After failing almost all my 2017 reading challenges, January was bit rough for me – but I still read some terrific books!
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
A classic I never read before (WHY??!!) that mixes mystery, slow growing tension and super British class structures. I loved it. I think this is a book I can reread every few years and find something new. My mom lent me the 50’s movie and it was also amazing. So cheesy and lovely and dramatic. This book was my book round robin group as an underrated read, so I had to give it back but I will be on the lookout for a copy of my own soon.
Down and Across by Arven Ahmedi
This YA novel about a young man looking for grit, was sweet, hopeful and very relatable. I also felt the book did a great job of bringing DC (a town I’ve only visited for touristy reasons) to life. I got this from First to Read (a galley site from Penguin Random House) as an epub.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Another YA but this one mixes magic, beauty, history and New Orleans into something gorgeous and exciting. I visited New Orleans when I was a teen and something about the heat, delicious food and constant festive mood made me feel like anything could happen. That mood is perfectly captured in this first installment. Warning: Don’t trust anyone! I received an epub from Netgalley.
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
I love a romance. Add in small town locale, throw in a slow burn between exes and a complicated family history and you have this sexy, sexy, deep romance which I loved! Seriously, it made me immediately want to buy the rest of the series. I got this as an epub from Kindle.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
This was my Book of Month pick sometime in 2017 after the judge Liberty Hardy gave it a hearty recommendation. When I read it for myself, it was easy to see why. It combines, hilarity, coincidence (or fate), love, heartbreak, longing, dishonesty, intrigue and more than 50 years of European and American history. It was so beautiful and soul-baringly harsh it was hard to read sometimes. This is wonderful tome, best read with a warm drink and lots of time at hand.
Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
My husband, mom and I decided last year to borrow the Icelandic idea of giving books at Christmas as a new holiday tradition and give each other a new book on Christmas Eve. My husband got me Sex at Dawn, probably because 1. it’s something he would read and 2. human sexuality is a topic we often discuss at home. While I didn’t find this book a great read, (mostly because nothing was new or fresh to me) I think others will find new, challenging ideas with lots of food for thought.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2017 and although it took me months to get to it – it didn’t disappoint! Ng is a skilled and gorgeous writer, who creates characters that on the surface seem so suburban and ordinary, until the curve in the road reveals the deeper heart and motivations that drive people to unthinkable actions. Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2018, I have two copies of this book and I want to keep both! But, it’s so good, I keep pushing one copy on friends to read.