Monday, November 30, 2020

Britt-Marie Was Here

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon):  Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.

When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—she finds work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center. The fastidious Britt-Marie soon finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?

Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:   I found this in my draft folder too.  I LOVE Backman's books, so I am not sure why I never posted the reviews. I read Britt-Marie Was Here when it first came out.  I still recommend it to people who haven't read it.  Absolutely loved it.  It is a MUST-READ.  A beautiful and amazing book that will make you laugh and cry.  Even though this is not a sequel to My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell Your She's Sorry, the cast of charcters are in the book.  Still in such awe of Fredrik's talent!


Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.



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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Inheriting Edith

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  For years, Maggie Sheets has been an invisible hand in the glittering homes of wealthy New York City clients, scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and doing all she can to keep her head above water as a single mother. Everything changes when a former employer dies leaving Maggie a staggering inheritance. A house in Sag Harbor. The catch? It comes with an inhabitant: The deceased’s eighty-two-year old mother Edith.

Edith has Alzheimer’s—or so the doctors tell her—but she remembers exactly how her daughter Liza could light up a room, or bring dark clouds in her wake. And now Liza’s gone, by her own hand, and Edith has been left—like a chaise or strand of pearls—to a poorly dressed young woman with a toddler in tow. 
Maggie and Edith are both certain this arrangement will be an utter disaster. But as summer days wane, a tenuous bond forms, and Edith, who feels the urgency of her diagnosis, shares a secret that she’s held close for five decades, launching Maggie on a mission that might just lead them each to what they are looking for.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  A very interesting story that was well written and drew me in right away.  Loved the characters and their story.  



Zoe Fishman is the critically acclaimed author of the bestselling Inheriting Edith, (Morrow, October ’16), Driving Lessons (Morrow, April ’14), Saving Ruth (Morrow, May ’12) and Balancing Acts (Harper, March ’10). 

Her books have been translated into Hebrew, German, Italian, Dutch and Polish and are also available in Audio and Large Print editions. She’s the recipient of myriad awards, including an IndieNext Pick,Target’s Breakout and Emerging Author Picks, a NY Post Pick, a Mom’s Choice Award and a Barnes & Noble Hot Read. Interviews and profiles of her have been featured on NBC’s “Atlanta & Co.” and FGTV, as well as in Publisher’s Weekly, Mobile Bay Magazine, The Atlanta Jewish Times and The Huffington Post. Her articles have been published in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Time Out and on FoxNews.com, among others. 

Zoe worked in the New York publishing industry for thirteen years in the editorial department of Random House, the rights department of Simon & Schuster and later, as an agent for two boutique literary firms before moving to Atlanta in August of 2011 with her family.

She is the Executive Director of The Decatur Writers Studio as well as an instructor. She is also an instructor in the Emory Continuing Education program. In the Spring of 2017, she was the Visiting Writer at SCAD Atlanta. Her next novel, Invisible As Air, will be published by Morrow in September 2019.



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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Sleepless in Manhattan

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  Cool, calm and competent, events planner Paige Walker loves a challenge. After achildhood spent in and out of hospitals, she’s now determined to proveherself—and where better to take the world by storm than Manhattan? But when Paigeloses the job she loves, she must face her biggest challenge of all—going it alone.

Except launching her own events company is nothing compared to hiding heroutrageous crush on Jake Romano—her brother’s best friend, New York’smost in-demand date and the only man to break her heart. When Jake offers Paige’sfledgling company a big chance, their still-sizzling chemistry starts giving her sleeplessnights. But can she convince the man who trusts no one to take a chance onforever?





One (or more) Sentence Summary: First book in the series and I hope the others are just as good. Fun romance with some steam! Looking forward to book 2 - Sunset in Central Park.



Sarah Morgan is a USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of romance and women's fiction. She has sold over 18 million copies of her books and her work has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist.

Sarah lives near London, England with her family and when she isn't writing or reading, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking or riding her mountain bike.  

Join Sarah's mailing list at www.sarahmorgan.com for all book news. For more insight into her writing life follow her on Facebook at www.facebook/AuthorSarahMorgan and on Instagram at @sarahmorganwrites Contact Sarah at sarah@sarahmorgan.com


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Monday, November 23, 2020

The Perfect Neighbors


~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon):  How well do you ever really know the family next door?

