During the first quarter, I read a grand total of 28 books, nearly half of which revolved around police, crime, and psychological themes. My reading journey began with four books authoured by writers from Felixstowe, and as the quarter progressed, I indulged in a mix of well-known and unfamiliar authors.

9,189 pages at an average of 329 pages per book (based on Amazon)

I’m making a bigger effort this year to read more “proper” books with just under 22% of books read being paper backs.

Choosing a top three among the plethora of great books that I have read so far this year is a daunting task. I have thoroughly enjoyed every book that I have read, making it difficult to differentiate between them. However, I must abide by the rules and narrow down my selection.

The works of Jeanette Hewitt, Ruth Dugdall, and Iain Maitland have been exceptional, showcasing the remarkable talent that Felixstowe possesses. Additionally, I found myself engrossed in the JD Kirk books, finishing the HOON quadrilogy and reading the first three books in the LOGAN series.

My foray into Amazon Kindle books led me to discover four remarkable authors in Keith A Pearson, Adrian Cousins, R J Gould, and Adam Eccles. The books written by these authors were a pleasant surprise, and I found myself lost in their stories.

Furthermore, I revisited the works of Mike Gayle and Nick Hornby, taking a trip down memory lane to the late 90s and early 00s. After careful consideration, my top three books this year are by Biba Pearce, Phil M Williams, and JD Kirk. Their writing style and storytelling ability were unmatched, and I found myself engrossed in their books from start to finish.

3rd:- Death Comes to Marlow – Robert Thorougood

The MARLOW MURDER CLUB series continues with its second installment, written by the creator of TV’s Death in Paradise and categorised as a “cozy murder.”

Our protagonists Judith, Suzie, and Becks reunite at a society wedding, only to be interrupted by a murder. Will they be able to crack the case?

2nd:- Badgeland – Steve Rayson

If you have ever been involved in politics, then this book is essential reading. However, if your political affiliation leans towards the color blue, it may not be for you.

The author has lived the political life that I always aspired to lead – working at the grassroots level to make a difference. Whether or not he succeeded in his endeavors is up for debate, but at least he tried.

In my youth, I joined USDAW solely for the benefit of a free roast beef dinner every six weeks. Although I did attend one march in Great Yarmouth, I quickly grew tired and went for a pint instead.

One of the locations mentioned in the book is a working men’s club in Swindon, which could easily be substituted for any other town and working man’s club in England. The patrons are typically working-class men with a little extra cash, who believe that the Tories are fantastic. It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in, but I recommend reading this book. It is sure to evoke memories, hopefully positive ones.

1st:- Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus

Spending six hours with some of the NHS’s finest allowed me to indulge in some reading. I visited WHSmiths and purchased a couple of books, including this brilliant one that spanned 384 pages.

The story is set in the late 50s and early 60s, highlighting the struggles women faced in their fight for equality and the rampant misogyny that prevailed. It’s not a book that promotes hate towards men, but one that truthfully depicts the monstrous behavior of certain men.

It’s undoubtedly the best book I’ve read so far in 2023 and is set to be adapted into a major TV series.

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