“Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita have worked at Truviv, Inc. for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, swept under the rug, hidden away by those in charge.
But the world has changed, and the women are watching this promotion differently. This time, when they find out Ames is making an inappropriate move on a colleague, they aren’t willing to let it go. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.
Sloane and her colleagues’ decision to take a stand sets in motion a catastrophic shift in the office. Lies will be uncovered. Secrets will be exposed. And not everyone will survive. All of their lives―as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries―will change dramatically as a result.
“If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened.”‘
I was very excited to read this book as it seemed focused around such an important and timely topic especially during the #metoo movement…office politics, the expectations, the way women are treated differently in professional situations and sexual harassment.
I initially struggled through the beginning of this book and felt many of the characters and plot line were hard to differentiate between. This was definitely a slow burn and although there is a mystery element to this story, where it shined the most was through the personal stories of these strong women.
I would have loved for the author to go a bit deeper in some of these situations because some of them were glossed over in order to keep the story flowing. I do appreciate that Baker was able to take on such a powerful and important topic with her engaging storytelling. This would be a great pick for a summer beach read or a great book club conversation.
Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Iron books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
“Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.
When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.
During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.
With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.”
Mary Alice Monroe is one of my very favorite authors and I adore her Beach House series. The Summer Guests is a spin-off of the Beach House series which I think definitely affected my reaction and perspective while reading this book.
Every year I look forward to another installment to this series and I love seeing what the Rutledge family is up to. Over the years new characters have joined in but the regulars were always there too.
The Summer Guests introduces us to a whole new crew of characters and also shifts from the usual focus of turtle rescue to the world of horses, dressage and rescue dogs. While interesting, I had a harder time connecting with these characters and the new themes. I do think that might have to do with my expectations for it being another Beach House book instead of a new stand-alone novel.
I did enjoy the involvement of Cara Rutledge but it was fairly minimal and the stories in the book didn’t connect as well as they normally do with Monroe’s storytelling. All in all this book was okay, just not my favorite.
Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Hello from sunny Florida! we are away this week visiting family on the gulf coast. After a long Vermont winter and a busy work season for Lucas, it feels great to have a week together as a family. We have been spending a lot of time finding shark teeth at the beach, eating delicious food and swimming in the pool.
Coffee Talk, Vacation Edition!
This week I thought it would be fun to share some things we are loving while on vacation…
White Noise Machine:
At home, we sleep with sound machines, something we started when our kids were babies and we have really grown used to ourselves over the years. When we travel we love using the White Noise Ambience app on our phone. We downloaded it when we were traveling when our first son was a toddler and we have used it ever since!
We really love the “white noise” selections that provide a constant soothing sound. We have grown to used to sleeping with a sound machine now and this provides great noise canceling from any nearby sounds…especially helpful at a hotel or resort and just makes it so much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are so many sounds you can choose from, but these are our favorites…
UV Protection Sunshirt:
I love the sun but I don’t love being in it. I am very careful about sun exposure due to having very pale skin but I don’t like when it stops me from wanting to do things where you can hide under an umbrella. I finally decided a sunshirt was the way to go and now I will never go back! I found this UV sun protection shirt and it is perfect! It is great coverage, not too loose and not too tight and has kept me totally sunburn free the last two days in the Florida sun. I am a size 8/10 and I got a size large for reference.
We are in the Venice area so we have been on the hunt for fossilized shark teeth at the beach, and so this means we have been in the water most of the day. Between this shirt and a great sun hat….I feel super covered while also still being able to have fun in the sun! And look at all our treasures!
Like all things Scout, this thing is rugged and wipes clean which is a major plus with any bag but especially with a makeup bag. I love that it has the side pocket which is great for makeup brushes and it is a perfect size to carry everything I need.
I couldn’t write this post without talking about my beloved Kindle Paperwhite! I am going to write a much more detailed post soon about all things Kindle, but for now, I thought I would share why I love it so much for vacation.
I used to bring ALL THE BOOKS on vacation. I like reading new releases which often means I have hardcover books either from the library or from the bookstore. On our honeymoon, I brought 9 hardcover books, and I read them all…but oh man, that was a lot of extra weight!
