34. Kate White – If Looks Could Kill

Hey guys! I just finished another book.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love Kate White’s books. The last one I read was If Looks Could Kill, the first in a series following the narrator, Bailey Weggins. I was excited to start this one because now I’ll have more to read after it.

Kate White - If Looks Could Kill (photo taken by me)
Kate White – If Looks Could Kill (photo taken by me)

At the start of the book, Bailey is in bed with her latest flame when her friend and boss Cat calls her. Cat is freaking out because her nanny isn’t answering her door and she has a feeling something bad has happened. Bailey goes over and enters the nanny’s apartment through Cat’s basement to find the nanny dead.

I’m sure you can guess how the story unfolds. The nanny’s death is suspicious, and Bailey starts investigating it. Cat asks Bailey to look into it because she’s a reporter and has a good knack for noticing things others look over. It turns out that the nanny was murdered, and Bailey is left to figure out who did it.

I liked this book. One thing with Kate White’s books is that the setup tends to be kind of similar in all of them – a single woman in her 30s or 40s, living in New York City, is investigating a murder mystery for some reason. However, I still enjoy them.

I was really worried that this book was going to have the same twist as one of her other books I’ve read. It really seemed like it was going to be that way, but at the end, I was wrong. I was totally surprised by who the murderer turned out to be.

The one thing I didn’t really like about the book was how quickly it ended. I know mystery books usually wrap up pretty quickly once it’s solved, but this one seemed to be even shorter than most are.

Overall, though, I liked this book. I was eager to get home to read it while I was out, and I finished it in just a few (busy) days. I’m excited to be able to follow the series and read some more books by Kate White.

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33. Hilary Winston – My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me

Heyo! Trying to make up for lost time by reading a book quickly, how am I doing?!

My latest read was My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, a collection of stories by Hilary Winston.

Hilary Winston - My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me
Hilary Winston – My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me (photo taken by me)

As you might have guessed by the title, the book starts out with Winston in a Barnes & Noble, discovering a book written by her ex-boyfriend. The book is supposedly fiction, but Winston finds word-for-word conversations she had in the book, with the narrator’s “fat-assed girlfriend”.

Understandably, Winston has a minor breakdown when she finds the book. Then, she is inspired to tell her story.

The ex-boyfriend who wrote the book, Kyle (as she calls him in this book), dated Winston for 5 years, and she thought at one point that he was the one. Obviously, that didn’t work out, and she uses this book to tell some of their stories, and storied of other guys in her life.

The setup of this book kind of reminded me of I Don’t Care About Your Band, because both are memoir-like and recall many sexual encounters, a lot of them with guys they didn’t really know (I’m certainly not passing any judgment here). I personally have no experience of hookups like this, but I love books like these.

Another factor that really made the book enjoyable was Winston’s tone. She was funny – she is, after all, a comedy writer – but also relatable. I felt like she was my friend telling me stories about her life. Also, I would like to point out that this book wasn’t only about hooking up with random guys. Winston uses this book to tell the story of her life after a really big breakup, and there is much more than sex in it.

I really enjoyed this book, which you might have guessed by the fact that I read the whole thing in under 24 hours. I was sad when I finished it, and not just because *SPOILER ALERT* in the epilogue she tells us that her cat, Emmett, who we read about all through the book, had died. Honestly, that part had me in tears (and I’m not even a cat person. But she did mention that everyone loved Emmett – even dog people). But it was a really good book.

I’m kind of tempted to read the book that “Kyle” wrote, even though I’m fairly certain I won’t like it. Not only is he portrayed as kind of a douche in this book, a quick Google search shows reviews of said book, and he seems like a douche in interviews, too. It seems like a book that is more meant for guys (although it seems to me that the kind of guys who would enjoy it aren’t typically the kind of guys to read books in their spare time), but I might still check it out. Might. In the future.

Anyway, I really liked this book. It’s funny, it’s truthful, and it’s a really easy read. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone.

32. Julia Scheeres – Jesus Land

Wow, I really suck at posting!

But actually, I just really suck at reading lately. I started one book and was really not into it, but I tried to stick it out. Eventually, I gave up on it, but it took up a huge chunk of time when I could have been reading other books!

So, my sister recommended this book to me because she knows I like to read memoirs. It’s called Jesus Land, written by a woman named Julia Scheeres who grew up in a really religious household. Julia has three biological siblings and two black brothers that her parents adopted. One of the boys, David, was the same age as Julia, so they grew up together and were extremely close.

Julia Scheeres - Jesus Land (photo taken by me)
Julia Scheeres – Jesus Land (photo taken by me)

The story starts out when Julia and David were 16 and had just moved to a new town, where David clearly isn’t welcome. We get to hear about their lives at school and in their home, where their mother doesn’t really care for them and their dad is very violent. 

Julia talks about her life, both at home and at school, for about half of the book. At the end of that first half, David gets sent to a religious reform school in the Dominican Republic, and Julia soon follows him. The second half of the book explains their time at the school.

I really enjoyed this book. It took a while for me to get into it, but after that, I couldn’t put it down. My only complaint is the about the transition between Julia at home and Julia at the reform school. David left for the Dominican about six months (if I remember correctly) before Julia did, but we hear very little about her time without him. She gives a brief explanation of what happened to her, but I really would have liked more detail.

Also, I can understand why she ended the story where she did, but I honestly would have liked to read more about her life. It was really interesting.

I thought this book was a really good read. It’s eye-opening and shows that not all religious families really practice what they preach or are very loving homes. The same can be said for the reform school Julia and David attended, which had very strict and ridiculous rules. All in all, Julia has a great story to tell and I would gladly read more about it.

31. Herman Koch – The Dinner

11698583_10204678397186438_1499409569681829790_n So, I started this post last week but then got distracted and never got around to posting it! Sorry!

Last Saturday was my dog Keebler’s fifth birthday! And I am a crazy dog lady, so yeah I got him a creemee (in Vermont that’s what we call soft serve ice cream) and put candles in it. He even had a cute birthday hat. 🙂 I know it’s a pretty bad picture, but it’s the best I could do.

Anyway, I finished my newest book a couple of days ago and just haven’t had time to post about it. It was The Dinner by Herman Koch.

I first heard of this book when a girl I follow on Instagram posted a picture of it. She said it was a good book, so I looked it up and read a description. It seemed interesting so I put it on my to-read list.

Herman Koch - The Dinner (photo taken by me)
Herman Koch – The Dinner (photo taken by me)

The story mostly takes place in one night, with lots of flashbacks and a look to the future at the end. The story is told from the point of view of a man named Paul, who, along with his wife, is joining his brother Serge and his wife to dinner. Serge is a politician and is likely to be voted the next Prime Minister (the book takes place in Holland).

Throughout the book, you realize that the two couples have come together to discuss a crime that their teenage sons committed together. Naturally, there are a few different opinions on what should be done.

I thought this book was really interesting. It had short chapters (my favorite!) and I could barely put it down. I’ve also been recommending it to everyone. At first, I was a little weary of reading it, because I’ve been reading a lot of suspense novels lately, but The Dinner is totally different.

The narrator has a great voice and I really enjoyed this book