Good Books I’m Reading

As promised I’ve been reading away over here any spare minute I get, to try to get a new book list out to you all. I know we are all looking for something to help pass the time right now, and books are a great way to escape. Unfortunately, my spare minutes have been few and far between with homeschooling the kids and feeding them approximately 463 snacks a day. Plus keeping them from throwing stuff at the Mr. when he is on a video conference call. In their defense, he started it by making bunny ears on the kid’s zoom class calls for school. We have a mature bunch over here! Luckily my mom is here to help! Well not here, here, as she is in lockdown down in Florida, but we share the same taste in books. She actually volunteers at the library several days a week in her neighborhood so she is always up on the latest books. We are constantly swapping book recommendations and books. Although do not dog-ear a page on one of her books – she will come for you… ;) a firm believer in bookmarks that one! So she has graciously offered her review on the last 3 books she has loved that are currently on my list.

Good books to read when staying home

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So via my mom’s email –

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Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathon Lethem

This is a quintessential detective novel that I could not put down. The central character is an orphan with Tourette’s Syndrome. He is taken under the wing of a mobster, and the story follows his quest to solve the mystery when the mobster is murdered. I loved the characters of this book and it was well written.

Sidenote from Kelly – this is currently on my nightstand and next on my list!

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A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler

I’m currently in the middle of reading this one and I really like it. Set in the neighborhood of Oak Knoll, North Carolina. The story revolves around the blossoming romance between two interracial teenagers and the effect the relationship has on the two families.

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The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

This is on the NYT bestseller list and caught my eye because I loved Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Sidenote from Kelly: Yes! I loved that one too!). This story is set over the course of 50 years and told from the perspective of the main character Danny. It is a tale of the relationship between a brother and a sister. If you are looking for an action-packed novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat this is probably not your book. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, the subjects of love and forgiveness. I missed reading about the characters long after finishing the book.

Thanks, mom – I appreciate the input! Now for my book reviews – I’ve read two, I’m 1/2 way through another, and the 3rd is next up to bat on my kindle.

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The Guest Book by Sarah Blake 

This was recommended to me by one of you and I’m really enjoying it. I’m about halfway through right now. This story follows a wealthy family, The Miltons through three generations headed up by matriarch Kitty Milton. It revolves around their family vacation home on an island off the coast of Maine. It covers difficult political and racial issues through the years and how the characters navigated the 30’s, 50’s and present day. The story jumps back and forth between time periods and narrators which can be confusing at times (mainly when your children are fighting next to you on the couch). It has a bit of a slow start but I’m really invested in the characters’ lives now.

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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

If you are looking for a thriller you can’t put down – this is it, but also if you are self-quarantining solo maybe skip this one as it is creepy!! I love a good spooky story though and have read her other novels In A Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 (both good!). This follows Rowan a young woman who accepts a live-in nanny position for 4 kids in Scotland. She is immediately left on her own with the kids, and a spooky old house set in the country that seems to have a mind of its own. I did not see the twists and turns coming at all in this book! I was a bit disappointed in the way it ended but this was a page-turner for me. Definitely check out her other books as well if this is a genre you enjoy.

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Laura Gottlieb

This is another book I could not put down and is definitely on my list of favorites that I have read this year! It’s a memoir written by a psychotherapist following her life as a therapist and also as a patient in therapy herself. I found this book so fascinating seeing both sides of the coin. Also as someone who has been to see a therapist myself, it was so interesting to hear the other side of things. Her writing style is funny and the storytelling is engaging. There is also a lot of helpful insight along the way. Out of all the books in this post, if you only read one, this is at the top for me.

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The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

I haven’t started this one yet but it sounds really interesting! This book takes place in the Bahamas, in the ’40s (with everyone canceling their spring break plans I figured a beach setting would be nice to read about!) and follows a young reporter who befriends the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. With all the hubbub in the news about the Royals lately, I thought this would be an interesting read so I’ll keep you posted!

I hope these half-read reviews from my mom and I are helpful! I had planned on cruising through a big stack of books over spring break on the beach and reporting back, so sorry for the short list. I have had SO many requests for good books that I wanted to get this out to you while we are stuck at home. I promise my next review will be more thorough – happy reading!

PS You can read my other book reviews in this post here. And my kids’ fave books here.

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  1. All of these books sounds fabulous. Thank you for sharing. We currently live on a lake in MA but my fiancé was born & raised on a lake in Michigan.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I felt the same way about The Guest Book. I just finished it two nights ago and can’t stop thinking about the characters. The second half is sooo good! I’m glad I stuck with it.

  3. Thank you! I’m always looking for new books to read. So many of these sound great.
    Keep sending them our way!

    Side note: I’m watching The Crown right now on Netflix and The Golden Hour book sounds perfect for me.

  4. This may not interest you but I thought your interest is pretty broad so just maybe. My absolute all time favorite author for fiction is Karen Kingsbury. My favorite series of hers is the REDEMPTION series. It is a series about a family of mom, dad and their 5 adult children. The lives, joys, difficulties, successes, failures, etc. that this family walks through with beautiful faith is completely inspiring and especially since people could use some encouragement these days. This is a family that I wanted to be a part of. Roma Downey has made a tv series out of it but it has not been released yet. So inspiring.

  5. Thank you for your suggestions!! I love a good book recommendation! I actually read The Golden Hour while on vacation on Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas last year and I even took a little outing to see the Government House where a lot of the story takes place, very cool. My sister just finished Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – loved it! Be well from Buffalo, NY =)

  6. I love a good book list. Thank you (and your mom) for sharing! The audiobook of The Dutch House is narrated by Tom Hanks and absolutely wonderful!

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