The Housekeeper and other books lately

I hate to admit it, but I’m in a reading funk. I have boxes and baskets of new books to read, and I’m just kind of meh about the whole thing. But, not reading would be like refusing to brush my teeth… impossible. I’ve finished six books this month, and despite my lack of wild enthusiasm, I’ve read some pretty good books.

From Suellen Dainty's new novel, The Housekeeper, to the beloved works of Jane Austen, here are some of the books I've read lately.

The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

When a breakup forces Anne to leave her job at a successful restaurant, she becomes the housekeeper for a famous lifestyle blogger and her perfect family. As Anne’s life becomes entwined with the lives of her employers, she struggles to find her place amongst the family’s secrets and her own forgotten past. The Housekeeper is a nuanced family drama that explores what people are willing to do to feel successful and loved. While this isn’t exactly a thriller, the twists and turns of the story kept me reading till the last page.

The Housekeeper was sent to me by BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Jane Austen is my comfort read, and short and clever Northanger Abbey was just what I needed during my reading slump. A satire on Gothic romance, Northanger is an underrated masterpiece that is very different from Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice. When Catherine Morland travels to Bath and befriends brother and sister Henry and Eleanor Tilney, she’s invited to stay with them at their family estate. But, will Catherine’s stay be as horrid and romantic as she hopes? If you’re wary of classic literature, try this movie version, which will tempt you to read the book.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The beginning was great, but then the story headed off in a whole new direction. Purportedly, the novel is about a gifted, female botanist, Alma Whittaker, who inherits her father’s fortune and talent with plants. However, the slow moving story is more of a vehicle for Elizabeth Gilbert to explore naturalism versus spiritualism. It could have been really interesting, but I found it painfully boring and the story forgettable.

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Last year, I won an ARC from First in Line and have just gotten around to reading this. The YA thriller follows Tessa, who returns to Fayette, Pennsylvania after learning her father is dying in prison. But, her return to her former hometown gives Tessa the excuse to dig into her past and search for the truth behind the towns murders and the serial killer she helped put behind bars when she was a child.

Forever Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

In other books I meant to read last year, I finally got around to finishing the Doon series. (See my past reviews here and here.) The first two books were my favorite of the series. The final installment was heavy on fighting and preparation for battle and low on romance. I’m kind of tired of the new girl power movement requiring literary heroines to lead revolutions and fight battles (ahem, The Hunger Games and The Lunar Chronicles). Couldn’t we have a peaceful or at least quick overthrow for once?

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

This was one of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Unputdownable picks, so I had to snap up the Kindle edition when it went on sale. The story is about grief and bullying and wanting to fit in, but it’s sweet and not heavy. For some reason, I just didn’t connect with this book, and while that reason is probably my reading funk, I just felt like the story was missing something. It’s almost a YA version of You’ve Got Mail, but I’m putting the emphasis on the almost.

What are you reading?

P.S. If you want more book recommendations, check out In Such Good Company and other books lately!

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  1. Oh I would like to read The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty sounds pretty interesting. Now I am currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

  2. You always read a lot of books I haven’t heard of… 6 in one month would be a miracle for me! I am lucky if I read 2… but, usually it is 1!! I’ll have to check these books out.


  3. Somany good reads! I would love to read The Housekeeper, better for me without so much suspense, but something on how to fit in. I love Jane Austen, and naturalism x spiritualism (another book, of course) sounds great! Also, Tell me three things sounds great – I wrote about some bullying this week! Hope you have a nice week!

  4. I have books on a wait list at the library. I’m still waiting for them, so I currently am not reading anything. I hope they arrive soon because I feel lost without a book!

  5. Love your book recommendations. Right now I am ready I was Saved by the Bellby Peter Engel, the producer of that show. It is pretty interesting.

  6. The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty sounds GOOD! I love that the main character works for a famous blogger. The Darkest Corners sounds like a page turner. I hope you get out of your reading fun soon Ashley 🙂 Have a great week

  7. I never knew they made a movie version of Northanger Abbey! Must check that out! And yup….don’t really like Elizabeth Gilbert. Could never get through her books for some reason.
    PS Finally read the Divergent epilogue We Can Be Mended! Ugh!
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  8. The Darkest Corner is one I have from last year too. I was excited to read it. But it has ended up waiting to be read.

  9. I’m reading the Housekeeper now! I’m a bit of a slow reader, but so far I’m really enjoying it and have high hopes for the ending (I haven’t even made it to the housekeeping part yet, so obviously we have a ways to go there, lol). That’s a bummer about Elizabeth Gilbert’s book. Is it her latest? I feel as though I remember her talking about it somewhere…
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