Five Things to Tell You… {September 16th 2020}

Gen The Bookworm

{New Book Releases, Non-Fiction Book Mail, A Fair Play Zoom Event, Soup Season & Curb Side Pickup}

ONE: New Book Releases!

New Book Releases

The Roommate | Don’t Look For Me

There are a couple of great new releases this week! Unless I am reading some engaging non-fiction, I have been all about the chills and the thrills lately… “escape reading” for me at it’s finest. I have still been having a harder time concentrating lately because my mind has been going a mile a minute so I have been needing books I cannot put down. Don’t Look For Me is super dark and engrossing and The Roommate is smart and quite steamy and totally what I first expected! You can look for my full review of Don’t Look For Me later today and The Roommate later this week!

Continue reading “Five Things to Tell You… {September 16th 2020}”

Life Lately…{September 1st, 2020}

Gen The Bookworm blogGood morning and a big shout out to all the parents who have made it to September! We may be smiling but are also crying on the inside, LOL.2020-09-01_0007We like to hide inside our L.L.Bean sweatshirts when we get nervous, which has been quite frequent lately. These striped sweatshirts were basically our quarantine uniforms March-June and these fall temps has us pulling them back out once again! While I have no affiliation with L.L.Bean, I would be happy to be their spokesperson if they are looking…

This summer has been a rollercoaster of emotions and while we have had many highs we also have had just as many lows. There have been plans that have had to be changed and many pivots in our daily family and work lives. We normally would have started school by now but this year we are starting after Labor Day which means we got a couple of extra weeks of summer. Continue reading “Life Lately…{September 1st, 2020}”

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer | Graydon House {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

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Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Book Summary:

From the bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say comes a poignant post-WWII novel that explores the expectations society places on women set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything once believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.

As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker.

Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.

Publication Date:

April 14th, 2020

Genre:

Domestic Suspense/Mystery & Women’s Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Kelly Rimmer

Truths I Never Told You (pre-order here using my Amazon affiliate link)

A New Author To Love

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.

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The Things We Cannot Say…

I loved the dual storylines and how they wove together and kept me guessing until the end. Rimmer captured the power of sharing our stories while also reminding us that many people have a history we might know nothing about. ⁣

Truths I Never Told You

When I saw that Rimmer was publishing a new book in 2020 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. 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.

Timely & Important Issues

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.

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.

Thought-Provoking & SO Readable

Kelly Rimmer

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.

I am struggling to write this review without giving away any of the important elements of this powerful story, but I will just say that is is a must-read and if you haven’t really any of Rimmer’s writing yet, you need to ASAP!

I can’t wait to share more about this book when it is published this spring 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. 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!

You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers | Atria Books {Book Review}

Lindsay Powers

You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers

Book Summary:

Cribsheet meets The Sh!t No One Tells You in this no-holds-barred, judgment-free parenting guide that sets the record straight on every hot-button parenting topic by longtime journalist and founder of the viral #NoShameParenting movement.

What if you could do more for your kids, by doing a whole lot less?

Parenting today has become a competitive sport, and it seems that everyone is losing. From the very moment that little line turns blue, parents-to-be find themselves in a brave new world where every decision they make is fraught, every action they take is judged, and everything they do seems to be the wrong thing.

Formula feed? Breast is best.
Breastfeed in public? That’s indecent.
Cry it out? You’re causing permanent harm to your child.
Don’t sleep train? Your child will never learn to sleep on his or her own.
Stay home? You’re setting a bad example for your kids.
Go back to work? Don’t you love your kids more than your job?

Lindsay Powers—former editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Parenting, creator of the #NoShameParenting movement, and mom of two—is here to help parents everywhere breathe a collective sigh of relief. This laugh-out-loud funny, accessible, and reassuring book sets the record straight on all of the insane conflicts that parents face—from having a glass of wine while pregnant to sleep training, childcare, feeding, and even sex after baby.

Drawing on the latest research and delivered in a relatable, comforting voice, You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids demonstrates that it is possible to take the stress out of parenting and sit back and enjoy the ride.

Publication Day:

March 31st, 2020

Genre:

Parenting Nonfiction

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Lindsay Powers

You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids (affiliate link)

Motherhood Book Club

I help run and facilitate a Motherhood book club at our local library for moms in our community so I am always on the lookout for books to add to our reading list. Our book club focuses primarily on nonfiction books related to parenthood so when I saw this book available as a galley, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

One of the most common things that come up in our discussions is the many ways we feel like we aren’t measuring up. Whether our kids are big or small, whether we work full time, part-time or stay home, everyone feels infiltrated with how we think we “should” be doing things and all the ways we feel like we are lacking.

