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My reading obsession is back and I thought I would share with you the books I have recently finished. I love to read but oddly enough I tend to read in spurts. I will hear about a great book, decide to read it, not want it to end and then immediately download another book to begin reading. And thus my reading spree begins. Ha! Typically it will end for a bit when I run into a terrible book which I joke kills my reading mojo. But thankfully I only had one bad book out of this bunch so I will definitely be checking more off my list in the next few months.
1. Find Her - This was by far one of my favorite books that I read but it's not for the faint of heart. It's the story of a girl who was kidnapped and tortured while on spring break and manages to escape after more than a year in captivity. She decides to become a vigilante of sorts for men that are known predators. There are tons of twists and turns and it's a true page turner.
2. A Man Called Ove - My thoughts through the first half of this book - snoozefest. But I am glad I stuck it out because this delightful story of a grumpy older gentleman that has lost his wife (and his way somewhat) takes a heartwarming turn. You will laugh, you will cry and finish the book wishing there were just a few more chapters.
3. What Alice Forgot - I wasn't even a single chapter in and I immediately loved this book. Alice falls and hits her head at the gym and wakes up having forgotten the past 10 years of her life. The story chronicles her journey to find her way back to the present while coming to terms with what has happened over the past decade. I would definitely consider reading this one again!
4. The Widower's Wife - An easy read that's very predictable but nonetheless a fun mystery/thriller. It's a perfect book to read at the beach or pool.
5. The Luckiest Girl Alive - Ugh. Where to begin with this one. It was touted as the next Gone Girl or Girl on the Train (which I assume seems to be the gold standard of thrillers currently), but it couldn't be farther from that. Both of those were complex and well-written, while this book was awful in my opinion. It was written by a former magazine editor and it goes to show you what having a great publicist can do for a badly written book. It's all who you know even in the literary world. Quick synopsis - the story is about a magazine editor living in the big city with a flashy job (just like the author) who must confront a horrible event that happened in her past. There were a few good chapters, but for the most part I was not a fan.
6. The Best Friend - Another mystery/thriller easy read. A woman is befriended by the mother of her son's friend. This mother turns out to be a nut case and tries to run the woman's life. Very predictable but I got so involved with the characters that I would yell out loud at the book during certain chapters. Ha! It was great.
7. The Girl Before - This bestseller is currently being made into a motion picture if that gives you any indication of its draw. This one will definitely get you thinking and keep you stumped until the end. It's a psychological thriller that tells the story of two different woman who lived at the same address years apart from each other. The woman from the present day tries to uncover the story of the former tenant though there are people that don't want her to know the truth. Apart from the main characters, the actual house itself plays a huge role in the book and contributes to the mystery of the entire story. A must read for sure.
8. All the Missing Girls - I included this last book because I am currently in the middle of reading it. It's another mystery though this one is a bit slower than I would prefer. A young woman goes back home to the small town she is from where the disappearance of her best friend has never been solved. Additionally, a new woman vanishes years later and her friends and family seem to either know something about the disappearance or are involved. I still haven't figured that out yet. Also, the story is told in reverse which I can't decide if I enjoy.
Now that I have covered books, here are my current favorite podcasts
1. Missing Richard Simmons - This one only lasted a few episodes but was fascinating to listen to. Richard Simmons lived an incredible life and learning more about him in this podcast made me have an entirely new respect and admiration for him.
2. Up and Vanished - Yes, I am still loving this one though I believe it is nearing the end. Amazingly the cold case that is the focus of the podcast (and has not had any new leads in over 10 years) was just closed a few months ago! Two suspects were arrested and charged for the murder of Tara Grinstead. While it has never been confirmed that the podcast was the reason for finally catching the killers, I believe that it's huge success definitely contributed to it and put the story back on everyone's radar.
3. In the Dark - Another true crime podcast that documents the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, a young boy kidnapped nearly 27 years ago. The case has been solved however the podcast is focused more on the errors of law enforcement during the investigation and seeks to shed light on this as a broader issue. Great news is that there is a season 2 coming soon!
4. Casefile True Crime - These are all either unsolved or solved crimes from around the world. Some are very interesting and some are quite tedious. There are a ton of episodes so I just hunt through until I find one that grabs my attention.
5. S-Town - This is not actually a podcast I have listened to yet, but it's currently next on my list!
I'm always looking for more book, podcast or show recommendations. Please leave me a comment below with yours!