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GOOD NEIGHBORS by Sarah Langan

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan is a suburban gothic, vaguely apocalyptic novel set in the near future in Long Island. During a blazing hot summer, a sinkhole opens up in a park across a crescent-shaped street with 20 or so families. The sinkhole’s appearance coincides with rising neighborhood tensions and the leveling of accusations of sexual assault against the husband of one family on the block. Over the course of the summer, the sinkhole will claim one of the neighborhood teenagers, the neighbors will resort to mob mentality and violence to avenge accused wrongs, and issues of class, abuse and

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THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain

I started reading about The Push by Ashley Audrain long before it came out last month, and I was admittedly a bit apprehensive to read it. (When a book is compared to We Need To Talk About Kevin – one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read – and Baby Teeth, well, you proceed carefully.) But then the glowing reviews starting pouring in, with people talking about how hard it was to put down,

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THE GIRLS FROM CORONA DEL MAR by Rufi Thorpe

Isn’t it funny how you can make an impression – wrong or right – of a book just based on its title? I picked up The Girls From Corona Del Mar several years ago knowing only that it was a book about friendship, and I assumed that it was going to be a gauzy, possibly retro read about the ups and downs of a relationship between two Southern California girls. But I read Thorpe’s latest

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THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang

I am relatively new to the romance genre. I read a few romance novels in 2019 and 2020, and for the most part I enjoyed them. They provide a nice break between darker fare, and even though they are pretty formulaic, they are absorbing and often entertaining reads. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang brings an additional dimension: her protagonist, Stella, has autism. When the book opens, Stella has resorted to hiring an escort to

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WHITE IVY by Susie Yang

Most readers have at least one thing that turns them off when they’re reading. Maybe they have trouble with anything that feels fantastical. Maybe they do not enjoy unlikable characters. Maybe they can’t read books that don’t have quotation marks. Whatever it is, that one thing can bring the reading experience down a notch. For me, it’s inconsistent characters. I have a hard time when a character does something that seems, well, out of character.

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A VERY PUNCHABLE FACE by Colin Jost

When books are marketed as being “hilarious” or “laugh out loud funny”, I often don’t find them funny. A major recent exception is Colin Jost’s memoir A Very Punchable Face, which is extremely funny. In A Very Punchable Face, Jost, the co-host of “Weekend Update” and one of the head writers for Saturday Night Live, writes about growing up on Staten Island, attending Harvard, trying to get a job in television and spending over a

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THE ONE by John Marrs

The idea of there being a single “soulmate” out there for everybody is an intriguing one, and it’s the subject of John Marrs’ thriller The One. (It’s also the subject of an AMC show, Soulmates, that may or may not be related to this book – I can’t seem to get a good answer on that.) The One follows five couples who have been matched by a London app called Match Your DNA to see

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SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LIE by Leslie Brody

When I was growing up, Harriet the Spy was one of my all-time favorite books. I read it so many times that the spine cracked. (I actually still have my copy of the book – scroll down for a picture of it.) It’s the story of Harriet, an irreverent, nonconformist eleven year-old girl who keeps notebooks detailing the goings-on of her Yorkville neighbors and containing unflattering comments about her classmates. One day, her notebook is

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GOOD MORNING, MONSTER by Catherine Gildiner

Therapy books are hot right now (go figure!), and there is a trio of them in particular that have been making the rounds: Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb, Group by Christie Tate and Good Morning, Monster by Catherine Gildiner. I am interested in this niche and just tackled one of them: Good Morning, Monster. This memoir, about five of the toughest cases Dr. Gildiner worked on over her career, is a

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A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD by Therese Anne Fowler

My last book of 2020 was A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler. A domestic drama told in part through a Greek chorus of old trees in the suburban neighborhood where the book takes place, it’s one of those books that instills dread from page 1. You know it’s not going to end well, but you’re just not sure how you’re going to get there. Why I picked it up: My final remaining category for

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2021 EDIWTB READING CHALLENGE

It’s finally time to introduce the 2021 EDIWTB Reading Challenge! My goal with the Challenge is to help you expand your reading horizon a bit, make a dent in your TBR list and read your bookshelves, without making it all feel like a chore. This is supposed to be fun! Here is the spreadsheet where you can keep track of your progress. If your name doesn’t already appear from former challenges, please add it to

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First Book 2021

We made it to 2021! YAY. Every New Year’s Day, Sheila at Book Journey hosts First Book, a post where she collects photos of readers with their first book of the year. (You can read about it here.) I’ve participated for many years, and this year is no exception. To see what people are reading today, go to Book Journey and check out the First Book 2021 post. I am sitting on a number of

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2020 Reading Year In Review

What a year 2020 was! Sometimes, reading was my salvation, my escape, while other times, finding the focus to read was really difficult. I also found myself mood reading on steroids, jumping from genre to genre and putting books down after just a few pages if it wasn’t the perfect match for my frame of mind. Overall, memoirs were my most successful genre. Somehow, I managed to set a reading record and read 66 books

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ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell

I just read the sweetest surprise of a book. I needed an epistolary novel for the 2020 EDIWTB Reading Challenge (yes, really coming down to the wire here…) and had read somewhere about Rainbow Rowell’s 2012 debut novel, Attachments, which is told in large part via email. Attachments takes place at a newspaper in late 1999/2000, when twentysomething Lincoln takes a night-shift job as an IT guy whose job includes monitoring email for inappropriate content.

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OONA OUT OF ORDER by Margarita Montimore

Have you ever fantasized about going back in time to a younger version of yourself and giving yourself some advice? Or about jumping ahead in time to help guide you through an important fork in the road? In Oona Out Of Order by Margarita Montimore, at the stroke of midnight on her 19th birthday – New Year’s Eve – Oona Lockhart jumps ahead to another year of her life. At 11:59PM on New Year’s Eve

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THE EXILES by Christina Baker Kline

This is a good year to be reading historical fiction, right? What’s better than transporting yourself OUT of 2020 to another time? Christina Baker Kline’s The Exiles takes you to 1840s Australia (though I am not sure it’s all that much better than 2020). The Exiles is about three women: Evangeline, a woman wrongly convicted of theft and sentenced to prison and then exile to Australia; Hazel, an Irish girl also convicted of theft and

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