Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Reading Recap

I've been reading/listening up a storm since my last reading recap and have some GOOD ONES to share with y'all today!

I watched  Firefly Lane on Netflix and enjoyed it so much I decided to give the book a try and OH MY WORD the show doesn't hold a candle to the absolute TREASURE that this book is.  I preferred it to the show for so many reasons (the characters were better, I liked that it went chronologically instead of switching back and forth between past and present, etc.).  The main difference is that that book ABSOLUTELY RIPPED MY HEART OUT in the best possible way.  I've heard mixed reviews about the second book and honestly, right now I'm just fine sitting in where this book left off.  

When I read that  A Good Marriage had a "Big Little Lies feel" I knew I had to try it out.  It was full of twists and turns and honestly kept me guessing until the end.  It featured a crowd of Brooklyn private school parents and all the drama/relationships surrounding their seemingly perfect exteriors and I enjoyed it A LOT!

Blood was a hard read for me.  Knowing it was a memoir made it that much more tragic but the author's beautiful way of writing (she's a song writer) made it a book that I won't forget.  It starts with the murder suicide of the author's parents and tells the story of how they got there and where her life went after. It was raw and powerful and brutal to listen to at points but well worth the read.

The Book of Essie was such an unexpected surprise for me - I read it on a whim and while I felt like the ending was a bit disappointing (still good, but I just wish it had been "more") I still enjoyed it so much.  It was unlike anything else I'd read and I feel like this synopsis says it better than I could :)

"Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?"

Seriously SUCH a good read!

I don't know how I haven't read  The Couple Next Door before now but I'm so glad I did!

"Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night, when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately lands on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story."

This book was FULL of deception, surprises, plot twists and just when I felt like I know what was going to happen something else happened instead.  This was a fast and fun read!

Y'all!!! My love for Kristin Hannah runs DEEP and I was SO EXCITED to dive into  The Four Winds.  It tells the story of Elsa Martinelli who is living in Texas during the Dust Bowl.  A drought has broken the great plains and she has to decide whether to stay and fight for the life and land she loves or head West in search of a better life.

"The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation."

I read and loved The Grapes of Wrath and felt like The Four Winds was right up there with that classic.  It was informative, I was rooting so hard for Elsa and her kids and I LOVED the relationship she found at the end of the novel.

If you like creepy suspense then  The Turn of the Key is for you!  It was way "creepier" than I normally read with a poison garden, creaking attic and scary dolls BUT IT WAS SO GOOD! Made the hair on my arms stand up a few times and I felt like the audiobook reader did a great job.  

Ruth Ware has quickly become one of my favorite suspense authors and this one definitely lived up to her reputation.  

I feel like I had been deep in suspense/thriller land and took a little break by reading Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella.  Her books are always light and fun and FUNNY and this one was exactly that.

Sylvie and Dan are told by their doctor that they're both in excellent health and could both live to be 100 - which seems like good news until the panic sets in and they realize that they could be married for another 60+ years.  They decide to start surprising each other and when the surprises don't go as planned hilarity ensues and some secrets are unearthed.  The book was light and fun and Sylvie's best friend Tilda made me laugh out loud several times but there was also a deeper story line that I really enjoyed.  Overall a great light and fun read.

I couldn't put  Then She Was Gone down.  

Lauren Mack is trying to put her life back together 10 years after the disappearance of her 15 year old daughter Ellie when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafe.  I don't want to give too much away but the more I read the more I wanted to read - as tidbits are revealed about various characters and you figure out what happened to Ellie and how it's all connected to present events I was definitely invested.  I did find some of the story line a little bit of a "stretch" but it was still super entertaining and well written.

The House Guest was another CREEPY book that went in a direction that I never saw coming. 

  "British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.  So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.  They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers―let alone invite them into your home―but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.  As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake."

If you read this PLEASE let me know what you think because I did NOT see the ending coming AT ALL!

I'm currently reading  The Summer House and listening to  Before She Knew Him and they could not be more different.  I'll keep you posted but as of right now Before She Knew Him MAY be the most disturbing book I've ever read.  SO SO SO CREEP!

I'd love to know what you're reading or what you've read recently and loved!  HAPPY Tuesday and happy reading, friends!!


  1. I loved The Four Winds, even though it was hard to read at times; also loved Firefly Lane more than the TV show! A couple to try: The Rural Diaries, Seven Days of Us, A Man Called Ove.

  2. I highly suggest The Perfect Marriage! Was full of surprised and I didn’t see the ending coming!

  3. I just finished 'Keeping Lucy' by T Greenwood. Absolutely loved it. I am adding a couple of yours to my list!

  4. Verity by Colleen Hoover! Actually anything she writes is AMAZING!!!

  5. These all look great! Thanks for the recs, I added several of them to my library list that I keep on my phone. Do you read Debbie Macomber? Do your homework to see which book goes first, but I love her stuff! She writes in a way that is lighthearted, but with good story lines within her characters.

  6. WOW you were on a roll with reading. I LOVED the book: The Nature of Fragile Things. So good.

  7. I LOVE Peter Swanson and he has a new book out today!

  8. Ooo I am so excited about a few of these!! We have very similar taste in books it seems, so I've added a few new to my list. I've been really enjoying Ruth Ware, too!

  9. LOVE suspense/thrillers!! Thanks for the recs! Will be adding these to my list :)

  10. So many great recommendations, thanks! I just added a bunch to my hold list at the library. I am number 143 on the list for The Four Winds, haha! I'll report back in about 3 years when I finally get to read it!

  11. Kristen Hannah, all day every day. I enjoyed the netflix show, but it couldn't even ALMOST rep the book ... man!

  12. I want to read some of those books!

  13. Thank you for te recs! Wrote all of them down for summer reading. I am on a Madeline Miller kick. Her portrayal of Greek mythology is incredible.

  14. Argh! I can't do creepy, I always read right before bed and I'm so afraid of having bad dreams. That said, I do love a mystery and my library just notified me that The Four Winds is on hold for me :).

  15. I think you’d enjoy The Things We Can Not Say by Kelly Rimmer. I’m listening via my library app.