• hollyrutchik

OverBOOKed December 2019

Too busy to read? Studies show those who read live longer and are smarter! Carve out some time in your busy schedule for some SHELFcare. We’ve curated a list for those who don’t have time to pick a book!

Girls’ Night Out By Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

If you’re in the mood for: female friendship, a thriller, aggressive (and passive-aggressive) hostility, suspense

How well do we know our best friends? Girls’ Night Out is a passport of the twists and turns in a girls’ trip to Mexico gone very wrong. After an evening of too many disagreements and drinks, two friends must search for the third when she goes missing.

Last summer, while riding an elevator in Chicago, I secured an invitation to the rooftop launch party for this book. The party (like the book) was a testament to how well Fenton and Steinke (real-life BFFs) understand female friendship. Girls’ Night Out is the latest in suspense from a trusted team that knows how to create not only a girls’ night out, but a great “girl’s night in” reading.


The Incendiaries

By R. O. Kwon

If you’re in the mood for: a campus novel, spiritual seeking, examining the best and worst of humanity

On the campus of their venerable university, misfit Will meets grieving Phoebe. Will loves Phoebe, but she harbors guilt over the death of her mother. Meanwhile, the vulnerable Phoebe finds solace in a religious cult. When the cult commits an act of violence, claiming lives, Phoebe disappears.

Told from Will’s point of view, The Incendiaries guides the reader through the aftermath of violence in the name of faith – but through the lens of Will’s love. He questions Phoebe’s ability to be involved in something so horrific and his ability to love someone capable of being caught up in an act of terrorism.

K. O. Kwon’s debut has been named a best book of the year by dozens of publications. The Incendiaries challenges the reader to question what the actions of those we love says about ourselves.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine By Gail Honey

If you’re in the mood for: human connection, everyday heroes, loners/nerds, deadpan/dry humor

Blunt, quirky and socially awkward Eleanor is a creature of habit. Her life is ho-hum, and she’s okay with that—until she meets Raymond, a co-worker who needs a shower. These two meet the elderly Sammy after he falls on the sidewalk. The three become loners together and inadvertently help one another to heal the unresolved hurts and traumas that feed their isolation tendencies.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine celebrates how a chance encounter with a stranger creates the unlikely friendship of these refreshing characters, giving hope to all the oddballs and loners that they too will someday find their people.


There There By Tommy Orange

If you’re in the mood for: sacrifice, Native-American experience, honor, quest Winner of an American Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, There There is the journey of twelve people to the Big Oakland Powwow. Orange uses the stories of each character as individual threads and masterfully weaves them together into a beautiful tapestry, shining a light on the urban Native American experience (both current and historical). There There is a slow, warm burn of a book to be savored. Long after they finish reading it, the reader will still be reflecting on it.


My Friend Anna – The True Story of a Fake Heiress By Rachel DeLoache Williams

If you’re in the mood for: true-crime, entitled socialites, deception, a guilty pleasure page-turner

Recently optioned for a Netflix show, produced by Shonda Rhimes

Rachel, a Vanity Fair photo editor, is befriended by Anna, a German heiress. There’s just one problem: Anna’s a con-artist.

The fashion, restaurants and hot spots of New York City are the setting of this captivating true crime story, which is an expansion on the 2018 Vanity Fair expose (also penned by Williams). My Friend Anna shows how easily Rachel is seduced by her rich new friend. Anna’s increasingly rude behavior leaves Rachel questioning their friendship, and herself. It all starts to unravel when Anna takes Rachel on an all-expense paid vacation to Morocco that ends with Rachel paying for the whole thing. My Friend Anna’s second half is “unputdownable” as Rachel tries to recoup nearly $70,000—to no avail.

This book is perfect for anyone who’s ever questioned the intentions of that friend who always conveniently forgets their debit card. It’s sure to lead to lively book club discussions (especially if that friend you’re always buying lunch for is in your book club). My Friend Anna had me considering the things we put up with in the name of friendship – and the things my friends put up with in me.

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