It’s been a minute since I shared what I’ve been reading, so I’m very excited to put together a list just in time for your holiday break. I have to admit, the past few months have been particularly good on the book front, and I hope everyone has time during the holidays to sneak away and curl up with one of these stories!!
1. The Idea of You by Robinne Lee. If you’re going to read anything here, read this. Our girl @serenagwolf posted about this book during the week of the election, so naturally I had to try it out myself! It really is a fabulous distraction from everything that’s happening in the world right now. To give you guys a reference point - this book is basically 50 Shades of Gray vibes but way, way more elevated and a lot less cringeworthy. Yes, the plotline is essentially that an almost 40-year-old mom falls into a relationship with a teenage boy band celeb, but it’s not your average love story. It’s well-written, emotional, and you actually feel invested in the characters. I didn’t want this book to end!
2. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. “Dark” is definitely a key theme in this book, but wow. I’ve never read something quite like this before. The book centers around a teenage girl’s relationship with her teacher, and how it impacts her through adulthood. Vanessa, the main character, recounts the decades-long affair, alternating between her teenage self and her “present” self. The content is hard to read at points, because you watch Vanessa struggle to come to terms with the relationship - she views it as romantic and genuine whereas you see so clearly as the reader that it’s abusive and manipulative. When Vanessa reflects back on those years as an adult, she’s in the midst of the #MeToo era which adds a whole new layer of complexity. This book is fiction but it feels incredibly real.
3. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager.This book is outside of my typical genre and writing style, and I’m not sure how I stumbled across it, but I would recommend it for those seeking a real thrill (and an “easy” read)! It’s like a scary movie but in book form. A young woman takes an apartment sitting job at one of New York City’s most storied buildings, and quickly realizes there’s a lot of sketchy and unsettling behavior happening in the building and among its residents. The author really builds up the suspense, which was addicting for me...I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what happens. If you get afraid easily, it may not be for you. BUT if you can handle it, it’s a great (albeit slightly terrifying) escape from reality.
4. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. Moving on to drawn-out crime mysteries… My Lovely Wife takes you for a twisted psychological ride, telling the story of a seemingly normal married couple who has a fetish for murder. The author makes you forget that they’re psychopaths because they live such ordinary lives - suburban home, two kids, working parents - so it’s crazy to see how they engage in their shared “hobby” but never miss a beat in their day-to-day activities. I was pleasantly surprised at how many plot twists there were in this book. Things kept on unfolding in different directions than I anticipated. I have to disclose though that I did find some parts sliiightly slow...but power through because the ending is killer! (no pun intended, I promise. It really is a great ending!!).
5. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. I have not read this yet but it’s next on my list! First off, I haven’t met a celeb memoir I didn’t like, and second - Matthew McConaughey is dreamy AF so you bet that I want to hear what he has to say! From what I know, he’s taken 36+ years worth of journals and turned them into stories that share lessons learned, wisdom he’s gained along the way, and random tidbits about his childhood, career, and family (I always regret not being more diligent about journaling when I hear about people doing this type of thing). Word on the street is that the audiobook is the way to go with this one because you get the benefit of Matthew McConaughey’s life story told in that amazing voice of his. Perfect for any upcoming road trips!
Happy holiday reading!