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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Book Reviews Galore & A Giveaway



Hello, dear friends. I hope that you enjoyed your weekend.  The Mister and I took care of a lot of errands on Saturday. We hit the Cape on Sunday.  Mashpee was our destination, or as I call it cute town with a weird name.


We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Bleu, which is one of our favorite spots on the Cape.  Lilly was having a huuuuuuge sale.  It is going on online now until tomorrow, and they've got some great deals. 


I picked up this little number for a song. 
I'm going to use it as a cover-up during the Royal Wedding weekend. 

Yesterday, I did a little shopping and a bit of returning and met my dear cousin Louise and our friend Doris for a delightful lunch.   

*****


My past few Summers included a resolution to read/listen to at least twenty novels.  This is the first Summer that I surpassed my goal, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I made a few changes in my lifestyle in order to achieve my goal.  I don't know whether I ever openly admitted to you that I was a junkie.  A News Junkie.   I would have a certain news station on all day long.  I am not going to share with you what station for fear of receiving hate mail.  

In any case, I gave up the News during the day and replaced it played Frank Sinatra and Nora Jones on Sonos while cruising the net and working on my blog.  I listened to audiobooks while driving, doing my walks, and working my fingers to the bone doing housework.  Are you reading this Mister?

And guess what.  
I found a huge difference in my attitude and temperament.  


If you don't believe me, ask these two.
Don't they look happy?


I was not only more relaxed, but I was a lot more focused.  I am going to continue with this new healthy habit allowing occasional pop-ins by Hoda and Jenna. 








Park Avenue Summer is the fictionalized account of Helen Gurley Brown's rise to the top of Cosmo.  The narrator of the story is her assistant.
Rosen brought HGB to life in all her glory.  The woman had it all - charisma, charm, and an uncompromising work ethic. 
I enjoyed every page in this book.  The references to NYC restaurants and descriptions of HGB's stunning wardrobe were the cherries on this sundae.




I never wanted Meet Me In Monaco to end.  The love story involves a struggling perfumer in Monaco who owns a shop and an American journalist.  The backdrop is the week of Grace Kelly's wedding.  Added bonus:  Grace makes a few cameos.
The romance pulled at my heartstrings.  





Finding Mrs. Ford not only has a gorgeous cover, but it contains a captivating story throughout its pages.  Two detectives show up at the door of Mrs. Ford's waterfront mansion in picturesque Watch Hill, RI.  The gentlemen inform Mrs. Ford that they just took an Iranian man into custody at the airport.  He told them that he was on his way to... where else?  Mrs. Ford's house.  This book is loaded with heart-thumping twists and turns.    





This novel is based on the incredibly exciting life of Hedy Lamarr.  She was not only a famous screen star, but she was also an inventor of a guidance device for tracking of torpedoes, which the Navy eventually implemented.  The Only Woman In The Room is chock full of romance and intrigue.  I was captivated.

The Mister and I both listened to this one, and he liked it as much as I did.  The narration is superb.



From Scratch is a sweet, tender, beautifully-written memoir chronicling Tembi and her husband, Saro's love story.  They met while Tembi was in college studying abroad in Sicily.  Saro was a Sicilian chef, who teaches Tembi about love, food, loyalty, and Italian culture. Tembi presents such vivid descriptions of the Italian dishes that I could almost smell the alluring aroma of garlic. Bonus: it includes recipes!

I absolutely loved this book.  
It broke my heart but also filled me with hope.  

I highly recommend listening to this book which is read by the author.  Tembi puts her heart and soul into her reading. 








Murder in the Hamptons, anyone?
The East End has got captivating characters and a moving plotline. 



I never expected to love this book as much as I did.  The Downstairs Girl has got the whole package - love, romance, humor, and political strife.  It takes place in Atlanta in 1890 and Jo is the lovable, clever protagonist who works as a ladies maid during the day and an undercover advice columnist by night.

