I read this as my "book you can finish in a day" for the 2016 Reading Challenge. As expected, it's not exactly scary, but Jackson is sure good at infusing a story with a creepy atmosphere. In this work, her last completed novel before her death, she tells the story of the Blackwood family. Not so long ago there were seven Blackwoods, but four of them dropped dead from arsenic poisoning several years ago and how that happened remains a mystery. Read this during daylight hours: its themes of family secrets, hateful neighbors, and mysterious deaths aren't the stuff of bedtime reading. More info →
I expected this follow-up to the blockbuster The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to be more of the same; I didn't really expect any new info and was pleasantly surprised by this new release. On the whole, I found this book a lot more practical and a lot less woo-woo. Kondo dishes out detailed instructions on everything from folding clothes to organizing lingerie to storing pesky plastic bags. I found her detailed instructions on tackling the kitchen most helpful and made a few needed changes in my own kitchen storage after reading this. (Don't get too excited about the illustrations: they're sparse and not particularly helpful.) More info →
I added this to my list after Seth Haines recommended it as a favorite on What Should I Read Next. This wrenching debut novel tells the story of a family that falls apart after infidelity comes to light. I appreciated Pierpont's vivid portrayal of the characters' emotional lives, her elegant prose, and the way she flashed forward to five, ten, twenty years ahead to show what had become of the family members. (Seth wasn't kidding when he said the racy content would make you blush, and heads up for profanity.) More info →
I've been meaning to read this modern adventure classic for years, largely because I'm obsessed with Into Thin Air. I expected the two books to be similar but—aside from the fact that they both deal with life and death in the icy mountains—the books didn't feel at all the same. Krakauer's is reflective and journalistic; in Touching the Void, Simpson and his climbing partner alternately tell the tale of their disastrous ascent of a remote peak in the Peruvian Andes.
Several years ago, Purifoy and her family made an intentional move to a big Pennsylvania farmhouse (minus the farm) in search of a community and a home. In these pages Purifoy tells the story of their first year at Maplehurst in beautiful yet unfussy prose. Such a lovely memoir. More info →