The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey | Thomas Dunne Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

 

The Glittering Hour

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Book Summary:

Award-winning author Iona Grey’s next unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another

Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.

Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, Iona Grey’s The Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache, and loss.

About the Author:

Iona Grey is the author of the award-winning Letters to the Lost. She has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters.

Publication Date:

December 10th, 2019

Genre:

Historical Fiction/Romance

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Iona Grey

The Glittering Hour 

This past fall I was invited to participate in the St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books Blog Tour for the upcoming December release, The Glittering Hour. One of the wonderful things about reading advanced copies of books is that a lot of times I get to read books before they have been super hyped up, which means I go into it without a lot of expectations either way!

I went into this book not really knowing anything about the plotline or author’s previous writing (Letters to The Lost in 2015). I was immediately entranced by the vividly detailed characters and storyline and loved being immersed in the mid-1920s and 1930s.

Told in a dual storyline, we meet the main characters Selina, and her daughter Alice. I love getting the backstory to themes and storylines and so this back and forth really worked for me.  I so enjoyed following along on this treasure hunt of secrets alongside Alice. This book was not only beautifully written but totally engaging from the very beginning. 

The Glittering Hour has an “unlikely love story” that skews this one more towards the romance genre than just historical fiction and it was one of my favorite parts of this book. All the characters were well developed and multifaceted which made me feel like I was a part of this journey with them.  I loved the themes of hidden secrets, family dynamics, love and loss that made this book and characters so memorable. The ending was emotional and super satisfying and I can’t wait to hear other people’s thoughts now that it is out in the world!

Book Giveaway!

I will be sharing a social media post later today with a chance to enter my BOOK GIVEAWAY for The Glittering Hour, so stay tuned!

Glittering Hour Blog Tour - Facebook

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for inviting me to be a part of this Blog Tour and for providing me with an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


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. Thank you!

 

 

 

What’s On Your Nightstand? |Reading List & Book Recommendations {Mandi}

Book Recommendations

What’s On Your Nightstand?

Welcome to another edition of The Nightstand Series! It’s been so fun to have this series back in the swing of things and today I have another book-loving friend sharing her reading list and book recommendations!

Today I am Excited to Introduce you to Mandi!

Mandi and I have known each other since our early 20s and she has been a part of my adult reading life for almost as long as I can remember. We have always swapped books and it has been fun to watch our reading tastes grow and change over time. Mandi has always had an impressive amount of books and I could always count her to have a bookshelf full of amazing recommendations…and she is still that way today!

I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Mandi today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

My name is Mandi AKA @mandireads and I live in South Burlington, Vermont with my husband and our yellow lab Chance.

I enjoy being active (hiking, spinning, group workout classes, walking), being on the lake in the summer, music (if it’s live, even better), spending time with friends and family, eating candy, true crime, podcasts and obviously reading.

I love traveling both within the US and abroad and have been fortunate enough to have been able to travel to some incredible places. I have a real soft spot for our annual trip to Maine every fall and after our destination wedding in April, Barbados is my favorite island that I’ve traveled to.

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, hands down. (I LOVE FOOD!) Growing up my parents would make whatever we wanted as a birthday dinner; my request was always a full Thanksgiving meal (thanks Mom)!

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I have always been a reader. I had to take a little hiatus during grad school (there just weren’t enough hours in a day with school, a full-time job, and life), but once I graduated I jumped right back into reading!

I have been known to read a book cover to cover in a day. In the 7th grade, we had to do a book report on a trilogy or three books by the same author. I was the kid that read three John Grisham books!

Favorite Genres & Ways To Read

I love a lot of different genres, some of my favorites being true crime, mysteries, thrillers, romance and military (true stories or works of fiction). I am a mood reader and try to be open to different types of books and joining #bookstagram and Book of the Month has helped with that. That being said, I can’t seem to get into or enjoy time travel, sci-fi, and dystopian type books.