The writing was indeed the star of this novel.  The quirky phrases and humorous southern expressions were music to my ears. I listened to this book but I kind of wish that I had read it because there were so many hysterical sayings that I wanted to write down.


I really enjoyed this psychological thriller.  Just when I finally thought that I figured out where the plot was headed, the author hits a hairpin turn and forgets to tell me to hit the breaks.



Summer of '69 is an entertaining family saga in pure Hilderbrand style.  Great characters and I got a kick out of all the references to the 1960's pop culture. Pure entertainment with Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard as the backdrop. 



Drawing Home is the perfect beach read.  It takes place in beautiful Sag Harbor. The protagonist is Emma, who is the front desk clerk at a small, charming inn.  She is a single mother with a preteen daughter, Penny who loves to draw.  An older daily patron, Henry, is a famous artist and sketches every day at the bar with his cocktail. He strikes up a sweet friendship with Penny and guides and critiques her artwork.  Henry passes away suddenly at the bar.  Is there a better way to go?  Days later, Emma is summoned to Henry's lawyer's office to be told that Henry left his waterfront mansion to Penny.
Why don't things like that ever happen to me?

The story is well-written and moves quickly.  I'm a sucker for any story about a charming inn nestled in a beach community.




I enjoyed Lisa Duffy's first book, The Salt House tremendously.  She has not lost her touch with This Is Home.

This Is Home centers around sixteen-year-old Libby.  She lives in a three-story house with her father.  The other apartments are occupied by her two aunts, and a new tenant, Quinn.  Duffy has a gift for creating well-rounded, relatable characters.  The story encompasses family, love, heartbreak, loyalty, and most of all, home.

This was a Book Club pick, and Lisa Duffy came to our discussion group.  It is so much fun to talk to the author and pick her brain about the characters, plotline, and inspiration.  





Next Year In Havana is the story of two women.  One segment tells the story of the grandmother's last year in Cuba in 1959.   The second involves her granddaughter's return to Cuba in 2017 to cover a story.  I enjoyed getting to know all the major players in this powerful novel, as well as the razor-sharp descriptions of the sounds and sights of Cuba.  




I found The Stationery Shop to be unexpectedly compelling.  The story takes place in 1953 Tehran.  The setting is a stationery shop owned by Mr. Fakhri, who challenges his young patrons to use their minds and open their eyes to the political situation happening in their country. Roya and Aslan meet as teens and fall in love.  Their tale is filled with heartbreak and undying love.  The book spans about sixty years, and the ending is bittersweet.   




This book resonated with me because it is the tale of two sistas.  Mrs. Everything deals with first love, sexual identity, drug abuse, marriage, and divorce.  The common threads are woven together by two strong, resilient women and glued by unfailing sisterly love and respect. 




My buddy, Bookbimbo writes the best reviews on Instagram.  She highly recommended this one and I am very glad that she did.  The Last Romantics is a family saga which tells the story of four siblings - 3 girls and 1 boy, Joe, who is the central force within the story.  He is adored by his sisters and faces demons his entire adult life.

This is the story of unconditional love and the ties that bind. 



Nobody does it better than Ruth Ware when it comes to creepy psychological thrillers.  A young woman, Rowan, is hired to be a live-in nanny for three children.  The pay is substantial.  The home is a state-of-the-art smart house.  On the first night, the parents, who are business partners, announce that they need to go out of town for a few days and give Rowan a large, comprehensive manual.  They also informed her that they would keep in touch by stopping in via all the cameras throughout the house.  For no apparent reason, one of the girls shows malice towards Rowan and the cleaning lady throws her bitter side-eye.  Did I mention the entitled daughter from the first marriage shows up to stir the pot?  Or the handsome caretaker who lives in the carriage house? 

I couldn't put this one down.
  


