12+ Book Ideas for Christmas, part I

I haven’t updated my website in so long that one might wonder whether I’m dead, or if I’ve given up reading or writing or ultimately both. None of that. I’m still very much alive, and still very much reading and writing. So, why hasn’t this category “Whatcha Reading” at least been updated, you’re wondering… Good question—thanks for asking. It’s not that I’m not reading, it’s that I, in fact, read so much I can’t even keep up with myself. 2019 has been an amazing reading feast for me so far: 136 new novels hungrily devoured. And counting. What can I say? I’m insatiable.

But as the end of the year nears, I figured I might share with you my To Be Read list—what’s better than books under the tree? (Save for well-behaved and sage children, but you and I are way past the age of believing…) Therefore, from now up until Christmas, I’ll post every few days, sharing my favorites from the books I’ve read throughout the past several months. I’ll save my December wrap-up for New Year’s Eve (though, to be fair, it’s unlikely I’ll have much time to read between Christmas and the 31st).

So, I’ll begin with what I read last January.

My 5-starred books:

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
Keeping Lucy, by T. Greenwood (released 2019)
An Anonymous Girl, by G. Hendricks & S. Pekkanen (released 2019)
The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
The Blackbird Season, by Kate Moretti (favorite read)
The Au Pair, by Emma Rous (released 2019)
The Vanishing Year, by Kate Moretti
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
In Her Bones, by Kate Moretti

The Blackbird Season

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

The Blackbird Season was my first Kate Moretti, and if you have never read this fabulous author, this is the book you want to pick. The premise is a good and sinister one—a flock of blackbirds falls from the sky on the same day a troubled teenage girl goes missing; fingers are pointing toward a popular teacher slash baseball coach—and the story hooks you right in and lives up to its promises; The Blackbird Season pulses with mystery and menace. A haunting tale of small-town scandals, a family and community in crisis that will keep you guessing. Although I didn’t find most the well-drawn characters very likable, Moretti’s skilled prose is what I loved most and how she won me over. She has a great way with words, and reading this novel made me read two more of hers that very same month. I can’t wait for her forthcoming release, The Girls of Brackenhill.

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