Home » Uncategorized » Books Read in 2024

Books Read in 2024

At the end of every month, I share my ‘reviews’ of books I read in 2024 and where I stand for the year relative to the goal of thirty-three I set for the year. Many of you have written that you enjoy and appreciate my ‘book reviews’ (if you can call them that!), but I always struggle with not giving too much away and am also cognizant that my likes are not everyone else’s.

I am participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year. Last year, I read thirty books, though my goal was thirty-three. But, if we count audiobooks, I did make it to thirty-three!

Here is my quick and dirty review of the books I read in 2024, with one to five thumbs-up. I recently added an ‘eye-roll’ emoji 🙄 for any book that doesn’t even deserve one thumbs-up!

And, if you are looking for good podcasts to listen to, here are some of my favorite podcasts.

What I’ve Read Thus Far This Year

Some of these links may be Amazon affiliate links and I may earn a small commission from the sale of these products to help defray the costs of operating this site, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

  1. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 The story primarily follows the lives of three of six characters who meet when in high school at an art camp and boldly name their group ‘The Interestings.’ It received mixed reviews on Amazon, but as I said, I am enjoying it. I find the characters very well-drawn and relatable, if not always likable. I enjoy her writing style, which I found humorous and insightful at the same time. I often re-read sentences just for how she captured a thought or emotion.
  2. The 25th Hour by David Benioff👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼I so enjoyed his book, City of Thieves, last year that when my brother sent me this book, I was eager to read it. The story takes place entirely in one 24-hour period, the day before the protagonist, Monty Brogan, is scheduled to report for his 7-year prison sentence. You are also introduced to Monty’s girlfriend and his two best friends. The relationships between all these characters and their challenges are also outlined in this quick read. I’m eager to read more of Benioff’s work.
  3. Almost done with The Uncoupling, also by Meg Wolitzer. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼So, this is a quirky premise; the women in a town whose high school is performing the Greek comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes find themselves completely uninterested in sex with their husbands, boyfriends, lovers, etc… Lysistrata is the story of one woman’s attempt to end the Peloponnesian war by encouraging her fellow Athenian women to decline sex until the war is over. Once again, I really enjoy the writing style of Wolitzer and enjoyed the book!
  4. I enjoyed Tom Lake, by Anne Patchett 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼, but think I would’ve enjoyed it more had I read or seen a production of Our Town, as that play and its characters figure heavily into this story. At its core, this is a story about a mother sharing her brief acting career and fling with another young actor who goes on to great fame. The story takes place during our Covid lockdown, when the mother’s 3 young adult daughters are home and are helping with the chores at the family cherry farm. The daily rigors of owning a farm with her previous life as a young actress are woven easily together in this story.
  5. Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼. This is an entertaining book I had never heard of before, though I am familiar with Wouk and his other titles. My mom gave me the book as she read it during her recent vacation to the Caribbean, where this story takes place. In a nutshell, it is the story of a middle-aged New Yorker who gives up the rat race in the city to run a hotel in the Caribbean…I mean, how hard can it be? I found the protagonist very sympathetic, though I had to remind myself that this book was written 60 years ago, and many of the social observations on race and sexual orientation are quite dated. I cringe with each comic mishap he faces as he navigates politics and social structure on this fictional Caribbean island. I haven’t read any other Wouk books, though this first foray puts him on my ‘want to read’ list.
  6. I am almost done with the Pulitzer-winning, The Known World by Edward P. Jones.👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼Jones’ unique storytelling and writing style focuses on the life of free and enslaved black people in fictional Manchester County, Virginia. I have several thoughts:
    • I had never given thought to the fact that there were black slave owners in the Antebellum period of the U.S.
    • I liked Jones’ writing style, though it might not be your cup of tea if you struggle with non-linear storytelling. He weaves the recent past and present throughout the book.
    • I’m almost done with the book, so I can’t say definitively, but there doesn’t seem to be one plot, but more like several story vignettes weaving through.
    • This is what I consider ‘spare’ prose, told very matter-of-factly in a simple, though beautiful style. There’s no ‘drama’ to the writing.
  7. West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge was recommended to me by one of our readers, Norene, and I’m so thankful for the recommendation!👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼The author tells the true story of transport of two giraffes from New Jersey to San Diego, CA, after already surviving a hurricane at sea. The story is narrated by the fictional Woodrow Nickel and some of the story is imagined, but it is true to the era and is filled with lovely observations and quotes. The crusty but tender-hearted and wise head zoo keeper, Riley Jones, charged with transporting the giraffes, is based on the actual zookeeper, Charley Smith. The book also highlights the social challenges of the time for women, persons of color, and society in general suffering through the Depression.
  8. Almost Dead by Lisa Jackson 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼This was what I would consider a good beach read! Not too heavy, but not silly. A good murder mystery. Once I started, I realized it was a sequel to another book, but I think this book stood on its own. That said, I will definitely track down the previous book and more from this author. Without giving too much away, the book starts with a person in the hospital, in a coma. Then, it flashbacks to events that put them there.
  9. At eight hundred emotionally wrought pages, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼, is not for the faint-hearted, and I’m struggling with how to recommend and summarize it. I’m very glad I read it. The writing is gorgeous and it is my kind of story; well-defined characters with a compelling story. Two weeks after I finished the book, I still think about the two characters who I consider the main characters. In a nutshell that can’t do justice to the book, the story is primarily about Jude St. Clair, who has ‘survived’ a brutal childhood and the friends who become his family. I put quotes around ‘survive’ for a reason, which I hesitate to go into further because I feel it is central to the story. All that said, I have a personal beef with writers who use implausible events in stories that they want to be plausible. I found a few of the events of Jude’s early life to be unrealistic, and I really wish the author hadn’t pushed that envelope.
  10. The City of Falling Angels 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼by John Berendt, who also wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. At the surface, it is the story of the fire that severely damaged the Fenice Opera House in Venice. But more than that, it is the story of many characters who call Venice their home. It is a quick and lovely read.
  11. The Housemaid by Frieda McFadden. This is not a particularly cerebral book, but it is a fun, quick, suspenseful read…perfect for the beach, the pool or a cool day in the mountains.

What I’ve Listened To Thus Far This Year

I’ve treated myself to an Audible subscription. It is a bit of an indulgence for me, but I’m hooked and enjoying every dollar of it. Like any good story, the narrator makes a world of difference and the narrators for these three are/were fantastic. I decided I would listen to every one of Charles Dickens’ books; this is what I’ve listened to thus far:

So, what are you reading, or what have you read recently that you loved? Please pass the titles on to me; I am always looking for good books.

Happy Reading!

Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *