May has been a fruitful month in terms of reading. I found a new author to love, and added two non-fiction books toward my goal of reading eight this year! (I know. Eight books isn’t that many, but I rarely read non-fiction, so it’s a good goal for me.) Three of the books I read in May were audiobooks, which I listened to while picking up the kids after school, shopping for groceries, folding laundry and laying in my hammock. I love the company of an audiobook, and I always feel like the reader and I are good friends by the time the book comes to it’s end.
Here is my May book list:
The Night Bird by Brian Freeman (Frost Easton series book 1): This series is set in the San Francisco Bay Area, so right off the bat I was hooked. Frost Easton is a detective trying to solve a series of murders committed by the Night Bird. I found this novel in the three-book series to be the most frightening, but very compelling as well.
Voice Inside by Brian Freeman (Frost Easton series book 2): In this second Frost Easton installment, a decision for good ends up having devastating consequences. What I loved about this book is that we are able to fill in the gaps regarding the murder of Frost’s sister. The author doesn’t pull any punches along the way, and good people die. Maybe my favorite of the series.
The Crooked Street by Brian Freeman (Frost Easton series book 3): I’m hoping there will be more books added to the series, because the author really leaves us hanging at the end. Frost is drawn into an investigation that uncovers corruption at the highest level, and it’s impossible to know who to trust. Really a good read.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo: I read this book based on a recommendation, and it didn’t disappoint. True, it wasn’t dark or twisty or murder-y, but I got attached to the characters and intrigued by the mystery of what happened to Gabe. It’s worth a read.
Fifty Fifty by James Patterson and Candice Fox (Harriet Blue series book 2): This first book in this series, (Never Never) I read about a year ago. Harriet is a scrappy, hot-headed detective in Australia, who solves murders in remote areas of the outback. There’s a third book called Liar Liar that I have on queue for June, and I’m looking forward to more of Harriet’s antics and brilliance.
After Her by Joyce Maynard: Rachel and Patty are sisters, and daughters of a police detective during a rash of murders on the mountain behind their house. The novel is set in a town north of San Francisco (my fave) and follows the girls through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. This book isn’t just a murder mystery. It’s a coming of age story with lots of beautiful musings about sisterhood and coming to terms with the imperfection of our parents.
now for the non-fiction:
12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson: I wanted to like this book. Everyone else loves it. I like rules to live by. I am interested in human behavior. But, yawn. I just wasn’t captivated by this book like it seems the rest of the world has been. Not only are the rules pretty obvious, and mostly things I already do, but I was kind of bogged down by science lessons and anecdotes which I found uninspiring and hard to connect. I think it’s worthwhile to read books that everyone is buzzing about, so I’m glad I spent the time, but overall, not a book I would recommend.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: This is one of the books I listened to as an audiobook, and I found it interesting and enjoyable. Again, a lot of what Gretchen suggests I already do (go to bed early, be tidy, etc) but I found a lot of her ideas inspiring. The biggest take-away for me was to “Be Debbie.” I like what I like, and I should spend time doing those things. This idea is one I have been exploring as a stay at home mom, and I’ve been working hard to not “should” on myself by trying to be something I’m not. Several other very poignant ideas struck me from The Happiness Project, and I came away from the book with topics I want to investigate and learn about.
If you are looking for other book recommendations, here are several other books I’ve read this year that you may want to investigate:
The Breakdown by B.A. Paris: Loved this book. Twisty and riveting. Read it!
The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan: Twisty and a little dark. A good read.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: One million thumbs up for this novel! Read. It.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: This book is like a big meal. It stayed with me.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly: Terrific. Loved it! A great one for audiobook.
I hope you find these ideas and recommendations helpful! Readers often rely on literary recommendations and sharing titles, because it points us toward new authors and books we might otherwise never discover. Happy reading!