Okay, I read a LOT this month but we will blame that on being sick. I’m not a total shut-in, I promise! 😉 When I am sick the only thing that will help is a good book and lots of hot tea… and during the week that I had the flu, I read three books!) So that put us over the edge this month. I absolutely loved everything I read this month, especially Little Fires Everywhere, The Woman in the Window, Ready Player One, and The Last Mrs. Parrish. This reading list is one of my faves as everything on it is soooo good… if you love a good thriller as much as I do, this list is for you!
If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget – you can always check out my Book Club Page. I have literally listed every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years…. and you can filter + search (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for And of course, you can also take a peek at last month’s reading list, which was one of my favorites to date.
AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my favorite… I literally shop the comments section of these post – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!
* Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna had me up ALL NIGHT. I read it in just a few short days. It started a little bit slowly, and then I could not put it down. It was one of those situations where I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep… so I just turned the light on and finished the book. I couldn’t stop. A single mother’s two daughters disappear without a trace from a strip mall in Pennsylvania. The cops prove to be unhelpful so her parents enlist the help of bounty hunter Alice Vega. Vega partners up with an ex-cop and the book is the story of their wild chase to find the girls. It constantly kept me on my toes… and I did not guess the ending which always makes me happy!
* Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was (as many of you assured me it would be via DM) one of the best books I read all year. It’s the story of the Richardson family – a well to do family in Shaker Heights (a quaint little town outside of Cleveland), living in their perfectly planned out bubble. And then bohemian, artist. single mother Mia and her teenage daughter Pearl show up and everything changes. There’s so much in here. Family dynamics, coming of age stories, a custody battle, secrets… so much. Celeste Ng is a master story teller. I love how fluidly she alternates between the perspectives of the different characters… and how relatable and likable she manages to make each character – despite their flaws. I couldn’t put it down and you won’t be able to either!
* The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, is a book that I had serious concerns about. Why? Because everyone has been building it up SO MUCH. It just came out and is already committed to a movie. People are calling it the next Girl on the Train or Gone Girl. And whenever that happens, the book usually is not very good. It’s like a curse. “The Curse of Being the Next Gone Girl.” But I am very pleased to report that the book indeed, did live up to the hype. Anna Fox suffers from agoraphobia and has not left her house in over a year. She’s estranged from her husband and daughter, and spends her days drinking, popping pills, visiting online chatrooms, and spying on her neighbors. One day she witnesses something terrible – but we have the case of the unreliable protagonist… what really happened!? It’s a chilling journey with multiple twists and turns. I kept thinking I’d guessed what really happened, only to have something else happen. It’s the sort of book you’ll wake up to read at 6am before work (or stay up all night). I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the movie.
* The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion was my “smart” book this month. (I’m well aware of the fact that I read wayyy too many thrillers + YA books!) I just love her writing. She is one of the most talented authors I’ve read, and one of my all time favorites. I find myself reading and re-reading anything she writes about New York over and over again. I started this one not knowing what it was about (it’s about the year after her husband passes away suddenly) and oh man, it did an emotional number on me. It gutted me. I cried more than once reading it. If you’ve experienced a big loss, I wouldn’t read it right now… but add it to your list as it’s beautifully written and touching.
* Ready Player One by Ernest Cline took me a while to get into, about 80 pages to be exact. During those first 80 pages I found myself really frustrated. Everyone I know whose taste I respect in books LOVED it and I felt mad at myself that I just couldn’t get into it. But after those first 80 pages, I was transfixed. I could not put it down and was basically just addicted to it! I was sick with the flu one weekend so I just read and read and read and finished it. It takes place in 2045 and Earth is an awful place. We’ve diminished most of our natural resources and the only escape is a virtual reality system called OASIS. The founder of OASIS passes away and puts together a challenge… the winner of which will receive his (billionaire!) fortune. It becomes something that people will kill for. Our hero Wade Watts (who we know from the start won the challenge) is a lonely teenager living in the stacks (stacks of trailers) of Oklahoma City. The book is his story – his search for the prize + the friendships he makes along the way. If you love sci-fi as much as I do, you will love this one. All of the eighties pop culture references don’t hurt either!
