January 2023–Part Two

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:

The Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor (Length: 556 pages) Reader, know thyself with this book. This is a sweeping crime family saga set in Delhi, India . . . it’s the Indian Godfather. This is the first of a trilogy, so it ends on a cliffhanger, but before we get there, there’s beautiful writing, a pulse-pounding plot (here and there, with some SLOW parts in the middle), and overall it’s hard to put down because you want to find out what happens. BUT, it’s incredibly violent, you won’t like many (if not most) of the primary characters, the descriptions of poverty and the hard lives of some of the characters can be hard to stomach . . . if you can handle all of that, it’s absolutely worth a read. I’ll pick up the second book in the series when it’s released because I don’t think I’ll forget what I’ve read in the this one, and I do want to see where the author goes from here.

Book #2:

One Day in December by Josie Silver (Length: 394 pages). This lovely rom-com was the palate-cleanser I needed after the aforementioned crime novel. I LOVE this book! I’m finding I’m a Reese Pick’s fan, so I knew I’d enjoy this book about two people who catch a glimpse of one another on a bus/bus stop in London, and then find their lives intersecting throughout the following decade. The characters have depth, the romance at the center is the opposite of cheesy (which I adore!) and the writing is very memorable. This is absolutely in the top 10 of rom-coms for me, and you won’t be disappointed if you take a chance on this novel.

Book #3:

Remarkably Bright Creatures  by Shelby Van Pelt (Length: 362 pages). I ADORE this book! This was my book club’s January book club pick and all 10 of us LOVED the reading experience. This is set mostly in a small aquarium in a town on the shores of Washington state. The novel features Tova, an elderly cleaning woman who cleans the aquarium in the evenings, primarily to stay busy as both her husband and her son have passed away. The other major character is Marcellus, an incredibly intelligent giant Pacific octopus who has a talent for escaping his tank. The supporting cast of characters are all very interesting. This novel reminds me of Fredrik Backman’s writing where all of the characters and subplots magically come together in a very realistic way (although in this novel it’s a BIT far-fetched but not so far that I wasn’t able to just go along with it). The writing is strong, and I couldn’t put it down. All of us said we read this in a day or two, and many of us immediately started researching this incredible octopus.

Book #4:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Length: 432 pages)  I’ve wanted to check out this teen fantasy series (of 5 books) for years but I finally was inspired to pick up the first book once a few of my coworkers started reading it. My older teen daughter has had all 15 books (they’re interconnected via worlds and characters) for a while and discusses them on BookTok so I just had to ask nicely to borrow this on. 😉 I will say this reminds me of the Twilight series in that the central romance is a bit cheesy, but what this book features is fantastic world building. I was immediately hooked by the author’s descriptions of the various “courts” in the fairylands and I didn’t read this with an eye towards the Beauty and the Beast retelling that the author allegedly based this on. Instead, I got a more Lord of the Rings vibe here. There were a few plot inconsistencies, but they weren’t bad enough to stop me from reading further; they absolutely were distracting however, and a more discerning reader than me may be even more annoyed. I absolutely understand the appeal of the series and I have already started the second book in the series and I’m enjoying that one even more. I am told that the writing quality increases with each book so that’s promising.

Book #5:

City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita (Length: 304 pages) This is a mystery/thriller with a unique premise–it’s primarily set within one building in Alaska which houses the town’s entire population (200 plus condos). There are LOTS of plot twists, many quirky characters, and the tone is very creepy and unsettling, much of which is thanks to the setting . . . the dark Alaskan winter and the giant building (with its various tunnels and connected dilapidated outbuildings). This is well-written and had enough going on to keep me interested. It’s a very fast read, with short chapters (yay!) and the author sets this up for sequel(s) so I will definitely keep reading this author in the future. A library check out for sure!

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