Books We Are Talking About

Chris Schluep on February 04, 2019
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snowy.jpgIt's an official snow day in Seattle today. I've been living here for eight years, and I think this is the first snow day I've experienced. Normally, it's rainy at this time of year. That means days and days of gray.

Gray sky, gray water, gray mountains: It's what my neighbors, who are lifelong Seattleites, like to call the perfect Seattle day.

But today has a twist to it. As you can see from this picture of Lake Washington, which I took a few moments ago, it's closer to white sky, white water, and white mountains (for some reason, the camera on my phone isn't catching the total whiteness). I would call this a perfect reading day.

Here are some of the books we are talking about on this snow day:

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The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn - The New Yorker  published quite a story about the author of this runaway best seller, so it's safe to say we're not the only ones talking about The Woman in the Window today. The film is scheduled to come out in the fall of 2019, and the book is still on sale, so we'll see if the adage that "all PR is good PR" holds. Here's what we had to say about the book when it was first published:

An Amazon Best Book of January 2018: The Woman in the Window is a seductive and unpredictable novel, like the Hitchcock movies to which author A.J. Finn pays homage. Finn’s protagonist Anna Fox is a child psychologist who lives alone in a New York suburb with a case of agoraphobia so debilitating she hasn’t left the house in months. To occupy her time Anna watches film noir classics from her vast collection, interacts with people online, and sometimes spies on her neighbors. It’s all very innocuous until she sees a horrible crime take place in the house across the park, recently inhabited by a new family. Call the police and report it, right? Things are a little more complicated for Anna—exacerbated by her routine consumption of prescription drugs with a lot of wine. Author A.J. Finn throws curve balls where you least expect them; I gasped out loud and in public, twice, while reading this novel because I was so taken by surprise. In the gap of time since Gone Girland The Girl on the Train we’ve been asking ourselves, when will we find the next big must-read psychological thriller? I think A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window answers that question. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - Although we loved this book when it first came out, Reese Witherspoon really moved the needle when she selected it for her Hello Sunshine Book Club. Of all the books she has picked, this one seems to have resonated most with her readers. It currently sits at the top of both our Charts Most Read Fiction list AND our Charts Most Sold Fiction list. Here's what we had to say about the book when it first came out:

An Amazon Best Book of August 2018: Although this is Delia Owens’ first novel, she long ago distinguished herself as a gifted writer. In the mid-80s, Owens co-wrote with her husband Cry of the Kalahari, which was a best-selling, nonfictional account of traveling and researching Africa’s Kalahari Desert. One of the joys of that book was the Owens’ description of the natural world, and Where the Crawdads Sing is immersed in the natural world as well. The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a young woman named Kya Clark, who is from extremely rural North Carolina. Known by others as the Marsh Girl, she lives alone in nature—but the draw of other people, and specifically love, brings her into contact with the greater world. This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told—one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader. – Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

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The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory - Reese Witherspoon just selected her latest Hello Sunshine Book Club pick, an it's The Proposal. Here's what she had to say about the pick: "It starts with a proposal in front of 45,000 people at Dodger Stadium. But it’s not exactly love and baseball for Nikole (who says no!!!), and as she’s chased out of the stadium by live camera crews, she’s saved by a couple… of siblings… find out what happens next!”

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - Finally, tomorrow is the publication date for a book that we think could be the next Woman in the Window. It's also a debut, and it's called The Silent Patient. Here's what I wrote about it a few days ago:

An Amazon Best Book of February 2019: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides feels like it could be the big psychological thriller debut of 2019. The novel takes a few chapters to clear its throat and set the plot in motion, but once the tracks are laid it’s full steam ahead. Alicia Berenson is one-half of a glamorous couple—she’s an artist married to her fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. But when Gabriel returns home late one night, she shoots him five times in the face and refuses to speak again. Now she is being held in an institution outside London called the Grove. When a psychotherapist named Theo Faber becomes obsessed with her case, he finds his way to the Grove to treat her. Dark twists and delightful turns follow, secrets (and a diary) are revealed, and you will likely find yourself racing to the end.--Chris Schluep, the Amazon Book Review


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