Thanksgiving and a Look Ahead
Anticipated reads along with more gift links for the readers in your life
I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving had a great holiday filled with family, food, fun, and maybe a little shopping too. I took most of last week off of work, so I had several days of “practice for upcoming retirement”; I believe I will enjoy what my new life will hold in retirement. Although it rained off and on for most of Thanksgiving week, it was perfect weather for reading and catching up on some TV shows I’ve recently recorded. All in all, the week was perfect and it was so difficult to head back to work yesterday.
December is a slow month for book publishing; too many competing things and activities are happening for most readers to give new releases their undivided attention. Publishers release books at the end of November and early December, but not much is released after that, as you can see from the dates below. However, a few books are hitting the shelves today through the next week that I’m looking forward to (and one I’ve read), and maybe some of these will be right for you.
A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny (11-29-22) - Fans of this Louise Penny series have been waiting patiently for the next installment of Chief Inspector Gamache and all the other characters in this mystery series. I’ve only read the first few books (quite a while ago), but I know many readers who love this series and plan their reading around each year’s new release. Early readers are giving it rave reviews, as usual. One early reader writes, “Louise Penny is a master of character development and teasing out the intricacies and oddities of every character.” I have really been enjoying the short-run newsletter, where guest writers are writing about what they enjoy about this series.
The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle (11-29-22) - I’m a big fan of Belle’s books, and I’ve read several of her backlist books and can’t wait to read this one. This domestic suspense novel focuses on mommy blogger Alex and her personal assistant AC and what happens when AC goes missing. Is AC a victim, or did she write the post that went viral in the most toxic way and started the downward spiral? I sometimes hesitate to recommend books like these (and the next one) as they aren’t what many readers describe as “memorable” books. There is nothing literary about them, and they won’t win any great literary awards; they are suspenseful and interesting “can’t put the book down” reads that I enjoy reading between the more literary books I read.
The Widow by Kaira Rouda (12-1-22) - From author Liv Constantine, “The Widow pulls back the curtain to reveal an insider’s look at the fascinating and duplicitous world of D.C. politics. This stunning page-turner has a cast of characters with dangerous secrets and hidden motives.” I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and read it several months ago and enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed reading all of her books so far. Finding authors that I enjoy reading and knowing that I’ll enjoy everything they write is how I describe Rouda’s books. She writes very similar to Belle above, nothing earth-shattering or award-winning, just good mystery/suspense that keeps me turning the pages until the end. A great palette cleanser between heavier reads.
Your Table is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina (12-6-22) - From the publisher, “A front-of-the-house Kitchen Confidential from a career maître d’hotel who manned the front of the room in New York City's hottest and most in-demand restaurants.“ I’ve seen several early reviews of this book and can’t wait to read it. Give me a book that goes behind the scenes of restaurants, hotels, TV/movies, or just about anything, and I’m all in. I love the sausage-making that goes on behind the scenes, the things you never see as a customer or viewer. This one will most likely be a feature of a future Nibble & Bits newsletter.
The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale (12-6-22) - I read her previous book, The Ballerinas, and adored it. I have an ARC of this one, and I’ve just started it and hope to finish it this coming week. From the publisher, “My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen's Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge.” From what I am reading in the early reviews, it is a dark novel with several content areas that might be hard to read for some readers. If My Dark Vanessa caused you problems, readers say that this might not be the book for you, so tread carefully.
More gift links for the readers (or you) in your life:
I’m still hunting for a great reading journal (it seems never-ending), and this BookRiot article has links to several different types for the coming year.
Gifts for readers that like to wear their love of reading.
I’ve read a few good and many just o.k. books during 2022, but I think I’ve given up on reading anything really spectacular, at least for this year. I’ll try again next year. A few books I read will stay with me for a long time, but most I’ve already forgotten. However, they all provided pleasure, and for me, that is the reason I read.
Are you a Louise Penny fan? Have you read any or all of the Chief Inspector Gamache series? I can’t wait to start the series from the beginning, as I’ve forgotten the few I’ve read in the past. I realize now that I can’t let too much time lapse between each one, or I’ll have to start over again.
I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving holiday and what you’ll remember about it— good, bad, or funny. Spending time with friends and family usually means fun and good times, and I hope your holiday meant that to you. Have a great week, and happy reading!
Some of the links in this newsletter may be affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase anything, I may earn a small commission. This costs you nothing and helps me feed my voracious reading habit, and for that, I thank you.