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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

My Favorite Reader, Shannon


I am very excited to bring you today's post. Readers seem to enjoy this series, and I love hearing about what some of my favorite people are reading.

Today, my friend, Shannon, is in the hot seat, answering all my hard-hitting questions. Shannon is a bit younger than my usual victim appointee. I have been following her on Instagram for many years.

Shannon is a young woman of many talents. She makes gorgeous dresses, enjoys DIY projects, and obviously, loves to read.    Shannon also loves to entertain her friends and family.

Speaking of family, Shannon is the niece of one of my nearest and dearest, Annie. Annie did a bang-up job as my first inductee of the My Favorite Reader series.

With great delight... I present Shannon.


Tell us about yourself, i.e., your home state, family, career, etc.


Hi, I'm Shannon, a mid-thirties millennial living just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I work in revenue cycle operations for a large hospital system, managing a team of fifteen people. When I am not working, I am usually reading, sewing, or doing some type of DIY project on my condo. Last year I read 87 books, and hope to read more this year. 


  When did your love affair with reading begin?



 I loved reading from a young age. There were many book series that had endless books; (The Babysitters Club, Goosebumps, Sweet Valley Twins, etc.) I devoured them all. As an adult, I used to have an hour train commute to work each way and found the best way to pass the time was to read. Anyone that has traveled on the Orange Line knows that a distraction is a must.

  What are your favorite genres?


 Mostly fiction, although I do enjoy a good memoir. I like chick lit, historical fiction (particularly WWII), suspense, thrillers, and mystery. I do enjoy books set in the Boston area too. I try not to read the same genre back-to-back, as it can feel repetitive.

  Paper book, ebook, and/or audiobook?




I am paper book all the way. I have tried audio and eBooks, but they aren't for me.

  What are the best books that you have read in 2022?


 What book(s) come to mind that you consider overrated?



I thought that Educated by Tara Westover was overrated. Several things in the book just didn't add up, and she admitted that her siblings didn't remember things the way she described them in her book. I also thought that Untamed by Glennon Doyle and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens didn't live up to the hype.


 If you don't enjoy a book, do you finish it or not?


I used to try to power thru and finish a book, but do not anymore. If a book hasn't grabbed me by page 50, it likely will not. There are so many great books, I do not want to waste my time on one that doesn't interest me. 



Favorite place and time of day to read?


 I read every day on my lunch break. I work remotely, and it provides a good break to focus on something else for an hour. I will also read in the evenings if I have time. During the summer, I do a lot of reading at the beach. A book is the first thing I pack in my beach bag.

Your table is set for six.  What five authors (living or not) would you invite for lunch?


I love a good luncheon. I would invite Peter Swanson, Jodi Picoult, Michelle Obama, Elin Hilderbrand, and Prince Harry. Three of them live in New England, so maybe it isn't that farfetched?


  What book(s) resonates with you the most?



The best books are the ones that you still think about after you have read them. Saints of All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan is a brilliant book, as is The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel.  

Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman resonated with me, as, like the characters, I also went to a small, liberal arts college in New England and had a close-knit group of friends. The only difference is that my friends and I didn't try to kill each other. 

The Red Coat by Dolley Carlson is a great Boston book and even mentions the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins that I have heard about from my family.


 What is the funniest book that you have ever read?  


The funniest book was Class Mom by Laurie Gelman. 

Even though I don't have kids, I can appreciate the humor.

The saddest?

The saddest book I have read is A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. I was reading it on the train commuting and had to put on my sunglasses on because I couldn't stop crying. I am fine with humans dying, but not dogs.

The most depressing?

The most depressing was The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I kept waiting for something good to happen in the book, but it never did.


What are you presently reading, and what's next on your list? Is there a book you are looking forward to that will be published later this year?

I feel that Peter Swanson is the most underrated author. I just finished  The Kind Worth Saving and I loved itIt is the sequel to one of my favorite books, The Kind Worth Killing, which I just reread.  

I am looking forward to Reign by Katherine McGee coming out in the late summer. This is the fourth book in her America Royal series. I love the premise of the books; George Washington was the first king of America, with his descendants are still ruling in the present day. While the books are light, I love a good what-if in history and the trickle-down effects. 

