Summertime Reads

Another month, another half dozen books read!  Ok if i'm being honest it's been more than a half dozen but i'm gonna share my top 6 with you guys because there's still lots of summer left!  And you all need to keep in mind in case you missed my June post, this is not Oprah's Book Club!!  I have my fave authors that release a new book at the beginning of every summer and they are my go to reads every year.  How's that for marketing strategies?!

So i'm not saying these books are Pulitzer Prize winner material but they are all best sellers for different reasons, they all have different story lines and I read each and every one of them in under two days!!!  And I wouldn't consider any of these to fall under the trashy romance novel category, although I may or may not have read a couple of those this summer too.

So here goes, in no particular order!

Who hasn't heard of Nora Roberts?  She has wrote 100s and 100s of books under her own name as well as under her ghost name of J.D. Robb.  I enjoy most of Nora Roberts books because they are suspenseful but also have a back story, some good drama and always some steamy sex scenes!   Her newest release "Shelter in Place" was very well done and was loosely based on the cinema shooting in the states a couple of years ago.  

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This is a long read, perfect for a road trip or a day by the pool. If you read or have read this one,  let me know if you were surprised by "whodunnit"!

Next up is "The Perfect Couple" by Elin Hilderbrand.  If you aren't familiar with this author she lives on Nantucket and all of her books are set there.  Has anyone ever been to Nantucket?  Hilderbrand writes so vividly I feel like I already know what it looks like, the beaches, the main street and even some of the neigbourhoods.  I would LOVE to go there one day!.  I eagerly await her June release every year and it's always one of my favourite summer reads.

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I give The Perfect Couple 4/5 stars, it was well done and the story kept you coming back for more but some things were a little far fetched.  But maybe that's what life is really like on Nantucket?

Ok now we are going to get serious.  Have you ever read Lisa Genova?  She is an american author and neuroscientist so all of her books are based on a particular disease.  I'm sure you've all heard of Still Alice?  That was Genova's first book and it was made it into a movie starring Julianne Moore and Alex Baldwin who gave amazing performances and you got a real life glimpse into what living with Alzheimer's disease would be like.  If you haven't read the book or watched the movie I highly recommend.

In her newest book, "Every Note Played" , she focuses on ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's Disease"

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This story hit very close to home for me because my maternal Grandfather suffered and eventually passed away from ALS.  It is such a cruel disease and Genova did a great job of making the reader almost feel what it would be like to both live with this horrible disease and be a caregiver.   

I guess some of you may not classify this as "chick lit" but I need to balance out my reading list with a serious one in between some beach type reads.  This one gets 5/5 for me and I highly recommend you read all of Lisa Genova's books.

Ok so let's lighten things up!!  Who hasn't always dreamed of visiting the deep south?  Charleston?  Anywhere in South Carolina sounds so dreamy.  Dorothea Benton Frank takes you there and makes you feel like you want to live there forever in all of her books!  I stumbled upon her through a friend about 10 years ago and I absolutely love her books!  They are definitely beach reads and her way of telling a story often make you laugh out loud.  Her latest "By Invitation Only" is no exception!

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Summers are all about weddings but this wedding is different from anything you would ever expect.  I'm giving "By Invitation Only"  4/5 stars, it definitely left me with a smile on my face.

Moving on to another old favourite of mine, Sophie Kinsella.  Are you familiar with the Shopaholic series?  I read it years ago but I do enjoy her stand alone books a bit more.  I love her quick wit and British humour.  This is her latest stand alone book "Surprise Me", she really makes you stop and think, especially if you are married with a family like many of us are.

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I would describe this book as quirky, funny and emotionally charged.  She has you thinking aboutt the longevity of marriage and how well we think we know our significant other.  Maybe a bit far fetched in parts which is why I will give it a 3.5/5 but definitely qualifies as a beach read and it's a quick and easy one.

Last but not least is the latest book by one of my all time fave authors, Barbara Delinsky entitled  "Before and Again".  Delinsky is one of those authors who often bases her fictional stories on real life issuesl.

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This story is based around the tragic consequence of distracted driving, a subject that is very much in the forefront of todays society and probably something we are all guilty of at one time or another.  I'm sure I have read every book written by Barbara Belinsky over the years and this one is definitely one of my faves.  Although the story focuses around a tragedy, it is so well written and once you get into the story you can't put it down.  I'm giving this one 4.5/5 stars.

And that wraps up my July reads!  I'm well into my August ones now after our recent road trip so I will share those later in the month.  If anyone has any recommendations you think I might like, please leave me a comment because I am ALWAYS looking for new authors!  And to my friends who I share my "book club" with, i'm sure you guys have read most of these this summer too, let me know if you enjoyed them as much as I did!

Happy reading friends, enjoy these dog days of summer!

Michele xo

Designing My Dream Bathroom

Designing My Dream Bathroom