Weekend Reading 8.12.21

It sure has been hot here in Southern Indiana (I live right across the border from Louisville), with temps in the 90s and humidity so thick it feels like you have to swim through the air. But the peaches are ripe, so it’s a good time to stay inside and eat peach cobbler and ice cream while reading a cozy mystery (starting Peachy Scream today.

I’ve been staying inside this week after spending last weekend moving our son to his new apartment, where he began his teaching career this week! I am one proud Mom, who is now using the vacated space for an office with my husband. There will still be room for an air mattress when our son comes to visit, so no worries there. Our daughter is settled where she is for now, so no more moving duties for us this year.

I’m having a little post-Olympics let down. I always love watching the Summer Games. It’s the only time I get to see water polo, artistic swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, and equestrian show jumping on TV. Now I’m back to watching episodes of Hometown and Fixer Upper on Discovery Plus (instead of actually working on my own house, which I should be doing, right after I see the reveal on this Craftsman style home).

My husband and I are going to try to catch the Louisville Ballet’s dance interpretation of Shakespeare at Shakespeare in the Park tonight. Then we have a weekend to ourselves (first in ages! squee!). I’m hoping to get to this cozy by Sunday after church.

What are your plans for this weekend? Leave a comment below and share what you’re up to and what you’re reading.

Here’s are some things that have been going on in the book world (and other stuff too):

This one goes back a bit, but is a nice list of cozies coming out during the second half of the year (including several first-in-series).

In the mood for a different kind of read? Check out this review of the Japanese thriller (translated into English) Bullet Train.

It may be hot now, but Christmas is coming! Here’s a list of fun gifts for mystery lovers.

Love a beach read? One writer argues against reading at the beach in this article.

How would you update this 2017 list of the “absolute best” cozy series.

This “Cozy Mysteries” scented candle is calling to me. Search cozy mystery candles on Etsy to find more choices. #notsponsored

Home renovation is hot right now, so check out this list of remodeling/decorating themed cozies.

The book links to my Bookshop.org shop in this post are affiliate links, so I receive a small commission if you purchase at no extra cost to you. Check out my store there if you’d like and help support independent booksellers with your purchases too!

Stay cool and enjoy a good book this weekend!

Happy reading!

-Amy

Recent Reads 12.1.2020 – August/September

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a reading round up so this is Part One – August/September. So hearken back with me to late summer/early fall, when the the sun was still blazing before the breeze picked up too much. When we made the switch from flip flops and sandals to sneakers and (some days up here in the mountains) boots. When everything moves from soft and breezy to cozy and crisp. Now that you’re there with me, here are some books I read during that time:

Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day

What a fun book set in a great location (Santa Barbara)) for a summer read. Robbie is on vacation For her ten year high school reunion and comes across information that her mother, who died of a brain aneurysm, might have been murdered instead. Before she knows it, she’s trying to sort out a feud with a high school nemesis, a toxic chemical, and an old friend trying to get her life together. This has a few twist and turns with no shortage of clues. I liked the ending but kept expecting one more twist that left me feeling a little unsettled. Would definitely recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley for the Review copy of the book. All opinions are my own. Rating: Four stars

Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

I love this book! I’m not usually a big fan of World War II books, but this one really grabbed me from the very first line. The characters of Charlotte, Horace, And Julian have strong depth. I felt like I was right there for every raid, every kiss. The tension was palpable and the choices Charlotte has to make are wrenching. Charlotte’s daughter Vivi was a bright light and I liked the journey of her character. Very compelling! Not an easy read, but it pulls you in and won’t let you go. I highly recommend it! Rating: Five stars 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin Press and NetGalley for the review copy of this book.

Leaning Out: An Alternative Perspective for the Modern Corporate Woman by Monica E. Pierce (Audiobook)

This was an interesting perspective on the corporate work world for women. It explores the question: what about women who want to foster a balance in their lives and don’t want to go for the corner office. Leaning out is not giving up on any ambition, but is a balance of ambition and family/personal life. 

