Updated: Jan 11
The Family Plot- Cherie Priest
A woman working for her family's salvage business is assigned a historic home that the owner is anxious to be rid of. Why don't you save us some money by sleeping in the house? (Its been abandoned for something like 40 years but the power and water are on and work). Obviously, the house is haunted. (Not much of a spoiler, as this is chapter one). One character was supposed to be a ninety year old woman who had full mobility, no hearing loss, could still drive. Also, she was razing the old family home that no one had lived in for years. Like maybe 45 years. She hated it. Why did she wait so many years to let it go? Why bother? Does she need the money? I wasn't very scared by the book; in some ways, it felt more like a mystery, but there were some creepy moments and it was a quick read. Good if you're in the mood for something scary but don't want to lose any sleep.
The Jetsetters- Amanda Eyre Ward
A family drama. Some funny bits. Took awhile to get into it. I thought it would be one of the "it" books of the summer. A covid casualty? Lots of time spent on a crowded cruise ship....
A life of Emily Dickinson in ten days of her life. I was a little hesitant about this, as I thought it seemed gimmicky, but the beauty of the library is that you can check anything out for free, and I'm glad I read it. She was such a brilliant person, and I think fairly misunderstood, so I enjoyed reading more about her whole life, not just a recap of her seclusion and illness. You'll probably enjoy it if you liked the movie A Quiet Passion.
Joy at Work- Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein
I know it's not cool to like Marie Kondo, but I just do. This book inspired me to clean off my desk, and it looked good for three whole days. Honestly, though, I found this helpful. Besides actually keeping your physical workspace tidy, there are tips for keeping your digital worklife in check, and that's something that I think most of us can use.
The Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison
This was hard to read. I ended up making myself get through about 5% of it at a time. It was hard to get into; I can get really down reading something like this (injustice, unkindness), and the main character's anxiety about having to navigate the whims and motivations of the white people around him just about did my head in. Also, this edition was 581 pages. Much of the story was nightmarish, with the character struggling through difficulties while all the time trying to figure out why he's there, who are these people, what to they want? He's trying to figure himself out- he's around 20 years old, I suppose, and it's hard for anyone at that age, even without the crazy circumstances that he finds himself in. It was hard, but worth it. It's a book that I've always meant to read. One thing that surprised me is that it felt so modern. A good deal of what the characters are talking about are the same things we're trying to figure out now. I think that it might have been good for me to read this when I was younger, but I maybe wasn't ready for it then. I'm glad to have read it now.
Started, haven't finished:
The Jane Austen society-Natalie Jenner
The Furies- Natalie Haynes
Austen years: a memoir in five novels-Rachel Cohen
(I knew that I had two books about Jane Austen, and that was a coincidence. They were books that I put holds on at different times that both came up at the same time in my library holds. But I also have two books by Natalies! Weird! I didn't realize that before now.)
I checked out Austen's Persuasion at random while checking on something at the library, just to see if the app worked. I didn't mean to start reading it.... again... but I did.
DNF (only one this month)
Man of the year- Caroline Louise Walker
This was just a case of a bad Goodreads recommendation. I was following The Haunting of Hill House, and somehow got to this. Just not what I was looking for. I only read maybe a chapter and a half.
My faves for the month:
The night country: a Hazel Wood novel- Melissa Albert
Oooh, I liked this book. So weird. It's been awhile since I read the first book, The Hazel Wood, which I also highly recommend. And, don't read the second book without the first. I'd forgotten many details about the first book, but I was able to follow it. I think that if you dive into the second, you'll be lost. This book is about a girl named Alice who is from a fairy tale world, but it's like Grimm, not Disney. Alice's grandmother wrote a book called Tales from the Hinterland, which Alice's mother would never let her read, and Alice eventually finds out that her grandmother didn't make up the stories. The stories are all blood and ash, very creepy. Also, this is shallow, but the books are gorgeous. Next year, Alice's grandmother's book, Tales from the Hinterland, is scheduled to come out!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue- V. E. Schwab (egalley)
It's a long book, but it goes by fast. Addie`s story is sad, but so full of adventure and bravery and hope. It's a vast, epic story, spanning centuries and crossing oceans. Addie is living under a curse, but she's incredibly resourceful and pushes against it and finds ways to enjoy all the time and freedom that she gains in a terrible deal that she makes with a god of darkness. I believe the release date is in October.
It's beautiful and sad and interesting. As good as the Shades of Magic trilogy, I think, and I really liked those. Took me just a little while to get into it, but after about 10% of the way in, I was really hooked.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy. The links are affiliate links to bookshop.org, so if you buy from them, I'll receive a small commission. If you haven't bought from them before, check them out- they support independent bookstores.