Tag Archives: mystery

If You Like That Book, You Might Like This Book || BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS pt. 4

Hi friends! Today, I’d like to offer you a few more book recommendations in the form of “if you liked this book, then you might like this other book.” I love when folks on Booktube, Bookstagram, and Goodreads include comparisons to other books in their reviews! It’s one of my favorite ways to find new reads! So, I started a bookish series here on the blog to do just that for YOU. (Here’s part 1! Here’s part 2! Here’s part 3!)

In each post, I recommend books that are similar to very popular books that are more well-known. Let’s get into it, shall we?!

If you liked The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware,
you might like The Winters by Lisa Gabriele.

If you loved Ruth Ware’s ability to concoct a setting so compelling it started to feel like it’s own character, you should check out The Winters which transports readers to the Asherley estate. The Winters is a creepy and spooky modern retelling of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca set amongst the wealthy elite in the Hamptons. Much like The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Lisa Gabriele writes an enjoyable psychological thriller that plays out inside a grand house and includes all the twists and turns that go along with strange family dynamics, inheritances, and – of course – murder.

Synopsis: 

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter—a wealthy politician and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. She soon realizes there is no clear place for her in this twisted little family: Max and Dani circle each other like cats, a dynamic that both repels and fascinates her, and he harbors political ambitions with which he will allow no woman—alive or dead—to interfere.

If you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you might like Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

If you tore your way through Suzanne Collins’s dystopian young adult novel about a group of teens representing their districts by fighting to the death on live TV, you should pick up Ryan Graudin’s historical reimagining in which the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan commemorate their Great Victory by hosting a motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. Wolf by Wolf includes everything you loved about The Hunger Games and throws in a dash of The Man in the High Castle for good measure — asking, “What if the Nazis won the war?”

Synopsis:

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the Axis Tour and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

If you liked All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr,
you might like Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge

Ok, if you’ve read both of these books you may think this is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. Anthony Doerr and Dane Huckelbridge are both incredible writers. The prose in both these books is so beautiful and breath-taking, without ever feeling heavy handed. While the plots are quite different, they are similar in that they constantly come up against odds — whether at the hands of war or a plane crash — and yet humanity flourishes. Not to mention there’s a lot of French language interwoven throughout Castle of Water, and that, combined with the writing style and haunting passages about a short-wave radio, made for a reading experience that gave me some serious All the Light We Cannot See vibes. If you liked one, I’m confident that you’d like the other!

Synopsis: 

For Sophie Ducel, her honeymoon in French Polynesia was intended as a celebration of life. For Barry Bleecker, the same trip was meant to mark a new beginning. Turning away from his dreary existence in Manhattan finance, Barry had set his sights on fine art, seeking creative inspiration on the other side of the world. But when their small plane is downed in the middle of the South Pacific, the sole survivors of the wreck are left with one common goal: to survive. Stranded hundreds of miles from civilization, on an island the size of a large city block, the two castaways must reconcile their differences and learn to draw on one another’s strengths if they are to have any hope of making it home.

If you liked The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins, you might like Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge

Both of these books are expertly researched, sociological looks at the lives of real teenagers in America. Robbins’s book covers popularity and psychology, while Younge explores gun violence. Quite different subject matter but the execution is similar in it’s careful reporting, meticulous interviews, and thought-provoking conclusions. If you are an educator of or advocate for teens, both of these books are must-reads.

Synopsis: 

On an average day in America, seven children and teens will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost during one such day. It could have been any day, but he chose November 23, 2013. Black, white, and Latino, aged nine to nineteen, they fell at sleepovers, on street corners, in stairwells, and on their own doorsteps. From the rural Midwest to the barrios of Texas, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the full human stories behind the gun-violence statistics and the brief mentions in local papers of lives lost.

I hope you enjoyed these new recommendations and I’m excited to bring you more posts in this series in the future! Do you have any book recommendations for me based on the eight books above? POP ‘EM BELOW!! xoxo

P.S. 3 spooky book recommendations, if that’s your jam!

mid-week round-up

Hello friends! Do you have big plans this weekend? We’re going on a day trip to a nearby state park, and we’ll also be stopping by a flea market. Who knows! Maybe I’ll find something I can’t live without. Either way, after a bunch of project deadlines this week, I’m ready for some weekend diversion! Hope the rest of your week is super sweet, and here’s a bit of reading material…

The story behind Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”

[Related: 5 reasons I can’t get enough Dolly.]

Being a mother and a champion was a crazy dream.

How fairytales are told in other tongues.

[Related: Our storytelling minds.]

These millennials got new roommates.

Anytime young people get together, the pics start flowing.

The Japanese secret to a longer and happier life.

Russia is reopening an investigation into the world’s greatest mystery.

Cute kimono for lounging poolside.

Historians have largely discarded the lie that the “frontier” was an empty Eden waiting for American expansion—but not David McCullough.

[Related: The Pioneers by David McCullough]

As thousands of taxi drivers were trapped in loans, top officials counted the money.

Homeless mom’s letter to NIMBY supporters.

A Fab Five favorite writes a new memoir.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 9 Insights from Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky and How to Spend Your Time Helping Others.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

6 True-Crime Documentaries For Your Inner Detective

6-true-crime

Over the last month or so I’ve been on a bit of a true-crime documentary binge. I just can’t get enough! There’s something about the unanswered questions, colorful cast of characters, and inevitable courtroom drama that captivates my little “Law & Order” lovin’ heart. So, I decided to round-up a few of my recent faves in case you’re feeling a similar urge.

