I read fewer books than usual this month and this was for a few reasons. First of all, I read The Book Thief. At 550 pages, it took me a while to get through. The other reasons were travel (two weeks in Europe and not much reading) and deciding to subscribe to the paper newspaper. Having the NY Times delivered every morning is such a treat but keeps me reading the news instead of actual books. But anyway, I loved everything I read this month – the perfect mix between my two favorite categories: dark thrillers and historical fiction! There are only three books, but they are three quality books – each one is 1,000% worth your time. And if you are looking for more book recommendations, check out my February Reading List, as well as our interactive Book Club Page, where you can filter to find the perfect book recommendation based upon what you are looking for!
* The Book Thief by Markus Zusac was beautifully written but be warned, it is going to break your heart. So many of you recommended this one and I can’t believe I hadn’t read it yet. Set in Nazi Germany and told from the perspective of “Death”, you can imagine that you will need tissues… a lot of tissues. It follows the story of the main character Liesel (aka the book thief) from age nine to fourteen and what her life was like during Hitler’s rule. It’s heartwarming and even funny at times but also heartbreaking. Over 10 million copies have been sold – it’s a classic, I’m not sure how I only just read it this month. Be prepared to laugh and cry… it’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a while!
* All The Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda was particularly interesting as it’s a psychological thriller, told in reverse. Nicolette (incidentally one of my best friends’ names) returns home to care for her ailing father after ten years. Ten years ago, her best friend Corinne had disappeared. Shortly after arriving back home, another girl goes missing. Throughout the course of the book, Nicolette unravels the story of what happened to both missing girls… revealing secrets about her family and friendships. Megan Miranda writes very similarly to Gillian Flynn and there have been a lot of comparisons between the two. What I really loved most about the book was the way that the narrative is told in reverse. I’ve never read a book with a story structure like this and that was fun. You wouldn’t think it would work but it does… spectacularly!
* The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams was probably (definitely) my favorite book from this month. If you loved The Dollhouse (from our February Reading List), you will love this (but maybe wait a little while before you read it as they are very similar!) Similar to The Dollhouse, it alternates between modern day(ish – 1998 in this case) New York and the past (The Dollhouse took place in the fifties and this one took place in the Prohibition-era twenties). The two main characters are highly likable… I really loved and identified with each of them, for different reasons. In present day, you have Ella – who just discovered that her husband had been cheating on her with a prostitute. Back in the twenties, you have Gin (short for Ginger) who has been charged with helping to take down her sadistic stepfather who is also one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers. I loved how Williams was able to develop such distinct voices and personalities in each character… in reading the book you will become really invested in each of them. When I was finished I felt a little bit sad, as though I was saying goodbye to two close friends. To me, that’s the sign of a great book.
And now the important part: what should I read next? Your comments and suggestions are my favorite!