September 2021–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Length: 365 pages).   I realize this novel has been EVERYWHERE, but honestly, it’s for good reason. I found it to be an enjoyable story which is focused on the four adult children of a very famous rock star (Mick Riva). All four of the children are actually likeable, which I didn’t expect. The setting is gorgeous Malibu in the 1960s-1980s, and TJR features Los Angeles and California like no other author I know–the setting is almost another character. The structure of the novel is interesting with each hour of a 12-hour day before and during the end of a famous end of summer party at the oldest daughter’s cliffside beach house. This isn’t perfect, by any means, but if you’re a fan of TJR, you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. Perfect travel read! 

Book #2:

The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler (Length: 418 pages).  This is such a cute book. I believe it was an Amazon free monthly Kindle book choice, and it’s a surprisingly well-written romance. Set in the town of Moose Springs, Alaska, this is the first book in a series (there are 3 books so far). The plot is forward-moving, but the character development is a bit sparse. The female protagonist (Zoey) is a bit weak for my liking, in terms of her personality, but overall, I found myself rooting for her and her romantic interest Graham. The setting of Moose Springs is the best part, along with its residents both human and animal. (Jake the blind border collie and Ulysses the town moose are adorable). I will absolutely read more of this series when I’m in the mood for more light-hearted literary fare.

Book #3:

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave (Length: 316 pages).  As I’ve mentioned here previously, I’m pretty picky about psychological thrillers so I was nervous to pick up this very popular book. I was pleasantly surprised about this one. In terms of writing quality and character development, this is really well done! The plot is inherently propulsive since right out the gate the wife receives a note from her newlywed husband to “protect her”, meaning his stepdaughter Bailey. He disappears and the rest of the novel is about the wife figuring out where he went, with the assistance of the surly teen girl. The WHY of his disappearance will require you to suspend your disbelief a bit (it certainly made me roll my eyes a few times) but if you’re willing to do that, it’s quite a fun ride. I definitely recommend this if you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller that is free of violence, but heavy on plot.

Book #4:

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Length: 336 pages).  I’ve had this title on my bookshelf for over a decade, and thought it was about time that I picked it up. I’m so glad I did as I adore this book. A group of international visitors to an unnamed Latin American country (likely Peru) is held hostage for months in the country’s vice presidential residence. The purpose of the gathering was to celebrate the birthday of a wealthy Japanese businessman who was lured to the party by the promise of hearing his favorite opera singer sing for the group. This is very character AND plot-driven, and the writing is gorgeous here. This was very reminiscent of A Gentleman in Moscow, to me, thanks to the entire novel taking place in a singular location. I read this is one day, and it will be in my top 10 favorite books for sure.


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