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The Woman in Cabin 10 mascara

When I was in college, I always looked forward to getting the reading lists for my literature classes and heading to the bookstore. So, now that it’s September, I’ve put together a list of required reading for you. And you don’t even have to go back to school! 

The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

As a travel writer who goes on many cruises, this book freaked me out. Lo Blacklock has finally been given a cushy assignment: she’s one of an intimate group of journalists invited on the preview journey of a new luxury cruise line. But, right before she leaves for her trip, she’s the victim of a home burglary. And, once on board, she borrows a mascara from her next door neighbor (see above), and is later convinced someone has thrown the woman overboard. When she alerts the crew, she is assured that cabin has been vacant the whole time. The plot twists will rock you as dramatically as the waves at sea, and you will not fall sleep until you’ve finished the entire book. I may never fall sleep on a cruise again.

In a Dark Dark WoodIn A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Because I tore through The Girl on the Boat The Woman in Cabin 10, I followed it up with Ware’s first psychological thriller, which turned out to be another page-turner. You know by the title it’s going to be scary and it’s no surprise it’s already set to be a movie because the description of the glass-fronted house in the middle of nowhere is so visual in itself. The story revolves around Nora Shaw, who is invited to a hen do (an English bachelorette party) for her friend, Clare, who she hasn’t seen since her school days. Why was she invited? And why is she waking up in a hospital, with a police officer outside her door and overhearing something about a murder? Go read it for yourself. With the lights on.

My Last ContinentMy Last Continent by Midge Raymond

I adore Midge Raymond’s short stories and would happily read anything she wrote. In this debut novel, her writing is so vivid, you’ll feel like you’re on the other side of the world, surrounded by the glaciers and icebergs of Antarctica, where part-time lovers Deb and Keller meet for a few weeks each year, studying penguins and giving tours to passengers on a small expedition ship. The chapters unfold through different time periods leading up to the Shipwreck, adding an ominous undertone to the book from the beginning. Raymond’s exploration of the fragile landscape — of both the human heart and the disappearing continent — is achingly beautiful, and, despite the isolation and frigidity of the novel’s setting, her revelations about love and loss will warm even the most frozen heart.

With MaliceWith Malice by Eileen Cook

You may remember that my bibliotherapist recommended this thriller, and now that I’ve read it in practically one sitting, I respect her expertise even more. It’s sooo good. Eighteen-year-old Jill wakes up in the hospital and can’t remember the last six weeks. She doesn’t understand why she has a lawyer and why she is in the news. When it turns out she was in a car accident which killed her best friend during their school trip to Italy, she has to put together the puzzle pieces — just like we do. And, trust me, the process is an emotional roller coaster for all. Author Cook formerly counseled patients with traumatic brain injuries, which adds a whole other fascinating layer to a book that will keep you wondering about the truth — and whether we can actually ever know it.

Moral DefenseMoral Defense by Marcia Clark

I was a big fan of Marcia (O.J.) Clark’s first book in the Samantha Brinkman series, and I’m so excited that she’s already written the second one. Sam is a down-to-earth defense attorney in LA who’s always living on the edge, determined to get her clients off even when she considers them the lowest of the low. Don’t worry; she’ll figure out a way to get them what they really deserve at some point. This time around, she’s the legal advocate for Cassie, a young teen whose father and brother were brutally murdered and whose mother is in a coma. As Sam learns more about Cassie, she feels a surprising kinship with her. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat and, when it’s over, you’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.



  1. Oh my these all look so good and sound even better. I currently reading The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas and so far it really good.

  2. You jarred my memory of how I looked forward to the new book list from my literature classes in college. That was so much fun.

    Thanks for the heads up with your list. It’s always great to read book reviews from friends whose taste in books you trust.

  3. I’m not a big reader of thrillers. BUT these do sound intriguing. I can see a few that will be holiday gifts for friends who dig thrillers and I’m looking at a couple myself!

  4. Looks like a good reading list. Unfortunately I do not spend my spare time reading like I wish I would sometimes.

  5. My mother just finished The Woman in Cabin Ten and she couldn’t sleep while she was reading it, she was so scared~ great list! I am reading “The Nix” and it’s really good.

  6. These sound like great reads for me to check out asap! I’m always looking for new titles that have good reviews and I’m already kind of excited/anxious about In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware! lol

  7. Great recommendations! Scary good books to add to my pile!!

  8. Another batch of books with which I am not familiar! Yay!

  9. My freshman year of college I read all the books on the syllabus for my literature class not knowing most were recommended reading! I missed the asterisk denoting required.
    Now your list will go on my list. I have only read In a dark dark wood, and it was a good one! I started Marcia Clarke’s first book and had to put it away, I will give her another try!

  10. I keep hearing about The Woman in Cabin 10! I will simply have to try it. I haven’t heard of the rest, which is good. More gems to discover!

  11. I am not a big reader but having surgery this fall and need to get so books to occupy my recovery time. Thanks for the suggestions

  12. I definitely want to read the Marcia Clark book. The Woman in Cabin 10 sounds interesting too. Thanks for the suggestions.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to add them to my Goodreads list right now (before I forget the titles and authors…. that seems to happen to me a lot these days 🙂 )

  14. These all look great and to be honest I haven’t read any of these authors. I’m always looking for good books so thanks for the reviews.

  15. I am looking for new books to add to my list. I will have to look for these!

  16. I love the idea of my own book lists for the back to school season! These look intriguing, although The Woman in Cabin 10 might make me decide against a cruise!

  17. I get excited when I see my kids’ reading lists so I love the idea of our back to school reading list. Just ordered The Woman in Cabin 10 and in a dark, dark wood (which I’ve had on a list forever).

  18. Hahaha, I’m a big reading list person too! Thanks for making this one for us. We’ve got one of our own going too right now. I’m excited to have more to add to it now!

  19. Thanks for pointing out these books, Lois! I’ve seen “With Malice” lurking in book stores and on reading lists, but now that I’ve read your review and the synopsis, I’m putting it on my list.

    I’m also looking forward to “The Woman in Cabin 10.” I plan to forward that on to my cousin, although I’ll wait until after she’s returned from her 16-passenger sailboat cruise to the Galapagos at Christmas. I’d hate to ruin her trip. 🙂

  20. I just took my daughter to the thrift store to buy a whole bunch of books and I need to do the same for myself. I love that your list isn’t full of romance stuff…lol. I prefer thrillers and mysteries 🙂

  21. These all look like challenging reads – and most I wouldn’t want to be reading before bed! I’ve added them to my holiday reading list.

  22. Hi Lois – These all sound great. I’ve read In a Dark, Dark Wood and it was a fantastic book! Look forward to putting the rest on my “to read” list.

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