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Steam Fest

In true Drew and Alexa form, I’ll get right to it… this one kinda fell flat for me. I think that’s an unpopular opinion, so if you disagree with me you’re probably in the majority.

I had high hopes because I know a lot of others really liked The Wedding Date. But maybe my hopes were too high? Romance or love stories aren’t usually my first pick, but Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren and One Day in December by Josie Silver are two I really liked. And I’d heard Guillory’s debut would be similar. But before reading it I read a review that basically hit the nail on the head:

The book is also unexpectedly raunchy, since Alexa and Drew’s connection starts as a purely physical one and they only later develop deeper feelings. The characters never find a situation that doesn’t turn them on at least a little bit” (Kirkus Review)

I’m fine with some steam and a good love story, but for me things were a bit unbalanced. I liked the story and the characters, but it felt like it was all steam and not enough substance. So I had a problem getting invested in it because it felt like the book was entirely of sex scenes. So I’m sorry to say I wasn’t a fan, but I would still give a different Guillory book a chance.

A Classic Power-house of Women’s History

Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis has been on my list for a few years. I’d heard the name Angela Davis before, but it wasn’t until Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th that I gained better context as to the living legend that she truly is.

As someone who believes in the pursuit of equal rights and social justice, and that we’ve been failing at both for a long time, I also know that my part in that includes continuing my education. As a privileged white female my pursuit of equality and justice comes much more easily than it does to most. But as it’s said, “until we are all free, we are none of us free” (Emma Lazarus). To achieve these goals reading a book won’t do the job. But book after book, and year after year, if we can strive to know more and do more with what we know maybe we’ll get a little bit closer in this lifetime. Don’t you think?

Angela Davis has been a memorable part of my continuing education, and she should be a part of yours. The gaps in the cause for women’s equality are numerous and deeply rooted in history. If you’re ever curious about what people are talking about when they say intersectional feminism, or refer to the suffrage movement as a perpetuation of racism, read this book. The book is organized chronologically starting with the legacy of slavery and ending with a working-class perspective contemporary to the book in the early 1980’s.

This book felt much like a textbook in its wealth of well-cited information, but not at all like a textbook in its passion. I love how much this book taught me, and I love how much Davis told these stories in the words of the women who lived them. To her credit, each chapter has numerous quotes from the women who experienced the full range of issues Davis examines in Women, Race and Class. 

If I haven’t convinced you already, I really hope you’ll read this book. It could be read in bits and pieces, a chapter here and a chapter there. But what you really need to know is that, in my opinion, this is a classic power-house of women’s history that’s not to be missed.

March Book

 

Awards season is always one of our favorites, but the Emmy’s, Golden Globes, SAG awards, BAFTAs, and the Oscars have all come to a close. However in March we celebrate some of the nominees and winners by reading a book that was turned into one of last year’s acclaimed films.

This year we’re reading James Baldwin’s classic If Beale Street Could Talk. Published in 1974, it’s the story of young love, family, injustice, and hope. Tish has fallen in love with Fonny, the father of her child, who’s falsely imprisoned and seeking the justice he deserves. Facing their uncertain futures, the lives of these two characters twist tragedy and joy in ways that make their stories unforgettable. Baldwin is a legendary American author whose writing is a beautiful as it is poignant (and if you haven’t read The Fire Next Time by Baldwin do so ASAP).

 


A moving, painful story, so vividly human and so obviously based on reality that it strikes us as timeless”  –Joyce Carol Oates

If Van Gogh was our nineteenth century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our twentieth-century one.”    –Michael Ondaatje


 

In December of 2018 the movie, written and directed by Barry Jenkins of Moonlight fame, was released to critical acclaim (94% on Rotten Tomatoes people). It was nominated for several awards including Best Motion Picture (Golden Globes, AFI Awards), Best Adapted Screenplay (Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTAs), and Best Original Score (BAFTAs, Oscars). And Regina King has won Best Supporting Actress at both the Golden Globes AND the Oscars!

We’ll have to read and watch to see how the movie holds up to the book, but either way we’re excited to read this story.

 

We hope you’ll read with us (and maybe watch when it’s released for purchase March 26th). How? It’s easy! Read your own pace and finish up by the end of the month. You can also share your thoughts and updates as you’re reading here or on Instagram (don’t forget to use #booklymark and tag us @thebooklyclub). Then on the last day of the month look out for our Instagram discussion post to join in the conversation!

