Excellent New Books To Read This Month

 

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman is a tear-jerker, emotionally charged, and is perfect to read on a cold winter’s day with a mug of something hot and a box of tissues- you’ll need them!

Can we pause to talk about how pretty the cover is? Okay, now that’s out of the way, you should know this is a heavy-ish book dealing with miscarriage and illness.  The book is written from three perspectives-  Audrey, Jess, and Lily.

Here is the plot, which intrigued me right away:

Audrey’s dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now, as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met. Audrey just can’t help feeling like she’s been dealt more than her fair share as she’s watched her family come undone over the years, and she has no idea how to fix her family as she wonders if they will ever be whole again.

If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, and yet, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing this family once and for all.

Once the truth is revealed, will it be enough to put her family back together again or break them apart forever?

This is one of those books where you need to be in the right mood.  People who like shows such as This Is Us will like this novel but be prepared that it’s not a light read!

 

Buy the book here!

 

 

This author is just amazing and I will read anything that Jojo Moyes writes! It’s a testament to her huge talent that she can write something like Me Before You, then write The Giver of Stars. As you probably know by now, this was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. 

Synopsis:

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them—and to the men they love—becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job—bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

What a totally fascinating glimpse of history. It makes me wonder how much is out there that I don’t know about (a ton, I’m sure), as I had never heard of these traveling librarians. A wonderfully, beautifully written story that captivated me and left me eager for the next book from Jojo Moyes!

Purchase this book for your Kindle here.

 

 

I highly recommend A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier. I love this author and if you haven’t read any of her books, get on it! She’s fantastic.

1932. After the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, Violet Speedwell has become a “surplus woman,” one of a generation doomed to a life of spinsterhood after the war killed so many young men. Yet Violet cannot reconcile herself to a life spent caring for her grieving, embittered mother. After countless meals of boiled eggs and dry toast, she saves enough to move out of her mother’s place and into the town of Winchester, home to one of England’s grandest cathedrals. There, Violet is drawn into a society of broderers–women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.

Violet finds support and community in the group, fulfillment in the work they create, and even a growing friendship with the vivacious Gilda. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war appears on the horizon, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren’t expected to grow. Told in Chevalier’s glorious prose, A Single Thread is a timeless story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life.

This is another richly detailed historical novel that is a must-read! Also, if you haven’t read The Last Runaway, its a compelling and suspenseful novel about the Underground Railroad that is one of my favorites.

Buy this book here!

 

 

Coming out on December 30 is The Wives by Tarryn Fisher. This is fast-moving suspense about a woman who is with a man who is also with two other women. It was (and is) hard to wrap my head around this arrangement. Of course, you’d want to know about these other women, right? This whole set up would be a total deal-breaker for me, but not Thursday, the heroine of this crazy story!

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him. But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

I love a mystery/suspense/page-turner and this one does deliver.

Purchase this book from Kindle here, it will be delivered on December 30!

 

 

I read and enjoyed Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan so I was eager to get my hands on The Great Pretender! This is an interesting look at mental health

For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness-how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people — sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society — went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry’s labels. Forced to remain inside until they’d “proven” themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan’s watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever.

But, as Cahalan’s explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today?

Would you be so committed to learning that you’d head to a psychiatric hospital? I find this extremely fascinating. The book, well written and detailed, is a little dry at times probably due to the subject matter. Still,  if you have an interest in mental health and if you read Susannah’s book Brain On Fire, I think you will like this.

Buy The Great Pretender here!

 

 

I love doing flat lays of books and podcasts so I combined two favorites, American Predator by Maureen Callahan and My Favorite Murder (Podcast).

This book was a five-star read, really good! American Predator will be on my BEST OF 2019 BOOKS list for sure. I first head about Israel Keyes from listening to Crime Junkie, another must-listen-to Podcast.

The author did a great job of a difficult and heavy subject, that of serial killer Israel Keyes. The story starts off with the disappearance of a young girl named Samantha, taken from a coffee shop in Alaska. As the Alaska PD tries to find her, we learn more about Israel. The details come out slowly as the tension of the book builds and we learn that this man didn’t take just Samantha but he killed multiple people around the country and law enforcement tries to track his movements and ultimately catch him.

A gripping tour de force of investigative journalism that takes us deep into the investigation behind one of the most frightening and enigmatic serial killers in modern American history, and into the ranks of a singular American police force: the Alaska PD.

Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as “a force of pure evil”, he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried ‘kill kits’ – cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools – in remote locations across the country, and over the course of fourteen years, would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger’s house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years – uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake – many of which remain unsolved to this day.

Unfortunately, he probably killed more people than he admitted to and died along with his secrets. If you are into true crime, crime stories, even crime fiction, you will want to get this book and read it.

I look forward to reading what Maureen Callahan writes next, I wonder who and what the subject of her next book will be?

Get American Predator here!

 

 

When I read the plot of In The Dark by Loreth Anne White, I knew I had to get it!  I’ve said before how I love mysterious, suspenseful books with groups of people and one of them is a murderer, like the Agatha Christie book, And Then There Were None. 

This is on my TO BE READ list and its getting rave reviews which means I am probably going to open the book and not move until I have read the very last page.

Check it out:

The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.

Have you read this book yet?

Get the book here!

 

Want a light, funny story in between heavier reads? Check out Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie.  This is one of those books that’s silly fun but relatable too. If you are a person who is trying to do it all but feel as though you are doing miserably, you will relate to Holly.

Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?

This reminds me of the craziness of trying to grocery shop, then driving around to pick up two kids from two different schools and arriving home to open the back of the car and having my groceries spill into the street while my neighbor looked on as he washed his car. This kind of stuff happened to me all the time, Holly is the type of person who would totally understand!

Read it now by going here! Free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

 

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