2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge [February Check-In]

Welcome to the February check-in of the 2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge. This month’s Motif is “If You Have A Garden and a Library… (Read a book with a plant or flower on the cover.)” Check in with us on Goodreads, at Instagram with the hashtag #MonthlyMotifGXO or at the bottom of this post. You can also track your progress on Storygraph.

2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge

2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge

Here’s what we’re planning on reading this month.

KIM – In an attempt to read what is on my shelf and not look for something new, I’ve decided to go with The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell. This was a book I got as part of a secret Santa exchange a couple of years ago and I have yet to read it. My cover has vines and flowers on it.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: ‘I am finally going to know who I am.’ She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

TANYA PATRICE – My choice this month is the 2022 Goodreads Choice Awards Winner for Horror – and I’m taking liberties with the theme since this book has trees on the cover (not a plant or flower) … still plant life right?! Hidden Pictures, Jason Rekulak (Illustrators: Will Staehle and Doogie Horner).

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy. She sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body. As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.

My recommendation for this theme – Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno Garcia. This book is drama, suspense, and a little weirdness rolled up into one. It’s not a fast paced story – the author takes time to set the atmospheric nature of the novel. It builds and builds to the climax.

Mexican Gothic

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Link up with the books you read for the 2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge below.


// Comments //

  1. I’m behind in my reading. Depression had a killer hold on me that I’m still trying to shake off. Anyway, I just finished Entangled by Barbara Ellen Brink.

  2. Randi Robinson

    Feb 01

    I read The Vines by Shelley Nolden for the Feb challenge. There is a lot going on in this unsettling book. I characterized it as Medical sci-fi historical fiction family horror saga. It tells the history of North Brother Island in the East River and the family of doctors who were associated with it. It is creepy!