Friday, November 2, 2018

Books of Feels & Fear

I totally intended to read four books for Halloween, but alas, I did not. 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie was fantastic. Y'all, how is this the first Agatha Christie I've read in life?!? I picked this one up after it was on the Great American Read list, and I'm glad I did. This is the story of ten strangers who are mysteriously summoned to an island. They know very little about their host, but they all go. Shortly upon arrival, a recording is played. In this recording, a poem is read and a secret is revealed about each of the guests. From there, the doubt, the death(s), and the deception begin. From its first pages to the literal last one, this one kept me reading and guessing. The suspense and twists of this one were well done, and I dug the final twist of the ending. It's amazing that this was written 80 years old, and the mystery it cultivates still holds up. I will definitely read some more Agatha Christie (recommendations welcome!) after this rookie voyage.

Read this book if - You want a throwback thriller read. You like a mystery that keeps you guessing throughout. You're aspiring to read all/most/some of the Great American Read books.

You May Now Kill the Bride (Return to Fear Street #1) by RL Stine was a book I had high hopes for that just didn't come to fruition. With Fear Street in the title, I hoped this would be campy horror of the trade paperbacks of my youth. This just wasn't that. Honestly, this read more like a YA Goosebumps to me. This book revolves around two weddings - one in the past and one in the present. There are some spells, some cursed relationships, and some sibling rivalry full of draaaaaaaaama throughout. The advantage of this is that it's a quick read. If you want a brief thriller, then this should work. However, if you're looking for this to give you the nostalgia feels, it won't. If you're looking for a pageturning thriller, it's not quite that either. Really this is just a story about a family and the mystery in their relationships, and it was okay.

Read this book if - You want a quick, easy thriller-esque read?

The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People by Gary Chapman and Paul White was an advanced read I received from NetGalley. This is an updated version of this book that is the love languages translated to the workplace. I really enjoyed this one. So often we forget that there are a variety of ways to appreciate colleagues. Even more than that, we should ASK others how they want to be recognized. We each know what fills us up, and we also know what doesn't do the trick. We need to take the time to have conversations around this in the workplace to make sure people truly feel appreciation like they should. I also liked that this translated the content to remote employees. As someone who works in this way, I found these considerations particularly helpful. I'm still reflecting on this book a few days after finishing it, and I'm planning on discussing the content with some of my coworkers soon.

Read this book if - You want to reflect on how you recognize and appreciate colleagues. You want a book that offers a unique perspective on how to improve workplaces.

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak is a book that is hard to describe. I can tell you it is beautifully written. The words and way these stories are told is absolutely mesmerizing. There is a way that the author writes that makes you have to keep reading. This is the story of the Dunbar family, and within the family, it's mostly the story of one of the brothers - Clay. It's hard for me to explain the plot to you other than to say this one is going to get way up in your feels. There is tragedy - y'all, there is so much tragedy. However, that heartbreaking emotion is written in such a beautiful way. Told in segments and snippets, this offers an authentic portrait of a family and the relationships within it through ups, but moreso through downs. The feels of this one are real. I'll also say that the last line of this book may be one of my all-time favorites. If you're a fan of the author, I think you'll find this is going to be your jam. I'm glad I got the experience (and goodness it was an experience) of this one thanks to an ARC from Penguin Random House. 

Read this book if - You want a book that showcases the beauty of storytelling.

And onto the next ones. . .