I think this is the first time I’ve written a book post and really loved all of the books! Usually there are one or two duds in the bunch but everything I’ve read recently has just been really, really enjoyable. It’s a good mix too – some thrillers, some literary fiction, and a really great non-fiction pick. This is a great winter reading list as we work our way (ever so slowly!) towards spring.
Winter Reading List:
This book was so good and felt really kind of quirky and different from anything I’ve read lately. It centers on a little girl named Marie Grosholtz who moves to France with her mother, where they wind up living with an eccentric doctor who makes wax models of organs and body parts for medical students to study. The doctor and the wax figures become increasingly important to her as she grows up and eventually becomes Madame Tussaud of wax museum fame. I found the book to be really well-written and it was actually also very well-researched – the author took 15 years writing it! So the historical fiction aspect was cool but there was also just great character development and a surprisingly poignant second half. And you don’t have to be a wax museum buff to enjoy it!
I read this in two days – it was easy to get through and I really enjoyed it a lot. It has mixed reviews which I can totally understand – it was kind of about nothing, in a way? It’s basically just about a group of upper-class people who live on a dead end Upper West Side block, and various things that happen between them and on the block generally. So what made me like it? I think the writing was just wonderful. You feel a sense of place, the characters feel real and she makes you care about them. There was a lack of action but in this, it didn’t bother me the least bit. It was a quiet book but not boring – I read it quicker than any of the other books in the post!
This was so good! I went into it knowing next to nothing about Greek mythology and I loved learning about that. Circe is a minor goddess and I guess if you’ve read The Odyssey or learned about mythology in school, you’ve heard of her and her compatriots. This book really brings her and the whole world of Greek gods and goddesses to life and makes it feel relatable, in a way – while still feeling distinct from our world. It was a refreshing change from the type of thing that I usually read and I liked that I also learned something at the same time!
OMG – this was SO GOOD! I’ve never read a non-fiction book so quickly and I want everyone I know to read it. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bad Blood is the story of the rise and fall of Silicon Valley phenom Elizabeth Holmes (at one time the youngest ever female self-made billionaire) and her company Theranos, written by the journalist who brought the whole scandal out into the open. It is just unbelievable, from start to finish – basically the Fyre Festival of companies. I went into it knowing only the barest bones of the story, and I was truly flabbergasted by every page. The story is so compelling, I could not put it down – proves that truth really is stranger than fiction.
Misery is SO good – I mean, it feels silly to review something like this because it’s basically just a classic by now. I think it’s one of Stephen King’s best and creepiest novels, telling the story of a popular fiction writer who gets in a freak car accident and is “rescued” slash taken prisoner by a rabid fan, who becomes increasingly weird and unstable and terrifying. I listened to it on Audible, possibly faster than any other book I’ve listened to…it is just SO good. The tension just build and builds and builds…and the character of Annie is so twisted. You won’t be able to put it down.
Really enjoyed this! Detective Aaron Faulk returns to his hometown in the Australian outback to attend the funeral of a childhood friend of his, who apparently took his own life and that of his wife and son. Aaron gets caught up in the investigation, trying to figure out what happened, and has to contend with secrets from his own past in the process. People have compared Jane Harper to Tana French and I totally get the comparison – they’re not the same but if you like one I think you’re pretty likely to like the other. I feel like for both authors, the books are just several notches above your typical thriller – really good writing and always a psychological component that gets you really invested in the story and the characters.
Consider me a Jane Harper groupie! Pretty much definitely going to be reading anything she writes from now on, especially of the Aaron Faulk series. This is the second in the series, so again we’re with Detective Aaron Faulk (not a homicide detective, mind you), getting embroiled in a murder investigation. I did find this one slightly confusing at first because it centers on a group of five women and I was having trouble keeping them straight, but pretty quickly I got who was who and it wasn’t an issue. Just a great page turner and I definitely had no idea whodunnit. And I love Aaron Faulk! I hope she’ll write more in the series.