What I Read This Week: April 17, 2022

Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

This week I finished four books, here’s a look at them.

Cultish by Amanda Montell


Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book is so interesting, I didn’t want it to end. That’s saying something for a non-fiction read! Yes this book is about cults, but what it’s truly about is language. Montell explores the language cults use and why it works on getting members to stick around. It may seem far fetched to say Cross Fit or Mary Kay is a cult, but once you learn about the ways they use language, it makes sense. And of course, not all cults are created equal. This is something the author stresses from the start. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. She kept the material engaging and the pacing was perfect. I highly recommend this one for those interested in cults and/or language.

Island Time by Georgia Clark

Contemporary romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication June 14, 2022 This wasn’t a bad book but it was a bit of a slog. It feels like it could have used at least one more round of edits. It could be at least 50 pages shorter, there’s a lot of detail and some of it is repetitive. With that being said, it’s a fun story. A large family takes a vacation together and get stranded on the island for six weeks. There are a lot of characters and they each have a story arc, this isn’t a traditional straight forward romance, it’s an ensemble story. I loved the vivid descriptions fo the Australian scenery and animals. I also enjoyed how all the characters interacted with each other. There’s some good humor throughout. I recommend this one for readers of ensemble stories and rom-coms.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Available on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve read several memoirs about life in polygamist sects, and they shock me every time. Ruth’s story is particularly brutal because it focuses on her childhood in such a sect and what life was like for her and her siblings. The writing is strong and straightforward. I appreciate that she told things like they are and didn’t embellish. I read memoir because I believe it’s important to witness people telling difficult stories. This one was hard to read at times, there are descriptions of child abuse, neglect, sexual molestation, and deaths. A few of the scenes made me flinch but I never wanted to stop listening because I wanted to know how Ruth survived. I highly recommend this for readers of memoir.

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Contemporary romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a charming story about two people whose paths cross over and over again until they finally end up together. The timeline alternates between present day and previous New Years Eves. It was compelling, seeing the past and present come together, I had a hard time putting the book down when I needed to! Quinn and Minnie are great characters. I appreciate that they each had a personal journey as well as their one to a couple. This book is about learning to put yourself first over a romantic partner. While it’s light at times, there’s quite a bit of heaviness as well including anxiety and agoraphobia. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance.

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