If your weather is anything like where I live, then it’s going to be the perfect weekend to curl up under a big blanket with a good book to read. There’s snow on the ground here in Memphis and the temperatures aren’t going to get above freezing tomorrow, so at least for the time being, it looks like my life is going to have that peaceful white backdrop, which is best complimented by staying inside the warm house, and with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, I’m looking forward to a long weekend stuck inside with all my books. My goal for the year, as it has been for the last couple, is to average reading a book per week for 2018, which is 52 books, and as of right now, I’m ahead of pace having finished 7 books. I’ve told you about the first five, so I’m sure you’re all dying to know about the last two books I read this week. You’re in luck because we’re going to talk about them now.
The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks: This is the story of a pushover mother who, finally tired of being stepped on, embarks on a trip back to her hometown with her rebellious daughter so she can confront the girl who bullied her in high school twenty years ago. Unfortunately, her bully wasn’t the only reason for her never wanting to return back home, but now that she’s back, she must confront everything. With her outspoken daughter by her side, encouraging and prodding her along the way, Caroline Jacobs does the things that she needs to do, and gains a new friend as her once tumultuous relationship with her daughter, is given a second chance. From the moment I picked up Matthew Dicks’ book, “Something Missing,” in a used bookstore several years ago, I’ve been captivated by everything he has written, and “The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs” was no exception as I stayed up a lot later than I should have to finish the book on a Tuesday night, because I HAD to find out the ending. If you’re familiar with and enjoy the writing of Matthew Dicks, you will certainly enjoy the story of Caroline Jacobs, and if you aren’t familiar with him, it’s time to do yourself a favor and get acquainted, because he’s quickly rising on my list of favorite writers.
I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll: Imagine you are on a train, and you observe something taking place, like two teenage girls talking and becoming acquainted with two complete strangers who just got out of prison. This is how the book begins. As a mother, she knows that if her son was in a dangerous situation, that she would want a responsible adult to step in or to at least get in touch with her so she could try and intervene, but just as she decides to try and get in touch with the girls’ parents, something happens and causes her to change her mind. The next morning one of the girls is missing, and the guilt at not having tried to help is eating her alive. She tries to do what she can, recounting the story and giving descriptions as best she can, but it seems that it’s too little too late, so like the rest of the country, all she can do is wait, and hope for the best. A year has gone by since the disappearance of the girl, but someone is determined not to let her forget her part in all of it, sending her threatening cards in the mail. Told through several different perspectives, the witness, the friend, and the father of the missing girl, “I am Watching You” is a wild and suspenseful ride filled with lots of guilt and questions about what each of them could have done differently, not just on the night of the disappearance. I’m aware that we are less than two weeks into 2018, but I’m going to go ahead and put this book on my list of best books that I read this year.
You won’t go wrong choosing either of these books, or any of those that I’ve read previously. The important thing is that you find something that you enjoy and read. Winter is here, and there are few things as satisfying as sitting beneath a warm blanket with a mug of hot tea or coffee on the table beside you, and a good book in your hands.