woo-hoo!! January started of really well. I am very happy to say that I was able to finish 7 books this month.
I know I am a bit late at posting the January Wrap-up because I was tied up with some work. I couldn’t find time to sit and write a post. So, here we go…
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 4.5/5
Jane Austen’s first novel—published posthumously in 1818—tells the story of Catherine Morland and her dangerously sweet nature, innocence, and sometime self-delusion. Though Austen’s fallible heroine is repeatedly drawn into scrapes while vacationing at Bath and during her subsequent visit to Northanger Abbey, Catherine eventually triumphs, blossoming into a discerning woman who learns truths about love, life, and the heady power of literature. The satirical novel pokes fun at the gothic novel while earnestly emphasizing caution to the female sex.
The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 5/5
A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter in this searing debut.
A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter—radicalized by the online alt-right—attacks the school.
As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.
The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.
Into the Woods by David Mark
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 3/5
FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING RICHARD & JUDY PICK AND KINDLE CHART-TOPPING SENSATION.
Thirty years ago, three school-friends took a walk in the woods. Only two came back – their memories a jumble of hallucinations and twisted visions.
There is a chilling reason why nobody looked for the missing girl.
Now, disgraced investigator ROWAN BLAKE will discover that in the remote and desolate Wasdale Valley, nothing stays buried forever.
Murder and suspense are entwined with supernatural overtones and blistering social commentary in this fast-paced whodunit set in the rugged surroundings of England’s Lake District
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 4.5/5
Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of “Smile Mart,” she finds peace and purpose in her life. In the store, unlike anywhere else, she understands the rules of social interaction ― many are laid out line by line in the store’s manual ― and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less. Managers come and go, but Keiko stays at the store for eighteen years. It’s almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. Keiko is very happy, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, increasingly pressure her to find a husband, and to start a proper career, prompting her to take desperate action…
A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and a world hidden from view, Convenience Store Woman is an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.
The Open House by Sam Carrington
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 5/5
Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…
Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.
When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.
But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.
Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…
In Cold Blood (D.I. Isabel Blood #1) by Jane Bettany
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 5/5
No secret can stay buried forever…
As the Whitworth family begin renovations on their new home, their plans are brought to an abrupt end when they discover a body buried in the back garden.
DI Isabel Blood and her team are called to investigate, but as she approaches Ecclesdale Drive, a feeling of unease settles in her gut.
The property cordoned off is number 23. The house she used to live in as a child…
The forensic team estimate that the body has been in the ground for up to forty years – coinciding with the time Isabel’s family lived in the house.
Isabel’s father vanished without a trace when she was fourteen years old. And with her mother remaining tight-lipped about her father’s disappearance, Isabel can’t escape the unnerving sense of dread that it’s his body, buried in the garden.
Let Her Lie by Bryan Reardon
𝙈𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜- 3/5
A dejected filmmaker lets his curiosity get the best of him and plunges into a web of depravity and danger from which there might be no escape.
Theo Snyder is at the end of his rope. One minute he was on top of the world, his documentary film The Basement a massive critical and commercial hit, the next crestfallen when his latest film was canceled after an embarrassingly public misstep. As his desperation grows, he makes a bold decision: to pursue the story of the notorious “Halo Killer,” Jasper Ross-Johnson. But delving into the life and mind of a serial killer could prove more deadly than Theo ever could have imagined.
At first, things are looking up. Jasper is willing to talk, the footage of the jailhouse meetings is spectacular, and famed investigator Zora Neale Monroe joins him on the project. Theo is sure he’s getting close to something no one else has discovered: the truth about why Jasper was captured before he could kill his final victim. Someone else was on the beach that day, someone who knows a lot more than they’re telling and just might know how it all happened. The truth could lead to more killing–unless Theo can uncover the real ending to the story of the Halo Killer first.