* The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine is (as a reader DM’d me) pure, delicious trash. It’s such a fun read and I couldn’t put it down. Set in Connecticut, it’s the story of Amber Patterson who (very disturbingly) has laid out a very intense plan to steal Jackson Parrish (the ultra rich, handsome, successful husband of beautiful, blonde Daphne Parrish) right out from under his wife. You’re totally horrified and hate her so much but then there’s a big twist. I will warn you that the twist (and plot) is VERY similar to one of the books on last month’s reading list. It isn’t great literature, (I mean come on let’s be real most of the books I love aren’t) but I loved it nonetheless.
* Still Me, from Jojo Moyes is the third book in the Me Before You saga. It follows where After You left off. Moyes is one of my all time favorite authors… I just love the characters of her books… they’re all so relatable and lovable. And she always makes me cry. It picks up as Louisa moves to New York City to work as a companion to the much younger, very depressed wife of a billionaire. The new job (and life in New York) is a huge adjustment for her (keeping up with her long distance boyfriend, adjusting to the pace of life in New York). In true Louisa fashion, she prevails… befriending her crotchety old neighbor, the girls at the vintage store downtown, and a handsome banker (who looks exactly like Will). I liked this one better than After You, but of course not nearly as much as Me Before You. But really nothing will be as good as the first one!
Someone is going to ask – my pajamas are from Sant & Abel’s Beverly Hills Hotel Collection. I also wore them (at the BHH!) in this post. It doesn’t seem like they are available anymore (I got mine a few years ago), but these are pretty great – I have the robe and it’s one of my go-to gifts for my girlfriends’ birthdays.
photography by Trent Bailey.
Can’t choose between all the books you read! But as usual, I think I’ll go with Celeste Ng. Her book sounds like my type of thing, intense drama, heh! 😀
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
It actually wasn’t very dramatic? If you want drama go with THe Last Mrs. Parrish!
So glad to hear you loved Little Fires Everywhere – definitely one of my top picks of the 80 books I read last year! I recently read The Thousandth Floor – YA with Gossip Girl-like drama but with a futuristic twist – a lot of fun. And I can’t wait to get my hands on Force of Nature, Jane Harper’s follow up to The Dry (also one of my favorite books of last year) when it comes out this month.
LOVED The Thousandth Floor! I tore through it – and the sequel!!
I really want to read the woman in the window, I’ve heard so many great things about it!
Kendal // Life With Kendal
You’re going to love it!
I’m reading Me Before You now with my book club and it is so good! I’m hoping we’ll read all three. I used to read a lot, but not as much since starting my blog (Still getting in the groove) and I’m working on turning to books instead of tv). Thanks for the suggestions for more!
Ahhhh I’m jealous because that book is so good!!! Enjoy it!!
I’m reading Leopard at the Door as my “smart” book (I had just read woman in the window and the wife between us back to back so needed a break)
I had low expectations but this book has captivated me and the writing is top notch.
Oooh I will check that out. Need to read more smart books… ha!
Love your book lists! Reading ‘All the Light we Cannot See” but struggling to finish!
Keep at it! I LOVE that book, but stalled in the middle.
I tried so many times to get through that book just could not do it 🙁
I keep thinking I’ve read this one but I mix it up with another book I’ve read. It’s sitting on my shelf… you guys don’t have me convinced that I should read it! 😉
Sadly, I did not like this book! SO many good reviews and so many people loved it. I just could not get into it.
Still Me is definitely high up on my reading list!
Design by Sydnee | Jan Reading
Hope you enjoy!
I’m guilty of reading mostly thriller/YA books as well, haha. These recommendations are great, adding a few to my list! I recently read Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (from Book of the Month club) and I really enjoyed that. I’m currently reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris though, to change things up a bit.
I have Bonfire on my shelf and need to read it!!! Glad you liked it. And Dan Harris is the best. I’m seeing him speak at the end of the month and I can’t wait.
I love the day your reading list comes out! We have similar taste in books- I have read five of your seven from this month. One little thing from the JoJo Moyes book that drove me crazy was the whole transportation in NY thing. She arrives at JFK and her friend drives her over the Brooklyn Bridge to go to the Upper East Side. What? And she gets from Soho to the Upper East Side and back down to Midtown after walking her dog in like an hour? I realize it is fiction but I guess I’ve read so many thrillers lately where those types of details are very important!
