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Chrissie’s End of Summer Reading List & 4 She’s Looking Forward To Reading

If you’re looking for a new book, here are those that I (Chrissie) that I am looking forward to as well as those I have read recently (with my scoring of each). Don’t miss #1 on the second list – it’s a must-read.

On My To-Read List:

  1. The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman – Sept 19 – Coming out next week, this is the 4th in the Thursday Murder Club mystery series in which a group of amateur detective retirees at a retirement community in England take it upon themselves to solve murders. Lighthearted and fun with terrific characters – and these books are good ones to listen to on Audible as well. Spielberg is currently making a movie of the first book – can’t wait for that! Here is the first in the series if you haven’t read any yet.
  2. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson – Sept 12 – The author of the amazing book Steve Jobs tackles the story of Elon Musk.  After shadowing him for 2 years and interviewing him, his family, friends, coworker and adversaries, the book is out this week and sure to be a best seller.
  3. The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger. This book just came out last week and I’m looking forward to it given how much I loved the author’s previous book This Tender Land. The book is a post-murder mystery set in post WWII rural Minnesota.
  4. Absolution by Alice McDermott – Oct 31 – This one comes out next month and is getting rave reviews. Ann Patchett apparently says it’s a ‘must read’. It’s about two American women who were military wives in Vietnam during the war, and takes place in Saigon in ’63 as well as 60 years later.

Recently Read:

  1. The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin – Just out last month, this book was recommended to me last week by a woman who knows the author and I blew through it in 2 days and LOVED IT.  It’s an amazing story. If you are a Glass Castle fan you’ll enjoy this one about a Santa Cruz, CA soccer mom turned imprisoned addict who becomes a best selling author. At the end of the book I realized that I had already by chance (without knowing the author’s backstory) previously read and loved a NYTimes bestselling book that she co-wrote, The Sun Does Shine, another bestselling one she ghostwrote, Designing Your Life, as well as another amazing one she was also involved with, The Book of Joy. From shame to redemption – a great read. Rating: A
  2. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett – Joanne and I both loved this current bestseller about a mom who, during Covid, is recounting a part of her life, during which she had a relationship with a soon-to-become movie star, to her three daughters in their 20s. The daughters are all at turning points in their lives as well and it’s a story of family, relationships and love that’s beautifully told. Meryl Streep narrates the Audible version. Rating A
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Apparently I’m the only one who didn’t know about this series that has over 1.7 MILLION ratings on Goodreads. This is a genre that I normally don’t read (faeries, magical lands, shape shifting…with a love story thrown in) but I sped through it over the holiday weekend and am looking forward to sprinkling in the rest of the series whenever I need a nice change of pace. Rating: A-
  4. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride – The New York Times has called it “A murder mystery locked inside the Great American Novel.” Hard to explain this book – it’s about white/black/Jewish relations and relationships in 1930’s small-town Pennsylvania. It follows a number of interconnected characters in the town and the person you think is going to be the main character often morphs along the way as a new character and relationship is shown, highlighting the interconnectivity within this small community as each person/race/family tries to survive and thrive.  Rating A-
  5. Lucky Girl by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu – I really enjoyed this coming-of-age story about a girl raised by a strict mother in Kenya who then travels to the US to try to make her way in the world in college and beyond, balancing the way she was raised to be vs the person she yearns of becoming. Rating A-
  6. The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff –  As the NY Times said, this book is “A radically feel-good story about the murder of no-good husbands by a cast of unsinkable women.” A fun read about a woman who people assume murdered her husband and thus other women come to her looking to do the same.  The relationships between the women is well done, the dialog and storytelling is witty and fun, and it’s a good read! Rating B+
  7. Loot by Tania James – This one has gotten rave reviews but I didn’t find it as great as I’d hoped. The book follows a poor Indian woodcarver as he rises to work for the Sultan. At the palace he meets an English clockmaker as they create a piece of art together, and this relationship and the piece of art they create change the course of the woodcarver’s life in India and, later, in Europe. Rating B
  8. All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley- This autobiography is about a man who, recovering from the death of his brother, takes a job as a security guard at the Met where he ends up staying for many years. The book is about his journey as well as a behind the scenes look at the Met. Not amazing writing but I found it a quick read and it was interesting to see behind the curtain at the Met. Rating B

Check out all our book recs, by category, here.

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