I hope your summer is going well. We are nearly in July which is hard to believe. I’m already doing back to school shopping and creating my schedule for the fall. I think most of us are experiencing a warmer summer than usual for the south so I’m going to include some more beach reads in this post for your time spent by the pool or indoors in the cool A/C.
Edilean Seriesby Jude Deveraux
I’m nearly finished reading the second book in the Edilean series. I love historical fiction and romance, which Jude Deveraux is popular for combining in her novels.
The setting goes back and forth from World War II to modern times in the first novel, Lavender Morning. The second novel, Days of Gold, takes place in the 1700’s Scottish Highlands and United States. The series follows the drama of the Harcourt family and residents residing in Edilean, Virginia. Each book in the series can be read independently or in chronological orderi.
Recommended for fans of historical fiction, romance, family drama and period pieces.
Click here to purchase Lavender Morning. I began with Lavender Morning, but Days of Gold may be read first.
Occasionally I share the books I’m reading so you can read them along with me. I would love to hear your thoughts too! 🙂
Going There by Katie Couric
Katie Couric’s memoir, including the Today Show controversy with Matt Lauer, her longtime co-worker and friend. Click here to purchase and to visit the Katie Couric Media website, covering culture, lifestyle, news and health.
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
National Bestseller, A Library Reads Pick, A People Magazine Best Book of the Week, A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, One of NPR’s Books We Love 2021
When Patrick’s best friend from college passes away, he takes care of her two children in California while their dad is in rehab for addiction to pain pills. I haven’t finished reading, but so far it’s an uplifting and witty read from Steven Rowley. Click hereto purchase and to visit the author’s website.
The WomanThey Could Not Silenceby Kate Moore
An Indie Next Pick, A Junior Library Guild Selection, and a 2021 ALA Booklist Editor’s Choice Set in the 1860’s, Kate Moore, author of best-selling Radium Girls, writes about Elizabeth Packard, one of many women sent to an insane asylum in Illinois for voicing her opinion on women’s rights and religion. In Packard’s case, it was her husband, pastor of a small Presbyterian congregation, who had her admitted. Thoroughly researched, The Woman They Could Not Silence examines how far we have come as a society in regards to women’s rights, which Packard played a significant role. Click here to purchase and to visit the author’s website.
The Ultimate Summer 2022 Reading List from LitHub. Click here to view.
I’ve taken a long break from writing due to the thought of logging into my online book blog since my mom’s passing in November 2021. My mom’s comments were waiting for me, ones that I’ve already read countless times, but now bittersweet to read. The Quirky Bookworm blog was my mom’s idea originally and now I am continuing my blog in honor of her. I’ve struggled not only with writing, but also with reading. I’ve read only two books from start to finish since my mom passed away. I’ve decided to ease my way back into reading by focusing on beach reads, so this is a list I’ve created. I hope this helps you just as much as it’s helped me.
For those that knew my mom, you know that the beach was one of her favorite places to visit. Sunshine, sand, waves and a cold drink are always a good combination, along with an entertaining escape read.
Don’t miss the lists of soon-to-be-published summer reads for 2022 and a list of websites from readers across the web of their favorite beach reads.HAPPY READING!
Title: The Getaway Girls Author: Dee MacDonald Publisher: Bookouture Publication Date: July 2018 Page Length: 342 pages Publisher summary: Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. And when she meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie, at a rather dull flower arranging class, it seems that she’s not the only one dreaming of adventure. The three very different women all agree it’s about time they had a holiday to remember. So they make a pact for this summer to be their best yet – and drive off into the sunset together. As they meander their way along the beautiful beaches of France and onto the glorious delights of Italy in their luxury campervan, the new friends have plenty of fun and frolics in the sunshine. But the vacation isn’t quite what they expected…
In the end, all three women discover that the journey they thought would be their last really is just the beginning…
Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Mini-Break Author: Maddie Please Publisher: One More Chapter Publication Date: March 2019 Page Length: 385 pages Publisher summary: Lulu has it all; a romance writer at the height of her career, she can often be found attending glittery parties or spending time with her good-looking, health-fanatic boyfriend, Benedict. When writer’s block strikes she goes on a mini-break to Devon, which proves just the tonic she needs. But upon her return to London, she finds her usual perfect life in chaos. Will escaping back to the countryside be the answer? And will life become even more complicated when Lulu runs into handsome, brooding farmer Joe? *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Chasing the Sun Author: Judy Leigh Publisher: Boldwood Books Publication Date: April 2021 Page Length: 364 pages Publisher summary: Molly’s seventieth birthday comes as a shock. The woman in the mirror looks every day of those seventy years, but inside Molly feels she still has so much more living left to do. Widowed and living alone with her cat, Molly fears she is slipping into a cliché of old age. When Molly’s sister Nell appears on her doorstep, distraught that her husband of more than forty years, Phil, has left her for a younger lover, the women decide to seize the day. By the morning, flights are booked, bags are packed, and they’re off to Spain.The sun, the sea, the new friends and the freedom are just the tonic for broken hearts and flagging souls. But even Spain isn’t enough to revive Molly’s spirit so she decides to head off for a solo journey to continue to chase the sun and to chase happiness. Will she find what she’s looking for in a new country, or will she discover that true contentment can’t be found on a map? But it might just be found in a new flame… *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: One Summer Sunrise Author: Shari Low Publisher: Boldwood Books Publication Date: June 2021 Page Length: 336 pages Publisher summary: Today, Maisie McTeer decides to track down the ex who jilted her at the altar. Today, she’ll find out that revisiting the past can also rewrite her future. After losing her husband, Harriet Bassett can no longer bear her lonely life. Today, a familiar face in a crowd will spark a quest to discover if there’s something and someone worth living for. Scott and Kelly Bassett’s daughter is leaving home. Today, Scott plans to tell Kelly that he’s ending their marriage to pursue his rock and roll dreams.However, Kelly, has a bombshell of her own. Between sunrise and sunset, there’s love, heartbreak, laughter and tears, but who will find happiness at the end of the day? *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Secrets in the Sand Author: Carolyn Brown Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Publication Date: July 2021 Page Length: 338 pages Publisher summary: He left her alone in the sand that night And has regretted it ever since But maybe he can mend it If only she’ll let him Time doesn’t heal all wounds… Not when they are deep within the heart like Angela Conrad’s. Ten years ago, Clancy Morgan broke her heart and even though she’s made a successful life as a musician, she’s never gotten over that pain. Angel didn’t intend to ever go back home, but when she’s invited to return to her hometown to play for the high school reunion dance, she agrees, knowing full well that if Clancy sees her up on that stage, he’ll regret the day he ever said goodbye. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Bookstore on the Beach Author: Brenda Novak Publisher: MIRA Publication Date: April 2021 Page Length: 465 pages Publisher summary: Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try. Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into the boy who stole her heart in high school, old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Beach House Author: Jenny Hale Publisher: Bookouture Publication Date: June 2021 Page Length: 318 pages Publisher summary: When her gram passes away, Melanie Simpson feels utterly lost. But her grandmother’s will gives her a purpose: an inheritance to buy a crumbling house in Rosemary Bay. They used to visit the village every summer, sit by the sparkling water on a beach the color of pearl, and daydream about turning the place on the corner into a bed and breakfast. On her first night in her new hometown, Melanie meets local contractor and landowner Josh Claiborne, whose eyes match the dazzling sea. Melanie plans to restore the beach house to its original glory, and Josh is the perfect person to help renovate the wrap-around porch weathered by the coastal breeze and the peeling white paint faded by the sun. But hiding in a closet is a yellowing stack of letters that could change everything. The looping handwriting reveals the mystery of the rickety house—a buried history that touches everyone in Rosemary Bay. Will its secrets bring Melanie and Josh together or tear them apart? *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: A Secret in the Keys Author: Hope Holloway Publication Date: February 2021 Page Length: 278 pages Publisher summary: The last thing Beck Foster wants to do is attend a party for her estranged aunt in the Florida Keys. One month earlier, Beck’s seemingly ideal existence imploded when her husband of thirty-four years announced he was leaving her. Now, so she has to sell her house, get a job, and somehow put her broken heart and life back together. She can’t do all that if she runs off to visit a woman she barely remembers. Or can she? Accompanied by her grown daughter who also longs for an escape, Beck heads to Coconut Key, where she’d lived the earliest years of her life. There, she forges a life-changing relationship with a woman she never really understood, dips her toes into the waters of a new romance, and begins the process of starting over. But when a secret kept for nearly fifty years comes crashing down on them, all of Beck’s dreams are once again threatened. Can she forgive the lies that have shaped her life, or will the past ruin her chance at a new beginning in Coconut Key? *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Un-honeymooners Author: Christina Lauren Publisher: Gallery Books Publication Date: May 2019 Page Length: 429 pages Publisher summary: Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion…she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas. Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo. Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is…Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Coral Cottage Author: Jan Morgan Publisher: Sunny Palms Press Publication Date: July 2020 Page Length: 290 pages Publisher summary: When Marina Moore’s life blows up on national television, she seeks refuge at her grandmother’s beach house called the Coral Cottage. Now in her mid-forties with children in college, Marina is in dire need of her grandmother’s gutsy advice to a well-lived life. Marina meets an old friend, Ivy Bay, proprietor of the Seabreeze Inn, who encourages her to share her love of food at the local farmer’s market. Soon Marina’s sister Kai arrives on a summer break from her musical theater troupe. Together, the sisters discover that life might hold a second chance for each of them. Jack Ventana is on a six-month sabbatical to write his first book. The only company he wants is his inquisitive Labrador Retriever puppy, but when he receives a call from an old colleague, he finds his life altered in ways he never imagined—including the prospect of romance. What began as a short, reclusive holiday is destined to change Marina’s life, especially when Jack’s research uncovers her grandmother Ginger’s hidden past. Join the fun in Summer Beach, where the bonds of friendship and love prove unbreakable. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Younger Wife Author: Sally Hepworth Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication Date: April 2022 Page Length: 348 pages Publisher summary: THE HUSBAND A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself.
THE DAUGHTERS Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money.
THE FORMER WIFE With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is.
THE YOUNGER WIFE Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses in all of them?
Click HERE to view additional details and to pay via Amazon.
Title: Blue Midnight Author: Tess Thompson Publication Date: November 2016 Page Length: 284 pages Publisher summary: A romantic small-town family saga…
A recent divorcee finally faces the consequences of having denied her destiny, following her heart to her blissful second chance in this mature standalone love story by USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson. When Blythe Heywood left Finn Lanigan behind thirteen years ago, she was choosing a life of safety and security over true love. Little did she know how unfulfilled she’d be by the things she’d yearned for since she was a child. Now, in the wake of her husband’s betrayal, Blythe will begin again — this time in the foothills of Blue Mountain, where her memories of the only man who ever weakened her knees will lead her — and finally take to heart that sometimes the road not taken is actually the path that is meant to be. The first book in the Blue Mountain Series will have readers cheering for a set of lovable, complex characters as they explore the painful truths involved in accepting second chances and learning to love after loss. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: An Invincible Summer Author: Mariah Stewart Publisher: Montlake Publication Date: May 2021 Page Length: 373 pages Publisher summary: It was a lifetime ago that recently widowed Maggie Flynn was in Wyndham Beach. Now, on the occasion of her fortieth high school reunion, she returns to her hometown on the Massachusetts coast, picking up right where she left off with dear friends Lydia and Emma. But seeing Brett Crawford again stirs other emotions. Once, they were the town’s golden couple destined for one another. He shared Maggie’s dreams—and eventually, a shattering secret that drove them apart. Buying her old family home and resettling in Wyndham Beach means a chance to start over for Maggie and her two daughters, but it also means facing her rekindled feelings for her first love and finally confronting—and embracing—the past in ways she never thought possible. Maggie won’t be alone. With her family and friends around her, she can weather this stormy turning point in her life and open her heart to the future. As for that dream shared and lost years ago? If Maggie can forgive herself, it still might come true. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Tanglewood Tea Shop Author: Lilac Mills Publisher: Canelo Escape Publication Date: January 2019 Page Length: 295 pages Publisher summary: Patisserie-Chef Stevie is stuck in a rut. Her beloved Great Aunt Peggy has passed away and she’s lost both her job and the love of her life. Then she gets the call from the solicitor’s office about Peggy’s will, and everything changes. When Stevie sees a quirky tea shop up for sale in the beautiful village of Tanglewood, she decides to take Peggy’s advice and turn her life around. But the village isn’t as idyllic as it may at first have seemed, and when the gorgeous but grouchy local stable-owner, Nick, shows up he seems like just another fly in the pastry batter… *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Lost Girls of Ireland Author: Susanne O’Leary Publisher: Bookouture Publication Date: May 2021 Page Length: 286 pages Publisher summary: The picturesque beach of Wild Rose Bay is the last place Lydia Butler thought she’d be. But having just lost everything, the run-down cottage she inherited from her Great Aunt Nellie is the only place she can take her daughter, Sunny. Hidden away in a tiny Irish village, she can protect Sunny from the gossip in Dublin, and the real reason they have nowhere else to live… The cottage is part of the old coastguard station and other eccentric residents are quick to introduce themselves when Lydia arrives. Lydia instantly feels less alone, fascinated by the stories they have about Nellie, and she’s charmed by American artist, Jason O’Callaghan, the mysterious man who lives next door. But the longer Lydia relaxes under the moonlit sky, the more the secret she’s keeping from Sunny threatens to come out. And as she finds herself running into Jason’s arms, she knows she must be honest and face up to the past she has tried to forget. Has she finally found people who will truly accept her, or will the truth force her to leave the cottage for good?