I truly enjoyed this book that sheds light on the long-lasting results of infidelity.  Robert has everything - a successful medical practice, a beautiful young second wife, and a magazine-worthy home. Robert is named Man of the Year in his town.  He can't understand why his wife and his teenage son, Jonah are not as impressed with his honor as much as he is. All is grand in Robert's world until Jonah's friend comes to spend the Summer.  That's when it all hits the fan.  

Most of the book is narrated by egotistical, charming, boorish Robert, who had me chuckling at his take on people and events.  This clever novel is definitely worth the read.  



You know I love a good book about the Kennedys.  This book is better than good, it is great.  Taraborrelli gives a birds-eye look into all of the lives of the heirs, not just Jackie and Jack's kids. 
Sidenote:  I don't think that the author will be receiving any dinner invitations from Ethel. 



A Nearly Normal Family is a slow-burning legal thriller that had me listening to it every free moment of my day.  There are three narrators - the father, the daughter, and the mother.  They each tell their version of the same shattering event. The difference lies within the secrets and deceptions.  The reader must decipher the truth. I enjoyed the writing style as well as the plotline.




"Love is only part of the story" is a quote taken from the last pages of the book Yes, Again Yes.  Love may be just a part of this tale, but it is also the thread that weaves this heartbreaking story together. 
Simply put, this novel is about two families who are next-door neighbors.  The patriarchs are policemen.  The families never grow close, except for the son of one family and the daughter of the other.  A tragedy occurs, and both families are shattered.
This novel explores life, family, mental illness, and unconditional love.



I love cosmetics and even worked for Estee Lauder part-time a hundred years ago.  Naturally, when the publisher sent me an advance copy in exchange for a fair review, I was very excited.   I thought that this book was fascinating.  It is about two women pioneers in the 1930s and 1940s.  Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden provided the inspiration.



The First Mistake serves many twists and turns until the bitter end.  Thanks to this author, I cleaned out two closets while listening to this psychological thriller.  Its main character is Alice, who recently married Nathan, her second husband.  Strange things start happening around Alice. Are they real or imagined? I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. 





Cassie, an outstanding young firefighter, is transferred from her station in Austin, Texas to a small town outside of Boston, where her estranged mother lives.  This is a charming story of reconnecting, family roots, forgiveness, and love. 




Amazon

I am officially done with historical fiction written with two timelines.  It's a formula, and it's overdone. The story is pretty good, but it was way too long. I grew tired of going back and forth between the two timelines.




I have not read Nora Roberts in years.  Undercurrents is another one that dragged on for me, and by the end, I felt the storyline was a bit farfetched.




I've read all of Burke's novels.  This one wasn't my favorite, but it did keep my interest.  A Manhatten lawyer is murdered.  Two estranged sisters, one who is the victim's ex-wife and the other being his widow set out to solve the crime.  This one moved quickly, kept me entertained, and gave me pause at the end.






I am about 70% through with this psychological thriller and enjoying every bit.  






I'm about halfway through listening to this darling story. So far, it reminds me of  The Story of Arthur Truluv, which I really enjoyed. 











Amazon

Amazon


*****



Here's the fun part.  I am giving away two autographed books, The Map Of Salt And Stars and Carnegie Hill.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment.  Some suggestions: the best book that you read over the Summer, most enjoyable getaway that you took, blog post suggestions, dirty jokes, words of advice, etc.  Anything goes.  I will announce the winner on Thursday.


Until next time...





Linking up with:
Show Us Your Books
Tuesday at Our Home
Lou Lou Girls
My Girlish Whims
Wonderful Wednesday
Home & Garden Thursday
Creative Inspirations
Thursday Favorite Things
Imparting Grace
Creatively Crafty
Home Matters

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

79 comments:

  1. I have pretty much given up the news( If you can even call it that anymore....I preferred Walter Cronkite) and finding a really good book has been hard for me lately so I am glad to have your list to keep in mind when I visit the library. I did read The Last Romantics but I wanted to slap some of those siblings. lol Loved What You Save in a Fire! The Kennedy Heirs is on my list to look for in the new books section. Many of my friends love Joshilyn jackson but I have never seen the appeal. It may be because the main character in her first book was a crazy lady named Arlene.lol I did pick up two new books at Target to take to the beach next week so I am hoping they are good. Love your beach coverup...so cute.