Kindles are life-changing for this! I brought hundreds of books to choose from (hello Libby app!) on our current trip, but they only weigh less than half a pound. 😉
Alright, that’s all for today! I will be back soon with more vacation updates and my regular book chatter. <3
“THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.
HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.
HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .
The first mistake could be her last.”
The First Mistake by Sandie Jones was a highly anticipated book for me. I love her writing style and she is skilled at writing captivating and engaging domestic thrillers. I was drawn into this story but was left with a lot of unanswered questions and an ending that didn’t entirely work for me because it was all wrapped up so quickly.
I am one who likes a little more substance and depth and I understand that with this type of book you don’t always get that, but this just left me wanting more.
The First Mistake was very engaging but I felt like I needed more of the backstory to feel connected to Alice, Beth, and Nathan. I found myself feeling quite frustrated with the characters not being able to react reasonably when time and time again there were major issues that were either being ignored or not taken seriously…
All in all, this was a fast-paced book that definitely is entertaining, I just don’t think it was the perfect fit for me.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine―a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night―trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges―as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.
Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.”
Miracle Creek is an intricately crafted family and courtroom drama from debut novelist Angie Kim. I picked this one up after taking a self-imposed break with “suspense/thriller” books because they were all feeling rather similar and just couldn’t hold my attention.
Miracle Creek was a surprise hit, not only because it kept me guessing until the end, but because of it’s amazing depth and deep dive into so many important issues. While the courtroom drama was center stage, immigration, the hopes for experiencing the “American dream”, and caring for children with special needs was right there too. There were so many layers to Kim’s amazing storytelling. This wasn’t an easy read but it was so compelling and thought-provoking which was exactly what I had been missing lately with these “types” of books.
HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) was an entirely new concept to me and I found it added so much to the storyline. Kim was able to add so much emotion during this reading journey that I was able to connect with all the different character’s perspectives, even when I couldn’t always relate to their actual experiences.
I am so impressed with Angie Kim and I look forward to reading what she comes out with next!
I received an Advanced Review Copy of Miracle Creek by Angie Kim from the publisher Farrar, Straus, and Giroux through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. In addition, whenever possible, I will be including the LibroFM bookstore link alongside any other referral links. This allows you to purchase the book from your choice of independent bookstores.
“Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.
But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?
In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?
Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.”
I Miss You When I Blink is a collection of memoir-style essays. Like with any collection of short stories or essays, I connected with some more than others. I found Philpott’s writing witty and approachable and she had so many accurate descriptions of life as a middle-aged white mother who is balancing career, family and the forever pull of wondering if what we have done with our time has been worthwhile.
There is a great balance of humor and I appreciated that she was able to acknowledge her privilege while also talking about some of her own struggles in life. I found reading this book to be a similar experience to an evening catching up with old friends. If you like memoirs and short stories, this might be the right fit for you too.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“Ever lose it with your kid? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Parenting is stressful, children are insane, and you’re only human. Carla Naumburg, PhD, a clinical social worker, was so at a loss with her daughters that she found herself Googling “how to stop yelling at my kids” during a particularly grueling evening. That moment led to this book—a short, empathic, insight-packed, and tip-filled program for how to manage your triggers, stop the meltdowns, and become a calmer, happier parent with calmer, happier kids.
How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids not only explains why we explode at our children but also teaches us everything we need to know to decrease stress and increase patience, even in the most challenging family moments.
Based on recent research and evidence-based practices, and written in the warm, funny, instantly relatable tone of a parent who’s been there, the book guides even the most harried parents toward a new way of engaging with their children. Readers will come away feeling less ashamed and more empowered to get their sh*t together, instead of losing it.”
I remember so clearly the kind of parent I was going to be before I had kids…and then I became a parent. Our kids are kind, funny, curious, loving and they can totally make me lose my sh*t. We have two boys who are two years apart in age and parenting can feel like a total rollercoaster ride. No matter how hard you try, you are not going to be a perfect parent.
“When it comes to parenting, being awesome and screwing up are not mutually exclusive.” -Carla Naumburg
My Own Experience:
I can recall with such vivid memories how completely overwhelmed I was when our first son was a baby because the physically demanding aspects of parenting an infant who cried a lot and slept, umm, not a lot were 24/7. I was exhausted. As the years went by and we added a second child, not only did parenting feel physically hard but it became emotionally hard. This is also when we entered the stage of “losing our sh*t”.