Bucolic Newport Cove, where spontaneous block parties occur on balmy nights and all of the streets are named for flowers, is proud of its distinction of being named one the top twenty safest neighborhoods in the US. It’s also one of the most secret-filled.

Kellie Scott has just returned to work after a decade of being a stay-at-home mom. She’s adjusting to high heels, scrambling to cook dinner for her family after a day at the office—and soaking in the dangerous attention of a very handsome, very married male colleague. Kellie’s neighbor Susan Barrett begins every day with fresh resolutions: she won’t eat any carbs, she’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour, and she’ll stop stalking her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Gigi Kennedy seems to have it all together—except her teenage daughter has turned into a hostile stranger and her husband is running for Congress, which means her old skeletons are in danger of being brought into the light.

Then a new family moves to this quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac. Tessa Campbell seems friendly enough to the other mothers, if a bit reserved. Then the neighbors notice that no one is ever invited to Tessa’s house. And soon, it becomes clear that Tessa is hiding the biggest secret of all.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Very entertaining. Desperate Housewives meet The Perfect Neighbors.  Great characters that were easy to relate too. Well-written and a quick read.  Just keep in mind.....how well do you really know your neighbors?


Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally-bestselling author of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and the upcoming AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, cowritten with Greer Hendricks. 

THE WIFE BETWEEN US - an instant New York Times bestseller - is a twisty psychological tale that has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment. Sarah and Greer are penning the screenplay for Amblin.

AN ANONMYOUS GIRL is currently in production as a television series by eOne,with Sarah and Greer serving as executive producers.

Sarah is also the author of eight solo novels.

Please find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @sarahpekkanen 

BIO: Sarah is the mother of three boys, which explains why she wrote part of her debut novel at Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. Please visit www.sarahpekkanen.com



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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Behind Closed Doors

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon): Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow. The first novel by B.A. Paris!  Just wow!  So mind-blowingly good.  So happy to have this new author on my must-read her books list. Don't let Jack fool you....he is an evil man!



B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown and Bring Me Back. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 40 territories around the world. She has worked in both Finance and as a teacher. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. The Dilemma is her fourth novel.


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Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon):  A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:   I found this in my draft folder and I am not sure how I overlooked it.  I read My Grandmother Aksed Me To Tell You She's Sorry when it first came out.  I still recommend it to people who haven't read it.  Absolutely loved it.  It is a MUST-READ.  A beautiful and amazing book that will make you laugh and cry.  In such awe of Fredrik's talent!


Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.



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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Bear Town

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon): People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  A fan of Backman's novel. Last year I listened to Beartown on my drive from Ohio to New York for a hockey game!  I really, really loved this book as I could relate to so much of it.  Hockey has been son's life since he was five.  He is starting his second year of junior hockey.  A wonderful, wonderful book that is full of great characters.  Absolutely loved it.  Have recommended it to so many people



Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Vanishing Time

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon): Cama Truesdale’s ex-husband and young son leave Boston for a "boys only" fishing trip in South Carolina’s Low Country. In the early morning hours, Cama is jolted awake by a phone call. There’s been a fire on board the boat. Her ex-husband is dead. Her son is missing and presumed dead. As she sets off for South Carolina, Cama's belief that her son Tate is alive is unwavering. But her frantic search soon stirs up painful memories that send her reeling back to her childhood and the mysterious car crash that killed her Gullah mother and white father. As the clock ticks down, exhausted, haunted by dreams, and stymied by the police and local community, she enters a world in which she must rely on instinct over fact, and where no one and nothing is what it seems—not even the boundary between the living and the dead.Vanishing Time is a tale about how grief can shape reality and the power of a mother’s love.




One (or more) Sentence Summary: When a mother is convinced that her son is still living even though all the evidence goes against her, look out because it creates a good book to read.  Toss in her own childhood trauma that is linked to present day and you have a great book to read!  I was on pins and needles to the very end and was shocked by the time I got there.  I wasn't able to figure out the links from past to present but they unfolded very well.  I really enjoyed Vanishing Time.



Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I have read other Katharine Britton books in the past and have enjoyed everyone of them.  You can see my reviews on Little Island and Her Sister's Shadow.  Katharine always has the most beautiful covers too!



Katharine has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College. Her screenplay "Goodbye Don’t Mean Gone," on which "Vanishing Time" was based, was a Moondance Film Festival winner and a finalist in the New England Women in Film and Television contest. When not writing, Katharine can often be found in her Vermont garden, waging a non-toxic war against slugs, snails, deer, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, moles, voles, and beetles. Katharine’s defense consists mainly of hand-wringing after the fact. Also by Katharine Britton: "Her Sister's Shadow" and "Little Island."


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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis (from Amazon):  When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.
 
Isobel Johnson has spent her career in Liston Heights sidestepping the community’s high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a liberal agenda, she’s in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Julia Abbott, obsessed with the casting of the school’s winter musical, makes an error in judgment that has far-reaching consequences for her entire family.
 
Brought together by the sting of public humiliation, Isobel and Julia learn firsthand how entitlement and competition can go too far, thanks to a secret Facebook page created as an outlet for parent grievances. The Liston Heights High student body will need more than a strong sense of school spirit to move past these campus dramas in an engrossing debut novel that addresses parents behaving badly and teenagers speaking up, even against their own families.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes reminded me of Where'd You Go Bernadette Go? (which was a great movie on Hulu).  It was a really great read with relateable characters.  We all know a helicopter mom or two. Very entertaining! I can't wait for her second novel!



Kathleen West is a veteran middle and high-school teacher. She graduated with a degree in English from Macalester College and holds a Master's degree in literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her family. Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes is her first novel.



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Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Secrets We Kept

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice--inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak's magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world--using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally's tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story--the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago's heroine, Lara--with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk. From Pasternak's country estate outside Moscow to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, D.C. to Paris and Milan, The Secrets We Keptcaptures a watershed moment in the history of literature--told with soaring emotional intensity and captivating historical detail. And at the center of this unforgettable debut is the powerful belief that a piece of art can change the world.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The Secrets We Kept was my book clubs pick.  We all enjoyed it and really like how history was weaved with fiction.  Well done and a good read.




LARA PRESCOTT received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin. She was previously an animal protection advocate and a political campaign operative. Her stories have appeared in The Southern ReviewThe Hudson ReviewCrazyhorseDay One, and Tin House Flash Fridays. She won the 2016 Crazyhorse Fiction Prize for the first chapter of The Secrets We Kept. She lives in Austin, Texas.


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Friday, November 13, 2020

Feels Like Falling

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  It’s summertime on the North Carolina coast and the livin’ is easy.

Unless, that is, you’ve just lost your mother to cancer, your sister to her extremist husband, and your husband to his executive assistant. Meet Gray Howard. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma in her life, she inadvertently gets a stranger, Diana Harrington, fired from her job at the local pharmacy.

Diana Harrington’s summer isn’t off to the greatest start either: Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a worn-out Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience.

With Gray’s kindness, Diana’s tide begins to turn. But when her first love returns, every secret from her past seems to resurface all at once. And, as Gray begins to blaze a new trail, she discovers, with Diana’s help, that what she envisioned as her perfect life may not be what she wants at all.

In her warmest, wisest novel yet, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers a discerning portrait of modern womanhood through two vastly different lenses. Feels Like Falling is a beach bag essential for Harvey fans—and for a new generation of readers.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I like all of Kristy's books that I read and Feels Like Falling was no exception.  As the weather is turning grey and cold, I escaped to the sunny North Carolina coast!  Just what I needed!  Love the character and the relationship that develops between Gray and Diana. They are both going through separate journeys but do so together.


Kristy Woodson Harvey is the USA TODAY bestselling author of six novels, including Feels Like Falling, The Peachtree Bluff series, and Under the Southern Sky. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Southern LivingTraditional HomeUSA TODAYDomino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her work has been optioned for film and television, and her books have received numerous accolades including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks. She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on KristyWoodsonHarvey.com. She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.


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