Title: Deconstructed: A Novel Author: Liz Talley Publisher: Montlake Publication Date: February 2022 Page Length: 331 pages Publisher summary: Antique-store owner Cricket Crosby’s life is turned upside down when she discovers that the rumors of her husband’s affair aren’t just leisurely southern gossip. Her plan: hire an investigator; find an attorney; enlist the help of her new assistant, Ruby; and make her husband pay. Ruby knows how quickly everything changes. After a dicey past, she’s determined to forge a new future by working for Cricket and reinventing herself as a designer, deconstructing vintage haute couture. If anybody can help mend a few tears in Cricket’s life, she can. But turns out Cricket’s life isn’t just a little torn. It’s wrinkled, stained, and falling apart at the seams. With Ruby and her ragtag relatives—a soused PI and a hunky tow truck driver—Cricket is sleuthing her way to the truth, no matter how dangerous it gets. Sure, Cricket’s life isn’t what she imagined. But she’s embracing change and figuring out what she really wants. And that’s kind of fabulous. *Click HERE for additional details.
Title: The Hideaway Author: Lauren K. Denton Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publication Date: April 2017 Page Length: 352 pages Publisher summary: After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there. Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected. Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways. When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Little Shop in Cornwall Author: Helen Pollard Publisher: Bookouture Publication Date: June 2020 Page Length: 315 pages Publisher summary: It’s been two years since Claudiaarrived on the beautifully rugged Cornish coast with nothing but a suitcase to her name. She’d walked out on the husband who had never loved her, ditched the corporate job she’d never wanted and vowed that no gym membership card would come within ten feet of her ever again. Swapping boardrooms and cocktails for a little shop right at the end of the beach road should have been a bit of a shock. But from the moment she first laid eyes on the empty, run-down store, Claudia knew this was where she was meant to be all along. After all that upheaval, Claudia was looking forward to a quiet summer, full of the usual holiday makers and long walks along the clifftops. But life in her patch of paradise is about to change in more ways than one. Enter recently widowedJason, dragging his sullen teenage daughter Millie in tow. Millie and Claudia immediately hit it off. And while Millie loves everything about Claudia’s free-spirited way of life, practical architect Jason is less than thrilled about his daughter’s new interests. He doesn’t shy away from telling Claudia exactly what he thinks and sparks fly every time they meet. But as circumstances throw Claudia into Jason’s path in increasingly unexpected ways, she begins to glimpse what lies beneath his fiery temper and sharp tongue. Claudia was sure her new life was perfect in every way. But was there something missing after all? *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Slightly South of Simple Author: Kristin Woodson Harvey Publisher: Gallery Books Publication Date: April 2017 Page Length: 402 pages Publisher summary: Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley. Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open. Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Summer Getaway Author: Susan Mallery Publisher: HQN Books Publication Date: March 2022 Page Length: 418 pages Publisher summary: Single mom Robyn Caldwell needs a new plan for her future. She has always put her family first. Now, with her kids grown, she yearns for a change. But what can she do when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could ruin everything? Take a vacation, of course. Press reset. When her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane to sunny California. But it’s hard to get away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she loves follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more possibilities she sees—for dreams, love, family. She can have everything she ever wanted, if only she can muster the courage to take a chance on herself. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Author: Kelly Harms Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Publication Date: May 2019 Page Length: 328 pages Publisher summary: Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City. Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind. But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Midnight Library Author: Matt Haig Publisher: Viking Publication Date: September 2020 Page Length: 299 pages Publisher summary: Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better? In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Run, Rose, Run Author: Dolly Parton and James Patterson Publisher: Little Brown and Company Publication Date: March 2022 Page Length: 425 pages Publisher summary: Every song tells a story.
