Coffee Talk Wednesday | beach reads, podcasts, having “The Talk”, foot peels & more…

Gen The Bookworm

Checking In:

Hello! How is your week going? This is our last week before school vacation. After spring break the rest of the school year always flies by. It’s hard to believe but summer will be here before we know it. There are SO many amazing summer books that are coming out this year and I can’t wait to share more about them soon.

2019 beach books

Mrs. Everything:

So far I have read the ARC of Mrs. Everything and it was amazing!! Jennifer Weiner has always been one of my very favorite authors and this might be my favorite of hers yet. You can read my Goodreads review of Mrs. Everything HERE.

Vacation Reading:

I am planning on reading The Summer Guests and Life and Other Inconveniences next week because I think they will be the perfect vacation reading…We are heading down to Florida to visit family and I can’t wait!

Currently Watching & Having “The Talk”…

My friend Kari and I were laughing so hard we were crying when we watched this The Birds and the Bees | Parents Explain YouTube video yesterday afternoon…we are obviously very mature parents. 😉

In all seriousness, we are reaching the age of definitely needing to have this conversation with our older son and a friend recommended the book, It’s Not the Stork! as a guide for having a positive and proactive conversation.

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I also always had access to a bunch of books about puberty and body changes as an older kid and pre-teen and I found them so helpful. I appreciated that it was never an uncomfortable thing to talk or learn about while I was growing up and I want to provide that same thing for our kids…but it is really is tough to know the right way to start the conversation!

Our kids definitely know how babies get OUT, but we haven’t had the whole how they get in there conversation quite yet. Any tips, websites or other book suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Currently Listening to…

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I have been loving Laura Tremaine’s new podcast 10 Things To Tell You. I have always loved hearing Tremaine discuss books but she is so open and insightful about so many other topics as well. I listened to her podcast episode this morning discussing “Who did you expect to be?” and I just loved it. I found her relatable, real and funny and I think you would enjoy it too.

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I am also so excited that the Committed Podcast is back for season two! I love Jo Piazza as an author (Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win was one of my top books from 2019) but she is also an amazing podcast host and interviewer. The stories she shares are real and raw and also so inspiring.

Currently using…

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If you haven’t tried these foot peel masks yet, you are MISSING OUT…especially with summer (and sandals) weather on its way.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about these things a few years ago but now I am a full convert. You soak your feet in these little booties for an hour and a half or so, and then you wait. At first, you think nothing is happening…and wonder if you just wasted your time and money….but then it starts!

All the dead skin peels off your feet and if you are lucky, it even falls off in little sheets, which may sound disgusting but I found it quite intriguing…don’t knock it until you try it! And you don’t have to just take my word for it, there are 1000s of reviews out there that even include photos like this article HERE…which I know you are curious about and it also has some great tips.

I recommend taking a bath a few times the days after you do the peel for maximum results and peeling. I have tried many kinds, including Baby Foot and they all work similarly, but THESE ONES are just cheaper and work amazingly well.

Currently loving:

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 5.13.27 PM.pngSpeaking of summer and sandals, have you tried the rubber Birkenstocks yet? They make the BEST pool sandals they feel like a flip flop with a little more support like regular Birkenstocks but without the fear of getting them super wet like the original soft cork footbed. I have been wearing them around the house in anticipation of vacation and it makes me so very happy.


Alright, that was quite the random Coffee Talk Wednesday but I hoped you enjoy it! Do you have anything you are currently loving? I would love to hear! <3

 

Trophy Life | Lea Geller | Lake Union Publishing | Book Review

Trophy Life by Lea Geller

Book Summary:

“For the last ten years, Agnes Parsons’s biggest challenge has been juggling yoga classes and lunch dates. Her Santa Monica house staff takes care of everything, leaving Agnes to focus on her trophy-wife responsibilities: look perfect, adore her older husband, and wear terribly expensive (if uncomfortable) underwear.

When her husband disappears, leaving Agnes and their infant daughter with no money, no home, and no staff, she is forced to move across the country, where she lands a job teaching at an all-boys boarding school in the Bronx. So long, organic quinoa bowls and sunshine-filled California life. Hello, processed food, pest-infested house, and twelve-year-old-boy humor—all day, every day.

But it’s in this place of second chances (and giant bugs), where Agnes is unexpectedly forced to take care of herself and her daughter, where she finds out the kind of woman she can be. Ultimately, she has to decide if she prefers the woman and mother she has become…or the trophy life she left behind.

Authentic and sharply witty, Trophy Life is proof that granny panties and mom coats might not be the answer to everything; they’re simply comfortable (if slightly unattractive) reminders of what happens when one life ends…and real life begins.”

My Rating:

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My Review:

Trophy Life is a fun and entertaining read that had a lot more depth than I initially expected. I was thinking that Agnes might be vapid or unrelatable but she was anything but. This book covered motherhood, friendship, disappointment, self-discovery and finding your own path in life.

When Agnes was “forced” to make her own way after 10 years of living “the good life” she (slowly) rose to the challenge and I couldn’t help but root for her along the way. This book was quite funny and Agnes was endearing as she navigated her way through the highs and lows of her new path in life. It was surprisingly relatable and I loved the powerful moments Agnes had her daughter Grace and how much she learned from the rambunctious group of middle school boys she was teaching.

I also enjoyed the “cliffhanger” of what happened to Jack and it was a great addition to the story. I thought this was such a great book to curl up with on the couch on weekend afternoon. Although I would consider it an easy read there was a lot of meaningful lessons with Geller’s storytelling and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!

A big thank you to Lea Geller for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

2019 Beach Reads | Upcoming Book Releases

2019 Beach Read Book Releases

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Summer Reading:

Are there any authors that just scream summer to you? I always associate summer beginning with the release of Elin Hilderbrand’s books because they come out in mid-June. I know it feels far away but it will be here before we know it. I try not to wish away the seasons and we have plenty of winter weather left here in Vermont but I do get excited about all the summer book releases!

It is also currently the time of year where parents are figuring out their summer childcare plans and we are too. We do a mix of the summer swim team, a part-time babysitter and trading the kids on and off with each other so we can both get our work obligations completed. That means it is a bit of a whirlwind but it also means there is some time sitting by the pool with the kids. I love beach books for this because my attention to details can’t be that great since it is often very interrupted reading but they are still super engaging and enjoyable! Here is my list of summer books that I am looking forward to in 2019…

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Releasing June 18th, 2019

“Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changed, in New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.”


The Friend We Keep by Jane Green

Releasing June 4th, 2019

“The Friends We Keep is the heartwarming and unforgettable new novel from Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Sunshine Sisters and The Beach House.

Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted—the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible.

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man.

Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause.

Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy.

By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness . . . until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything.

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home.”


The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

Releasing June 11th, 2019

“From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—we discover what is most important in life. 

Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.”


Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Releasing August 6th, 2019

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?”


Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Releasing June 11th, 2019

“From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.”


What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Releasing October 8th, 2019

“Secret lives and new loves emerge in the bright Caribbean sunlight, in the follow-up to national bestseller Winter in Paradise
A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a plane crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -and death – of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of American’s most beloved and engaging storytellers.”