For a long time, I was strictly a physical book reader and put off getting an e-reader for a long time. When I finally cracked and got my first Kindle I understood all the hype! You can read anywhere and anytime without having to carry around a ton of books. You never have to worry about running out of something to read when you’re traveling either!

What Time of Day do you do Most of Your Reading?

During the week I get most of my reading done in the afternoon and evenings. I don’t watch a ton of TV and can tune out background noises so I can read while my husband watches sports or one of his shows. On the weekends it always depends on our plans, but rarely is there a day I don’t get some reading in.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

Daisy Jones & The Six

I am currently listening to Call Me God, about the DC Snipers in 2002, through Audible. I just finished Daisy Jones & The Six (thanks for letting me borrow it Gen!) and need to figure out what to start next.

book recommendations

Some books I loved so far this year have to be Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson, Verity by Colleen Hoover, Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. I could add so many other books that are worth picking up, but I’ll try and keep this short 😉

What Are You Reading Next?

TBR list

Off the top of my head, the books I’m most looking forward to reading in the next few months have to be The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff, Regretting You by Colleen Hoover, Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin and The Swallows by Lisa Lutz.

Are There Any Books You Read and Didn’t Love?

don't recommend

Lock Every Door was a miss for me. I loved Riley’s other books (Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied especially) but this one fell short for me. My Friend Anna is a book I went into with really high expectations (the overview sounded so good) that also fell short. It was an interesting read but I had a hard time connecting to it.

What Are You Listening to?

podcast series

I love podcasts and listen to a few. I get my morning news highlights from ABC’s Start Here and my True Crime fix by listening to True Crime Garage and Crime Junkie. My foray into podcasts was Serial (again, thanks to Gen) and I was instantly hooked. A few other true crime podcasts that I always recommend are Dirty John, Up and Vanished(especially the first season on Tara Grinstead), 22 Hours: An American Nightmare and The First Degree.

Audiobooks are something I got into this summer. I typically listen to them when I walk the dog, which is a lot and has helped pass the time with all those miles and sniffs and pee breaks and on solo car rides (when I’m not giving a concert anyway)!

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

Nightstand Series

You will always find my kindle, whatever physical book I’m reading, lotion, chapstick, water and my apple watch charging up for the next day. Sometimes you’ll find a book sleeve, books I want to read soon and whatever hair tie or clip I used that day. For the most part, I am pretty minimal and don’t handle clutter well (especially on my nightstand!)


Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Mandi! You certainly made my TBR and podcast list even longer!

 

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.

 

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes | Pamela Dorman Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Jojo Moyes

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Book Summary:

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England.  But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. 

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond. 

Publication Date:

October 8th, 2019

Genre:

Historical/Women’s Domestic Life Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

The Giver of Stars Jojo Moyes

The Giver of Stars

I have always loved Jojo Moyes’ writing and I was very interested to read a book by her in this historical fiction genre. Moyes has such a gift for writing characters with depth and The Giver of Stars was no different!

I so enjoyed learning more about the history of the Packhorse Library in rural Kentucky that helped bring books to everyone. I absolutely loved learning about the history of the traveling library, as well as how it gave women the ability to discover their own identities in a time and place when this wasn’t the social norm.

This book ended up blowing me away with its multifaceted characters and layered storytelling. I loved feeling immersed in the bonds of these women and life in rural Kentucky. I know this one will stick with me for a long time and I highly recommend it!

*I read this book through a Book of the Month Club subscription. You can learn more about BOTM and get your first book for just $5 when you use my referral link HERE!

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. 

November 2019 Book Recap & Ratings {Gen The Bookworm Monthly Reading Wrap-Up}

Gen The Bookworm Monthly Book Recap

Happy December!

I can’t believe that we are in the last month of 2019. I think because Thanksgiving was so late this year, it seems like the holiday season came out of nowhere! We have three weeks of school (including this one) until Christmas Break for the kids and there is a lot packed in there beforehand.

