Happy April, friends! We had a little busier March, so I was down one book from the last two months, but still read some good ones! Some I liked, some I didn’t, and one was a really good but really hard read! Leave me some comments with recommendations, or thoughts if you’ve read any of these!
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
This one was a little odd, but interesting. This was my first of his to read, so it took a little bit to get the style of his writing, especially because I flipped between this and the audiobook to get through it more quickly (I got the Kindle version as a “lucky skip the line loan” from the library, which means you have a week, aka half the time, so I had to hustle!). Overall, I’d say I liked it and it was worth reading! Definitely unique and creative and I liked that it had a happy ending.
I grabbed this one because Mix and Match Mama raved about it, even though I basically knew nothing about Katie Couric previously. She pulled me in for the first quarter to third through the death of her first husband (he died of incredibly aggressive colon cancer at a very young age, which was very interesting to me as the wife of a gastroenterologist), but it went off the rails after that. She started losing me when she began back-handedly insulting George and Laura Bush, but her describing interviewing Sarah Palin as “leading a lamb to slaughter” as she insinuated how unintelligent she found her just soured me (I don’t find that kind to say about anyone, but it felt a little biased by her political affiliation). She just became more selfish and self-centered as it went, to the point that when her second husband was also diagnosed with colon cancer, she says “can you imagine what it was like to send your fiancé to the colon cancer center you had built and named for your first husband?”, like his cancer affected her the most. I’d honestly say skip this one (it’s pretty long), unless you are a die-hard Katie fan. She conveniently comes down on and spills the tea on everyone but Matt Lauer, so it’s not even really that shocking or crazy by the end 😉
The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle
This was the cutest little rom com (sent to me for Valentine’s Day by my bestie and fellow book lover, Kerry!) about a single teacher who lives in a small cottage next to a mansion on a Canadian island. The younger of two British princes has married a super famous pop star (nod to Harry and Meghan, my least favorite royals 😂), and they move into the mansion next door looking for peace and quiet as the new princess is pregnant. Our heroine has an obsession with romance novels in her spare time, operating an anonymous podcast about them, and finds herself living one out as she falls in love with the hunky royal bodyguard next door. I thought this was light and cute with a little British royal twist (which I always love!), and a fun quick read!
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
I loved Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing at the first of the year, and wanted a good thriller, so I grabbed this one. It is about a book seller who gets involved in the investigation of murders happening in the New England area that seem to be related to a list he made on the book shop’s website detailing 8 books with “perfect” (aka essentially unsolvable) murders. He begins to see parallels between the list and some recent murders, and helps to track down who initiated the list and why they are involving him. It was a little more detailed with more to keep up with than The Kind Worth Killing but I still thought it was a great thriller with unpredictable twists, turns, and crazy ending!
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
This one was good but really tough, especially given current world news about Ukraine. This is the story of a boy who lives in Romania in the late 1980s as it is still communist prior to the fall. He is essentially tricked into being a government informer under the threat of dire consequences but incentivized to cooperate with the promise of medication for his grandfather’s cancer. He is able to get close with the US ambassador’s family so he is to inform on their actions, whereabouts, and if they are breaking any rules. This was a tough look at what life was like during this time (vivid descriptions of their housing blocks, lines for everything, rations and blackouts, and how little information they received from the government/ outside world, with most of it being misinformation), all the way through their bloody overthrow of the communist government and subsequent freedom. It had some unexpected twists, and I’m glad to know more about that time/ place in history. Highly recommend!
And in classic fashion, I whiplashed from that to a light, fun rom com! This is about two writers who knew one another in college, but are randomly thrown back into each other’s worlds as the main character finds herself at her dad’s secret beach house after his passing. The guy next door publishes serious “great American novel” type books, and she writes romances and thinks he has no respect for her writing or genre. Both have writer’s block, so they challenge each other to write a book in each other’s genre (him a romance, her a serious novel), and whoever publishes first/ does the best, wins. Do they fall in love in the process? Of course! I thought this was cute and fun, and I enjoyed it!
And that’s it for March! Happy reading, friends!
Linked with Jana Says for Show Us Your Books!
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