Sunday, December 28, 2014

The House We Grew Up In

This is the Bird family. They live in a small idyllic village in England.
There are two loving parents, 4 gorgeous children, perhaps some small pets running around this beautiful warm cozy house. They attend a cartoonishly cute school and their mother chases rainbows and flowers. It is so perfect - until it is not. A horrible tragic Easter changes their lives forever or maybe perfection could have never lasted and it was just the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. As secrets are uncovered Lorelei, their mum, buries them further and further away in her dizzying home. What begins innocently as hanging every scrap of paper the children draw on (how artsy she seems!) grows into full blow hoarding, which is quite mesmerizing and unstoppable, in a train wreck sort of way, and frankly, I have never read about such an illness. Colin, the dad, barely says a peep, a fine polite soul just wants everyone to be happy. And the children, well ... we all grow up in homes with secrets and its not until you know they exist that they are a problem. This novel is filled with the most amazing characters. Their relationships and circumstances may seem bizarre at times but when you take a good long look at your own family, everyone has their skeletons in the closet and they do not go away. They patiently wait to be discovered. The family dynamics are complicated and the writing is excellent. I truly could not put this book down. Highly recommend and cannot wait to pursue other books by this newly (for me!) discovered author.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dear Daughter

One time LA "IT" girl Janie Jenkins is released from prison on a technicality. After serving ten years for killing her socialite mother she is finally free. Janie never believed she killed her mother. She has a foggy memory of that horrible night. Janie overheard unfamiliar voices while hiding in her mothers closet stealing boots and as a 16 year old, at the time, she was focused on not getting caught with the boots. Little did she know that moments later she would be standing over her mothers dead body with Janie written in blood next to her. After some bizarre technicality her beloved lawyer, Noah, perhaps her only ally in the entire world, gets her out. After she is released there are a lot of angry stalkers, crazed reporters and a mystery that Janie is determined to solve. She has transfixed herself on that short overheard conversation, a few key phrases, and has spent ten long years researching, reading and driving herself crazy with the possibility that she did not commit this murder and she is going to find out who did. She quickly adorns a disguise and takes a train to a small town, rather two identical book end towns, where she believes the answers lie. Janie meets a cast of crazy characters that slowly feed her the information she needs to solve this puzzle. Dear Daughter kept me on the edge with twists and turns but I WAS able to put it down. Day after day ... I put it down. Mostly I was just confused. I did not like, nor was I intrigued by a single character. The time line was completely boggled and unrealistic. Nothing and no one held my interest. Was I looking for another Gone Girl? Maybe. But I didn't find it here.

How to Build a Girl

Johanna Morrigan is 14, she lives in a small town outside London
in what is considered the needy part of of town. She fights endlessly with her 16 year old brother who is also struggling to find his identity, a little brother who clings to her in desperate need, her brand new baby twin siblings and her parents. Her mother is an angry - I cannot believe I have 5 children, no money and live in this shit hole (pardon my language) and her drunken father lives in a dreamland of drugs and alcohol but still believes he can make it BIG in the music business. Somehow, crazily enough, they are a lovable crew who continue on under the worst of circumstances. Nothing good happens to this bunch. Johanna is hysterical, and I mean FUNNY. Really funny. I see this part played by Rebel Wilson funny. She is desperate for love, and mostly sex. Busily experimenting with herself and being the lonely miserable teenager that she is, Johanna writes a lot. She loves music and is painstakingly honest with her words. After a world's most embarrassing moment on a televised poetry reading contest, Johanna transforms herself. Johanna decides she will be a new persona called Dolly, dresses in goth black and starts reviewing bands playing locally. One insane crazy thing after another spirals Dolly into another life filled with a little cash in her pocket (finally!) and even a bit of fame. But most importantly Dolly/Johanna learns what she is really made of. This is a funny crazy book that I could not put down. Pre-requisites for liking this read is an open mind, a bit of free time, a need to laugh and you must enjoy Caitlin Moran satire and humor. Check her column out at

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Language of Hoofbeats

Paula and Jackie move their unconventional family to a small remote
town in California. Paula is a big animal vet and Jackie, an artist home with their kids; Quinn, a young adopted son, Mando an angry pre-teen whose mother is incarcerated and Star, a 15 year old runaway girl who cannot find the love she is looking for nor the ability to make it on her own. They rent a sprawling home on a practically deserted street save for one neighbor. Clementine is an older bitter woman alone and afraid, the town fears her wrath and most folks prefer to stay far away. But Star befriends a horse on Clementine's property that appears neglected and lonely, like herself. She is drawn to care for this horse no matter the consequences and so begins the unlikely relationship of Clementine in all their lives. As Catherine Ryan Hyde reveals the story of family, friendship and trust I became immersed in this beautiful unique story, one I had never imagined. Easy simple flow, I highly recommend this enjoyable read. Thank you TLC book tours for the early read!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Accidents of Marriage

Okay, this one had me on the edge of my seat. Talk about
your worst nightmare. Maddy and Ben live in Boston with their three beautiful children. Ben, a successful attorney works tirelessly in the public defenders office and Maddy is a social worker at the local hospital. Family, friends and busy lives surround them constantly. Days are long, sometimes supper isn't ready and yes, milk often spills - but they always manage to trudge on. Ben is a tough guy to handle. His mood swings are often and go from angry to angrier. When he is working he is defending clients where he is passionate and strong - but when he comes home upset the entire family pays the price. As Maddy helps people for a living she is accustomed to working through an issue but Ben does not want to be psychoanalyzed by his wife and refuses to believe anything is ever his fault, until the accident. There are explanations, excuses and details that lose importance when tragedy occurs and their lives are forever turned upside down. Ben loves his family and whether he is right or wrong, there is nothing he won't do to win their forgiveness. A wonderful writer, Randy Susan Meyers shares this story with care and honesty. It is difficult to decide who to love but this cast of amazing characters will stay with you long after the book is finished. 