Happy reading 🙂

An Important History Lesson in Feminism

Angela Y. Davis’ work is historically honest and somehow succinct but incredibly expansive at the same time. Unwrapping the complicated nuances of race and gender narratives and their gross entanglement with societal class structure both historically and in more modern ways, Davis evaluates several dark corners of our country’s past ranging from slavery, education, rape, and reproductive rights. She details how women’s empowerment movement has been dissected internally by complicating issues of race and class. Her book is, in many ways, a love song to the fight for equality but sharply draws into focus the consistent impedance to success.

Historians not only inform our pasts but, when doing their job correctly, should guide our future. By informing our past failings, perhaps we can alter how we choose to proceed going forward. My innate response to historical themes of race and gender had generally been “yep, I know its bad.” That’s not because I don’t care but because I don’t know how to help or admittedly really understand the scope. Davis’ work has given me a slightly less narrowed vantage point with more details and context. Knowing how many individual facets come together collectively to shape into this behemoth elephant in the room is the first step in acknowledging the elephant. Guiding the elephant out of the room requires a collective fight.

That push for the collective fight is the ultimate goal of Davis’ work. I think Women, Race, and Class would easily hold its place in any list of essential feminist reads and is as relevant today as its date of publication in 1983.

February Book

It’s a new year full of new books! Since finishing our December & January book—Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis—February marks Bookly’s official start to 2019. In fact, we’re currently finalizing our list of books for this year, and we’re so excited about all of them!! But anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Jasmine Guillory

February is the month of pre-fixed candlelit dinners, hallmark cards, chocolate, fuzzy hearts stitched to teddy bears, and romance. So, since we’re a book club that reads what’s fitting for the month we’re reading in, this month we read romance.

This year’s love story is a debut novel published just last year. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. A graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law, Guillory sets this story in her hometown; the Bay Area. Her writing has made her a new favorite go-to romance author of many. And since The Wedding Date she’s published a sequel, and the third in the series comes out in July. So if we love this one we’ll have two more to add to our TBR (to-be-read) lists!

 


 

“The writing is fast-paced, jumping between Alexa’s and Drew’s points of view. The two leads are charming, and both have quirky friends who add flavor to the story… Guillory’s debut is a mix of romance and raunch that will charm rom-com fans.”

Kirkus Review


 

The Wedding Date starts with a “meet-cute” between Alexa and Drew in a stalled hotel elevator. Drew is in San Francisco for a wedding he dreads, and Alexa is stopping by from Berkeley to visit an out-of-town guest. By the time the elevator starts up again, Alexa agrees to go to the dreaded wedding as Drew’s plus one. A spontaneous weekend pretending at boyfriend and girlfriend ends with Drew returning to L.A. (where he’s a pediatric surgeon, of course) and Alexa heads back to her job as the Berkeley Mayor’s Chief of Staff. But they can’t stop thinking about their weekend together, and with geography playing against them, they must figure out how to get what they really want.

We hope you’ll read with us, it’s really easy! Read your own pace, finishing up by the end of the month. Share any of your thoughts or updates as you’re reading here or on Instagram (don’t forget to use #booklymark). And on the last day of the month look out for our Instagram discussion post to join in the conversation! Happy reading 🙂

 

 

A Booklover’s Gift Guide

After years of book gifting, we have a long list of ideas saved up. And since book lovers like us seem to own most books, it’s good to have a stock of book-related ideas on hand.

So, welcome to our complete book lover’s gift guide! Whether you love books and want to share the wealth, or you need the perfect gift for a book lover, we’ve probably got something for you and yours on this list…

B O O K R E L A T E D

  • Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany
    A beautifully illustrated love letter to all things books by Jane Mount. From bookstores and their resident pets to gorgeous curated stacks we immediately added to our TBR (to-be-read) list, this book’s the perfect gift for any bibliophile. Also, Mount just released a 2019 Planner that’s equally as swoon-worthy!
  • Ideal Bookshelf
    Jane Mount’s shop of book spine illustrations (and more). There are themed prints to choose from, or you can customize one with your favorites.
  • Out of Print
    They have endless clothes, accessories and housewares all related to books (their library card mugs are a favorite)!
  • Tiny Books
    This year Dutton Books released a set of John Green books in Tiny form. Designed to be held in one hand, maybe it will be the Luddite’s answer to the Kindle?
  • Juniper Books
    A little more pricey, but worth it! Juniper creates stunning book sets and custom jackets to accessorize and beautify your library.
  • Local Bookstore Subscriptions
    Popular destination bookstores (sure, that’s a thing) host their own book subscriptions like Literati Cultura, The Strand’s The Book Hook-up, and Shakespeare & Co. Year of Reading. They have unique categories, great finds and it supports booksellers!

