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Lauren has been reading since she was born
This is the first book I've ever read by John Scalzi and I'm kicking myself for being so late a fan! In Lock In he writes of a near future transformed by a flu epidemic that left some of its sufferers "locked in"--fully conscious, but unable to move or communicate in any way. The world has adapted to meet their needs but tensions between those with "Haden's disease" and those without are at an all-time high. Now there's a rash of inexplicable murders and attacks on people with Haden's and it's up to brand-new FBI agent Chris Shane, himself a victim of "lock in," to investigate. Scalzi's newest is the perfect mash-up of classic murder mystery and futuristic sci-fi and I enjoyed every page!
Sometimes teachers are nice. Sometimes they are monsters! Bobby's teacher is a monster who roars and stomps and yells at him for silly things, like throwing paper airplanes in class. But when they run into each other outside of school, Bobby will discover there is more to Mrs. Kirby than meets the eye... Peter Brown has another adorable, wonderfully illustrated hit on his hands!
I love fashion, I always have, but when it comes to the glittery, glossy world of High Fashion, I often feel I am on the outside looking in. As much as I would love to, I can't afford Hermes poker cards ($100!), let alone a Birkin bag. And I'll never understand anything avante garde (Bjork, anyone?). But I love clothes and accessories, I love the history and the meaning different items can hold.Worn, a Canadian alternative fashion magazine, is for people like me, and with The Worn Archive, I feel like I've died and gone to heaven! It has beautiful photo spreads (using items from the editors' own closets), profiles of unconventional icons, articles about the historical significance of corsets, and so much more. I couldn't get enough and I'm getting myself a subscription to the bi-annual periodical! Buy this as a treat for yourself or any fashionista who marches to the beat of his or her own drum!
My first thought upon finishing this book, pardon my French, was "Holy sh*t"! I was sucked into this story about the ultimate mean girls: teens who take their revenge plans just a little too seriously. The Merciless twists and turns, ending in a way I never expected. It lived in my thoughts for weeks afterwards and I might just have to read it again! A word of advice: read this one with the lights on and the doors locked!
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair starts slowly, but gathers steam at an exquisite pace. Reading this, I was never quite sure of my footing--who is Harry Quebert? Who is the bad guy in a town filled with bad guys? And who killed Nola Kellergan back in 1975? Throughout the twists and turns of this mesmerizing debut I was reminded both of Twin Peaks and Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. If you like unpredictable mysteries and books that explore the dark corners and seedy underbellies of small towns, then don't miss Joel Dicker's fantastic new book!
Readers who followed the Amanda Knox case will recognize the details in duBois' literary thriller. The chapters bounce from character to character--Lily, the college student accused of her roommate's murder, her father who's hanging by a thread, her eccentric, sometimes boyfriend, and the lovelorn detective investigating the case. It was a fascinating and well-written story and the mystery is just as murky as the case it appears to be based on. Cartwheel is the perfect book for fans of dark, well-written novels (i.e. everybody).
Books about fashion, especially when they are from an insider's perspective, are my not-so-guilty pleasure: I love reading lush descriptions of luxurious fabrics, unique cuts, and all the accessories one can drape on themselves. I also really love reading about gutsy broads, women who have forged their own path in life. I'll Drink to That combines both of my specific tastes! Betty Halbreich is the famous personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman's, the arbiter of taste, friend, and occasional therapist for women of all shapes and incomes. She truly loves clothes and her ladies and this compulsively readable memoir is a testament to that. Betty writes like a trusted friend: chatty, honest, and brave, pulling no punches when it comes to baring her faults. She's one of the last great dames and her book should make her a familiar name to more than just those in-the-know. I'll drink to that!
I've been a fan of Chevy Stevens since her first book and I've loved every one since; they are always engrossing and explosive with an unpredictable ending. Her latest, about a woman wrongly convicted of her sister's murder, jumps back and forth in time, from her present-day search for the true killer, to the days leading up to the murder. That Night is not only a gripping mystery, but a discomfiting look at the flawed justice system. The book is set in Canada, but the miscarriages of justice within could easily have taken place here (remember the West Memphis Three?). This is one to read and think about and discuss--I'd recommend Stevens to fans of Gillian Flynn and Jennifer McMahon!
The only drawback to being a reader (aside from exorbitant bills at my favorite indie bookstore) is how easy it gets to predict an ending sometimes. When it comes to mysteries, I really treasure the authors who keep me guessing every time: Sophie Hannah, Mo Hayder, Michael Robotham, Tana French, Gillian Flynn--and now Samantha Hayes. I thought I had this book all figured out, but continued reading anyway because the story sucked me in. I'm glad I did, because the ending blew me away! I honestly had no idea what was coming, and now I can't wait to see what Hayes writes next.
