• Emily

September 2020 reading, part 2

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

The Lost Village- Camilla Sten

I started spooky season early with this book from NetGalley (thanks, NetGalley), which will be released next March. It's set in a creepy abandoned village. A young woman with a family connection to the village leads a small team of documentarians into the village, hoping to discover the reason why everyone living there deserted it sixty years before. Naturally, it's off the beaten path and there's no cell phone reception. It had a twist that really surprised me; I couldn't put it down.

The Guest List- Lucy Foley

I got this because the setting sounded good, and there was a long hold list for it at the library. Like The Lost Village, this is set in an inaccessible place, where if something goes wrong, it will be hard to get help. It's a destination wedding, so lots of people are coming in who know the bride or groom but not each other. It was pretty good. It kept me guessing. It switched narrators, which I usually don't like, but each chapter heading gave the character's name and relationship to the couple getting married, so I never got confused on who it was. It also went back and forth in time, but only over a couple of days.

Started, haven't finished

The House of Whispers- Laura Purcell

I've accidentally started a theme of books in really creepy settings. This one is set in a cold house on a cliff in Cornwall, and many people in the house believe in actual fairies. I took it to work to read on my lunch breaks, but it is stressful because the main character is a lush who keeps making terrible choices, but I can't give it up because I've got to find out about those fairies.

Monster, She Wrote: the women who pioneered horror & speculative fiction

This is on my Official Halloween Reading List, so I'll write more later. Really enjoying it so far.

The Thursday Murder Club- Richard Osman

Just started this one. Fantastic cover.

My favorites

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep- H. G. Parry

What if you could pull your favorite characters out of books? What if someone else was pulling out the worst villains? This is a book about reading, interpretations, the way stories live on in us. A great adventure story, and the story of a family. Highly recommended for Dickens fans and English majors. I couldn't bear literary theory as a student, but when it's explained in a novel, it's fine. I'll definitely read this one again. I kind of wanted to turn right back to the beginning when I finished it, but I had 8 or 9 other books checked out, so I will come back to it later.

You Again- Debra Jo Immergut

I thought at first that this was going to be an motivational, slightly comedic bit of fluff. A harried working mom in her 40s spots herself as a 22-year-old art student and Finds Herself. But just when I was thinking, this is cute but I'm kind of busy, it starts dropping hints that something sinister is going on. Most of the book is told in diary entries, but other things are dropped in, like emails between people investigating the case of how this woman came to be bumping into her past self. It's really good. She does sort of find herself, but it it's never trite.

Coming up

I have three DNF books that I'll put out in another post. I have been keeping track of my reading in a spreadsheet (nerd and a half!), and keeping notes of the reading has really enhanced the experience for me. Looking at all the things that I've read lately in order with my notes makes me see the books as a part of my reading experience instead of individual books that I picked up once and may never think about again.

I'm really excited for my Halloween reading. I've made a list, which I don't usually do; in the past, I've always tried to find something Victorian with ghosts, but I'm digging a little deeper this year. I just hope that I have time for it. (Ha, ha, I'll make time even if nothing else gets done.) I do have 5 non-Halloween books checked out that I'm really excited for and haven't even started yet.


Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

Some of 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.

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