Fates and Furies
: Lauren Groff
Publication Date: September 2015
Genre: fiction, contemporary
Method: audiobook via TPL

This book was definitely not on my radar but I asked my best best friend for a book recommendation for my 2022 TBR and she handed me this, so of course I had to read it. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve finished and I’m finding the entire story very forgettable. I remember all of two things, 1. it was beautifully written, that is undeniable, and 2. I couldn’t care less about the commentary on plays and the main character’s career as a playwright. My initial rating after finishing was a 3.75 but I literally can’t justify that now, so I’m reducing it to like a 2.5. This is my life, I make the rules

Things We Do in the Dark
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Publication Date: July 2022
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: audiobook via TPL

I’ve seen a ton of reviews that say this story was predictable and I’m like really?? Maybe I was too engrossed in the audiobook to speculate and theorize but I had a good time! I thought the story was compelling, captivating, and had me returning to the audiobook so quickly I finished it in less than 3 days. I usually hate hate hate crime fiction that involves gangs/mafia/mob but this felt very well written and researched and it made sense for the story as a whole, in my opinion. I’m excited to read more from Jennifer Hillier – as a matter of fact, I have Little Secrets sitting on my shelf right now, ready to be cracked open when the time is right
Buzzword Readathon: September selection

Once There Were Wolves
Author: Charlotte McConaghy
Publication Date: August 2021
Genre: fiction, mystery, contemporary
Method: audiobook via TPL

I threw this book my on 2022 TBR after 1. being drawn to the beautiful cover and 2. seeing some pretty convincing 5 star reviews. Let’s just say, I have a way of picking winners for my year long TBR challenge because, dare I say, this will be my favorite book I read this year

Rarely do I form emotional attachment to characters, let alone animals in stories, but damn, my devotion to these wolves is ridiculous. McConaghy has crafted an incredibly emotional and haunting story about the humanity and its impact on climate and ecosystems, along with themes of loyalty, revenge, cohabitation, and trauma. I can’t wait to pick up McConaghy’s 2020 release Migrations in 2023

Favorite quote: “There are languages without words and violence is one of them”
Buzzword Readathon: October selection

Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Publication Date: 1945
Genre: classic, fiction, dystopian
Method: paperback borrowed via TPL

For some unknown reason, I set out to read at least 4 classics this year, for culture, or academia, or something. So it’s October and figured it was about time I start working towards that goal, and what better place to start than George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Which, oddly enough, I didn’t read in high school like so many other AP Lit kids. But we did read 1984 which I remember enjoying and plan to re-read in December

First and foremost, how have I looked at this book cover for the better part of 15 years and I’m just now seeing it’s a pig on the cover? That’s embarrassing as a 29 year old. Secondly, this was just fine? As a girlie with little knowledge (or interest) in the Russian Revolution, Joseph Stalin, and communism, it was just okay. Without the internet, or the introduction in the edition I read, I would have had no idea the historical parallels. At best, I’m glad to have finally read it on the off chance the book, story, characters, or author comes up at bar trivia or on Jeopardy!
Buzzword Readathon: October selection

The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Author: Simone St. James
Publication Date: March 2021
Genre: historical fiction, mystery, paranormal
Method: audiobook via TPL

I had to repeatedly remind myself that this wasn’t a Ruth Ware novel. This is, however, Simone St. James’s first novel initially released in 2012, then rereleased with a new cover in 2022, which I gladly picked up considering all of SSJ stories have spooky ghosts vibes, perfect for an October read

At this point, I had read and loved SSJ’s The Sun Down Motel and The Book of Cold Cases, and this just felt different, not in a bad way, but just in a different genre type of way. THOMC is much more historical with an emphasis on romance, compared to her more recent works. It was definitely unnerving and disturbing at times, but didn’t outshine TSDM nor TBOCC. Thank the Lord above the word ‘physiotherapist’ didn’t make an appearance in this story, SSJ didn’t burn me on this one

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


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