Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (via Netgally- available January 9th 2018 in the US and Canada. Available now in the UK)- Traveling from England to Australia in 1939, the inhabitants of a large passenger ship become enmeshed in each others lives, affecting everyone in different ways. I loved this book as I felt it really brought to life the spirit and drama of the era and let me tell you, there is a twist that cannot be missed! Fantastic historical read.
Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs – Camille has become paralyzed by fear since her husbands tragic death while on vacation years before. When she discovers that her sick father wishes to return to French town he grew up in, she must find the courage to travel again. Once in France, shocking discoveries about her father’s family and the appearance of an intriguing man force her to embrace life again. This book was another super delightful read conjuring up the era of the Second World War, with a sweet love story mixed in. Perfect beach read for this winter!
Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker– Looking in detail at the lives of five victims of a still unknown serial killer that terrorized Long Island in the early 2000’s. Exhaustively researched, the victims are brought to life as women, daughters and mothers and how Craigslist and the inaction of police were both instrumental in the deaths of these marginalized people.
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey – In this book, the author explores how ghost stories are shaped by the history of the places that are said to be haunted. Looking at famous (and not so famous) hauntings across America, the reader gets a strong sense of how we look at our past as reflected by the stories we tell .
The Break By Marian Keyes– Amy’s husband Hugh wants a six month break from marriage but he makes it very clear that he is not leaving her. He takes off to Asia leaving her totally confused and devastated. Then she decides that if he gets a break from marriage, then so does she! I have read every one of Marian Keyes’ novels and this is probably one of my favourites. I laughed so hard and cried almost as hard. For me, that makes it a newer perfect fun read.
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella (advance copy via Netgalley- available February 13th 2018)- Sylvie and Dan have been together for years, with a nice home and adorable twin daughters. Life is nice… but a little boring. They decide to shake things up by creating special surprises for each other. This decision will lead to shocking revelations about their marriage and family that neither could have anticipated. This book is classic Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic series. Another perfect vacation read.
The Girls by Emma Cline– This book would have been my holy grail as a teenager. I was obsessed with true crime (still am) and this novel about a young girl entangled with a Manson Family- like cult before a horrific series of murders are committed is incredible. The writer absolutely NAILED the voice of a 14 year old girl, so much so that it actually made me feel uncomfortable. Teenage girls brains are terrifying. Highly recommend.
Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo– The story of two very different sisters traveling on a doomed ship during the First World War. This novel is based on the author’s great grandfather’s stories about surviving the sinking of the Lusitania.
The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman– In order to work on their respective novels, Clare and her husband move out of the city to serve as caretakers at a historical house in the Hudson Valley. Soon Claire realizes that something strange is happening in the house- the sound of babies crying, a sense of a dark presence, an evil which seems to be focused on her. This writers “northern gothic” novels are some of my favourites but this one didn’t engage me as much as her earlier books.
Geekerella by Ashley Poston– I loved this book. I read almost all of it on a solo 3 hour plane ride. Basically, think Cinderella if she was a cosplay nerd and prince charming was a teen movie heartthrob. Throw in some science fiction homages and you have one of the sweetest and endearing YA novels I have read in a long time.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn– This was recently a pick on the Reece Witherspoon Book Club so I guess its only a matter of time before this becomes a movie. The narrative alternates between the story of a women drafter to be a spy with The Alice Network during World War One in France and a pregnant college girl who runs away to France to look for her cousin who went missing during World War 2. I loved this book and cannot wait for more books by the author.
Fallen by Lauren Kate– Think Twilight but instead of vampires you have.. angels… Ya. I am sure you are asking yourself why I read this. It wasn’t as badly written as the Twilight books, but I suggest you skip it and just see the movie (if you are so inclined) and I NEVER suggest seeing the movie instead of reading the book.
Kiss me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt– The fourth book in a series about the inhabitants of Willoughby close. Sweet cosy read about two people finding love.
What did you read over the summer? I am always looking for recommendations!