You think it won’t happen to you, but then it does. Have you ever tried strapping a screeching toddler into a car seat while they are whacking you in the face while also making their entire body as straight and stiff as a board? Have you ever wanted to take a 3-minute shower without referring two children who are fighting over a toy neither one has previously played with in years? Have you ever been on a last minute work phone call and had to say “I am going to have to call you back” because you can’t hear anyone over the screeching of your children in the background of the car, who you previously explained to that you needed to make this important phone call? There are thousands of more examples, but this is just an example of how you may get to the “losing your sh*t” zone of parenting.
What This Book is About:
How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids is a relatable and approachable discussion and action guide relating to the stresses of modern-day parenting. Naumburg starts with defining why parents can sometimes lose it, and then goes into the different steps of how you work towards losing it less.
The Most Important Steps:
TRIGGERS: Understand your triggers…we all have them even though they may be very different.
AWARENESS. Know what pushes your buttons and own it.
REFLECT. Having some insight into the WHY can help you have a plan.
REDUCE TRIGGERS: Work on reducing triggers. This makes you feel less out of control and enables you to be more proactive when you get into moments of frustration.
COMPASSION. Have compassion both with yourself and with your children…and really, the world around you. When you can look at something from a more empathetic viewpoint, it is easier to own the situation and then move forward. You always have another chance to have a more positive interaction.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. In a fast-paced world, parents are juggling more things than ever before. Finding ways to take care of yourself actually makes YOU a better parent. Find your village and support system and choose wisely when saying YES…the fewer overcommitments the fewer triggers you might have. Unitask when you are able…multitasking usually causes nothing to get done well and often results in massive frustration levels for all.
Approachable, Proactive & Real:
I found this book to be approachable and real, yet also great at calling out what our issues might be so we can be more proactive about them in the future. There was a great balance of reflection and action no matter what your situation or triggers. Naumburg strives for progress, not perfection which feels attainable when you are in the thick of it.
Naumburg discusses with great detail how to catch yourself when you are in or about to enter a “losing it” moment and has reachable suggestions such as “notice, pause and do literally anything else”. I loved the section on compassion, both with ourselves and with our children. When we lose it, which will still happen sometimes, no matter how many things we put in place to stop it, the most important thing we can do is own it.
Reconnecting with ourselves can help guide us to why we might have reacted that way and provide us an opportunity to think about practical things we can put in place to help it from happening again…such as scheduling self-care, reaching out to our support system, etc.
Another step in compassion is reconnecting with our children. Getting calm and apologizing is one of the most powerful parts we can do, not only to repair and respect our relationships with our kids but also to help them see how powerful talking through moments can be for both parties.
I found so many parts of this book helpful and highly recommend it to any parent who is looking for proactive and attainable advice. Thank you to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Hello! How is your week going? This is our last week before school vacation. After spring break the rest of the school year always flies by. It’s hard to believe but summer will be here before we know it. There are SO many amazing summer books that are coming out this year and I can’t wait to share more about them soon.
So far I have read the ARC of Mrs. Everything and it was amazing!! Jennifer Weiner has always been one of my very favorite authors and this might be my favorite of hers yet. You can read my Goodreads review of Mrs. Everything HERE.
In all seriousness, we are reaching the age of definitely needing to have this conversation with our older son and a friend recommended the book, It’s Not the Stork! as a guide for having a positive and proactive conversation.
I also always had access to a bunch of books about puberty and body changes as an older kid and pre-teen and I found them so helpful. I appreciated that it was never an uncomfortable thing to talk or learn about while I was growing up and I want to provide that same thing for our kids…but it is really is tough to know the right way to start the conversation!
Our kids definitely know how babies get OUT, but we haven’t had the whole how they get in there conversation quite yet. Any tips, websites or other book suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Currently Listening to…
I have been loving Laura Tremaine’s new podcast 10 Things To Tell You. I have always loved hearing Tremaine discuss books but she is so open and insightful about so many other topics as well. I listened to her podcast episode this morning discussing “Who did you expect to be?” and I just loved it. I found her relatable, real and funny and I think you would enjoy it too.
I am also so excited that the Committed Podcast is back for season two! I love Jo Piazza as an author (Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win was one of my top books from 2019) but she is also an amazing podcast host and interviewer. The stories she shares are real and raw and also so inspiring.
