Recent Reads


I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh - 4 stars
A 5-year-old boy is killed in a hit-and-run. This book follows two plot lines: the investigation to find the driver of the car and the mother whose life is changed after that fateful night.

I thought the first half of this book was a bit slow and I wondered how the author was going to make an entire book out of the plot, but I kept reading because I liked the story and the characters. (Liked being a relative term, of course, given the subject at hand.) The second half of the book picks up a lot and I couldn't put it down after that. There are some swear words and a few sex scenes, but it was not gratuitous (in my opinion). I would recommend this if you like a murder mystery with a good twist! However, know that there are some hard scenes (the story is about a 5-year-old boy being killed, after all, and another difficult subject matter that I can't say because it would give some of the plot away).

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - 4 stars
A journalist on a cruise ship swears she is the witness to a murder when she thinks she sees a body being thrown overboard during the night, but a search of the boat reveals that there are no missing passengers.

I read this book in basically a single day. It was a quick read with an interesting plot, and I definitely did not guess the ending at all (but I never guess endings so that's not saying much). I was worried initially that this book would be too similar to The Girl on the Train (which I really didn't like), but I actually didn't mind this narrator for the most part and found this book a quick, fun read!

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham - 3.5 stars

Lauren Graham, aka Lorelai Gilmore, shares stories from her childhood, her career in acting, and a journal she kept while filming Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

I enjoyed this lighthearted read, especially coming after two murder mysteries. Lauren Graham is a good writer, and I enjoyed little bits she shared about working in Hollywood and on the GG set. To me it did feel like if you read this book in a few years, it would be outdated. So much of it comes across like Graham is sitting across the table having coffee with you or something, which is fine for the most part but was a bit overdone in some places (so many parenthetical remarks!). That style seems to be popular for celebrity memoirs right now, and it's just not my personal favorite, but it worked pretty well in this one.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - 3 stars

A well-known novelist goes missing, and his wife calls in Detective Cormoran Strike to find him. As Strike investigates, it becomes clear there is much more to the disappearance than anyone thought.

I didn't like this book as much as I liked the first book in the Cormoran Strike series (The Cuckoo's Calling), but it was still a very creative and well-written murder mystery. My main reason for not liking this quite as much was because the murder itself was a bit gruesome and grossed me out. However thankfully it isn't a huge part of the book, so I sort of skimmed over it. Like the first book in this series, there are a lot of characters to keep track of, so that got confusing in some places. I honestly most enjoyed following more of the personal lives of the detective and his assistant.

The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott - 3 stars

Louisa May Alcott's first novel, written when she was seventeen years old.

The plot is basic and predictable, the characters are pretty one dimensional, but the writing is just lovely and flows well. The style reminded me of Jane Austen more than that of Alcott's Little Women, but I can see themes and characters she used in her later classic. Since I love Louisa May Alcott, I enjoyed this one. It is a quick read!

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca - 2.5 stars

Historical nonfiction telling the story of Grace Humiston, one of the first female detectives in New York in the early 1900s. She worked on many cases after the police had given up, one being the case of a missing girl, 18-year-old Ruth Cruger, who disappeared on Valentine's day 1917.

Overall this book disappointed me; however, I found the story itself very interesting, and there were parts that I really got into, so it wasn't a total bust enough for me to quit reading before the end. I just don't think it was organized or written as well as it could have been. It was annoying that the author sometimes focused on very minute details that he obviously came across during his research (example: describing multiple items on a minor character's desk). I was very impressed by the author's clear attention to detail and research, but in the end I really can't recommend this book. Check out Erik Larson's books if you want really good historical nonfiction!

What's been your favorite read so far this year? I need to know what to add to my list! 

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?
Jen said...

I have been slacking in the reading department but there are a few in this post that I will be adding to my list.

Audrey Louise said...

The Woman in Cabin 10 is on my book challenge list this time around so I'll be picking it up soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
I haven't read anything by 'Robert Galbraith' yet... I can't decide if I want to get into that side of Rowling. I still haven't gotten through A Casual Vacancy...
The Inheritance sounds like a good, quick read!
Did you intentionally list these in enjoyed-to-least-enjoyed order? Or is this the order you read them? Lol

Angi said...

I wish I had liked The Woman in Cabin 10 more than I did. I think I'm just tired of alcoholic, unreliable narrators as protagonists. It was a really good idea for a plot, I just didn't enjoy it as much as it seems a lot of people did.

I have heard good things about I Let You Go from others, too, so I might add that one to my list!

Torrie said...

I've been seeing the Lauren Graham floating around the blogosphere lately and might have considered giving it a try if I hadn't actually watched the Netflix special 10-year reunion series (because I HATED IT!!!). But it might be nice to keep in the back of my "fluff reads" pile until I've cooled down a bit from the show.

