Book 1: Drowning  By: T.J. Newman

Recently, I saw on the news that a plane had taken off, and 20 minutes into the flight – somehow, a panel or a door had been ripped off, air masks dropped, and bright stars could be seen from a passenger’s cell phone video.   I probably watched an assortment of videos of it and the follow-up interviews on social media dozens of times – like, WHAT THE HECK?  Were people freaking out?  Did anything fall out?  I feel like I didn’t hear a lot of screaming in the videos I saw, but if it were me – you’d have to clobber me to shut me up.  I also watched Society of the Snow on Netflix, the newest movie telling the true story of those who survived the plane crash in the Andes Mountains.  That being said, I decided it was the perfect time to grab a recent Christmas present – Drowning by T.J. Newman – and crack it open.

A father and young daughter are on board Flight 1421 when it crashes into the Pacific Ocean, not far from Hawaii.  The reader will feel like they have a window-seat view of how it happens and the aftermath.  To be honest, you might also need a barf bag because the descriptions had me feeling like I was strapped in too.  The book focuses on a small group of passengers who work together to make decisions when time is running out.  The frustration and tension levels are at an all-time high (obviously), and the side stories of each character make it seem very realistic.  As the plane continues to sink and the air level goes from little to none, a rescue team is furiously working to save those still alive.  I love that the rescue team is led by a super smart and sarcastic woman, Chris, who is driven not only out of duty – but also because her own daughter is one of the passengers.

I don’t know how realistic this story is, but it truly was an action-packed quick read.  I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and honestly don’t feel that great about getting on a plane anytime soon, but I’m weak like that.  I could definitely see this turning into a movie!

Book 2: More By: A Memoir of Open Marriage

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy, and I was so excited to dive in.  The idea of open marriage is one often joked about, and so many are curious about it.  I have an old college friend who tried it out (note:  it didn’t end well), but I’ll always join in a convo to learn more about these relationships.

More is a memoir, which I feel gave it more weight than a random fluff story of sexual exploits, crying, and fights – even though this book had all of that.  Molly is a NYC mother with two children and a husband she does love.  However, after a string of fights and frustration that leads to feelings of distance, Molly is intrigued when a younger guy asks her out.  When telling her husband about the encounter, he lets her know he’s all for it.  This turns into a whirlwind… experiment?  Journey?  Venture?  Experience? Into the open marriage lifestyle.  Both Molly and her husband decide to date and explore with new partners – with one wanting to know every detail and the other wanting to know nothing.  It dives into jealousy and loneliness but also desire and renewal.  With each new partner that they meet, I felt a certain type of way and yelled into the pages of what I thought they should do.  I thought it was brave of the author to speak so openly about her journey under her real name because even though we know this exists (and some of us are curious!), it’s not always positively viewed.

Sometimes memoirs are boring, and this one is definitely NOT that.  I would say the reader needs to have an open mind as the author isn’t afraid to give details, and you might find yourself blushing on the #9 bus at 7:30 AM.  It also had me looking around at wedding rings and wondering who’s in an open marriage in 02127.

Book 3: Argylle By: Elly Conway

What is this book, and who is this author?  I had no information on this book until about two weeks ago when I fell into a Bookstagram hole of folks convinced that Taylor Swift secretly wrote this.  Now, after much “research,” I don’t believe she did – however, the author is unknown – there’s a blank photo on the inside cover, and it gives no information as to who the author is.  It’s already filmed and is being released on streaming services in a week – with huge stars like John Cena, Chris Pine, Bryce Dallas Howard, and more.  It’s a big deal for a book to get such big names already and be filmed before the book even came out!  So – with all that, I grabbed it to see what the big deal was.

It’s a fluffy spy novel that’s more based on the entertainment factor than anything else.  I think if you’re someone who likes action-packed movies – but also probably enjoys Taylor Swift music and reality TV.  Argylle was enjoying a life of showing off East Asia to tourists and downing beers in back alleys when he finds himself involved in a high-security, multi-country “issue.”  He is then brought in to be part of an elite team that is looking to bring down Russia’s next possible President.  This ruthless candidate has promised a long-lost relic hidden by the Nazis which will bolster his popularity and catapult him to a win.  It sounds totally out there, right?  Well, it is.  But it’s also full of short chapters (which I love) and nonstop action.  It’s unbelievable but leaves you wanting to know what happens at the same time.   The author is able to work in the backgrounds of the team members, relationship building, wondering who’s a traitor amongst them, and just a nonstop chase that has you flipping pages so fast.

I recommend grabbing this if you want an adventure that’s all also somewhat light & you’ll be able to check out the movie too!  Note:  I saw no mention of a cat that was in many of the movie trailers… Not sure what that means.

An additional  worthy reads:

  • Behind You is the Sea- a small book that intertwines the lives of three Palestinian immigrant families.  I thought it was rich, and I finished it in one setting – you’ll need a box of tissues.

If you got this far, thank you!  Let us know what you’re reading via the comments on @caughtinsouthie, or catch me at @glossinbossin / @josiegl on Instagram.

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