6 Books You Should Read Sooner Rather Than Later

Sarah Walsh
November 23 2021
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I have a secret to confess . . . I’m a very impatient person. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to check my impatient impulses, but when it comes to books, I never developed any chill. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve sent numerous book-related texts, commandeered Zoom calls to talk about my new favorite read, and even gone as far as making a TikTok pleading to my best friend to read a book I knew she was going to love.

Now I’m spreading the urgency to add my list of must-read books to your TBR sooner rather than later and suggesting six amazing titles that you’re not going to be able to resist.

I Miss You When I Blink
by Mary Laura Philpott

There’s something special about a book that, once you read it, leaves you questioning how you could have wasted months or years of your life not reading this book. I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK by Mary Laura Philpott is one of those books. In a collection of essays, Philpott shares the same struggle that many of us face: what do we do when we’ve checked off our life’s to-do list but still don’t feel happy? Philpott explores what it’s like to feel all wrong when you’ve done everything right. This collection is sure to touch your heart, and now is the perfect time to read it as her next book of essays will be out in April 2022. Don’t sleep on these amazing reads!

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I Miss You When I Blink
Mary Laura Philpott

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays by acclaimed writer and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott, the modern day reincarnation ofNora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwinall rolled into one (The Washington Post), about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on a successful lifes to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right” but still felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

Taking on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood, Philpott provides a “frank and funny look at what happens when, in the midst of a tidy life, there occur impossible-to-ignore tugs toward creativity, meaning, and the possibility of something more” (Southern Living). She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife and reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary. Most of all, in this “warm embrace of a life lived imperfectly” (Esquire), Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down. You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

“Be forewarned that you’ll laugh out loud and cry, probably in the same essay. Philpott has a wonderful way of finding humor, even in darker moments. This is a book you’ll want to buy for yourself and every other woman you know” (Real Simple).

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Where Are the Children?
by Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark didn’t earn the title “Queen of Suspense” lightly. Her classic book, WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN?, tells the story of a mother who is finally recovering from the loss of her children several years earlier . . . only to find that the children she has since birthed have now disappeared as well, leaving behind only a single red mitten. If you’ve had WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN? on your list for a while, now’s the perfect time to grab your copy before the sequel comes out, written by Alafair Burke.  

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Where Are the Children?
Mary Higgins Clark

The #1 New York Times bestselling author and Queen of Suspense launched her career with this classic thriller following a woman whose past holds a terrible secret.

Nancy Harmon long ago fled the heartbreak of her first marriage, the macabre deaths of her two little children, and the shocking charges against her. She changed her name, dyed her hair, and left California for the windswept peace of Cape Cod. Now remarried, she has two more beloved children, and the terrible pain has begun to heal—until the morning when she looks in the backyard for her little boy and girl and finds only one red mitten. She knows that the nightmare is beginning again...

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MENTIONED IN:

6 Books You Should Read Sooner Rather Than Later

By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

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The School for Good Mothers
by Jessamine Chan

Get ahead of your 2022 book club reading by preordering a copy of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS by Jessamine Chan. In this gripping debut novel, Chan tells the story of Frida, an adoring mother who lives for her daughter Harriet. While Frida’s life may be a mess, everything is alright because Frida has Harriet. That is, until a moment of poor judgment takes Frida to an institution to be evaluated on her success as a mother—while her custody of Harriet hangs in the balance. There’s no doubt in my mind that this will be one of the most talked about books in 2022, so now’s the time to get reading!

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The School for Good Mothers
Jessamine Chan

In this taut and explosive debut novel, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance.

Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

A searing page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.

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MENTIONED IN:

6 Books You Should Read Sooner Rather Than Later

By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

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The Tenant
by Katrine Engberg

Are you like me and love getting invested in the characters, setting, and atmosphere of a series? THE TENANT by Katrine Engberg checks all of these boxes and more for those of us who love suspense. THE TENANT is the first book in the Korner and Werner series, named after the two detective main characters. The series begins with Jeppe Korner and Annette Werner finding a body of a young woman whose face has been intricately carved. The case becomes more mysterious as the victim’s novelist landlady, Esther, is linked to the case and features the victim’s death in her own unfinished mystery novel. With the third book coming out in the beginning of 2022, I recommend binge-reading THE TENANT and its sequel, THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE, as soon as possible!

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The Tenant
Katrine Engberg

An Indie Next Pick
An O, The Oprah Magazine Titles to Pick Up Now
A People Book Pick
A New York Post Best Book of the Week
A Parade Most Anticipated Books of Early 2020
A Bustle Most Anticipated Books of January 2020
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020
A She Reads Most Anticipated Thrillers of 2020

An electrifying work of literary suspense from internationally bestselling author Katrine Engberg, The Tenant—heralded as a “stunning debut” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs—follows two Copenhagen police detectives struggling to solve a shocking murder and stop a killer hell-bent on revenge.

When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who’s a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends. Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist—and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she’s writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous.

But Esther’s role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance? Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women’s pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings.

Evocative and original, The Tenant promises “dark family secrets—and a smorgasbord of surprises” (People).

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A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan

To further prepare for your 2022 reading goals, make sure to add A VISIT FROM THE GOOD SQUAD by Jennifer Egan to your bookshelves before the long-awaited sequel, THE CANDY HOUSE, becomes available in April. Egan tells the story of an aging former punk rocker and the young woman in his employ. The two have led vastly different lives, but Egan weaves an intricate web of the past that connects the characters in fundamentally human ways. This beautiful narrative is told through a variety of different styles and tones (including PowerPoint) and is a powerful read that will leave you feeling exhilarated.

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A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals the pasts of two music industry veterans in this Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. With music pulsing on every page, this masterpiece is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

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Greenwich Park
by Katherine Faulkner

True plot twists feel few and far between these days for many readers as we’ve gotten so good at picking up on clues and figuring out the big reveal before it happens in the book. GREENWICH PARK by Katherine Faulkner will have your jaw dropping with all the twists and turns. The novel follows Helen who seems to have the perfect life when she meets Rachel, an erratic, soon-to-be mother, who draws Helen’s attention like a moth to a flame. While Helen and Rachel might appear to be opposites, they strike up a friendship that begins to take a strange turn related to a past crime. Make sure you pick up a copy immediately before the twist is spoiled for you!

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Greenwich Park
Katherine Faulkner

“Gripping and haunting and gorgeously suspenseful. I couldn’t put this thriller down and can’t recommend it highly enough.” —Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl

A twisty, whip-smart debut thriller, as electrifying as the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, about impending motherhood, unreliable friendship, and the high price of keeping secrets.

Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.

But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.

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MENTIONED IN:

6 Books You Should Read Sooner Rather Than Later

By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

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