She’s a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her. She’s also on the run. Find a future, lose a past. Nashville is where she’s come to claim her destiny. It’s also where the darkness she’s fled might find her. And destroy her. Run, Rose, Run is a novel glittering with danger and desire—a story that only America’s #1 beloved entertainer and its #1 bestselling author could have created. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Chance (A Novel) Author: Karen Kingsbury Publisher: Howard Books Publication Date: March 2013 Page Length: 354 pages Publisher summary: The day before a teenage Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other and buried them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later, dig the box up, and read the letters. But now, as that date approaches, much has changed. Ellie has abandoned the faith she grew up with, her days consumed with loving her little girl and trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches TV to catch a glimpse of her old friend Nolan, now an NBA star, whose faith is known by the entire nation. But few know that Nolan’s own personal tragedies have fueled both his faith and athletic drive. Despite his success, Nolan is isolated and lonely, plagued by a void in his heart that has remained since that night beneath the old oak tree with Ellie. For both Ellie and Nolan, the coming date is more than just a childhood promise. It’s the chance to make sense of it all—the chance to find out if it’s ever too late to find love again. Karen Kingsbury weaves a moving tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only a forever kind of love can heal. She delves deeply into a theme that resonates within us all: Hope lives for those willing to take a chance. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Family Author: Naomi Krupitsky Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Publication Date: November 2021 Page Length: 368 pages Publication summary: Two daughters. Two families. One inescapable fate. Sofia Colicchio is a free spirit, loud and untamed. Antonia Russo is thoughtful, ever observing the world around her. Best friends since birth, they live in the shadow of their fathers’ unspoken community: the Family. Sunday dinners gather them each week to feast, discuss business, and renew the intoxicating bond borne of blood and love. But the disappearance of Antonia’s father drives a whisper-thin wedge between the girls as they grow into women, wives, mothers, and leaders. Their hearts expand in tandem with Red Hook and Brooklyn around them, as they push against the boundaries of society’s expectations and fight to preserve their complex but life-sustaining friendship. One fateful night their loyalty to each other and the Family will be tested. Only one of them can pull the trigger before it’s too late. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Lowland Author: Jhumpa Lahiri Publisher: Vintage Publication Date: September 2013 Page Length: 354 pages Publisher summary: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death. Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America. But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife. Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Farm Author: Joanne Ramos Publisher: Random House Publication Date: May 2019 Page Length: 354 pages Publisher summary: Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you’re paid big money to stay here—more than you’ve ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks—or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on the delivery of her child. Gripping, provocative, heartbreaking, The Farm pushes to the extremes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: You Were There Too Author: Colleen Oakley Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: January 2020 Page Length: 345 pages Publisher summary: Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too—unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of it, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too. Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if? *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: These Tangled Vines Author: Julianne Maclean Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Publication Date: June 2021 Page Length: 302 pages Publisher summary: If Fiona has learned anything in life, it’s how to keep a secret—even from the father who raised her. She is the only person who knows about her late mother’s affair in Tuscany thirty years earlier, and she intends to keep it that way…until a lawyer calls with shocking news: her biological father has died and left her an incredible inheritance—along with two half siblings. Fiona travels to Italy, where the family is shocked to learn of her existence and desperate to contest her share of the will. While the mystery of her mother’s affair is slowly unraveled, Fiona must navigate through tricky family relationships and tense sibling rivalries. Fiona both fears and embraces her new destiny as she searches for the truth about the fateful summer her mother spent in Italy and the father she never knew. Spilling over with the sumptuous flavors and romance of Tuscany, These Tangled Vines takes readers on a breathtaking journey of love, secrets, sacrifice, courage—and most importantly, the true meaning of family. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Heirloom Island Series Author: Elizabeth Bromke Publisher summary: Head to Heirloom Island in this heartwarming series about three sisters and the charming small town they come to call home. With a dash of romance and a touch of mystery, The Boardwalk House is a sweet beach read by the author of the Birch Harbor series. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: South Carolina Sunsets (9 book series) Author: Rachel Hanna Publisher summary: She’s 43 years old…
…and starting over from scratch.
How did this happen? She had it all together. A stable marriage of two decades. Two grown daughters. And now she and her husband, empty nesters, were moving to a beach house.
Until he showed up late one night and tore their marriage apart.
A secret life.
A different woman.
Left alone, she has to begin again.
And then her estranged sister and mother get thrown into the mix.
When she buys a house on a small South Carolina island, will she learn what life is really about?
Or will she find out that some relationships can never be mended?
Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Year of Our Love Author: Caterina Bonvicini Publisher: Other Press Publication Date: June 2021 Page Length: 400 pages Publisher summary: An extraordinary story of friendship and love across class lines, this rich, evocative novel traces the history of modern Italy, from 1975 to 2013, through the fate of one couple. Valerio and Olivia grow up together in the Morganti family’s opulent villa in Bologna, inseparable friends even though they come from vastly different worlds: Olivia, the Morgantis’ daughter, is the heir to a large industrial fortune, while Valerio is the son of their gardener and maid. Largely sheltered from the dangers rampant in the unstable Italy of the 1970s, the two share their first innocent kiss at five years old, which heralds the start of a decades-long relationship. From Valerio having to move to a poor neighborhood in Rome and Olivia making her entrance in high society, life tries to separate them at every turn, but without success, so strong is the bond between them. Year after year they meet only for a few moments, which feel like they’re eternal, and their friendship turns into something more intense, and scary. They take different paths: Olivia travels the world looking for herself, while Valerio devotes himself to a prestigious career that doesn’t satisfy him, in a country that is quickly losing its identity in the political crises of the Berlusconi era. Still, they keep meeting again and again at crossroads in life. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: It Had To Be You Author: Georgia Clark Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books Publication Date: May 2021 Page Length: 381 pages Publisher summary: For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run In Love in New York, Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine. It Had to Be You cleverly unites Liv, Savannah, and couples as diverse and unique as New York City itself, in a joyous Love-Actually-style braided narrative. The result is a smart, modern love story that truly speaks to our times. Second chances, secret romance, and steamy soul mates are front and center in this sexy, tender, and utterly charming rom-com that is “so much fun” (Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author). *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Grace Kelly Dress Author: Brenda Janowitz Publisher: Graydon House Publication Date: March 2020 Page Length: 336 pages Publisher summary: Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris—and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love. Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly—look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security and of course, the dress. Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it. As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Get a Life, Chloe Brown Author: Talia Hibbert Publisher: Avon Publication Date: November 2019 Publisher summary: Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job. Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit. But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior… *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: It Happened One Summer Author: Tessa Bailey Publisher: Avon Publication Date: July 2021 Publisher summary: Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Hunting Wives Author: May Cobb Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: May 2021 Page Length: 362 pages Publisher summary: The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder. Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless. Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Guncle Author: Steven Rowley Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Publication Date: May 2021 Page Length: 336 pages Publisher summary: From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer. Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is, honestly, overwhelmed. So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting–even if temporary–isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human. With the humor and heart we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: My Lemon Grove Summer Author: Jo Thomas Publisher: Headline Review Publication Date: July 2019 Page Length: 352 pages Publisher summary: Could the lemon groves of Sicily be the perfect place to start over? The irresistible new novel from Jo Thomas, the author of Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard, will transport you to the island of mountains and sparkling blue seas.When life hands you lemons … is it ever too late for a second chance?Zelda’s impulsive nature has got her precisely nowhere up until now. A fresh start in a beautiful hilltop town in Sicily looking for new residents, together with her best friend Lennie, could be just what she needs. And who better to settle down with than the person who knows her best? But the sun-filled skies and sparkling seas can’t hide the shadow hanging over Citta d’Ora, which means not everyone is pleased to see their arrival. The dreams Zelda and her fellow new residents had of setting up a new life might be slipping away. But a friendship with restauranteur Luca could be about to unlock the possibilities that lie in the local lemon groves. And there’s a wedding on the horizon that might be just what the town needs to turn it around… *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Summer of Broken Rules Author: K.L. Walther Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Publication Date: May 2021 Publisher summary: When Meredith Fox lost her sister, Claire, eighteen months ago, she shut everyone out. But this summer she’s determined to join the world again. The annual family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard seems like the perfect place to reconnect. Her entire extended family is gathering for a big summer wedding, and although Meredith is dateless after being unexpectedly dumped, she’s excited to participate in the traditional Fox family game of assassin that will take place during the week of wedding festivities. Claire always loved the game, and Meredith is determined to honor her legacy. But when Meredith forms an assassin alliance with a cute groomsman, she finds herself getting distracted. Meredith tries to focus on the game and win it for her sister, but she can’t help falling for him. And as the week progresses, she realizes she’s not only at risk of losing the game, but also her heart. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
UPCOMING BEACH READS 2022
Title: Book Lovers Author: Emily Henry Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022 Publisher summary: An insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation. One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming… Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Something Wilder Author: Christina Lauren Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022 Publisher Summary: Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there. Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen. But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The It Girl Author: Ruth Ware Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press Publication Date: July 12th, 2022 Publisher summary: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford. Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead. Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: Meant to Be Mine Author: Hannah Orenstein Publisher: Atria Books Publication Date: June 7, 2022 Publisher summary: What if you knew exactly when you’d meet the love of your life? Edie Meyer knows. When her Grandma Gloria was a young woman, she had a vision of the exact day she would meet her soul mate—and then Grandpa Ray showed up. Since then, Gloria has accurately predicted the day every single member of the family has met their match. Edie’s day arrives on June 24, 2022, when she’s twenty-nine years old. She has been waiting for it half her life. That morning, she boards an airplane to her twin sister’s surprise engagement, and when a handsome musician sits beside her, she knows it’s meant to be. But fate comes with more complications than Edie expected and she can’t fight the nagging suspicion that her perfect guy doesn’t have perfect timing. After a tragedy and a shocking revelation rock Edie’s carefully constructed world, she’s forced to consider whether love chooses us, as simple as destiny, or if we choose it ourselves. *Click HERE to view additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: The Boardwalk Bookshop Author: Susan Mallery Publisher: MIRA Publication Date: May 31, 2022 Page Length: 448 pages Publisher summary: When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it’s a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not. Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband’s ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley’s brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He’s the first man to see past Bree’s barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she’s stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she’s ever wanted? At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love. *Click HERE for additional details and to purchase via Amazon.
Title: My Summer Darlings Author: May Cobb Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: May 17, 2022 Page Length: 368 pages Publisher summary: A woman in the forest thinks she’s going to die. I know he’s coming back for me. Jen Hansen, Kittie Spears, and Cynthia Nichols have been friends since childhood. They are now approaching forty and their lives have changed, but their insular East Texas town has not. They stay sane by drinking wine in the afternoons, dishing about other women in the neighborhood, and bonding over the heartache of their own encroaching middle age and raising ungrateful teens. Then Will Harding comes to town, moving into one of the neighborhood’s grandest homes. Mysterious and charming, he seems like the answer to each woman’s prayers. He’s a source of fascination for Jen, Kittie, and Cynthia, but none of them are ready for the way Will disrupts their lives. As Will grows closer with each of the women, their fascination twists into obsession, threatening their friendships and their families. When he abruptly pulls away, each woman scrambles to discover the source of his affection. But what they’ll uncover is far more sinister and deadly than any of them could have ever imagined.
LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL BEACH READS? VIEW THE LINKS BELOW.
Hello, Dear Readers!! Happy Spring! I am so glad the sun is shining and we FINALLY have warmer weather. We are now getting ready for summer vacations and arranging schedules with activities so our sweet children won’t drive us to tears by asking every five minutes, “What is there to do? What is there to eat? Can we go somewhere?” While I can’t help with summer scheduling, what I CAN help with is summer reading lists for the whole family. Oh yes, my friends, I am making my child read an hour a day this summer. It is happening. This isn’t one of those, “I will think it, but won’t actually do it.” I refuse to let her brain melt by allowing her to stare at screens 12 plus hours a day. I’ve picked out books, podcasts, audio books and the list keeps on going. I am here to help and you can always e-mail me your suggestions and/or questions @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your ideas on books for summer!
One idea is to check your local library for summer reading programs by visiting their website or calling. Librarians are there to answer your questions, so never be afraid to ask! Sometimes public libraries will have reading programs where your child is able to earn prizes based on the amount they have read over the summer. Ella and I are joining Colleyville Public Library’s reading program for adults, teens and children. Yes, all ages are eligible to earn prizes, even you Mom! The program begins May 24th. For Quirky Bookworm readers that live in my area of FW and would like to participate, click here. Please note: Books read for the Colleyville Public Library Summer Program must be checked out at CPL. Keep copies of your library receipt to show proof when claiming a prize. You are able to participate even if you are not a resident. Register your home library card at the CPL front desk.
Need lists of books based on age for summer 2021? Visit Imagination Soup, a blog created by Melissa Taylor, a former elementary school teacher, literacy trainer and award winning writer. Book lists are arranged by age and genre.
I will also be posting kids podcasts to my FB page. I recently posted Julie Andrew’s Library and my daughter has been listening on the way to school. Download these selections wherever you listen to podcasts.
