New Year Book Reviews

February 10, 2020


So far, I'm doing a stellar job at keeping up with this new blog!  I think a post every four months should be sufficient, no?  Oopsies.  I'll try harder, promise!  I'll get a house project I've been working on up here soon.  Hoping to get that wrapped up in the next few weeks and I'll share the results then.  I've also got a recipe I intend to throw up here this week, so stay tuned!  For now, how about some book reviews? 


I LOVE to read!  I have been that way since I was a child.  Books, libraries, book stores have always brought me a lot of happiness, an escape, and just comfort in general.  A friend just introduced me to Faulkner's Books in Pirates Alley in New Orleans over New Years, and O.M.G.!  Even though it's the size of a thimble, I could have spent hours in there. I ended up grabbing two new books to lug home with me, Mama's Last Hug by Frans de Waal and Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss.  Both look extremely interesting, and are pretty high up on my next-to-read list.

I have to admit I have a bit of an addiction that has become a joke with me and my friends.  I literally have piles of books all around my house begging me to read them.  I keep telling myself that I am not going to buy anymore until I get through them all, but then I accidentally wander into a book store (like Faulkner's), or down the street to the Little Free Library box one of my neighbors has set up in their front yard.  Don't even mind the subscription I have to the Book of the Month that emails you 5 suggested books to pick from each month. It's a problem. But hey, at least it's a good problem. Right?  AND, my friends and family benefit from my habit as I always pass my books on to one of them.  Sharing equals caring.  You're welcome for my addiction, friends.


Unfortunately with work and day to day life in general, I sometimes hit a rut and go weeks without even opening a book.  Lately, however I have been on a reading tear!  Here are a few of the ones I have read and really enjoyed the last couple of months:


The Whisper Man by Alex North

(This is one from my BOM subscription)

If you are into thrilling page-turners, this one is for you! Tom Kennedy and his young son, Jake need a change after an unfortunate circumstance in their family, and they end up moving back to Tom's hometown.  Around the time they move, there is a kidnapping of another boy who is Jake's age. The crime appears to be similar to the crimes of Frank Carter, a serial killer who terrorized the town two decades before. The chapters alternate between several of the characters, Tom, the detectives, Jake, allowing you to relate to each of the characters on their own level.  This book is definitely creepy, and spine-tingly and uber suspenseful. I read it in one weekend! You will keep guessing until the very end.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This book is a gem!  It's funny, it's quirky, and a little heart-tuggy.  I wasn't sure if I would like it quite honestly, and it sat on my book pile for quite a while (<--- I'm a poet and I didn't know it!) before I decided to give it a go. It was one that I found in my neighborhood Little Free Library, so I figured if I couldn't get into it, I could just put it back.  But, that most definitely was not the case, and I ended up tearing through it and then passing it along to friends.


Eleanor Oliphant is a bit of an outcast.  She's pretty weird.  Socially awkward.  A bit of a mystery.  At first I thought she was going to be annoying, but she actually turns out to be quite the opposite.  You actually end up loving her and rooting her on, and in the end understand why she is the way she is.  It makes you appreciate human kindness and friendship as well.  Reese Witherspoon is apparently making it into a movie, so if you have not read this one yet, hurry up and read it before the movie comes out!  Books are always better, in my humble opinion!  


Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

I just finished this baby up, and it was charming! (another one of my BOM subscription picks).  It's witty, and charming, and funny, and weird, but completely lovely.  It is about two girls from complete opposite ends of the social spectrum, Lillian and Madison, who meet at an elite boarding school.  They become fast and extremely close friends.  Lillian eventually gets kicked out of the school due to a scandal that occurs which she takes the fall for, and has to return home to her bleak and depressing home with her low-functioning mother.  The two friends never speak again, but stay in superficial touch via letter writing. 


Out of the blue, Lillian gets a letter from Madison begging Lilian to be the caretaker for her two stepchildren that are moving in with her and her politician husband.  Turns out, the twins are special, and spontaneously combust when they get upset.  Since Lilian is basically living a dead end life  at home, she accepts her friend's offer. Over the summer Lillian and the twins bond, and Lilian develops intense feelings of protectiveness for the children, surprising even herself.  This is a sweet, touching book about finding a place and people with whom you belong, and how family can form from the strangest of situations.  Read it.  Trust me.  You can thank me later.


I've just started reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.  I know I'm only about 10,000 years behind in getting to this book, and everyone has read it (right?  Have you?  Tell me I'm not the only one!), but I have heard nothing but rave reviews, so I finally picked up a copy for myself.  I've got to say, 70 pages in and I'm already hooked.  I have piles of other books lying around that I need to get to, so I'll do another round of book reviews in a couple months once I've gotten through a couple.  Stay tuned, and if you have any book suggestions, send them my way!












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