Mar 182014


I’m kind of obsessed with my Kindle. I love it! I love how easy it is to get books, how I don’t have to find time in my busy life to drive to the library or wait long times for books I ordered to arrive. It’s also made it easier to read MORE books! I have read some duds lately; and it’s nice that it’s easy to just delete the book from Kindle and move on to something else.

If you want to read my updates, you can friend me on GoodReads. Here is a list of some of the best books I’ve read in the last few months:

1. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

What a fantastic, dark, depressing book. The story is so relevant and I honestly fear for my future children growing up in a time when social media plays such a huge part in school/friendships/etc. This book was about a tragic bullying and there was also a bit of a whodunit to it–which kept me guessing until the very end. So worth a read. Every parent should read this book. I would name this as one of the top 5 books I’ve read this year so far. 5 stars!


2. The Ritual by Adam Nevill

This book started out SO STRONG. I kept thinking, “Wow, this is one of the best horror books I’ve ever read.” From the start the mood of creepiness and terror was there. The author nailed it. I cannot express just how scared I was reading this book. It’s been decades since I read a horror book that actually scared me to the core.

Then something happened. Part 2 happened. What happened to the awesome, frightening, well-written book that Part 1 was? It really felt like the author lost the trail on this one, pardon my pun. It felt like a different story; it wasn’t scary anymore, mildly creepy perhaps, but not the hideous, horrifying thing that gave me nightmares two nights in a row. That is why this book gets about 3.5 stars out of 5 from me.

3. The Wronged Sons by John Marrs

There were parts of this book where I wondered if I could finish it. There were some confusing elements to the book but hang in there! The ending is worth it.

It’s a story of how a husband just disappeared one day. The main character is the wife, grieving, wondering, for 25 years. The other main character is the husband, telling his story of where he went. The two stories coincide and all the confusing questions I had throughout the book were answered. It was dark, disturbing on so many levels, and worth the struggle in the beginning. Read it!

4. Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent 

I really enjoyed this book a lot. I loved the atmosphere it created. I really felt like I was back in Victorian London. I loved all the little details of it. My only issue with this book is that it seemed as though there were too many storylines. There was the murder/kidnap mystery, the wrong doings of the husband, the undertaking world, the involvement with the Queen, and then the American Civil War. Too much! I didn’t really understand how most of them fit together. Despite that, I loved the book and pre-ordered the second one for my Kindle!


5. The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry

I picked up this Kindle book right after Lady of Ashes because I was really digging the Victorian London scene. It was a murder mystery and the first book in the series featuring the main characters. While I only give this book 3 out of 5 stars, I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

Have you read anything great lately? I’m always looking for recommendations!

Nov 262013

Sometimes I read such a good book I really wish that I had someone else who has read it to discuss it with me. Lately I’ve read some really good books. Books that had me think “HOLY COW” and want to tell everyone about them! There are a few of those books listed in this post.

I read a lot and I try to keep my GoodReads profile up to date. Not only does it help me get ideas on other books to read, but it helps me keep track of what I have read! Sometimes it’s hard to remember. ;) I had a goal on Good Reads to read 100 books in 2013 and I’ve just reached that goal, a month early. And I have more books on my list to read!

So if you are looking for a good book to curl up with this cold, dark winter, or are looking for Christmas gifts for the reader in your life, check out some of the ones below:

1. Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

I’ve read both of Lupton’s books now and what I notice is that she likes to tell the story from an unusual point of view. Sometimes this works, like Wuthering Heights told by the nanny, and sometimes it doesn’t work. The point of view in “Afterwards” works, but it takes some getting used to. I definitely struggled with the first few chapters but once I realized what was going on it wasn’t difficult and I enjoyed how different it was.

The story is about a horrible accident and the aftermath. The main characters, Grace the mom and Jenny the teen daughter, are both in comas in the hospital and the story unfolds as they observe what goes on as essentially ghosts. Sounds dumb, but it wasn’t.

The story wasn’t just about a murder mystery; it was really about how people show their true colors in the face of tragedy and the incredible bond between a mother and child. It’s a story about sacrifice. Excellent book. A must read!

the snowman movie

2. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

This author is new to me, but apparently this book is not his first. It takes place in Norway, which makes the story exotic and interesting, and is your typical murder-mystery-detective novel. The book started really strong and then towards the end it kind of fizzled. I liked the book but sometimes struggled with the characters and keeping track of who was who. Then the finale brought the book back!

3. Tethered by Amy MacKinnon

I read it in one day. I was instantly transported to that world. The writing was so crisp and descriptive. The story is told by Claire, an undertaker, who discovers an abused girl hiding in the funeral parlor. There ended up being two intertwining stories about a murder from a few years ago and a current crime. While I disliked how meek the main character was, the story unfolded just as it should have. Really enjoyed this read and going to read other books by this author.


4. Ice House by Minette Walters

I enjoyed most of this book. I liked the development of the atmosphere and characterization. The ending wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be but I did enjoy how the mystery was solved.

5. Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

A lot of people have raved about this book so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a topic that interests me. However, the book fell flat. It wasn’t very interesting and didn’t capture my attention. Perhaps because there wasn’t a lot of new information in there, or perhaps because it felt like the author was lecturing, or he was trying WAY too hard to crowbar in pop-culture references, or maybe because not eating wheat apparently CURES EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET… I don’t know which was the bigger turn-off but I was bored. However! I think the book would probably be beneficial to someone who is just wanting to start losing weight or go gluten-free and doesn’t know a lot about the history of wheat.


6. The Never List by Koethi Zan

This book is probably in my top 5 for this year. It sucked me in immediately and I ended up reading the book in one day. The story starts out with a little history: the main character and her best friend are in a car accident where the friend’s mom dies. In order to process this tragedy, the girls create a “never list.” It’s a list of scenarios and how to protect themselves–from fires, kidnappings, rapes, anything bad that could happen to them, including don’t get in cars with strangers. The girls were clearly dealing with PTSD, OCD and agoraphobia–afraid of any possible bad thing that might happen. Their response to the tragedy is to create this list, as if in some way it will magically protect them. Then they make a mistake and get in a car with a stranger.

The girls are held captive in a cellar for three years. The story is dark, very very dark, but it’s also spellbinding and DIFFERENT than most books I’ve read. It sent chills up my spine but it wasn’t SO dark that it was difficult to read. I read every single word in this book, unable to get enough of it!

“There were four of us down there for the first thirty-two months and eleven days of our captivity. And then, very suddenly and without warning, there were three. Even though the fourth person hadn’t made any noise at all in several months, the room got very quiet when she was gone. For a long time after that, we sat in silence, in the dark, wondering which of us would be next in the box.”

Just chilling. Read it!!

What’s on your must read list lately?