What to Read: 2018 First Edition

It may be a new year, but I’ve got one of the same goals that I had the last two years, read fifty-two books. I’ve fallen short each of the previous times that I’ve made the attempt at averaging a book per week, but I’ve gained momentum, reading more last year than I did the year before, so perhaps 2018 will see me actually reach my goal. As always, I’ll keep you up to date on my progress, reviewing what I read along the way, recommending good reads, and warning you against bad ones, that way you’ll know what to add to your reading list, and what to scrap. Aside from not telling you about them at all, it’s literally the least I could do. You’re welcome. Anyway, the year is off to a good start as I’ve already read two books in the first four days, which might seem like I’m off to a great start, but I started off strong last year, and slid back as the year progressed, so I’m not putting much stock in my quick start to 2018.

The first book I read was “A Stranger in the House” by Shari Lapena, one of the books I got for Christmas that I was probably the most excited to read because of how much I liked her debut novel, “The Couple Next Door,” last year. Much like her first book, “A Stranger in the House” is a very quick and thrilling read, the suspense doled out liberally all the way through, keeps the reader hooked and turning the pages, eager to find out what happens next. It’s the story of an upstate New York housewife who has a car accident, which wouldn’t normally be something to think twice about, but this one is different. Following the car accident, she doesn’t remember anything about that night, why when she left her home earlier in the evening, she did so without taking her phone or purse, or why she didn’t lock the doors, but more importantly, she doesn’t remember what she was doing in that part of town at that time, where a murder had just been committed shortly before her car wreck. It’s very fast paced and with plenty of twists throughout, you won’t be sorry that you picked up this book. While I liked Lapena’s first book, “The Couple Next Door” more than I liked this one, Stranger was a very entertaining read and it did not disappoint.

The other book I read this year was “The Book of Joe,” by Jonathan Tropper, an author I have never read before, but one I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. A bestselling writer, Joe, who grew up in Bush Falls, Connecticut, hasn’t been back home in seventeen years, and has thought of doing so, until he gets the call in the early hours of the morning, informing him that his father had a stroke, and is in a coma in the hospital. Although he isn’t close to his father anymore, Joe feels that it’s his duty to be there, so he leaves Manhattan the next morning, heading for his Bush Falls, where just about everyone in town hates him, since his bestselling book, titled after the name of his hometown, made many of its residents, the people in the town growing up and the inspiration for the characters in his book, look bad as he wrote about them, exaggerating facts and jumping to conclusions about the people that he hated. Now he has to face them, and what follows is an entertaining story of one man’s struggle to survive a trip back home, while trying to reconnect with his estranged family and staying out of the way of everyone that his book pissed off. The pages flow so smoothly and quickly that I finished “The Book of Joe” in a day, and I would highly recommend you checking it out.

Whatever your goals are, whether you want to read more or do something else, like learn Portuguese, I wish you luck, and hope you are off to a fast start. If you want more book reviews and recommendations, keep coming back to the blog, where I’ll dedicate to writing about books at least once a week, and feel free to share this with your friends, because I’m sure everyone could use a good book every once in a while.

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