Review: Mixed Signals

Mixed Signals
Mixed Signals by B.K. Borison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A perfect way to end 2022. This is my last book of 2022 and I couldn’t have picked a better one. It’s the third in the Lovelight series. I’ve loved all of these sweet books with lovely characters that feel like Gilmore Girls. This is Layla’s story and it’s filled with sugar, spice and everything nice. I can’t recommend it enough.

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Review: It Won’t Always Be Like This

It Won't Always Be Like This
It Won’t Always Be Like This by Malaka Gharib
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story about an American girl whose dad moved back to his hometown of Egypt after her parents’ divorce. She goes back to Egypt to spend the summers with him all her life. He marries someone else and has children with that person and their lives change and evolve from there. It’s an interesting story even though it stays a little too on the surface in my opinion.

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Review: How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures
How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this very quick read that’s between a biography and a nonfiction story about sea creatures. Creative, thought-provoking and heart wrenching all at once. Really beautiful.

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Review: Forever Hold Your Peace

Forever Hold Your Peace
Forever Hold Your Peace by Liz Fenton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very sweet story of two people who fall in love on vacation in italy and decide to get married as a result of their whirlwind romance. When they come back home, both of their parents are worried it’s all happening too soon until they meet and realize they know each other from a past life.

Chaos ensues.

Until the chaos touches the two kids whom they love with all their hearts and brings the parents back to their senses.

It’s sweet, predictable but kind with lots of laughs. It was a lovely book to read during the rainy and dark winter days.

with gratitude to netgalley and Alcove Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Exiles

Exiles
Exiles by Jane Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Jane Harper novel is a cause to celebrate. Harper’s novels are always character-driven and atmospheric and low burning and still manage to surprise you and this one is no exception. It is the story of a mother who goes missing in the middle of a town carnival leaving her newborn baby behind in a stroller.

What would possibly make a mother do that?

The story unfolds slowly and deliberately. You get enmeshed in the affairs of this little town and the tangled lives its inhabitants have with each other. I was so invested in these characters and their story that I was heartbroken when I found out what happened.

with gratitude to netgalley and Macmillan Audio for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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BOOKS READ IN 2022

  • My favorite read of the year was: The Swimmers and Mad Honey
  • My favorite sci-fi (sortof) read of the year was: Light from Uncommon Stars
  • My favorite Fantasy read of the year was: Lonely Castle in the Mirror
  • My favorite uplit read of the year was: Remarkably Bright Creatures
  • My favorite nonfiction read of the year was: You Could Make this Place Beautiful and Four Thousand Weeks
  • My favorite Historical Fiction read of the year was: Song of Achilles
  • My favorite Mystery read of the year was: The Twist of a Knife
  • My favorite graphic novel read of the year was: Everything is Okay

Here are all 279 books I’ve read this year. You can see my goodreads reviews here.

  1. Mixed Signals
  2. Forever Hold Your Peace
  3. How Far the Light Reaches
  4. It Won’t Always be Like This
  5. Exiles
  6. The Collected Regrets of Clover
  7. We All Want Impossible Things
  8. No Two Persons
  9. Light from Uncommon Stars
  10. You Could Make This Place Beautiful
  11. We Are the Light
  12. The Villa
  13. All the Dangerous Things
  14. Romantic Comedy
  15. The Lightkeeper’s Daughters
  16. The Family Game
  17. The Minimum Method
  18. The Plus One (A Brush with Love, #3)
  19. Earthlings
  20. Savage Wilder (Sinners and Saints, #4)
  21. Earth’s the Right Place for Love
  22. The Immeasurable Depth of You
  23. Gone for Good (Detective Annalisa Vega, #1)
  24. Painting Perspective, Depth & Distance in Watercolour
  25. Watch Over Me
  26. Marigold and Rose: A Fiction
  27. Ready to Paint with Terry Harrison: Watercolour techniques, tips and projects for the complete beginner
  28. The Watercolour Companion: Techniques & tips to improve your painting
  29. The Twist of a Knife (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery, #4)
  30. Skye Falling
  31. You’d Be Home Now
  32. Things We Do in the Dark
  33. The Shamshine Blind
  34. Autoboyography
  35. Lavender House
  36. The Go-Giver Marriage: A Little Story about the Five Secrets to Lasting Love
  37. Maureen (Harold Fry #3)
  38. Hello Beautiful
  39. A Hard Day for a Hangover (Sunshine Vicram, #3)
  40. Mad Honey
  41. The Atlas Paradox (The Atlas, #2)
  42. The Drift
  43. Ana Takes Manhattan
  44. Our Missing Hearts
  45. A Map for the Missing
  46. Roadside Picnic
  47. No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering
  48. Imposter
  49. Spells for Forgetting
  50. The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything
  51. A Very Typical Family
  52. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water
  53. The Key to My Heart
  54. The Matchmaker’s Gift
  55. Touch
  56. The Sun Walks Down
  57. The Atonement (The Arrangement, #3)
  58. The American Roommate Experiment (Spanish Love Deception, #2)
  59. The Amendment (The Arrangement, #2)
  60. The Spanish Love Deception
  61. All That’s Left Unsaid
  62. The Half Moon
  63. Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom
  64. Lighter than My Shadow
  65. The Answers Are Within You: 108 Keys to Unlock Your Mind, Body Soul
  66. Killers of a Certain Age
  67. The Marriage Portrait
  68. The World of Urban Sketching: Celebrating the Global Revolution of Drawing on Location – New Inspirations, Approaches, and Techniques for Seeing the World One Drawing at a Time
  69. Honor
  70. Wild is the Witch
  71. The Gravity of Us (Elements, #4)
  72. People Person
  73. Bookworm
  74. Wrong Place Wrong Time
  75. The Placeholder
  76. Carrie Soto Is Back
  77. You Are Not Alone: The NAMI Guide to Navigating Mental Health
  78. Love on the Brain
  79. Daisy Darker
  80. Look Closer
  81. The Eighth Life
  82. Tiny
  83. A Tidy Ending
  84. The Soulmate
  85. Horse
  86. Thank You for Listening
  87. Things We Never Got Over (Knockemout, #1)
  88. The Last Housewife
  89. The Lioness
  90. Hamnet
  91. The Ferryman
  92. The Violin Conspiracy
  93. Jar of Hearts
  94. Little Secrets
  95. All the Acorns on the Forest Floor
  96. The Couple at Number 9
  97. Fighting Words
  98. A Month in the Country
  99. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot, #2)
  100. People Who Knew Me
  101. Professor Everywhere
  102. These Silent Woods
  103. The Museum of Rain
  104. When She Was Good (Cyrus Haven, #2)
  105. The Every
  106. A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1)
  107. Good Girl, Bad Girl (Cyrus Haven, #1)
  108. Lonely Castle in the Mirror
  109. Seven Days in June
  110. And Yet: Poems
  111. Someone Else’s Bucket List
  112. Maame
  113. Small World
  114. Tiny Buddha’s Inner Strength Journal: Creative Prompts and Challenges to Help You Get Through Anything
  115. The Guest Lecture
  116. A Flicker in the Dark
  117. Happily Ever After & Everything In Between
  118. When We Were Friends
  119. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story
  120. Book Love
  121. Fresh Water for Flowers
  122. The Art of the Travel Journal: Chronicle Your Life with Drawing, Painting, Lettering, and Mixed Media – Document Your Adventures, Wherever They Take You
  123. The Appeal
  124. Everything Is OK
  125. A Shoe Story
  126. Vacationland
  127. The Dead Romantics
  128. Metropolis
  129. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
  130. Crying in H Mart
  131. The Long Answer
  132. I Let You Go
  133. Kaleidoscope
  134. Naughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)
  135. After You’d Gone
  136. The Picture of Dorian Gray Penguin Twentieth Century Classics
  137. Tell Me Three Things
  138. Body Grammar
  139. Gilt
  140. Georgie, All Along
  141. All My Puny Sorrows
  142. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (Bright Falls, #1)
