I moved to Alabama from Los Angeles just three months ago. It took me six weeks to put my house together, but now that that’s over, I’ve plenty of time on my hands. I’ve been filling it by getting to know my new town and by listening to audiobooks while I walk, drive, clean, and so forth. 

In January, I picked up twelve books. I’ll be the first one to admit that listening is not the same as reading, but it’s just so convenient! So I figured I’d share this list with you so that we can either compare notes if you have read them, or perhaps to spark up an itch for your next pick. Some of the books I listened to are good, some almost-good, some are, ehmmm, let’s call them “spicy,” and some are plain sleepers. Take my opinions with a grain of salt; opinions are like noses, after all.

Lastly, the links to each book are live, in case you want to see more on Amazon.

Good reads


Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell I enjoyed this book a lot. As the title hints, it’s about a girl who disappears and the purpose of the story is to tell you how it happened. I changed my mind about who the culprit was several times and at the end, I was still surprised. That’s the best you can expect from a book, right? I’m planning to read more Jewell soon.

Every Vow You Break, by Peter Swanson – This story is about a woman engaged to a wealthy man who in her bachelorette’s party “meets” (really meets if you know what I mean) another dude. After the wedding, the husband takes her to a super expensive resort in some island and to her surprise the dude that she “met” is also there. As you can imagine, the rest is nothing but trouble. Good stuff!

Things We Do in the Dark, by Jennifer Hillier – This one is a page-turner (can we use that phrase even if we’re listening to it?) It’s smart, unpredictable, it’s hard to turn it off. However, it’s full of heavy subjects – I’m talking child molestation, murder, domestic violence. I was never tired of it, though. Some of the characters are Filipino, so that also adds an interesting layer to it. 

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley – A wedding happens on an island and one of the people involved ends up dead. This is a who-done-it book. Keeps you interested. 

THE BEST:  La Isla Bajo El Mar, by Isabel Allende – I listened to this book in Spanish but you can find it in English as Island Beneath the Sea. I was looking for historical fiction set in the area where I now live. This story happens in New Orleans before the Americans took over, when people were descendants either of freed Blacks and/or Europeans. It’s very helpful to understand what Creole means and how this area came to be. Besides being informative, it has a moving love story. Allende is just the best.


Almost-good reads


Spare, by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex – This book is super satisfying as far as Royal gossip goes. He tells you who was mean to whom and when, and I ate it up. But Prince Harry is also a soldier, so he sometimes goes on and on talking about war stuff that I personally didn’t care much about. The audiobook is read by him and hearing his voice and accent is kind of cool. 

The Push, by Ashley Audrain – This book is a little longer than it needs to be, in my humble opinion. Some chapters drag on, but the plot is clever. Maybe there’s an unstable mother or maybe there’s a demon child or maybe both are true. I really like the way it ends because it makes you want to sit down and write a sequel yourself! 


“Spicy” books… tsk tsk…


The Love Hypothesis, by Ali Hazelwood – This is a cute, easy, feels-like-watching-TV book. It’s got a great sense of humor, too. There’s a sex scene squat in the middle of the story, though. Just one, at least. 

Ugly Love, by Colleen Hoover – If you like to read sexy scenes, this won’t be a bad book. Prude me doesn’t like it, though. I wasn’t acquainted with Colleen Hoover. I listened to this book following a recommendation from someone on TikTok. It’s just not my thing; the “spicy” scenes happen a bit too often for this nun. I left it at 40%.


Zzzzz… Melatonin infused


Local Woman Missing, by Mary Kubica – This book is so popular on TikTok and it had a ten-week wait at the library! Yet, I kept on criticizing it as it moved along. Maybe it has to do with the audio. I didn’t particularly love the accents, but I think it’s also the writing. For example, one of the characters is supposed to be an uneducated child. She says that her captor says big words that she doesn’t understand, yet, just a few pages later this same girl talks about “calisthenics.” I mean, how many children do you know who use that word? I found it inconsistent and after an hour and fifteen minutes I gave up on it.

We Begin at the End, by Chris Whitaker – I listened for 20 minutes and finally realized that my brain hadn’t yet understood a thing. I abandoned it. Could it be the audio reader instead? Perhaps…

After She’s Gone, by Camilla Grebe – After listening for over an hour, I literally fell asleep.


That’s it. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Would love to hear from you.