And I’ve read some great books lately. Would you like to know more about them? Yes? I thought so.
A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
For nearly 300 years, the mysterious journal of Jacobite exile Mary Dundas has lain unread, it’s secrets safe from prying eyes. Now, Sara Thomas, an amateur code-breaker with Aspergers, has been hired by a once-famous historian to crack the journal’s cipher and spill it’s secrets. But when she arrives in Paris, Sara meets all kinds of complications, including her hostess’s handsome neighbor. As the parallel stories of Mary and Sara unravel, they must each choose the path that will take them safely home.
I love Historical Fiction so much, and Kearsley doesn’t disappoint. This Canadian author is fast becoming one of my favourites, and this follow-up to the bestselling The Firebird was absolutely amazing. This author produces extremely well-researched and warm novels whose characters creep up on you until you care so much about them that you can’t put the book down.
Recommend Factor: 8/10
Unputdownable Factor: 7/10 (starts slow then becomes completely engrossing)
The Wild Oats Project by Robin Rinaldi
In her 8th year of marriage (but 18 years into her relationship), Robin Rinaldi tells her husband that she wants an open relationship for one year. They name her journey from the straight and narrow into a world of dates, unentangled sexual encounters and a San Francisco sex cult as the Wild Oats Project. But does it become a manifesto of freedom or a cautionary tale? She tells her story straight and lets you decide.
I don’t usually read non-fiction or memoir, but this one really fascinated me. The author was just a couple of years younger than I am now when she began her project, and just like me, in a long-term relationship with a very stable man. Her journey of sexual exploration is a bit outrageous and extravagant. And whether or not you agree with her undertaking you’ll find it fascinating. The memoir is written in a non-judgemental honest style and really encourages the reader to bring their own world view into the equation, but still sometimes dives into the narcissistic. Whether I’d have the guts to do what she did is under review, but she was brave and she followed her heart. So kudos to that.
Recommend Factor: 6/10 (not for everyone)
Unputdownable Factor: 9/10 (fascinating)
Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova
Joe O’Brien is a seasoned and respected Boston Police office, devoted husband and proud father. He’s only 44 years old when he begins experiencing strange symptoms and episodes of disorganized thinking, temper, and involuntary movements. Convinced it’s just fatigue, he agrees to visit the doctor only to find out he has Huntington’s Disease, most likely inherited from his mother. There’s no treatment and no cure. And worst of all, it’s genetic. As Katie watches her father decline, the 21-year old struggles with her own questions: should she take the genetic test to find out if she has the disease? Does she want to know? Is she strong enough to watch her father die? With courage and conviction Katie and her siblings, along with her parent’s figure out that it’s leaning on each other that will allow them to live with the spectre of Huntington’s hanging over their family.
Really, Lisa Genova’s books don’t need any introduction. She writes with an intelligence, sensitivity and clarity no matter what the human condition addressed in her stories. Inside the O’Briens is no different. Now the second book I’ve read in the last few months that explores Huntington’s Disease, and I’m sort of glad that Genova chose this genetic illness as the subject of this book. Using the form of novel, Genova brings a loving honesty as we witness the struggles of a close-knit Boston Irish family brought down by the ravages of a devastating disease. The message truly is powerful, extremely painful, and somehow uplifting and positive, all at the same time.
Recommend Factor: 9/10
Unputdownable Factor: 10/10
Someone is Watching by Joy Fielding
Bailey Carpenter is a special investigator for a hotshot Miami law firm. She’s young, smart, and fearless. But when she’s brutally attacked while spying on a deadbeat dad, her whole world is shaken. Unsure of who she can trust and where she belongs in the world, she develops crippling suspicions and anxieties. Then, she finds a new use for her idle binoculars: peering into the windows and lives of the neighboring condo apartments. She begins to be fixated on one handsome stranger, convinced he’s her attacker. Determined to overcome her terror and reclaim her life, she risks her credibility as she pursues leads outside of the police investigation. Unsure who she can trust, including those of her immediate family, she begins to question her sanity. But how far will people go to solve this mystery?
I don’t usually read mysteries, but I really liked Someone is Watching. An excellent time passer, it won’t make you smarter but you’ll have fun reading it. The author is obviously a master at her genre (she’s written 50+books), which meant that she knows how to weave a tale and create the right amount of mystery and tension. Note that I was a very good girl and didn’t read the ending first, which definitely made for a more enjoyable experience. Take note that while I’m one of the uninitiated I still I figured out the whodunit halfway through. But never fear, there are multiple entwined plot lines and Fielding was still able to fool me with other elements. Bailey Carpenter is a great character and I hope that we get to see her again.
Recommend Factor: 7/10
Unputdownable Factor: 8/1o (Duh!)
And for something completely different…
ManWhore by Katy Evans
Rachel is a journalist who wants her story. Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint is the bad boy she’s assigned to shine an unwanted spotlight on. He’s mysterious, privileged, rich. And legendary. But while the press always digs for tidbits to show that his fairy tale life is all smoke and mirrors, nobody has ever been able to get close enough to find out. Can Rachel be the one to break through and expose his secrets? Can she get her career changing story or will she be the one who’s changed? When it comes to this hunky manwhore and the reporter who wants to uncover him, who’s exactly exposing who?
Seriously, what do you think is going to happen in a book with the tagline: What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin? Sexy, dirty, fun. Just read it. It’s not that deep and it will only take you 3 hours. You know you want to. Date Saint, that is. I know I do.
Recommend Factor: 8/10
Unputdownable Factor: 10/10 (Make it a one sitting read so you can get the full effect)