If you haven’t tried these foot peel masks yet, you are MISSING OUT…especially with summer (and sandals) weather on its way.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about these things a few years ago but now I am a full convert. You soak your feet in these little booties for an hour and a half or so, and then you wait. At first, you think nothing is happening…and wonder if you just wasted your time and money….but then it starts!
All the dead skin peels off your feet and if you are lucky, it even falls off in little sheets, which may sound disgusting but I found it quite intriguing…don’t knock it until you try it! And you don’t have to just take my word for it, there are 1000s of reviews out there that even include photos like this article HERE…which I know you are curious about and it also has some great tips.
I recommend taking a bath a few times the days after you do the peel for maximum results and peeling. I have tried many kinds, including Baby Foot and they all work similarly, but THESE ONES are just cheaper and work amazingly well.
Speaking of summer and sandals, have you tried the rubber Birkenstocks yet? They make the BEST pool sandals they feel like a flip flop with a little more support like regular Birkenstocks but without the fear of getting them super wet like the original soft cork footbed. I have been wearing them around the house in anticipation of vacation and it makes me so very happy.
Alright, that was quite the random Coffee Talk Wednesday but I hoped you enjoy it! Do you have anything you are currently loving? I would love to hear! <3
Do you remember the books that you read when you got into reading as an adult? I read throughout elementary school and much of high school, but reading for pleasure mostly stopped for me while I was in college.
I had a harder time just keeping up the expected reading required of my courses, so I didn’t prioritize much reading for pleasure except a bit during the summer time. When I finished school and began a regular schedule of full time work, a much quieter evening life ensued…At this time reading became a regular part of my life once again.
So many of these books I read during this time of my life and they are such wonderful reading memories for me. One of my very favorite things about books is how quickly they can bring you back to the time and place when you read them…I remember reading some of these on my bed during summer break in the early 2000s, one at my very first apartment in the “real world” and on our first trip together as a couple with my now husband.
Recently, one of my Bookstagram friends asks me for recommendations on older books that I loved. I love having a little inspiration and I had fun looking back at Goodreads to see the ones I had rated when I first started using the (then only) website more than 10 years ago. It is amazing to think how different technology was at the time, and how much it will change 10 years from now!
Below are some books that will forever stand out for me in my reading memories…
“On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband’s presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House–and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, “almost in opposition to itself.”
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.
As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes President, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek–one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility. As Charlie’s tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona?
In Alice Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. American Wife is a gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and the exigencies of fate into a brilliant tapestry–a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid bare.”
“A wonderfully warm and heartfelt debut from a stunning new talent. Everyone needs a guardian angel! Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry. Childhood sweethearts, they could finish each other’s sentences and even when they fought, they laughed. No one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other. Until the unthinkable happens.
Gerry’s death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms, Gerry comes back to her. He’s left her a bundle of notes, one for each of the months after his death, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed ‘PS, I Love You’. As the notes are gradually opened, and as the year unfolds, Holly is both cheered up and challenged. The man who knows her better than anyone sets out to teach her that life goes on.
With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing–and being braver than ever before. Life is for living, she realizes–but it always helps if there’s an angel watching over you.”
“Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket’s hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business…and they share an instant attraction.
But there is a mystery about their situation: what is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro’s chef, that captures Thatcher’s attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether to open her heart for the first time, or move on, as she always does. Infused with intimate Nantucket detail and filled with the warmth of passion and the breeze of doubt, The Blue Bistro is perfect summer listening.”
“In the summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend.
Tully Hart seems to have it all: beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface, they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn; Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become ‘TullyandKate’ — inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the mainstay of their lives. For 30 years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship: jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all, until a single act of betrayal tears them apart…and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And, ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you – and knows what has the power to hurt you…and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget…one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.”
“On an icy winter night in an isolated house in rural Vermont, a seasoned midwife named Sibyl Danforth takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency cesarean section on a mother she believes has died of stroke. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead? The ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt, forcing Sibyl to face the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience. Exploring the complex and emotional decisions surrounding childbirth, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.”
“The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.
The Glass Castle is truly astonishing—a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.”