The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
– In this historical novel, one of the Romanov daughters of Russia fell in love with a soldier before the Russian Revolution. As the war intensified, these unlikely lovers struggle to stay together. This is a really touching book about the power of love, however I found many parts of it are soooo farfetched.
The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb
(via Netgalley. Available June 6th) I have loved Wendy Webbs previous “Northern Gothic” novels and I was so excited that I was able to read the advance copy of Temperance Dare!
Eleanor becomes the new director of an artists retreat located in an old TB hospital and when her first group of writers arrive, suspicious things begin to happen. Slowly she realizes that all her guest have ties to the hospital and that something paranormal may have brought them all together. Such a good, tense and atmospheric read. If you like a good gothic story, I highly recommend this!
My (not so) Perfect Life
by Sophie Kinsella- Katie wishes her life were as glamorous as the life she shares on Instagram. Her “perfect” job is ruined by her horrible boss Demeter, she lives in a hovel with weird roommates and dating isn’t really happening. When Demeter suddenly and cruel fires here, Katie returns home to her family to regroup and finds herself starting a new glamping business on their farm. But when Demeter arrives as a guest….. Sophie Kinsella is the queen of women’s fiction and this novel doesn’t disappoint. Katie is a hero you emp and laugh with. Loved this book.
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
by Jennifer Ryan The intersecting stories of the women of the Chilbury village choir and how they navigate love, suspicion, grief and fear during WW2. Such a wonderful book- characters that were so well developed and real that you couldn’t help cheering for every single women.
Find Me at Willoughby Close
by Kate Hewitt (via Netgalley. Available now) The second book in a frothy trilogy about three women living in the cottages of Willoughby Close. Harriet moves into one of the little cottages after she discovers that not only is her husband having an affair, but he has also mortgaged away their home. Suddenly single and broke, Harriet sets about trying to create a new life with her children and figure out who she is on her own.
Have you read anything recently that I have to cozy up with???
The Breakdown by B.A Paris
(vis Netgalley. In stores June 20th 2017) – When Cass passed a a broken down car on a forested road in the middle of a driving rainstorm she never imagined that she might have prevented the murder of the driver. As the intense guild increases, she starts to question her own memories of that night and of every day since- she seems to be missing time.
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry
– After Nora finds her sister dead inside her rural country home, she cannot let it go. She is convinced that it has something to do with the vicious assault that her sister suffered years earlier.
Flapper by Joshua Zeitz
– An historical account of the rise of the cultural and feminist revolution of the 1920’s that brought about the Flapper.
What did you read this month? I am always looking for new books!!!
The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti– This book hooked me SO fast! I was up until the wee hours reading it because I had to know what happened! So many twists, turns, red herrings… it was fantastic. Fans of The Luckiest Girl in The World, The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love this book! All hail the unreliable narrator!
I thought the plot was somewhat far-fetched and was all wrapped up bit too quickly and neatly at the end of the book.
Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James
– I love her books so much- they blend mystery, romance, historical fiction and the supernatural in a natural and totally engaging way. Her novels often look at the post WWI era and deal with the horrors of war. Always engrossing.
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden
– This historical romance has a pretty Christian slant to it, which isn’t really my thing but the medical aspects of the novel made up for that- the characters are working to cure Tuberculosis.
In 1945 New York City, Gwen is left to care for her roommates baby when she abandons her. When the baby’s father returns from the war, she worries that she is going to lose the child she has come to think of as her own. Then they begin to fall in love….. yes… this book is that obvious but its a fun read.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (via Netgalley. Available April 19th)- A Modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice (read full review here)
The Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg– I have been reading this series by Swedish crime writer Lackberg for the past five years (this is the ninth book!). Erika and Patrick are husband and wife crime solvers kept (oddly) busy in their little archipelago town. These books are pretty twisted and weird, as much Scandinavian crime fiction is. If you like Steig Larson and Henning Mankell, you will love this series.