 I always look forward to Elin Hilderbrand's newest release which comes out in June; it feels like the kickoff to summer. Five Star Weekend looks to be another great beach read.

Other releases I am looking forward to are The Block Party by Jamie Day, Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune, and All That is Mine I Carry With Me by William Landay.

Thank you so much, Shannon. What a wonderful job!  
To follow Shannon on Instagram, you can find her at dressesanddesserts.  
You can also follow Shannon on Goodreads at Shannon Gilligan. 


Linking up with:


Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. Thank you Katie for having me as one of your favorite readers. I hope that your readers enjoyed what I have to say and got a few book suggestions out of it.


  2. Thank you so much for all the recommendations! I hadn't heard of some of these, and Shannon and I seem to have similar reading taste. Have a terrific Tuesday!

  3. I am also a Boston girl (It’s me, Beemie) … Love her book choices & since I lived in a house 20 yards from the old Orange Line, I can totally relate to having a distraction while riding… before I started bringing my own “distraction” to read, I read the newspaper headlines of those who were reading the newspapers.

    1. Haha Beemie you crack me up! :) I was once so deep in a book that I missed my stop and had to call my friend to pick me up at the end of the bus line! Obviously your Orange Line commands the same serious need for distraction!

    2. Hi Beemie! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great weekend!

    3. Hi Barbara! I was so distracted by a book that a couple of months ago, I drove into the driveway of my old house. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I agree with Shannon about DNF. So many books, so little time. I want a book to be a pleasure, not a chore. Educated by Tara Westover had a lot of holes in the narrative. I didn’t believe much of what she wrote. My husband loves to do the book swaps with Annie and Shannon. Cookie G

    1. Hi Cookie! I agree with you and Shannon - I don't like to waste time on books that I don't care for. Have a great weekend!

  5. What a fun one, Katie and Shannon! I'm really enjoying this series. And I want to be at that lunch with those authors!

  6. Shannon is incredibly talented in many area's. Her handmade Christmas gifts are pieces of art, particularly her quilts. I may be biased, but she is one of my very favorite people on the planet. She is also a top five beach companion and we do swap books all the time. She and her uncle Ted love to talk books, always a fun conversation. xoxo Annie G (those curls are natural !!)

  7. So many great book ideas!! I read a few of these but there is just never enough time to tackle them all. I have fond memories of he Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley

  8. Love all Shannon's recommendations! Thanks for sharing her with us - I'm going to go check out her IG now!

  9. Thanks, Katie, for doing this wonderful series. I don’t have a lot of time to read and I have a huge TBR list but I just love hearing about new books and then adding them to my list. :). Thanks to Shannon for her recommendations as I, too, once lived in Boston and went to a small liberal arts college outside of the city and love contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and memoirs. Good fiction about a place you know always makes it a bit more enjoyable.

    1. Hi Susan. Thanks so much for commenting. I am going to take 2 guesses what college you attended - Wellesley or Wheaton?

  10. Thank you Katie. Thank you Shannon! I really appreciate the perspective of a peer based book review as we have nothing to hide or sell. It is what it is. What resonates with one might not with another or vice verse.
    I feel the same about Educated and Crawdads. Both were fine. But for me? Puzzled at the launch into the galaxy

    But this is what I love about reading. The rapture. Even for just one person?
    It can escalate and elevate
    Words are so powerful
    Dana S
    Dallas. TX

  11. Always great to see another mid thirties, diy-er, and former orange line rider.. I miss my designated reading time, but not the delays/general mayhem! I also just learned about Rev cycle operations through my job, one of those things I had no idea even existed!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. My mid thirties were my favorite years. Have a great weekend!

  12. I remember reading some of the babysitter club and sweet valley twins books when I was younger. Sh the memories.

    1. Hi Christy... thank you for taking the time to comment. I was a different generation.
      I was a Nancy Drew girl myself. Hope you have a great weekend.

  13. How can I find Shannon on Instagram from a former Bostonian and sewer?

  14. Shannon is delightful! Lots of books ordered. Yay! xo


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