Thursday, February 20, 2020

Ten Incredible Books

Life lately has been work, work, and more work. Sigh. 

But in between I have managed to read some really good books!! 

Once I started reading audio books it changed my life, seriously. Now I get so much more 'reading' done, as I can have my book playing while I'm doing many other things....driving, cooking, cleaning, getting ready for work. It's been such a blessing! 

I love hearing about good books, and I'll always check my library app and add your recommendations to my wishlist. So, today I thought I'd share my most recent recommendations with you! Some of these have been around for a while, but I just read them recently, so they go on the list.

Ok here we go!

Via
The Art of Racing in the Rain - ahhhh, what a great book....any dog lover would get a kick out of this book, which is all told from the dog's point of view. 

Amazon says: 

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it. 

Via
The Family Upstairs....this one captured my attention from the very first page! 

Amazon says: 

Gifted musician Clemency Thompson is playing for tourists on the streets of Southern France when she receives an urgent text message. Her childhood friend, Lucy, is demanding her immediate return to London.

It's happening, says the message. The baby is back.

Libby Jones was only six months old when she became an orphan. Now 25, she's astounded to learn of an inheritance that will change her life. A gorgeous, dilapidated townhouse in one of London's poshest neighborhoods has been held in a trust for her all these years. Now, it's hers.

As Libby investigates the story of her birth parents and the dark legacy of her new home, Clemency and Lucy are headed her way to uncover, and possibly protect, secrets of their own. What really happened in that rambling Chelsea mansion when they were children? And are they still at risk?

Via
What can I say about this book? Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt - I'm a sucker for a good Southern novel, full of strong and funny women! 

Amazon says: 

Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town-a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.

In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah's perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons, to Tootie's all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

Via
I was actually surprised by how much I adored this book! If you are a fan of Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove - I seriously love that book) you will really enjoy The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

Amazon says: 

Technically speaking, Hendrik Groen is....elderly. But at age 83 1/4, this feisty, indomitable curmudgeon has no plans to go out quietly. Bored of weak tea and potted geraniums, exasperated by the indignities of aging, Hendrik has decided to rebel--on his own terms. He begins writing an exposé: secretly recording the antics of day-to-day life in his retirement home, where he refuses to take himself, or his fellow "inmates," too seriously. 

With an eccentric group of friends he founds the wickedly anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club--"Rule #3: No Whining Allowed"--and he and his best friend, Evert, gleefully stir up trouble, enraging the home's humorless director and turning themselves into unlikely heroes. And when a sweet and sassy widow moves in next door, he polishes his shoes, grooms what's left of his hair, and determines to savor every ounce of joy in the time he has left, with hilarious and tender consequences. 

Via
I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers, and I just finished Sometimes I Lie....it did NOT disappoint! 

Amazon says: 

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.


Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?

Via
If you would have told me years ago that I would enjoy books about World War II I would have laughed at you. However, The Nightingale changed all that for me....that was such an amazing book, and really sparked my interest in historical fiction. 

Lilac Girls was an incredible, can't put it down kind of book - apparently there's a second book called Lost Roses and hopefully my library will get it in soon! 

Amazon says: 
 
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.
 
Via
Oh, Lucia Lucia - this book was given to me as a gift a couple of years ago and I can't imagine why it took me so long to get to it! What a fabulous read this is - if you haven't read it yet, I strongly suggest you add it to your 'read asap' list! 

Amazon says: 
 
It is 1950 in glittering, vibrant New York City. Lucia Sartori is the beautiful twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village. The postwar boom is ripe with opportunities for talented girls with ambition, and Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and-coming designer at chic B. Altman’s department store on Fifth Avenue. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, the steadfast Dante DeMartino, Lucia is torn when she meets a handsome stranger who promises a life of uptown luxury that career girls like her only read about in the society pages. Forced to choose between duty to her family and her own dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a sizzling scandal in which secrets are revealed, her beloved career is jeopardized, and the Sartoris’ honor is tested.
 
Via
 
Nine Women, One Dress - what an amazing book! This is another one that surprised me, I didn't expect to love it as much as I did!

Amazon says: 

A charming, hilarious, irresistible romp of a novel that brings together nine unrelated women, each touched by the same little black dress that weaves through their lives, bringing a little magic with it.

Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . .
 
