10.11.2023 | Wednesday

thursday 13: 5-star books I’ve read this year

category: Memetastic
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reading time: 3 minutes
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Images link to Amazon.

1. 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

genre: thriller

This is a COVID-era novel, set in Ireland. It’s twisty and turny and SO GOOD!

2. Final Girls by Riley Sager

genre: thriller

This novel has a serial killer vibe, with lots of unexpected plot twists. I couldn’t put it down.

3. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

genre: murder mystery

It is a murder mystery, but it’s one with a side of humor, with a Clue vibe. The author uses the very real Ronald Knox’s Ten Commandments and the Detection Club to break the fourth wall. And a sequel is coming!

4. Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

genre: fantasy

In truth, I could put any Mercedes Lackey book within the Valdemar saga here. I’ve been (re)reading the series since the first book in 1987. It’s a series that is still being written today.

Fun fact… I’m gettin a tattoo today, one that’s Valdemar-inspired!

5. Mable Frye by Kayt Miller

genre: mystery

This is the first in a new series, and the second one is already out, the third due in November. It’s a murder mystery with cozy vibes, and I LOVE IT.

In the interest of full disclosure, I know Kayt, having met her through my work with a publishing/editing company. And I’ve worked on almost every book she’s written in the last five years. I’m an unabashed fan girl!

6. The Enchanted Hacienda by J.C. Cervantes

genre: magical realism

This was such a beautiful read! It’s set in Mexico on a small family-owned flower farm. It’s the women of the family who care for the flowers, the magic, and the land and people around them. So good!

7. The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

genre: contemporary

I loved this book! It’s set in Orange County, CA, in Little Saigon, a large community of Vietnamese ex-pats and their Vietnamese-American descendents. The book follows three generations of women as they navigate life straddling both East and West cultures. The story also explored how the younger generation may not always appreciate cultural traditions and ideals.

8. Shadow Girls by Alice Blanchard

genre: thriller, police procedural

This is the fourth book in the Natalie Lockhart series. I’ve loved this series. Great characters, great stories, great settings. The small town in which it’s set reminds me of my hometown, which is a small town in northern New York not far from the Canadian border. But this town also has Salem vibes!

9. Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

genre: magical realism

This book was more than a good read; it was an experience! It weaves together the stories of the Marte sisters, as well as those of their daughters. The women of the family have subtle, often odd, magical gifts, that they can wield in different ways. The book opens and closes with Flor, who has had premonitory visions of death since she was a child. After watching a documentary about the subject, she decides to throw herself a living wake, feeling a soul-deep desire to have this moment with her family during life rather than death.

10. The End of Her by Shari Lapena

genre: thriller

This is a great domestic thriller that just may leave you with more questions than answers by the time you close the book. As all good domestic thrillers do, the story began with what seems like an entirely normal relationship between two people. Then, as happens, their lives are turned on end until it becomes a tangled mess of lies and betrayal. Soon, it begs the question… how well do you really know your partner? It is the kind of book that makes you look at your own partner and wonder just who they really are.

11. None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

genre: thriller

This was an INSANE book! The book focuses on two women, one a podcaster and the other the woman at the center of her podcast’s current season. It’s a story that makes a reader question just who the true villains are. It’s a wild ride!

12. The Weaver and the Witch by Genevieve Gornichec

genre: fantasy, historical fiction, Norse folklore

This book was so unbelievably beautiful! I was fully obsessed with it, unable to put it far from my mind. It was the kind of book that made me sad when I finished it, because it was over. One of my all-time favorites.

13. Darkness Peering by Alice Blanchard

genre: thriller, police procedural

The book is one part psychological thriller and one part police procedural, although what truly brings it together are the relationships/dynamics between the characters. The character writing is excellent, creating true-to-life people in a vivid way. The horror of the crimes committed is brutal, but germaine to the story and done so well. There were moments when chills went down my spine, when I was viscerally uncomfortable. That is something I appreciate, being drawn into a story so completely!

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3 responses to “thursday 13: 5-star books I’ve read this year

  1. It’s great that I see so many people who still read so much, more than me, in the midst of all the TV choices. It’s hard to remember the last book I read that I loved. I read a Dennis Lehane one and The Observer, a novel that incorporates Quantum Physics findings.


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