Hello, November! This past month’s reading started STRONG, with Goodnight Beautiful. If you love a twisty thriller as much as I do, I think you will love this! I thought the twists were really creative and thoughtful – and different from other thrillers I’ve read. More on that below. I read two other thrillers (one I loved, the other I didn’t), and then of course there was also Ghosts, our Bad on Paper November book club pick. So even though I only read four books this month, I would highly recommend three out of the four.
As always, I really love your recs!!! In the comments, tell me what you’re reading / send any and all recommendations – I love getting them. I’m especially interested in reading thrillers by authors of color.
IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BEAUTIFUL BOOK CLUB PAGE.
Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every book I’ve read in the past seven years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre. Now you can also filter by GRADE to find exactly what you’re looking for or just peruse my top picks. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list!
Everything I Read in October 2021
Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy
I LOVED THIS! You know that my favorite genre is twisty thrillers (or Gone Girl rip-offs, as Becca lovingly calls them). I read so many of these sort of books though that the twists have stopped hitting me as hard. Or, I guess them. This one had SO many good twists and was different from any other thriller I’ve read.
Sam Statler and Annie Potter are newlyweds in love! They’ve left New York City to move to a small town upstate. Sam’s mother is in a home for her dementia, and Sam’s opened his own therapy practice (where he tends to a mostly needy, mostly female clientele). The only thing: there’s a vent in the ceiling and every word of his conversations can be heard upstairs. What’s wrong with a little eavesdropping? One day, a French girl in a mini cooper shows up. And from there, everything begins to unravel. Sam disappears, horrible money issues come to light, and Annie begins to wonder if she every really knew her husband at all. The first couple chapters of this felt a little sleepy, but then it gets GOOD. I highly recommend this one if you love a good twist as much as I do. Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.
- Overall Score: A
I was convinced that the universe did not want me to read this book. The first copy I ordered was lost in the mail and the second came but was misprinted… the first half of the book was upside down/printed backwards. It had come highly recommended by @things.i.bought.and.liked (and I reallllly wanted a thriller), so I read it anyway. Let’s just say that I am very glad I persevered… this was SO good. There is a trigger warning for suicide.
Marin and her husband Derek were madly in love, but fifteen months ago their little boy was abducted in plain site, kidnapped by someone dressed up as Santa. Marin was with him at the time and blames herself. Meanwhile, in present day, the PI she hired to help her find her son has discovered something else: her husband is cheating on her with a 24 year old (McKenzie Li). Marin becomes unhinged. She couldn’t save her son but she can save her marriage. And she will do *anything* to get McKenzie out of the picture. When Mary Kubica (another fav) blurbed this she said “You don’t just read this book; you inhale it.” She was right!!!! I’d just add that you exhale very deeply at the end. Whew. A wild ride! Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.
- Overall Score: A
This was… not good. It bummed me out as I really enjoyed The Couple Next Door, a few years ago. I found it really predictable and I guessed who the murderer was pretty early on. A wealthy couple is found murdered just after Easter, and an investigation begins. At first the police believe it to be a robbery, but they quickly change their tune, believing it to be someone close to the family… or maybe a member of the family. As time goes on we learn that this family was indeed… not a happy family. The father was abusive and vindictive toward the kids, the mom complacent.
All three adult children become suspects, and no one trusts a soul. Who could have done it? Who was capable of murder? Or was it actually an outside job. The book takes us through the investigation. Parts were really interesting (and it could be that I read too many of these types of books) but I just found it to be super predictable, a bit of a slog at times, and I guessed the ending really early on. I would skip this one if I were you! Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.
- Overall Score: C
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book as the reviews have been so mixed! But I will tell you that while it is British, it is much less “British chick lit” than I thought it would be (a positive – that is not really my genre, the writing style can get so rambly; I prefer a more direct style of writing). And I really liked the writing. I liked the plot too.
Nina Dean is a successful cookbook author, owns her own flat, and is living a pretty great life with great friends (including her long time ex and his girlfriend Lucy). When she meets Max on a dating app, sparks fly and things move quickly . They date for four months, when out of the blue… Max ghosts her. Nina is devastated (and at the same time dealing with her father’s Alzheimer’s, Lucy’s annoying hen do (bachelorette), and issues with her friends. I thought this was really well written, relatable and poignant (it’s probably the most realistic look at modern dating I’ve read in awhile), and also very funny at times too. This one is our November Bad on Paper book club pick and I’m excited to talk about it (and ghosting) in greater detail. Order on Bookshop.org or Amazon.
- Overall Score: B+
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