What I Read Lately

Welcome back to my latest What I Read lately! I definitely did not read as much I wanted to in 2021, though I did hit my bare minimum goal of 24 books, which surpassed 2020! I’m hoping to get more into reading this year but let’s quickly run through the last few books of the year for me.

Not A Happy Family

Synopsis: Fred and Sheila Merton are rich. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.
  Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. Right?

Would I Recommend It: Oh man this was a page-turner. A real whodunnit. I had my speculations throughout the book, and it seemed to change every 50 pages or so. I thought the ending was fairly satisfying, and definitely not what I thought. It had some good twists and turns and, of course, TONS of family dramas. Give this one a go if you like murder mysteries. I definitely liked this more The Couple Next Door, which I also thought was excellent, so that’s saying something.

The Last Black Unicorn

Synopsis: The Last Black Unicorn is so much more than a side-splittingly hilarious collection of essays – it’s a memoir of the struggles of one woman who came from nothing and nowhere. A woman who was able to achieve her dreams by reveling in her pain and awkwardness, showing the world who she really is, and inspiring others through the power of laughter. 

Would I Recommend It: This was a book club pick. It was raunchy at times, funny at times, sad at times, and cringe at times, but I enjoyed it overall. It was fun to hear about her life, the good and bad parts, through her voice. It was a super quick read, too. If you’re a fan of hers, you’ll like this.

Anxious People

Synopsis: Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Would I Recommend It: Oh, I ADORED THIS! It started a bit slow but around 50 pages in it picked up and then was a delightful ride to the end. It made me laugh and cry and is such a beautiful look into the human condition. I highly recommend this one, as it was one of my favorite books of the year.

When We Believed In Mermaids

Synopsis: Josie Bianci was killed years ago on a train during a terrorist attack. It’s what her sister, Kit, an ER doctor in Santa Cruz, has always believed. Yet all it takes is a few heart-wrenching seconds to upend Kit’s world. Live coverage of a club fire in Auckland has captured the image of a woman stumbling through the smoke and debris. Her resemblance to Josie is unbelievable. With it comes a flood of emotions―grief, loss, and anger―that Kit finally has a chance to put to rest: by finding the sister who’s been living a lie. After arriving in New Zealand, Kit begins her journey with the memories of the past: of days spent on the beach with Josie. Of a lost teenage boy who’d become part of their family. And of a trauma that has haunted Kit and Josie their entire lives. Now, if two sisters are to reunite, it can only be by unearthing long-buried secrets and facing a devastating truth that has kept them apart far too long. To regain their relationship, they may have to lose everything.

Would I Recommend It: Y’all know I love a good sister book [ahem The Nightingale] and this will definitely be up in there in my favorite books of all time. I loved that it went back and forth from each sisters’ view point which kept it super suspenseful. This is a heartbreaking story, there’s no way around that. But it is so beautifully raw and well-written. I don’t want to give too much away but I highly, HIGHLY recommend this one.

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