I’m one who has always leaned out so I could relate. It agues strongly for choice in the work world. A good read, but dragged in some spots. (listen- I listened on audio).

Thank you to NetGalley for the review audiobook. All opinions are my own. Rating: Three stars

Christmas Carol Society by Rebekah Jones

I LOVE Christmas stories. This one was an especially fun one. A riff on the Dickens story, the author did a good job of taking the twist and creating an inspiring story full of faith. Charlie’s story was compelling and kept me reading. This would be a great addition to anyone’s Christmas reading list. Start the season early when this one comes out.

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and NetGalley for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: Four stars

September

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (Audiobook)

Bourdain provided a deep dive behind the scenes of some of New York City’s famous (Rainbow Room) and not so famous restaurant kitchens. A gritty (and foul-mouthed) look at what it’s like in the militaristic hierarchy on the kitchen line, Bourdain shows the interesting, and sometimes ugly, side of where upscale food is made. He minces no words about his own experiences starting as a dishwasher and working his way up to chef in various restaurants. The book was written while he was chef at Les Halles, before he went on to host his own travel-food show on CNN. He outlines his successes, his many failures, and the inner workings of restaurants. The book is filled with colorful characters (many pseudonyms are used) unique insights into human character, especially his own.

Some parts of the book unappealingly gritty or revealing, but anyone who’s ever thought that they wanted to be a chef (not me, especially not now) needs to read this book. It also a good book for restaurant patrons who want to be “in the know” about the origins and etiquette surrounding their food.

I listened to the audiobook version of this, which is narrated by Bourdain whose own voice adds more life to his words. I recommend it. Rating: Four stars

The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck

I chose this book for my church book group (Faith Fiction Fans-woo!) because it had a bookish theme and a thread of a faith story that wound through it. The book follows five people who get mysterious invitations to a story society at a book shop on Fifth Avenue: a professor who is trying to finish his dissertation on a famous writer, his ex-wife who is struggling to get the recognition she deserves at her job, a cosmetics company owner who almost became a princess, an Uber driver trying to reconnect with his kids, and an older gentleman who wants to write the story of his ideal marriage.

As the group continues to meet weekly, secrets are shared and each person grows in unexpected ways. The faith storyline is deftly thread into the story without being overbearing. The characters are likable and unlikeable in turn and every time you think you know what’s going to happen, a twist gets thrown in.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially the characters of the professor and the cosmetics company owner. The bond the group forms is realistic and close and reflects the same connection I have with my book group.

Rating: Four stars

Girl Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis (Audiobook)

I listened to this on audio, which I recommend as the way to consume this book. It was a great motivational book that helps you to let go of excuses and to train your behaviors for success. It’s about dreaming big and setting big goals. I felt like some of it applied to my life, while some of it was focused on creating a business that is scaled way up (which is not my goal). Still, she shares her experiences and has some good advice for anyone who has some ambition to build a business or just expand your experiences in life.

This book is aimed at women, so many men may not be able to relate to some of the advice. Not the end-all, be-all of self help books, but some great motivational tips and ways to set yourself up for success.

Rating: Four stars

Spies and Sweethearts by Linda Shenton Matchett

I love a good spy story, and this was a fun one. Throw in romance and the World War Two era, and you’ve got a great suspense novel. The author did a great job making the setting come to life and really breathed life into the characters. They were interesting and I really cared about their story. The suspense was just right, put you on the edge of your seat without going overboard. It’s the tried and true hate-to-love trope without being tired and worn. This is book one of a trilogy, and I intend to come back for the next two installments.

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and NetGalley for the review ebook copy. All opinions are my own.

Rating: Four stars

Cost Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff by Myquillyn Smith

I loved the style in this book. I’ve been looking for a way to describe my aesthetic and this is it. It was also nice to learn some decorating techniques that I can use with what I have. Definitely getting her next book.

