Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. Sheila recommended this one to me and I really liked it. It’s about a 30-something widow who is figuring her life out, and brings on a tenant who is also going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis. It’s not super action packed but a nice story and a very enjoyable read. Recommend!
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng. This was a big miss for me. I’ve loved her other books (i.e. Little Fires Everywhere) but I felt like nothing happened in this one. I think the intent is to provide a commentary on the horrendous racism against Asian Americans during/post COVID, which is a totally valid subject for a book. But the plot is a little muddy and you can’t really tell whether it’s dystopian or not. I don’t think Reese is going to be turning it into a miniseries.
City of Likes by Jenny Mollen. This is about mom influencers in New York City. I listened to her interview on Chelsea Handler’s podcast and really liked her so I put a hold on it. It’s a little bit satirical, and a quick easy read. Recommend!
World Without End by Ken Follett. The sequel to Pillars of the Earth and equally long (1,000+ pages). It takes place about 200 years after the first book so you don’t necessarily have to read Pillars first, but I think I would recommend reading them in order.
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll. I had already read this several years ago but was reminded of it again with all the hype surrounding Luckiest Girl Alive coming out on Netflix (which I liked, by the way, but it should have a trigger warning on it). It probably wasn’t as good as I remembered but I still enjoyed it, and this time I listened to it and would probably recommend the audiobook.
The Displacements by Bruce Holsinger. Sheila and I are obsessed with The Gifted School and have been patiently awaiting his next release. If you haven’t read The Gifted School yet please do so promptly.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. I’m a little too old to have been into iCarly, but I remember it being an extremely popular show on Nickelodeon at the time. Her book is incredibly well written and very honest and pretty disturbing. Many of the ingredients I like in my memoirs. Highly recommend.
The Boys by Katie Hafner. I honestly can’t remember being as shocked by a twist in a book as I was in this one in a very long time. It’s about a couple meeting, falling in love, getting married, and then navigating COVID life. But it’s White Lotus-y in that you know from the beginning that they’re splitting up so then you wonder where it goes wrong. Really good and not the direction I thought it was going in. One of my favorite books of the year I think?!
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult. Another COVID read! Jodi Picoult is a total enigma to me because sometimes I think her books are excellent (19 Minutes is probably my favorite of hers) and sometimes they are truly awful (Leaving Time). I think she’s at her best when she writes from several perspectives. This one isn’t that, but it held my attention. It’s about a woman who is supposed to go on a trip to the Galapagos with her boyfriend in March of 2020 but he’s a surgical resident in New York and decides he has to stay at the hospital and help. There’s a twist in this one, too.
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. I liked this! A teenage girl gets swirled into a kidnapping plot with her older boyfriend and then things unfold for her and the story extends until she’s in her mid 40s or something. Recommend.
Meant to Be by Emily Giffin. I debated even reading this because I find her pretty problematic now. Between her weird obsession with the royal family/public bashing of Meghan Markel and the plot of her last book being someone lying about having died in 9/11, I think she should be cancelled. But there’s also a part of me that deeply enjoyed Something Borrowed so I gave this one a chance. It was a little bit of a departure from her usual in that it was set in the 1970s-1990s. I liked it and it was a quick read but it’s kind of forgettable.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. I know this book is getting a lot of hype, it was even mentioned in the Ruth Ware book (below). It’s supposed to be the origin story of Hamlet, so maybe it would help if I had more familiarity but I don’t think that particular play was on the agenda in my high school English classes. I do remember a very memorable unit on King Lear and A Thousand Acres as a modern retelling. That, I highly recommend. This, not so much. It was fine but I just thought it was a little boring. If you’re interested in an old English story about the plague, you should read World Without End instead.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware. I’ve loved some of her books (The Woman in Cabin 10) and not others (One by One) but this one was really good! It’s about a girl at Oxford whose roommate is killed (not a spoiler, it starts with this) and it flashes between the year leading up to the killing, and 10 years later. Very twisty and unpredictable. Recommend!
That’s a wrap on 2022! Looking forward to more good ones in 2023!