I can’t believe it is May! In March, when social distancing and the quarantine were really setting in, I had a hard time focusing on reading. Since I switched to 100% lighter “beach reads,” I’ve been having no problem focusing on reading, and as you can see, read about my normal amount in April! When the quarantine first started, I would sometimes read on my lunch beak, but now I am mostly reading before bed. I don’t miss my commute all that much, but what I do miss about my commute is the uninterrupted reading time built into my day—I haven’t quite replicated that in this new reality, and am pretty much exclusively reading right before bed.
As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and that’s not lost on me! I also received a free copy of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s latest book, and flagged that one with a star as well.
You can always follow along with what I am reading in real-time over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me there! x
NANTUCKET WEDDING // NANCY THAYER
A widowed mother of two daughters is getting married on Nantucket, and is anxious to introduce her adult children to her fiancée and his kids. Her daughter, Felicity, is a married, stressed-out mother of two young kids and her other daughter, Jane, is a career-driven woman who’s husband never wants kids. Somewhat estranged in recent years, their mother, Alison, hopes the wedding planning process will bring them closer together. They decamp to Nantucket when possible during the summer, and despite Alison’s hopes, the wedding planning process and family dynamics, are anything but smooth sailing—especially when her fiancée’s grown children get involved.
Would I recommend it? I really enjoyed this one—but I liked Surfside Sisters, which I read last year, better!
THE SUMMER WIND, THE SUMMER’S END & A LOWCOUNTRY WEDDING // MARY ALICE MONROE
As I mentioned last month, I started reading a series about three half-sisters who spend one last summer with their grandmother on Sullivan’s Island before she sells the family home. Each of the first three novels focuses on one of the sisters, and then the fourth and fifth book (which I’ll review next month) are “bonus” books in the series that feature everyone pretty equally. It’s a really cute story and you’ll feel like you’re reading a Rom Com—lots of family secrets, people from the past, and, of course, romantic interests!
Would I recommend them? This series has been one of the bright spots of quarantine for me, and I would totally recommend reading it! You can read the books in any order, but I would recommend going chronologically so you don’t spoil anything for yourself.
OUR STOP // LAURA JANE WILLIAMS
Nadia takes the 7:30am train everyday and one day notices a missed connections ad in the paper about “the cute girl with the coffee stains on the morning train” and realizes the ad is about her. She begins to correspond with her muster man through the paper, while encountering him in real life—only they don’t know it and just keep missing each other by a few minutes. Will they ever meet in person…or will it be a missed connection forever?
Would I recommend it? If you enjoy British Chick Lit, you’ll really like this one!
LIVE IN LOVE // LAUREN AKINS*
I’ve long been a fan of Thomas Rhett Akins, and reading his wife, Lauren’s memoir, was a great inside look at his rise to fame and country music career. But more than that, it was a beautiful retelling of Lauren’s childhood just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and how she coped with putting her own dreams to be a nurse on hold as his star started to rise. It also tells the beautiful story of how her mission work lead her to Uganda, where they ultimately adopted their daughter Willa Gray. This memoir is real and raw, and Lauren holds very little back.
Would I recommend it? 100%—I tore through this one in less than 24 hours! It comes out in August, but you can preorder it now!
FEELS LIKE FALLING // KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY*
Gray is at a crossroads in her life—she and her husband are getting a divorce, and she’s having a hard time not being around her eight-year-old son all the time because of shared custody. To top it all off, her ex-husband wants a piece of her highly profitable affiliate marketing company. One day at the drugstore, she crosses paths with Diana, who grew up in foster care after her mother left her and her siblings to fend for themselves. When Diana gets fired, Gray hires Diana on as an assistant—and these two women, both at a crossroads, find themselves doing their best to deal with everything life throws at them.
Would I recommend it? ABSOLUTELY—this was a five-star read for me; Kristy can always write novels where you really root for the characters and the settings feel so real you can imagine them. This one would be a great quarantine read now or a beach read this summer!