Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows of my love for everything involving Reese Witherspoon. So, it is no surprise that I grabbed Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. We also chose it as our read for book club, so that made it even more of a win. I loved this choice and read it in two nights – I could not put it down. It’s a murder mystery and the story of an isolated woman told in mostly alternating chapters (why does it seem like every book I read is in this format?!). And, it certainly kept me guessing as I read. I still have a few questions after finishing, but overall, this was a really enjoyable choice.
The Late Bloomer’s Club by Louise Miller was right up my alley. Sentimental, romantic, and with a happy ending. It’s a lot like a lot of other books I have read where the main character is surprised with some kind of unexpected gift or inheritance that they have to manage even though they have no experience with whatever they are left with. Nora and her sister are left with the property of the cake-maker in town and need to figure out whether to sell it or take the cake-making over. This is not a tough read and would be a nice choice for the beach. It was a little bit too long and a bit predictable, but overall, was a nice read.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney was a great quick thriller. In alternating chapters we learn about Now, A Week Ago, and Her Past. Amber is in a coma and we learn about her life through these three perspectives. It’s an edge-of-your-seat thriller that kept the pages turning. In fact, I would have finished the book in two hours if I hadn’t fallen asleep. You are driven to finish to find out what could have possibly happened, given the threads the book teases out. Grab this one – you won’t be disappointed.
The Glass Ocean is another book from the three authors of The Forgotten Room, which I really liked. Lauren Willig, Karen White, and Beatriz Williams (all authors who I enjoy independently) weave three stories together beautifully. In this book, there are three central characters, two who travel on the Lusitania and one historian/author in the present day. The chapters alternate between these intertwined stories. It was a wonderful and absorbing read.
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle was a quick and imaginative read. Sabrina ends up at her birthday dinner with the five people on her ultimate dinner list, including Audrey Hepburn. We learn the story of her past with the love of her life and her relationship with her father who abandoned her family when she was young. While I didn’t love it, the story of the romance and the premise were interesting. If you can suspend your disbelief about the reality, you might enjoy this one.
Reese Witherspoon chose The Other Woman by Sandie Jones for November’s book club and it happened to also be available at the library last week. It’s the story of Emily, her boyfriend Alex, and their relationship with Alex’s mother. I can’t tell you much more about it without spoiling the ending, which I admit, I didn’t expect. So, in that way, it was an enjoyable read with a surprise ending. There wasn’t much to this one, but it was a quick and acceptable read, which kept me going this weekend.
I loved Jenna Blum’s Those Who Save Us. So, I was excited to pick up The Lost Family, her newest. But, ultimately, it was a disappointment. I enjoyed the first 2/3rds of the story, but it fell apart for me in the last third. Peter is a well-known single chef in Manhattan who survived Auschwitz who has sworn off relationships since his wife and daughters were killed in Germany. Years later, June comes into the restaurant and he falls for her. Unfortunately, their subsequent marriage is fairly loveless and their daughter creates a bit of a mess. When the focus shifts from Peter and June’s story to Elsbeth’s (their daughter), the story lost track for me. I wanted to love this, but I just didn’t.
I happened to get Tear Me Apart by JT Ellison and Sunburn by Laura Lippman, both psychological thrillers, at the same time, one on audio and one in print. They were so similar, that it was hard to keep them straight and I wish I hadn’t listened to/read them at the same time. Nevertheless, I did like Tear Me Apart better. While it was too long, the plot was entertaining enough that I stuck with it until the end. Sunburn also went on too long, and was quieter and less interesting to me. Each focuses on a central female character who clearly has difficulties and secrets. Both are mothers, but each inhabits that role differently. If you are looking for a thrilling ride, pick up Tear Me Apart.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger has been on my TBR list for a while. And, it’s a light and silly summer reading choice. Perfect for this hectic time of year. There’s nothing deep here, but if you were a fan of The Devil Wears Prada, grab this one.
I was really excited to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Most people have probably already read this selection (or seen the new movie), but I am a little behind (and was taking a break from YA). So, even though it was YA (which I don’t really enjoy), I did like this one. Starr lives in a poor neighborhood but attends a fancy prep school. When she is part of the shooting of a friend and is thrown into the national spotlight, her worlds collide and threaten to destroy her community. You can predict many of the issues which this books delves into as well as some of the plotline. It’s still a good read.