Late Autumn Books…


How is it already December?! This autumn has flown by, and I’m definitely behind on my annual reading compared to past years, but still I soldier on! Here’s what I’ve read lately…

–Marissa

Dance Me to the End by Alison Acheson is a memoir Alison wrote before, during and after her husband Marty was diagnosed with ALS at age 57. It reads like a series of snapshots throughout the progression of the disease, and Alison’s caregiving for Marty as he progresses quickly through the disease. Raw, honest, and heartbreaking.

No Judgments by Meg Cabot was just such a fun romp of a romance novel! Bree recently moved to the Florida Keys to get away from her past, and as settled into small town life… until a very real hurricane threatens her town. Filled with quirky characters, romance, and lots of dogs – a winning combination!

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis is a great London-winter-meetcute-Notting Hill-romance novel, and I was here for it. 🙂 Four roommates are living in a Notting Hill home, and the only real house rule is “no hooking up with roommates”… so guess what happens. Fluffy and fun!

If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now by Christopher Ingraham was a great fish-out-of-water memoir, with a totally Midwestern twist! After writing an article in the Washington Post about the worst county in America – Red Lake County, Minnesota – Ingraham, through a series of decisions and fates, moves there with his family. He thus details the people he encounters, the winters, the challenges and joys, and how knowing your neighbors and wide open spaces can make all the difference in life. This felt like a love letter to the Midwest, my home. 🙂

Just Watch Me by Jeff Lindsay is his first follow-up after the success of the Dexter“series, this time starring master thief Riley Wolfe. Wolfe has his eyes on the prize – prized Iranian jewels – and must play a loooong game to try and steal them. This was absolutely a set up for a new series, but it was enjoyable and twisty – I liked it!

How to Be a Family by Dan Kois was another “take the family out of the norm” memoir, but instead of moving just once, the Kois family lived in New Zealand, Holland, Costa Rica, and Kansas for three months each during the course of a year. He and his wife and two children left the “rat race” of DC to try and reconnect with themselves, their family dynamic, and to learn how other live, raise their kids, and find their happiness. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses (which I appreciated!), but was very thought-provoking and fun to follow along with the family.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett was definitely a favorite read of 2019 – her writing is just so luminous and transportive, even if her books are hard to summarize! Two siblings grow up in “the Dutch House” their father purchased after World War II, but are exiled by a stepmother years later. This novel travels with the brother and sister through fifty years of life, memories, discoveries and always… a yearning to go home. Part fairy tale, part family tale, I devoured this.

Mobituaries by Mo Rocca is just a great nonfiction book to dip in and out of as he talks about the lives of the famous – and not so famous – after their death. Think everyone from Audrey Hepburn and Alexander Hamilton to the “worst presidents we’ve ever had”. Fun, easy to read, but also super informative!

I also read What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr (so disappointing – I normally love her books!)… The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg (pleasant, but unmemorable)… Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (my first Christie ever read!)… Heartburn by Nora Ephron (I’ve never read this either!)… The Wives by Tarryn Fisher (enjoyable, but didn’t stick with me)… and The Furies by Katie Lowe (ultimately super disappointing).

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