If you binge watched The Jinx or Making a Murderer in a matter of days or waited anxiously for the release of each new episode of Serial, may I suggest giving one of these bad boys a try…

The Fear of 13

After more than 20 years on death row, a convicted murderer petitions the court for his long awaited execution. But as he tells his story, it becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems.

Amanda Knox

Follow the trial, conviction and acquittal of Amanda Knox for the murder of a fellow exchange student in Italy.

Who Took Johnny

An investigation of a cold case tries to determine what became of Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch, who disappeared 30 years earlier.

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

The accident made national headlines: a suburban mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York and crashed head-on into an SUV, killing herself and seven others.  But was she the monster the public made her out to be?

Beware the Slenderman

The mythos of a faceless, digital-age bogeyman known as Slenderman was created on the Internet, but his influence was felt in the real world when two 12-year-old girls lured their friend into the woods for a brutal murder.

Paradise Lost Trilogy

Note: The previous five are all fairly new but Paradise Lost is more of a classic. If you’ve never seen the full trilogy, I definitely recommend watching all three. They’re pretty incredible and the filmmakers paved the way for this sort of storytelling. (Buy the DVD’s HERE.)

The landmark documentary that sparked an international movement to ‘Free the West Memphis Three’, PARADISE LOST investigates the gruesome 1993 murder of three eight-year-old boys and the three teenagers accused of killing them as part of a Satanic ritual. REVELATIONS delves deeply into the shocking aftermath of the trials, updating the story seven years after the murders. PURGATORY picks up the story and reexamines the horrifying crime with fresh insights that only the passage of time can provide.

Which would YOU watch? Oh, and what’s your favorite documentary of all time? I’d love to know!

P.S. Turning to True-Crime Books to Curb the Serial Withdrawals. Binge-Worthy TV Shows. 

mid-week round-up

z55cr_d0ayg-andrew-neel

What’s new with y’all on this lovely Wednesday evening? Personally, I’m pretty excited that my dinner is cooking away in a crock-pot (#setit #forgetit) and that there are old seasons of Hell’s Kitchen on Hulu. If you’re in the mood, here are some links for you to EXPLORE!

Obamacare repeal threatens health benefit to Black Lung survivors.

So you want to be an ally? Check out Safety Pin Box.

Audiences of the final Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shows are being treated to this quintessential circus song (which has been missing from the bands repertoire for years).

Related: 50 circus animals need new homes! 

This lamp would make a cool, dramatic statement in a living room. I love the marble base!

Who killed Julian Pierce?

Quiz: What’s your email patronus?

Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world.

Abducted at birth and found 18 years later.

The scam that fooled Arthur Conan Doyle.

How a grad student found spyware that could control anybody’s iPhone from anywhere in the world.

Alternatives to Resting Bitch Face.

Now this is an idea I FULLY endorse!

P.S. A few posts from yours truly — A Book Wish-List and Strike a (Power) Pose!

Books to Read This Fall

Mourning those Summer months? Me either! I’m too excited about wrapping up, burrito-style, in a fluffy blanket with a good book and something pumpkin spice close at hand.

But for real, what better reason than a temperature turn-down to share a few favorite books I think would be perfect for your Fall reading list.

So, in the midst of all your other autumnal activities (Think: swapping out all your flip flops for riding boots and Snapchatting from the pumpkin patch.) — here are 5 books to read this Fall…

bossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey’s book is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on SNL, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation.

There’s always something to be learned from the life experiences of fascinating (and funny!) people. This book provides a peek into the worlds of improv, SNL, and 30 Rock–all with Fey’s famous humor.

 

the-painter-from-shanghaiThe Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Down the muddy waters of the Yangtze River, through the raucous glamour of prewar Shanghai and the bohemian splendor of 1920s Paris, and back to a China teetering on the brink of revolution: this is the epic story of Pan Yuliang, one of the most talented—and provocative—Chinese artists of the twentieth century.

Historical fiction so researched and rich in details that you will find yourself completely immersed in another time and place.

 

 

a-secret-kept A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island , where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories.

A French family, a fascinating story, and an unraveling secret at the heart of it all that will keep you reading well past your bedtime. Beware: you may finish de Rosnay’s mystery novel in one go!

 

 

the-namesakeThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. Son, Gogol Ganguli, knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs.’

Rather than follow a plot, this book follows a life. The resulting prose is breathtaking in it’s beauty.

 

behind-the-beautiful-foreversBehind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

In this book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in a makeshift settlement near the Mumbai airport. Based on years of uncompromising reporting, it carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.

True to the style of “embedded journalism,” Boo embedded herself in a slum so readers could see, hear, and understand the residents and their challenges.

 

What are YOU reading this Fall? Share below! 

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mid-week round-up

peach flower

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 

Enjoy the links…

The best explanation of Uber ratings. 

How did Chris McCandless die? 

RuPaul’s RuTine. 

Congrats William & Kate!

Espresso in space could have strong scientific impacts.

This essay is a heart-wrenching reminder of the emotional power of food.

Oh, NBD…just pictures of ragdoll cats.

I think I need to adopt this little guy!

Lessons in emergency eating.

I’m totally a #4 but now I’m looking to become a #6.

The comment section on this post was enlightening to explore.

Style sudoku would be a great resource for summer packing.

And click over to THIS POST and enter to win my FREE GIVEAWAY!