I also have ALL THESE ideas for the end of the year posts and recaps, but then normal things end up going by the wayside, like regular book reviews posts… I normally like to link to the reviews of the books I am including in these monthly recap posts, but there aren’t too many yet…I will be adding them over the next few weeks so I can be caught up by 2020. 🙂

November Reading at a Glance

November ending up being a great month of reading with a lot of 4 & 5-star reads and just a couple that were a bit of a disappointment. While I wasn’t planning on it, I did read a fair amount of non-fiction which fit in with Nonfiction November which is a popular reading challenge in the Bookstagram world.

I also read some of my very favorite books of the year this past month. I shared my Best of 2019 (so far!) favorites back in July and I am looking forward to seeing how everything stacked up at the official end of 2019 in just a few weeks!

November Highlights

2019-12-03_0001.jpg

My top four books of last month were The Giver of Stars, American Dirt, Be Mighty, and Such a Fun Age. They were all very powerful reads that I won’t forget anytime soon.

November Lows

2019-12-03_0002.jpg

I had a lot of anticipation about both of these titles as both Elizabeth Berg and Malcolm Gladwell are authors I have just loved in the past. Unfortunately, both The Confession Club and Talking to Strangers just did not work for me. I have a hard time connecting with either book and found Talking to Strangers quite concerning at some parts. I discuss this one more below and will be sharing my full reviews for both of these books soon.

Camille Pagan

This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pagan’s writing is relatable, funny and whip-smart. Her 2019 book I’m Fine and Neither Are You is one of my favorites of the past year.  This Won’t End Well will be published in February and you can pre-order it now with a kindle deal HERE. This book made me laugh out loud and I just find Pagan’s writing to be so approachable and enjoyable to read.

Elizabeth Berg

The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Elizabeth Berg was one of the first authors I really got into as an adult reader. I love how she can create simple scenes and environments with complex and multifaceted characters. Unfortunately, this one just didn’t hit the high mark she has set for me in the past, but her backlist is fantastic!

Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

The Family Upstairs was one of my most highly anticipated Fall 2019 reads. I often struggle with the thriller genre and am frequently left feeling disappointed, either because they were way too far fetched and the ending comes out of nowhere or they feel cliched and totally predictable.

There are a few I have just loved but far more that felt like a letdown…and I get it, I am rather picky about them. I like the perfect balance of detailed characters, suspense, mystery and a satisfying, yet semi-realistic ending.

The one author that has yet to let me down is Lisa Jewell, and so this made my expectations even higher for this one. I am happy to report that she has done it again! The Family Upstairs was the perfect book to cozy up with on the couch and read the afternoon away.

You can read my full review HERE.

D.J. Palmer

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was in the mood for a thriller to get sucked into and some of my book reviewing friends had really enjoyed The New Husband. It ended up being very engaging and a total page-turner. You can read my full review HERE.

Emily Belden

Husband Material Emily Belden

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Husband Material is a contemporary fiction novel that had a great balance of humor and relatability. I really appreciated how the author Emily Belden built detailed characters that have a level of depth that doesn’t always happen in this genre of writing. Because of this, I was really able to connect with the storyline and follow these characters on their path of grief and the process of moving forward.

I appreciated the discussion of death and loss, especially for younger characters who are still on the path of finding themselves while at the same time dealing with this huge loss. I am so glad I didn’t judge this one by the cover alone because while the cutesy cover might let you think this is just another “rom-com” I really found this to be so much more.

 

Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to an amazing book friend, I was able to get my hands on an ARC of American Dirt. As soon as it arrived I picked it up. I had heard ALL the hype and I often get wary of overhyped books but let me tell you, THE HYPE IS REAL! I cannot wait for this one to be released in January (you can pre-order HERE) because I know this one is going to be discussed everywhere!

Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Speaking of upcoming 2020 books, Such a Fun Age is another super winter release! This is one of those books that is written in a light and engaging manner but is deceptively heavy-hitting. It a compelling contemporary fiction novel that dives into racial issues from two very different standpoints as well as how we identify with ourselves and with one another. You can read my full review HERE.

Jondi Kantor & Megan Twohey

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement. 

She Said is an incredibly powerful and enlightening read, not only about the sexual harassment scandal but also what goes into reporting a story of this magnitude. Kantor and Twohey pulled back the layers of both their work and the stories of the women that were a part of sharing what eventually became a movement for millions.

The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was very interested to read a book by Jojo Moyes in the historical fiction genre but I didn’t get super motivated to pick it up until I started hearing a lot of my book reviewing friends just raving about it!

I absolutely loved learning about the history of the traveling library and also how it also gave women the ability to discover their own identities in a time and place when this wasn’t the social norm. This book ended up blowing me away with its multifaceted characters and layered storytelling and I will be sharing my full review soon! 

Be Mighty by Jill Stoddard

Be Mighty by Jill Stoddard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author Jill Stoddard shares that there isn’t a human that hasn’t deal with some kind of struggle or pain. These struggles can get us down or they can also speak to us and help us understand what we need in our lives to be healthier and happier. Instead of working to avoid discomfort, when we let ourselves really feel, we can then really bloom as whole and imperfect people. Allowing ourselves to feel “all the things” can help guide us on our paths instead of just trying to avoid things that “hurt”.

I could go on and on about this one because I really got so much out of it but I will just say that while books about stress and anxiety are nothing new, I loved this fresh and approachable take on the subject and I highly recommend it! You can read my full review HERE.

Susannah Cahalan

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cahalan’s first book, Brain on Fire, was a personal look at her own experiences and I loved that this book was a wonderful follow up to this important and timely topic as a whole. While we have come so far, we still have a way to go when dealing with mental health stigmas and treatment.

Non-fiction books like this are such a powerful and important conversation starter. While this novel was insightful and thought-provoking it wasn’t an easy read at times. With that said, sometimes discomfort is what can fuel the fire for change and I am so glad I gave this once a chance.

Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, but I just had a hard time connecting with this one. Not only was the title a little misleading with what the book was actually about, but it just didn’t sound like his regular voice or style which I have really related to in the past. I especially struggled with some of the stories he chose to dive into and his responses regarding sexual assault were quite astounding.

I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt but after reading Know My Name by Chanel Miller last month, I felt quite appalled when I read his discussion about Brock Turner. While I do think alcohol can cloud judgment (and consent) it does not take away from the fact that Brock Turner CHOSE to assault Chanel Miller and whether she was under the influence of alcohol or not, it is not the issue. Victim blaming is scary and real and it is disappointing that someone of this power and influence chose to blur the lines on this one.

Quiet

Quiet by Susan Cain

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Quiet has been recommended me to me for a couple of years and I finally got around to reading it. While some of it was a little dry, there were so many fascinating sections that really made me feel so understood. As someone who is social but also can be completely overstimulated by noise and crowds, this book made me feel so understood. I am planning on sharing my full review soon!

Neil Pasricha

You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Everyone can relate to failure but how we react to it can change our paths entirely and keep us moving forward. Every “misstep” is a chance to assess, learn and then move up and onward. I love the balance of personal stories, accessible writing, and strategies that are approachable for everyone.

Pasricha writes with compassion and proactivity and reminds us that we are all works in progress. Sometimes self-help books can help you feel heard but not really have a plan, or make you feel like you are being talked down to and make you just feel worse.  You Are Awesome contains straightforward steps that make you feel less alone but also help you move FORWARD. You can read my full review HERE.


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. 