R A I S I N G R E A D E R S

  • Moonlite
    Turning your smartphone into a projector, you can cuddle-up with the lights off and enjoy bedtime stories in a whole new way.
  • Wonderbly
    A great custom book shop we’ve used many times! Using the little one’s name, likeness, interests, characteristics… they can become a Queen in “Kingdom of You,” or a detective in “Where Are You?” and follow their own adventure.
  • Who Done it? by Oliver Tallec
    A great series of little picture mysteries like “who left their coat at home?”
  • Pearl by Molly Idle
    The most charming (and gorgeous) story about how even the littlest jobs can shine bright. As a stay-at-home mom this one definitely spoke to me.
  • Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers
    We love anything Jeffers authors and illustrates, but this one especially. A powerful story written as a note to his newborn son about what’s important in this world.
  • Windows by Julia Denos
    Perfect for any city kid (like mine) about a short neighborhood walk and all the wonderful lives behind each glowing window.
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
    We can’t do this book enough justice, it’s amazing, just watch this.
  • Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische
    A new release by an extremely talented lettering artist and mother, it’s the the story about all the things we wish to be and how if we’re not our best today, there’s always tomorrow.
  • Love Is by Diane Adams
    A metaphor for the ups and downs of parenting as told through a little girl’s love and care for a growing duckling.
  • A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers
    Another Jeffers favorite of ours with books, pages, and words used to create whimsical illustrations that tell the story of what adventures await us in the pages of books.
  • Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
    The perfect story for any little one afraid of the dark. Orion is afraid of his dark bedroom, but soon he meets him, Dark, and realizes he’s nothing to be scared of.

F O R T H E R O M A N T I C

  • Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
    A gorgeous edition of the classic love poems of Spanish poet Pablo Neruda
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
    The utterly charming love story of two Londoners; Laurie and Jack. Set in London, and described as Bridget Jones meets Love Actually, it’s the perfect winter romance.
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
    One of this year’s most popular love stories, with a just-released sequel (The Proposal), we’ll be reading this for Bookly in February, so grab a copy and read along with us!
  • How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
    A woman takes over her father’s bookshop in a small English town and she finds friendships, love, and a home she didn’t expect.
  • Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren (not pictured)
    A coming of age love story that jumps time and follows a few twists and turns before reaching its heart-felt ending.

F O R T H E A S P I R I N G C H E F

  • How to Grill Everything by Mark Bittman
    Grilling can be such an easy, healthy way to cook and Bittman gives endless delicious ideas that make you anxious for grilling season.
  • Love and Lemons by Jeanine Donofrio
    What exists as a blog inspired by fresh, italian cooking, this vegetarian cookbook organized by produce is delicious and makes it easy to add any protein along with it (the shredded brussels sprouts salad is a personal favorite).
  • The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
    Better cooking through science, this unique cookbook doesn’t just explain how, but why we cook food the way we do.

L E A R N S O M E T H I N G N E W

  • Life’s Work by Dr. Willie Parker
    An outspoken, Christian advocate for reproductive justice, Dr. Willie Parker chronicles his deeply personal journey as an abortion provider living in the South making a moral argument for choice.
  • The Healing of American: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid
    Organized by Country, Reid travels the world sharing all that he learns about the successes and failures of the health care systems around the world.
  • On The Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman
    What started as Goffman’s masters thesis turned into years among men and women in a Philadelphia neighborhood plagued by mass, perpetual incarceration and the realities of a justice system gone awry.
  • Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
    Just published this year, Hurston interviewed Cudjo Lewis in the 1920’s and 30’s, who was at the time the last person alive who could tell the story of capture and bondage in the Atlantic slave trade.

T H E D A R K E R S I D E

  • Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
    A completely unique story of “Area X,” a mysterious government property that has scientists baffled, and the all-female expedition team that travels into Area X for answers.
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
    This twisty sci-fi thriller takes you through a race of reality and chance to answer the question, “are you happy with your life?” and tell us something about humanity.
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    An American true crime classic. It’s the story of the senseless killing of a family while they lay quiet in their home in Kansas on November 15, 1959, and Capote’s hunt for answers.
  • American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse
    The arson started on a cold November midnight in Accomack County and didn’t stop for months. A portrait of the arsonists and America’s history with arson.
  • Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
    With her sarcastic wit and curiosity, Roach tackles another mysterious subject in this unique non-fiction analysis of the supernatural.
  • Lady Killers by Tori Telfer
    A completely fascinating, smart and oddly fun look into the little known history of female serial killers, each chapter a new bizarre story of a frightening femme fatale.
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
    One of this year’s biggest hits, McNamara’s tireless pursuit of The Golden State Killer (as she named him) gave birth to this soon-to-be classic true crime novel (don’t read it when you’re home alone).

