August was a good reading month for me. I read a few thrillers, a true crime book, some memoirs, and a historical fiction novel based on a true story.
As always, if you want to stay up to date on what I’m reading currently, make sure to follow my bookstagram account!
Here’s what I read in August.
The Diamond Eye
A tale of a quiet bookworm turned sniper based on a true story.
“In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper—a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.
Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC—until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.”
I really enjoyed this book! It kept my attention to the end and I love that it’s based on an actual true story. Very inspiring and captivating.
The Housemaid is a psychological thriller set in the lush suburbs where no one knows what truly goes on behind the doors.
Fresh out of prison, Millie lands a job as a housemaid for the wealthy Winchesters, whose secrets are far more dangerous than her own.
This book is a page-turner with lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end. I really enjoyed this book, but I wouldn’t recommend reading it right before bed unless you like having scary dreams.
Good Morning, Monster
“People who don’t feel pain can’t feel joy.”
“In the long run, shame always outlives physical pain. “Anyone who thinks of a shameful memory will experience it at least as vividly as when they had the original experience,”
“I was beginning to see that it didn’t matter at all if I knew what was wrong with a client. The art of therapy is getting the client to see it.”
“Our unconscious needs are strong—so strong that they can overwhelm us. We all desperately want to be loved.”
“Love means vulnerability; people who love you can also hurt you. Making oneself vulnerable is the ultimate in bravery.”
This book, written by therapist Catherine Gildiner, presents the stories of 5 of her most heroic and memorable patients from her decades of work.
Each story has their own hardships to face, each one compelling and heart wrenching. I read this book in a day and half and couldn’t put it down. Definitely one of my favorites books of the year so far. I highly recommend if you’re looking for stories of human resiliency despite all odds.
This heartfelt memoir is about love, loss, and choice in death.
When Amy Bloom’s husband Brian started showing signs of Alzheimers, he knew he didn’t want to wait around for the long slow fade of death and memory loss. Brian was determined to die on his feet, not his knees.
Together they explored his end of life options and landed on Dignitas, an organization based in Switzerland that empowers a person to end their own life with dignity and peace.
This memoir explores what it means to have a terminal illness from which there is no escape, except to choose to end your life. Amy and Brian navigate this together as his memory fades and as the world starts changing right before the COVID-19 pandemic hits.
This is a powerful book that is as agonizing as it is beautiful.
The Overnight Guest
A true crime writer retreats to the woods to finish her new book. She lands in a cozy farmhouse where two decades later, in this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood, and two teenagers disappear without a trace.
As the storm worsens, Wylie finds a child in the snow. She brings him inside, but as the night progresses, she realizes the farmhouse is not as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The twists and turns throughout kept me captivated ’til the end. This story of murder, tragedy and the resiliency of the female spirit is gripping and well written.
“It is the ability to accept that which cannot be changed or fixed that allows us to start mourning. That permission to grieve for our losses and faults, as well as for our parents’, can access with life and welcomes the birth of new possibilities.”
“ The growing ability to integrate and process pain helps us find meaning, heal, live life to the fullest, and raise the next generation with honesty and integrity.”
“Trauma is transmitted through our minds and through our bodies, but so are resilience and healing.”
“The next generations carry not only the despair of the past, but also hope, because their mere existence is evidence that their family survived and that a future is possible.”
This book was a powerful read. This book sheds light on how generational trauma can affect our lives through personal stories and decades of research.
“The people we love and those who raised us live inside us; we experience their emotional pain, we dream their memories, and these things shape our lives in ways we don’t always recognize. Emotional Inheritance is about family secrets that keep us from living to our full potential, create gaps between what we want for ourselves and what we are able to have, and haunt us like ghosts.”
Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases
This book is a memoir written by detective Paul Holes that details his time in law enforcement and how he ended up finding the Golden State Killer.
“Crime solving for me is more complex than the challenge of the hunt, or the process of piecing together a scientific puzzle. The thought of good people suffering drives me, for better or worse, to the point of obsession. People always ask how I am able to detach from the horrors of my work. Part of it is an innate capacity to compartmentalize; the rest is experience and exposure, and I’ve had plenty of both. But I have always taken pride in the fact that I can keep my feelings locked up to get the job done. It’s only been recently that it feels like all that suppressed darkness is beginning to seep out.”
If you’re a true crime fan, this book is for you! I thoroughly enjoyed this read. 4/5 #wilderbookclub
Sworn to Silence
Set in the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and English residents live side by side. But 16 years ago, a series of brutal murders terrified the community and shattered families. Now the killer appears to be back and chief of police Kate Burkholder is on the case. She’s determined to stop the killer but risks exposing a dark secret tied to the murders that could destroy her.
This is my second Linda Castillo book and I enjoyed it! I didn’t guess who it was until the end.
“Reality is broken.
At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.
In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth—and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . . and the tools for fighting back.
Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy—before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos.”
I absolutely loved Blake’s book “Dark Matter” so I decided to pick up his recent book “Recursion”. I enjoyed the book up until about 80% of the way through. It started to get repetitive. But the first 3/4s of the book was really captivating.