2020 Beach Reads |New & Upcoming Book Releases!

Beach Books

Summer Reading

One of my favorite things about this time of this year is thinking about all the summer reading I have planned. While this summer will look much different than years past, the great things about books are that you can read them wherever you are, even if you are “vacationing” in your very own backyard.

Beach Books…

Beach reading means something different for everyone, but for me, it consists of books that are totally engaging but also have enough depth to not be total fluff. I also like to have a mix of genres and topics…a little mystery and intrigue, some drama and maybe a little bit of romance thrown in. While I am totally in for an escapist reading ride now and then, I also like a few that make me think, connect, and learn.

Continue reading “2020 Beach Reads |New & Upcoming Book Releases!”

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer {Publication Week Blog Book Tour}

blog tour

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Published April 14th, 2020

Amazon LinkAmazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Today is my stop on the publication week blog book tour for the Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer! I read an advanced copy of this book back in January and I am still thinking about it today.

The Things We Cannot Say

Kelly Rimmer

Last year I was introduced to author Kelly Rimmer by one of my book reviewing friends. I devoured The Things We Cannot Say and was blown away by Rimmer’ ability to share multi-faceted characters that felt so real and raw while also diving into a heartbreaking part of our not so distant history. When I saw that Rimmer was publishing a new book in 2020 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

My Thoughts:

Truths I Never Told You captivated me from the very beginning. The topics in this book were something I could personally relate to. While this might not be the case for all readers, I think this is a powerful and important read either way. In the age of new parenthood being portrayed in such a polished (and often super unrelatable or not totally honest manner) on social media, this book was just so spot-on and important.

I was super impressed with Rimmer’s ability to write about the struggles of new motherhood when dealing with some of the mental health issues and general ambivalence that can arise and are often not talked about. This is something that is starting to be more common in nonfiction writing about motherhood but not in such a readable fiction format.

More About the Book:

historical fiction

Truths I Never Told You alternates between Beth, a new mother in the mid-1990s and her mother Grace who was struggling immensely in the 1950s with raising her four young children. Just like in The Things We Cannot Say, there is a family mystery element that keeps us guessing until the very end. This part of the book is woven so beautifully between the layers of family dynamics and the important complexities of her carefully crafted and multifaceted characters.

Author Kelly Rimmer…

Kelly Rimmer is absolutely amazing at writing stories that are both compelling and nuanced. She doesn’t shy away from interweaving thought-provoking and sometimes very challenging topics while also being absolute page-turners.

Book Summary:

genthebookworm-1-31

After finding disturbing journal pages that suggest her late mother didn’t die in a car accident as her father had always maintained, Beth Walsh begins a search for answers to the question — what really happened to their mother? With the power and relevance of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jewell, Rimmer pens a provocative novel told by two women a generation apart, the struggles they unwittingly shared, and a family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility because of worsening signs of dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home to prepare it for sale. Why shouldn’t she be the one, after all? Her three siblings are all busy with their families and successful careers, and Beth is on maternity leave after giving birth to Noah, their miracle baby. It took her and her husband Hunter years to get pregnant, but now that they have Noah, Beth can only feel panic. And leaving Noah with her in-laws while she pokes about in their father’s house gives her a perfect excuse not to have to deal with motherhood.

Beth is surprised to discover the door to their old attic playroom padlocked, and even more shocked to see what’s behind it – a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers, and miscellaneous junk. Her father was the most fastidious, everything-in-its-place man, and this chaos makes no sense. As she picks through the clutter, she finds a handwritten note attached to one of the paintings, in what appears to be in her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing Grace Walsh died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker may be true. A frantic search uncovers more notes, seemingly a series of loose journal entries that paint a very disturbing portrait of a woman in profound distress, and of a husband that bears very little resemblance to the father Beth and her siblings know.

A fast-paced, harrowing look at the fault in memories and the lies that can bond families together – or tear them apart.

All in all, this is a must-read and I already know it will be one of my top books of 2020.

Thank you to HarperCollins and Graydon House Books for an advanced copy and for including me on this blog tour. 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. 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. 

 

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!

 

 

 

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. 

Floating in the Neversink by Andrea Simon | Blog Book Tour {Book Review}

Floating in the Neversink by Andrea Simon

Floating in the Neversink by Andrea Simon

Book Summary:

In the summer of 1955, nine-year-old Amanda Gerber tearfully leaves her best friend, Francine, and their adventurous life on her block in Brooklyn’s Flatbush. She joins her cantankerous family on the long, hot drive to her grandmother’s home in the Catskill Mountains among the city’s Jews who flock to countless hotels and bungalow colonies in the heyday of the Borscht Belt. In the idyllic mountains, Amanda becomes ensconced in the tumult of her extended family and their friends, often seeking solace in the woods with her beloved cousin Laura.

Through the following summers, interspersed with the heightened drama of her emotionally charged city life, Mandy faces severe tests to her survival mechanisms, including the pain of loss, abuse, and betrayal, while family secrets threaten to disrupt her life even further. A novel-in-stories, Floating in the Neversink is a testament to the power of survival, friendship, and love.

Publication Date:

October 2nd, 2019

Genre:

Historical Fiction/Coming of Age Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Gen The Bookworm

Floating in the Neversink

I am always drawn to coming of age books and was intrigued when I read that Floating in the Neversink was a novel told through a collection of “coming of age” stories. The narrator is a pre-teen living in the mid-1950s. Nine-year-old Mandy travels to the Catskills with her family and is mourning the loss of her best friend Francine and life back at home in Brooklyn.

While I have never been to the Catskills, author Andrea Simon’s detailed writing helped me imagine what daily life looked like during this time. The 1950s Borscht Belt was detailed so beautifully that I felt transported there myself. Simon’s writing also brought back memories of my own summer adventures at a child.

While many of the stories include light-hearted moments and observations, there are heavier topics interspersed that give this book a level of depth and introspection. I especially loved how mental health and abuse were covered in a thoughtful yet powerful manner. The stories weaved together childhood friendship, loyalty, secrets, betrayal and finding your true self and voice.

I found that the “story format” worked well with Mandy narrating a snapshot of her life. These stories included many things that a preteen would be focusing on while also incorporating the darker parts of her daily life. In a time when many more complicated issues were often “swept under the rug” and not discussed, this was a fascinating way of sharing this story.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy and Rachel from Over The River PR for inviting me to be a part of this blog book tour. You can see the other stops on this tour HERE