Yikes, this past week has been busy! Did you catch my Most Memorable Books of 2017 list? If not, head over there ASAP! Due to that monster of a project, I haven’t finished quite as many books as usual. For the ones I did read, check out my Goodreads and Instagram!
All descriptions straight from Goodreads as usual.
First, here is my current read………
The Gridley Girls by Meredith First
(SparkPress ~ June 21st, 2016)
Thanks to BookSparks for the review copy of this title! I’m just getting started with this one, but I have to say that I just ADORE the cover – love it!
Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward. Meg Monahan was born to be a secret keeper. From the moment she became a peer counselor in high school, Meg has been keeping her friends secrets – from sordid family drama to their sex lives – that she never wanted to know. Flash forward to adulthood when Meg is a recruiter for the world’s hippest (and most paranoid) high-tech company – and now Meg is a professional secret keeper. When sudden tragedy strikes before Meg hosts the wedding of her childhood BFF, Anne Calzaretta, the women are forced to face their past – and their secrets – in order to move on to their future. In 1978, Meg, Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya were such close friends, they were known as “The Group” in their hometown of Gridley, California. But in ninth grade, their lives were changed forever. Loss, lies, and secrets separated them, but could not break their bonds of friendship. Thirty years later, Meg and Anne reminisce about those days–dealing with parents, school, boys, sex, love, and betrayal. Anne remembers their freshman year as an easier time, but Meg, still feeling guilty about a betrayal of Anne’s trust, is haunted. Even now, Meg is keeping a secret she’s not prepared to face, let alone share. In her debut novel, based on true events, Meredith First tells a timeless story about the bonds of friendship, loss, and betrayal–and the forgiveness that is within everyone. Can anyone really keep a secret forever?
Now here is what’s on my radar for the next week!
Christmas in London by Anita Hughes
(St. Martin’s Griffin ~ October 3, 2017)
This one was an impulse purchase at Target and I’m SO excited to dig in – looks like the perfect December read!
A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge’s in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.
It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren’t hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.
The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.
And then there’s Kate, the show’s beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew’s in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.
Set during London’s most festive time of year and filled with delicious food, Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season’s most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness.
Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson – MIDDLE GRADE
(FSG ~ January 2, 2018)
Thanks to the publisher for this review copy! I requested this because it is definitely a historical fiction area that I’m interested in reading more about!
In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty’s house doesn’t quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can’t shake the feeling that her mother doesn’t want her. Church helps those worries fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans in her community to stand up for their rights. Betty quickly finds confidence and purpose in volunteering for the Housewives League, an organization that supports black-owned businesses. Soon, the American civil rights icon we now know as Dr. Betty Shabazz is born.
Collaborating with novelist Renée Watson, Ilyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood, painting a beautiful and inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young readers today.
Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin
(May 2, 2017)
Thanks to the author for this review copy! I love reading indie-published titles and this story premise sounds fascinating!
What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?
While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.
Contemporary fiction with historical elements, Among the Branded explores loss and the human spirit, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood or our beliefs.
L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz
(Crown Publishing ~ November 7, 2017)
Thanks to Crown for this review copy! Pretty much just the word “Paris” puts this on my TBR, but then add in apartment reno and I’m sold. I’m a huge fan of fixer upper shows and LOVE House Hunters International! Oh, and recipes??? YAY!
Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-Pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one’s life. Includes dozens of new recipes.
When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the famously inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country–under baffling conditions–while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there.
What Light by Jay Asher – YOUNG ADULT
(Razorbill ~ October 18, 2016)
I had the privilege of listening to Jay Asher speak about this book at TeenLitCon last May in St. Paul, and figured this month would be the ideal time for it!
From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.
What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.