When We Were Romans

Hanna, Lawrence and Jemima are off on an adventure.
They are trekking in a small crowded car from their cottage home in England to Rome, where Hanna spent happy times many years ago. 9 year old Lawrence and his little sister, along with hamster Hermann think this is a vacation but in actuality Hanna is running away from her troubles, new and old. They are short on money and stay in bursts of energy with multiple friends to which Lawrence applies an animal for each, like Crissy chick for example. The story is told through the point of view of Lawrence so its saturated in the misspellings of a child, British vernacular and repetitive grumblings. He only wants to make sad mummy happy and tolerate his little sister long enough to get through this trip and back to school in time for his exams. Little does he know that the adventure becomes as twisted as the roads they travel. Mum never stays smiling and the reader slowly understands the seriousness the novel begins to take. The realization sets in and although I dreaded what was obviously coming, I had grown to love these characters and hoped and prayed for their best outcome. Completely original When We Were Romans is an incredible journey in an entirely different direction. Anyone with an open mind to creativity and life in general will "get" what this book truly represents. Highly recommend to my faithful readers!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Leaving Time

Jenna Metcalf is a thirteen year old girl searching for her mother,
Alice. She disappeared 10 years ago after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary where her and her husband lived and worked as scientists and activists. Jenna is a feisty, brilliant young lady who has traded her entire childhood to play detective. She has devoured every word of Alice's scientific journals. Jenna believes her mother may still be out there and is torn between the horrible idea of finding out she is dead or the more horrible idea that she is alive, on the run and chose to leave her beloved daughter behind. Her father is in a psychiatric hospital after a complete breakdown following the events at the sanctuary and Jenna hires a quirky psychic named Serenity and a has-been detective called Virgil to help her solve this lifelong mystery.

Hmmmmm ... this is a tough one. Jodi Picoult's writing is as always, superb. She flawlessly carries the reader through this story with mystery, humor, and lovable characters. The elephant theme kind of surprised me. There is a lot of elephant behavior research and it is both interesting and burdensome. I loved the twists and turns of the actual mystery but found myself wanting some other parts to hurry up, and I rarely feel that way. I adore Jodi Picoult. She always has a great story to tell.  I suppose if you love mysteries, elephants and nature it is perfect for you!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Aftermath

After WWII zones were set up in Germany to rebuild, denazify,
democratize, feed and in general help the German citizens. They say the Americans got the view, the French the wine and British got the ruins. When the Morgan family arrive, Colonel Morgan is stationed in Hamburg, one of the most destroyed cities in all of Germany. His wife Rachael and son Edmund make their way by ship from England to be with him, they are scared, nervous and have not seen the Colonel in quite some time. Rachael, not herself since their elder son died in a bombing the year before, and 10 year old Edmund is both reluctant and excited to see his father and begin a new life. There are but a few residences they could possibly stay in while on this post and Colonel's status leads them to a mansion by the river that has survived the war but its owners remain, which can be seen as lucky or suspicious to the troops. Being the fair, kind, intelligent man that he has been through this war, Colonel Morgan allows the father and daughter to remain instead of going to an internment camp where its residents are freezing and starving through the brutal winter. The house is huge but the idea of living with "the enemy" is revolted by the Colonel's colleagues and Rachael's acquaintances. The unlikely understanding and tolerance between the two families is a lesson in itself. Rhidian Brook is an incredible writer who shares this story with creative grace. Coincidentally, after I finished, I found this amazing article - which explains the premise of the novel and connection the author had to this house and this story. Highly recommend The Aftermath, there is no doubt I will be reading more by this talented author.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Keep Quiet

Jake has a rocky relationship with his teenage son Ryan.
As many parents of teenagers can agree, it is hard to find common ground and gain their full trust and attention. Jake tries too hard. He goes against his better judgment and allows Ryan to drive the car with him late at night after curfew for learners permit drivers. And their lives are changed forever. Tragedy strikes, split second decisions are made and lies snowball out of control. Pam, Jake's wife, cannot fathom what is happening to their family and every day they find themselves deeper in this horrible nightmare. There will definitely a lot to discuss at book club this month. Lessons learned about family, trust and standing by your beliefs. Unfortunately, the writing is mediocre, predictable and boring. The characters are not very likable so you just feel sorry for them but it is lacking someone to root for. Although I tried to like this read it failed to grab me. Sorry, reader friends, I really cannot recommend this one.

What is Visible

We all know the heroic tale of Helen Keller. As a child I
remember watching the movie multiple times in school. But hardly anyone is familiar with Laura Bridgman, her predecessor who had the strength and determination to conquer her disabilities and set the stage for all of those that followed. In the early 1830's (Helen's story takes place 50 years later) Laura, at two years old, is struck with scarlet fever. It leaves her not only deaf and blind but without her sense of smell and taste as well. Touch is all she has, and intelligence, wit, curiosity and determination beyond comprehension. This is the story of Laura's amazing life. Her struggles, her triumphs, her love and her losses. As young a girl whom most people had given up on, she is taken to the Perkins Institute in Boston which is primarily a school for the blind. Dr. Samuel Howe falls in love with this little girl and begins his mission of miracles by unlocking her mysteries and developing methods of communication. Her love of knowledge has no bounds. Her thoughtful writings and perceptions of religion, politics, and poetry to name a few are astonishing. Laura pushes the people and her capabilities to their very limits. There are those that adore her and she forms lifelong bonds, and those who have neither the patience or understanding for this girl that they simply cannot connect with. Her companion in the last years of her life is Annie, a young orphan kitchen girl, who later becomes the teacher of Helen Keller. This is a remarkable piece of historical fiction that I could not put down. I cannot believe I had never heard of this woman and I cannot believe this is Kimberly Elkins first novel.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Story of Land and Sea

Three generations of families in a small town in North Carolina
face hard choices during the late years of the American Revolution. The main character is John, an ex-pirate turned brave soldier who falls in love with Helen. She is the daughter of a successful businessman, Asa, that is unrelenting in his love and his religion. A good person buried deep inside of a slave owning man that lost his wife and raises Helen to the best of his ability. Helen is given a slave friend Moll when she is just a girl and they nurture a sister like love hate relationship for all of their lives. And then there is Tabitha whom John loves with all his heart. He is raising their daughter to the very best of his ability, land bound for ten years since she was born until she contracts yellow fever and they set sail believing the sea may save her. This wonderful small piece of historical fiction is a haunting read. The times are difficult and life was often cut short. Author Katy Simpson Smith truly captures the deep love that bonds father and daughter, the horrific reality of slavery and the moral compass that drove generations of people to accept this and in hardship life in this new America that strove for independence and truly believed in the future. Highly recommend The Story of Land and Sea.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'll Be Right There

It is the mid 1980's in South Korea and Jung Yoon is a
young college girl finding her way to a new life in the big city. She is on her own for the first time and has left the safe haven of her cousins apartment. She is alone and she is lonely and learns quickly that these are two separate emotions. With unparalleled beauty this Korean author, Kyung Sook Shin, details the long days and nights that blend together endlessly for Jung Yoon. And then she meets Myungsuh, Miru and her cat named Emily (after none other than Emily Dickinson).  Their triangle friendship which is both complicated and beautiful mixed with the unending riots and protests that fill the city, close the universities leaving all the students along with  their beloved Professor bewildered and lost. All they want is to learn and read and be free but under martial law none of this is possible. The memory of Jung Yoon's mother and Miru's sister haunt them as they chase their literary dreams and experience young love for the first time. This is absolutely one of the most poetic storytellers I have encountered. Although it is a slow - somewhat sad read , it is different than anything I have ever experienced, truly a beautiful story. Different time, different place, different perspective.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You By Courtney Maum