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    1. Oh...my favorite books so far this year are A Woman is Not a Man and Rush.

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  2. Best book 2019 so far-The Guest Book by Sarah Blake!!!!!
    Also Louise Penny-The Better Man-despite the language that I abhor-this second book deals with a fragile topic!!!

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  3. Reading a lot of armchair travel books. Love being swept away to a foreign land. The only contemporary read of late has been Educated. Hard to believe this is a true story.
    We just returned from Quebec City, what a lovely town. Walking tour was wonderful, food excellent , and the people warm and friendly. Thank you for the wonderful book suggestions

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  4. Wow, that’s a lot of books! While Dorian was skimming our coast and we lost power for 32 hours I read 3 books!

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  5. WOW! I am seriously impressed by how much you have read! The Stationary Shop just came on my radar recently and it sounds pretty interesting! I too loved Ruth Ware's latest book! Such a good and twisty thriller!

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  6. I was in Mashpee this weekend for a wedding at Popponessett Inn. Luckily, Dorian was a no show. We dined at Water St. Kitchen in Woods Hole. The mister would have loved it. Fave read of the summer: The Huntress by Kate Quinn. The main character is an Irish girl from Boston.

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    1. Hi Cookie... I made a note of Water St. Kitchen for our next trip to the Cape. The Huntress is next on the Mister's list. I look forward to reading it. Enjoy your weekend.

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  7. I am so glad you're back. The main reason a selfish one , my book well was drying up. Thanks for the nice long juicy list.
    Btw you really are looking fabulous , for reels!
    Did you read Educated?So good.

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    1. Karen, I think that I am the only one who hasn't read Educated! Have a great weekend.

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  8. I took a trip to Sarasota, FL. and stayed in Lakewood Ranch. It was our first time there and it was a lovely place.

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  9. I loved City of Girls, have you read?
    Listened to it while driving, last third of it was not as compelling of a listen, but still enjoyed!

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    1. No, I haven't read it but it has gotten great reviews. I think I avoided this one because I was not impressed with Eat, Pray, Love. Enjoy your weekend!

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  10. I found THE UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren to lots of fun. I don't usually read chick lit (?) but this one really worked for me.
    I also really liked THE SCENT KEEPER by Erica Bauermeister, THE BOOK CHARMER by Karen Hawkins and WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS by Barbara O'Neal.

    Thanks for adding to my request list at the library!

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    1. Sounds like a great list. The bookstagrammers seem to love The Unhoneymooners. Enjoy your day.

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  11. I have also vowed to give up following so much news and I set a goal for myself of reading at least a book a week during 2019. So far, I'm on track, having finished #41 this morning. I always enjoy seeing what others are reading so thank you for sharing so regularly with us. And thank you for the opportunity to win two signed books! Happy reading, Susan

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  12. You are the queen of reading. I hope to find some time this winter to finally sit down and read a book. A getaway is always refreshing. Love our day trips, whether it is the farmer’s market or local outings. Good luck to the winners.

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  13. I love your blog for its humor, beautiful pictures, and clothing tips! We are waiting for you to reveal where your next home will be in Naples. My husband loves Naples and it is our favorite winter getaway!
    We really enjoyed Michelle Obama’s reading of her book “Becoming.” We have 3 daughters who live in Chicago and made it a point to check out where she grew up and all the other places she mentioned on our most recent visit. Very inspiring!

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    1. Becoming is on my listening list with the Mister. Thanks for your suggestion. Have a great day!

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  14. Historical fiction with two timelines can be so great. And then when every book is written that way, they all blend together. I've only read maybe one HF book this year (two timelines of course!) and that's fine. I read way too many in years previous.

