Education, Me Time

Joyful Reads with Joy: October 2022

Hello! I’m Joy, and I love to read. I consider it my greatest talent and favorite hobby. Another one of my preferred pastimes is recommending reads to anyone who is the least bit curious. Seriously. I am always volunteering book recs to people near me, whether they ask or not. I thought it would be fun to bring this passion to Baton Rouge Parents Magazine. I will share with you every book I read month by month and what I think about them. Let’s get started! You can also follow me on Instagram at @joyfulreadswithjoy

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
What a cinematic blast! Killers of a Certain Age is a little Sex and the City, a little Charlie’s Angels, a little Kingsmen, and a little Golden Girls. Assassins in their 60s come together to celebrate their retirement, and of course, their leisurely cruise turns into a violent action adventure. This novel is fast-paced, sharp, and action-packed. A complete fun escape that is made for the screen!

Summary: Billie, Mary Alice, Natalie, and Helen were all recruited in their early 20s to be a part of an elite assassin squad called The Sphinxes. For 40 years, they travel the world taking out the bad guys and gals who cause others harm. When it comes time to hang it up, the women learn that they will not go quietly into retirement. They are surprised to be the marks for the first time and must think rapidly how to save themselves. On a series of missions, the killer ladies work together to make a safe way for themselves and their loved ones. Danger and flashbacks ensue as the assassins go out for one more assignment.

Deanna Raybourn crafts a violent and vibrant thriller with rage and femininity. Raybourn also casts a lovable crew who are dealing with age, grief, pain, and trust issues as they try to survive. This novel is a perfect fall escape with multiple settings, timelines, and twists. Dive in for raucous heroines with special skills!

Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder that Hooked America on True Crime by John Pompeo
Blood & Ink is an investigation into the relationship between murder, true crime obsession, and the birth of tabloids in America. Joe Pompeo explores the infamous cold case, the Hall-Mills murder in 1922 New Jersey, and the explosion of the New York Daily News and the New York Daily Mirror. This is a fascinating look at our country’s obsession with true crime and provocative journalism.

Summary: Reverend Edward Hall and his mistress Eleanor Mills were discovered shot and posed together beneath a crabapple tree in 1922. The murders become a national obsession through the sensational coverage in the NY Daily News. Philip Payne, a rising newspaper editor, seizes the opportunity to increase the readership of his tabloid, the Daily News. He and the victims’ families become linked as the investigation and court proceedings capture the nation.

I stumbled upon this digital copy while perusing the Libby app, and surprisingly, this nonfiction pick kept me pretty hooked this week. If you like true crime, journalism, legal intrigue, or the 1920s, this will be an interesting read for you!

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young 
Stunning. Moody. Spellbinding. I don’t know if I have enough adjectives for how much I love this book. First of all, Spells for Forgetting is a quintessential fall read. So many vibes with this one. Secondly, this novel includes several genres: supernatural mystery, generational drama, and moody romance. Like several of the characters, I am obsessed.

Summary: The island of Saoirse, off the coast of Seattle, is enchanted with magic and mystical power. Emery Blackwood and August Salt (yes, the names in this book are outstanding) grow up and fall in deep love at a young age. The night of their graduation, an orchard fire and the murder of Emery’s best friend destroys their future together. Fourteen years later, August returns, and the mystery, as well as the pain, rises to the surface of the bewitched island. As Emery and August are drawn together, the secrets of the island are revealed. The truth is much darker than either of them knew. What is the island hiding and who can they trust?

The Pacific Northwest setting and the secluded island town give this novel a captivating background perfect for the intriguing characters and witchy vibe. Spells for Forgetting kept me guessing and wondering, turning every page with suspense. The writing is beautiful and lyrical. Adrienne Young is so gifted with her prose. I cannot say enough about how much I loved it. Read it now and get lost in Saoirse.

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