Reverse love story that starts out with a cheating husband,
loses his girlfriend and then begins a long winding road back to his once beautiful marriage. Sounds twisted? Yes, it is, but what is captivating about this story is you really really like the characters and want them to be happy. There is not so much anger as you just want to bop Richard in the head and wake him out of his ridiculous stupor. Richard and Anne have been together almost a decade. She is a successful, beautiful, sophisticated French lawyer and Richard is a British artist that is having a mid life a bit young (only 34!) and is at a loss with his relationships and his artwork. All at once everything seems to be unravelling. Poor little Cam, their 5 year old daughter is caught in the messy tangle. With heartfelt wit and insightful retrospect Richard goes back to his childhood home and retraces his life. He is grateful for the lessons that begin to transform his priorities and get his life back into shape. But now he must convince Anne to give them a second chance. Forgiveness is hard, forgetting seems near impossible but can love really conquer all? Set in Paris which never fails to bring delicious food, lots of wine and an enormous amount of free time, Richard and Anne have only two choices, begin again or end their marriage. Thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of this crazy cast. Loved the writing by Courtney Maum, a mix of humor and intellect. Even under the most bizarre circumstances, the reality is not all that different for every couple.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Children Act

Fiona and Jack have been married for most of their adult life.
She is a highly regarded Family Court judge in London and he a professor at the nearby university. They have by default not had any children of their own but have a large extended family and brilliant careers that keep them busy and content. Until, its not. Jack approaches Fiona with the idea that as he turns 60 and before he dies, he needs a love affair with the gusto they once had themselves. Fiona changes the locks. Simultaneously we are pulled into the trials that Fiona's position demands daily. The cases defend and protect the welfare of children at all costs. It is not the morality but the law that must provide a safety for these children, thus The Children Act. Fiona's most intimate case is a loving family that refuses to give their son, who is battling leukemia, a blood transfusion due to the fact that they are Jehovah's Witnesses and it is against their religious belief. This is a fast paced, sophisticated read. While pulling the reader's heartstrings for all involved, Fiona's marriage issues cannot wait, as she loves Jack deeply and does not want to lose him. Highly recommend this excellent story that explores love and faith on a whole other level.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The novel Longbourn takes Pride & Prejudice to another level,
a lower level according to the times, but full of the same delicious drama and romance as the original, its all about the house staff. Mr. & Mrs. Hill run the Bennet estate. Sarah, a young woman has been with them ever since she was orphaned as a child. She is diligent, hardworking and intelligent girl who remembers just enough of her former life to know there is more outside of servitude within these walls. Polly is still a small girl whom they have all grown to love. She is not much help in the kitchen but sassy enough to bring an element of liveliness to the repetitive motions day in and day out that the help endures. And then we meet James, the Mr. Darcy of this wonderful version interweaving dreams of which there are few allowed to enter young Sarahs life. James Smith, the new footman, is handsome and worthy and works his fingers to the bone for these women, but he carries a few secrets. Secrets that can change their lives forever. If you love Jane Austen, who realized the very basics of the romance novel way back in 1813, you will also love Longbourn. Author Jo Baker brings us into the heart and soul of the Bennet family and introduces us to a whole other cast of amazing characters. Who would believe that 200 years later matters of the heart would be virtually unchanged! A must read!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Story Hour

Maggie, a psychologist is called in for a difficult case at the hospital.
And it is here that she meets Lakshmi, an Indian woman who has tried to commit suicide. So begins the incredible journey these women take together and unlikely friendship that grows to immense proportions. Maggie is married to her college sweetheart Sudhir, a professor at the University who is also from India. She has visited India many times with her husband and knows that the attachment Lakshmi has to her traditions and culture are all that matters and she is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to make things right. Maggie has her own childhood skeletons lurking in the proverbial closet. In addition, she is surprisingly attracted to a photographer from the past that shows up unexpectedly and wreaks havoc on her quiet life. The attraction is so strong that Maggie gambles all that she loves; her husband, job and friendship with Lakshmi for this selfish, beautiful man. The tables slowly turn as Maggie teaches Lakshmi about independence, self worth and confidence and in return Lakshmi offers a friendship so pure and innocent, it is almost surreal. This amazing author Thrity Umrigar (The Space Between Us) once again reels the reader into the hearts and minds of these magnificent characters. The smells of Indian food waft through the air as you read and their voices are clear as a bell. Learning the difference between right and wrong, what is possible and what is merely tolerable are just some of the lessons in this novel filled with friendship, love and family. Highly recommend The Story Hour, it is a must for your reading list!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


When college student Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires,
Argentina for her semester abroad she is curious, young, adventurous and truly believes the world is her oyster, until its not. Lily's adventure quickly becomes a nightmare filled with murder and mystery. Her roommate (similar to the infamous Amanda Knox case) Katy is found brutally killed and with each clue and every person who has touched their lives in Argentina, the finger seems to point at Lily. Lily, with the obnoxious emails, the texts and conversations she should have never had. She appears jealous and envious of the beautiful Katy, the perfect student with the perfect smile. And Sebastian, the handsome neighbor whom Lily is romancing, conveniently mysterious while hiding in a house right out of the Adams Family.  Lily's family comes to Argentina to support her through this horrific trial and her younger sister is both scared and angry as they find their way through this maddening foreign legal system. Cartwheel is filled with completely unique characters, it is suspenseful and well written. I love the way this author describes so completely each and every scene although it does take time to get used to the overabundant vocabulary that feels slightly self conscious. Highly recommend this exciting new novel, if you loved Gone Girl (and who didn't?!) or Reconstructing Amelia, do not miss this excellent read!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


First of all, how could you not love a book by an author named
Rainbow? Or a story where the main character in Landline is Georgie McCool? Georgie is a thirty something comedy writer in LA. Her husband Neal stays at home with their two young girls while she and her longtime writing partner Seth strive to create the next big hit on t.v. A few days before Christmas the comedy duo have an opportunity they cannot pass up and since Hollywood waits for no one, Georgie tells Neal she cannot go to Omaha for their annual trip to visit his family for the holidays. And Neal goes with the kids, without her. From the moment Neal leaves town nothing is right and as Georgie reflects on their marriage and their life together she becomes terrified that she has made too many mistakes and it has all finally caught up on her. The problem is she wholeheartedly loves Neal and as she reaches back to her past self for an answer to the future it becomes crystal clear that she cannot live without him. Laughing out loud at how real and unreal this is at the same time, I could not put Landline down. If only we could talk to our younger selves, reevaluate our dreams and take back some of the hope that was so abundant in those years. If you enjoyed the satire in Where'd You Go Bernadette (by Maria Semple) or reflective humor of What Alice Forgot (by Liane Moriarty), Rainbow Rowell writes with a consistently smooth, humorous flow that grabs the reader and won't let go. Looking forward to reading her other novels, I do not know how I missed them!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


