24 30 Books
“The Alienist” by Caleb Carr (bookshop.org) – 5 stars. Gripping and much better than the show.
“Step Aside for Royalty” by Eileen Parker (abebooks.com) – 4 stars. Nonfiction, better than The Crown, but left a lot of space for questions that no one is ever going to answer.
“Mr. Murder” by Dean Koontz (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. Excellent read, quick to go through.
“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. Somehow not what I thought it was going to be. Was excellent though!
“Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature” by Linda Lear (bookshop.org) – 3 stars. This was so dry.
“Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” by Katherine Boo (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. Honestly, I kept thinking I was reading fiction. This was SO well written.
“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera (bookshop.org) – 2 stars. I hate Milan Kundera now. This book had zero redeeming qualities.
“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara (bookshop.org) – 5 stars. Okay, this one was complicated. I hated it, I loved it. It’s a little bit of a trauma porn, but it has been YEARS since I’ve bawled like a damn baby over a book. I really connected with this one.
“Ten Thousand Saints” by Eleanor Henderson (bookshop.org) – 3 stars. This one was fine. Somehow not what I thought it would be – I wanted to love it but found it incredibly difficult to relate to the characters. Possibly if I hadn’t read it immediately after “A Little Life” it would have gone better.
“The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. This was an easy read and I loved the inclusion of recipes at the end of each chapter. While I’m still not fully a fan of “I can afford to drop everything and pursue this incredibly expensive dream” books (looking at you, “Eat Pray Love”), this was slightly more relatable. Possibly because I really love to cook and I can’t speak French to save my life.
“The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe” by Tony Perrottet (bookshop.org) – 3.5 stars. The fact this man dragged his kids to all the kinky stuff kind of knocked him down a bit. I’m all for kids being exposed to history and sex, but, um, idk. Seemed…odd.
“Brother Odd” by Dean Koontz (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. My dad once told me Dean Koontz’s novels would haunt me. They do not. I read creepier stuff regularly. He’s an excellent writer, but this is pretty much your standard crime/mild supernatural horror novel.
“The Godfather” by Mario Puzo (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. M is kind of appalled I’ve never seen the movie. This was excellent. M spoiled it fairly early on though, which annoyed me.
“Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi (bookshop.org) – 3 stars. A play on Snow White, angled at racial issues in the 50s. This was good, but Boy irritated the shit out of me.
“Wool” by Hugh Howey (bookshop.org) – 5 stars. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so gripped by a dystopian fiction the way “Brave New World” grabbed me in college (I took a class on Utopian Fiction that naturally had to include some dystopia). I will be adding the rest of this series to the “need now” list.
“Children Who Kill: Profiles of Pre-Teen and Teenage Killers” by Carol Anne Davis (abebooks.com) – 4.5 stars. A very shallow dive into what made some of the more notorious kids kill. Good balance of crime reporting and analysis as to how society can begin to support kids to prevent these kinds of crimes.
“How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life” by Melissa Hellstern (abebooks.com) – 3 stars. This is a small coffee table book. Read between chapters of “The Story of the Stone” because…oof.
“Wedding Cake for Breakfast: Essays on the Unforgettable First Year of Marriage” by Kim Perel (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. Some relatable, some not. Overall, a lovely look into early days of marriage. Read shortly after our 1st anniversary and was surprised at some things that felt relatable.
“Classic Mystery Stories” by Douglas G Greene (bookshop.org) – 3 stars. Another thing to read between chapters. It was..fine.
“The Story of the Stone, Volume 1: The Golden Days, Chapters 1-26” by Cao Xuequin (bookshop.org). – 3 stars. You guys, I have no idea what possessed me to believe that a Chinese classic from 1760 would be an enjoyable read. Oh my god. I have two more of these monsters.
“The Barrowfields” by Phillip Lewis (bookshop.org) – 3 stars. Another one that was not what I thought it was. I was sold a creepy house story, and yes, the creepy house is there. But this is not about the creepy house.
“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith (bookshop.org) – 4 stars. Eh, this was decent but felt overly complicated. I probably should have figured it out based on when who I had pegged showed up, but I grabbed the wrong details. Either way, I think I’m done with this series. I like Cormoran Strike as a character, but JK has been doing some weird shit lately.