The Lemon Grove has everything I like in a book: scandal, sexual obsession, and an exotic setting. The sultry languor of Italy in the summer coupled with Jenn's feeling of unreality, her exhilarating belief that none of her actions have consequences make this the perfect steamy summer read! Once I started reading I couldn't stop, just kept going to the inevitable and sinister ending. Read this one on the beach and shiver for more reasons than one!
I love Rainbow Rowell so, so much--more than is probably healthy. I'm sure if I ever met her I'd make a complete fool of myself, she has me that starstruck! She reminds me of Nora Ephron: clever, snarky, and the author of the only romantic comedies I've ever wanted to underline. I read Landline in one very enjoyable day and I almost wanted to take breaks from it, just to make it last longer, but I couldn't! I'll break it down like this (the book pretty much sells itself): 1 frazzled wife/mother/television writer + a phone that dials her past + Rainbow Rowell = a ridiculous amount of fun and a guaranteed good read!
After reading The Dinner, Herman Koch became synonymous to me with books that are subtle, sinister, and gnaw at me long after I’m finished. For that reason, I was excited to read his newest and I was not disappointed! It was dark and uneasy, and full of corners I couldn't see around. When it comes to this author, expect the macabre unexpected!
There is a very specific type of novel that I ALWAYS enjoy: psychological thrillers featuring a woman (it's almost ALWAYS a woman) who leads a complacent, even smug, existence until the day her world is upended by a betrayal. Someone close to her, usually a husband, but in this case a best friend, reveals themselves to be something else entirely. This charlatan, who has been playing the part of the dutiful husband, the loyal best friend, is in fact a manipulative sociopath, as toxic and furtive as a poisoned well. Done right, this type of book will engross me, even though I know what's going to happen. "Keep Your Friends Close" not only kept me captivated, it ended with a twist I truly didn't see coming. Fans of Gone Girl and The Silent Wife will love Paula Daly's newest--and eye their loved ones with renewed suspicion!
Antonya Nelson is brilliant, there's no other word for it! Each of her short stories captures an entire novel in its breadth and beauty--each offers a glimpse into a different world, and each is exactly as long as it needs to be. When I finished Funny Once (much too quickly), I turned the stories over in my mind, puzzling over each one. I can't wait for whatever she does next!
You are never too old for bugs, especially when the bugs in question are as charming as these! DiTerlizzi's simple, rhyming verse is perfect for toddlers and each page is covered in lush, whimsical pictures--I spot something new each time I read Some Bugs. Best of all, there's a small glossary in the back that identifies each bug in the book: Green Lacewing, Sunburst Diving Beetle, Buffalo Treehopper, and many more (including Oskar, who is not a bug.) This is the perfect Spring read-aloud!
Lily and her loyal companion Zeborah travel all over the world together--they can say "hello" in four different languages, they know how to navigate by bus, plane, or train, and they make friends on every continent! Micah Player uses every color of the rainbow to illustrate this sweet story about exploring the world around us and his stylish pictures should appeal to kids and adults.
Benincasa's YA debut is not only a great (couldn't help myself!) novel in its own right--it is an innovative modern update to The Great Gatsby. Great brings Fitzgerald's masterpiece into the 21st century while still retaining the decadence and heartbreak of the Jazz Age--Gatsby is reincarnated as the stylish, fashion-blogger Jacinta. I can't wait to see more from this talented author!
A YA debut featuring a teenage serial killer who learned the trade from her violent mother? Yes, please! I couldn't get enough of this vicious little valentine. Kit is an odd heroine to admire--nihilist, contract killer, high-schooler, but I was rooting for her just the same. I have no idea what Katherine Ewell will dream up next, but I am looking forward to it.
Oliver's newest, about a town dominated by the dangerous secret game the teens play, differs from her other YA novels (Before I Fall, the Delirium series) but it is equally as fantastic. Teens will relate to Heather and Dodge's feelings of being stifled in their small, dying town and their willingness to risk everything, even their lives, to get out. All Heather and Dodge have to do is participate in Panic, the sometimes deadly game of risk that gives the book its title. If they win, they get a small fortune, if they lose, the consequences can be permanent..are you ready to play?
How well can you really ever know someone? You can be married for years, sleep in the same bed every night, have a child together, and still, you'll never know what's really going on in their head. Grace Reinhardt is a marriage counselor and she's always felt secure, smug even, in her relationship with her handsome, charming husband--she knows him better than anyone..
Not only was Korelitz's newest darkly engrossing, it gave me a satisfying sense of schadenfreude. This was a nice, juicy read, perfect for cold nights inside or warm days by the pool!
The Land of Steady Habits is exactly the kind of book I love--family dramas that switch between multiple viewpoints, allowing the reader to peer into each character's mind. Thompson is a skilled writer and there were moments I truly laughed out loud. Other moments, I felt so sad for the characters--trapped in the prisons of their own making. I look forward to seeing more from this talented author!