Setting a book goal for myself is something I’ve done for the past few years, and it’s really helped me keep that “read for fun” and not just “scroll my phone” mentality. Plus, what’s better than escaping into another world for a little bit? My goal last year was 15 books. I like to keep track on the Goodreads app (PLUS when you make your goal, they throw digital confetti across your phone screen!!). This year, my goal was originally 17 books, but with all the extra time at home, I’ve upped it to 20! Most of my books I find through Book of the Month (use my code to sign up and get amazing discounts on GREAT books!) , but a few have been Reese’s Book Club picks or I’ve found them through different book lover accounts on Instagram. Here are the books I’ve read this year (so far), and – ever the teacher – my grade for each. If you’re looking for a new book to read, I’ve got lots of suggestions!
1. Conviction by Denise Mina
A woman is listening to a new true-crime podcast (felt SUPER relatable to me…) and then the details start sounding just a little too familiar to her. Drama and danger ensue. This was the first book of the year, so I really wanted to love it….but, for me, it fell flat. That’s not to say EVERYONE would agree with me – maybe you’d love it! It was a Reese’s Book Club pick, and she’s usually SPOT ON. But I didn’t love this one. I felt there were too many storylines, and none of them really felt fully developed. It was an awesome premise…but I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone.
2. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Literary Fiction
There’s a reason this was voted Book of the Year for BOTM. WOW!!! I highly highly recommend this read. It’s very unique in that it’s written like you’re reading the transcript of a documentary about a 70’s rock band. It was a fast and easy read, thoroughly quotable, and really enjoyable! If you’re looking for a great read, consider this book!
3. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
A famous painter has a seemingly perfect life married to a fashion photographer…then one day, she comes home and murders her husband. After that, she never speaks again. INTRIGUE!!!! Her psychotherapist is determined to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she killed her husband. I really liked this thriller! It had an awesome twist at the end that I TOTALLY didn’t see coming! Recommend if you’re looking for a book that you’ll try to figure out from start to finish.
4. Truth Be Told by Kathleen Barber
Josie is trying to escape the past. After her father’s murder, her mother joined a cult and her twin sister went off the rails. She thought she’d run far enough, but then her father’s murder case is re-examined on a popular podcast and everything comes back to haunt her. This book has been made into a mini series on Apple TV, but I’ll be honest I didn’t love the book enough to watch the series. It was good, but not GREAT in my opinion. Recommended if you’re looking to do a book/tv comparison.
5. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
Lydia’s fiancé has died, but she finds that when she takes her sleeping pills she can see him and talk to him in her dreams. I thought this was going to be magical realism… and it was, to a point, but overall I was just not a fan. I’m not even sure what it was about the book that I didn’t like? I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t recommend it, but again – this is just my opinion. It might TOTALLY be the book for you!
6. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Genre: Mystery/Ghost Story
A young girl disappears in the 1980’s while she’s working at the Sun Down Motel. Years later, her niece is trying to solve the mystery of her disappearance by going to where it all happened. There are ghosts, there’s suspense, there’s a mystery and even a SMIDGE of romance (really minor storyline). Overall, it was a good and entertaining read! I’d recommend if you’re a fan of Stranger Things and you’re looking for a little bit of a “1980’s supernatural” fix.
7. Beach Read by Emily Henry
Two authors (of widely different genres and who happened to go to the same college together) end up spending the summer in beach houses next door, where they are trying to each write their next book. A rivalry, a bet, and some wine later and the attraction is undeniable. I LOVED this book. Full disclosure, I love all of Emily Henry’s books. Her writing style is quick and witty – like your best friend is telling you a story. I fully recommend this and any of her books (ESPECIALLY A Million Junes! WOW!!)
8. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
A high profile couple, a nearly deserted island off the coast of Ireland, a wedding party. All is well until a body is found – and so many people have a motive. I liked this book… I LOVED the ending. There are quite a few narrators, so you get to see the story unfold layer by layer from different perspectives. When everything is finally laid out, you’ll love being able to see how it all came together. I recommend it if you’re looking for a whodunnit.
9. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Esme is living in a one-room apartment with her mom and daughter in Vietnam. She wants to give them a better life, so when a woman approaches her and asks her to come to America and try to marry her son, Khai, she hesitantly agrees with the hope that it will give her the opportunity to do more for her mother and daughter. But seducing Khai isn’t quite what Esme thought it would be. He is a successful man who processes numbers and facts but thinks he “doesn’t feel” emotions. His family knows that, because he’s autistic, he processes emotions differently. Seeing this love story unfold through the book is amazing. I was completely surprised by how much I loved this story, and I highly highly recommend it.
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