It’s now the dead of winter. So guess what I’ve been doing. Besides binge watching Netflix, of course. You MUST check out Mr. Selfridge. And The Killing. Yes, I know… you must wonder exactly how I have time for everything. Well, I do. What you don’t know won’t hurt you, so stop asking so many questions.
Anyways, back to what I’ve been doing. I’ve been reading. A lot. I think I’ve already read 7 or so books already, and it’s just the end of January. Of course, I went through one of my romantic sexy book phases over the winter break which definitely adds to the final count. But which ones would I recommend? Do I have some choice picks for you?
You betcha. Let’s start with just these three. I don’t want to overwhelm you.
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting (Out Feb 3, 2015)
It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river. Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle’s initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table.
But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood. Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unfounforgivable
Best friends, family, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, love, forgiveness. Walking on Trampolines has it all. This novel is just how I like it — a little bit quirky, funny, sad, and all-around consuming. The characters are unique yet somehow familiar and impeccably flawed. I willingly submerged myself into Annabelle and Lulu’s story. I highly recommend you read this treasure of a novel.
For fans of: JoJo Moyes, Liane Moriarty and Lucy Clarke
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.
You must read this novel. It’s brilliant. Unlike Gone Girl (to which you’ll draw an instant comparison), the main character, Rachel, is likeable, albeit terribly and defectively flawed. The author, Frances Whiting, delivers nuggets of story-driving information like little treasures designed to move you towards the denoument, inch by teeny little precious inch. I’m no mystery/suspense expert, but I’m pretty sure she does a damn great job at tricking the lot of us. You’ll be mesmerized, that’s all I’ll say. There’s a reason everyone who’s anyone is reading Girl on the Train.
For fans of: (the obvious) Gone Girl, Before I Go to Sleep (but also) Dani Atkins and Harriett Lane.
The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin. After living the dream in New York for a year – touring her self-help book, appearing on talk shows all over the USA and living it up in her 10-room duplex on the Upper West Side – she’s back to normality with a bang. And she’s got writer’s block.
Stella wants a clean break as she didn’t exactly leave New York on a high. Why is she back in Ireland so soon? Who is it who keeps calling? Stella wants to get back to being the woman she used to be. But can she? And should she?
Well, it’s no secret that I’m an Hibernophile (that’s the word for a lover of all things Irish, in case you didn’t know. I didn’t. I googled what is the word for people who love all things Irish.) And thus, I adore any books written by or about Irish people and that are situated partially or completely in Ireland. All that is reason enough to love Marian Keyes’ books. But if one is nitpicking and also wanting to love the actual book and not the idea of it, one will be completely thrilled with this novel about life lessons, forgiveness, disastrous relationships, and fresh starts.
Stella, our heroine, is completely laugh-out-loud funny, and the cast of characters surrounding her are maddening and atrocious. She says what you’re thinking and probably a lot more. I’m waxing poetic, I know. But I’m still a bit in love with Mannix (nah…not telling you who he is. You’ll see.)
This novel is original and fun and sad and serious all rolled up in one fantastically refreshing package. For such a large and sometimes complex book — it switches times and narrators, which doesn’t bother me, but might you — it’s a fast read. Personally, I loved Stella and her cronies so much that I could have kept reading forever. I really needed to know how when and with who Stella gets her groove back (no thematic theft intended.)
For fans of: chick lit in general, Marian Keyes, Cathy Kelley, Jill Mansell, Jane Green
What have you been reading lately?