Looking for a good book to snuggle up with? I’ve got suggestions!
YOU GUYS I AM SUCH A LOSER.
Also, I have been told that blog readers exist who get upset when people say, “you guys.” Is this a thing? Ever since reading some nasty replies to “you guys,” (on other blogs, mind you — for whatever reason, my readers are exceptionally kind), I get paranoid every time I type it out. I mean obviously, I realize that not all of you are “guys.” Whatever. Is this even worth talking about?
I AM A LOSER. I forgot that November ENDS THIS WEEK. Like we are straight up marching into December like ain’t nobodies business. What day is it? Who am I? Where did fall go, thanks so much.
So here I am telling you what books to read this month like there aren’t only a few days left. I’m sorry. I’m basically a giant shankshow (I normally use a different word, but that’s my clean internet version) around here lately. And why? Kids. House. Being a mom. Working. Doing laundry. Holidays. Petting dogs. You know…life stuff.
On a good note, I’ve got some dang good books for you this month that I’m pretty sure (hopefully) you’ll love!
Let’s get started.
When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
I’m not sure how this book came across my radar, but I was able to borrow it for free with Kindle Unlimited. I was SO glad that I did because it was really good! I love books with intersecting characters and stories that slowly unravel, and this was really well done. Sad, hopeful, at times there were also mystery elements to it. Definitely worth a read.
When the sound of sirens cuts through a cool fall night, the small town of Worthy, Georgia, hurtles from triumph to tragedy. Just hours before, they’d watched the Wildcats score a winning touchdown. Now, they’re faced with the deaths of three cheerleaders—their promising lives cut short in a fatal crash. And the boy in the other car—the only one to survive—is believed to be at fault. As rumors begin to fly and accusations spin, allegiances form and long-kept secrets emerge.
At the center of the whirlwind are four women, each grappling with loss, regret, shame, and lies: Marglyn, a grieving mother; Darcy, whose son had been behind the wheel; Ava, a substitute teacher with a scandalous secret; and Leah, a cheerleader who should have been in the car with her friends, but wasn’t. If the truth comes out, will it bring redemption—or will it be their downfall?
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
This book came out over a month ago and how it escaped my notice is honestly beyond me! If you loved Practical Magic (book OR movie), add this prequel to your list! I haven’t read it yet but the reviews are SO good and I can’t wait to dive in! With all the chaos that can come around the holidays, it’s nice to have a magical escape every now and then. A glass of wine wouldn’t hurt, either.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.
The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
This book is several years old and was only a few dollars on my Kindle. This is another book that I somehow randomly came across, but was instantly drawn by the subject matter. This book tackles sexual abuse and the guilt and emotional damage that follows in it’s wake — both for the survivors and for those who never had a clue that it was happening right under their noses. This is a good book — it’s entertaining and will keep you reading — but it’s also a great read if you want to understand a little bit more about the minds of children who survive this type of trauma.
Sarah Laden, a young widow and mother of two, struggles to keep her family together. Since the death of her husband, her high-school-age son, Nate, has developed a rebellious streak, constantly falling in and out of trouble. Her kindhearted younger son, Danny, though well behaved, struggles to pass his remedial classes. All the while, Sarah must make ends meet by running a catering business out of her home. But when a shocking and unbelievable revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another young boy into her already tumultuous life.
Jordan, a quiet and reclusive elementary-school boy and classmate of Danny’s, has survived a terrible tragedy, leaving him without a family. When Sarah becomes Jordan’s foster mother, a relationship develops that will force her to question the things of which she thought she was so sure. Yet Sarah is not the only one changed by this young boy, and as the delicate balance that holds her family together begins to falter, the Ladens will all face truths about themselves and one another — and discover the power of love to forgive and to heal.
Powerful and poignant, The Kindness of Strangers is a shocking look at how the tragedy of a single family in a small suburban town can affect so many. Katrina Kittle has created a haunting vision of the secret lives of the people we think we know best. Through gripping and heartrending storytelling, The Kindness of Strangers shows that even after the most grave injuries, redemption is always possible.
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
I had this book on the short list for my book club last month but we decided on Colleen Hoover’s latest instead. This sounded so good that I knew I had to add it to my reading list, though! I love a great YA and this book had gotten a ton of buzz.
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.
Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle’s escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.
I still have to choose a book for December book club, so let me know what you’ve been reading lately!