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Back in 2019, I discovered the gem that is Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. That was what sparked the desire to read for leisure again. Immediately after I read that book (Where The Crawdads Sing), a coworker of mine suggested that I start using Goodreads for more book selections. Since then, I have regained the love I have for reading again. Two years later, I am active on Goodreads, Reese’s Book Club app, have an Audible account, and a subscription to Book of the Month. My personal library has increased tremendously and it’s honestly one of my favorite continuous achievements.
If you are subscribed to my newsletter or have seen my book review highlight on Instagram, then you know I am always keeping y’all updated on what I am currently reading. Well now, I have compiled the entire list of books that I have read this year! I keep track of my progress on Goodreads (if you love to read, you should follow me on there!). For this year, I set my goal to read a total of twelve books. Well, I actually read and/or listened to 17 books!
Gabby’s Goodreads Book Challenge 2021
- The Henna Artist, Alka Joshi
- The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena
- Everything Inside, Edwidge Danticat
- The Dating Plan, Sara Desai
- The Secret Women, Sheila Williams
- The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
- In a Book Club Far Away, Tif Marcelo
- How to Break Up with Your Phone, Catherine Price
- The Guest List, Lucy Foley
- Checking In, Michelle Williams
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
- Influencer, Brittany Hennessy
- The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides
- Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
- The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave
- The Kindest Lie, Nancy Johnson
- The Maidens, Alex Michaelides
As you can see, ya girl was a well-read woman this year! This was actually one of the first goals I wrote on my vision board. Now I know that I read a lot of books, so I will categorize how I felt about a few of them. If you want full reviews for every book, you are more than welcome to check them out on my Goodreads account.
Least Favorite Reads
This book was given to me as a Christmas gift. Now, don’t get me wrong. I was very excited to read this book. I had never heard of it, but I read the summary and thought it was going to be a nice read. I was an “ehh” read. The storyline involves three different women who are all brought together by the same grief. All of the women have lost their mothers. The book tells each daughter’s story along with the deceased mother. It just didn’t give me what I needed. It was a bit drawn out and there wasn’t any really umph in it for me.
Best Twists and WTF Moments
If you saw my story on Instagram after I finished this book, then you KNOW I loved it. I read this book with my boyfriend to start the year and it was a rollercoaster. I never expected the person that kidnapped the baby to be who they were. I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling it, but I can say that the momentum of the story was amazing.
This book had plenty of twists and WTF moments. This is a book off of Reese’s Book Club list. Let’s say that Ms. Witherspoon rarely misses with her book choices. This book is a slow burn. It starts by telling you that someone has died at the wedding on a remote island, but it doesn’t say who. It is a whodunit with massive twists and turns. Once the book hit its climax, I seriously could not put it down. Lucy Foley did what she needed to do in writing this book. Also be on the lookout for her newest book, The Paris Apartment.
Alex Michaelides had no business in writing a book with such an insane plot twist. Listening to this book on Audible made the experience even more incredible. The story is told from the two main characters’ perspectives. Alicia Berenson is a famous painter whose fame came about from committing a horrific murder to her husband. Alicia is locked away into a mental institution due to becoming completely silent. Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, is enamored with Alicia’s refusal to speak and is determined to get her to talk. His obsession to get Alicia to speak sends him into a personal spiral with his own mental state. I was so taken aback by the twist that I had to rewind it three times to understand what was happening!
Alex Michaelides’ second book is just as insane as his first. Matching the hype to The Silent Patient, The Maidens is a whodunit with another unexpected twist. I was up until 4 am finishing the last 15% of the book. Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. It is safe to say that Alex can write the hell out of a thriller!
I listened to this wonderful book via Audible. Michelle read it! This book was everything that aligned with this blog: being a Chrisitan woman battling depression. I absolutely loved how transparent Michelle was throughout the entire book. First of all, this is a Michelle Williams fan account, okay?! I will not allow any slander towards her. She talked about her time during Destiny’s Child, her engagement, and how she deals with depression. I gathered so much information from this beautiful book. I certainly suggest anyone that is dealing with these same matters to read or listen to this book.
The Secret Women
Favorite Books of the Year
The Guest List
The Silent Patient
This story is about the Vignes twin sisters who are identical. They grew up in a small, black town in Louisiana that is only made up of light-skinned black people. They run away together at age sixteen, but one of the twins decides to live her life as a white woman. The book tells each twin’s story and their daughters. It is an amazing story about colorism and the effects it has. I loved reading this book! Fun fact: it will be made into a limited series on HBO, executive produced by Issa Rae!
This was a really good year of reading for me. I really enjoyed discovering new stories and escaping into different worlds. Be sure to follow me on Goodreads for my 2022 Reading Challenge. Also, let me know if you’ve read any of these books or have any suggestions in the comments!
Until next time!