With technology and social media, we are bombarded with more information than ever before and while there are many benefits to this, there are also just as many reasons we are having total information overload.

More about You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids…

In You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids, author Lindsay Powers takes on some common and often highly sensitive parenting topics such as breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, daycare vs. staying home, screentime, and the idea that any parent has it “all figured out'”.

Her writing is relatable and I enjoyed how she interweaved research with a conversational style of writing in her chapters. There is a great balance of information from her own experiences as well as other parents which helped give a wider perspective on these topics.

Her overall message is that the majority of parents are really just doing the best they can and that most of these choices are not going to make it or break it for our children. She talked through each of these topics and why either way, your kids are going to be just fine. Enter her #noshameparentingmovement.

I appreciated the end of her book and how she shared how her own childhood trauma affected her not only as a parent but also as a writer. There are, of course, choices that can significantly impact children negatively, but they are (mostly likely) not because someone didn’t breastfeed or allowed their child to fall asleep on their own in their crib.

I appreciated this relatable and informative approach to discussing the many issues parents (and primarily mothers) are up against these days and highly recommend it.

Thank you to Atria Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. 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 Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey | Better Together Book Club | January 2020 Selection {A Motherhood Book Club}

The Gift of Failure

Better Together Book Club!

Last week we had our final Better Together book club of 2019. Although our book club has only been going for a few months now, I am feeling so excited about the bonds and connections we have already formed, the amazing discussions we have had and the exciting things that are to come!

Our First Three Book Selections

Motherhood Book ClubOur first three books were all impactful in very different ways and each of them resulted in such fascinating conversations.

To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood was the perfect book to start off with as it discusses the transition to motherhood.  While we are all in very different stages of parenthood (from babies and toddlers to college-aged children), we could all relate back to the adjustment of new motherhood. And not only did we get to discuss the book with each other but we also had the most wonderful guest, author Molly Millwood herself!

Small Animals by Kim Brooks was one of my very favorite books from 2018 and I couldn’t’ wait to see what our group thought of it. Our conversation really helped us all realize how much we think about judgment from one another in modern parenting and really inspired a lot of connection with one another.

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza inspired a lot of great discussion because people either loved it or strongly disliked it!! I was (and am) a huge fan, but it was fascinating to talk about the reasons why it didn’t work for some readers.

January 2020 Book Selection

motherhood book club

Our first 2020 Better Together Book Club selection is The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey! Jessica will be joining us for a Q&A and book discussion of her book which we are super excited about!

If you are local (Chittenden County Vermont) and would like to join our group, please contact Susannah at the Charlotte Library at (802)425-3864 or email me at genthebookworm@gmail.com

You can also follow along on our brand new Instagram feed @bettertogetherbookclub


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!

Nonfiction November Book Recommendations {Nonfiction Book Favorites from 2019}

nonfiction November

Nonfiction November

Are you a nonfiction reader? I love a good nonfiction book, especially related to mental health and parenting. It’s no surprise that out of all the non-fiction books I read this year, those genres ended up being my favorites. If you are participating in #nonfictionnovember and are needing a few more recommendations to finish your month off strong, I have some great recommendations!

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Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

I first read Fair Play this past September when I received a copy from Putnam Books to review. You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

I was immediately enthralled with the concept of Fair Play and was talking all about all over social media. I was so excited when a few weeks later Reese picked it for her Hello Sunshine book club selection.

Fair Play was the perfect follow up book to All The Rage, which I am discussing below. As someone who has been parenting for 9+ years, we have fallen into many societal norms and expectations that we didn’t see coming when we found out we were going to be parents 10 years ago. This book helps you feel less alone and then gives you a proactive answer on how to alleviate it!

I ended up communicating with Eve Rodsky over direct messages on Instagram (which was also one of my highlights of 2019!) and we discussed how to make this plan work by not only our initial conversation about it but also ongoing. Eve had some amazing advice, namely, they don’t stop talking about it and they have a time each week when she and her husband sit down and reflect, manage and plan. While this may sound a little… unromantic, I will tell you, it is a lot more enticing than the worst R-word in parenthood…RESENTMENT.