You're more adventurous with your picks than I am---mysteries and sensitive subjects (like children getting killed) are super hard for me to get into because they cause me intense anxiety. The Inheritance seems like it would be a safe pick for me though :)

Thanks, as always, for posting! I love hearing about what others are reading.

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

I love reading these posts because I get stuck on self help books which now I'm barely able to make through cuz I'm so over it. I love all the fiction reviews you do- I added some to my book list. Can't help you with any good ones, been slacking this year!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I hate how everything gets compared to either Gone Girl or The Girl on The Train because then I go into reading it with certain expectations. I felt the same way you did about The Girl on The Train so I went into The Woman in Cabin 10 thinking I wouldn't love it, but I did!

AnneMarie said...

I just gotta say that I love that you made your comment on excessive parenthetical remarks as a parenthetical remark :) But really, why do celebrities (and others) have to use those so much??? There have been one or two books where a single paragraph might have 6-8 of those and that's just excessive. I just added those murder mysteries to my reading schedule for the year-they sound really fun and interesting, and would be good to lighten up some of the heavier or non-fiction reads that I've got coming towards me :)
This year, one of my favorite fiction reads was "The Summer Before the War," by Helen Simonson (charming Downton Abbey-ish setting but with less scandal). Currently, I'm reading two non-fiction books that are really good: "I am Malala," written by the teenage girl who was shot by the Taliban a few years ago, and "Mindset," by Carol Dweck-it's about having a "growth mindset" vs. a "fixed mindset," and it's really interesting and has been a great way to examine myself and how I look at things!

Sara Oss said...

I just finished one of those novels that is supposed to Resonate and bring up Feelings...and either I don't have the particular Feelings or was about 15 years to young to read it. However, The Kitchen House was a good, quick read for me at the end of last year and I also finally read Half the Sky which was excellent.

I'm (not very) patiently waiting for my turn to borrow the Lauren Graham e-book from my library.

Unknown said...

We read "The Last Days of Night" in January for my Book Club and everyone enjoyed it!

Unknown said...

I have been thinking of reading The Woman in Cabin 10 on our plane ride and this makes it seem like a good pick!

Nadine said...

I Let You Go and Woman in Cabin 10 are on my TBR. I might have to add the Lauren Graham one but do it by audiobook so its like she is sitting here with me :)

Anna said...

I loved Talking As Fast As I Can. I liked that, unlike other books by celebrities, it was actually funny and conversational. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I could imagine Lorelai reading it. It made it flow better in my brain that way.

I want to read those Robert Galbraith books but I don't recommend her other one, The Casual Vacancy.

Betsy said...

The Inheritance always makes me smile. It's sort of exactly what you'd expect from a 17 year old - I totally agree with you on the plot and the characters - but it is lovely.

I've been wanting to read In A Dark, Dark Wood so I'm interested in your review of the other Ruth Ware book!

Rach said...

Until this post I had no idea that Talking as Fast as I Can existed! I am so excited! I'm adding it to my GoodReads immediately! And I'm glad you didn't give it five stars so this way I go into it with reasonable expectations. It sounds like it was pretty enjoyable over all so I'm looking forward to that. :)

Brittany Rasmussen said...

Yay I needed some new books to add to my list! I placed a few of these on hold at the library, thanks!

Kari said...

Love book recommendations! My most recent read was The Girl on the Train. I liked it far better than the movie. I think a few of those on your list I'd find pretty enjoyable! Thanks for sharing!

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

Just read the woman in cabin 10! It was a quick read for me as well (as in a week not a day like you! Ha) I definitely wasn't expecting it to turn out the way it did and I felt like I wanted to know more at the end!

Kenzie said...

I Let You Go sounds like an interesting book; I imagine it has some heart-wrenching parts in it though. I think I will add it to my "to read" list. I really enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10! I thought it was pretty similar to Girl on a Train, but the setting was unique. Also, I agree with The Silkworm -- it was pretty gruesome! I started the third book and am really enjoying it so far.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i loved i let you go - as much as one can love a book about that subject matter (well, multiple subject matters). some parts were harder for me to read and i wouldn't have picked it up had i known haha. but i really did enjoy it so it was okay.
i read the first Cormoran Strike book and my favourite parts were his & the assistant's lives... so maybe i should pick up the second.

Anne said...

I kind of love that Cormoran Strike series, though the first two books were a little slow maybe. The third is intense but good. And as someone who loves a good psychological thriller, I'm glad to know about those first two, which I had considered putting on my list! I've talked about her a zillion times, but if you haven't read any Tana French yet, you must... might be right up your alley if you like detective/psychological page turner type things. And I just read You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott and found it very engrossing.