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  15. Great job on your summer reads! I read and enjoyed many of the same.

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  16. Just finished Where the Crawdads Sing! It was wonderful! I truly love your blog and your style!!

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  17. I don’t watch a lot of news, it always makes me irritable...but reading is definitely my cup of tea. There are several on your list that will be on my short list. My favorite trip this summer was to The Swag...shh...don’t tell too many people. It was our second time to visit and it meets all my expectations...fabulous food, luxurious accommodations, and beautiful scenery! Have a wonderful week Katie!

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  18. My favorite book of the summer was The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey through whom I found your blog... so glad I did!

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    1. Not only is Kristy a wonderful writer, but she is a lovely lady! Have a great week.

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  19. From scratch sounds really interesting! Good job on all those summer reads.

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  20. Ask Again Yes seems to be on everyone's reading list. Definitely going to check it out. I have two very good friends who both despise Ruth Ware and I have very similar tastes to them so I've typically passed on her books since my TBR is already crazy. But Turn of the Key sounds interesting so I guess it's time to find out for myself whether Ware works for me or doesn't. :D

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  21. You read some good ones this summer, and now I have a list a mile long to put on reserve at the library. Many of these were new to me. I am listening to Never Have I Ever right now and enjoying it. Don't tell me the twists get more and more unbelievable making it one of those unreal thrillers! Have a good week!

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  22. I am a big time reader too.
    Probably a good thing to have the Barnes & Noble membership to save.
    Thank you for the listings and the ratings. Looking forward to reading some of these.

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  23. You read so many things that looked good I stopped writing them down and just bookmarked this post! My fave read recently is called "The Gourmand's Way" by Justin Spring -- it looks at the lives in France of six influential foodies of the post-war years (Julia, Alice B. Toklas, MFK Fisher, Richard Olney, Alexis Lachine and AJ Liebling) and their impact on America's French food awakening. It reads like a cross between a novel and a wonderful food book!

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    1. Jeanie... I am passing on your suggestion to the Mister. Enjoy your day!

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  24. Such great suggestions! I gave up on the richard Russo book as well. Happy reading!

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  25. It’s like Christmas with all of your excellent book and gorgeous Lilly coverup recommendations! Now I need to decide which of your five best books to read first😀 Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate was an enlightening book that I read this summer.

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  26. a nearly normal family is my book club's next pick so i have to get to it asap. i quite liked next year in havana, but was not a fan of meet me in monaco at all (ugh, the ending, i'm still mad) though i adored their other book - last christmas in paris. SO GOOD.

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  27. I love the news! I am reading a Burke novel now and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve read a few of these on your list but some of those five stars, they definitely went on the list. I count on these reviews because I usually don’t even attempt it if it’s under four stars, LOL! I guess I’m a ratings snob, lol!

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  28. I love anything Elin Hilderbrand writes. If she rewrote the phone book, I'd read it. Your list looks outstanding as always. I look forward to a fall full of reading.

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  29. Wow! I am impressed with how many books you have read this summer. I love to read but I work and don’t have as much time as I would like to. Maybe when I retire! My favorite book I read this summer was The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman. Currently, I am trying to get through The Paris Seamstress but it is a historical fiction with two timelines and like you I am done with those story lines. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve put so many in my list for the long winter.

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  30. I love your blog and miss you so much when you are on hiatus! I have been a faithful follower for years now...you never fail to put a smile on my face:) I am so grateful for the book recommendations as we are leaving for three weeks in Italy soon and my Kindle needs replenishing! I also stopped watching a certain news channel after the last election:) My political affiliation has evolved to 'moderate with no inclination toward insanity or entitlement':) Cannot wait for the post on your lovely daughter's upcoming wedding!

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  31. Really enjoyed Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. Love your blog!