  143. Twice in a Lifetime
  144. Everything for You (Bergman Brothers, #5)
  145. The Measure
  146. The Song of Achilles
  147. The Sea of Tranquility
  148. Never Coming Home
  149. 56 Days
  150. The Argonauts
  151. Wilderness Watercolor Landscapes: 30 Eye-Catching Scenes Anyone Can Master
  152. Small World
  153. Stunning Watercolor Seascapes: Master the Art of Painting Oceans, Rivers, Lakes and More
  154. Find Your Peace: A Workbook for a More Mindful Life
  155. The Singularities
  156. The Netanyahus
  157. Insomnia
  158. Crossroads
  159. The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose
  160. In the Weeds (Lovelight, #2)
  161. Can’t Look Away
  162. Aurora
  163. Counterfeit
  164. The Latecomer
  165. Loving the Dead and Gone
  166. Disorientation
  167. Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting
  168. A Dangerous Business
  169. Heartstopper: Volume Four (Heartstopper, #4)
  170. Delphine Jones Takes a Chance
  171. Nevada
  172. The Wilderwomen
  173. Find Your Calm: A Workbook to Manage Anxiety
  174. A Quiet Life
  175. Nuclear Family
  176. The Urban Sketching Handbook Spotlight on Nature: Tips and Techniques for Drawing and Painting Nature on Location
  177. The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle
  178. Chef’s Kiss (Chef’s Kiss, #1)
  179. The Book Woman’s Daughter (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, #2)
  180. Nora Goes Off Script
  181. Billie Starr’s Book of Sorries
  182. Now Is Not the Time to Panic
  183. Signal Fires
  184. Four Treasures of the Sky
  185. The Winners (Beartown, #3)
  186. The Overnight Guest
  187. I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working
  188. Ugly Love
  189. Meant to Be
  190. The Old Place
  191. The Homewreckers
  192. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty
  193. Notes on an Execution
  194. The Humans
  195. Something Wilder
  196. Adult Assembly Required
  197. Lucy by the Sea (Amgash, #4)
  198. I’m the Girl
  199. Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper, #3)
  200. Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)
  201. Heartstopper: Volume Two (Heartstopper, #2)
  202. See You Yesterday
  203. Acts of Violet
  204. Other Birds
  205. One of Us Is Dead
  206. Mindful Sketching: How to Develop a Drawing Practice and Embrace the Art of Imperfection
  207. Remarkably Bright Creatures
  208. Three Kisses, One Midnight
  209. The Bodyguard
  210. Cult Classic
  211. Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives
  212. Funny You Should Ask
  213. Part of Your World
  214. Trust
  215. Book Lovers
  216. The No-Show
  217. Home or Away
  218. Answers in the Pages
  219. True Biz
  220. Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay
  221. The Paris Apartment
  222. In My Dreams I Hold a Knife
  223. When You Get the Chance
  224. Cover Story
  225. Below Zero (The STEMinist Novellas, #3)
  226. Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance
  227. In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss
  228. Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman
  229. I Kissed Shara Wheeler
  230. Recitatif
  231. The Story of You Workbook: An Enneagram Guide to Becoming Your True Self
  232. One Italian Summer
  233. For You & No One Else (Say Everything, #3)
  234. Calm Your Anxiety Journal: Guided, Gentle Prompts for Soothing Stress and Quieting Your Anxiety
  235. Things to Look Forward To: 52 Large and Small Joys for Today and Every Day
  236. The Book of Cold Cases
  237. The Last Confessions of Sylvia P.
  238. Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience
  239. Radically Content: Being Satisfied in an Endlessly Dissatisfied World
  240. Under Lock & Skeleton Key (Secret Staircase Mystery, #1)
  241. The Unsinkable Greta James
  242. Ain’t Burned All the Bright
  243. A Far Wilder Magic
  244. The Cartographers
  245. Ghost Forest
  246. This Golden State
  247. The Love of my Life
  248. Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas, #2)
  249. The Last Time I Lied
  250. One Night on the Island
  251. Rubyfruit Jungle
  252. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
  253. Feel Your Way Through
  254. The Swimmers
  255. Under One Roof (The STEMinist Novellas, #1)
  256. Upgrade
  257. When We Let Go
  258. The Kingdoms
  259. The Nineties
  260. The Arc
  261. Golden Boys (Golden Boys, #1)
  262. Monstrous Beauty
  263. Plus One
  264. The Candy House
  265. Black Cake
  266. Greenwich Park
  267. How High We Go in the Dark
  268. The Lies I Tell
  269. The Last Flight
  270. Weather Girl
  271. Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Finlay Donovan, #2)
  272. Olga Dies Dreaming
  273. The High House
  274. Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, #7)
  275. Ways the World Could End
  276. Lovelight Farms (Lovelight, #1)
  277. This Time Tomorrow
  278. These Precious Days: Essays
  279. The Sign for Home