Ladies, when you get a chance, scroll down to the end of this blog post for one of my most favorite book lists to date that is just for you!!!! I’ve got new book information on some of your favorites-Riley Sager, Grady Hendrix, Megan Miranda, Mary Kubica and more!!! Yay for summer reading!!! Quirky Bookworm tip-visit your local online library catalog and if a book has not yet been released, but already ordered by the library, you can sometimes place a hold in advance. Call your local library for additional details.
Quirky Bookworm Has Been Reading…
I have been hearing about Jenny Lawson for the past several years now via friends, college students, TV, etc. and so, I was very fortunate and thankful to receive a free copy of Lawson’s most recent book release, Broken (in the best possible way), through NetGalley. Many of you may know Jenny as The Bloggess.
Title: Broken (in the best possible way) Author: Jenny Lawson Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. Publication Date: April 6, 2021 Length: 304 pages I didn’t know what to expect when reading Broken. Would I like her sense of humor? Would it be too harsh? Not only was I surprised by how much I loved her, but also surprised at how much I learned about her life and her struggle with anxiety. Lawson’s anxiety is so intense that there are many times where she is unable to leave her home. She hides in bed unable to face the world around her. She writes of hosting her book signing in NYC, and unable to leave the hotel after her engagement due to being overwhelmed. She watched people go by outside the window. Lawson writes “Becoming my own friend is hard and a struggle, but it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself,” (Lawson, 2021, Broken). I found her writing to be relatable for those that struggle with anxiety and depression, which I myself do. I know what it is like to want to hide away and not leave a room, to practically pass out before needing to speak before a large group of people and the anxiety of having to talk to a stranger on the phone. This is a must read if you struggle yourself with anxiety and/or depression, or know a loved a loved one who does. Purchase a copy here. Want to hear more about Jenny Lawson? Click here to read her blog and for additional book titles.
Title: How May I Offend You Today: Rants and Revelations from a Not-So-Proper Southern Lady Author: Susannah B. Lewis Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publication Date: October 2020 Length: 224 pages
Oh Susannah, you’ve done it again! I love her writing and have been following her FB page for years. She talks so openly and honestly about her life. Her writings do include Biblical passages and she is honest about her faith, but not from a judgmental, preachy way that is off putting. I started following her shortly after having Ella. I saw a funny video on FB and clicked over to her page. I really liked how she not only saw humor in everyday life and situations, but also at her ability to laugh at herself. In her most recent book release, How May I Offend You Today, she writes about how we take ourselves too seriously at times. Reading her books is like chatting with a close friend. Click here to visit Susannah Lewis’ website.
HOT AUTHORS, HOT SUMMER: QUIRKY BOOKWORM PICKS FOR SUMMER 2021
HOT, NEW THRILLERS FROM YOUR FAVORITES!
The Hostage by Clare Mackintosh will be available June 22, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins will be available August 31, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
SuchA Quiet Place by Megan Miranda will be available July 13, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica will be available May 18, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena will be available July 27, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones will be available August 17, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Survive the Night by Riley Sager will be available June 29, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires) will be available July 13, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon is out now and is an Amazon Editor’s Choice for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense! Click here to purchase and read a summary.
The Therapist by B.A. Paris will be available July 13, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing will be available July 20, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth is available nowand an Amazon’s Editor Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense! Click here to order and read a summary.
The Turnout by Megan Abbott will be available August 3, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient) will be available June 15, 2021. Click here to pre-order and to read a summary.
Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens will be available August 3, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine will be available July 6, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid will be available June 1, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner was named #1 Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Oprah, Bustle, PopSugar, Betches, Sweet July, Good Housekeeping, HELLO! Magazine and Newsweek. It was a #1 Indie Next Pick and #1 Library ReadsPick. Click here to purchase and read a summary.
OUR ALL TIME FAVORITE CLASSIC BEACH AUTHORS
Where the Grass is Green and the Girls Are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada) will be available May 18, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
That Summer by Jennifer Weiner will be available May 11, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews will be available May 4, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand will be available June 1, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer will be available May 4, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Summer of Lost and Found (The Beach House Book 7) by Mary Alice Monroe will be available May 11, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery will be available May 25, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
No Way Out by Fern Michaels is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.
Meant to Be by Jude Deveraux is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.
The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.
Blush by Jamie Brenner will be available June 22, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
The Break-Up Book Club by Wendy Wax will be available May 18, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
If you liked Where The Crawdads Sing…
The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian is available now! Click here to order and read a summary.
Learning to Speak Southern by Lindsey Rogers Cook is available June 1, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
All The Little Hopes is Leah Weiss’s second novel, which debuts July 27, 2021. Click here to pre-order and read a summary.
Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera is available now and was featured on Oprah’s Summer Reading List for 2019. Click here to order and read a summary.
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger was published in May 2020. Click here to order and read a summary.
Hello, dear readers! It has been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog. I’ve made a few posts on my FB page, if you follow me there. Thanks to COVID, this past summer was one of the longest summers my family has ever experienced. I am relieved to say that our lives are somewhat back to normal, or should I say a new normal for living in a pandemic. My daughter is back to school and she was thrilled to go. I was at home several months with her working from home, which was an unexpected blessing. She is back to church activities twice a week and I am now back to work on campus every other week. The family member most excited about all of us being home together was our dog, Sophie. She is now completely spoiled. I took her to the groomer a few months ago and she had a separation anxiety attack because she wasn’t used to being away from all 3 of us for more than 5 minutes. I got a call from them soon after dropping her off that she was done and ready to be picked up.
I, like so many other dear readers, had a difficult time focusing on reading during the height of the pandemic. I was busy with helping my daughter do school from home and had my own anxiety from feeling trapped inside. Once I felt less trapped, I could read more with ease. I did have a difficult time writing. It felt like temporary writers block. However, the good news is that I am back and ready to share some of my favorite reads with you. I have been keeping track still on my Goodreads page.
