Recommended Reads

While our libraries are closed we would like to continue to recommend some of our favourite reads to you, for future reading lists or for right now, available on our eBooks and eAudiobooks app, Borrowbox.

Enjoy this list of recommended reads from our staff and check out Borrowbox to download some of our favourites.


May 2020

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo ebook and eaudiobook on reserve

Kim Ji Young, a young mother with lingering post-natal moods, is acting erratically and confusing her husband. Her family can’t reconcile her dissatisfaction with her life. Chapters, told by her psychiatrist, recount her upbringing and her parents’ approach to her education, employment and value as a woman in Korean society. An insight into workplace and homelife issues for women in modern Korea and the gender discrimination women face.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook

Transcription by Kate Atkinson 

A view of MI5 from the side of the female transcriptionists who worked behind the scenes on counter intelligence in 1940s London. Juliet, now working for BBC in the 1950s, is haunted by memories of her intelligence career during the war – the undercover work, the subterfuge and the innocents caught up in the bureaucracy of war intelligence. Clever, witty and surprising.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook


The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz 

A murder within a book, with Horowitz himself as narrator, and his enigmatic and Holmes-like detective Hawthorne clashing over the telling of a murder investigation as Horowitz asks the wrong questions of the suspects and generally infuriates Hawthorne. An enjoyable and inventive read for detective fans with a satirical look at Horowitz’ own career changes, through children’s writing to screenwriting and writing for adults.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett 

Set in a harsh society where women are treated as dangerous slaves, this is an exciting and evocative read for fans of the Handmaids Tale.  16 year old Tierney must face the challenge for all girls her age: to be isolated for a year with the rest of the girls from her village until their female ‘magic’ that seduces and destroys men is driven out of them, even if they are maimed or murdered by the murky poachers who stalk the young women for their parts. At times gruesome and poetic, this is a compelling story of resilience and courage.

Available on BorrowBox as an eAudiobook

Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce

It’s 1941 and London is experiencing the horrors of the Blitz. Emmeline, a young and enthusiastic woman, longs to become a Lady War Correspondent. Thinking she is being interviewed for an important role on a newspaper, she mistakenly takes a job as a junior typist on the problem page of a magazine, The Woman’s Friend and soon finds herself wrapped up in the problems of her readers.

Meanwhile, as times grow harder and more of Emmy’s friends become involved in the war effort, Emmy struggles with a number of problems of her own.

A warm-hearted read about life during a very difficult time and the ways in which people coped. Emmy’s positive outlook and compassionate nature will have readers falling in love with her and her attempts to ‘keep up a good face’ during war-time.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

Gil is browsing the shelves in his local second hand book shop when he glances out the window and catches a glimpse of his dead wife. Ingrid has been missing for eleven years though it is commonly believed that she drowned. Still mystery surrounds her disappearance and her youngest daughter Flora believes she may still be alive. Gil’s chase after his wife leads to a serious accident and both his daughters return home to care for their father. This story is told through a series of letters from Ingrid to Gil which she hides in various books around the house. In between these letters are chapters about the two daughters, in particular Flora, as they gather around to care for Gil who is struggling with memories of his past.

A gripping read that will leave readers guessing even after the last page.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook.

The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland

It’s 1968 and in England a budding photographer Veronica Moon is struggling to make her way in the male dominated world of photojournalism. When she meets feisty Leonie Barrett, her whole world view changes and she starts to challenge all of her previously held ideas about the world and what it means to be a woman. Leonie and Veronica’s friendship plays out against the backdrop of the women’s movement with Leonie’s ardent views influencing Veronica both personally and professionally. Fifty years after they first meet Veronica has a become a recluse, her career ending with one famous photograph. Leonie is gone and Erica, Leonie’s niece, is eager to put on an exhibition of Veronica’s work. Veronica agrees despite her reservations. The story moves from the present day to the past, chronicling Veronica’s friendship with Leonie. Bringing the reader to the heart of the feminist movement, The Woman in the Photograph challenges its audience and asks the question – how much has really changed for women since 1968? A thought-provoking and insightful read.