I have Ready Player One on my TBR list and your review may just bump it up to the top.
I’m currently reading Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Next up is Kristin Hannan’s new one- The Great Alone.
OH MY GOD YES.
I thought very long and hard about bringing that up in my post and decided against it, thinking not everyone would “get it” and that I’d be seen as nit-picky. But yes, that really annoyed me as well!
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – it is a non- fiction but it is very interesting – it is about growing up in South Africa as a mixed race kid during and after apartheid – also if you have not actually read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack you should read that – the HBO movie with Oprah was good but the book is a million times better.
Thank you for the suggestions!!! xx
Recent books I loved: Behold the Dreamers, The Salt House, 7 days of Us, and Furiously Happy (listened on audio book and it is hysterical/poignant)
Thanks so much for the suggestions!!!
Thanks for bringing these books to our attention. Looking forward to reading them! I just read All Things Cease To Appear, a literary thriller by Elizabeth Brundage. Beautiful prose and complex characters set on a farm in upstate New York.
You are so welcome – and thank you for the suggestion!
So many of these are on my TBR, but I’m most excited for Little Fires Everywhere. I loved Me Before You but have refused to read After You because I’m afraid it’ll ruin the first one for me? I’m not sure why that is. Maybe I should suck it up and read it?
briana | youngsophisticate.com
Mmmmmm… maybe suck it up. I don’t know though. After You was hard to get through… Still Me was better but not as good as the first. Maybe don’t!!!! (Unless they make the next one a movie)
Recent faves include “Dinner with Edward” by Isabel Vincent and “Walking to Listen” by Andrew Forsthoefel. “The Last Mrs. Parrish” was frothy fun- it got a little 50 shades…..a hoot though.
Thank you so much for the suggestions!!!
And totally agree with you on The Last Mrs. Parrish – ha!
I’m loading up as I’m heading to Mexico City this week on a solo trip and need a couple of good reads. My sister read The woman in the window on her holiday and loved it. I love your sheets and comforter! Where are they from? Your bed looks so cozy!
My sheets are West Elm and the duvet is Garnet Hill!
And have FUN in Mexico City! x
I just finished the best book I’ve read in a long, long, time…This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankle. It’s the epitome of empathy, as it follows a mother and father and their three boys, and their youngest, a transgendered girl. It shows that the most important thing parents can offer their children is love. The writing was spectacular too!
Thank you so much for the suggestion!!!
Very curious to read Ready Player One! I’ll have to pick it up before the movie comes out.
I’m obsessed with Sarah J Maas’ Court of Thorns and Roses series and can’t recommend it enough. Everyone I’ve recommended it to loves it!
Thank you so much for the suggestion!
I just finished “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”- so good, complex, fun and entertaining. I couldn’t put it down!
One of my favorite books from last year! So good!!!!
I highly, highly recommend Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. It explores life if Row v Wade were overturned but not in an alternate universe way, which makes it more nerve-wracking bc it seems so plausible. I also loved Turtles All the Way Down (YA book) by John Green. Both were Book of The Month picks – so thanks for introducing me to BOTM. I’m reading SO much more now and love getting my new picks!!
Oooh that sounds really interesting! Thank you so much for the suggestion.
I love Book of the Month so much – glad you love it too!!!
I loved Little Fires Everywhere and just added a few of these to my list! I highly recommend you add The Power to your list. Easily the best book I’ve read in a long time, and it was on Obama’s list of best books he read in 2017 🙂
Oh that is funny! I read it in November! https://thestripe.com/2017/11/november-2017-reading-list/
I though the idea was really cool – but I thought the writing could be better… haha! I need to check out Obama’s list!
Anyone else read “My Absolute Darlng”? Good grief. It’s so disturbing, but still good? I am still puzzling this one over.
I haven’t read that one yet! It’s on my list though – have heard it’s very disturbing!
Just finished: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and loved it! Will have to pick up Little Fires Everywhere, soon, especially since I grew up in the city right next to Shaker Heights. Interested to see how the area is portrayed! Thanks for the recs!
That is so cool that you grew up nearby! Love it.
These all sound so good! I can’t wait to get my hands on a few!
