How dreamy is this Hampton's themed dinner party we threw on Saturday night, to celebrate 2 years of book club, and Booksparks 'The Dinner List' by Rebecca Serle. As a Booksparks ambassador, I loved the idea of throwing a dinner party in celebration of FRC 2018 (Fall Reading Challenge). The lovely Mariah Millie joined for her first book club, and it was a full house. 10 Vancouver women with one thing in common - amazing, unputdownable, page-turning books. Mariah captures the best candid photos, and this dinner was no exception. The Dinner List discussion included what 5 people, dead or living, you would invite to a dinner party. The top selections included Sara and Erin Foster (comic relief), Tom Hardy (for obvious reasons), Mindy Kaling (mother, author, comedian, and actress!), Oprah (it would be rude not to), Jesus Christ (has the answers to all my questions), and Chrissy Teigen (because hello...have you seen her twitter account?). The girls loved the book, leaving most with tears at the end. Who would you invite if you had the opportunity? Synopsis of The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle below.
“People in relationships are either flowers or gardeners. Two flowers shouldn't partner; they need someone to support them, to help them grow. ..... There are flowers and gardeners. Flowers bloom; gardeners tend. Two flowers, no tending everything dies.”
"“I had to dim my light. It was not an easy thing to be married to a celebrity. But it's also not an easy thing to be married to darkness. Eventually I dimmed so far I extinguished”"
Synopsis from Goodreads:
We’ve been waiting for an hour. That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed.
At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends within her utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day,and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.
When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.
Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.
It is super rare for me to give a psychological thriller 4.5 stars, but this one was incredible, and I devoured it in one sitting. This one is a one-more-chapter-will-be-late-for-work, stay-up-all night experience. Electrifying, heart-stopping, and it gave me all the chills! You really ask yourself the whole time, "What would I do if this was my child?" This super twisty thriller had all my boxes ticked - terrifying child character, secrets, lies, and suspense. I really hope this one graces the big screen. I did not see the ending coming, and thoroughly enjoyed the different POV's. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read this one!
Description from Goodreads:
When Clara's boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he's left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he's been kidnapped. Then Luke's older sister, Emma, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.
Emma wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened--even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke's mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected.
You know 'those' books...the ones that stay with you long after the last page. The ones that shocked you, forced you to re-read sections, played with your mind, and made you question everything you read and interpreted as fact? Those...are my favourite books! It's hard to find stand-out plot lines like this, with unreliable narrators, but I've compiled a list of my favourites, and look forward to reading your comments. If I've missed one of your favourites, let me know!
1. sometimes i lie by alice feeney
2. the lies we told by camilla way
3. behind her eyes by sarah pinborough
4. the thirteenth tale by diane setterfield
All children mythologize their birth...So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.
The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself -- all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.
As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.
Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.
5. dangerous girls by abigail haas
6. every single secret by emily carpenter
“A true psychological thriller that will leave you breathless.” —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten andEmma in the Night
Emotionally guarded Daphne Amos always believed she’d found a kindred spirit in her fiancé, Heath. Both very private people, they’ve kept their pasts hidden from the world, and each other, until Heath’s escalating nightmares begin to put an undeniable strain on their relationship. Determined to give their impending marriage the best chance of succeeding, Heath insists that Daphne join him on a seven-day retreat with Dr. Matthew Cerny, a psychologist celebrated for getting to the root of repressed memories. Daphne reluctantly agrees—even though the past is the last place she wants to go.
The retreat’s isolated and forbidding location increases her unease, as do the doctor’s rules: they must relinquish their keys and phones, they’ll be monitored at all hours by hidden cameras, and they’re never to socialize with the other guests.
One sleepless night, Daphne decides to leave her room…and only then does she realize that the institute is not at all what it seems—and that whatever’s crying out from Heath’s past isn’t meant to be heard. It’s meant to be silenced.
7. pretty girls by karin slaughter
Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.
More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.
Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.
8. gone girl by gillian flynn
9. we were liars by e. lockhart
10. the good daughter by karin slaughter
A couple years ago I read He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker, and I was blown away by the complexity of the plot. I was just getting back into reading, so naturally I veered toward psychological thrillers that packed a punch. I read a lot of books, and oftentimes I find myself desperately trying to remember details of a book or characters names when discussing them with a friend, however this book stayed with me long after the final page. When I received an Advanced Reader Copy in the mail this month, compliments of Simon & Schuster, I was so excited to see KA Tucker's name as the author, however the description was the polar opposite of the thriller genre I had attached to her name. I put off reading it, as I'm not one to read about nature, romance, and slow-moving family dramas. Finally, as August approached, I tackled this large book, and was pleasantly surprised. This book is full of heart, and has a shocking 4.5 rating on Goodreads (which is rare!). The characters are relatable, the conflicting emotions grab you, and I promise that you will fall in love with the relationships in this story. Get ready to be transported to rural Alaska, on an emotional journey that will pull at your heart strings, and have you rooting for this unlikely relationship till the bitter end.
Description from Goodreads:
Calla Fletcher wasn't even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.
She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.
Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.
Photographing books, one day at a time.