There’s something about unreliable female narrators. Bestselling thrillers are chock-full of them.
Obsession, addiction, self-destruction, and mental illness combine in characters who make you question your own understanding of the plot. Their dark, twisty stories leave readers hurrying through the pages to see if their guesses are correct. Yet they’ve been criticized as undermining real women’s believability in the age of #metoo. More often than not, though, these characters are vindicated and ultimately proven trustworthy, which may undercut that critique.
So what do you think? If you enjoy thrillers from this complicated perspective, here are a few of the most popular options:
Rachel Watson is a recently unemployed woman who drinks heavily to deal with the collapse of her marriage. Her only solace comes in gazing out train windows, spying on the people whose homes she passes. When Rachel wakes from a blackout one morning, bloody and injured, she discovers to her horror that one of those people, a young woman she had been fascinated with, has gone missing.
When beautiful, talented Amy Dunne goes missing, suspicion quickly falls on her husband, Nick. The story initially alternates between Nick’s perspective and Amy’s diary entries, and readers gradually discover that neither character is quite what they first appear. This massive bestseller was later adapted in a 2013 award winning film, and Rosamund Pike received an Oscar nomination for her depiction of Amy.
This recent bestseller is Rear Window meets Gone Girl. Anna Fox is certain she’s witnessed a murder in the house across the street. Has the new neighbor murdered his wife? But when detectives arrive and begin to investigate, Anna’s story crumbles. The wife is alive and well, while agoraphic Anna appears increasingly unstable.A film adaptation starring Amy Adams is due out this fall, but the author’s own backstory is full of enough twists, turns, and lies for a movie of its own.
Honestly, The Wife Between Us might have too many twists and turns, but they’re ones I never saw coming. Vanessa, a woman left barely functional after her divorce from Richard, is obsessed with getting in contact with his new girlfriend. The novel rotates between Vanessa’s perspective and depicting Richard’s relationship with Nellie. This book can be a little confusing if you don’t keep track of the characters and of the twists, so pay close attention as you read. The story isn’t what you think it is.
Hendricks and Pekkanen followed up The Wife Between US with a second psychological thriller just a year later. In need of easy money, makeup artist Jessica Farris lies her way into a research study about (ironically enough) ethics. She quickly develops an intense and boundary-crossing doctor-patient relationship with the psychiatrist running the study, Dr. Shields. As the lines between Dr. Shields’s life and her own begin to blur, Jess’s paranoia grows. Is she a patient? Or a pawn?
Of all of these thrillers, Sharp Objects may be the darkest and creepiest. Journalist Camille Preaker has made a life for herself in Chicago, after years of self-harm and destructive choices. When young girls start going missing in Camille’s childhood hometown, her boss insists she report on the case. Returning to Wind Gap and reconnecting with her estranged family bring both Camille’s past and the crimes horrifyingly close.
Interestingly, the female perspectives in nearly all of these novels are voiced by one of two narrators in audiobook form. Julia Whelan voiced GONE GIRL, THE WIFE BETWEEN US, and AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, while Ann Marie Lee narrated THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW and SHARP OBJECTS. Whelan’s low voice has a disdainful tone perfect for the untrustworthy characters in her respective books, while Lee’s projects her characters’ fragility and uncertainty. If you enjoy audiobooks, be sure to check them out.
“Best Fiction of 2018”, “Chilling Books”, and “YA Award Winners” are just a few of our booklist titles. I, myself, have found some great reads from these lists, but I would be willing to bet that almost every other library in the country has similar booklists. While we still have your typical booklists like Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Historical Romance, we also have some that are a little…different. Even if you’ve seen booklists before, you might not have seen booklists that are quite like these. Here’s a list of 10 of our more unique booklists:
Looking to start your own business? Here are some books to help keep you motivated! These books are not exactly “how-to” manuals, but talk more about how to have the right mindset, be successful, and work effectively.
Have you burned through all of Jane Austen’s books (even Lady Susan)? Most of these books take inspiration from Pride and Prejudice, but there are some retellings of Austen’s other works as well as some titles that feature Jane Austen as a character.
Secret agents and heists abound in these books. Whether you like rooting for the “bad guy” or enjoy following rogue government agents, these books are sure to have plenty of action and intrigue.
These audio books might be even more enjoyable to listen to than the book is to read. Perfect for those who have long commutes or simply don’t have time to sit down with a book.
While you can’t trust tabloid headlines these books are written by celebrities themselves.
Katniss Everdeen was just the beginning. This is a list full of female main characters that could definitely hold their own in the Hunger Games.
