• The Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 1/1/21 Edition

Updated: Jan 10


01 Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon


It's the last day of high school, and nemeses Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have battled bitterly for every title, position, honor, and moment of recognition during their high school career. They wake up today texting their usual taunts and challenges. But today will be different: this is the day they'll find out which of them has earned the desired title of class valedictorian.


For the unfortunate one, the only hope of regaining glory would be to win the elaborate seniors' game of Howl, a challenging competition that spans the city of Seattle. And if Neil and Rowan look like they're teamed up for the game, it's only because they each intend to use their teammate to get into a winning position--and then take them down.


But spending time working together for once allows Rowan and Neil to see sides of the other person that aren't so infuriating and off-putting after all. It sounds crazy, but in a way, they almost seem like the perfect match.


Rachel Lynn Solomon's young adult novel Today Tonight Tomorrow feels like a smart, sweet read to start the new year. (For my review, see Today Tonight Tomorrow.)

02 The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


In Rachel Hawkins's mystery The Wife Upstairs, set for January 5, 2021 publication, the main players and their histories aren't what they seem.


Jane is a young woman who is new to Birmingham, Alabama. She's seemingly trustworthy and nonthreatening, the perfect dog-walker for upscale Mountain Brook families. And if, while she's taking care of their beloved pets, Jane slips a few small valuables into her pockets, to sell for cash or just because she can, no one is likely to ever be the wiser.


But Jane--who's taken on this new name and is desperate to leave her dark past behind her--has wormed her way into the idyllic community in the aftermath of a tragedy. Two of the neighborhood's cherished young wives, longtime best friends, died months earlier in a boating accident. When Jane places herself in the path of one of the widowers and he shows interest in her, she can't believe her luck. This could be a better new beginning than even she could have manipulated into reality. But is Jane doing the scheming, or is something more sinister going on?


I received a prepublication copy of this book from St. Martin's Press and NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. (For my review, see The Wife Upstairs.)

03 Here For It by R. Eric Thomas


In Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, R. Eric Thomas, the creator of Elle's sassy and smart "Eric Reads the News" column, shares his thoughts, experiences, and reflections about life and the world around us with honesty and humor.


In essays that are sometimes heartbreaking, often inspiring, and that frequently make me laugh out loud, Thomas explores his sheltered youth, his growing realizations that he was different than most people he knew, his shame and fear about living as his authentic self, and his meandering path toward his current life circumstances, in which he is living as he once only dreamed: he is joyfully challenged professionally, he is unapologetically his own unique self, he is exploring his complicated relationship with religion, and he deeply loves and is loved by his (pastor) husband.


My friend Katherine recommended this book to me last spring and I'm finally getting around to reading it--I'm actually listening to it as an audiobook, and I adore hearing Thomas's voice take me through his essays. This is refreshing and so playful yet thoughtful, I love it so far. (I finished! For my full review, see Here For It.)

What are you reading to start the new year?

I've just started Today Tonight Tomorrow, my book club's first title of the year, and I do like the idea easing into 2021 with a young adult nemeses-fall-in-love premise. The Wife Upstairs has been aging nicely in my Kindle for months, until my realization that its publication date was fast approaching. It's a fast and engaging read so far, which also feels just right for these gray days of winter. And I'm listening to R. Eric Thomas read his audiobook, which I highly recommend. His voice and delivery are fabulous.


What are you reading at the start of this new year? I just picked up an armful of library holds, and along with the stack of books I received as holiday gifts, I am now in possession of all the books.


I hope this weekend holds some cozy reading time with books you love.