March/ April reads & Audible hacks

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Hello everyone. I know we’re in a crazy time – it doesn’t even need addressing but I’m sending so much love to anyone reading this. Whether you’re learning a new language right now, trying yoga for the first time, or just trying to take each day as it comes, this isn’t a productivity competition and I’m so so proud of you for getting up and getting through this.

I’ve recently fallen in love with Audible and I wanted to share some short reviews and recommendations, as well as some tips and tricks that I’ve learned to get cheaper audiobooks. (I’m a northerner – what can I say?)

Tips & Tricks

First of all, at the moment Audible is doing a deal where you can be a member for £3.99 a month for 3 months, and then it’ll be the usual price of £7.99 a month. Every month you receive one credit – which you can purchase ANY audiobook from Audible with. These audiobooks without your credit range from about £10-£30 so £3.99, or even £7.99 is a great deal.

If you’re like me and you power through books/podcasts then I’ve found cheaper ways to purchase more books without having to pay £30. I understand how much time and work goes into making audiobooks, I’ve done one myself, but ouch that’s a lottttt of money.

Buy credits not books

After one month of being a member of Audible, if you’ve used your free credit and like me don’t want to fork out £30 before your next membership renewal, you can actually purchase 3 credits for the price of £18. Compared to buying three books for £90, this £18 is of course a lot more reasonable.

Check the daily deal

Every day Audible do a daily deal where one random/popular book is £1.99-2.99. I’ve purchased a lot of books through this so make sure that you check every day! You can set up email updates for this as well.

Kindle add-ons

If you download the Kindle app, a lot of books are cheaper if you purchase the Kindle version, and then click the ‘ Audible add-on’ at checkout. For example, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ costs £14 on Audible. However – if you were to buy the Kindle version at 99p, there is an option at checkout to add the audible narration for £2.99, which then adds the book straight to your audible account, meaning you have saved yourself £10. This is an amazing hack that I’ve used endlessly! It’s also worked great for me because my boyfriend loves reading books, and I love listening to them, so this way he gets the reading copy and I get the audio version.

Now – onto the reviews.

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Synopsis: Two couples sit down to have dinner to discuss a crime that their sons have committed and gotten away with so far.

Thoughts: This book is very very slow, if you’re wanting a fast paced thriller – this isn’t it. Set over one night, the majority of the book is subtext and tense small talk over food and wine, but it kicks you with an interesting twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. 

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

Synopsis: The only flat within budget for Tiffy in London is sharing with a man who works nights and has the flat in the day time, and she has the flat at night time. They communicate via post-it-notes slowly falling in love.

Thoughts: So romantic and warm and gives you all those fuzzy feelings. Beth O’Leary’s first novel is a huge breakout, her writing style is so easy to read and lulls you into her world. It’s the perfect escape for right now – and is also super funny.

The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher

Synopsis: Three women who all seem to portray the perfect Facebook life, move into a gated community, desperately trying to hide their secrets. 

Thoughts: I enjoyed this book far more than I expected after stealing it as the Audible daily deal. It’s very believable and shines a light on social media and puts it completely into perspective. A gripping yet easy read that feels very relatable to 2020.

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes

Synopsis: Rachel’s Holiday tells the story of mouthy and Irish Rachel, a women forced into a drug rehabilitation centre by her family who refuses to believe that she has any problems and only goes believing that she’ll meet some celebrity inmates there.

Thoughts: 5 hours in I really couldn’t get into this which surprised me because it has amazing reviews. I’ll admit it wasn’t the happy escape that I wanted right now – as usually I do like a darker kind of novel. The tone was quite humorous and she was an interesting character but it just wasn’t for me, and I found myself really not caring about the end of the story. 

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Of course with The Flat Share being so beloved to me, it was very well timed that Beth O’Leary’s second novel was released just as I had finished.

Synopsis: The Switch tells the story of Leena Cotton, a girl grieving her sister’s death, and Eileen Cotton, her grandmother recently abandoned by her husband. The women swap lives, Leena heading to rural Yorkshire, and Eileen to hit London’s dating scene, to find themselves again.

Thoughts: Now I’ll admit this wasn’t as perfect to me as The Flat Share was but I thoroughly enjoyed diving into the world that Beth creates. The characters were interesting and endearing, and as always it was a very sweet book that I was always excited to read (or listen to). 

Close to Home by Cara Hunter

This book is incredibly addictive, it feels like you’re watching a Netflix drama.

Synopsis: The story told by two detectives focuses on missing girl Daisy Mason, who disappears from a family barbecue where things really aren’t as they seem.

Thoughts: It’s very very intriguing reading full of twists and turns and I’m 100% going to be buying her other two books in this series. She strikes the perfect line of character with the detectives, the story isn’t their story, it’s about Daisy, but they’re likeable and engaging and we care about them as well as the outcome. 

How’s everyone coping? What are you all reading? Sending lots of love as always! 

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