Yay! Happy reading!
Currently reading “Crushing It” by Gary Vaynerchuk… I think subtle art of not giving a… is next.
I’ve heard great things about that one!!!
We have the exact same taste in books.
Aw I love that!!
I can’t remember if you’ve read it yet, but I just finished The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living and LOVED it! It’s so, so sweet and I couldn’t put it down. Currently reading Argo, the same true story as the movie of the 1979 escape from the Tehran embassy. It is CRAZY and if you want something different, I’d recommend it!
Thank you so much for the suggestion!
Love this post sooooo much! I read Little Fires Everywhere and really enjoyed it
I am a huge fan of thrillers and I’ve been curious about The Woman in the Window. I am wary of books that everyone raves about and I am sick of thrillers being called “The next Gone Girl” or “The next Girl on the Train” (I didn’t read Gone Girl and I tried to read The Girl on the Train but abandoned it 40 pages in.)
Definitely adding Two Girls Down to my list. Sounds like my kinda thriller! The Year of Magical Thinking has been on my reading list for the past couple of years and I plan on checking it off my list this year (finally!)
Me Before You is one of my favourites. It’s the first book that’s ever made me cry legit tears. I didn’t like After You, but I’ve been curious about Still Me.
I also recommend checking out Moyes’s short story collection, Paris For One and Other Stories. I read it when it came out two years ago and loved it!
I am an avid reader, but I’m juggling work and school so my free time is limited. Last year, I read 30 books compared to 82 books the previous year. But I read some amazing ones!
My favourite 2017 reads:
You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris, translated from French by Sam Taylor. I read this short memoir on a Sunday afternoon a year ago and it’s stayed with me. I cried several times. Beautifully written and moving.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston. Highly recommend this beautifully written YA novel! I am still thinking about it.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (YA)
Fractured by Catherine McKenzie (Psychological suspense)
Favourite January reads:
The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan (Thriller)
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (Historical fiction)
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani,
translated from French by Sam Taylor (Psychological suspense)
Currently reading and loving: The Break by Katherena Vermette
All-time favourite reads:
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (I recommend this thriller to everyone! Soooo good I read it twice! Mackintosh spent 12 years on the British police force so the police procedure details are on point!)
The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
Food and the City by Ina Yalof
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis
Descent by Tim Johnston
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Alice & Oliver by Charles Bock
Thanks again for the recommendations! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your book posts.
Oh my gosh thank you so much for the list!!! SO appreciated!!! xoxo
You:re welcome, Grace! Would love to hear what you think if you read any.
I think you would really like Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng! I also fell in love with Little Fires Everywhere, and then couldn’t put this one down too. I can’t wait to start The Woman in the Window after hearing such good things! Happy Reading!
It’s on my list! And you are going to LOVE The Woman in The Window – it’s so, so good!!!
I went through your Book Club Page and didn’t see The Night Circus on there. If you haven’t read it yet, I would highly recommend it!
Thank you so much for the suggestion!
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani is a pageturning read❗️
Read and loved this one recently!!! Still thinking about it!
Thanks so much for the suggestion!
You need to read Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. I’m more than half-way through it and it’s so good!
I’ve also been listening to “I liked my life” by Abby Fabiaschi and I wasn’t sure how I would like it, but it’s SURPRISING ME! So well done!!
I love Little Fires Everywhere!
Can’t wait to read The Last Mrs Parrish and Two Girls Down!
Thank you so much for the suggestion!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a must. Until I read it, Little Fires Everywhere was the best book I’ve read in awhile (one of 53 I read in 2017), but The Great Alone easily surpassed it – if that helps to emphasize how good it was! I put myself on the NYPL e-book wait list before it was released so I was able to get it pretty early and read it so fast. It was just incredible, and at times so emotionally raw and intense I had to step away for a bit of a break. It’s as intense as the Nightingale but such a completely different story. you should check it out!
This makes me INCREDIBLY happy as it just came in the mail!! I can’t wait to read it.
Jojo Moyes’ Me after You series is up next after Crazy Rich Asians. It’s taking me a looong time to finish that book and not sure if i’ll finish the series.
I could not do the Crazy Rich Asians books! Just didn’t like them!!!