Via
This book has been on my wishlist for ages, and I finally got around to reading it....and it caught my attention from the very first page. Ask Again, Yes - you will not be disappointed!

Amazon says: 
 
How much can a family forgive?
A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.
 
 
Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next 40 years. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while haunted by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.
 
And last but not least.....
 
Via
Wow, wow, wow....Three Women has been written about extensively, and yet I had no idea those three women are real women...I thought it was a work of fiction! This book has been called "The Book Of The Year" with good reason!

Amazon says: 

In suburban Indiana we meet Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks and, after reconnecting with an old flame through social media, embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who allegedly has a clandestine physical relationship with her handsome, married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial will turn their quiet community upside down. Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane—a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner—who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. 
 
Based on years of immersive reporting and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy. “A work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy” (Kate Tuttle, NPR), Three Women introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.
 
What about you? Have you read any amazing books lately? I'd love your recommendations! 

26 comments:

  1. Ok, no time to read over here, but wow, I want to dig into them all. I think I need to make a few minutes each week to get back into the habit. I also want that dress on the cover of Lucia, Lucia! How fun!! And B. Altman's??!! I still have a few of their boxes around house!

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    1. I think you would LOVE that book, Kim! Perhaps you need to try audio books like me? There's an app on your phone (Libby) that you can use to dowload audio books from the library....it's a lifesaver!

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  2. I liked Art of Racing in the Rain, and Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt too! Several of your reviews are going on my to-look-for list!! Thanks!

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  3. I saw the movie, The Art of Racing in The Rain and cried! I read the Lilac Girls a few years ago....great book. The others you shared sound intriguing. I will check them out! Thanks!

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    1. Yeah, Penny, I'm a little behind....I have so many books in my wishlist in my library app....I doubt I'll ever get to them all! Perhaps some day when I retire...

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  4. I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain! I'll have to put your other books on my list to read. One of my favorite books, although not new, is The Great Alone, by Kristen Hannah. I Loved it! Also, anything by Elizabeth Strout, but especially Olive Kitteridge and Olive Again.

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    1. OH, I LOVED THE GREAT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think that's one of my favorite books of all time, Diane! I have those two Olive books in my wishlist....I think they have a waiting list. I'll have to look for more of her books, thanks for the tip!

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  5. You've found some good ones! They sound intriguing. I also favor psychological thrillers. Will put these on my list to watch out for.
    Brenda

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    1. I think you turned me on to psychological thrillers years ago....I think the first was the Memory Box, and I read about it on your blog, Brenda!That was an amazing book, I still remember it!

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  6. These all sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing and giving us the info on the books. I love psychological thrillers and I also love the ones with lots of history. Happy Friday and have a good weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Happy Weekend to you, Kris! I'm sure yours will be much more relaxing than mine....I have to work!

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  7. Oh these look like some great books, I am writing them down and putting them on my list! I did read Cee Cee and LOVED IT. I have a copy of Lilac Girls, but not read it yet..it's on my "stack". Glad you're doing good and it's almost spring....it's on the way!!

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    1. I'm excited for daylight savings time, which is only a few weeks away, Debbi!

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing-my audible wish list is now overflowing!

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    1. That's what happens to me!! I must have hundreds of books in my wishlist now!!

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  9. I've read a few of these and Ask Again, Yes is on my to-read list. My library has the book, so I'm in luck. I don't know if you're on Goodreads, but I am if you'd like to friend me there. ;-)

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    1. Hmmmm I'm not sure that I am, Melanie - I think I've checked it out in the past though.

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  10. "Sometimes I Lie" sounds like a good one to read.

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  11. Debbie, I read Lilac Girls and Ask Again, Yes and loved them both. There's a few you've mentioned that will be added to my list, including Saving Cee Cee and Sometimes I Lie. But some of my favorites are historical fiction, especially WWII.

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    1. I'm really enjoying historical fiction lately, Carol!

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  12. What a SUPERB post! I have printed out a list of your recommendations and pasted it into my commonplace book. I hope to read every one of these. I do love posts about books. Thanks for this.

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    1. You are very welcome my friend - I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

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  13. The osteospermums were awesome. I may not be an avid gardener, but I like watching greens and colors all over my home. The tips you gave were fantastic. I am going to follow the blog for my gardening requirements. Great going, dear!!

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    1. Wonderful, Andrea, welcome and thanks for your comment!!

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