My Girlish Whims Book Club #13

I've been reading some great books lately! I got to do a little more reading than normal this past month because I went on a quick weekend trip to Nashville and plane rides always force me to read more.


This was my second trip to Nashville (you can read all about my first trip here!) and I just love that little town so much.  There is such great music, food, and so many friendly people all around! I flew out on a Friday evening and came back Monday evening so it was a short trip, but we packed a lot into our time there. Now that I'm back home though I'm in full on Christmas mode! We went to get our Christmas tree this weekend and it gave the perfect ambiance to finish my first Christmas book of the season in front of this morning.


This was the book we are reading for my in person book club this month, and I'm looking forward to discussing it at our Christmas party next week! We are having a party on the weekend instead of our normal dinner/drinks on a weeknight and I'm really excited for it: I bought eight gingerbread house kits to have a gingerbread house decorating competition, and I'm pretty pumped to try and deck my house out the best haha. I'll be sure to share some pictures on my next book post.

Here are the rest of the books I've read recently!

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The President is Missing

By Bill Clinton & James Patterson. Synopsis from Amazon:

The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view . . .

Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.

I don’t read many political style books, but I was very intrigued when this book came out since it is written  by such a famous author AND co-authored by an ex US president as well.  I REALLY enjoyed this book! There was a TON of action in the book and I read the book very quickly because I was dying to know what would happen next.  Most of the book’s drama takes course over only about a 48 hour period, so the constant action reminded me of the TV show “24” that used to be on back in the day (which I was obsessed with) which was shot and played out in real time over 24 hours.  The main character of this book is the President, and he was a very likeable guy.  I feel like the media always focuses on so many negatives of current presidents, (which took place in the media of this book too) but it was really nice to actually be able to follow along the story line with a President that truly was a good guy just trying to save America.  The book focused mainly on the drama of the president trying to save America from a cyber-attack, but it did get into politics towards the end of the story.  Regardless of your views on any of the topics it brings up at the end of the novel, I appreciated the overarching motif that too much “politics” and fighting between different political parties can prevent actual work being done and progress being made in America.

Rich People Problems

By Kevin Kwan. Synopsis from Amazon: 

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he's not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park—a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore—Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage. As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband—a man hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, billionaire Jack Bing, still feels second best next to her new step-daughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan's hilarious, gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia's most privileged families and their rich people problems.

The third and final book of the Crazy Rich Asians series was just as enjoyable as the rest of the books in  this trilogy, and I was sad to come to the end of the series! If you’ve read the other two books, you just have to read the final book as well.  And if you haven’t read any yet – what are you waiting for??? Kevin Kwan’s humor is literally LOL worthy and all of these books have brought a smile to my face or made me giggle multiple times while reading them.   Each book has its own main plot and story line that it works through, but it still revisits most of the same characters in each book and we get to follow along their growth and struggles in each new story line. This entire trilogy has been some of my favorite books I have read this year and I'm so excited to watch the movie now that it's finally out on Redbox!

Bird Box

By Josh Malerman. Synopsis from Amazon:

Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.
Something is out there . . .
Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?
Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?
Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

This book was a BIG HIT for me and I read it really really fast. It was the perfect level of creepy: enough scare that the first night that I started the book home alone right before bed I got a liiiiitle spooked…but not creepy enough to keep me up all night fearing that I was going to be eaten by demons or something like that.  There was a good amount of suspense in this book and it alternated telling the story in present day and past tense to give background to how Malorie has arrived to where she is now which really kept the book moving and interesting.  There was one section of the book where the drama built up soooo much that I literally was holding my breath as I followed along the storyline to see what would happen, as if that would help Malorie make it out ok.  If you want an interesting, suspenseful, and little bit of a scary read, you MUST add this to your list!

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

By Agatha Christie. Synopsis from Amazon:

In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder—and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case.
Christmas Eve, and the Lee family’s reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture and a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed.
When Hercule Poirot offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man

I've only ever read one Agatha Christie novel before this one (one of her most famous ones - And Then There Were None) and I really enjoyed this one!  I wanted to find a Christmas themed book for our December book club meet up, but I really didn't want to read some kind of "Hallmark Christmas Movie" style book with a predictable or cliché story line. This book is about a murder that takes place on Christmas Eve and the bulk of the story takes place on both Christmas day and eve.  It was nice having the Christmas backdrop to the story, but really the book was all about the murder and Hercule Poirot trying to figure out who the murderer was.  The entire Lee family was gathered at their father's home for Christmas and I will admit it was a little confusing for me to keep some of the character's and their wives straight at some points in the story, but overall I found the book really interesting.  I had no idea who the murderer could have been, and I was so surprised by the ending! The writing style of Christie is (obviously) amazing (she is one of the most published authors ever!) and I really want to read some more of her novels now.

Four more books down, now onto my next set! Let me know if you have any recommendations for what I should read next!

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