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer | St. Martin’s Press {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

domestic thriller

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

Book Summary:

The New Husband is a riveting thriller about the lies we tell ourselves from D. J. Palmer, the author of Saving Meghan.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted—or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

Publication Date:

April 14, 2020

Genre:

Domestic Thriller

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

domestic thriller

The New Husband (you can pre-order HERE)

I was looking for a domestic thriller to get lost in over the Thanksgiving holiday and some of my book reviewing friends highly recommended The New Husband. I had never read a D.J. Palmer book before but the description was intriguing. I was immediately sucked into the suspenseful storyline and loved the premise of “never knowing who you really can trust”.

While it was somewhat predictable, it was also a page-turner and highly entertaining which was what I set out to find! There were definitely some unanswered questions and some of it was a little unbelievable, but at the same time, it kept me guessing and wanting to read more. As someone who struggles to ever feel super satisfied with this genre, this is high praise from me! This would make a great vacation read as it was very engrossing from start to finish!

I look forward to reading more of D.J. Palmer’s writing in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy.

 

“Get 3 for the Price of 2” Amazon Book Sale! |My Book Recommendations {Gen The Bookworm}

Amazon book deal

“Get 3 for the Price of 2” Book Sale!

There are some amazing sales out there this weekend, including the “Get 3 for the Price of 2!” book deal over on Amazon! It is a great way to stock up on your winter TBR list, buy a gift for a friend or family member OR buy books that you loved this past year and want to add to your own collection!

get 3 for the price of 2

With hundreds of hard copy book suggestions to choose from, it can feel a little overwhelming! I am going to share some of my own recommendations as well as some highly rated and reviewed books below.

Highly Recommended Cookbooks!

cookbook

If you are feeling like cooking or just browsing through and getting inspired, these highly-rated cookbooks are part of this great sale!

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

Cook Once Eat All Week by Casey Joy Garcia

Cravings by Chrissy Teigan

Some of my 2019 Favorites

5-star books

All of these books make my “2019 favorites list” and would be great to add to your own bookshelf or gift to someone you love.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff

Highly Rated 2019 Reads

Amazon Book Sale

All of these books were 5-star reads by some of my trusted reading sources and a few are on my TBR list as well! I am especially looking forward to Finding Chika and Atomic Habits which have raving reviews online as well!

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nahesi Coates

The Dutch House by Anne Patchett

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Atomic Habits by James Clear

The Body by Bill Bryson

Past Favorite Historical Fiction

historical fiction

These two books were so memorable and would be a wonderful addition to your own bookshelf or to one of your fellow book-loving friends.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

If You Want to Get Started With Brene Brown…

Brene Brown

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown is one of my favorite books ever I can’t recommend it enough! If you have heard about Brene but don’t really know what she is all about, it is a great one to start with!

Illustrated Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kayillustrated Harry PotterAll four of the currently available illustrated Harry Potter books are part of this sale! Our older son has been reading the first one and I used this deal to grab books 2-4 for him for Christmas and he is going to be so excited. I still haven’t read them, but his enthusiasm for them has been intriguing!

Harry Potter and The Sorcerors Stone (Book One)

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (Book Two)

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (Book Three)

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (Book Four)

Books Our Kids Love (or have loved in the past!)

Dog man book

Both of our boys love the Dog Man series and Wonder is our older son’s very favorite book. Mo Willems and The First Little Readers were great early reader books for both our kids and helped us get in the routine of them reading every night!

Dog Man For Whom The Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems

First Little Readers 

Family Favorite Picture Books

picture books

You can’t go wrong with any of these choices! Strega Nona was one of my childhood favorites and our kids love reading it too. All of these are tried and true favorites in our house!

Rosie Revere Engineer

The Pigeon Has to Go to School

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Ada Twist, Scientist 

Strega Nona

Dragon’s Love Tacos

How Do I Find Out What Other Books Qualify for This Deal?

To see if other books qualify for these savings, you can type in a book title in the search bar and then look to the right of the book where you will see a small green rectangle box with the words “savings” as pictured below…

Amazon book deal

Are These Deals For eBooks Too?

