Oh, hi there!
*Cautiously peeks out from behind her fingers after nearly two years of going dark…*
But seriously, I’m feeling excited and ready to be back here in your inbox, and I hope I’m still welcome!
I’m going to start by easing back in with something fun, and maybe a bit of a peace offering – a classic book list.
In truth, I’ve started writing things several times over the past several months, but I wasn’t quiiiiite ready, apparently. And in true Kourtney style, I’m not here to force it. I do what feels genuine and that’s that.
But I’m close, and I promise, I’ll start writing more regularly soon. Life looks and feels so different, and I’ve learned so much…I can’t wait to share more of it with you.
Anyway, let’s get right to the good stuff for today: my 2023 Reading List!
Wait – one more thing. Because of the aforementioned life changes above, I don’t read as much as I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still read a little every day, but instead of enough to read a book a week, it’s more like a book a month. I’m actually pretty happy with how many books are on the list this year -19, but just wanted to give the warning that these lists will probably be a little slimmer than they have been in the past.
Ok, here we go!
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren (I didn’t realize this was a spinoff book, but I loved that it was! Super sweet, Christina Lauren always delivers, and it’s a treat for reality show fans.) American
Royals IV: Reign by Katharine McGee (I liked this series a lot, and it’s definitely worth the read. But I thought this series ending was a bit lackluster, if I’m honest.)
Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal (Hands down, one of the best novels I’ve read. Absolutely lived up to the hype for me. Read it because J. Ryan Stradal has another book out and I wanted to get back into his groove. Super glad I did – highly recommended!)
The Ink Black Heart (A Cormoran Strike Novel) by Robert Galbraith (This book was also part of the reason why I only read 18 books this year – it’s like 1200 pages long. But I adore this series, so it was completely worth it. This was an excellent installment!)
First Comes Like: A Novel (Modern Love Book 3) by Alisha Rai (This series is also absolutely lovely, and I very much enjoyed this character’s story. It’s an especially fun one if you came up in the online business world like I did.)
Well Played by Jen DeLuca (Second in the series, fun and light. Really liked where it ended up.)
The Atlas Six (Atlas Series Book 1) by Olivie Blake (This is a fantastic new fantasy series! There’s magic, there’s drama, there’s some evil lurking. I chose this because it felt similar to the Scholomance series, and I’ve not been disappointed yet – it’s older and more sophisticated, but has a similar feel.)
The Atlas Paradox (Atlas Series Book 2) by Olivie Blake (See above – good enough I wanted to continue the series quickly! Great cliffhanger for Book 3 too.)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (Read this one with my boyfriend, as it’s one of his favorite books. I know it’s often considered a classic of sorts, but I was pretty unimpressed. Meh. But fine to get it checked off the list of “books everyone has read and talks about.”)
Happy Place by Emily Henry (Good, but this one wasn’t great, if I’m honest. I started off such a big Emily Henry fan, and clearly I’m still interested enough to keep reading her books. But…I just feel like she’s being forced to pump out new books quickly, and they’re not the same quality as her first couple.)
The Golden Spoon: A Novel by Jessa Maxwell (This one was marketed as something like a combination of The Great British Bake-Off and Clue, and that’s a fantastic description. I LOVED IT.)
Six Days in Rome by Francesca Giacco (I read this early in the year and given the fact I had to go back to Goodreads to read the description and the reviews, it’s possible it wasn’t super memorable. I don’t remember disliking it, in fact, I think I did like it. But it was one of those meandering books that wasn’t heavily plot driven and then just kind of ended, so just something to know about the style.)
The Spanish Love Deception: A Novel by Elena Armas (Liked this one a lot. Very sweet and the characters were fun.)
Disorientation: A Novel by Elaine Hsieh Chou (This book was excellent. Super weird, totally wonderful. Recommend.)
Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (I had always left this older TJR book on the shelf because the waitlist was still forever, but I went ahead and did it early in the year before the TV series came out. Glad I did, as it was another stellar novel from her. I will 100% always and forever recommend any and all TJR books. Ask me how I felt about the series then, ha.)
A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club 5) by Lyssa Kay Adams (This series continues to just be so darn good and wholesome. Loved it.)
The Cartographers: A Novel by Peng Shepherd (Loved this one a whole lot. I’m very into books with elements of magical realism, and this one was so incredibly well done!)
The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa (Classic fake dating, sweet and funny!)
Light Bringer: A Red Rising Novel (Red Rising Series Book 6) by Pierce Brown (Literally my favorite book series of all time, I have been waiting years for this one! Full disclosure, I still have a few pages left to go as I write this, but it’s delivering 1000000% as always. So many well-executed plot twists, and this one adds in the more mature emotion as a decade-plus-long war drags on. God, so good. If you haven’t started Red Rising, 2024 is your year!)
I know I’m a bit behind the times so these may be a lot of old news, but maybe there’s one or two on here you haven’t read this year and can put on your list! And as always, please please please send over your favorite recent books! I’ll take all the recommendations right now – especially since I have a vacation coming up in January.
I’ll be back in the new year (!) with something other than books, but in the meantime, I hope you can cozy up with a book and a tea and rest for a few of these upcoming in-between days.
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