August Pullman, smart, funny, age 10, lives in NYC, has a sister,
a dog and two loving parents. August has everything that would most likely make him the most normal kid in the world. Except he is not your typical kid. August was born with a genetic anomaly so serious that the doctors did not think he would survive. But he did. And Auggie grew and grew and had 27 different surgeries to make his face and features as normal and functioning as possible. Throughout his early childhood he was homeschooled by his patient, understanding mother and finally, now that the surgeries are finished she would like him to start regular school, middle school. In 5th grade when kids are naturally self conscious about their bodies, their overall appearance and which friendships they make, Auggie has to learn the ropes for the very first time. And it is hard. Wonder is about Auggie's struggle to fit in and survive in this world, his family's intense love for him and how friendships are made, and change and grow constantly. This YA book has many a lesson to be learned. The author fits beautifully inside the voices of these amazing characters. As you make your way through the kleenex you will fall in love with them over and over again. A simple story derived from a complicated medical wonder and the idea that kindness can really change the world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

A.J. Fikry owns a small book shop on Alice Island. In this quaint village,
Island books is every booklovers dream until A.J.’s life slowly falls to pieces. After the death of his beloved wife (and this was her hometown, really) sales begin to dwindle. A.J. becomes unapproachable and alone. His love of books cannot fill the deep empty void that is his daily life. He refuses to socialize and pushes any do gooders away until a series of events changes everything. A chance meeting with a quirky sweet publishing representative named Amelia, a theft of an extremely valuable book of Poe and a package that is left in his store carrying a short note that will change his life forever. This is a beautifully written, easy pleasant read that no booklover can ignore. A.J. Fikry teaches us about life, love and books all in one simple story. What more could I ever ask for?

I Shall Be Near to You

Rosetta has always been the son her father never had.
She works hard on the farm, she is tough, uncomplaining and even asks one of the boys to teach her how to fight. But her beauty lies not far beneath this gruff exterior and she marries her longtime friend Jeremiah. They dream of a farm together far away from the towns prying eyes, filled with crops and animals and eventually children. As the Civil War continues Jeremiah decides to enlist as they could use the $150 towards the start of their new life together. But three years is a long time. Little does he know that Rosetta who could not bare to be separated from the one person who understands her and loves her like no other, changes her name to Ross and enlists as well. She most certainly has the attitude that if he can do it, so can she, and then they will have twice the funds to begin their dream farm. Jeremiah begs her to return home but she refuses to leave his side and as the battle rages on, the details of the raging battles that follow leave the reader holding their breath with the turn of each page. Filled with such amazing characters I was not only able to envision but actually hear their voices! This historical novel captured my heart instantly and I could not put it down. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend, I Shall Be Near to You, for an in depth look at the Civil War through the eyes of patriotic young love. Looking forward to reading more by this exceptional author. Thank you Erin Lindsay McCabe for sharing your imagination and talent with us all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Summer Book

In the Gulf of Finland there are many small islands that
people maintain summer homes on. Little Sophia is 6 years old and spends summers in a delightful cabin with her father and 85 year old artist grandmother, called Grandmother. On the island the difference in their ages melt together as their similarities are strikingly attuned. The Father works at his desk and Sophia has her Grandmother all to herself. The relationship between Sophia and her grandmother is simple and yet captivating. They discuss life and attempt to define death and G-d. They explore nature from the detailed experience during a horrific storm, to the tiniest bugs on the tiniest sticks along the ocean shore. In summer the daylight is so continuous that theirs seem endless and are filled with exploration, love, and understanding. Sometimes Sophia is stubborn and so is her grandmother. Sometimes she is understanding and concerned, as is her grandmother. Often Sophia is afraid to be alone yet craves the silence of nature, as does her grandmother. This beautiful, quiet story is broken into small vignettes capturing the beauty and isolation of our what makes our world truly beautiful. The unending love belonging to families and the idyllic of summer. Really, truly enjoyed this unique novel. A quick easy read that has the ability to quiet the mind of the reader in a peaceful and pleasant way. Highly recommend this summer read, as ours is coming to an end.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Every Time I Think of You

In the small town of Fenton, California, Daisy Jane is living a
quiet life with her 3 yr old son Elliot and loving grandmother Pauline. She works as a nurse at the local hospital and mostly keeps to herself with a few close friends. Pretty, sweet Daisy seems to be living a small idyllic life but the reality is she is a single mom struggling to pay off her dead beat ex husbands debt and move on ever since he abandoned them for his addiction to drugs. After her life is once again turned upside down by the mysterious murder of her grandmother, Daisy meets Brooks, a reporter who has temporarily moved back to town to help his Dad care for his ill mother. Although neither is necessarily ready for romance the chemistry between Daisy and Brooks is unstoppable. Brooks quickly becomes a friend and confidant as Daisy strains to remain platonic knowing he will soon return to his life in San Francisco. The feeling of danger lurks around every corner. Daisy cannot feel safe knowing that the miscreants that surround her ex husband Scott may have something to do with the murder of her grandmother and the fact that the police department has no leads. Tracey Garvis Graves has once again brought us into the lives of her simple yet irresistible characters, their triumphs and their tragedies. This novel is another one of her stories that pulls the reader into the story making it hard to put down even for one day. Highly recommend this easy romantic heartfelt read. ENJOY!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Love & Treasure

