Welcome aboard, train wreck.
Did this January make anyone wish for 2023 already? Between two snowstorms, Covid, and Christmas bills, I’m already over it. Good thing I have a socially acceptable form of escapism – reading.
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Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. I do post affiliate links in my blogs. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. But this comes at no extra cost to you. So, thank you.
I haven’t really talked about my reading goals for this year. I’m looking to read 150 books. It’s doable with several challenges, one being my Rom-Com challenge that I’ll talk about tomorrow. I think I’m on a good path so far.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
by Jenny Lawson
In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:
“I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.”
My review – Everyone should read this. Especially anyone in the mental health profession. 5 stars.
Gin & Daggers
Jessica Fletcher is off to London to deliver the keynote address at a mystery writers convention. She’s also looking forward to seeing her mentor, Marjorie Ainsworth, who will be hosting a party on her estate to celebrate her latest book. Marjorie is the grand dame of mystery writing. But a routine business trip becomes murderous business–when Jessica discovers Marjorie stabbed to death in her own bedroom.
My Review – Who doesn’t love Jessica Fletcher and Murder, She Wrote? I love this series so much it’s the biggest part of my reading challenge for 2022. I am going to read all the books in this series this year. There are more that 52 so I need to to get cracking. As for the book? Read it. What are you waiting for? This is the perfect chance to curl up and travel with Jessica while she solves crimes. And this book did not disappoint. Murder, mystery, and even a little romance. Bring it on. 5 stars.
Manhattans & Murder
The “USA Today” bestselling “Murder, She Wrote” mystery series continues as Jessica Fletcher learns that Manhattan is murder at Christmastime…
Promoting her latest book brings bestselling mystery writer Jessica Fletcher to New York for Christmas. Her schedule includes book signings, restaurants, department stores…and murder?
It all begins with a sidewalk Santa staring at Jessica with fear and recognition. Behind the beard is Waldo Morse, former drug smuggler and the most notorious citizen of Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica hasn’t a clue as to how he ended up as a street corner Saint Nick, but she agrees to meet him at two o’clock the next day.
Jessica shows up with her camera, but in no time at all Santa is dead. While the police are strangely slow on their feet, and the dead man’s wife uncommonly fast on the run, Jessica decides to do what she does best: strategically snoop around and graciously outwit the pros on both sides of the law….
My Review – I read this right around the holidays but I love a good re-read. And going back to read this, I was able to pick up on so many clues that slipped past me the first time. I absolutely recommend this. 5 stars.
A Head Full of Ghosts
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.
To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.
Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.
My Review – This book messed with my head. I’m still trying to figure out what I read. It was well written as we are looking at the memories of an eight year old with her adult understanding. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good haunting story. 5 stars.
The Bennet Women
In this delightfully modern spin on Pride and Prejudice, love is a goal, marriage is a distant option, and self-discovery is a sure thing.
Welcome to Bennet House, the only all-women’s dorm at prestigious Longbourn University, home to three close friends who are about to have an eventful year. EJ is an ambitious Black engineering student. Her best friend, Jamie, is a newly out trans woman studying French and theater. Tessa is a Filipina astronomy major with guy trouble. For them, Bennet House is more than a residence—it’s an oasis of feminism, femininity, and enlightenment. But as great as Longbourn is for academics, EJ knows it can be a wretched place to find love.
Yet the fall season is young and brimming with surprising possibilities. Jamie’s prospect is Lee Gregory, son of a Hollywood producer and a gentleman so charming he practically sparkles. That leaves EJ with Lee’s arrogant best friend, Will. For Jamie’s sake, EJ must put up with the disagreeable, distressingly handsome, not quite famous TV actor for as long as she can.
What of it? EJ has her eyes on a bigger prize, anyway: launching a spectacular engineering career in the “real world” she’s been hearing so much about. But what happens when all their lives become entwined in ways no one could have predicted—and EJ finds herself drawn to a man who’s not exactly a perfect fit for the future she has planned?
My Review – I can’t stand Jane Austen. I know. I’ve lost like half of you on this. I just can’t. I have tried so many times. But I can’t see the allure. What I can get behind is a great retelling. And this is just that. Diverse cast of characters. Tackling hard issues of racism and sexism and classism. And of course enemies to lovers. 4 stars.
Rum & Razors
Jessica is on vacation in St. Thomas in the Caribbean when she discovers the corpse of hotel owner Walter Marschalk. The island police suspect a hot-tempered ex-employee but cool-headed Jessica sets out to discover who’s the real serpent in Eden. The water’s lovely; the scenery’s gorgeous, but trouble is waiting for Jessica in paradise.
My Review – One of the first times I called the bad guy before it was revealed. Loved it. A little virtual vacation from winter while sitting on my couch. Fast paced. Would recommend. 5 stars.
So, there you have them. The books read this month despite the craziness. What did you read this month? Let me know.
This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.