I’ve been a major bookworm for as long as I can remember. Thrillers and mysteries are my go to genre when looking for my next read but I love to branch out and immerse myself in other types like historical fiction, romance, personal growth, autobiographies, and more.
Staying healthy at home during the pandemic has got me dusting off my bookshelf and setting aside books I’ve been meaning to read. Today I’m sharing 24 books I have on my reading list. Most are thrillers but there are quite a few from other genres as well.
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The summaries of each book are from Google Books.
These books on my reading list are in no particular order. Let me know if you’ve read any – I’d love to hear your thoughts!
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
From the New York Times bestselling author: a dazzling WWII epic spanning London, New York and the Bahamas and the most infamous couple of the age, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Lulu Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine whose readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier.
But beneath the glitter of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly – and even treasonous – reality. In the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a handsome scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. When Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, Lulu embarks on a journey to discover the truth behind the crime.
The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of sacrifice, human love and human courage, set against a shocking true crime… and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.
If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
For fans of This Is Us comes a story of a family divided and the secret that can possibly unite them – a life-affirming novel with a twist will break your heart and an ending that will put it together again.
Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child – not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone will never be left in peace for long – and among her island’s guests is an unexpected visitor: the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.
So Circe sets forth her tale, a vivid, mesmerizing epic of family rivalry, love and loss – the defiant, inextinguishable song of woman burning hot and bright through the darkness of a man’s world.
Fair Play by Eve Rodsky
Making lunches, paying bills, remembering birthdays, renewing the car insurance – are you fed up with being the ‘she-fault’ parent responsible for the bulk of this unpaid, invisible and time-consuming work?
Organisational specialist Eve Rodsky realised that simply identifying the issue of unequal labour on the home front wasn’t enough – she needed a solution to this universal problem. Fair Play is the result: a time- and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to share the domestic and emotional load at home. Drawing on 500 interviews with men and women, Eve has figured out what the invisible work in a family actually is and shows you how to get it all done efficiently. With its fun, game-like format, four easy-to-follow rules and 100 household tasks for you to share, Fair Play will help you prioritise what’s important to your family and help you work out who should take the lead on everything from the laundry to homework to dinner.
With your home life re-balanced and your relationship reignited, you’ll have time to develop the skills and passions that keep you interested and interesting.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Louise is a single mother who works in an unfulfilling role as a secretary. On a particular night, she engages in a conversation and kisses an unknown man in a bar, who is later revealed to be David, the new boss at her workplace. When she realizes the truth that David is married, he confesses to her that it was a mistake. Though, in spite of feeling guilty, he maintains his eyes and feelings for Louise. Later, Louise is conflicted about the situation, which is only further complicated by her encounter with Adele, David’s wife. As a new resident to the town, she is interested in forming a friendly connection with Louise. Soon after, Louise is caught in the middle of a twisted circumstance that makes her question the sinister conspiracy behind their marital relationship.
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Fifteen-year-old Ana Canción never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she must say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by César, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.
As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving César to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, dance with César at the Audubon Ballroom, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.
In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie.
Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned. . .
Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime.
Unlearn by Humble the Poet
Forget what you think you know
Influencer, rapper and spoken word artist Humble the Poet is here to revolutionise your life and help you reach your full potential.
Full of insights, wisdom and clarity, Unlearn is a brutally-honest, empowering book that defies conventional thinking. You will shed the sabotaging habits, fixed mindsets and past regrets that characterise modern life and instead tap into your best, most authentic self.
Structured as 101 short and accessible life lessons covering everything from ‘Money is a Funny Thing’ to ‘Love is a Gift Not a Loan’, this is the ideal book to turn to whenever you need a flash of inspiration.
Profound in its simplicity, Unlearn is the perfect invitation to a new beginning and to pursue a life of fulfilment.
Pray for the Girl by Joseph Souza
Lucy Abbott never pictured herself coming back to Fawn Grove, Maine. Yet after serving time in Afghanistan, then years spent as a sous chef in New York, she’s realized her only hope of moving on from the past involves facing it again. But Fawn Grove, like Lucy herself, has changed.
Lucy’s sister, Wendy, is eager to help her adapt, almost stifling her with concern. At the local diner, Lucy is an exotic curiosity—much like the refugees who’ve arrived in recent years. When a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl is found murdered along the banks of the river, difficult memories of Lucy’s time overseas come flooding back and she feels an automatic connection. At first glance, the tragedy looks like an honor killing. But the more Lucy learns about her old hometown, the less certain that seems.