Amazon eBook deal

While this deal is only for hard copy books, there is a deal on eBooks where you will receive a $5 credit towards future eBook purchases when you spend $20.


I hope this post helps you find some books you love, either for yourself or to gift someone else this holiday season!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon 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. Thank you!

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid |G.P. Putnam’s Sons {Book Review}

Such a Fun Age book

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Book Summary:

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown-up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Such a Fun Age Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age is the debut novel by Kiley Reid. This is one of those books that is written in a light and engaging manner but is deceptively heavy-hitting. It a compelling contemporary fiction novel that dives into racial issues from two very different standpoints as well as how we identify with ourselves and with one another.

We meet two women, Emira Tucker and Alix Chamberlain. Emira babysits for Alix’s young daughter Briar and after a late-night incident where Emira is stopped by security when she is out with Briar, everything changes. While Emira deals with the aftermath of this incident, Alix resolves to make this “right”.

While this book is absolutely engrossing to read, Reid also takes on the issue of “white savior” narratives. I appreciated that Reid created multi-faceted and incredibly detailed characters within these narratives. While I couldn’t entirely relate to either of these women, I felt I understood them and a lot of this came from knowing their backstories.

I appreciated that Emira and Alix were both imperfect in their own ways which I think added so much nuance to this storyline. Such a Fun Age was a fascinating and thought-provoking read and I just enjoyed Reid’s writing style so much. I predict this one will get a lot of buzz when it is released at the end of December!

Thank you to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Son’s for an advanced copy. 


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. Thank you! 

Know My Name by Chanel Miller | Viking & Penguin Audio {Book Review}

Chanel Miller

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Book Summary:

The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors.

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

Publication Date:

September 24th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Chanel Miller book review

While I knew she was a great writer from reading her victim impact statement (you can read it on Buzzfeed HERE) when she was known for so many years as “Emily Doe”, I was blown away by Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Her voice is strong and her writing is filled with details, reflection, humility, and even hope. I listened to this one on Audible but I also purchased a hardcopy because I knew it was one that I needed to have in my own collection. 

I loved how poignantly Chanel Miller shared what it is like to deal with very private grief while at the same time needing and move forward with daily life…I loved learning about her amazingly supportive family unit and her ability to see the good in people, like the men who stepped in to help the night of her attack. While she only speaks for herself, she really is speaking for a generation and I can’t recommend this one enough.

“We don’t fight for our own happy endings. We fight to say you can’t. We fight for accountability. We fight to establish a precedent. We fight because we pray we’ll be the last ones to feel this kind of pain.”

-Chanel Miller


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you! 

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell | Atria Books {Book Review}

The Family Upstairs book summary

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Book Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

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.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

Publication Date:

November 5th, 2019

Genre:

Domestic Thriller

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs was one of my most highly anticipated Fall 2019 reads. I often struggle with the thriller genre and am frequently left feeling disappointed, either because they were way too far fetched and the ending comes out of nowhere or they feel cliched and totally predictable.

There are a few I have just loved but far more that felt like a letdown…and I get it, I am rather picky about them. I like the perfect balance of detailed characters, suspense, mystery and a satisfying, yet semi-realistic ending.

The one author that has yet to let me down is Lisa Jewell, and so this made my expectations even higher for this one. I am happy to report that she has done it again! The Family Upstairs was the perfect book to cozy up with on the couch and read the afternoon away.

In the Family Upstairs, I loved how Jewell moved back and forth in time which helped unravel the mysteries surrounding the three main characters. Jewell weaves an intriguing story and while there are a few storylines to follow, because of her immaculately detailed characters it all flowed so well for me.

I was able to follow along and quickly became engrossed and curious about how they were all connected. There was the perfect amount of intrigue and behind the scenes details that left me guessing until the very end. Jewell’s writing is always compelling but I think this is my favorite one of hers yet. She has a unique voice and strong originality in her writing which in this genre, is especially impressive!