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  32. Catherine from PittsburghSeptember 10, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    Thank you for all of the book recommendations!! Okay Katie, it was one of your suggestions so here goes......What does one saggy boob say to the other saggy boob? If we don’t get some support, people will think we’re nuts!! :)

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  33. Congrats on all your reads... and the lifestyle changes that made them possible!

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  34. The best book I read this summer was The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. Lisa See has a knack for introducing the reader to an obscure slice of historical fiction, and she is a master at character development. My most enjoyable summer getaway was a hiking vacation with three of our four young adult children in Banff, Canada.

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  35. Thank you, Katie, for all the book reviews & recommendations. Your two dogs are adorable & I'm sure they enjoyed listening to the books as much as you did. I am reading Summer of '69 now. Thanks for the book giveaway!

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  36. Thanks, Katie, I always enjoy your book reviews. I'm wondering if you finish the books you don't like...sometimes I think I give up on them too soon. I'm reading Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. Next: Old Bones by Preston & Child. I'm inspired by your choice to turn off the news. I live in Iowa and it's hard to get away from already!

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  37. Ok, truth is, I didn’t read a single book this summer. I have missed your blog so much! I’m so happy you are back and sharing your stories with us. I have a joke for you...I just read a book about Stockholm Syndrome. The first couple of chapters were awful but by the end I loved it.
    You’re smirking, I just know it :)

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  38. Welcome back, Katie! You and I definitely are on the same page (tee-hee) when it comes to books. My summer reading included Mrs. Everything, Chances Are, Summer of '69 and I'm almost finished with Park Avenue Summer. My good friend, MH, gave me The East End that my daughter finished in an afternoon. I'm saving up lots of good reads for my trip to Australia in November to see my sissy. Mwahh!

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  39. I've become a news junkie also. I think because it's like a soap opera. It's like wondering what is going to happen next on "All My Children". I recently "cut the cord" with cable & realized I basically only watch the news channel, Bravo & TMC.

    PS - Why doesn't any one on RHOC realize that Tamra is the real pot-stirrer?

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  40. So happy you are back!! My husband and I love your book reviews, especially the thrillers!!!

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  41. Not only did you take in some good reading material, it sounds as if you established some really good habits!

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  42. What great suggestions - Most intrigued by From Scratch - love a good story with recipes! Currently reading one, Every Day in Tuscany by Frances Mayes. Loving it but i get so darn hungry! Thanks for always sharing your reads! xx-hb

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  43. What a darling coverup! It would look just great with white ankle-length pants or jeans, too. My favorite read this summer was The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. I'm all over the place with genres--I love the Alex Delaware series, Jack Reacher, murder mysteries, cookbooks, and more. Thanks for the wonderful reviews!

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  44. I always appreciate your book reviews Katie, so many books, I am impressed you get so many read and listened to...Right now I am reading a series beginning with The Saturday Night Super Club, it is about a chef, romance and nothing too stressful, I have enough stress in my life, I try to read only happy stuff! I do like light mysteries and legal thrillers too though...and right now I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand, the first book, Winter in Paradise, really leaves the reader hanging at the end!
    Jenna

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  45. I'm so glad you're back! I love your blog and all the information, humor & sarcasm you insert. And I look forward to your reading recommendations so I'm going to start with your top 5. My favorite book this summer was, "The Choice: Embrace the Possible" by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. Captivating!

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  46. Thank you for the myriad book reviews. I jotted down several for my book group.
    I love books about the Kennedys too. Currently I am reading What Remains by Carol Radziwill.
    Love Bleu too! And I enjoy listening to my morning podcasts as I do my morning chores.

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  47. Lots of these books sound so good!! Summer reading is always fun :) I love your dogs!!!

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  48. Hey, Sis. Poppy insists that I mention 'As a Dog Thinketh' which is a book devoted to daily words of wisdom for dog people. A potential Christmas gift for you from C and C, perhaps ...

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  49. I loved The Sound of Gravel. It's unreal, and I LOVE books about people who are resilient. I also LOVE a good thriller,so I can't wait to try a few of your suggestions.

