1. Outlander: Diana Gabaldon
2. Hail Mary: Andy Weir
3. Dragonfly in Amber: Diana Gabaldon
4. Malibu Rising: Taylor Jenkins Reid
5. A Dangerous Act of Kindness: LP Fergusson
6. People We Meet on Vacation: Emily Henry
7. The Last Green Valley: Mark Sullivan
8. Shipped: Angie Hockman
9. The Last Garden in England: Julia Kelly
10. The Spanish Daughter: Lorena Hughes
11. The Chicken Sisters: KJ Dell’Antonia
12. The Happily Ever Playlist: Abby Jimenez
13. Rock Paper Scissors: Alice Feeney
14. Voyager: Diana Gabaldon
15. The Good Sister: Sally Hepworth
16. The Woman They Could Not Silence: Kate Moore
17. The End of Her: Shari Lapena
18. Drums of Autumn: Diana Gabaldon
19. The Chocolate Makers Wife: Karen Brooks
20. The Paper Palace: Miranda Cowley Heller
21. Invisible Girl: Lisa Jewell
22. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me: Mindy Kaling
23. Whispering Rock: Robyn Carr
24. Good Neighbors: Sarah Langan
25. The Hating Game: Sally Thorpe
26. Last Summer at the Golden Hotel: Elyssa Friedland
27. The Fiery Cross: Diana Gabaldon
28. The Riviera House: Natasha Lester
29. Under the Bayou Moon: Valerie Fraser Luesse
30. Golden in Death: JD Robb
31. A Breath of Snow and Ashes: Diana Gabaldon
32. Write My Name Across The Sky: Barbara O’Neal
33. An Echo In The Bone: Diana Gabaldon
34. No Words: Meg Cabot
35. A Week In Winter: Maeve Binchy
36. The Lions Den: Katherine St. John
37. Written In My Own Hearts Blood: Diana Gabaldon
38. A Certain Appeal: Vanessa King
This quarters favorites are: Outlander, Hail Mary, The Last Green Valley, The Woman They Could Not Silence, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, The Hating Game, and Last Summer at the Golden Hotel.
Outlander: I restarted this series at the end of December on a road trip out to California and it was the best way to pass the time. The very first book is probably my favorite (I’ve finished the 9 published books thus far) and I absolutely LOVED listening to it as an audiobook! If you’re unfamiliar with the story, Claire, a woman from 1940’s Scotland falls through time to Scotland in the 1740’s and learns to survive and adapt in a new time. It sounds very sci-fi/fantasy but it’s not. It’s beautifully written with vivid descriptions and is an enjoyable read.
Hail Mary: I was shocked at how much I loved this book! I loved The Martian so I figured I would enjoy this book but I truly loved it. It follows a scientist who wakes up alone in a spaceship with no memory of how he arrived there. When he starts to realize that he’s Earth’s last hope, he goes through a journey of self-discovery and makes a new friend along the way. The ending totally got me and I highly recommend it!
The Last Green Valley: I also loved the previous book from this author Beneath The Scarlet Sky, and my cousin couldn’t stop raving about how much she loved this newest book. I couldn’t put it down. Based on a true story, this novel follows an old German family fleeing Ukraine in front of Stalin’s soldiers. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place as they follow the Nazis out of the country. The family is put to every test imaginable and each chapter will leave you riveted.
The Woman They Could Not Silence: I’m seeing a pattern here as I also LOVED the previous novel from this author (Radium Girls). I also thought that I couldn’t be any angrier than I was reading Radium Girls because of the way women were treated, but I was wrong. 🤷🏼♀️ The Woman They Could Not Silence is the story of Elizabeth Packard, a wife and mother in 1860 who is committed to the Illinois State Hospital by her husband because he cannot control her intelligence or thoughts. As she fights for her freedom from the insane asylum, she comes to find out that multiple women have also been committed by their husbands for reasons such as reading novels, period-related madness, and having opinions that didn’t align with their husbands. The women cannot fight for themselves because they’ll be subjected to torturous treatments, but Packard starts writing letters to her friends and children, treating the women like humans, and writing as many letters as she can possibly get smuggled out. With quite literally nothing to lose, she fights for the freedom of all the women during a violent time in history. This is a HUGE book and it’s a little slow in the beginning, but once you get into it you’ll get so ragey that you won’t be able to put it down.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me: A lighthearted memoir by Mindy Kaling of her early days in the entertainment industry, including how she landed The Office and growing up as the child of immigrants in Boston. It’s written like she’s just sitting across from you over a cup of coffee, and full of funny anecdotes.
The Hating Game: I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this read! I’d heard good things about it but didn’t have high expectations, so I was pleased when I ended up loving it! It’s a fast-paced rom-com with just the right amount of spice and sweetness to balance it out perfectly. We also just watched the movie on Hulu and I didn’t hate it (which TBH is surprising because I almost ALWAYS hate movie adaptations).
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel: I love Mrs. Maisel so I knew that I’d enjoy this book! The Weingold and the Goldman families have run the Golden Hotel in the Catskills for 60 years, but there comes a time when they have to all sit down together to see if the hotel can continue after the allure of vacationing in the Catskills wears off after multiple decades. I couldn’t put this down and was surprised at the ending but loved the way it followed multiple members of each family to pull together the whole story.
An overview of the Outlander Series:
1. Outlander (5/5)
2. Dragonfly in Amber (5/5)
3. Voyager (5/5)
4. Drums of Autumn (5/5)
5. The Fiery Cross(4/5)
6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (5/5)
7. An Echo In The Bone (5/5)
8. Written In My Own Hearts Blood (5/5)
9. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Technically I read this in Q2 but I’ll include it here for the series) (4/5)
Books 1, 3, 7, and 8 are my favorites. I could read these multiple times. Book 2 bores me every time, Books 5 & 6 could easily be consolidated into 1 book, Book 4 is ok but a little wordy, and Book 9 seems to have decided to follow everyone but the main characters (I said what I said). I reread the series in anticipation of Book 9 coming out in late 2021 since it had been years since I’d read the series, but I probably won’t reread everything when Book 10 comes out in a few years. Diana Gabaldon seems to sometimes just like to be extra wordy for no real reason and although her historical research and imagery are great, sometimes it’s just too much.
That’s it for Q1! I can’t believe I’m already delving into Q2 & can’t wait to knock some books off my list!
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