E S C A P E I N T O A N O T H E R W O R L D

  • Hyperion Series by Dan Simmons
    A hard-to-explain classic sci-fi series from the 90’s with a devout fan base, the Hyperion series is one you’ll just have to read to believe.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    After only 2% of the world’s population survives as mass disease the stories of characters we’re left with intertwine and weave together in the most beautiful, fateful, powerful ways that it will have you in awe and thoughtful days after it ends.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    The mysterious Night Circus shows up with no warning and only at night. This cult favorite, filled with magical realism, love, and drama is a must read.
  • An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir
    A MUST READ series featuring strong women, great writing, a world that’s ancient Rome meets the middle East, and a story of love, magic, family, power, and justice that’s nothing but enjoyable.

F O R W O M E N ( A N D M E N )

  • Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
    Asked by her friend for advice on how to raise a strong woman, this is Adiche’s response in 15 invaluable suggestions.
  • The Mother of All Questions, Men Explain Things to Me, and Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit
    Read anything and everything by Rebecca Solnit. Her words are powerful, elegant, and perfectly placed. Her essays have a way of saying things exactly how you’ve been meaning to say them but never could.
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
    How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Thought leader Brene Brown is a must read author.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    What if the world were increasingly sterile, and women were kept as, essentially, reproductive slaves? Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once satire, warning, and a tour de force.

S . T . E . M .

  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
    What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit? There’s no better guide through these mind-bending questions than Tyson.
  • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
    Exactly what it sounds like, and thoroughly enjoyable. It teaches us about who we are through the fundamentals of physics.
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this is book about the future of our world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes.
  • How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
    A math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands.

F O R T H E H I S T O R I A N

  • One Summer: American, 1927 by Bill Bryson
    Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic, Babe Ruth closed the home run record, Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole for twelve days, and in Chicago Al Capone was tightening his grip on bootlegging, and much, much more.
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
    Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories. A great historical fiction story for the YA audience and beyond.
  • The Nix by Nathan Hill
    A man’s estranged mother comes back into his life in an unexpected way launching a journey through different lives and different times (Chicago in the 1970’s) for one amazing story. Rumor has it it’s being made into a Netflix film starring Meryl Streep.
  • Belonging by Nora Krug
    A visually stunning graphic memoir telling the story of Krug’s attempt to confront the hidden truths of her family’s wartime past in Nazi Germany and comprehend the forces that have shaped her life, her generation, and history.

We hope you found what you were looking for, happy shopping!

Loving Elvis Babbit

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (our November selection) has flown somewhat under the radar. I’d not heard much about it until voting on what to read for Bookly in 2018, and I feel like that’s somewhat the norm. Not many have heard too much about this one, but those who have seem to have really enjoyed it.

It’s the story of Elvis Babbit and her family after her mother’s drowning during a routine sleep swimming episodes. Survived by 11-year-old Elvis, her sister, and her dad, the family goes down an odd path of grief involving world record baking, talking birds, seashell jesus sculptures, zoological metaphors, and more sleep-driven chaos. For all its quirks, Elvis, the Babbit family narrator, brings a bright and young perspective of hope to her family’s tragedy. Her voice was entirely unique and a pleasure to read.

I will say, this is the type of book/story that isn’t usually my first choice. A character-driven family drama where nothing much happens except a quirky familial arc. However, Harnett didn’t drag it along. The pacing and length were just enough to say what needed to be said. The writing was enjoyable. And Elvis was absolutely my favorite part of it all. Beyond that, this book is hard to describe. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. But I will say, if you liked any of these books*…

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
(*family dramas as told by an young, endearing female protagonist)

… you’ll most likely enjoy Rabbit Cake (and vice versa). Now, on to the next!

 

 

December + January Book

The new year calls for us to learn something new. Our selection this time of year is always a nonfiction book that encourages its readers to see things in a new light. That’s exactly why we’ve chosen Angela Y. Davis‘ early 1980’s classic Women, Race and Class.

Image result for angela davis

After watching Ava DuVernay’s award-winning Netflix documentary 13th (WATCH THIS if you haven’t already), which features a strong presence by Davis, we were inspired to add her keystone work to our list. Davis is a prominent activist who was thrust into the spotlight in 1970 when she was labeled a “terrorist” by President Reagan for a loose connection to the crimes of Jonathan Jackson.  Although one can assume her only “crime” was an association with the Communist Party, Black Panther Party, and Civil Rights Movement. Ultimately she was found not guilty by an all-white jury. Davis later went on to use her strength and intellect on speaking tours, further political activism, and professorships at esteemed universities.

