I love books. Sure, I have a Kindle, which is great on vacation, but there is nothing better than holding a book in your hands. Well, except wandering around a bookstore. There aren’t many of those left in St. Louis, but Town&Style is excited to partner with The Novel Neighbor, an independently owned bookstore in the heart of Webster Groves, to get early access to books that have not yet been published (and some that have). I’ll read them and tell you—honestly—whether they are worth your time. Happy reading!

catch and kill by ronan farrow
(in bookstores and online now)
This book is unsettling. Really unsettling. It takes you through Farrow’s attempt to get out to the public the details of Harvey Weinstein’s continued sexual harassment and abuse that lasted for decades. Farrow, once employed by NBC, ran into one roadblock after another when his heavily sourced story was never aired by the major news station. He took the story to The New Yorker, leaving many to wonder why NBC wouldn’t run with the blockbuster. Farrow is an old school investigative reporter who keeps digging until he finds the truth. We should be thankful for journalists like him, but we also should wonder why a national news organization would decide a story like this is not worth its viewers’ attention.

eight perfect murders by peter swanson
(publishing in march)
I consider myself a connoisseur of crime, especially murder cases. Well, even though this book is fiction, wow—did it twist and turn all the way to the end! A seemingly kind, widowed bookstore owner is contacted by the FBI because of a list he published on his blog of the eight perfect murderers in fiction novels. The crimes appear to be happening in the Northeast. This needs to be made into a movie with Michael Sheen as the bookstore owner.

The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson
(in bookstores and online now)
I hate the term ‘beach read’ because that somehow diminishes the hard work an author has done to write and publish a book. But that’s what this is. It certainly holds your attention, and it doesn’t require you to be completely sober while reading it, so the lack of character development isn’t so bothersome. You feel pretty good that the book ends the way it does.