Brandon Sanderson is one of our most popular authors, but what do you do when you’ve read everything he’s written? Luckily, we have this list of read alike books and authors.
Did you know that the Star Wars series was turned into books? We have the original series based off the movies, but then other books that are considered canon or are licensed by Lucasfilm. Overall, there are dozens of Star Wars books, so if you’re a fan of the franchise, you’re welcome.
Road trips can feel agonizingly long sometimes, but with these audio books hopefully the time can pass a little faster.
Many of our booklists for Kids, Teens, and Adults can be found online. We also keep physical booklists at the first and second floor reference desks. The first floor reference desk even has a binder where we keep all of our past booklists for your browsing pleasure! No matter what you’re in the mood to read, we probably have a booklist for you. So the next time you’re in the library, don’t forget to stop by a reference desk and see what booklists you might be interested in!
Around our house Legos bring about feelings of awesomeness. Not everyone is obsessed with Legos and collecting them, but my son aspires to be a Lego designer in the future. There are large numbers of Legos around and long amounts of time spent constructing. I didn’t play with Legos enough when I was young. We didn’t have access to them or maybe I didn’t have access to my brother’s and I didn’t have any of my own. I feel as though I am making up for it now, because I love having Legos around and letting everyone in the family have access to them. I am not amazing at creating structures from pure imagination, like my son, but I do find a lot of satisfaction from sorting and following a pattern or instructions.
Sometimes, after amassing a large amount of Legos in your house, there may be times where you need a spark of creativity to extend Lego play or to entice those who play with Legos less often to start playing with them more or in a different way. The cool thing about Legos is they are open-ended and there isn’t a right or wrong way to play with them. Anyone can be successful to their own degree or desire. Lego books are out there for everyone from the young to grown-up and for every level of interest to extend Lego play. The newest builder up through the professional level can be inspired by books. Some have specific patterns that are easy to follow and fool-proof. There are other idea books without any patterns that just spark creativity to use the bricks. Here are a few fun books the library has:
This guide contains instructions to create beautiful 2-D mosaics. The plan for each creation is divided up in four quadrants with a picture of each specific brick needed to complete the design. The designs are intricate, but the instructions help simplify the process. It is a great place to start getting into mosaics. After my son checked this out, he was able to create his own from imagination.
Lego books are created even for the youngest of readers. This board book has bricks made into each letter of the alphabet, perfect for introducing the excitement of Lego to the next generation of builders.
Lego bricks are easy to collect and although there are endless possibilities, sometimes looking through someone else’s ideas can really spark creativity. This idea book has several different chapters, each with an idea subject created by Lego fans.
This idea book is for serious Lego fans, especially those interested in architecture details to add to their structures. Finch relates it to how a thesaurus would be useful for writers, this guide with detailed ideas can help to augment structures for Lego builders with the ideas she has compiled over years of working with Legos professionally.
Just as the title describes, Doyle has gathered together a large collection of incredible Lego structures, over 267 pages of mostly photographs. The bricks are themselves a medium artists use to create structures. More than just Lego fans can appreciate the talent that goes into the works of arts contained inside.
The past few years has seen the rise of podcasts. From solving cold cases, to chronicling every episode of the Gilmore Girls, there’s a show out there for everyone. And while it’s great to sit down and listen to an episode, sometimes I’m in the mood for a book. Lucky for me, some of my favorite podcasters have turned their creations into great reads. Here are a few great podcasts that just happen to be written down.
Aaron Mahnke self-published several books before creating his breakout podcast, “Lore”. This book chronicles the strange, spooky, and absolutely true stories that made “Lore” not only a popular podcast, but tv series as well. Read through the real supernatural stories that haunt the chronicles of history. For more spine-tingling tales, check out the sequels, DREADFUL PLACES and WICKED MORTALS.
The family that podcasts together, stays together. At least, that seems to be the case with Clint McElroy and his brothers, hosts and creators of such popular podcasts as “My Brother, My Brother and Me”, “Sawbones”, and many, many other shows. In this comic book adaptation of “The Adventure Zone”, the brothers join their father for a magical journey through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Laugh, gasp and giggle as the family wades through a fantasy world filled with evil sorcerers, tea-drinking werewolves and goblin mines with terrible workplace comp.
Though Joseph Fink is known as the co-creator of the surreal, supernatural, “Welcome to Nightvale”, it’s his second go at podcasting that really shows off his storytelling skills. It chronicles the story of Keisha as she drives her semi truck cross-country, looking for her signs of her missing wife, Alice. As she drives she encounters strange and unusual happenings, which may or may not connect with Alice’s disappearance