All The Rage by Darcy Lockman

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I listened to All The Rage on Audible and wow, what a powerful read! You can read my full review HERE.

In All The Rage, Darcy Lockman shares a well researched and relatable look at social expectations, male privilege, and sexism when it comes to parenting in the 21st century. Lockman uses studies, research, interviews with parents, and her own personal experiences which results in a well balanced and deeply impactful look at the gender inequity that working mothers still face today and the mental load women face as mothers.

Whether you are a parent or thinking about becoming one someday, this book is so insightful and thought-provoking. I appreciated Lockman’s personal experiences as they related to many issues we faced in our own experiences as partners and parents. While many people think “this won’t happen to me” a large percentage of family’s fall into the expectations that have become ingrained in our society.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a book everyone should read. You can read my full review HERE.

Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who shares her insights not only about her professional experience but her own journey through therapy. This book helps normalize therapy for everyone, and her ability to share the profound growth both she and her patients experienced was so honest and refreshing.

While Gottlieb includes many important psychological concepts, her writing is clear and conversational and easy for anyone to engage with. I found that there was a perfect balance with the personal stories that will also help her readers become more aware of their own obstacles and moments of growth as they move through this book.

To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood

Molly Millwood

Motherhood is the hardest AND most wonderful thing I have ever done. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read To Have and To Hold.

The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.

To Have and To Hold

To Have and to Hold spoke to me on so many levels. Millwood’s ability to write with both her voice as a professional and her voice as a mother was a perfect balance. It is relatable and real and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I loved it so much we chose it for our first Better Together Motherhood Book Club selection this fall AND Molly was our guest speaker!!

Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

I learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about anxiety. I listened to this book on audio and while I think their intentions were good, I think listeners are either going to love their narration style, or not….for me, I was somewhere in the middle.

I did think the information they shared was fabulous and the explanation of completing the actual stress cycle was brilliant. Honestly, I had never thought about it in that way before and it makes SO much sense. That section alone made this book super helpful to me and I have been recommending it to so many friends.

They also included some great practical advice about choices we CAN make when we can’t always control outside stress in our lives. While it may not have been earth-shattering information, it was a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives.

Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors. So while this wasn’t my favorite audiobook, this WAS an amazingly helpful book and I added a hardcopy to my collection right away!


I hope one of these recommendations makes your nonfiction TBR list. <3

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!

 

Small Animals by Kim Brooks | Better Together Book Club November 2019 Selection {A Motherhood Book Club}

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A New Motherhood Book Club

We had a wonderful start with our brand new motherhood book club and had our first discussion and guest speaker last week! I am planning on sharing some of our discussion topics when I return from vacation but for now, you can read more about our first book club meeting HERE on Instagram. You can read more details about the book club in my blog post HERE.

November 2019 Better Together Book Club Selection

Small Animals by Kim BrooksWhile many of you are too far away to participate in person, a lot of you have shared an interest in following along! We are excited to announce our second Better Together Book Club selection, Small Animals by Kim Brooks.

This book made my top books of 2018 list HERE, I discussed the book topic HERE and shared my full book review HERE. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts!

October 1st, 2019 Book Releases {New Book Publications}

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October Book Releases:

It’s October 1st which means we are starting a great month of new book releases! If I were a book, I would like to be published in October because not only is it the best month ever but it is my very favorite time of the year to read! There are so many awesome books coming out during the next few weeks and before the holidays when new book releases tend to slow down a bit until the new year.

Now that we are back into regular routines because of the school year, I am trying to get back into some of my weekly blog series too. I always love sharing new book publications and so here are some I am excited about today!

fairplayeverodsky

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky was released today and Reese’s Book Club just announced it is their October 2019 book selection! I love that it is going to get so much attention now because this topic is so important.

While we have learned a lot as the years have gone by, figuring out the daily logistics of life with work, marriage, kids and household tasks is a constant juggling act. Fair Play both takes on and tackles the topics of the mental load, second shift, emotional labor and invisible work that in the 21st century still cause a great imbalance in many families ‘ home lives.

Fair Play was a 5-star book for me and was such an awesome conversation starter in our own marriage. The book is relatable while also having a proactive approach to managing household/family/life tasks while also balancing your own goals and desires.

You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

It is also one of the upcoming book choices for our Better Together Book Club and I can’t wait to discuss it more then.

