Hello, book lovelies!

As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday this week, I hope that you all get a chance to slow down, spend time with those you love, and reflect on what you are thankful for. As for me, I am feeling extra thankful for a lot of things this year — some really major things and some smaller, trivial things. One of the smaller trivial things is that I am officially out of my reading slump! I told you it was trivial…. Despite it being small in the grand scheme of things, it has actually been huge for my mental health. Reading forces me to be present. It forces my mind to slow down and for my thoughts to step aside as I focus on the words in front of me. And for that, I am very thankful.

I thought that for this edition of All Booked, I would share a few of my recent reads that have helped me get out (and stay out!) of my reading slump. These are some great options if you are looking to get back into reading, or if you are just looking for an entertaining read.

I  am a big believer in going into a book knowing as little as possible about it. I try not to read too much of the synopses or reviews, since most of them over-share. My pitches below are short and sweet just for that reason.

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I’m starting off with Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi because this book officially got me back into reading after an almost three-month break. This shorter Japanese novel dips its toe into magical realism with its use of time travel. This book is divided into four stories, each following a different relationship. The stories pull on your heartstrings, and I found myself in tears at a few points in the novel. The entire story takes place within a coffee shop. If you are looking for cozy, feel-good vibes, with just a hint of magical realism, this book is for you. I recommend listening to the audiobook — you can borrow it on Hoopla.

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Next, I want to tell you about The Night Swim by Megan Goldin. Every once in a while, I find myself so immersed in a book that I consider purchasing speakers for my shower just so that I can keep listening for those extra 15 minutes. The Night Swim was that book for me. It may be my favorite book I have read this year. We follow a true-crime podcaster covering a rape case in a small town. You must listen to the audiobook because every few chapters is narrated like a true-crime podcast, equipped with a music intro and everything. Not only is this book incredibly gripping, but it also delves deep into rape culture and the realities of being an imperfect victim.

The original version of this newsletter was sent out on Tuesday, May 21.

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If you are looking for a wintery “locked-room thriller,” then look no further than The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. This is not a new book, and I was hesitant to pick up anything by Lucy Foley for awhile because I felt like everyone and their mother was reading her. So if you have already read this, I apologize. And if you are like I was and are dragging your feet — pick this up. We follow a group of old college friends who get snowed in at a hunting lodge together while on holiday. Like every good thriller, there’s a murder and lots of twists. Now, I’m not saying this is the most realistic book, but if you are looking for an entertaining read, you won’t be disappointed.

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My final recommendation is actually a Young Adult novel. I used to read YA a lot, but over the past year or two, I haven’t been enjoying them as much as adult fiction. However, I picked up The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and it was so fun. There really is no other word for it. If you are a fan of Knives Out, this book is worth picking up. We follow Avery Grambs, who inherits a fortune from a man whom she knows nothing about. And that is all I’m going to say about the plot. This is the first book in a series. I haven’t decided if I will continue on, but either way, this book can stand on its own.

Hopefully you got at least one recommendation from my little list above. If you have read anything lately that you think would be up my alley, please reply to this email. I’m always looking for new recommendations.

I hope you are able to take some time to do whatever it is that you love this week — whether that’s reading or something else. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Your smitten bookworm, Emily

If you are a local author, host book events in the Santa Barbara area, or have any other fun bookish tips for us, please send your recommendations for consideration to allbooked@independent.com.

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