Books of Interest Part 10: 2024 Winter Reading Recommendations
For the past few years, we have curated a list of our employees’ favorite reads. We are excited to be back again with Part Ten of our “Books of Interest” recommendations list. If you are looking to be captivated by a story or have already binged your way through your streaming watch list, here is a list of 9 books recommended by our employees.
To check out even more recommendations, here are parts 1-9 of our Books of Interest blog posts: Books of Interest Archives | Stillman 2 Cents
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
This book is a strange work of fantasy that takes place in a world that is an infinitely large house with many floors and wings. The story starts with Piranesi working with the one other inhabitant of this world to try to uncover a secret magic, but slowly he begins to realize not everything is as it seems. The writing is wonderful, and the story is unique and interesting. It’s a light read with some deep moments that center around what it means to be present in the world.
– Recommended by: Keith A.
The Housemaid by Frieda McFadden
If you like psychological thriller books – this is the one for you! It twists…it turns…and keeps you guessing.
Millie has a criminal past. She is trying to find a job and get back on track with her life. Despite her background, she is hired by Nina Winchester as a live-in housekeeper for her rich family. Millie moves in and is given a tiny room in the attic that only locks from the outside and has a window that is painted shut. But heck – that is better than living in a car…and the money is good.
Millie cooks and cleans for Nina who is very high-strung and unpredictable. Nina creates huge messes in the home and yells at Mille to clean them up. Millie also helps take care of her spoiled bratty child, Cecelia. The only tolerable member of the family is Nina’s husband Andrew. He tries to act as the buffer between his wife and daughter. Millie finds out that Nina has been in a psychiatric hospital for being depressed and delusional when Cecelia was a baby. The landscaper, Enzo, tries to subtly warn Mille that there is “danger” but can’t go into detail as he speaks very little English.
The story progresses and ends up with Millie worrying that she will be arrested after a dead body is found in the home. Who is dead? Who did it? Why did they do it? Secrets can be very dangerous. This is an excellent book that keeps you guessing!
I also read “The Housemaid’s Secret” which is the sequel and equally as good. Next on my list is “The Housemaid is Watching”!
– Recommended by: Wendy S.
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz
Captain James Cook was arguably the greatest of the European explorers. He was the first European to explore the South Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. He charted the Pacific from Antarctica to Alaska and completed the globe we know today. In this book, the author returns to the locations explored by Captain Cook, such as Tonga and Tahiti, and finds how his travels affected the modern world.
– Recommended by: Chris L.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
– Recommended by: Sarah D.
The Followers by Bradeigh Godfrey
Molly Sullivan is used to sharing intimate details of her life with millions of followers. A thirty-one-year-old single mom, she has built a career out of fearless posts about parenthood and dating. But when Molly shares a photo of her new fiancé, Scott, she is shocked by his negative reaction. For the sake of their relationship, Molly agrees to remove the post and keep Scott and his ten-year-old daughter out of her social media spotlight.
But it’s too late, someone has already recognized him. Liv Barrett is certain Scott’s the man who killed her sister and disappeared with her infant niece nine years ago. The police don’t believe her, so Liv takes matters into her own hands. After driving cross-country to Molly’s town, Liv uses her social media posts to orchestrate “accidental” meetings, slowly gaining Molly’s trust. Meanwhile, newlywed Molly begins to unpack boxes in her new home and discovers her husband has been lying about his past. While Molly and Liv uncover secrets that have been buried deep for almost a decade, they have no idea that someone else saw the photo of Scott—someone who poses a threat more dangerous than either of them can imagine. Someone who is watching them from the shadows.
– Recommended by: Jennifer K.
Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter by Reia
After, her passing, a woman becomes the main antagonist of a game she once played. Her engagement to the prince is ended and she retreats to her family’s duchy. Using her knowledge of economics, she begins to reform and advance her territory, while war may be brewing, and her opponents continue to try and stop her. This is a 5-part novel series, with the volumes after 5 containing a prequel story.
– Recommended by: Dakota B.
The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen
Former spy Maggie Bird came to the seaside village of Purity, Maine, eager to put the past behind her after a mission went tragically wrong. These days, she’s living quietly on her chicken farm, still wary of blowback from the events that forced her early retirement.
But when a body turns up in Maggie’s driveway, she knows it’s a message from former foes who haven’t forgotten her. Maggie turns to her local circle of old friends–all retirees from the CIA–to help uncover the truth about who is trying to kill her, and why. This “Martini Club” of former spies may be retired, but they still have a few useful skills that they’re eager to use again, if only to spice up their rather sedate new lives.
– Recommended by: Cristy M.
It Ends With Us & It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
“It Ends With Us” is about a young woman who comes from an abusive home and struggles to find her place in the world. The novel explores the complexity of love and abuse, and it is a 2-book series. The second book is called “It Starts With Us” and is about the difficulty of escaping abuse cycles and reveals the power of love and community when healing. This series was nominated for the 2022 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance and named Book of the Year for 2022 by W.H. Smith
– Recommended by: Sara M.