Rating: Five stars

If I Run (If I Run #1) by Terri Blackstock

What a thriller! Terri Blackstock really knows how to move the plot along in this Christian thriller. This is the first of the three book series where we follow Casey, who is on the run because she is a suspect in her best friend Brent’s murder, and Dylan, the victim’s childhood friend who is hired to find Casey and bring her back to the police. 

As Casey starts on a journey to discover who is responsible for Brent’s murder and for framing her, she also begins a journey toward faith. Childhood pain, the loneliness of being on the run, and Casey’s good heart will help the reader start putting the pieces together. Dylan’s is also suspicious of the evidence that sets Casey up as a suspect and starts to discover the real truth behind the murder. As he works to manage his PTSD and to find Casey, he relies on his faith to get him to the truth.

Be sure you have the second two books queued up so you can read (or listen to- I took it in as an audiobook) them right after you finish this one. You won’t want to wait.

Rating: Five stars

Stay tuned tomorrow for my October-November reads, followed Friday by a special Holiday Gift Guide edition of Weekend Reading on Friday.

Happy reading!

— Amy

Weekend Reading 7.17.2020

How has your week been? I’ve been busy getting my house in order as we have company coming this weekend. And I’ve been doing a TON of reading. I’m working my way through our July Reading Challenge (two down, four to go) and continuously adding more to my TBR. Latest addition is Miracle Creek, which came out awhile back but never made it on my list.

WEEKEND ROUNDUP 7.17.20

A sad loss for the children’s book world. Joanna Cole, the author of the Magic School Bus series has died. Read here about her legacy.

Miss traveling? Here’s a list of great travel memoirs to take you around the world from the comfort of your own couch.

Try these literary board games to keep you busy during quarantine.

Penguin/Random House has a great interview with Elizabeth Gilbert.

Check out this preview of former Jeopardy host Alex Trebek’s memoir. Comes out July 21st.

Just discovered RedBubble for bookish gifts. They even have bookish shower curtains here and a great selection of canvas prints here.

Oprah’s list of black authors to read this year.

Book lover boxes delivered to your door? Yes, please! . Here’s a round up of some of the most popular.

Summertime is a fun time to wear anklets. Check out these cool choices on Etsy, including a cute cookbook anklet.

I have an eye on this hammock for my backyard reading.

We’re having a beautiful summer here in the mountains. I’m sneaking in reading time as I work on my mystery novel, try to add yoga to my daily routine, and work on training our new dog, Zoe. Hope you’re able to have some (safe, healthy) fun despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Happy reading!

–Amy

July Release Spotlight Two: Utopia Avenue

The summer reading season is in full swing, and my TBR seems to keep getting longer and longer. I’m not a fast reader naturally, but if something grabs my attention, I’m squirreling myself away to get any spare moment of reading time I can find. Our dog likes to sunbathe, but it’s actually been in the 90s here in the mountains, so I haven’t been able to do a lot of outdoor reading except in the evenings. Even after doing a Summer Reading Preview series, I still keep adding books to my list. I’m going to need a good hiding place.

This week’s spotlight is on a book I previewed last month:

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Publication Date: July 14th

Mitchell’s novel follows the meteoric rise and fall of fictional psychedelic 60s British band Utopia Avenue. The book has drawn some comparisons to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones and the Six and has been named one of the most anticipated books of the year by a host of media outlets. It’s definitely on my TBR for the month (I’m squeezing it in after I gave up on Rodham…for now).

Looking for more books? Check out my shop at Bookshop.org and support indie book stores.

Is this the next hit on your TBR? What other books are you reading this summer? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Happy reading!

–Amy

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. I only link to products I believe in.

July Release Spotlight One: Tea and Treachery

I wanted to come up with something special on Monday’s to start your week off on a good note. What’s more fun than looking forward to a book that comes out this week? So each Monday, I’m going to spotlight a book that’s coming out in the current month.

