meg says read this, Read This, Uncategorized

Read This: The Woman In Cabin 10

Recently I read a mystery book that I had really been looking forward to. Unfortunately, I was totally let down when I finally got my hands on a copy. So, I was a bit apprehensive when I checked out Ruth Ware’s The Woman In Cabin 10 last week. Though really, I shouldn’t have been because when have Reese Witherspoon’s recommendations led me astray?
So, here we go. The Woman In Cabin 10. Read it, right now, if you haven’t already.

I read this in less than 24 hours. It’s a page turner, it’s exciting, Ware’s writing is great. This was exactly the type of mystery I was looking for. The story begins with Lo in her apartment in England, being awoken by her cat who keeps nudging her. Of course, she tried to sleep it off…until she heard a noise. (If you’re a restless sleeper because of everything that “goes bump in the night,” then this is probably your worst nightmare.) The noise wasn’t just the refrigerator or the air conditioner or some banal house sound, it was an intruder. The physical harm the intruder caused was minimal, but the psychological damage was much more than Lo lets on to her coworkers, boyfriend, neighbors, police, etc. Of course, who could blame her? It was a violation of her privacy, and she was trapped in her own home, and her cell phone was stolen. So! That was a bit of a jarring opener to Lo’s story. Amidst the whole, get all her credit cards sorted, and a new phone, calling locksmiths, and all the other unpleasantries that go along with being robbed – we find out that Lo was prepping for a big gig for her journalism job with a travel magazine that would hopefully open doors for her to climb up the industry ladder. With Lo’s boss in the hospital, she’s supposed to fill in as a guest – taking a cruise on a luxury liner, and reporting back all the details, and hopefully schmoozing some advertising deals with fellow passengers in the process. With Lo’s luck running a bit amuck lately, of course everything doesn’t go quite as planned. Ruth Ware writes intently. It’s easily to imagine Lo’s surroundings, how she’s dressed, whether the person she’s conversing with is a snobby jerk, etc. You’d think maybe with a story that opens with a burglary, that’s where the mystery would be…think again. Ten cabins on this ship, and not everyone is accounted for at the first dinner. Dun, dun, dun.

With recent thrillers like Gone Girl or The Girl On the Train maybe you’re wondering as a reader, is Lo a reliable narrator? Well, that’s up to you to read and find out.

Who’s the woman in cabin 10? Does Lo have reason to be suspicious of her fellow passengers? An ex-flame? Her boyfriend who’s off on a work trip (what’s their status anyway?)

I love that Ruth Ware doesn’t belittle the reader. I hate when we’re clonked over our heads with repeated facts, and the dots are connected so cleanly way before a story is wrapped up, as if not to give readers a chance to speculate their own theories – she does the opposite.

If you’re looking for a book you won’t be able to put down, something original that will keep you guessing, with a great plot and interesting characters – I say give this one a try! I enjoyed this one so much that I immediately texted two friends who’d read it so we could chat. Then of course, I recommended it to a lot of people, and of course had to post here. Now I’m thinking that I’ll need to read Ruth Ware’s other novels as well! Have you read The Woamn in Cabin 10? What did you think, did it meet your expectations? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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Turn the Page Tuesday, Read This: “We Were Liars”

E. Lockhart is one of my favorite authors. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of my favorite novels. Her characters are typically independent, witty, strong, smart, inspiring young women and their perspective on life and adventures is such a breath of fresh air. Being that I follow about a zillion YA authors on Twitter who were all buzzing about it, I was in the camp of complete anticipation to get my hands on a copy of her latest, We Were LiarsI was following the Tumblr (check it out for awesome quotes, photos, playlists and more) with all it’s bits and teasers, so I knew there was a certain mystique surrounding the story, and I didn’t want the suspense to be ruined before I could read it. I pre-ordered the book, and brought it with me to the beach one weekend, and I read it in a few beach sittings. It’s not my favorite Lockhart novel, but there’s still something…special about it. The curiosity sparked by the mystery was enough fuel for me to keep reading. Plus, the gorgeous description of the Sinclair cousins, and friends? Those beautiful words were enough to suck me in immediately. (Example: He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.) It’s funny because the characters are so articulately and artistically described in these acute details, but at the same time you don’t necessarily feel like you know their depth. At first this frustrated me as a reader, but later I came to think that it may have been more of a story-telling technique, intentional in its design. I don’t want to spoil the aura of surprise with this one, but I’ll say it’s a story with much more than meets the eye. Perhaps you pick it up and think it will be about a snotty rich family’s summers in the Vinyard, or first love, or teenage rebellion and careless days spent in the cloak of invincibility. Maybe it’s all of those things, but it’s more…there’s the flip side of love in loss, and there’s the struggle of navigating uncertainty in friendship and relationships, there’s the drama of coming to terms with the fact that our family members are humans with their own flaws and mistakes, and it’s about the moments that shape and define who we are and what we will become. Summer may be coming to an end, but there’s always time to pick up this book and jump right back in. Be prepared to get attached to these characters, and maybe for a little bit of shock and surprise. At one point, I felt like I’d been punched in the chest by surprise, and while that caught me off guard, I also wanted to applause the success of plot twists. Definitely a READ THIS! recommendation.

