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LWLShelf - Quarantine Edition

The past few weeks have been, in short, bizarre. To be honest, I haven't been in the right headspace to post anything. I'm not super motivated right now, and I'm not totally sure of what to say under these circumstances, but I have found that forcing myself to take things step by step changes my mindset, however slowly.

I'm working from home for the foreseeable future, so mornings, nights and weekends need to be filled with books, podcasts and other fun things in lieu of human contact! I want to share some fun things I've been reading and listening to over the past few weeks.

1. We Have Your Daughter by Paula Woodward

OK, this one is definitely not a lighthearted book, but hear me out. In the early hours of December 26, 1996, the tiny body of JonBenét Ramsey was discovered by her father in the basement of their Boulder, Colorado home. What followed was a decades-long investigation, sensationalized beyond measure, that has yet to be put to rest. Growing up during this investigation, I didn't know much about the Ramsey murder case beyond the misleading headlines on gross tabloid covers. Paula Woodward does an incredible job of presenting the evidence in a thorough, thoughtful way. I came away from this book with a LOT of feelings about America's news industry, the importance of police forces remaining neutral in their investigating, as well as the plight of the Ramsey family, who has been dragged through the mud since 1996. We Have Your Daughter is often dense, dry, and Woodward repeats the facts over and over at times, if only to impart sense into a senseless crime and investigation. Whether or not you know anything about the Ramsey case, and whether or not you have an opinion on it, if you're looking for some strong investigative journalism, this book is fascinating.

If you want to read a book that makes you feel like you're sitting at a cocktail bar with a friend who has hours of MEGA juicy gossip to spill, then give this one a go. I devoured this book in two nights. Granted, I've been following the story of the con-woman named Anna Sorokin Delvey since she was written about on NYMag (if you're not into reading a whole book about the drama, this is a great article about the whole thing). Written by Rachel DeLoache Williams, who befriended a mysterious German heiress named Anna, the book follows their strange misadventures in fraud and fabulousness. Anna lied and cheated her way through months of residency at five-star hotels around the world, business class flights, and fancy clothes and spa treatments, often at the expense of Rachel. If you're feeling down in the dumps about quarantine, this is a great book to take your mind off things.

3. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I've only just started listening to this audiobook. It's lighthearted and gossipy and great to binge on while I'm scrubbing dishes or taking my cat on a walk in the backyard (yes, I'm that person). I'm a whopping hour and a half in, but I've had friends recommend this one and they absolutely loved it. The premise, as stolen from the publisher's site, is "What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?" Yes please!

What are you reading during your time at home? I'd love to hear your book, podcast and TV/movie recommendations! I'd also love to explore how we can remain connected during all this madness. Over at Literally, we are having our first ever virtual book club meeting next week! We'll be discussing The Power by Naomi Alderman. I'm looking to see how this shakes out, and would love to explore hosting something on the LWL platforms! What are your thoughts?

Happy reading and hope you're all staying healthy! A big big thank you to those of you who are on the front lines of this awful crisis. I'd encourage everyone to stay home, if you can, in order to protect our most vulnerable!


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