Preorders are big for authors, so knowing what’s coming out helps you to know what you want to add to your cart (or get a jump on your library waitlist). I’m starting out with my favorite genre, the cozy mystery, but I’m going to try to vary the genres of the books I feature and to promote diversity in your reading life.

July’s first featured book:

Tea and Treachery by Vicki Delany (Release Date 7/28/20)

This is the first in what will be the Tea By the Sea Mysteries series. The series will focus on the owner of the Tea By the Sea tea shop, New York-expat and pastry chef Lily Roberts. When a real estate developer who had been trying to drive Lily and her grandmother Rose (who owns a Victorian B&B) out of business is found dead near Rose’s property, Lily must try to solve the mystery to help Rose get out of trouble.

There are several new cozy mystery series’ starting, so this particular book is a great way to get in on the ground floor. Vicki Delany is a prolific writer, so you can expect regular doses of Lily Roberts and her tea shop.

I have loved tea shop mysteries since I read (most of; still working on) the books in the Laura Childs tea shop series.

Pour your own cup of tea and see if this book fits your taste.

Happy reading!

–Amy

July Reading Challenge: Six Books of Summer

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

It doesn’t get really hot in the mountains of Colorado, where I live, but the sun does start to beat down during July. It’s the time of year that I divide between the necessary (work, cleaning, writing) and reading (the focus of my life whenever I can steal a moment). My husband is refurbishing our deck in August, so I’m going to try to spend as much time out there as possible in July (accompanied by some kind of fruity drink-ok, I’m not great with mixology, so it’s probably just lemonade or iced tea). Our new dog loves to sunbathe, so that should be an hour or so of quiet, sunshiny reading time most afternoons.

Starting July 1st, I’m holding my first reading challenge on the blog ever. It’s summer reading time, so I’m focusing on books with summer themes or that came out this summer. So the challenge is to read six summer books in July.

My Choices:

  1. Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld – Not a summer themed book, but came out at the beginning of summer and my library hold just came through so it’s a must read. The fictionalized story of what Hillary Clinton’s life would have been like if she had never married Bill. Released May 19th.
  2. Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews (got this on NetGalley) – A reporter returns to her hometown in Florida and must look after her grandmother, help save the family newspaper, and unravel a political mystery (and maybe find love? who knows). Released May 5th.
  3. One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak — One of my favorite romance authors. The story of a woman who discovers through a commercial DNA test that she has two sisters. The sisters meet at the woman’s family lake house in Lake Tahoe and discover things in common and may even find love on the way. Released April 7th.
  4. Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter (my church book club pick) — A Christian novel that is a story of family secrets, forgiveness, and romance. Released May 21st.
  5. Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day (got from NetGalley)– Robbie Jordan returns to California for her high school reunion and has to unravel her late mother’s death, that was apparently not from natural causes. The seventh book in the Country Store mystery series. Release date is today (June 30th).
  6. Peachy Scream by Anna Gerard (got from NetGalley) — A Georgia B&B owner turns to amateur theater to find the killer of a Shakespearean actor. Release date August 11th.

Six books may be a lot to read in July, but many summer books are short, light reads that will keep you engrossed in a summer paradise while you’re social distancing and probably getting mask tan lines.

Looking for more books? Check out my shop at Bookshop.org and support indie bookstores with your purchase.

So what’s your Summer Six? Are you planning to read them all in July or spreading them out for the rest of summer? Let me know what your Summer Six is in the comments. Happy reading!

–Amy

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. I only link to products I believe in.

Reading Roundup 6.16.20

I’ve been trying to diversify my reading list, both racially and genre-wise and I think this set of reads is a good start. This was a pretty good month for books, and each one was a hit in its own way.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

This was a fascinating tale of the love story between Joy Davidson and C.S. Lewis. Told from the point of view of Joy, it follows the disintegration of her first marriage and her friendship that grows into love, with “Jack” (C.S. Lewis). Davidson was a writer and began writing Lewis in the later stages of her marriage, curious about Christianity.

