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Bit by the Bookworm: My Top Book Recommendations

Reading has slowly become one of my favorite pastimes over the years. As I have gotten older, I have appreciated reading books as each story unfolds with the flip of each page. In case any of you want to get into reading, here are my top five book recommendations from dramas to thrillers.

Starting with my favorite read of the year is “All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir. As someone who rarely cries while reading, this novel moved me to a point where I felt a genuine connection with the characters. Time jumping between the past and present from Pakistan to Juniper, California, this inspiring story centers around the relationship between Noor and Sal, Pakistani-American best friends who have no choice but to lean on each other after a devastating loss upsets both of their worlds. With all odds stacked against them, this journey seamlessly captures the story of two young people grappling with tragedy and trying to find their place in the world. “All My Rage” is a novel that should be savored and read slowly to fully absorb the compelling emotions that ooze from each page.

“Yellow Wife” by Sadeqa Jackson is an underrated tale of a slave woman who was promised freedom come her 18th birthday. With a tragic turn of events, she was sold into slavery and thrust into marriage with her jailer where she is forcibly subject to his cruel ways and tortuous tendencies. Just under 300 pages, the story of Pheby Delores Brown chronicles her journey from living on a plantation in Charles City, VA, spending her days as a sheltered slave to enduring tribulations at the Devil’s Half Acre, a place where slaves are known to become permanently broken. To survive, Pheby bands with the other slaves to outwit her treacherous husband in an attempt to find their way to freedom.

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fiction novel purely based on vibes. Set in 1983 Malibu, the book focuses on an epic end-of-summer party hosted by the four Riva siblings, children of the iconic singer Mick Riva. There’s the oldest Nina, who is a beloved supermodel and surfer trying to make her struggling marriage work; Jay, a champion surfer; Hud, a sought-after photographer; and their baby sister, Kit. As children of a famous musician, their lives weren’t always filled with glamour as family secrets will be revealed as their mansion party approaches. While this book may not have a hardcore plot, it dives into almost every character’s personality and why they turned out the way they did. If you are a fan of Jenkins Reid, then you may find some familiar characters from the TJR universe throughout the book as well.

Switching over to psychological thrillers, “The Housemaid” by Freida McFadden is a twisty suspense about Millie, a young woman who takes a job working as a housemaid for a wealthy family and lives in the attic of their mansion. While this seems like a fair arrangement, there is a slight red flag: the door only locks from the outside. As Millie learns more about her employers, she soon realizes the cracks in this “perfect” family as she becomes more intrigued with their lifestyle. Thanks to short chapters and secrets unfolding on every page, I finished this book within 24 hours. “The Housemaid” is filled with unexpected turns leading to the ultimate plot twist.

Lastly, “The Kind Worth Killing” by Peter Swanson is another psychological thriller with a satisfying ending. This book is told from three perspectives where each chapter unveils a secret more tantalizing than the next. After meeting Lily at the airport and having a bit too much to drink, Ted and his newfound friend conspire to kill his wife, Miranda after discovering she had an affair. While the two plan to take Miranda out for good, Lily is hiding more than she is willing to admit. As a lover of mystery and suspense, I am often disappointed with endings. However, “A Kind Worth Killing” serves the most delicious ending that left my jaw on the floor.


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