Title: The Kitchen House Author: Kathleen Grissom Publisher: Atria Books Publication Date: February 2010 Format: Paperback Length: 369 pages
The Kitchen House is one of my favorite novels I’ve read this year. I had this book on my shelf for several months because I was not sure I would like it, but I’m so glad I gave the book a chance. Lavinia, the main character, arrives as a young Irish orphan to work on a tobacco plantation in the kitchen house. Lavinia eventually finds herself torn between the family of the plantation and the slaves she works with.
The Kitchen House gave me, the reader, an idea of what it would have been like to be working on the plantation and the pressures faced from the master’s family. I could sense the awkwardness and strain Lavinia felt being in the two very separate worlds. She doesn’t want to abandon the slaves that raised and cared for her. Her love for the slaves on the plantation is palpable in the novel.
Kathleen Grissom does an excellent job in writing historical fiction. Fans of southern fiction will enjoy this novel. Her inspiration for her work came from the plantation her family purchased and restored in Virginia. For more information on the author, visit her website here.
Title: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry Author: Fredrik Backman Publisher: Atria Books Publication Date: September 2013 Format: Hardcover Length: 372 pages
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is Fredrik Backman’s second novel, after A Man Called Ove. The novel is not fast paced or full of action. Instead, it is a beautiful story of a young girl dealing with grief for the first time. Elsa feels different from her friends and is tormented by bullies at her school on a regular basis. Elsa’s grandmother is her whole word and is to Elsa, a superhero that tells her magical stories and takes her on crazy adventures. When Elsa’s grandmother dies, Elsa goes on a treasure hunt that reveals to her the true magic of her grandmother, and the power of healing and forgiveness.
Fredrik Backman’s My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is a perfect read during this time in our country. Many of us feel grief as we are losing our old way of life and for some of us, people that we love due to COVID. Our children are experiencing grief as some of their normal childhood is lost, and I think Backman expertly depicts what that is like in the novel.
For more information about Fredrik Backman, click here.
My two latest reads I have to share with you today are perfect if you are into family dramas and cozy mysteries. I’m also going to be sharing with you where I go to read about books online. I love to learn about what other people are reading.
Title: The House We Grew Up In Author: Lisa Jewell Publisher: Atria Books Publication Date: 2014 Format: Hardcover Length: 388 pages I have heard so much about Lisa Jewell from other readers that I decided to grab a copy of her book at Half Price. The family in this book is a little quirky, but it’s what makes for good drama. The mom is very eccentric and is hiding secrets of her past. Secrets that spill over to the next generation until all four children are carrying the burden of their mom’s past as well as their own. Jewell writes from the perspective of the mom and grown children. I don’t think this is the most popular out of Jewell’s writings, but it was enough to keep me interested to read more of her works. This read is perfect if you are into family drama with idiosyncratic characters.
About the author
From the publisher’s page: Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial. https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Lisa-Jewell/75656043
Title: Because You’re Mine Author: Colleen Coble Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publication Date: 2017 Format: Paperback Length: 336 pages I didn’t know Colleen Coble was a Christian writer until I was halfway into the book. I am a believer myself and will confess I don’t read much Christian fiction. I was surprised by how much I loved this book. I thought it was a worthwhile read. I loved Alanna, the main character. I wouldn’t say the book is an edge of your seat thriller, it’s more like a cozy mystery. I recommend if you love Agatha Christie, Rhys Brown, and Lillian Jackson Braun.
About the author
From the author’s website: Best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com.
Anytime I find a new author, I follow their FB page to keep with new works and also to read what others are saying about them.
Online: Book Browse book blog with reviews and find additional books that match your interests by typing in one of your favorite authors or titles. Book Riot book blog that keeps up with the latest publishing news. I also follow their FB page. P
Hi readers! I hope your holidays were fabulous. I spent mine with family, friends, good food, received many nice gifts and of course, made time for reading. This year my goal as a reader is to actually start and FINISH a series. If you’ve been on my blog before, you know how bad I am at this. We will see how this goes. I’ve chosen the Outlander series and have completed reading the first book. New Year’s goals are usually something I break, but this year I am determined to follow several of mine through. I will let you know at the end of the year how I did.
I have to brag on my Doxie for a minute. I spend so much time playing and walking with her. She’s only six months so she doesn’t sit still enough to be a reading buddy yet. I’ve wanted a tiny dog my whole life to take care of so the fact I have one now is just bliss. How can you say no to this innocent face???? You just can’t.
I subscribed to PBS Masterpiece, Lifetime Movie Club and BritBox on Amazon Prime over the break. Here is what I have found so far that I recommend…
Sense and Sensibility by the BBC is just SO GOOD. It was my favorite series that I watched over the holidays. The acting was superb. The series stars Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, and Dan Stevens.
VERA is about a witty British detective created by author Ann Cleeves. A few seasons are available through BritBox. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie, you will love VERA.
Cranford is a Masterpiece drama about two spinster sisters and their young female houseguest living in a small England town. The series stars Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins.
The Durells in Corfu is a comedy series about a young widow who moves her family from England to the Greek island of Corfu. The series is based on memoirs written by Gerald Durrell.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. This classic is a must.
I read three books over the holidays and am going to write about two today that are popular.
Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is a perfect read for those that love history, fantasy and romance. It is a perfect escape read. I love the characters of Claire Randall and James Fraser. It is obvious to me as a reader that Gabaldon spent hours studying Scottish history. There is so much detail in her novel. The romance scenes were beautiful without being too cheesy and overdone. I loved the bravery of Claire’s character. Picture of Outlander’s James Fraser below because it’s Monday. You’re welcome.
About the Author
From the author’s website: Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.”
Dr. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology.
Title: Sense and Sensibility Author: Jane Austen Publisher: Thomas Egerton Publication Date: 1811 Format: Hardcover
Jane Austen’s classic, Sense and Sensibility, is about two sisters who experience the perils of love-heartbreak, betrayal, and abandonment. As much heartbreak and anguish is to be found, the story ends on a happy note which is the trademark all Austen fans love.
About the Author
Jane Austen is the beloved English novelist that wrote Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Her work is best known for satire and social commentary of 19th century England.
