On My Nightstand: July 2021

Hello + happy August! I cannot believe it’s already August. This year started out kind of slow for me, but ever since spring, it really feels like it has been flying. In July, I read four books—which is probably a little less than my usual amount, but between some exciting personal news, the Olympics, and a busy month at work, I just didn’t prioritize reading as much as I normally do. I’m still on track to reach my goal of reading 75 books this year, though, so I am excited about that—and am hoping to carve off a little more time to read in August!

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.

Happy reading! x


Eleanor has lived on Nantucket for years and looks forward to her children and grandchildren returning to the island each year. Only, her idyllic summer is ruined when her money-hungry daughter suggests she sells her house and move to a retirement community. She finds an ally in her granddaughter, and the two spend the summer living together and navigating life changes.

Would I recommend it? Meh—I really didn’t enjoy this one, so I would recommend passing. If you’re looking for an amazing read by Nancy Thayer, I loved Surfside Sisters.


loved this one—it was my second read by Fiona Davis and I love how she tells stories that flip between the past and present day; makes for good page-turners! In the 1880s, Sara is a maid in London when she has a chance encounter with Theo Camden, the architect of the Dakotas apartment building. She’s given the opportunity to move to the US and be the mangerette of the apartment building. Fast forward to the present day, and Bailey begins to realize she might be related to Theo Camden…and in the process, discovers a century-old murder.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! You may recall last month I read Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis and loved it, so I was glad the second book I read by this author held up! I will definitely be reading more of the Fiona Davis canon in the coming months.


Laya’s husband is a daredevil—the kind who does stunts for Red Bull. When he dies tragically in an accident in the Swiss Alps, she finds herself a widow in her 20s, left to pick up the pieces. She becomes lost in her grief, posting on his Facebook page daily about memories together.
Micah, an architect at her father’s firm, discovers her tragic and bizarre Facebook posts—and decides he’s determined to show her that life is still worth living. Trying to recreate the sense of adventure she had with her late husband, he begins leaving her anonymous notes and gifts—and eventually, the pair begin hanging out. But can Laya let herself find happiness again?

Would I recommend it? I discovered Renee Carlino earlier this year when a coworker recommended Before We Were Strangers—I love her books! If I had to rank the ones I’ve read, I would say the following: 1) Before We Were Strangers, 2) Swear on This Life, 3) The Last Post, and 4) Wish You Were Here — but they are all great reads!


Cassie is dominating at her Austin firehouse—she gets along with her fire chief and is winning praise left and right. Then her estranged mother asks her to move back to Boston. Her eyesight is failing and she needs Cassie’s help.
The old-school firehouse Cassie ends up at couldn’t be more different than her ATX workplace. She’s hazed, they lack funding, and it’s a boys club through and through. The only person that’s nice to her? The rookie firefighter—but as her old chief told her: never date firefighters.

Would I recommend it? Despite the description above, this book felt really different from many I pick up—in a good way. I would definitely recommend this one, and would love to pick up more books by Katherine Center in the future.

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