The book was clearly well researched and is a good assumption of what Joy’s point of view would have been during those times. There is an accompanying podcast that includes an interview with one of her sons, who curates her collection of papers at Wheaton College.

This was at times hard to read, and Joy isn’t always the most lovable character, but it tells of a great love between two outstanding writers. Rating: A

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

This romp follows the assistants to America’s favorite (fictional) home renovation couple Melissa and Rusty Tripp as they set off on a book tour that is leading up to the premiere of their new HGTV show. The Tripps are pushing their new book on marriage, but the public doesn’t know that they can’t stand each other. Melissa is a control freak and Rusty plays the goofy sidekick to her supposedly sensible approach. As the tension mounts, sparks start to fly between assistants Carey and James.

This book was stressful to read, but at the same time engrossing. It’s like watching a train wreck and not being able to look away. The story is compelling and it’s easy to get invested in all the characters. The ending was a complete surprise, but fit well with the rest of the book. Rating: A- (only because it was a bit stressful to read).

Cozy Case Files, A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Volume 9

What a fun compilation, I enjoyed all the previews and will be picking some of them up. I especially enjoyed Nothing Bundt Trouble, The Secretof the Bones, The Art of Deception, and A Royal Affair. I will also definitely choose the next volume of this series. It’s a great way to find some good reads,

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free review copy.

Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker takes a stand in this book for standing in your truth. A former speaker in the Evangelical Christian sphere, Hatmaker shares her journey to what she calls the freedom to be who she is. Hatmaker recently called for the complete inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the Christian community and was ostracized for her stance, losing much of her career. This book is the result of what she learned from the struggle to find her truth and what others need to know to honor their own truth. This is not a memoir or a self-help book, but more the result of self-discovery and research into social psychology. Rating: B+

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love With Me by Keah Brown

I listened to this book on audio and I’m glad I did. I think it added to the experience of the memoir to hear the author’s own voice. Brown shares the intimate details of her experience with being disabled and coming to an acceptance of herself. She takes the reader (listener) on a journey with her through the ups and downs of being a black, disabled woman journalist. Her writing style is earnest and enjoyable, though your heart breaks during some of the really tough parts. Rating: A

This Wandering Heart by Janine Rosche

This work of Christian fiction tells the story of how geography teacher Keira Knudsen finds a home. After turning down a proposal from her longtime boyfriend and principal of the school, Keira dons her alternative identity of travel blogger Kat Wanderfull and takes a trip. She is offered the travel opportunity of a lifetime. Meanwhile, her first love Robbie faces a challenge when the mother of his daughter reappears and wants custody. Keira and Robbie form a partnership to get them each what they want. But secrets threaten to tear their growing relationship apart.

I loved the unique angle of this story. Kat isn’t just a damsel in need of a man and Robbie’s not just the ruggedly handsome man she left behind. They each have depth that carries the story forward. The ending is satisfying and not totally predictable. Each faces realistic obstacles that can be truly heart wrenching. The plot kept me reading and interested until the very end. Definitely one I’d recommend.

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and NetGalley for the review copy.

I’ve got several books I’m reading this month: The Prayer Box, Hello, Summer, One Perfect Summer, Deadly Sweet Tooth, Nacho Average Murder, The Chiffon Trenches

Happy Reading!

–Amy

Summer Reading Preview: Literary Reads

Welcome to the Get Cozy Book Nook Summer Reading Preview! Throughout the week, you’ll find a look at some of the books coming out this summer that I’m interested in reading. **I have not read these books, unless otherwise indicated.** These are simply upcoming books that I’m drawn to and think you might like. Publication dates are accurate as of this writing.