She’s led (and is leading) a critical and fascinating life with a deep well of conviction. Overcoming societal prejudices against her race, gender and sexuality, she’s worked tirelessly for what she believes in. Women, Race and Class is her examination of the Women’s liberation movement in America and how it has always been caged by the racist and classist biases of our leaders. Even a glance the table of contents proves how much we have to learn from this book…

1. The Legacy of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood
2. The Anti-Slavery Movement and the Birth of Women’s Rights
3. Class and Race in the Early Women’s Rights Campaign
4. Racism in the Woman Suffrage Movement
5. The Meaning of Emancipation According to Black Women
6. Education and Liberation: Black Women’s Perspective
7. Woman Suffrage at the Turn of the Century: The Rising Influence of Racism
8. Black Women and the Club Movement
9. Working Women, Black Women, and the History of the Suffrage Movement
10. Communist Women
11. Rape, Racism and the Myth of the Black Rapist
12. Racism, Birth control and Reproductive Rights
13. The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework: A Working-class Perspective

We can’t wait to read this nonfiction classic! No doubt we will learn a lot, and it’s our hope you’ll learn along with us. To be a member of The Bookly Club all you have to do is read this selection sometime in December or January. That’s it! If you’d like to take it a step further, please share here any thoughts and comments, or on social media using #booklymark. We’re excited to hear from you!

“Davis’s work deserves a wide readership… She has compiled much useful information not easily obtained elsewhere.”
The Nation

“She places in context the often acrimonious debate over the whiteness and elitism of feminism.”
Washington Post Book World

“A unique contribution to the growing body of literature on women in the United States… Davis’s masterful analysis leaves us with the confidence that we can understand history and, therefore, are not condemned to repeat it. Women, Race & Class makes an outstanding contribution to this endeavor.”
Freedomways

November Book

Road trips, shopping, cooking, dishes, gathering around the dinner table, eating, eating, eating – this month hosts a lot of time with family. A lot. And so does this month’s book. Rabbit Cake is a debut novel by Annie Hartnett (released March, 2017). IMG_1086Listed as one of Kirkus Reviews’ best books of 2017, it’s the story of Elvis Babbit, and family, after her mother’s suspicious sleep-swimming drowning.Her mother is survived by Elvis, her sister Lizzie (a sleep eater), and her father. As told from the perspective of 12-year-old Elvis, we start to see under the many layers of the Babbit family’s dirty laundry. But there are things yet to be uncovered. There are a few things that don’t seem right to Elvis, so she begins looking into the details of her mother’s life and death.

Written with a very original, charmingly young voice, you feel like you’re experiencing all the nitches of this bizarre family through the eyes of Elvis Babbit.


“Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.”


So if you’re with us, and would like to meet a new family entirely weird in their own right, read Rabbit Cake with us this month! How? Read at your own pace, sometime this month, and then chime in with any thoughts or pictures here with comments or on our Instagram.

Special Review: The Hiding Place

While doing some light research on our October book (The Chalk Man) and its author C.J. Tudor I read that she has a second book coming out this winter. So I took a chance and asked for an early copy to review along with The Chalk ManTHANK YOU to Crown Publishing for sending along the advance copy of Tudor’s next thriller The Hiding Place! It did not disappoint.

Not all four of us read it, just me, Katherine C. Although you can bet I’ll be recommending it to all of our Bookly Katherines as soon as it’s released.

SYNOPSIS

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.

In the beginning I was a bit turned off by all the similarities to The Chalk Man: a male protagonist with a failing career in education and a closeted drinking problem rehashing the sins of childhood friendships in his hometown. But in reading these two back to back I was bound to recognize each and every overlap. It didn’t take long before I was totally wrapt in the evil mysteries of The Hiding Place.

This book made The Chalk Man feel like a dress rehearsal. And the main show is not to be missed! Tudor’s writing felt more confident, it accelerated at just the right pace, the town—a character all its own—haunted you from every page, the characters were full and flawed, and yet again Tudor delivered some excellent twists and turns. I felt like I could see the town, I could feel the “creeping cold” that stalked Joe around every corner, and in the end it was truly scary. Although a bit more predictable than The Chalk Man, I liked this second book even more. It had everything I want in a spooky thriller; like an insidious Goonies meets the best of Tana French suspense mixed with that rare Stephen King surrealism, and of course twists and turns that keep you guessing like only Tudor can create.

So, if that sounds good to you order your copy of The Hiding Place as soon as you can (coming out February 2019)!