Gen The Bookworm

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Can you believe I just read The Tattooist of Auschwitz two months ago?! It was on my TBR list for a while but when an ARC of Cilka’s Journey arrived in my mailbox I knew I needed to prioritize it ASAP.

Cilka was one of the characters in The Tattooist of Auschwitz and I was interested to learn more about her. Cilka’s Journey is a powerful story that was inspired by the true to life experiences of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Cilka who ends up in a Siberian work camp after being charged as a collaborator for “sleeping with the enemy”. This novel is not an easy read as it confronts the issue of rape during wartime.

While this story does focus on the atrocities that happened to Cilka(and many others), it also shares the heroic efforts she was a part of. Cilka has a compassion for others that guides her through the toughest of times and this part of the story was both heartbreaking and utterly compelling. How Cilka chose to use the gifts she was given to help others was so powerful and a reminder of the beacon of light in humanity even in the most horrific of times.

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Your Turn by Dr. Tyra Manning

“Writing my stories helps me remember the good times and the worst of times, and offers me the opportunity to understand them. Writing and celebrating my stories helps me heal. Hindsight gives me many gifts: clarity, acceptance, forgiveness, and new perspectives on past experiences. I am not unique in having lovely and sometimes sad stories in my repertoire. Sharing our life stories teaches us that we have more commonalities than differences. It brings us closer.”

-Dr. Tyra Manning

I love anything that helps remind us that we are more alike than different. I have always been a big fan of sharing our stories because it can help us connect and also help us feel less alone.

Your Turn is a guide and collection of personal essays that demonstrates how to share more effectively and find meaning in the ups and downs of our lives. Manning shares her own personal stories while also providing writing prompts to encourage you to start sharing too.

Thank you to Book Sparks for sharing an advanced copy with me. 

10 Year Wedding Anniversary! {Wedding & Honeymoon Memories & 24-Hours Away in Stowe!}

9.19.09 Wedding Memories…

Daria Bishop Photographers(Wedding Photos by Daria Bishop Photographers)

Last Thursday we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!  It was a regular work and school day for us so we went to a 4:45pm pizza dinner with the kids followed by ice cream at the Scoop and then called it a day.

 

dinner with kids

Anniversary photo by our 9-year-old! We did manage to get away though…

On Friday we headed away for a 24-hour escape!

Stowe, Vermont weekend

We got married in Stowe so we have always liked celebrating up there every year. We have managed to make it there 9/10 years so that is pretty good! It is close by but feels like a whole different world and has so many special memories for us. We, of course, had to stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill on our way! I love cider donuts but I don’t like the ones with sugar sprinkled all over them so these ones are my very favorite!

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We got married at Stowe Mountain Lodge, which is now The Lodge at Spruce Peak. Our wedding was one of their very first ones because they had just opened in 2009 so it has grown and changed so much since then!

Stowe, Vermont weekend

I like to act like I am a tourist when I am in Stowe (actually all of the time really…) and so I totally made Lucas pull over so I could take the iconic Stowe shot. We also took lots of selfies at our wedding ceremony location.

The Lodge at Spruce PeakWe didn’t have big plans which was exactly what we were looking for! These days, our lives feel like go, go, go, all the time. I know this is just part of the stage of life we were in with our kids, but downtime is a special thing right now!

We had lunch on the patio and then read by the pool with our Kindles. It was amazing! Our kids had school on Friday which is why we decided to go up then because it allowed us to need a little less childcare help and a weekday is always a little quieter up there so that was nice!

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

We had dinner and then read our Kindles by the fireplace, Facetimed with the kids and were asleep by 9:30! Regular routines are hard to break but it was lovely to have zero demands from anybody!

latte art

The next morning we were up by 6:30 so we found some coffee & maple lattes and had a relaxing morning.

Stowe wedding

After breakfast, we said “goodbye and see you next year!” to our special spot and headed off to meet our boys at their fall soccer jamboree. Our friends watched the kids for us so we could go away which we are so grateful for!

And just for fun, here is what we were doing 10 years ago right now…

St. John

We were on our honeymoon in St. John USVI. We rented a villa and a jeep for the week and it was just the best. Maybe for our 15th anniversary, we will go back there! I am also very proud of these honeymoon “selfies” because I took them with my little Canon digital camera! We definitely did not have iPhones back then…

St. John USVI

We had the best time exploring, snorkeling, eating lots of delicious food and reading(in the shade!) See, some things never change, ha!

honeymoon in St. John

Thanks for letting me reminisce a little! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. <3