Monday’s focus was on mysteries and thrillers. Yesterday covered beach reads. Today we tackle literary fiction. I have a pretty loose definition of literary fiction, so you may not agree that all of these fit in that category. Still, they’re all highly anticipated books, by many critics and by me!

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Pub Date: May 26th

A group in the English village of Chawton gets together to fight a developer wanting to raze Jane Austen’s final home shortly after the 2nd World War. I’m a Janeite, so this book grabbed my attention. It has also appeared on many other summer reading lists.

Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel by Sonali Dev

Pub date: May 26th

Another Jane Austen offshoot (yay!), this one is a twist on Persuasion featuring a struggling chef and the man who once ghosted her who is now a soccer star. They are paired together on a reality cooking show and the audience becomes obsessed with their chemistry.   The push-pull of their story is sure to engage Austen fans (like this one!)

The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennet

Pub Date: June 2

The story of the divergent lives of twin sisters over from the 1950s to the 1990s. This one deals with family relationships and racial issues. It has been well-recommended on many lists.

The Daughters Of Erietown by Connie Schultz

Pub Date: June 9

This story focuses on  a couple in 1957 that finds themselves pregnant, changing all their plans for college and a different life.   A knock at the door threatens their new forming family.  The book shows the evolution of women’s lives over the second half of the 20th century. I predict it will be the sleeper hit of the summer.

Last Train To Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Pub date: June 16

It’s 1935 and three women’s lives are forever changed by an approaching hurricane.  Separate from other Cleeton novels, this still has a storyline the focuses on Cuban-American issues. I listened to the first on audio, read the second. Looking forward to this stand alone.

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

Pub Date: July 7

A woman inherits a bookshop from her mother after she’s suffered a personal tragedy and must take over care of her cantankerous, medically failing father.  Her grandfather owns the building and won’t sell, so she’s forced into a journey that will take her from sorrow to unexpected discoveries and truths.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Pub Date: July 14th

The story of a fictional British 60s psychedelic era band reminiscent of Daisy Jones and the Six, but completely different. Expect all the hedonism of the 60s rock-and-roll scene. Should be fun.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Pub Date: July 21st

A great tale for book lovers follows a three generations of a family: one that lived in the New York Public Library in 1913, daughter Laura’s rebellion against women’s roles, and granddaughter Sadie Donavan in 1993 who gets a position as a curator for the NYPL.  Add in the theft of rare manuscripts, and the story ramps to new levels. High on my TBR. 

This Tender Land by William Kent Kruger

Pub date: Sept 3rd 

Four kids escape a school in 1932 and embark on a Huckleberry Finn-esque adventure down the Mississippi River. I studied Huck Finn in depth in grad school, so I’m interested to see if there are any parallels. Another one that’s making all the summer reading lists.

This group of book provides an interesting mix to choose from. I’m not sure where I’ll start. Tomorrow is the last day of our preview, which focuses on upcoming Christian fiction. We’ll finish off the week Friday with a bonus post on some of the backlist books on my TBR, along with my First Picks from the summer preview.

So what did I leave off today’s list? Are you looking forward to any of these picks? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

–Amy

Summer Reading Preview: Beach Reads

Welcome to the Get Cozy Book Nook Summer Reading Preview! Over the next five days, you’ll find a look at some of the books coming out this summer that I’m interested in reading. **I have not read these books, unless otherwise indicated.** These are simply upcoming books that I’m drawn to and think you might like. Publication dates are accurate as of this writing.

Yesterday’s focus was mysteries and thrillers. Today’s books are all Beach Reads– mostly aimed at women and sporting frothy covers– that I think would be a fun escape from our current troubles. Some of them are steamy, some not (I try to let you know when I have enough information). I’ll be sitting in a comfy chair on my deck, cocktail by my side, pretending that my mountain home is really in Nantucket.

