It felt like just yesterday that I was sharing all the books on my to-read list for Q1 with you. Life looked very different back at the beginning of January. I thought that winter was a good reason to power through some books, but now we’re all in self-isolation for what looks to be an indefinite period of time, so now is an excellent time to take your mind off the news and escape in a book!
First, I want to review the books I read in Q1. You’ll see what I thought about them and if I recommend them, and then I’ll share the seven books I’m committing to my to-read list for Q2. But let’s be honest, I hope to get through more than this!
- The New Girl, by Daniel Silva (READ) – I’d been hearing great things about Daniel Silva for years, and for no particular reason I picked The New Girl to start with. Part of the Gabriel Allon series, a teenage girl is kidnapped from a private boarding school in Switzerland. Her father is the unpopular Saudi king, and he enlists the help of Gabriel Allon, the chief of Israeli intelligence to find her. There are so many twists and turns in this book that it keeps you on your toes, and I loved it! (Grab a copy here)
- Smarter Living: Work-Nest-Invest-Relate-Thrive (DIDN’T READ) – For no particular reason I didn’t get this book read, though it was likely the easiest of them all. It’s still on my to-read list, and I will likely pick this up in Q2, even though it’s not on my list. I’m on a big to-do list kick during quarantine, and this will fit perfectly in that mindset! (Grab a copy here)
- Long Bright River, by Liz Moore (READ) – This novel was written in a way unlike any book I’ve read, and I’m not sure I’ve ever read something so melancholy that had a cloud of sadness over it. But though it was sad, it was beautiful. It was raw and real. Your heart feels something for these characters, and you end up completely invested in them. I thought Long Bright River was worth the hype, and highly recommend it. (Grab a copy here)
- In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle (READ) – I read this book in one day, and loved it! I had finished The New Girl and decided to start this next. I opened the book, read a few chapters, and next thing I knew I was too far in to put it down. In Five Years tells the story of Dannie, a data-driven, in-control woman who has her whole life planned out. One night she falls asleep and when she awakes she’s five years in the future, except she’s married to a different man, in a different apartment, and then she falls back asleep and wakes up back in her own apartment. Dannie shakes it off as a very realistic dream, until one day she meets the man from the future, and realizes that life has it’s own plans. (Grab a copy here).
- The Institute, by Stephen King (READ) – I had only read one Stephen King book before The Institute (that would be Mr. Mercedes, for a book club I was in). It was okay. I didn’t find myself loving it as much as others, but I certainly wasn’t ready to count this legendary author down and out from one book. After all, I’m a big fan of his adapted movies and television shows (did you watch The Outsider? Or Castle Rock? They’re amazing!), so I knew I wanted to read another Stephen King book, and I’m glad I picked up The Institute! The book centers around Luke Ellis, a boy kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night and taken to The Institute, a sinister, evil place where kids with special abilities are tested and used for evil. Across the country, Tim is has been kicked out of the Jacksonville PD and settles in a small South Carolina town as a night knocker, checking on homes and businesses during the night. As things progress, Luke and Tim’s lives will collide in a way that makes you remember that happy endings don’t really ever happen. (Grab a copy here)
What I read that I didn’t plan for:
- You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – I’m a big fan of Hendricks and Pekkanen, and was so excited to see You are Not Alone as an option for my February Book of the Month. I couldn’t help myself and devoured it in just a few days. Simple Shay Miller wants to be liked and have excitement in her otherwise quiet life. She meets the glamorous Moore sisters, and is smitten with their life, and does whatever it takes to get in their inner circle. But the Moore sisters have other plans for Shay as she unknowingly walks into their web of deception. (Grab a copy here)
- Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough – I moved this book right to the top of my to-read list when after reading multiple posts/comments in the Spivey’s Book Club Facebook group saying that this was the thriller who’s ending completely shocked and blindsided people. How could I not read it?! Behind Her Eyes centers on, “the secretary of a successful psychiatrist is drawn into the seemingly picture-perfect life of her boss and his wife before discovering a complex web of controlling behaviors and secrets that gradually reveal profound and dangerous flaws in the couple’s relationship.” There are, however, many more twists and turns. And just when you get to the end, and you think “oh wow, that was trippy!”, you realize it’s not the end, and this book hits your over the head with a final twist. The rumors were true. Craziest ending I’ve ever read! (Grab a copy here)
What I plan to read in Q2
- Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston – I’m a bit behind the ball on reading this novel, but I still hear people consistently recommend Red, White & Royal Blue as a fantastic, uplifting read. In fact, I lent this book to my mom to read before me since I was so behind on my to-read list, and she returned it within a few days, instructing me to hurry up and read it because she loved it! It’s the first book to move from my to-read list to ‘currently reading’! (Grab a copy here)
- The Guest List, by Lucy Foley – As a Book of the Month member this book was an option as my April book, so I will be receiving it ahead of its May 5 release date. The Guest List is about a murder at a posh Irish wedding, and everyone at the wedding is a suspect. I hope it’s the good, old fashioned thriller that I can count on time and time again! (Grab a copy here)
- Open Book, by Jessica Simpson – I was never a big Jessica Simpson fan; as in I was just neutral about her when I was growing up – no bad thoughts, not a fan girl. However, after hearing so many great things about her biography, and how real and honest she was, I was excited to give it a try! I’m about a quarter of the way in, and I’m loving how open she is. Maybe I’m going to be a Jessica Simpson fan after all. (Grab a copy here)
- Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown – One of my favorite Bookstagrammer’s, Jordy’s Book Club, raved about this book, and after reading the description I was hooked. Two women, one a grifter, the other an heiress, find themselves caught up in a game of deceit, revenge and destruction as them run a big scam. (Grab a copy here)
- The Chain, by Adrian McKinty – Another book that’s been on my to-read list for a bit, but The Chain is a book I picked up and haven’t read yet. And if I’m being honest, I couldn’t have only one thriller on my list to-read for the next three months! “Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die.” (Grab a copy here)
- Beach Read, by Emily Henry – Just like The Guest List, I will be receiving this book in advance of it’s May 19 publication date as a member of Book of the Month in April, and I can’t wait to escape in this book. Beach Read is a story two completely different authors – she writes sweet, happy endings, he writes dark novels – who end up with a serious case of writer’s block, as well as neighbors of the summer. In an effort to get out of their writing slumps, they challenge each other to write a book that is a reflection of style of writing of the other, and end up taking each other on out of the ordinary summer adventures. (Grab a copy here)
- Get a Life, Chloe Brown, by Talia Hibbert – Another mom recommended book. This was her BOTM, and she dropped it at my door insisting I read it. After a near-death experience, homebody Chloe Brown picks seven things to do to help her “get a life”. Move out of her families mansion, enjoy a drunken night out, ride a motorcycle, go camping, have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex, travel the world with nothing but hand luggage, and do something bad. She enlists to help of her families handyman to help herald these two embark on an adventure. (Grab a copy here)
TELL ME: What books are you excited to read?