First line: Silas loved a good puzzle, especially if it involved the interlocking pieces of science and soul, the known and the unknown.
Summary: Grace had just bought her first home when the COVID pandemic hit, she lost her job as a hairstylist and now her mother wants to move in with her. They never had a great relationship and the hours spent together start to strain their nerves. Grace starts having nightmares about her twin who died when they were young and struggles to differentiate between what is real and what is a dream. And then her mother reveals a dark secret from their past but Grace cannot believe her. There is no way that things happened the way her mother claims. Is her mother trying to drive her mad? Who and what can Grace believe anymore if she cannot trust her own mother?
My Thoughts: This book was STRANGE! It was a fever dream almost literally. Grace tilts back and forth between moments of sanity and bouts of fear and nightmares. She is a very unreliable narrator. But really it is more like the book who is unreliable. So many chapters are dream sequences filled with Grace’s fears and memories. Everything seemed just so wild until I realized that it was another dream.
Neither of the main characters was very likeable but Jackie, Grace’s mother, was awful. She seems like the ideal mother who cooks, cleans and is sweet to your friends but she can quickly use guilt and manipulation. I kept waiting for her to crack and cause some harm to Grace or the cat.
The setting of isolation during the pandemic set the perfect atmosphere for the downward spiral of these two women. Luckily I was still able to work at times during the pandemic because I can see how it easy it would be to lose touch with reality being home bound for long periods of time. The beginning of the story dragged on a little after a catchy first chapter and then it picked up at the end as tensions finally reached a climax. This is not as a good as Baby Teeth but still a chilling WTF book.
First line: A watch alarm was beeping.
Summary: Told through three people trying to survive a blizzard in the middle of a pandemic.
Hannah, wakes up after a bus accident. Several people are dead and the bus is stuck in a snow drift. She does not remember how they got here and she has to decide how to help the survivors escape alive. But it appears that the escape methods have been tampered with, leaving the occupants without many options.
Meg, finds herself with other volunteers for the trials, stranded on a cable car, suspended high above a forest in the middle of snow storm. One person has already been killed while they were sleeping so it appears that there is a killer among them. They must out who the killer is and hope they don’t kill again before rescue comes.
Carter has been living at the Retreat for three years helping to keep the place running. The Retreat was once a ski resort but has since been commissioned for scientific research to try and cure the pandemic that is ravaging the world. But as a storm moves in they are increasingly plagued by power outages which could lead to even more dire circumstances.
My Thoughts: I love C. J. Tudor. Her books are always lots of fun and a wild ride. I read a majority of this one in a weekend. I spent hours on the couch in between laundry, diving into the this story that at times felt very close to home. We have recently lived through and are still dealing with repercussions of the Covid pandemic. Each story gave new insights in to the lives of the population and the nature of the illness. It sounds terrifying and once again very similar.
There are a few twists and turns throughout which I really enjoyed. The big one is one I figured out about half way through, before the reveal. I was happy that I caught it but I don’t believe it spoiled anything. I think it made me look at everything closer and pay more attention. I highly recommend this quick read because it will keep you interested and on the edge of your seat. The only thing that would have made my reading experience better was actually having February weather rather than 60s to help set the atmosphere.
First line: It was spring, and my sister Lisa and I were in her toy-sized car, riding from the airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, to her house in Winston-Salem.
Summary: In David Sedaris’ latest collection of stories he tackles events like the pandemic, the death of his father and hurricanes at his beach house.
My Thoughts: As with most of his other books I was laughing through much of it. He can bring humor to such serious topics without being too vulgar. But when he talks about his father it just breaks my heart. He had such a difficult relationship with him and he does not hold back when he talks about it. I think through this collection I learned so much more about David than his previous books. It was a very small book and a quick read which I would highly recommend.
FYI: Some language and difficult topics.
First line: “Well, shit. How y’all doing?”
Summary: Leslie Jordan has spent years acting in shows like Will and Grace, The Help and now is on Call Me Kat. Even with his long list of acting credits he never dreamed of the fame he would get from joining Instagram. During the start of the pandemic he was “hunkered down” with his family in the South. In order to keep himself entertained he made little videos that he shared with all his new friends on Instagram. He became an overnight success! In this collection of stories from his life we get a look into his life before and during the pandemic.
My Thoughts: I love Leslie Jordan. He first caught my attention as Beverly Leslie on Will and Grace. Every episode he appeared in, he stole the show. His lines and persona were perfect for such a fun and quirky show. When I saw he was on Instagram at the start of the pandemic I immediately started following him. He made me laugh a lot, which was much needed during the spring of 2020. I have re-watched many of his shenanigans and stories several times because they are so lighthearted.
Reading this book was just like when I read a David Sedaris book. I can hear the author telling their story in their voice while I read. I laughed and learned a lot about this man who has done a lot in the years of his career. I would highly recommend this for its uplifting and charming stories about a small gay man who lives his life with a smile on his face.
FYI: Short little book with lots of heart.