Shop for any of these books at my Bookshop store and support independent bookstores with your purchase using this link: https://bookshop.org/shop/getcozybooknook

(I am an affiliate, so if you use this link to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!)

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Pub date: Out now

When a romance writer who no longer believes in romance crosses paths in a beach town with a literary writer stuck in a rut, they decide to each take on a summer project in each other’s genres. Steamy scenes ensue. I picked this one up early from Book of the Month and its high on my list.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Pub. Date: Out now

Jennifer Weiner is back again with a tale of plus-sized influencer Daphne who gets invited to be a part of her frenemy’s Drue’s society wedding. It’s a story about friendship, resilience, and learning to be who you really are. I’ve already got my copy, how about you?

One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

Pub date: Out now

A woman discovers through a 23andMe DNA test that she has two half sisters. The women meet in Lake Tahoe and spend the summer unpacking the emotional baggage they each brought with them. I attended the online launch party for this book and ordered an autographed copy from the author, so this one’s bound to be a fav of mine.

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Pub date: June 16

From the queen of summer beach reads, Hilderbrand brings us a story of 28 summers spent between a woman and the man who became husband to the 2020 frontrunner for the first female President of the United States. Based on the movie Same Time Next Year.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Pub date: June 23

A chance meeting leads to a whirlwind romance between a woman and a hotshot junior senator. When the go public, the scrutiny threatens their budding romance. This is Jasmine Guillory, so count on some open door scenes. Tried to get an early copy, but couldn’t manage it, so the wait until June 23rd will be a long one.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

Pub date: June 30

The newest from the author of the Crazy Rich Asians series, this is definitely and open door book. A young woman finds herself falling in love with a man she thinks she can’t stand and that her WASP family thinks is wrong for her. And she already has a fiancé. It starts in Capri and winds up in the Hamptons; perfect for a glittering summertime read.

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Pub date: July 14

I’m a big fan of Katherine Center book, so this one’s third down on my TBR (after Becoming Mrs. Lewis for book club, and The Honey-Don’t List, which I have to return to the library in two weeks.) The story centers on the lives of a school librarian, Sam, and a new school principal, Duncan. Sam and Duncan knew each other at a previous school, but she was invisible to him. She’s made a new life for herself. As they each find their way, will the come together or drift apart. Supposed to have Center’s usual snappy dialogue. She has had some semi-open door scenes in past books, so this may be the same.

A Star is Bored by Byron Lane

Pub Date: July 28

A man finds himself becoming the assistant to a huge female Hollywood star and adventures ensure. The author spent time as Carrie Fisher’s assistant, so some of the book is likely to show this influence. Not set on a beach, but a fun, glittery Hollywood read.

Where do I start? I’ve got so many choices just with these books that it threatens to totally upend my TBR. Which books intrigue you? Which authors should have made the list? Let me know in the comments.

Weekend Reading 3.27.2020

With most of us living and working in isolation, now could be a great time to catch up on your reading and writing. There are lots of online writing groups and book groups to join (the book group I lead just moved online for now). I’m trying to “shop my shelves” and am somewhat overwhelmed by the amount I’ve found for my TBR list.

Focusing on writing proving to be a challenge with so much unstructured time. I’m determined to use my trusty planner to make a schedule for myself. As much as I love to read away a day, my novel will never get finished if I do that. But, everyone needs a break too. If you’re looking for some distractions, try these:

Look for a Magical literary city to explore.

Review some of the best software to use when writing your novel.

Check out this Vintage WD article on Decoding the Secrets of Selling Popular Fiction. (Find Part 2 here.)

Mental Floss is hosting a bracket to determine the greatest character on The Office.

Looking for the week’s new releases? Find them here.

Find out more about the new #StayHomeWriMo movement.

See how podcasting is coming of age during the coronavirus outbreak.

Check out one perspective on the positive effects of a morning routine.

Stay safe and sane out there! Reach out for help when you need it, and lend a helping hand when you can.