Natalie Stein, beautiful and young, is at a crossroads
which contains no shortcuts. Her longtime relationship (12 years!) - subsequent short marriage ended in nothing more horrifying than finding out her husband was in a relationship with another woman, has left her law practice to care for her ailing and beloved grandfather in Maine. And it is there she begins a mysterious adventure that will change her life forevermore. Jack Wiseman spent his later years in a small town in rural Maine but his time in the army during WWII, his lifelong career as a professor at Columbia University, and his innate expertise with languages and history are all that Natalie has ever known about. As he nears the end of his journey Jack gives Natalie a beautiful locket he got during the war. He shares only a minute amount of information and sends Natalie on a mission she has no control over. Jack's dying wish is for Natalie to return the locket to its rightful owner, no easy task as his story took place well over 50 years earlier in war torn Germany. This incredible author Ayelet Waldman takes us through Germany, Salzburg, and Hungary, the war, the gold train and even to Yad Vashem in Israel. Natalie remains brave and determined to grant her grandfather his last wishes. As the story unravels more quickly than even Natalie had hoped it becomes clear what she must do to fulfill Jack's wishes and the guilt he lived with for many years. I HIGHLY recommend this excellent account of the enormous amount of art, gold and belongings strewn throughout post WWII Europe and the difficult aftermath of DP's, their future and return of their personal treasures. Easy, quick, interesting read of a time when Love & Treasure were really one and the same.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Susanna, an inquisitive young girl, is the main character
and narrator of this novel-like-memoir by Susanna Kaysen, author of 1993 bestseller Girl, Interrupted. The story begins in England when the family relocates for a year sabbatical from university life at Harvard. Susanna is immediately as grim as the dark rainy sad days she describes. Elementary school is pure torture. Onward, the family returns to Boston and Susanna continues to barely scrape by on her lonely existence. Her parents, highly intellectual, in an awkward relationship, a younger sister vaguely mentioned, a Swedish nanny named Frederika, whom she adores and Roger, the one friend she can tolerate that she feels close to. And so continues the saga of poor Susanna's life. The family traipses off to Greece for a year where amid the ruins and bad economy of the 1960's, Susanna once again feels left out and unnecessary. Susanna Kaysen is a fantastic writer, her words flow effortlessly as she describes in meticulous detail her childhood (or something like it - since technically this is not a memoir) quirky parents and search for adolescence as she faces her imposing teens that lay ahead. She is most certainly witty and honest and smart as a whip but the sadness is so apparent, the loneliness so contagious that it was almost too depressing to read. Perhaps my knowing that this young girl later grew up to write Girl, Interrupted, which became a cult classic and somewhat biographies her teens, may have set the tone for what I already anticipated would be a dark story. It is a quick, interesting well written novel but you must be in the mood for this type of genre.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Big Little Lies

A small coastal town, called Pirriwee, Australia is filled with enough
drama to give any Real Houswives a run for their money. Madeleine's daughter Chloe, 5, is starting kindy (I just love Australian speak) along with her beautiful wealthy bestfriend Celeste's twins named Max and Josh. There is Skye in the class who happens to be Maddie's ex-husbands new family and Renata, who has a real job, with her daughter Amabeth, and that is not a typo. It is not something as common as Annabeth. And on and on, the kindy class in this idyllic beach town is filled with one hysterical, (and that means funny and crazy simultaneously!) character after another. After this amazing author sets the table for this rich comedy the drama arises when the truth about Jane's son Ziggy comes to light, Celeste's big secret cannot be held any longer and the French nanny is not so innocent. It all revolves towards a school fund raiser called Trivia Night where the parents find themselves in the pouring rain, drunk, dressed as Elvis Presley and Audrey Hepburn and not quite prepared for the entire charade to come tumbling down.  The fabulous Liane Moriarty, best selling author of What Alice Forgot and The Husbands Secret once again brings us spinning and laughing through a world she creates that is both ridiculous, funny and too similar to reality to ignore. This is an easy, enjoyable read, shouting PERFECT for the beach and pool because no amount of background noise will tear you away as this soap opera unravels. Highly recommend.

Monday, August 4, 2014

We are thrilled to share the gorgeous cover for Cherish, by New York Times best selling Author Tracey Garvis-Graves. This novella is a companion to Covet.

Fans of Covet by bestselling author Tracey Garvis Graves will be delighted by this novella-length sequel.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Life Drawing

Gus (Augusta) and Owen are artists living what one would imagine
an artists life. An old house, off in the countryside, Gus painting on a sunlit porch and Owen writing magnificence in the cozy barn. But all is not as idyllic as it seems. Love, life, family, trust and even death are threaded throughout their every move, their every breath. This incredible author Robin Black brings each feeling to the light as she literally paints a picture for us that is so shockingly real my heart beat loudly with the turn of every page. This couple, recently married but having spent many years together have no children, have not much in the way of family outside of the little enclave they have carefully built with their art, their passion, patience and love. But love can be tricky and when trust has been broken it is sometimes hard to repair. Alison, a beautiful, self appointed artist bearing her own secrets moves in next door, their quiet repose is temporarily shattered, yet Gus finds a calming friendship with Alison that surprises even herself. When Nora, Alisons daughter visits, the web that is woven becomes ugly and dangerous. I could not put down this unexpected novel, set outside Philadelphia with likable characters and quiet yet page turning prose, I HIGHLY recommend Life Drawing. A must to add to your summer list, fall list, winter list, A MUST READ!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

This mesmerizing novel is narrated by smart and sassy teenage girl,
Emily Shepherd. She lives in a small town in Vermont with her parents and dog Maggie. Emily's parents both work at the nuclear energy plant nearby. As controversial as the plant may be, the residents live a simple life and Emily most certainly is your typical underachieving sulky teen. Until the day her life and all those around her is turned upside down by a nuclear meltdown. A disaster of immense proportions that is vehemently blamed on her parents, mostly her dad, who is head engineer and has a rocky reputation with alcohol. Emily has no choice but to disappear. She finds herself (shockingly) alone on the streets of a nearby city living the life of a runaway and calling herself Abby Bliss, a character from her favorite poet Emily Dickinson. Life on the street is harsher than Emily (Abby) could have ever imagined. As she struggles to overcome the grief of what her life has become and mourns all that is gone Emily (Abby) learns what she is really made of. The setting of this idyllic beautiful town being completely destroyed by a nuclear reactor and all the repercussions that will go on for these families for many years to come are both scary and realistic. This magnificent author brings us into the mind and hearts of these characters who are struggling to survive, to accept the future and yet remain hopeful. Like watching a train wreck, I could not put down this book and forced myself to face the tragedy with Emily that was unfolding before me. These characters will remain with me long after the final page.  Highly recommend for your next summer read!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Vacationers

Summertime, when people all around the world go on vacation.
Most will plan all year and build up this idyllic experience that should be in the movies. Days lolling on the sand, sun shining brightly, cookouts, ice cream cones and a juicy book in your hands, of course. Oh, and everyone must be very very happy to be together, even if you are not. Please pretend because we have painstakingly planned this trip for the whole family and happiness is required!

Jim and Franny Post, a successful Manhattan couple, along with their 18 yr old daughter Sylvia and son Bobby, a 28 yr old realtor (who lives in Miami, along with his personal trainer girlfriend Carmen, who they'd rather not mention but have no choice) along with Charles and Lawrence, a couple they have known forever who are in the midst of an adoption struggle, are off to an island of Mallorca. They rent a magnificent house just steps from the beach and pray for two weeks of the idyllic described above. Unfortunately, not much ever goes exactly as planned. Sylvia is in an angry teenage phase, mostly having to do with her virginity, Bobby is drowning in debt and waiting to spring this on his parents while Carmen snidely observes the complicated dynamics simultaneously doing pushups and drinking protein shakes. Charles is supporting Franny who is mad at Jim, Lawrence is jealous of their friendship and anxious about the adoption. All the while Sylvia is after the gorgeous spanish tutor and Franny is frantically trying to bring them happiness by filling their stomachs with her scrumptious meals.

