All This Could be Yours by Jami Attenberg | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt {Book Review}

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

Book Summary:

“‘If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,’ says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister–feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.

As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile, Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.

ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.”

Publication Date:

October 22nd, 2019

Genre:

Family Saga Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

family saga fiction book review

All This Could Be Yours was one of my most highly anticipated fall 2019 book releases. I have been on a family saga kick and after hearing some great reviews I couldn’t way to start it. I absolutely loved Jami Attenberg’s approach to the complexities and intricacies of family life, especially when it is dysfunctional.

We meet a family who’s toxic patriarch, Victor, is on his deathbed. Attenberg gave an intricate look at dealing with the complexities of grief and loss when the relationship you had with the person was deeply troubling at times. The desires we wish for with others (closure, forgiveness, and answers) are often up against the reality that sometimes we have to find this within ourselves.

The novel has flashbacks that help us see the history of this family which totally worked for me as I always enjoy knowing the who and why of this family drama genre. We learn family secrets and the emotional and physical damages Victor caused to his family members. Even when all of the characters were not super likable, I felt like I understood them because of Attenberg’s ability to create such multi-faceted personas. This was completely engaging to read while also being super thought-provoking which would make it a fantastic book club discussion.

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an advanced copy.

Flying Alone: A Memoir by Beth Ruggiero York {Book Review}

Beth Ruggiero York

Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero York

Book Summary:

“From the time she was a teenager, Beth knew she wanted to fly, and a solo trip across the country to visit family confirmed her aspirations of becoming a pilot. But her dreams were almost grounded before they could take off when she received the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 22.

Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on a journey to become an airline pilot. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never knowing when, how or if she would emerge.

An agonizing love affair with her flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all intertwined to define her road to the airlines, eventually being hired by Trans World Airlines in 1989.

Flying Alone outlines the struggles and the challenges of civil aviation that Beth faced 30 years ago.

Ultimately a story of survival and overcoming overwhelming odds, Flying Alone is told with soul-baring candor, taking readers on a suspenseful journey through terror, romance and victory.”

Publication Date:

September 14th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Genevieve Trono Gen The Bookworm

Link to Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero

I have always been a huge fan of memoirs. I think there is such a power and connection with sharing our stories and so I was delighted to receive an advanced copy of Beth Ruggiero York’s Flying Alone. In Flying Alone, York brings us through the highs and lows of her early professional life in her journey to become an airline pilot in a male-dominated industry.

About the Author:

Beth Ruggiero York is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. Beth now has dual careers–Chinese translation and professional photography. She teaches photography workshops for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and her own company, Ruggiero Images LLC. She and her husband live in Fountain Hills, AZ.

While this book is focused a lot on her goals in aviation, it is so much more than that. We follow York as she faces many obstacles within and outside the commercial airline world. I loved seeing York’s personal growth as she faced many obstacles both personally and professionally.

Her voice is relatable and I loved that while she was faced with many roadblocks in her quest, she pushed on and her resilience shined through. This is an honest account of the trials and tribulations she has faced and I so appreciated that she was raw and real about the real challenges she faced wtih her medical challenges and sometimes turbulent personal life.

In addition, Flying Alone was a fascinating look at the commercial aircraft industry and how much it has changed over the last few decades. This was an informative read for me as I am not someone who knows a lot about this the aviation world. I found York’s tenacity and ability to share the ups and downs of her life inspiring and if you like reading memoirs I think you would enjoy reading Flying Alone too.

Thank you to FSB Associates for an advanced copy of Flying Alone. 

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella | Random House Dial Press {Book Review}

Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic Series

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Book Summary:

“’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness . . . which actually means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents host, carols play on repeat, her mother pretends she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors come ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Her sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave—again, and little Minnie demands a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old-boyfriend-turned-rock-star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her big-hearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky starts to wonder if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.”

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Holiday/Humorous Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Sophie Kinsella

I have such wonderful reading memories of the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic books and it was one of the first series that I really got into as an adult reader in the early 2000s. It was so fun to reconnect with Becky in Christmas Shopaholic and see what she is up to now all these years later. Becky Bloomwood (now Becky Brandon) has matured and grown in many ways and is now juggling life as both a wife and mother.

While Becky has changed in many ways, her shopping habits and overthinking just about everything has not… which always was part of the charming appeal of these lighthearted booked. Christmas Shopaholic was a wonderful addition to this collection and it was the perfect weekend read to curl up with on the couch. We get to see Becky take on hosting Christmas for the very first time and there was plenty of laugh out loud moments.

Becky is flawed but completely lovable and you can’t help but root along for her while also being highly entertained. While this is part of a series, Kinsella created a book that can also be read as a stand-alone book, although it might intrigue you to read the rest of them after.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and The Dial Press for an advanced copy.