(via We Were Liars Tumblr)

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Turn the Page Tuesday, Read This: “Where’d You Go Bernadette”

I know I’m behind the times on this one, but oh my goodness! When I saw that Where’d You Go Bernadette was finally available at my local library I had to check it out, and bring it with me to my parents for some time off at the beach over the 4th of July weekend. What a perfect beach read, but also what a perfect ANYWHERE read! I laughed, I teared up, I throughly enjoyed the witty, dry humor of Maria Semple. The writing style reminded me of a Wes Anderson film, and I was in love with the alternating perspectives revealed in e-mails, memos, and various other forms of correspondence.

I’m awful at describing something I love without getting carried away, and trying to hide the surprises, but essentially the story involves teenage Bee, her architect mom, her dad who works for Microsoft, a slew of crazy private school mothers and an extremely entertaining collection of other characters living in Seattle. Instead of giving away exciting plot points, I’d rather just convey my affection for this book by explaining that I wasn’t even halfway through when I declared it must be added to my favorites list. It’s that good. I hadn’t felt like I’d stumbled upon a creative piece of work so refreshing in quite some time. Some authors have a strange condescending sort of air to their writing, while Semple never seemed to discredit her audience.

If you’ve noticed this book on display in a variety of places, or heard the buzz, or your friends have recommended it – there’s a reason for it. It’s one of the best titles I’ve read this year. If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and get on that as soon as possible!

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Read This: Seriously…I’m Kidding

I read Ellen’s latest book, Seriously…I’m Kidding a few weekends back, (the rainy one I spent at the beach!) I actually read it right after I finished Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? First of all, I love Ellen. She makes me laugh out loud with her gregarious sense of humor, and her heart just seems so big, and the way she extends kindness to strangers on her show all the time makes me smile. She’s on my “people I want to hang out with” list (that I’m constantly adding to,) and I’d love her to teach me some of her signature dance moves. Plus, her style is awesome – she can rock a blazer, skinny jeans, and tennies like no other (and not to mention she’s just effortlessly beautiful!) And she has a cool gorgeous wife (Portia,) too! See – all around fabulous. SO! I was extremely excited when I went to check out other books from the library, and they plopped that one on the counter. I didn’t even know it was my turn in the hold line, yet! Anyway, Ellen’s book is a different kind of funny than Mindy’s, it’s a light-hearted read and I’m sure you’ll breeze right through the chapters. Like always when Ellen’s involved I was giggling. If you’re looking for a good summer read, that’s not too heavy or emotional, and you want your funny bone tickled – definitely check this out!

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Read This: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Now, this is a title I’ve wanted to read for a while. I finally realized hello, why have I not put it on hold at the library yet? Last week I went to pick up a biography of the Queen I’d put on hold, and to my surprise Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was also waiting for me! (Along with Ellen’s Seriously…I’m Kidding.) Eeek! It always feels like Christmas when that happens. I brought it with me to the beach last weekend, and started it on Friday night and finished by Saturday night. Granted it was rainy and that always makes for easier weekend reading time, but also I couldn’t put it down. Mindy had me giggling aloud. The book flows in an easy-to-read style, broken down into essay chapters. The sections chronicle Mindy’s life, from childhood, to her early years in the city, and then to her time working on The Office. She’s included family photos, Blackberry photos, shots from on the set, and pics with her best friends (these are all an awesome addition in my opinion.) There’s a bit of a understated wit in the writing of The Office. While you’ve probably caught it, some people just don’t get it…there are the obvious jokes, and then the sly dry humor that’s hiding off on the side sometimes. This book reminds me of that in a way. Mindy is extremely intelligent, witty, and thoughtful. I loved getting to know more about her life, and from what I could gather she seemed like she was giving us a real look – not just of the glam parties and events, but the nerve-wracking meetings, the nights you spend in sweats watching syndicated television until someone invites you out. It was cool and encouraging. After following Mindy’s tweets for a while, I already wanted to be friends with her but after reading this book that feeling just intensified (if that’s possible?!) If you haven’t read this one yet, I definitely recommend checking it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! Have you already this one? What were your thoughts? Feel free to share in the comments!