Good morning and HELLO MONDAY!
Last week didn’t go exactly as I had hoped and both kids ended up staying home quarantined the whole week. It’s been a crazy past few weeks but I am beyond excited to have a schedule this week and both kids head back to school.
I have been getting a lot of DM’s about books, books I would recommend, etc so thought I would share what I’ve read so far this year. Just as reminder, I save all my reads to my ‘Books’ highlight on Instagram with a bit of an overview and how I enjoyed it.
I also frequently get asked what I do with my books! I love reading a physical book and can not enjoy an ereader no matter how much I try. I love the escape of reading and the disconnection and feel of a real book. I often swap books with friends and we have a few very large built in’s in our front room that I am hoping to eventually fill wall to wall as a library!
So, here a list of what I’ve read so far this year and my overall rating!
Stan and Joy Delaney are tennis pros and the parents of four: Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke. Each child, former tennis players themselves, suffers from their own successes and demons. But jealousy is piqued when a mysterious young woman named Savannah shows up at their parents’ house and begins living with them, filling in as the perfect domestic daughter they never had. Then Joy goes missing and Savannah is MIA, and the most obvious suspect is the stormy and physically dominant Stan.
My thoughts: I enjoyed this story and dissecting the connection between Savannah and the family but felt like it could have been 100 pages shorter.
When Dava Shastri, a self-made billionaire and philanthropist learns she has terminal cancer, she decides to leak the news of her death to the media so she can, once and for all, know what the world thinks of her. The problem? It’s not what her, or her four grown children, expect.
My thoughts: Ugh, I really wanted to love this book but it was just okay for me. The family story and the secrets that surface kept me interested but I felt like the storytelling was lacking a bit.
Cassie Woodson is a disgraced lawyer who has hit rock bottom. She finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.
While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.
My thoughts: Loved this! A friend recommended it to me and I now know why. It kept me glued to the page and I finished it so quickly!
A deep dive into what makes cults intriguing and why we are so fascinated with them. Montell explores the verbal elements that make communities “cultish” and breaks down so many of the examples we know and several I had never explored before.
My thoughts: Trevor and I both both read this on vacation and found it fascinating! You can definitely bop around between sections to read about different genres of cults.
Michele Zauner’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and her memoir, Crying in H-Mart chronicles the decline of her mother’s health and her own journey in finding her sense of self. It’s through food that Zauner most connected with her fierce and independent mother, and so it follows that the place where she most misses her is in a Korean grocery store.
My thoughts: I loved this memoir so much and found it compelling and truly heartbreaking. As a trigger warning: this has a lot of in depth detail about Michele’s mother’s cancer journey in case that is a typical topic for you.
Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class.
There, she meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be who doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.
My thoughts: Another great read this past month! I loved the story unfolding and it literally left me with my mouth open when I finished. Highly recommend!
Molly, a twenty-something maid working in a New York hotel, discovers notorious—and very wealthy—guest Charles Black dead in his bed. This is a problem for any number of reasons, not least of which is that it offends Molly’s sense of order, which is what leads her to clean Black’s room immediately. Molly’s actions and curious demeanor see her propelled to the top of the suspect list. Guileless, earnest, and determined, the bulk of the suspense in this novel is watching Molly—as vulnerable as a toddler on train tracks—hunt down the real killer.
My thoughts: I found the main character loveable and quirky in the best way but also wanted to keep her from herself most of the way. I thought it was a great lesson in life and our judgements!
After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.
My thoughts: I have not read a book this quickly (less than 24 hours) in quite a while. I would not describe this story as ‘sad’ at all which I had seen prior to reading it. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time and I have been thinking about the characters since I finished it.
Hope this helps you find something new and amazing to read and hope you all have a great Monday!