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  50. Thank you for all of the suggestions!
    I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz. A quick read for me, I did enjoy reading. Also, American Royals!
    -Danielle

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  51. Welcome back Katie! You were missed. You always give me great ideas for books to read. Some of my favs this summer were A Better Man by Louise Penny, The Turn of the Key and The Body in the Castle Well - I read all of Penny's and Walker's books. And Silva has a new one out that I can't wait to read. My best to you!!!!!

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  52. So many great book ideas!! I too enjoyed Summer of '69; I loved all the historical references.

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  53. Wow! That's a lot of books to read you suggested...loving all your comments. Found myself reading everyone! Will look into them any maybe win one. :) ~ Sue

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  54. I am so impressed that you read 20 books this summer. My goal is to read 50 books in 2019. I loved "Where The Crawdads Sing" especially as an audio book - The woman who read it made it come alive. "The Gifted School" was a book I couldn't put down. I recommend that too. FYI, sometimes when I don't know what I'm in the mood to read I grab a Nancy Drew mystery and I'm like a kid in a candy store. Vacation - Cape Cod. I'm a big fan of take out from Seafood Sams. Keep up the recommendations. I love hearing about books.

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    1. Thanks for the tip on Seafood Sams. Have a great week, Peggy.

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  55. Hi Katie - you and I met once in The Woodlands. I am TJ's sister. Love your blog and I always look forward to the book recommendations. Now that I am officially retired from corporate america, I have had time to actually start and finish the 20 unread books on my nightstand. My three favorites from this summer are 1) The Great Alone 2) Before We Were Yours and 3) We Were the Lucky Ones. And because I now have more time than I have every had, I watch more TV and more movies. And I write down my favorite lines and quotes in my new handy, dandy notebook that no longer has to be used to take notes in boring, grinding meetings. My favorite from Bohemian Rhapsody - "Being human is a condition that requires a bit of anethesia". All the best, LISA BAKER

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    1. I remember you, Lisa. I love your Sista. She is one of my favorite people as well as the best tennis coach in the world. Thanks for the note!!

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  56. So many great recommendations! I just finished The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes and really enjoyed it.

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  57. Wow, Katie, you make every minute count with your books! Great recommendations, I have to go back to finish reading all your reviews. I always love to pick up new books at my favorite bookshop at the beach. If you enjoy reading about the Kennedys you might enjoy Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter. I really enjoyed it. Our favorite recent getaway was back in the spring, Seaside, FL...........Happy week.

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  58. Great job on your summer reading! I have read a few memoirs this summer. I recommend Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup.

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  61. I have been doing a lot of reading this summer. I have read 20 books since the beginning of June and I am reading #21 right now. Of the 20 books I have read so far, the one I have enjoyed the most is "The Witness" by Sandra Brown. This was a great book. It was mysterious, exciting, scary, and romantic. I enjoyed the twists the author threw in to keep the reader from figuring everything out too soon.

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  62. Thanks for all the reviews! Our favorite getaway was Cannes, Provence and Paris in June. I am trying to recall what I read on the flight. It think it was Pioneer Woman's book on her life. Have a great weekend.

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  63. I love books, books posts and book reviews. Thank you for sharing all of your favorites from this summer, many I have read, and several are new to me. I cannot wait to get the ones you suggested.

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  64. House on Fire, Bonnie Kistler; Things You Save in a Fire, Katherine Center; Freefall, Jessica Berry; The Night Olivia Fell, Christina McDonald; The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hill, Robert Dugoni; No Exit, Taylor Adams. These are some of the ones I starred on my list. I may have gotten some from you on an earlier book post. I love these posts! Thanks!

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  65. You definitely got a lot of reading done this summer. I have to admit I am a bit jealous. My books these days are usually audio books while I'm driving but at least I'm still enjoying a book. Thanks for sharing your list at #HomeMattersParty

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