This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Thanksgiving-themed freebie. I’m not American, so it’s not Thanksgiving for me nor is it a holiday I really celebrate anyway, but it also coincides quite nicely with an upcoming sale from Book Outlet. Book Outlet is always a little risky because items go in and out of stock frequently, and it is possible for people to buy an item even when it is already in your cart. As a side note, I really don’t like that aspect of the site — I think once it’s in your cart, it shouldn’t be eligible for others to buy. I get that people can end up changing their mind and removing the items from their cart, but it’s frustrating to go through the entire ordering process only to realize that a book or two that you wanted to get are no longer there. In any case, I’ve had some amazing finds on Book Outlet, and I’m hoping that the books I’m planning on getting won’t go out of stock before I can grab them! I’m thankful for Book Outlet in general because it gave me a much more affordable way to buy a lot of books…to the point where I no longer have space, although that’s not stopping me from taking advantage of this week’s sale!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty
I read another book, Those Other Women, by Nicola Moriarty this year, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve heard about The Fifth Letter occasionally in the past, but never knew too much about it. As soon as I finished Those Other Women, I knew I wanted to try more of her books, and this was one that immediately caught my attention. This book is about a group of four best friends who dare each other to write anonymous letters that reveal their deepest secrets. The letters are already much darker than the women expect, and after the others have gone to bed, one of them, Joni, discovers a partially burnt fifth letter which is very angry and reveals a long-held grudge. The discovery of this letter leaves Joni wondering what to do with the letter, and how her friends could have been so angry for so long without any of them every knowing. It sounds like a very interesting story and I was glad to see it on Book Outlet very soon after I decided I wanted to try it.
2) The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman
I actually discovered this book through Book Outlet in the first place. I kept seeing it come up while browsing new arrivals and for some of my favourite genres, and it sounded really intriguing. It is about a girl named Cressida Strauss who falls from a fourth-floor balcony at her school in France, where she had also become obsessed with a secret society at the school. Cressida’s best friend Kersti had always wondered whether the fall as a suicide attempt or an accident, and when she is invited as a guest to the school’s 100th anniversary, she decides to dig into the incident and find out what really happened to her friend. I generally enjoy stories that involve people trying to uncover the mystery behind suspicious events, so this one seems to be right up my alley. It first caught my attention on Book Outlet because of the pretty cover, and since it was only $5 last time I ordered, it seemed like a great choice.
3) Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
I was very excited to see this one on Book Outlet because it was one that I already really wanted to read, and it is very high on my priority list for 2019. This book is about a Congressional intern in Florida who makes the mistake of having an affair with the married Congressman who is also her boss. Aviva quickly learns that the affair has a much bigger negative impact on her life than on his, and sees no other choice than to move away to a small town to start over. When others in the town convince her to run for office herself, she learns that it is not so easy to move on and the scandal can still haunt her. I was hearing quite a bit of hype around this book for a while, although it seems to have suddenly died off. I’m interested in this one because I rarely read anything that has to do with politics or political scandals, so it would be something a little different for me. Several of the reviewers that I follow have given it rave reviews, which only makes me want to read it that much more.
4) Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel
This book has been sitting on my TBR list for about two years already, but it is only recently that I’ve really been motivated to pick it up. It is about a grad student named Kate who gets a job in the admissions department of a competitive day school to distract herself from a recent breakup. I think part of the reason I’ve put this one off for so long is because I kept forgetting what it was actually about, and for some reason, I was convinced it had to do with death and the gates of heaven. I have no idea why that’s what I thought, but I think it was mostly the cover art. This has always been the kind of book that I see on my TBR, decide I want to read, and then overlook in favour of other things that I want to read more. I’m planning on finally prioritizing it next year since it has been so long, and I have my own copy now so there is really no excuse!
5) He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly
I added this book to my TBR in the summer of 2017 because I was looking for more thrillers to read, and it’s remained untouched ever since then. This book is about a couple, Kit and Laura, who witness an incident involving another man and a woman during a solar eclipse. Although the man insists nothing happened, Kit and Laura decide to report the incident to the police, only for the victim to turn up on their doorstep months later. Fifteen years after this happens, Kit and Laura are now living under fake names and completely off the digital grid, but are still unable to escape from what they saw. One of my goals this year was to read more thrillers in general, although I didn’t really measure it in any kind of quantifiable way. I’m most likely going to keep that as a goal for next year as well since there are so many thrillers on my TBR and I generally enjoy the ones that I have read, so this one is definitely up there on my list.
6) Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
I’ve been seeing this book around for quite a while, always with amazing reviews, but never really thought to pick it up until I saw it on Book Outlet. It is about a 14-year-old girl with autism named Ginny who is living with her fourth foster family who is supposed to be the family she will stay with forever. Her new parents have adopted her but are also expecting a baby of their own, triggering Ginny’s anxiety and an obsession with reaching out to her birth mother and get back the baby doll she had when she was younger. I’m always interested in books with autism representation, and I’m very interested in giving this one a chance. I think a huge part of the reason that I kept putting it off is because the synopsis I saw online was very vague and didn’t give me much more to go on than the fact that Ginny was autistic and adopted. To be fair, those are both things that interested me about the story, but it also wasn’t enough to really motivate me to read it at the time. Now that I know more, it’s moved way up on my priority list.
7) The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald
I was actually looking for another book by Helen Fitzgerald that I had on my TBR already, but I found this one instead. This book is about a 23-year-old woman named Catherine who reluctantly gets a job at a local care home for seniors, after her mother forces her to work. One of the elderly residents seems convinced that there is something sinister going on and that her life is in danger, but no one will believe her because she has dementia. As Catherine starts to dig deeper into the woman’s claims, she starts to uncover more about what is really going on at the care home. I think this is such an amazing concept for a thriller, and it reminds me a bit of Elizabeth is Missing because of the whole theme of an elderly character being disbelieved because of their age as well as dementia. I think it is such an important story to tell to show that dementia does not necessarily mean that the person’s words can be discounted, and I’m curious to see how the author handles the story.
8) My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry
I bought this book from Book Outlet several months ago, after receiving another book by this author from a Goodreads Giveaway. This book is about a lawyer named Lily who marries a man named Ed to try and get a fresh start, but she soon meets Joe, a convinced murderer that she is strangely drawn to as part of her first murder case. Lily soon realizes that her young neighbour Carla, only 9 years old, may already know more than people think, and both she and Ed’s lives get entwined with the child. When Carla unexpectedly shows up on their doorstep 12 years later, it leaves the couple wondering what her motives really are. Honestly, the plot synopsis on Goodreads still seems pretty vague and confusing to me, but I guess that is to be expected with a thriller. A huge part of the intrigue of this one for me is the title, since I’m very curious to figure out what “my husband’s wife” means. This is another one that is pretty high on my list for next year.
9) Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk
I’ve bought a few of Lindsey Kelk’s books on a whim, even though I’ve never read anything she’s written. This book is about a woman named Maddie who is stuck in the middle when one best friend announces she is getting married, just as her other best friend is in the process of getting divorced. To make matters worse, she also learns that her ex is also planning on getting married. This is the kind of book that I need to be in the right kind of mood to really enjoy, but it can also be a lot of fun to read. One of the things I love about Book Outlet is how inexpensive the books are, so I don’t feel too stressed about buying something that I might not love. I’m still generally pretty careful to only buy things that I really want to read and that I think I’ll want to own a copy of, but once in a while I’ll take a chance on something like this which I would never buy for myself at full price. I also bought We Were on a Break, in part because of the Ross Gellar vibes.
10) The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
This is another book that I’ve had on my TBR for way too long, so I’m hoping that finally having my own copy will give me the push I need to finally pick it up. It is about a single woman named Kitty Miller who happily runs a bookshop with her best friend Frieda in Denver in the early 1960s. Kitty dreams of the life of another woman, Katharyn Andersson, who is married, has children and beautiful home — the kind of life she always wanted, but it only exists when she dreams. Each time she has this dream, it leaves her questioning which life she really wants to live, and where the boundary is between what’s real and what’s not. I think I kept putting off reading this one because it wasn’t quite what I expected the story to be about. I thought it would be more along the lines of The Thirteenth Tale, but now that I take another look at it, it seems very interesting.