“The sensational New York Times bestseller from Marisa de los Santos, Belong to Me is a gift for readers, an enchanting, luminous novel about the accidents, both big and small, that affect our choice of friend, lover, and spouse. A story centered around three very different suburban neighbors and what it truly means to “belong” to someone, this eye-opening, unforgettable book is the perfect book club selection—beautifully written, smart and sophisticated women’s fiction that invites discussion as it touches the heart—and the ideal companion to de los Santos’s previous blockbuster, Love Walked In.”
“Four people in a small Vermont village are about to have their lives inexorably intertwined by the uncertainties of love…and the apparent absolutes of gender.
Allison Banks, the long-divorced mother of a teenager on the cusp of college, has at last fallen in love. The object of her desire? Dana Stevens, a professor at the nearby university and her instructor for a summer film and literature course. Her daughter watches with pleasure her mother’s newfound happiness, but Allison’s ex-husband, Will, the president of Vermont Public Radio, is jealous. Still secretly in love with his ex-wife, he finds himself unsettled by the prospect of Allison’s attachment to another man.
Yet Dana is unlike anyone Allison has ever been with: attentive, gentle, kind – and an exceptionally ardent lover. Moreover, it’s clear that Dana cares just as deeply for Allison. The only stumbling block? Dana has known always that in actuality he is woman and he will soon be having a sex change operation.
At first Allison runs, but overwhelmed by the depth of her passions, she returns. Can the pair’s love transcend both the biologic imperatives that are their bodies, as well as their ingrained notions of sexual preference? Moreover, can their love survive the outrage of the small community in which they live?”
“Until now, Kathryn Lyons’s life has been peaceful if unextraordinary: a satisfying job teaching high school in the New England mill town of her childhood; a picture-perfect home by the ocean; a precocious, independent-minded fifteen-year-old daughter; and a happy marriage whose occasional dull passages she attributes to the unavoidable deadening of time.
As a pilot’s wife, Kathryn has learned to expect both intense exhilaration and long periods alone – but nothing has prepared her for the late-night knock that lets her know her husband has died in a crash. As Kathryn struggles with her grief, she descends into a maelstrom of publicity stirred up by the modern hunger for the details of tragedy.
Even before the plane is located in waters off the Irish coast, the relentless scrutiny of her husband’s life begins to bring a bizarre personal mystery into focus. Could there be any truth to the increasingly disturbing rumors that he had a secret life?”
“Cannie Shapiro never wanted to be famous. The smart, sharp, plus-sized pop culture reporter was perfectly content writing about other people’s lives in the pages of the Philadelphia Examiner. But the day she opened up a national women’s magazine to find out that her ex-boyfriend has been chronicling their ex-sex life is the day her life changes forever.
Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world, Bruce has written. And Cannie – who never knew that Bruce saw her as a larger woman, or thought that loving her was an act of courage – is plunged into misery, and into the most amazing year of her life.
Radiant with wit, bursting with surprises, and written with bite and bittersweet humor, Jennifer Weiner reaches beyond Cannie’s story and into the heart of every woman. Gut-level real and laugh-out-loud funny, Good in Bed celebrates the courage of the human spirit and features an unbelievably funny cast of supporting characters, the strangest dog you’ll ever encounter, and a heroine you’ll never forget.”
“When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is changed forever. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography hobby and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won’t let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that before he was homeless, he was a successful photographer.
As Laurel’s fascination with Bobbie’s former life begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a dark family secret.
In this spellbinding literary thriller, rich with complex and compelling characters, Chris Bohjalian takes listeners on his most intriguing, most haunting, and most unforgettable journey yet.”
“It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon never would have dreamed of it.
Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood.”
What about you?
Do you have books or authors that stand out for you in your reading history? I would love to hear! <3
“In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher, and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.
When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.
A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year—and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.”
Evvie Drake Starts Over is an endearing story of a woman who is trying to get her life “back on track” after the loss of her husband. It was a feel-good story that was also able to cover some important topics like loss, relationships, mental health, and new beginnings.
I enjoyed that this was a romance book that was actually relatable and the main characters had regular issues they had to acknowledge and address. I appreciated that the issues were not only highlighted but dealt with and this made this book so much stronger. This also added some much-needed depth while also having plenty of light-hearted moments.
I look forward to reading more by Linda Holmes in the future! Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.