Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Funny Story

Peter and Daphne had every detail of their wedding all planned. They moved back to Peter’s quaint Michigan hometown of Waning Bay, into the most adorable starter home. Peter’s lifelong friends and family were an instantly filled social calendar and Daphne loved her perfect job at the local library. Too good to be true? Well, its a not so funny story what happens next. All plans and their future implode when Peter reconnects with his gorgeous childhood friend Petra and dumps Daphne for the future wife he was meant to have. Completely devastated, Petra’s ex offers Daphne a room to rent. Miles is extremely handsome, in a disheveled tattooed bar tender sort of way, not her type at all. To Daphne’s surprise Miles turns out to be an excellent listener and kind soul. Their friendship blossoms and begins to fill the empty void Daphne has fallen into. When she accidentally lets it slip to Peter that she is dating Miles, simply to make him jealous, the young couple starts to enjoy the fake thing a little too much. Trying hard to enjoy their new friendship and avoid their mind blowing physical chemistry is harder than either of them ever imagined. As Daphne listens to her heart she begins to see a bright future of her own making. This latest romance by Emily Henry is too perfect. It is so rare to love every single character - I would not change a single thing. Five summer stars! Throw this one in your beach bag today!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Look For Me There

In 2008 when Tim Russert passed away, America mourned a beloved journalist whom for many represented the best American television political moderator we had ever seen. Luke Russert lost his dad; the man who he loved and admired more than anyone in the world. He also lost confidence in his future and what that represented. His mother, Maureen Orth, also a successful journalist, encouraged him to explore the world. Her early peace corp experiences and deep belief in god shaped her views and aspirations, she hoped it would be the same for her son. But as his journey around the globe challenged him, and according to his mother - went on for much longer than necessary - Luke became desperately lonely and fell into an abyss of grief. Without his father there to cheer him on through life, experiences felt pointless. Luke tried his best to see people through his father’s charitable eyes, Tim had always seen the glass half full. But Luke had a hard time finding his own inner voice. At first this memoir reads like a travel journal or diary of sorts, but as Luke learns more about both his parents lives he begins to grow in ways he never imagined. Facing fears, living with loss and finding faith. Three lessons we all must learn. ⭐⭐⭐

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies

Eleanor Dash is on an Italian book tour. She has written a series of bestsellers and her fans simply cannot get enough of these vacation mysteries - and the real life detective that costars throughout. Problem is, Connor Smith is real and Eleanor wishes he was fictional. This handsome con man she met a decade earlier when she was young, naive and thought she was in love. He embroiled Eleanor is an unexpected situation where they ultimately solved a bank heist, Connor received the reward money and dropped her like a hot potato. When Eleanor returned home she poured her broken heart out into her first novel, a mystery about a bank heist in Italy. Connor was quick to blackmail Eleanor for using his character and much to her chagrin has immersed himself in her life and career ever since. Each day as the book tour continues mysterious accidents and clues can no longer be ignored. Apparently someone is trying to kill Connor, or is it Eleanor? Afraid and feeling alone in the crowd this quick witted author tries to solve her own murder mystery. With many of the characters having serious motive this fast paced comedy/cozy becomes a series of mishaps and adventures leading the reader to solve the case! Clever, fun and filled with laugh out loud moments, this is the perfect light beach read for the summer! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Love at First Book

Leaving or rather escaping the quiet of Martha’s Vineyard is something Emily Allen has finally found the courage to do. Although she equally adores her job at the library and her best friend Sam, her mother’s erratic and abusive behavior has ran its course. Emily gets a job as an assistant for her all time favorite author, Siobhan (pronounce Shi-vawn) Riordan who lives in a quaint village in Ireland. A dream come true, Emily packs her bags. She rents a lovely cottage and also works part time at The Last Chapter, a idyllic bookshop in the center of town. The shop owner and new boss happens to be the son of Siobhan. Kieran Murphy also happens to be the most handsome guy she has ever laid eyes on. As Emily learns the local speak and merits of a good whiskey Kieran begins to grow on her. The surly boss man has a soft spot for literature lovers and red heads giving Emily a grand start in the right direction. Their relationship is as impossible to keep secret in this small town as is Siobhan’s cancer which is back with a vengeance. Her dying wish is to finish the book series that has been on hiatus for a decade. As this latest chapter in Emily’s life is turned upside down there is only one solution. Filled with family, love and books, books and more books. This delightful story is simply unputdownable and I loved every minute of it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Walking with Sam

As a younger man Andrew McCarthy who was going through some troubling times completed an extraordinary adventure - the 500 mile trek across Spain’s Camino de Santiago. This legendary pilgrimage, rich in medieval history, leads its travelers to the Cathedral in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. He dreamed of returning and from the moment Andrew’s first son Sam began to walk he hoped someday they could accomplish this journey together. At 19, Sam was finally ready. The duo set off on this remarkable pilgrimage which promised to be both daunting and fulfilling. Walking stick in hand, they head out into the long, quiet, arduous task of walking. Essentially off the grid with heavy packs on their backs they fall into a rhythm of walking, eating and sleeping in small villages with only the barest necessities. They meet an array of eclectic fellow pilgrims, some that accompany them to their final destination. When work and every day life is put aside and weeks of open road lie ahead conversations meander from one extreme to the other; the zombie apocalypse to music and painful memories of divorce. Trying to connect with your adult offspring can be a challenge as we face the speed with which we are losing them to the world. Accepting your children are independent of you, your choices and expectations while endlessly encouraging them to be brave and confident is probably the hardest job in the world. Andrew’s memoir of his walk with Sam is filled with love and patience, blisters and disagreements. Perfect book to celebrate Father’s Day, I simply adored every single chapter and have already told my grown son all about it. Thats a start. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sunday, May 5, 2024

The Wedding People

When Phoebe enters the crowded lobby at the infamous Cornwall Inn of Newport RI, she is wearing a beautiful green dress and carries no luggage. Phoebe, a literature professor from St. Louis, booked an ocean view suite for this auspicious occasion. To be alone and mourn the husband she lost and life that is no longer attainable. As she carefully observes the lobby Phoebe realizes these guests are attending a wedding. In fact, she is the only non wedding guest in the hotel. Alone in the elevator, Phoebe and Lila, the beautiful bride, strike up an unlikely friendship, confiding things in each other they probably shouldn’t be saying out loud. Before she knows it Phoebe is spending the week with “the wedding people” who are mostly named Jim and more wrapped up in themselves than to bother asking why this stranger is at the wedding. While helping Lila have “the most amazing wedding week ever” Phoebe reflects on the dissolution of her own marriage and the devastating betrayal of the man she loved. As she remembers the painful IVF failures and the family she will never have she closely watches Lila and sees the pain beneath the glitz and glamour; a difficult eccentric mother, the devastating loss of her father and the fact she is marrying a perfect man whom she may not actually love. As the two women share their lives and experiences with each other they are able to honestly face their true selves in the mirror. A million dollar wedding week filled with outrageous characters, dark humor and the ultimate search for the meaning of life. This was a unique, well written, captivating story. What is really interesting to note is that at 50% I was not completely hooked, even considered putting this down! But it pulled me back in and got progressively better. This never happens! I am so glad I finished and wound up loving it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️