There is menace and hostility here, clothed in neighborly smiles and a veneer of comfort. And when another teen is found dead in a cornfield, his throat slit, Lucy—who knows something about hiding secrets—must confront a truth more brutal than she could have imagined, in the last place she expected it . . .
Paranoid by Lisa Jackson
Twenty years ago, Rachel Gaston accidentally shot and killed her brother in a teenage game that went horribly wrong.
Today, Rachel is trying to put the guilt of what happened behind her. But her horrifying dreams about that night continue to stalk her.
As the anniversary of her brother’s death nears, Rachel feels her imagination playing tricks, convincing her that objects in her house have moved. That there’s a hint of unfamiliar cologne in the air. That someone is tailing her car. Watching her home.
Rachel has never known the truth about that night. But as connections surface between a new string of murders and Luke’s death, she realises there’s no escaping the past, and the truth may be darker than her worst fears . .
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Be careful who you let in… Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
After twenty-five years of abusing her husband, razor-tongued Natalie Evans disappears leaving a trail of blood in their suburban Minneapolis home. Her husband Ryan is taken into custody, charged and tried for her murder.The Prosecution can neither prove nor demonstrate sufficient evidence that Ryan committed the crime. Protestations of Ryan’s innocence notwithstanding, when the ignorant jury, pressured to return a verdict before a holiday weekend, presumes his guilt, they vote to convict. Ryan is sentenced to a level-five maximum-security prison. Ryan’s son, Alex and colleague Grant Crossland become his only contact with the outside world. These are the only two people who care enough to set aside his condemnation and try to understand him. Buoyed by Alex and Grant, Ryan adapts and survives years in the brutal prison environment while plotting to escape and seek revenge on those who abandoned him in his hour of need. With his wits as his only tool, he works tirelessly to see the light of day once again, no matter how he gets there.
The Killer You Know by S. R. Masters
Summer 1997: When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But Adeline can’t help but feel there’s something darker lurking behind his words.
Winter 2015: Years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang – except Will doesn’t show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up the details of his supposed murder spree. But the mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match.
As the group attempts to track Will down, they realize that he is playing a sinister game that harks back to one they used to play as kids.
Only this time there are lives at stake . . .
Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis
The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.
What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.
DeMarco knows—or thinks he knows—that Huston couldn’t have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family’s killer?
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
Where She Went by Kelly Simmons
Her only daughter has just gone away to college, and Maggie O’Farrell knows she’s turning into one of those helicopter parents she used to mock. Worrying constantly, texting more than she should, even occasionally dropping by the campus “just to say hi.” But Maggie can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen to Emma. And then, just as Maggie starts to relax, her daughter disappears.
The clues are disturbing. An empty dorm room where Emma was supposedly living. A mysterious boy described as Future Husband in her phone. Dormmates who seem more sinister than friendly. As Maggie combs over the campus looking for signs of her daughter, she learns more about Emma’s life than she ever thought possible.
Kelly Simmons delivers another gripping novel in Where She Went, an unforgettable story of letting go and the secrets that surface when the person keeping them is gone.
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the ones too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears….
Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan’s elder sister’s body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can’t stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won’t be silenced….
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
‘Are you happy in your life?’Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he wakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before the man he’s never met smiles down at him and says, ‘Welcome back, my friend.’ In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined – one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human – a relentlessly surprising thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubika
A widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche in this exhilarating thriller from New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica
Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.
Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
Hits the sweet spot between literary and crime fiction – Gripping’ ERIN KELLY
‘For those who love their crime fiction rich in psychology, beautifully written and laced with dark humour. Dive in’ LUCIE WHITEHOUSE
A MISSING GIRL
Edith Hind is gone, leaving just her coat, a smear of blood and a half-open door.
A DESPERATE FAMILY
Each of her friends and relatives has a version of the truth. But none quite adds up.
A DETECTIVE AT BREAKING POINT
The press grows hungrier by the day. Can DS Manon Bradshaw fend them off, before a missing persons case becomes a murder investigation?
Eleanor Oliphant is COmpletely Fine by Gail Honeyman
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart.
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Elizabeth Woodville is a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition. Her mother is Jacquetta, also known as the mystical lady of the rivers, and she is even more determined to bring power and wealth to the family line. While riding in the woods one day, Elizabeth captures the attentions of the newly crowned King Edward IV and, despite her common upbringing, marries him in secret.
When she is raised up to be his queen, the English court is outraged, but Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for her family’s dominance. Yet despite her best efforts, and even with the help of her mother’s powers, her two sons become pawns in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.
In this dazzling account of the deadly Wars of the Roses, brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize: the throne of England.
Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations on what to add to my reading list next!
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