Available on on Borrowbox as an eBook or eAudiobook  

April 2020

What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty

Although Moriarty is perhaps best known for her novel turned TV drama ‘Big Little Lies, this is one of her earlier outings. It’s a lighter read than ‘Big Little Lies’ but none the less enjoyable. This is the story of Alice who wakes up to find she has lost ten years of her life. Young Alice is not very happy with the choices her older self has made and sets about ‘fixing’ things. This is the ultimate comfort read – to be enjoyed with chocolate and a cup of whatever you fancy.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook


The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

This is a retelling of Homer’s great poem ‘The Iliad’ but with a twist; events are played out through the eyes of Briseis, the woman taken prisoner by Achilles – the great ‘Greek Hero’ – or is he?
Briseis gives us a clear-eyed view of her new life as Achilles’ ‘prize’ and how the lives of all women depended on the whims of the winning army. Fans of Madeline Miller’s ‘Circe’ will enjoy this alternate look at Homer’s world but don’t be put off by the historical slant; the writing is fresh and contemporary and makes for an enjoyable read.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook

The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

Don’t be fooled by the cover, this is no ordinary romance and is really more thriller than love story. Perfect for anyone after a good mystery and who doesn’t mind staying up to the early hours to read ‘just one more page’. Unexpected twists and turns make this the ideal distraction for those of us staying home at the moment.

Currently available as part of our Borrowbox Unlimited selection, available for immediate download as an eBook or eAudiobook, no queues!


Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Cleverly told through interviews with fictional 70s supergroup The Six, this novel combines the story of the rise of a band with the trials and heartbreak of the people behind it. The music makers seem like real artists, and the song lyrics sing off the page. Daisy herself is a charismatic romantic with a talent for hits only matched by her skill for self destruction. Wonderfully engaging and enjoyable story of how music is made and the musicians whose lives inform it.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook


The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

Two Londoners agree to share an apartment, without ever meeting. Tiffy and Leon are both genuine, likable characters who begin to build a friendship through texts and notes, while supporting each other to rebuild their lives. An exhilarating love story about two people who save each other. Filled with humour and charm.

Available on BorrowBox as an eAudiobook



City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

A very enjoyable story of a privileged young woman moving to New York in 1940, her encounters with actors, showgirls, and celebrities and her own growth into recognising the seriousness of the world around her. This book, by Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, is delightfully escapist and a good snapshot into life in New York in the mid century, full of the romance and heartbreak of youth.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook


Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

This novel follows Wade and Anne’s marriage, the tragedy of Wade’s past and Anne’s part or knowledge of it. As memories fade, Anne tries to piece together the motives for the deaths of Wade’s children, and the novel moves to the children’s mother, Jenny in jail, and others who had known the children, to help us see a fuller picture of their life in rural Idaho and what led to their deaths. Written in beautiful, haunting prose, this book explores it’s characters’ emotional landscape within the landscapes of Idaho.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

At an expensive, luxury spa retreat, most of the participants don’t expect much more than some pampering and perhaps some weight loss. The Spa’s director has her own plan for the group, who come to know each other more closely as the spa becomes more confrontational in it’s plans for ‘wellness’. Witty and surprising, this book manages to make all its narrators individuals and understandable, if not always likable.

Currently available as part of our Borrowbox Unlimited selection, available for immediate eAudiobook download, no queues!

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

This novel takes us back to the early seventeenth century when belief in witchcraft was common. The story is based on the famous Lancashire Witch Trials. The main character is Fleetwood Shuttleworth, mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, who is pregnant for the fourth time and has yet to give birth to a living child. Putting her faith in a local midwife, Alice Gray, she soon finds herself tangled up in an unfamiliar world. As the relationship between the two women grows, tensions rise and difficult choices must be made. Strong female characters and an exciting story make this a must read for fans of historical fiction.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook.

The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

This is an exquisite read; at times heartbreaking, at times full of beauty and hope. It is one of those books whose characters will stay with you long after their story has ended. It doesn’t always make for the easiest of reads but once you have started, you’ll be glad you did as ultimately it’s a hopeful book about the strength of the human spirit.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook.



Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

The latest offering from prolific writer Diane Chamberlain introduces the reader to two characters; both young and creative women but one is living in 2018 and the other is in 1940. 1940s Anna has been hired to paint a mural for the local post office while in 2018 Morgan is struggling with life after being released early from a three year prison sentence. Morgan has been freed so that she can restore Anna’s mural but why was the mural hidden away for so long? And why has the artist never been seen or heard from since? A mystery that slowly unravels while introducing the reader to the prejudices of 1940s small town America and the difficulties of starting over after life in prison.

If you enjoy this read why not sample some of Chamberlain’s other work on BorrowBox. Her novels usually deal with heavy topics but they are dealt with in a hopeful and often inspiring tone.

Available on BorrowBox as an eBook or eAudiobook.

© 2018 Waterford City & County Council Library Service.