Bev’s Imaginary Book Club: Twenty Years Later, Lessons in Chemistry, and The It Girl

BEWKS! (<–who else in this group wants to flush that down the toilet?)

So, my reading pace this year isn’t what it uhhhh, used to be. Listen to this, I had my GoodReads reading challenge goal set at 40 books this year. Ten less than last year, just knowing that the rhythm of (the night?) life would be kicked up a notch, with third graders and all. You know how it goes. BUT, I kept getting stressed out when I’d look at GoodReads for inspo and it would say, “You’re one book behind, Bev. What is going on? Hustle, woman!” – so I knocked it down to 35 books for the year and now I’m two books ahead (!) and feel so much better. Ha! Never mind.

The three that we’ll talk about today are actually the last three that I read. And I swear there will be zero spoilers in this! Pony up?

Pony up.

Twenty Years Later: OMG.

This is completely delicious because it bounces around in time. You open with a murder. A pretty gruesome murder. And it’s a mystery, that murder. And you get just a little glimpse of what happened, who found him, what shape he’s in, yadda yadda. THEN it’s the present day. And we have a TV host whose newest project happens to involve the suspected murderer from way back when.

But that’s not even it! The suspected murderer died in 9/11. And her DNA has just been discovered twenty years later (now you get it) in the rubble. Not that there’s rubble twenty years later. But her DNA has been discovered twenty years later.

SO, there’s this huge web of figuring out her timeline in the Twin Towers vs. her place in and at the murder scene PLUS her friendship with the murder victim’s wife DU DU DUUUUUN. It goes on and on. There are three timelines you’re piecing together: the murder, then 9/11 just months later, and the present day. It’s completely addictive and fascinating and get your detective hats on because you have work to do!

In other words, read this.

Lessons in Chemistry: SO. MUCH. YES.

There are two timelines in this one. One in the 1950s, and one in 1962. We’ve got this brilliant woman scientist who’s been thrown into the world of television cooking host. All of a sudden. And she’s like, “I’m not an entertainer. I’m here to educate.” Which doesn’t sound very exciting, but it is! And let me tell you why. The whole book is about women being taken seriously next to their male counterparts. Whether it be in the workplace, in a relationship, in public, or in private. ESPECIALLY in 1962, when sexual politics were raging (and outrageous) in the workplace. Chemist Elizabeth Zott is someone we all need in our lives. She unapologetically and matter-of-factly stands up for what she believes in (or rather, what she doesn’t, and it’s such a scandal!), she’s an incredible mom who doesn’t live by societal standards, and she’s a devout scientist who doesn’t waver, no matter what happens to her on her way to achieving exactly what she wants. It’s so inspiring and SO funny and you just want to scream while you’re reading it.

Trigger warning: there is a rape. Just letting you know now.

It’s lighthearted in ways, it’s gripping in other ways, AND you’ll find out why you need to let the butter stop foaming before you add meat. I mentioned the food part, right?

Also there’s a dog in it named Six Thirty. You obviously need to read this.

It’s fantastic. It’ll get your heart pumpin’. HIGHLY recommend.

The It Girl – oooooOOOOOOOOOOooooooo, yes please!

CLASSIC Ruth Ware, with her dark twists and her disturbing turns at every step. This one takes place in an elite English university, and the cast of characters includes all types: the misfit, the popular girl, the shy one, the stud, the nerd, you know how it goes. You can’t love it hard enough. And theeeeeeen: the popular girl, April ends up dead.


Thing is: the convicted killer (an older man, this clunky, socially-awkward-borderline-inappropriate porter who worked for the university) ends up in prison and dies, ten years later. But – something’s not right. And hasn’t ever been. Is he the killer? Was it someone else? Surely not. Someone related to April? There’s no way. Someone she knew? Hard no. Nothing feels right. This can’t be right.

And you are going to F L I P Y O U R E N T I R E F A C E O F F.

It’s more detective work, all set in a collegiate background, bouncing back and forth in a ten year span. Just delicious. Make it happen.

And there we go! Right now I’m reading The Invitation, and I’m struggling. It’s not horrible, and I’m over halfway through, it’s just SLOW. I’ll finish this weekend and report back on how it all wraps up and if I’m satisfied. Or not.

But after this we have the above! Plus a mirror to apparently clean. I think once I finish this sludge of a book, my pace will pick up with some quick-paced murder mysteries! But I’ll clean the mirror first.

Okay, your turn! Tell me what’s on your nightstand, plus what I desperately need to add to my autumn stack. Aaaaand go!

, , ,

9 Responses to Bev’s Imaginary Book Club: Twenty Years Later, Lessons in Chemistry, and The It Girl

  1. Courtney September 22, 2022 at 12:18 pm #
    I really enjoyed lessons in chemistry. Currently reading Hour of the Witch, it had a slow start but is getting interesting.
  2. Abbey September 22, 2022 at 9:18 pm #
    Yes to “Twenty Years Later” It was an Amazon recommendation and such a good read. All the twists. Right when you think you know but then… Almost wish the murder wasn’t with the details it was because I feel like this would be a great class novel about suspense and flashback and all the things. But even though I teach advanced kids they’re still in middle school and I like having a job 🤷🏻‍♀️
  3. Jenn September 23, 2022 at 7:32 am #
    I am reading the No-Show by Beth O'Leary and listening to Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney. Daisy is definitively a Halloween read since it takes place on the same time line. Follows Agatha Christies And Then There Were None.
  4. Renae September 23, 2022 at 10:39 am #
    Reading Verity right now...just getting into it, but unfortunately I have to read one-chapter-at-a-time because that's literally all the time I can muster!! :(
  5. Tina September 23, 2022 at 11:40 am #
    Loved Lessons in Chemistry! Just finished Book Lovers by Emily Henry. It was OK. Liked the ending the best. About to start The Maid. I think you recommended it but not sure. It was many weeks ago when I put it on hold at Library and just received this week!
  6. Joanne September 23, 2022 at 12:47 pm #
    These sound good! I just picked up Lessons in Chemistry this week but haven't had time to start it yet.
  7. Amanda September 23, 2022 at 1:46 pm #
    For the October mood I added : “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” Stephen King’s “Fairy Tale,” “Killers of a Certain Age,” and “We Are All the Same in the Dark.”
  8. Kristin September 24, 2022 at 10:56 am #
    Have them all requested at the library. Thanks! I just started Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Moore, and I am loving it.

Leave a Reply