It’s a good time to read a gripping book: The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and it’ll be hard to maintain a decent library when climate change puts us all underwater. So here are a few page-turners that got me through the past week.
You know things are bleak when a book about a teenage girl kidnapped and held captive in the mountains is a welcome reprieve from the real world. Johnston’s novel is an exercise in suspense, and the last 100 pages will have you reading well into the night. It also has the added benefit of being beautifully written; the prose is accessible enough to let you fly through the pages, but sophisticated enough to eliminate any guilt in the guilty pleasure you feel doing it. [3 papercuts]
BIG LITTLE LIES
Liane Moriarty’s books are fun to read, though moderately embarrassing to read on the subway (those covers), which is why I usually inhale them in a single sitting on a Sunday when I’m hung over enough to feel remorseless about spending the entire day immobilized on the couch. (If this sounds pathetic/in my defense: I’ve only read two Liane Moriarty books.) Big Little Lies—the HBO miniseries premieres in February—is about the goings-on at an upper-crust elementary school whose parents’ trivia night has ended in, gasp, murder. While this book is very much a sendup of helicopter parents and the over-serious rearing of 5-year-olds, it also has a surprising amount of depth. Moriarty does not shy from meshing humor with some serious shit, which makes it even more impressive that she’s also slipped in some great twists. I liked this book way more than I expected to. [3 papercuts]
If Mean Girls had a baby with The Crucible, that would be The Fever. It was perfectly distracting, and the second I finished I forgot everything about it. [2 papercuts]