Thank you to Atria Books for an advanced copy.


 

You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha |Gallery Books {Book Review & Self-Help Book Discussion}

you are awesome

You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Book Summary:

From Neil Pasricha—New York Times, million-copy bestselling author of The Book of Awesome series and The Happiness Equation, thought leader for the next generation, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world—comes a revelatory and inspiring book that will change the way we view failure and help us build resilience.

We are lucky. For most of us, famine, plague, economic depression, and other life-threatening catastrophes are the stuff of history books. We’re living in an era with the highest-ever rates of longevity, education, and wealth. Cars drive us home as our phones entertain us before we arrive to food delivered to the front door. We have it all!

But there’s just one side effect. We no longer have the tools to handle failure…or even perceived failure. When we fall, we lie on the sidewalk crying. When we spill, we splatter. When we crack, we shatter.

We are turning into an army of porcelain dolls.

A rude email from the boss means calling in sick. Only two likes on our post means we don’t have friends. Cell phones show us we’re never good enough. Yesterday’s butterflies are tomorrow’s panic attacks. Record numbers of students have clinical anxiety. And what about depression, loneliness, and suicide?

All rising!

What do we desperately need to learn?

RESILIENCE. And we need to learn it fast.

Read You Are Awesome to learn:
• The single word that keeps your options open after failure
• What every commencement speech gets wrong
• 3 ways to dramatically accelerate your ability to learn and adapt
• The 2-minute morning practice that helps eliminate worry
• Why you need an Untouchable Day (and how to get one)
• and much, much more…

Because the truth is, you really are awesome.

Publication Date:

November 5th, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help & Personal Growth

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of personal development and self-help books. I think they can sometimes get a little misunderstood and there are books in that genre that are totally cringe-worthy but there are also some books that have changed my life.

Brene Brown books

1. The Gifts of Imperfection 

2. I Thought It Was Just Me

3. Daring Greatly

These three books by Brene Brown totally changed my perspective in so many ways. I am not a re-reader of books but I have reread (and re-listened) to these so many times.

Jen Sincero

1. You Are a Badass

2. You are a Badass at Making Money

3. You Are a Badass Every Day

Sometimes just smaller tidbits from the books stick with me, like in Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass series.

“The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information.”

“We use words to communicate, and when you communicate optimism, inspiration and general badassery, you inspire other people and draw those who can help you toward you. Choosing your words wisely is one of the easiest and most powerful steps in changing your reality.”

“Once you start taking action you’ll be able to discover more things you like, more things you don’t like, and a clearer picture of what you desire to do will begin to form. Taking action leads to answers, mulling ideas around in your head forever leads to indecision and grouchiness.”

-Jen Sincero

Neil Pasricha

You Are Awesome

Neil Pasricha

I was immediately drawn into You Are Awesome because of how relatable the writing is. Neil Pasricha is charismatic and resilient and the writing is conversational like you are talking with a good friend.

Everyone can relate to failure but how we react to it can change our paths entirely and keep us moving forward. Every” misstep” is a chance to assess, learn and then move up and onward. I love the balance of personal stories, accessible writing, and strategies that are approachable for everyone.

Pasricha writes with compassion and proactivity and reminds us that we are all works in progress. Sometimes self-help books can help you feel heard but not really have a plan, or make you feel like you are being talked down to and make you just feel worse.  You Are Awesome contains straightforward steps that make you feel less alone but also help you move FORWARD.

Resilience & Positivity

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Resilence is a skill and often the people that are most resilient aren’t ones that have had the easiest path in life but are the ones that use those bumps in the road to learn and grow. Positively doesn’t mean you don’t have struggles, it means using perspective to take what you can from them and continue on.  

I loved this book so much and I know it is one that I will refer back to again and again.

Thank you to Gallery Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own. 


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!