Is it just me or is this holiday season flying by? I have accomplished ZERO Christmas shopping, the Elf on the Shelf was four days late at our house, I still have to plan my daughter’s Christmas party for her class and decide what we are eating when my parents come over for Christmas morning. On the bright side, our carpet is going to be cleaned this Saturday, which for those of you that have seen it will understand how truly excited I am about this. Between the previous owners and our new puppy, it looks quite…ummm…decorated. Speaking of decorations, our Christmas decor is up so that is one thing I have accomplished for the holiday season.
Title: The Prince of Tides Author: Pat Conroy Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company Publication Date: 1986 Format: Hardcover Length: 567 pages
I finally have finished Prince of Tides. I have been wanting to read a Pat Conroy novel for years. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Prince of Tides. In some ways, I was hesitant to read it because it’s one of those books everyone talks about it, which sometimes means it won’t live up to my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by his writing. I think if I were ever to have met Pat Conroy I would have truly liked him.
Conroy had a really complicated relationship with his physically and verbally abusive Marine dad. If you have ever read about Conroy, you know this relationship is the focus of the majority of his writings. The Prince of Tides is about a dysfunctional family, the Wingos, who reside in South Carolina. The mother is what many would describe as a Southern Belle and the father is a shrimper. They have three children-two boys and a girl. The father is abusive and spends his hard earned money on ideas for business, truly believing he is an entrepreneur, which leads to poverty for the family. Viewed as outcasts by the town, the children must learn to cope with their father and everyday life. The book moves between past and present. Tom Wingo, the narrator, will be forced to make peace with his past as an adult when his sister attempts suicide. Tom visits New York City to see Savannah in the hospital in hopes of helping her and while there he develops a relationship with her counselor.
Conroy eventually heals the relationship with his father. More can be read about this relationship in Conroy’s memoir, The Death of Santini. If you read Conroy’s works, you will see that the fathers depicted in his novels are never pure saints or pure evil. They come across as real, as human, with their own scars from the past. In The Prince of Tides, Conroy writes, “If Henry Wingo had not been a violent man, I think he would have made a splendid father.” One has to wonder if that is how Conroy views his own father.
About the Author
Pat Conroy (1945 – 2016) was the New York Times bestselling author of two memoirs and seven novels, including The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, and The Lords of Discipline. Born the eldest of seven children in a rigidly disciplined military household, he attended the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. He briefly became a schoolteacher (which he chronicled in his memoir The Water Is Wide) before publishing his first novel, The Boo. Conroy lived on Fripp Island, South Carolina until his death in 2016. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6942.Pat_Conroy
This is my first blog post in awhile as our life has been crazy. We moved into a new home and have been trying to get settled. I have also been reading some here and there. I’m in the middle of two Pat Conroy books that I can’t wait to write reviews on. Right before we started moving, I started Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette Author: Maria Semple Publisher: Little Brown and Company Publication Date: August 2012 Format: Hardcover Length: 335 pages
Bernadette Fox was previously an architect who quit her successful career when her husband moved to Seattle for his job at Microsoft. Bee, her daughter, is attending a local school by their home, but plans on attending boarding school. This leaves Bernadette wondering what she will do with all her time. She finds herself beginning to go crazy and disappears on a family trip. Bee tries to find her mother by going over her e-mails, documents and correspondence.
I really loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette? The story is quirky and full of humor, while also being relatable. I think everyone goes through a time in their life where they question what they should be doing and how their past has affected the present. The reader goes with Bernadette on her own journey that is a pleasure to read.
About the author
Maria Semple previously wrote for the televisions shows Mad About You, Ellen and Arrested Development. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and daughter. For more about Maria Semple, visit www.mariasemple.com
Title: The Postmistress Author: Sarah Blake Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Format: Hardcover Publication Date: February 1, 2011 Page Length: 371 pages
The Postmistress is a novel that allows a reader an easy escape. A journalist is assigned to cover the beginning of World War II in Europe. Her journey leads her to cross paths with citizens of Franklin, Massachusetts. There is a postal worker questioning whether she should deliver a letter to a grieving, expecting wife. The journalist, Frankie Bard, records stories of victims of war and reports via radio broadcast in the early morning hours which bothers the postmistresses conscious. The Postmistress is a beautiful novel on relationships and the choices made in them.
From the author’s website:
Sarah Blake is the author of Full Turn, a chapbook of poems, Runaway Girls, an artist book in collaboration with the artist, Robin Kahn, and three novels: Grange House; and the New York Times Bestsellers, The Postmistress, and The Guest Book. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, the poet Joshua Weiner, and their two sons.
Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain Author: Garth Stein Published by: Harper Collins Publication Date: May 13, 2008 Format: Hardcover Length: 321 pages
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is one of my favorite books, which tells you it must be good because I am not a huge fan of dogs. I was honestly skeptical when I read this book several years ago. The only reason I read the book is because the library where I am employed has a copy and I decided one afternoon to read it after reading good reviews. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a charming novel that will bring you to tears. The point of view is told from the dog’s perspective which is what makes the book so entertaining. Since it has been several years since I’ve read the book, I’ve included a summary below from Goodreads.
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life … as only a dog could tell it.
The movie adaptation is out in theaters now starring Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girl’s and This Is Us) Amanda Seyfried, and Kevin Costner (voice of Enzo the dog).
From the author’s website:
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Seattle, Garth’s ancestry is diverse: his mother, a native of Alaska, is of Tlingit Indian and Irish descent; his father, a Brooklyn native, is the child of Jewish emigrants from Austria. Garth lives in Seattle with his wife and three sons. He got involved with “high performance driver education” in 2001, received his racing license with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and went on to win the points championship in the Northwest Region Spec Miata class in 2004. He left racing after a serious crash—while racing in the rain.
*BOOKS TO FILM 2020* What books are being adapted into film? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
What I’m Listening to Right Now…
The Dateline podcast was just released this year featuring current and classic episodes.
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast featuring selected interviews from the leaders of today.
What I’m Watching Right Now…
Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star in Ozark, a Netflix series about a man who is a financial planner that is involved in a money laundering scheme gone wrong and has to move his family to make amends to a Mexican drug cartel.
Mindhunter is a Netflix series based on the true crime book, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Serial Crime Unit, by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Two FBI agents delve into the minds of serial killers from the 1970’s and 1980’s.