European Vacation, minus Chevy Chase, this nutty family really does love each other, even if they don't always know it. The Vacationers is a light, funny look at the ideal family vacation even as the family is in the midst of catastrophe. Loved the characters and Emma Straub writes with an ease all her own. Highly recommend this most perfect summer read, for the beach or the hammock or family vacation, if you can handle it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Everything I Never Told You

Lydia is found dead at the bottom of the nearby lake, she is only
16 years old. Her family is devastated as is the small town where nothing much ever happens. A little bit like The Lovely Bones, where the reader knows the scary bad part right from the start and then it flash backs to all the details leading up - this magnificent novel grabs the reader by the shoulders and says LISTEN TO ME! Please pay attention very carefully. This is the story of the Lee family. James, the American History college professor, of Chinese decent, brilliant, shy and forever trying to just fit in. Marilyn, beautiful blue eyed Radcliffe, physics major that falls in love with James and forever regrets her (typical of the time) rush into marriage, children and loss of her dream to be a doctor. And then, their three children, Nath, a highschool senior, Lydia, a sophomore and Hannah whom noone says much about at all. Each and every member of this family struggles with their identity, both how they see themselves and how the world views their Asian features. This is about how an immigrant family believes freedom and education are the key to success which is the key to happiness but generations later, their children just want to blend in, they don't want to stand out in this small mid western town. Each one of them battles with the low self esteem that has been passed on when the parents failures are to be redeemed through the offspring. Excellent writing in a simple yet poetic style, as each chapter is so well thought out it moves quickly and deeply into the very essence of what love and family really mean. Highly recommend this new novel and will be looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

All Fall Down

Allison Weiss, a 34 yr old, nice jewish girl living in the suburbs of
Philadelphia with her husband and son has everything a girl could possibly want. But then, why does she feel so bad, and so sad, and so stressed and so uneasy all of the time? She begins to mask the pain, real or imaginary, (following an injured back at the gym) with pain killers prescribed at her doctors visit. MRI and everything, for real. And then the pain killers became stronger and more often, and Allison felt empowered and had energy and this took the slight edge off her worries and her stress. She was able to get so much more accomplished. As her dad's Alzheimer's became more severe and her mother fell apart, her husbands job on the rocks, her blog a huge hit demanding more time than ever before and her daughter would not give her FIVE MINUTES TO GO TO THE BATHROOM PLEASE! It took more pills and stronger pills, and she was running out .... And so we are mesmerized by this realistic work of fiction that on the one hand it is easy to say blah blah blah, poor little rich girl problems and on the other, it is very very real. These drugs are highly addictive and destroy lives. All Fall Down is the story of love, family and trust  - that we will be there to catch you and pick up the pieces if you crash hard. Your friends and your family or friends that become like family are supposed to be there, like a marriage for better or for worse. But drugs distort boundaries and wear down strength and patience. I could not put down this wonderful new novel of a girl you cannot help but love. Jennifer Weiner once again brings these characters into our hearts, and we are rooting for them and cheering for them to win, succeed, or just survive. Fabulous summer read, when I picked it up I didn't even know the storyline - just that it was another of Weiner's books that would take me away with her and take me, she did. Highly recommend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One Plus One

Best selling author Jojo Moyes does it again. Wraps the
reader around her little finger while we take a journey with an amazing, lovable cast of characters you will grow to love so intensely they seem real. Jess's life in a small coastal England town is complicated but sadly not uncommon. She is a single mom to Tanzie, a gifted ten year old girl both brilliant and witty beyond her years and Nicky, an awkward troubled teen fighting through adolescence and abandonment. Jess works two jobs, she scrimps to get by day to day, week to week and miraculously keeps her spirits high, hope always another step forward. Even though Jess has had a rough go of it she remains optimistic and determined to make her children feel loved and safe. When Tanzie is unexpectedly invited to a maths Olympiad in Scotland, an adventure begins for this family of four (I am including humungous dog named Norman!) that changes their lives forever. As they sit abandoned on the side of the road, Mr. Nicholls, a geeky businessman and client of Jess's cleaning job, stops to offer assistance. As he is dealing with his own personal turmoil Ed believes perhaps he was meant to help out this troubled clan. And so begins the journey that leads them to friendship, love, and the truth, as painful as that might be. Could not put down this incredible story that will leave you thinking about these characters long after the story ends. Do not miss this amazing summer read! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Authentic Summer Beach List, It’s Not What You May Have Guessed

Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are.
No, I’m not a fortune teller but like the saying goes about friends, books say a lot about who we are and what kind of mood we are in or perhaps how much thought we took when packing. I, for one spend more time picking books for my trip than clothes. It’s a beach, I’ll bring a bathing suit but what books am I going to read?! At least 3-4 for a week with some backups, just in case. Recently, on a Caribbean vacation at an upscale International resort I conducted a small survey and even though I couldn’t bring the gorgeous beach home, I will share the surprising results with you, my reader friends.

Most books being read are not on the current bestseller or summer lists. Out of 55 people surveyed only 4 were on Kindles, everyone else, still an old fashioned actual book! Two repeats in the whole bunch with Mary Higgins Clark in French and 3 books in German, one a top seller in Germany and not available in the US for another year. And most interesting, participants were extremely nervous when approached and I am not that scary in a bikini! Readers were more embarrassed than secretive. If what they were reading seemed frivolous or too “fun” they felt the need to explain, as if this is not the “real” book I’m reading, that’s in the room, this one here with the heartthrob on the cover is just to pass the time. Oh, the vampires? Someone left that at my house. A little easier for e-readers, they hide behind their Kindle rather than showing the world their true covers.
Reading is very personal. Even though I share with the world on a regular basis my current read (though I did somewhat hesitate with Fifty Shades), most people became very nervous, men and women alike. And, I must say to the joy of my heart, there were equal parts men reading, which I adore, as I keep prodding my husband that reading is sexy!
So here it is, my list of 55 books people were actually physically reading on a beach, during summer. For some, vacation may be the only time they read a book all year and others, like myself, just the start to a huge reading list summer! Perhaps I need to further my research. Yes, I must go back right away. There are so many questions unanswered.
The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins
Agatha Raisin by M.C. Beaton
The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner
The Book of Secrets by Tom Harper
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
One Thing by Gary Keller
Now You See Her by James Patterson *Kindle
The One and Only by Emily Giffin
Paper Towns by John Green
The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige *Kindle
Capital Crimes by Stuart Woods *Kindle
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy  by Helen Fielding (2)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander M.D. (2)
The Pilgrimage by Paul Coelho
Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark (French)
Voll Speed by Moritz Matthies (German)
1491 by Charles Mann
A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson
Delikatesa by David Foenkinos (Albanian)
The Kingmakers Daughter by Phillipa Gregory
Revelations by Elaine Pagels
Die Trying by Lee Child
He’s Back by Timur Vermes (German) *Kindle
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Inferno by Dan Brown
A Feast for Crows by George Martin
11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
Power by Joyce Meyer
The Dance by Oriah
Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Follow Me by David Platt
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe
Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Hawaiian Escape by Debbie Flint
How to Be Good by Nick Hornby
Shut Up, You’re Welcome by Annie Choi
Drinking and Dating by Brandi Glanville
The Strain by Guillermo DelToro & Chuck Hogan
Shadow Secret by Nora Roberts
The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru
The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom
Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh
Das Falsche In Mir by Christa Bernuth (German)
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer House with Swimming Pool

