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What We’re Reading — Winter Edition

What’s everyone reading? This is the best time of year to snuggle in a throw and read a great book!

Liz: As usual, I have too many books started. On the fiction front, I am catching up on LynDee Walker’s Faith McClellan Series and just finished No Sin Unpunished (sooo good!). Now I’m diving into Stephen King’s Billy Summers. On the nonfiction front, I’m reading Luvvie Ajayi Jones’ latest, Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual and I just picked up Brene Brown’s latest, Atlas of the Heart.

Edith/Maddie: I just finished Tracy Chevalier’s A Single Thread, a beautiful historical novel (not crime fiction). Now I’m starting Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredericks, and can’t wait to pick up Lucy Burdette’s new thriller, Unsafe Haven and dive into that.

Barb: Unsafe Haven is high on my TBR pile, too! I am so glad you asked this question. I just finished a book that I loathed! I am not one to hate on another writer’s book, but my goodness I hated this. (And you can tell by its bestseller status and various accolades, the author has nothing to fear from my wrath.) I wouldn’t have finished it, except that I was reading it for a class I am taking in January. The title is The Plot: A Novel, and it’s about a writer who steals a plot from a dead student. (Not a spoiler.) I hated the protagonist, a failing writer who teaches in an MFA program, who is whiny, self-involved, and more to the point, Too Stupid to Live. Though I often love movies about writers (Stranger than Fiction, The Man Who Invented Christmas), I HATE books about writers, especially writers who teach in MFA programs. As a friend says, “Write what you know is the laziest, worst advice ever.” Writers lives are not nearly as interesting as some of us imagine them to be. The amazing plot twist the protagonist “steals” is not, in the least, amazing. And the twist on the twist at the end is telegraphed in one of the early chapters of the book and is not a surprise at all. I was at a dinner party last night (amazing in and of itself) with two other writers and our extremely well-read spouses. Two others had read The Plot and their reactions were much more “meh,” than “I loathed it,” so I might be alone in this opinion. If any of you out there have read it, I would love to hear your reactions.

Sherry: I’m reading two books which isn’t something I do very often. One is Damaging Secrets by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. I saw it on a list somewhere and am so glad I picked it up. It’s a bit gritty, but so well written with a compelling protagonist with a lot of issues. I’m also reading an advance copy of a first in a new cozy series–Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow. It’s up for preorder and I love it!

Jessie: I always love this question, Sherry, as well as the opportunity to read everyone else’s answers! I am currently reading The Journey to the Mayflower by Stephen Tomkins. I just finished up Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland which I really enjoyed for its look at the creation of the famous painting by Renoir. Next on my list is Seafaring Women by David Cordingly for non-fiction and The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker for fiction.

Julie: My TBR pile is overwhelming! I’m currently reading Wanda M. Morris’s All Her Little Secrets, which I’m loving. Next up in Yasmin Angoe’s Her Name is Knight and Alex Segura’s Secret Identity (which will be released in 2022). Liz and I should have a book club, Brene Brown’s latest, Atlas of the Heart is also on my pile.

Readers: What are you reading?

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