Hey there, it’s your book-buddy Cory!
OMG, I’m so excited to write you 😁. I want to share my thoughts on the books I’ve read since my last email. But first, let’s chat about what I’m currently reading.
Right now, I’m halfway through two books—The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Triggers. Seven Husbands is a fictional story about a golden age movie star who is bearing all in the interview of the century. Triggers is a nonfiction work about helping people deal with situations that trigger them. Have you read either of these?
In Goodwin Reads Issue #1, I shared my thoughts on the book Dune. I watched its newest film adaptation. I wasn’t aware they were breaking up the book into multiple movies. The movie is based on the book's first part, the slowest and most tedious part. I didn’t enjoy sitting through a two-and-a-half-hour version of it. What were your thoughts on the movie Dune?
Tell me, what are you reading? What have you read? Anything exciting going on in your life? Spill the tea 🫖 in the comments section.
Would you please join me for a buddy read?
What can I say about buddy reads? They enhance our solitary pastime. Reading the same book with friends brings out so much enjoyment.
I look forward to reading more because I will discuss the book later. Buddy reads help me pay more attention because I want to say clever things in the group. 😝
You will genuinely enjoy the buddy-read experience. We need to choose a book. Please tell me which book you would like to read in the comments. Here are some books to choose from.
Velvet Was The Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane
The Removed by Brandon Hobson
Not subscribed? Don’t miss out on the next bookish issue.
The Books I’ve Read This Year
MS-13 by Steven Dudley
The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
The Neighbor’s Secret by Alison L. Heller
MS-13: The Making of America's Most Notorious Gang
The author Steven Dudley is no stranger to crime. He grew up playing with the kids of the Chicago Mafia. Majoring in Latin American studies, Dudley traveled to Central America and met Mara Salvatrucha.
I was surprised to learn of the role the U.S. government played in the growth of MS-13. Through the revolving door of deportation, and the U.S. government’s habit of funding warlords, what started as a group of stoners morphed into a hardcore street gang where murder is a virtue.
I find crime and gangs fascinating. What makes someone essentially throw away their life to be an outlaw? I realized that the decision is often made for them by circumstances beyond their control.
You will enjoy this book if you’re into true crime and gangs. If that isn’t your forte, then you should probably pass. Here are some other gang books that I have enjoyed.
Gods of Mischief by George Rowe
Honor Few, Fear None by Ruben Cavazos
The Shot Caller by Casey Diaz
I’m not sure if this is considered dark, but it’s an academia book. Many students have died at Grimrose, an elite European boarding school. Four students are going to figure out the mystery.
I didn’t enjoy this book. It took me a long time to read and put me in a reading slump. The writing style wasn’t for me. The plot was boring. It starts slow, picks up in the middle, and then fizzles out at the end.
I haven’t read many academia books, but Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo was a fun read.
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
I have to be honest. Even though I recently read this book, I don’t remember much. It wasn’t informative, enjoyable, or memorable.
I ordered this book online, and my heart dropped when I laid my eyes on it. The book is anorexic—a hundred pages and some change. Considering its teenage price and lack of anything special, it was a big disappointment.
If you’re a writer and must have every writing book, go for it. If not, I would skip this glorified pamphlet and choose one of the following instead.
On Writing by Stephen King
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
It Ends With Use
Growing up, Lily watched her father beat her mother. Fast forward a decade, her father is dead, and Lily lives far away in Boston. She meets a handsome, narcissistic doctor with a short temper. We explore their abusive relationship, and Lily’s struggle to see past love and not repeat her mother's fate.
Colleen Hoover is the reigning queen. Her books are super hyped and loved, making them hard to criticize. But I must be honest.
Hoover has a great writing style. Her ability to weave a tale is exhilarating. I never wanted to put the book down. However, the end left me frustrated. Hoover wraps everything up in a neat bow, which I found unrealistic.
So many people have loved this book. I’m sad to say I wasn’t one of them. If you want to try a book by Colleen Hoover, I highly recommend Verity.
The Neighbor’s Secret
The Neighbor’s Secret could be called The Housewives of Cottonwood Estates. We follow a group of ladies and revel in their drama. We meet many characters, including some of the children. Everyone has their issues, but one is hiding a murderous secret.
The book is exciting and a page-turner. The ending was a tad disappointing. Too much happened at the end to make it more dramatic than it needed to be. But taken as a whole, it was a fun read.
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins is another wealthy lady domestic thriller that you might enjoy.