Dr. Marc Schlosser is a family practitioner in Holland.
He has a small practice servicing mostly the rich and famous, known for his lenient unquestioning ways and excellent listening skills (he gives you twenty but truthfully only listens for the first five minutes.) Marc begins an unlikely friendship with the Meier family. Ralph, a huge star and his subtly sexy wife Judith with two teenage sons invite the Schlossers to join them at their summer house, with a swimming pool. Marc's two teenage girls hit it off immediately with the boys and his wife Caroline tolerates the bizarre nature found in the entire cast. The visiting director Stanley and his model girlfriend, Emmanuelle, 40 years his junior add to the scene. And while they eat and drink themselves merry Marc becomes paranoid about his daughters, his wife and the seductive Judith. In a world where most problems are solved with a magic pill or another drink, Marc finds himself in an ethical dilemma. Although it continues with a dark sort of humor, the subject matter of possible rape and a most probable pedophile in his midst, Marc's heart and soul truly belong to his daughters whom he will do anything to protect from the crazy world revolving too quickly around them as they reach adolescence. This imaginative cast of characters is very much written in a style all his own, author Herman Koch definitely had me entranced in this story. Like some foreign films, this book inherently feels European in style and writing. An excellent novel that left me thinking about the plot, of which there are many threads to tie together.
"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

Lucky Us

"My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive
down to his place and see what might be in it for us."   

This is the pull quote from the book, and now.. I get it! 
A bizarre statement that sums up the eclectic humor and quirky characters throughout this extraordinary new novel by New York Times, bestselling author, Amy Bloom.

Eva and Iris are two sisters traveling across America during the 1940s. Iris, older, is talented, beautiful and full of ideas to find her big break to fame and fortune. Eva is smart beyond her years, an autodidact and faithful as a puppy dog. Their bizarre father, his girlfriend Clara who stars in a jazz club, Francisco the Mexican makeup artist and the list goes on and on. They eventually settle in a carriage house of the Torrelli's on Long Island and continue to make their mischief and basically survive through hard times that are unusual and hysterical simultaneously. Iris continues to sing and dance while Eva reads tarot cards in the back of a salon. They "adopt" or kidnap a small boy from an orphanage and Iris even falls in love with the Torrelli's cook, Reenie.  I could go on and on, I loved each and every one of them. Lucky Us is about love, friendship and above all never losing hope. A summer MUST for the beach, you will smile and laugh your way through this amazing cast from an incredible writer with an endless imagination. Thank you to Goodreads for sending me an early copy for review. I believe it comes out at the end of July and I highly recommend you add to your list immediately!!

My Salinger Year

Joanna Rakoff, smart, beautiful, 23 years old, finished with
grad school and making her way in NYC. The year is 1993. Dreaming of life as a writer, she finds her foot in the door of publishing at a prestigious Agency in Manhattan that has been around way longer than she, still hanging onto a few world famous authors (one of them none other than J.D. Salinger) and its old world ways -having to do with incessant smoking (indoors!) and martinis at lunch that last all day. Joanna begins as an assistant (No, Dad! Not a secretary!) to an extraordinary woman referred to as the "Boss". She lives with her socialist, intelligent, perhaps handsome boyfriend in a ramshackle apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As Joanna finds out who she is and what she wants out of life, she builds an interesting cast of characters and experiences into her ordinary days, always hoping the writer in her will somehow make its way out. This light hearted, easy, delicious memoir is like reading your friends journal (with permission, of course!) Her year at the Agency, learning about life and love and hard work help Joanna grow into a woman and into a writer. Adored this read, which I could not put down as Joanna Rakoff shares her heart and humor with us. I cannot wait to go back and read her first novel, A Fortunate Age, and gladly await her future novels! Don't miss this delightful summer read, perfect for a day at the beach!


A love triangle of three anthropologists set in the late 1930's in
Papau, New Guinea. Nell and Fen, a newly married couple are searching for another tribe to study before returning to the States. Nell, a published author and receiver of grants is an American woman (based loosely on the experiences of Margaret Mead) who is at the forefront of anthropology, studying the relationships and dynamics of men and women deep in these far off jungles. Fen is an Australian, brilliant on his own but fearing the expansive shadow of Nells fame and notoriety in this fairly new field of study. Andrew Bankson is yet the third wheel, an Englishman daring to study this extravagant science of which his famous father deplored. Extremely competent at his studies but longing for company and companionship, Andrew quickly falls in love with Nell when the couple find him in the midst of depression, studying the Kiona tribe. He introduces them to the Tam a few hours upriver and it is agreed they will spend the following months within the almost mythical tribe. And so begins this most unique story of love, friendship, and the human mind. How we live and how we are a product of those we are born to and surrounded by will mold our ideas forevermore. Our values and our behavior are deeply physical and spiritual. Highly recommend this mesmerizing story by talented author Lily King. I was briefly taken away to another place and another time. These characters will linger in my mind always.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Anthony Doerr on All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Werner is a young boy growing up in a German orphanage,
with his beloved younger sister Jutta and only Frau Elena to care for them. They live in a small mining town that is grim and dark leaving children little room to hope and no place for dreams. Werna and Jutta obsess themselves in the world of radios and transmissions. Jutta listening to the world she cannot reach but intuitively understands and Werner with his innate ability to dismantle, fix and build electronics. Marie-Laure is a bright beautiful young lady in France, she is blind and attuned to all the smells and sounds the world has to offer. Her father, a locksmith at the National Museum in Paris and her Great Uncle Etienne, a brilliant man who suffers from agoraphobia, feed Marie-Laure's love of science, of stories and the world outside their small protective apartment. A boy and a girl. So different, yet the same, leading two very separate lives that ultimately join together through the pain and suffering of loneliness, wanting, and the evil destruction of everything beautiful when it comes to war. This magnificent set of characters takes the reader away to another time and another place. Deep within their hearts and minds Anthony Doerr weaves together a magical story of all the little pieces that makes us human. Reminding me of The Book Thief, this easy to read, somewhat lengthy novel will be with me for a long time. Highly recommend. DO NOT MISS this great summer read!!All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Single Breath

Eva and Jackson are a young married couple, madly in love
and living in London. But just when things could not be any better they take a tragic turn for the worse. While visiting Eva's mum, Jackson loses his life in a horrific fishing accident off the coast of Dorset. Eva is devastated. The pain of her loneliness is so intense she can barely function through her days. Her best friend Callie has taken a job opportunity in Melbourne and although a vacation is the last thing on Eva's mind, a trip to the nearby state of Tasmania, where Jackson grew up may answer some of the burning questions Eva has been carrying in her heart for the two years they had been together. Upon arriving Eva's discoveries surpass even her wildest dreams. Nothing makes sense, the pieces of this life and this love she and Jackson share in no way fit together. His brother Saul, father Dirk and long ago death of his mother haunt Eva's days and nights until she slowly begins to find the truth about Jackson and the truth about herself.

