double score!

by Jackie Ferrari in #AmReading

two books I’d love to read again for the first time

It felt like a particularly lucky reading week when I realized I’d inadvertently landed on two of what I call my “starred reads” for 2023 within a matter of days of each other. I can’t wait to share these with you—especially as one of them is suited to reading with partners who skew more thriller/whodunnit (or gifting to same, or possibly to becoming a family road trip audio book if audio books don’t, as they do me, make you feel impatient and antsy like a 7-year-old at a classroom readaloud).

So let’s start with that one, shall we?

Truly, Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide, by Rupert Holmes is the book equivalent of Knives Out—and not at all because it’s the kind of book that joy of a movie at once emulated, homaged and sent right up, but because it’s endlessly clever and constantly dropping little entertaining bits and bobs right into your upturned beak, while at the same time demanding that you pay attention and keep up lest you miss something. If you love all the details and finicky time-clocking of a classic murder mystery, there is plenty of that for you (although the mysteries here aren’t about the murders). If you’re more about the why than the how, you will also leave satisfied, and if it’s the idea of a Hogwarts School of Murdery that persuades you to pick this up, again you will not leave disappointed.

One of my favorite things to say about a book is that if what’s in the flap copy is what you’re looking for, then you will not be disappointed—and while it’s absolutely true of The Sweet Spot, by Amy Poeppel (be aware that there is more than one book by that name), I have to say that the flap copy also doesn’t do it justice. Because while at some point the three main characters do end up juggling around a baby that isn’t rightfully any of their responsibilities, it’s how they get there (a hilarious yet thoughtful tale of revenge and very human instinct) that really absorbs the reader. But on the other hand, I feel like if I lay out the plot for you that won’t do it justice either. So just let me tell you that this is a multi POV book where every narrating voice is distinct and very much in its own head and experiencing the same (very engaging) events in a very different way. I didn’t want this one to end.

On the currently reading list for me: To Swoon and To Spar, by Martha Waters, which I got as an advance but which turns out to be the 4th in what is probably—judging from this one—a very creative regency romance series. I’m happily engrossed. I slipped a few pages into one of my BOTM selections before realizing that I needed something lighter, so Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan will have to wait. On the nonfiction side, Blurb Your Enthusiasm: An A-Z of Literary Persuasion, by Louise Willder, is my current, very inside baseball read—and I’ve had several book-buying spree incidents lately, so I have a toppling #tbr and there is nothing better.

What have you read lately that you wish you could go back and read again for the first time?

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