love a good love story in a book. These are some of my favourites.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – There is so much love in this book, sometimes misguided, always complicated. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – This is a very slow build up but that’s what makes it so precious. 

The Unexpected Everything – All of Matson’s books have cute romances but this is my favourite. She’s a dog walker, he’s an author!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Baking, boys and sisterly love. This is one of the cutest series of all time. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – A gay coming-of-age. You’ll fall in love with their love. 

Pride and Prejudice – I love all of Austen’s books but this has got to be my favourite. The original hate-to-love romance. 

What’s your favourite romance?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

Books On My Shelf That I Want Everyone To Read

reading recommendations

Hi Readers

In 2019 I’m making monthly themes for my TBRs. January’s theme was to read books that I own and I thought it would be a great opportunity to recommend you the books I have read, own and love.

I don’t always buy the books I read as a lot of them come from the library. So when I buy a book and keep it I know it’s because it’s special. 

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The Neapolitan Series by Elena Ferrante – This is a beautiful series about friendship and growing up in an impoverished part of Naples, Italy. I actually hope to reread this series this Summer. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – This book is probably my favourite coming of age. It’s set in 1980’s America and it’s about the importance of music, books, friendship and so, so much more. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – At this point you’ve either already read this book or it’s on your TBR for this year and that is because this book really is incredible. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Bejamine Alire Saenz – I’ve read this book so many times now and every time I reread it I end up loving it a little bit more. The authors currently writing a sequel but it’s still a waiting game for that. 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – This is a unique novel that basically explores the whole of black history starting with slavery right up to present day America. It’s extraordinary how many years this book covers. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Definitely my favourite Bronte novel. Possibly even my favourite classic. I love reading Jane’s journey and each time I read it I notice something new. 

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Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Spine-Chilling Books

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Hi Readers

I love October because everybody starts reading the books they’re too scared to read any other time of the year. So if you’re in the mood to be spooked, here are some books that will do the job:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – This book is so highly recommended for this time of year it’s in basically every-bodies recs posts. But I had to include it just incase you for some reason haven’t picked this up. This is probably one of the scariest books I’ve ever read and is kind of the ultimate ‘fear of the unknown’ book. 

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land – I read this last year in one sitting. Literally didn’t move for the entirety of reading this book. It had me hooked and just thinking about it now creeps me out. 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Because you need a good monster book for this time of year. 

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson – If you liked Gone Girl you’ll like this. Kind of a domestic thriller meets 50 first dates. 

More Than This by Patrick Ness – YA doesn’t usually scare me, but this one did. Our main character dies and wakes up in his childhood home where the world seems to have been deserted. Oh, and some creepy dude in leather is following him. 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – A group of strangers invited to an island by who they think is a mutual friend. Only to find the island completely isolated, and now they’re being killed off one by one. 

Strike Series – If you’re looking for some good detective novels, I love these ones. The Silkworm and Career of Evil are particularly creepy.

The Women In White by Wilkie Collins – A little less creepy but if you’re a fan of Jane Eyre, you should give this a go. Our main character comes across a distressed women in white late at night. He then accepts a position to teach another young lady who bares a striking resemblance to the women in white. 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – This is sometimes referred is Jane Austen’s Gothic parody. Kind of melodramatic but I love it. 

What’s your favourite spooky books? 

Thanks for reading!

Jess X

Cosy Autumn Reads Recommendations

Hi Readers

I love Autumn reading. Not just because the days are shorter and colder which means blankets and hot drinks, but because of the types of books I like to read in Autumn.

When the whether chills down and the leaves turn brown and crisp, I tend to gravitate towards more mystery, historical fiction and classics. So, if you’re looking for some Autumnal feeling books, look no further.

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Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy – Set in rural Wessex during Harvest time, this follows Bathsheba who inherits a farm and takes it on herself. Along with the expectations of rural society weighing heavily of her, Bathsheba encounters the pains of unrequited love.  

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Probably one of my favourite classics of all time. I love the angst, I love how cosy and familiar it feels. Most of all, I love the romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – This one is great for those dark and stormy days. It’s got a very Gothic feel to it as it’s set in the dark, remote Thornfield Hall which our protagonist enters as the governess, employed by the moody Mr Rochester.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – If you like cosy mysteries this time of year and haven’t read this one yet you are in for a treat. We follow Walter after his eerie encounter with the Woman in White as he enters his new profession as drawing master for Laura Fairlie, who bares a remarkable resemblance to that same woman. 

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – Another dark mystery. As our protagonist becomes the new Mrs De Winter and as she enters her new house, she quickly realises she’s living in the shadow of his first wife Rebecca, who came to an untimely death. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – A contemporary novel set in rainy Edinburgh with Bridget Jones’s humour. This book is an utter treat and had me feeling all the feels. 

The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Set post WWII, this is a book told in letters exchanged between a young writer and the residents of Guernsey, which was occupied by the Germans during the war. This is a book for book lovers. 

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters – Another one set post WWII. This follows Londoners as it starts in their present and moves backwards to how their intertwined lives began. If you like amazingly written characters, you’ll like this book. 

Let me know what books you love to read during the Autumn!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Book Recommendations For the Summer

Hi Readers

I love reading when the weather gets warm. Either in my garden or at the beach, everything just feels better when the sun is out. Summer also means Holidays so if you’re going on Holiday and you’re looking for a good book to read then look no further.

Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante – I honestly couldn’t name you a better series of books to read during the Summer. Set in Naples, this follows two friends as they grow up together in an impoverished part of Italy. This is engrossing, entertaining and just perfection in my eyes.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- Another book I love to read in the Summer. Just the best classic romance there is.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – If you’re looking for a standalone fantasy this is the best of the best. A retelling of greek mythology following Achilles and Patroclus and their romance during the Trojan war.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – If you’re looking for a Summer mystery this is perfect. I actually think I’m going to reread this soon. 

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell – Ever watched the ITV drama The Durrells? Well, this is the book that inspired it, and it’s just as hilarious and just as heartwarming.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – Another mystery that I’m sure a lot of you have heard of. This is set in sunny Australia and is a real shocker. Try and contain yourself at the reveal because I know I didn’t.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – One of my favourite books of this year so far. This book made me smile and kept me hooked, what more could you want for a beach read?

Let me know what your favourite book to read in the Summer is!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Pride Month: Recs and TBR

Hi Readers

June is Pride Month where we celebrate people who identify as something on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. I will be doing this by recommending you my favourite LGBT+ books and also sharing with some that are on my TBR and hope to read this month or soon. 

Recommendations:

The Stranger on the Bridge by Jonny Benjamin – A non-fiction about Jonny’s struggle with mental illness. It’s about finding the man who talked him out of commiting suicide. One of the big struggles that was a factor of his mental health was his sexuality.

Adam Silvera Books – Especially if you’re looking for own voices and a contemporary novel with a sci-fi twist. My personal favourite is History is All You Left Me.

Becky Albertalli Books – I love all of her books so much and all of them have so much great representation.

Ari and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – I feel like I’m always recommending this book but that’s because it is SO GOOD. This is basically a love story between two Mexican American boys.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman – I definitely need to reread this because I can barely remember it, but at the time of when I first read it I called it ‘moving and beautiful’ so it must have been good.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williams – Another one that definitely needs a reread but this is the story of a teenage boy who wants to be a teenage girl.

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – This is a greek myth retelling of two great friends Achilles and Patroclus. But in this story, they’re lovers. 

My TBR

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruite by Jeanette Winterson
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
All the Passengers by A.S. King
Proof of Love by Catherine Hall

If you have any recommendations for me I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X