I’ve been making time to read more these past few weeks. I’ve read articles on how to be happy and they all said one should make time for their interests/hobbies. Well, reading’s been a hobby I’ve enjoyed doing since I was a kid but has been sidetracked over the years. Do you also like to read and are looking for book recommendations? Then read on as I tell you about the 4 books I’ve recently read.

FullyBooked Bookworm Corner Recommended Read

The Silent Patient is one of the book recommendations I gpt from bookworms online

What’s the Story of The Silent Patient?

Alicia Berenson is a famous artist who kills her husband and then goes silent. Intrigued by her story, Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, jumps at the opportunity to work with her. He’s determined to get her to talk and find out the mystery behind her killing her husband.

My Impressions on the Book

I found out about The Silent Patient through FullyBooked’s Bookworm Corner Facebook group. Bookworm members raved about this psychothriller. And now I know why this is a recommended book.

It’s a riveting story! I started with the e-book version via Scribd but I decided to get a physical copy after reading a couple of pages. Finished reading this book in one sitting! I thought it was going to be a straightforward plot with just two questions to answer: Why did Alicia kill her husband and Will she ever talk? But as I got deeper into the story, the more I realized there was so much more to this! Even got me to think whether or not Alicia actually killed her husband. Maybe someone else did it! I thought this because there were some parts of the book that were beginning to read like a detective story. I didn’t expect the twist to this story! The way the story unfolded, it was great writing by Alex Michaelides!

Rated this book 5 stars on GoodReads. If you want more book recommendations on psych thriller novels, I suggest reading Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson.

A Cozy Summer Read

What’s the Story?

Emma Montague, an English woman, left the strict confines of her uppercrust British life for New York. When the life in the big city didn’t make her as happy as she thought she’d be, she left that life to start anew at the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut. She channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into the renovation of the worn down cottage she was renting from the man next door, Dominic. He’s a local handyman who lives with his six year old son. Slowly she begins to find herself at home in a way she’s never been before at Westport and in the arms of Dominic.

Impressions on the Book

By now I’ve read a few Jane Green novels already thanks to Big Bad Wolf Books and I can say her stories for me are either a hit or miss. I buy her books anyway because I enjoy reading about small town charm and her stories that are seriously heartwarming. Falling is no different.

And I picked this to read next because of the reviews.

A gripping and powerful novel about finding the courage to make the life you want.” – Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times best selling author.

“A warm bath of a novel that draws you in…” USA Today.

I want to be like Emma! I dream of leaving the rat race to follow my heart’s desire. Maybe not move to the suburbs exactly. I love the big city life. But have that courage to make the life I want. Well Emma had enough savings so she was able to leave her job to do something else. I gotta have that first! LOL!

Falling is a love story. While I thought the characters fell in love quite fast, I appreciated reading and learning more about Dom and Emma’s relationship and how they handled their ups and downs. I’m just not crazy about the ending. It has a happy ending. Just not the kind I thought it would be. Still this book was a good read and I love the kind of love Jane Green painted in this novel: calm and safe. I want that too!

Anyway, if you’re looking for a good summer book recommendation, pick up a Jane Green novel.

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

My Non-Fiction Book Recommendation

What’s It About?

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It is such a popular non-fiction book! It’s about the author realizing that time is passing and she’s not focusing enough on the things that really matter. And so she starts a happiness project, dedicating a year chronicling her adventures during the twelve months.

Impressions on the Book

Just like the author, I, too, am not depressed nor am I having a midlife crisis. But I have a recurring sense of discontent and a feeling of disbelief. I could use some enlightenment and guidance on how I can improve my life for the better. The first time I realized I’d been feeling this way was back in 2019. Gretchen realized it while in a city bus staring out the window. I realized it while book shopping at Big Bad Wolf Books where I kept picking up books about Happiness including this. But unlike her, I’m only getting around to really doing something about this. Yeah, this pandemic made me really reflect on my life and is making me really act on it.

The Happiness Project is a very insightful read! While I finished it, I know I’m going to read it again and again, turning to a chapter or two to get some guidance on how I can be happier.

A Discovery I Made from Browsing Bookstore Shelves

What’s the Story?

Arsenic and Adobo is the first book in a new culinary x detective series. It’s about Lila Macapagal, a Filipino American woman who moves back home after a horrible breakup. What seemed like the start of a rom-com movie of her life, tasked to save her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant while dealing with a group of matchmaking aunties, soon took a different turn. A notoriously nasty food critic who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend drops deads in their restaurant shortly after their confrontation and soon Lila finds herself the main suspect!

With the cops on her tail and their shady landlord looking to kick out the Macapagal family out, she’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. She’s armed with the nosy autnie network, her barista best bud and her trusted dachshund, Longganissa, she takes on the tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block.

Impressions on the Book

There are so many ways to get book recommendations. Personally, I love browsing bookshelves at the bookstore for ideas on what to read next. Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manansala was just one of the gems I discovered while doing so last year. The title caught my attention. It’s my first time to read a culinary murder mystery series and I have to say it’s worth giving this a try.

First and foremost, this book will make you hungry too what with all the food discussed in this book from Japanese to American and of course Filipino dishes! The last book I read where food was also a key part of the story was Jasmine Guillory’s Party of Two. As a Filipino myself, reading about the delicious culinary Filipino dishes in this book, it sure whetted my appetite even more.

While it’s a murder mystery, it’s not all about violence. In fact, it’s a light read! The characters felt so alive especially Lila’s family: her strict Lola Flor, her very nurturing aunt Rosie and her godmothers, the ones she fondly refers to as the Calendar Crew because of their names: April, Mae and June. The dynamics of a Filipino family was depicted so accurately in the book. And not only that, Mia also touched on the dynamics of other Asian families living in a foreign land in the book – the Parks and the Awans. I was so hooked on this book! I love a good whodunnit murder mystery but it’s made even more fun and interesting to read with the whole amateur sleuthing plot. Plus there’s a possible love triangle brewing in the series. I want to find out just how it will unfold with Lila, Jae and Amir.

I’m already excited to read the second book in the series, Homicide and Halo-Halo. I rated this book 5 out of 5 on GoodReads.

So those are my most recent reads. With four different genres to choose from as part of my book recommendations list, I’m sure you’ll find something that may be your cup of tea.