There's something about Fall that makes me want to curl up in the blankets with a good book, burn some candles, and sip on a warm beverage. Cozy season is here and I've got a list of some of the books I've been reading, watching, and listening to.
Fair warning, there are a lot of books from Audible on here. I've been flying a lot so I listen to books on planes. I find this is the best way to get all of my reading done.
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman 3/5
I'm a sucker for a psychological thriller (as you'll see from most of my recent reads) and this book fit the bill. I really loved the writing and intensity of the story, but the ending was a little rushed. It was as if the author threw it together to get the book out on time. I still recommend reading it, just wasn't my favorite.
The plot follows Erin, a documentary filmmaker, who honeymoons in Bora Bora. Inevitably, Erin and new husband Mark find something in the water that changes both of their lives. The characters grew increasingly irritating and unlikeable and Erin kept doing things I felt were more and more stupid.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn 3/5
I'm still shocked this was written by a man. The lead character, Anna Fox, is so well written with so many layers, you'll be convinced it's written by a woman. The protagonist is a recluse in New York City, spending her time spying on neighbors.
The Russells move across the street and Anna can't help but see some strange and disturbing things happen. Was it made up? Or did she really see something truly terrible?
The story is a bit convoluted but all around good.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo 3/5
I love a good romance spanning across decades, and the plot definitely surprises me along the way. Think La La Land except much more is at stake.
The story follows Lucy and her intense love affair with Gabe as they move and change over time and through different continents. The story is a good look at life and how the choices we make shape us. I loved the way the characters were written and felt compelled to keep reading. The story didn't grip me, but it was a good read and I recommend it.
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk 2/5
I always love reading self-help and empowering books, especially when it comes to things like social media, marketing, and blogging. I did love learning about Gary Vee's life and his self-made spirit. But I found the book quickly veering off track, leaving me without much of a point. There are helpful anecdotes strewn throughout, they're just not easy to find.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell 2/5
I wanted to listen to a book set in the place I was: Corfu, Greece. This book became a TV series “The Durrells” and thought it would be an easy beach read. The story follows Gerald as his British family flees the damp British climate for sunny Corfu. What ensues is a funny and poignant look at moving your life abroad. However, the story kept talking about all the insects and animals Gerald uncovers in great, painstaking detail that the author lost me along the way.
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware 4/5
Suspenseful and richly written, I loved this one from Ruth Ware. I've read some of her other novels such as The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood and liked these a lot. But The Lying Game is not what I expected, which is nice for a psychological thriller. See a theme here yet?!
The book takes places in the small, idyllic town of Salten. Isa and two other friends are beckoned back by their high school best friend, and they all come immediately. A long time ago, they did something very bad. Now it looks like that's coming to light. The story is set in the present but has flashbacks to their high school days. I felt like I was walking the halls of the Salten House school when reading this.
The book is suspenseful and definitely kept me on my toes. Highly recommend.
Up and Vanished Season 2 4/5
I adored the first season of Up and Vanished. I binge listened to this at every possible moment. So far, the second season has been nothing short of spellbinding.
It's a podcast series following the story of a missing woman. This season, the woman went missing in a tiny, hippie town in Colorado. Known for drawing many “out there” people- think UFO watchers and the radical religious, Crystal goes to an all-night party and is never seen again. Through deep investigation, the podcast follows the story of trying to find her.
In season one, which if you haven't listened, do it now, the podcast was so powerful that the death of Tara Grinstead comes to light and we listen as the killer is actually found. I'm hoping justice is served in this podcast season as well.
It's a movie I've seen many times but it's one I can watch again and again. We just had Michael's Dad stay with us for 3 weeks and we did a major tour of Europe (Prague, Rome, Söll, Heidelberg, Santorini, Crete, Barcelona, and then some) and to wind down the trip we insisted on watching Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. It remains one of my favorite movies of all time and for good reason.
The story follows Owen Wilson (Gil) engaged to a snooty Rachel McAdams (Ines) as they are spending time in Paris with her parents. Gil is a Hollywood scriptwriter but longs to write a novel, and also feels he missed his calling by not living in the 1920s in Paris. But something strange happens when he walks the streets of Paris at midnight.
To All The Boys I've Loved Before 4/5
This is a Netflix movie I thought I'd have on in the background while editing photos. But I absolutely fell in love with it. I found myself laughing out loud and falling in love with the characters. Lara Jean keeps mostly to herself and tight-knit circle of friends. Until the love letters she's written to her past crushes are sent out. Chaos ensues.
This sweet coming of age story is worth the watch and you can easily find it on Netflix.
Last Chance U 5/5
I don't give a lot of 5 out of 5 ratings, but Last Chance U deserves it. It's funny, I'm not a big sports fan, which is blasphemous coming from Texas, but Last Chance U sucks me in every episode. The story follows a team of Junior College players and their coach as they try to pull their team together and graduate college. Many are dealing with issues on and off the field. With every episode I'm on the edge of my seat cheering them on and hoping they find their path in life.
This is embarrassing, but I didn't read a single paper book in the past couple months. I blame my motion sickness. I have only listened to books since I get a bit sick on the plane- I can't read or write. So I listen.
If you're like me and have absolutely a finite amount of time, I highly recommend Audible. It's how I “read” everything.
What's a book or movie or podcast you've been loving lately?