The Pursuit of Pearls by Jane Thynne (via NetGalley. Available May 3rd )- The next book in the Clara Vine series (see my review of the previous book here). As Germany creeps ever closer to inevitable war, Clara is tasked by her British handlers to delve ever deeper into the affairs and machinations of the Third Reich. This series continues to be top-notch historical fiction that brings pre-war Berlin somewhat frighteningly alive. It was not a good time, as in hindsight we all well know.
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel -This book is the fourth in the Louise Rick series by Danish crime writer Blaedel. A women’s body turns up on a wooded area and it is discovered that she had apparently been dead for decades already! Detective Rick sets out to uncover the secret of her whereabouts in the intervening years. This book was creepy as heck and while this was the first book in the series I have read, I have already picked up the next one!
Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham (via NetGalley. Available May 24th)- Heather Graham is one of my guilty pleasure authors. I almost always pick up her books when they come out (often in mass market paperback form- easily found in the drug and grocery store!) I enjoy the gothic vibe of her books and I love learning about the history (often supernatural related) of the cities the books take place in.
After You by JoJo Moyes– If “Me Before You” broke your freakin’ heart, this book will mend it. It is a wonderful sequel.
The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen– I read this because for some reason I can’t get enough of these historical romances even though the religious aspects annoy me somewhat.
Novelista Girl by Meredith Schorr– This came up on my BookBub sales and it intrigues me. A fun chick lit read with a blogger/writer slant which appealed to me for obvious reasons.
The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne– This book is the third in a series about Clara Vine, a half German, half British spy working to take down Nazi Germany. This book is extremely well researched and 1938 Berlin really comes alive. Highly recommend!
I am back to reading in a big way! Now that the babies go to bed at a reasonable time I can curl up with a good book and a glass of wine in the evening!
Here are some of the books that have made an impression on me the last few months!
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
– This YA book is blowing up all over the place due to its fun fabulous and curvy heroine. I loved this book.
Come Away With Me by Karma Brown
-OMG. This book broke my heart into a million pieces. A devastating read. You will need a box of tissues. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen (via NetGalley)
– This book is nominated for Best Romance of the Year 2015 by Goodreads but it is really a suspenseful historical novel at its best. I have since read many of Ms. Klassen’s other books and while they have a slightly religious bent that I don’t always get, I have enjoyed them all.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
– Mindy’s second book is as laugh out loud funny as her first and actually pretty inspiring. A perfect beach read!
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
– No one does romance and heart shattering drama like Jojo. I loved this book so much. Another one to read with a box of tissue!
Hit the comments and let me know what I should read next?
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – This is SUCH a fun read by the girls behind the site Go Fug Yourself. I am praying for a sequel!
The Little Dress Shop of Dreams by Meena Van Praag – This was the first book I read after the twins were born. While they were in the NICU I was pumping a lot and I read this while I did it. A light, sweet read which was exactly what I needed!
The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St James – I love this authors historical gothic mystery novels and the fact that she is from Toronto is an added bonus. Highly recommend if you are interested in 1920’s England and ghosts!!!
Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs (via NetGalley out on July 21st 2015)- I was lucky enough to receive an advances galley copy of the new Temperance Brennan novel and it was a super fun read! This series continues to impress with new mysteries and some surprisingly good character development.
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After a horrendous first trimester of my pregnancy (when I basically existed with my head under a pillow), I have finally got back to reading in a big way- I have been devouring books at a crazy rate! I have read so many books that I am not including them all here because that would be boring. This post is dedicated only to the books that I have really enjoyed and would recommend to you, my darling readers!
Any recommendations for books that I have to read???
Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope
It Started with Paris by Cathy Kelly
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Meadowlands by Elizabeth Jeffrey (via Net Galley- available April 1st)
Searching for Grace Kelley by Michael Callahan (via Net Galley- Available January 27th)
Scandals of Classic Hollywood by Anne Helen Petersen
The Surrogate by Tania Carver
The Weight of Water by Laura McHugh