Author Lucy Clarke, mesmerizes us again (first novel, Swimming at Night - another MUST read) with descriptions of idyllic beaches and faraway islands. A little bit of mystery, romance and friendship all rolled into a wonderful story about heartache, passion and the meaning of true love. Highly recommend this perfect summer read while you lie on a hammock wiggling your own toes in the cool soft sand, hopefully with a delicious drink in hand! Happy Summer! Happy Reading! A Single Breath: A Novel

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Possibilities

Sarah St. John is trying to heal. The loss of her beloved son Cully,
taken at 22 years old, in an avalanche three months earlier has devastated her life. Sarah is a single mom living in the beautiful town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Surrounded by the magnificence of blue skies and soaring mountains, she is trying to make sense of this tragic episode while treasuring the memories of life with her son. Along with a quirky bunch of characters; her smart, funny dad, annoying and loving best friend Suzanne and well meaning ex, (Cully's dad), Sarah tries her very best to go back to work and back to living. But as nothing is ever so simple, in walks Kit. A witty young girl that was mysteriously a part of Cully's life and now a part of theirs. This novel perfectly named, is just about that. The ones that are anticipated and the ones unexpected.

As with the bestseller, The Descendants, author Kaui Hart Hemmings weaves her gentle magic again, around a family that the reader is immediately a part of, a serious subject lightened with amazing characters, wit and humor, and a life lesson slowly easing into our hearts. Excellent summer read, easy and enjoyable. With tears and a smile I could not put it down, this beautiful life with all its many possibilities. BUY TODAY!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Miles Adler-Rich, along with his best friend in the world, Hector,
begin to spy on Mile's recently divorced mother and her new boyfriend Eli Lee. At first Miles acts as an ordinary awkward self conscience teenager that cannot believe his mother could love, let alone have sex with a man other than his dad. But the plot thickens as the pieces of the puzzle are found, but most definitely do not fit together. The Mims, as they call his mom and his twin sisters (whom he refers) Boop One and Boop two live in a cozy suburb near LA. The kids all attend a progressive, community minded school, very California. As the details of Miles' discoveries become more serious he finds he can no longer keep these secrets that will change all of their lives forever. This novel narrated by this intelligent funny boy takes the reader straight back to adolescence, friends, hormones, futures at stake. Since reading Mona Simpson Anywhere But Here (which later became a movie) in 1986, I have LOVED her quirky stories filled with memorable characters and always a life lesson to be learned, a moment to be cherished. Again, her writing pulls the reader deeply into the heart of the mini stories spinning through the novel. This is an enjoyable read I could not put down. Having not expected to fall so hard at what initially felt YA and lighter, I remain days later thinking about this family. The themes both common and unique to each person that has lived them. Highly recommend Casebook. Excellent summer read!!  BUY TODAY!! Casebook: A novel

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Invisible City

Rebekah Roberts is a twenty something "stringer" working
for the New York Tribune. She is struggling to find her way through the fast paced newspaper world while making a name for herself professionally as a journalist. Rebekah desperately wants to create her own identity away from Florida and her loving Dad so she can finally overcome the lifelong anxiety created by her mother's abandonment when she was an infant. Rebekah is feisty, smart and talented and as she immerses herself into a story of murder and intrigue buried deep in the Hasidic section of Borough Park, Brooklyn, she begins to finally understand how troubled her own mother must have been and why she could not ultimately break with the only community she knew. A lively bunch of characters surround this spunky young woman; Iris her roommate and longtime friend, Tony, the bartender she is currently dating and Saul who appears from the past and pushes her deeper into this mystery with his own heartbreak and his own agenda at hand. This fascinating glimpse into a world within our world which is often closed to outsiders, is filled with intrigue and suspense as Rebekah bravely discovers her own gauge for right and wrong both personally and professionally. Easy to read, unique, enjoyable novel! I can only hope this terrific author continues to share her incredible talent and creativity with more to come! Highly recommend this great summer read, pick up today!!! Invisible City (Rebekah Roberts)

Monday, May 26, 2014


Nothing could be more Delicious! than another great read
by Ruth Reichl! Having started with Tender at the Bone in 1998 she may be the one responsible for my obsession with reading and eating!! This fabulous novel (completely fiction!) follows Billie Breslin a young woman from California who has dropped out of her last year of college to pursue a writing career in NYC. She finds herself at a magazine called Delicious! and so begins the fantastic journey, quirky characters, romance and even mysteries that surround this old company situated in an historical federal mansion uptown. Billie learns to make her way in the world, find out what her strengths and weaknesses are and allow herself the pleasure of falling in love. Her boss Jake, his mean assistant Maggie, world traveling Sammy, they are just a few of the incredible characters baked into this Delicious! pursuit for satisfying life's many cravings! This book is a WINNER and a fun light PERFECT summer read! So throw it in your beach bag but remember a snack too because it will make you very hungry!!  Delicious!: A Novel

The Snow Queen

It is 2004 and Barrett Meeks lives with his brother Tyler and
Tyler's girlfriend Beth in a small apartment in Brooklyn. Barrett, recently left by his boyfriend is heartbroken. Finding himself alone and blue, not only for the love he thought he possessed but the life that seems to have no ground and is taking him nowhere. Tyler, a struggling musician spends his time caring for beautiful sweet Beth who is hanging on but barely, as chemotherapy destroys the good and the bad.  One day as Barrett is walking through Central Park he sees a vision. A turquoise light, and as he searches for meaning the snowflakes keep falling and days keep spinning all too fast for the man that just wants something dear to hold on to. These characters, along with a few other friends create the small group in the small sad world they all live in. It is not fame and money and success that they are missing - but hope. The Hours By Michael Cunningham is one of the best books I have ever read so I was drawn to read his newest novel. The writing is beyond superb and its a rather quick read that flows well but its sad - and the significance is deeply buried. Most certainly it will leave you thinking and wondering about these characters and the choices they make for a long time to come.