Review: The Collected Regrets of Clover

The Collected Regrets of Clover
The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“But the secret to a beautiful death is a beautiful life.”

Clover is a death doula. She sits with people as they die and she makes sure they are not alone. And yet, she’s mostly alone. She has one friend who is 76 and that’s it.

This is the story of how through the help of a new client, some unexpected friends and some tough but real words she slowly starts to change her life.

This character driven story is beautiful and is full of reminders that life is for the living. It’s for taking chances, it’s for being cautiously reckless and it’s for living the moments we’re given to their full capacity.

with gratitude to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: We All Want Impossible Things

We All Want Impossible Things
We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this beautiful story on friendship in one breath. It’s so so good. It’s funny and sweet and heartbreaking all at once. It’s short but poignant. Recommended 🙂

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Review: No Two Persons

No Two Persons
No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“It was something she would tell her son later, when he was learning to read himself—how your first read of an extraordinary book is something you can only experience once.”

This book is a premise that I hadn’t read before. It’s a story of ten different people. The first one writes a book to help cope with deep sorrow in her life and the nine others experience the book in their own unique way, through the lens of their own lives and get affected differently.

Some of them are connected to each other in small ways, some in bigger ways, and some not really. And yet this book flows through their life and doesn’t leave them the same as a result.

“It was probably six hours later when Theo met the love of his life. There were no fireworks, no steamy glances across a room. Just two human beings, falling together like puzzle pieces, which made sense because both of them were broken, their edges not the smooth arcs or straight lines of others, which fit easily into so many situations. No, there was only one place each of them belonged, and that was with the other. It sounded dramatic, but wasn’t. More like an animal finding its natural habitat.”

Some people will say it’s cheesy and it’s more like interconnected short stories than it is a novel. And some of the characters have a lot of telling vs showing. And yet I loved it. I loved the broken characters. I loved waiting to see how they’d be connected. I loved waiting to see when and how the book would show up and I loved seeing how it would change them. I felt connected and invested in each of these characters.

“Different from sleeping, where you had no choice where you went. Picking up a book was a decision: I’m going to go away. The exciting possibility: I may not come back the same.”

I am not the same because I read this beautiful book. Because, books, they change you. And I am so grateful for that.

with gratitude to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Light from Uncommon Stars

Light from Uncommon Stars
Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book randomly recommended by a person I was taking an online class from. I have a habit of reading everyone’s favorite books and she said this was her favorite of 2022. I am so glad I read it. I was absolutely absolutely excellent. Unlike anything I’ve read and that’s incredibly rare for me. I will not forget this book for a long, long time. One of my favorites from 2022 for sure!

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Review: Romantic Comedy

Romantic Comedy
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And if I was looking at that, would I pick you out from everyone else and say, ‘That’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen?’ If I’m being honest, no. But human beings aren’t static images. We’re dynamic and kinetic, and it’s like I said before—right away, I wanted to talk to you, and every time I’ve talked to you since I’ve always wanted to keep talking to you.”

This story took me a while to get into. Even though I really liked learning all about the details on what it felt like to work on a show like SNL, I found it hard to connect with the story for some reason. I couldn’t dive into it and I wasn’t sure I cared about the characters in anything more than a superficial way.

But of course, Curtis Sittenfeld doesn’t do wrong by her readers and soon enough I was completely engrossed in Sally’s story. Sittenfeld is such a smart writer and I loved reading all the little bits and pieces that made me chuckle.

But most of all I loved Noah’s character. I loved him and Sally and I loved how it was a wonderful, feel-good romantic comedy filled with smart characters and delicious, memorable quotes. Love love loved this one.

“Well,” I said, “I once heard a smart person point out that it’s hard to determine where the dividing line is between cheesiness and acceptable emotional extravagance.” He grinned again. “I didn’t tell you at the time, but I know exactly where the line is. When it’s happening to other people, it’s cheesy. When it’s happening to you, it’s wonderful.”

with gratitude to netgalley and Random House for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: We Are the Light

We Are the Light
We Are the Light by Matthew Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book about the aftermath of a shooting and the deep deep grief and healing a town goes through. Quick is such an excellent writer especially when it comes to fractured characters. I read this book compared to A Little Life and while it was heart-wrenching I don’t think it was anything near that one.

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