What would you do if your "what if" guy showed up at the lowest point of your life?
(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)
After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington, to put the pieces of her life back together.
Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn't thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn's got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that's been decades in the making.
Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love-and herself-with her "what if" guy teach Autumn to forgive before it's too late?
This was a light, fun read. Autumn returns to her small town with her son Elliott after falling on hard times financially and finding out that her father needs her help. At first Autumn and Elliott hate being in Fairfield and have a hard time adjusting to the small town. It does not take long though for both to appreciate the community of people who care for them and want to help them. I think my favorite part of the book was watching Elliott change from being disgusted at be being in Fairfield to really enjoying himself there.
The romance part of the story was just ok for me. I liked both Autumn and Henry but I got tired of their coming together and then pushing each other away. I also thought Autumn jumped to conclusions with Henry several times and would not let him explain himself at all. If I was Henry I would have been really frustrated with her.
What really makes this book an enjoyable read is the small town setting and all of the quirky people we meet in the town that Autumn and Elliott come to know and love. I loved the inclusion of festivals and dances and made me appreciate my own hometown all the more. If you enjoy warm romance books that make you smile while reading them than this book is for you.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5
I received this book from the publisher for a review.
Kids want what they want when they want it. They're too young to understand that they need guidelines in order to develop healthy adult lifestyles. A "mean mom" knows that saying no to an unhealthy snack, enforcing rules, or punishing bad behavior are all necessary aspects of parenting. But a "good mom" may have a hard time dealing with the temper tantrums and tears that inevitably follow rule enforcement. Mean Mom, Good Mom shows you how to master both sides of parenting and prepare your kids for the world. Your kids may hate you (just a little) for setting rules right now, but they'll appreciate and respect you when they're older.
We got this book in at the library recently and I thought it was worthwhile to mention on my blog. I wish this was a must read for all parents. In a very straightforward way Schipani talks about the importance of saying no sometimes, teaching your kids to respect others, and to give them the skills and tools they will need to succeed later on in life. I agreed with a lot of things the author says in the book and I too feel that there are parents out there who are more worried about being friends with their kids and not being the parent they need to be. I have met the kids described in the book that have had everything done for them and are totally unprepared for life on their own. I myself have a bad tendency of doing a lot for my kids and I am going to make more of an effort to give my children the chance to do more things on their own (laundry, dishes, cooking) so I can give them the confidence they need to be successful in life. You might not agree with everything Schipani says but I think it is a worthwhile read for any parent, it will definitely make you think about your own parenting style.
From the author of Drowning Ruth, a haunting, atmospheric novel set at the closing of the frontier about a young wife who moves to a far-flung and forbidding lighthouse where she uncovers a life-changing secret.
Trudy is a polished, college-educated young woman from a respectable upper middle-class family, and it’s only a matter of time before she’ll marry Ernst, the son of her parents’ closest friends. All should be well in her world, and yet Trudy is restless and desperate for more stimulation than 1897 Milwaukee will allow. When she falls in love with enigmatic and ambitious Oskar, she believes she’s found her escape from the banality of her pre-ordained life. Alienated from Trudy’s family and friends, the couple moves across the country to take a job at a lighthouse in the eerily isolated Point Lucia, California. Upon arriving they meet the light station’s only inhabitants—the Crawleys, a family whose plain appearance is no indication of what lies below the surface. It isn’t long before Trudy begins to realize that there is more going on in this seemingly empty place than she could ever have imagined.
This is a really well written story about a woman who longs for something different in her life so she sets herself on a course totally different from the one planned for her by her family. Trudy falls in love with Oskar and leaves her friends and family behind to follow him to a remote area in California where Oskar is to take care of a lighthouse. There Trudy meets the Crawley family and begins a complicated relationship with them. Though she does at times regret her decision to leave her home she comes to appreciate the wonders she sees every day in her new home and begins to look at them from a scientific point of view.
Trudy is such a complicated character, I enjoyed reading about her life experiences. She leaves her home and moves to this harsh environment to live with her husband and she just tries to make the best of the situation and I admired her for it.
I also enjoyed all of the descriptions of the things Trudy and the children collected from the sea. Schwarz does a great job of bringing Trudy's new home to life with many details about the lighthouse, their home, and the difficulties of living in an isolated area.
The first half of the book did drag for me a bit and I almost gave up on reading it, but it definitely picked up in the second half and I ended up really enjoying the story Schwarz tells. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story with a strong female character. Trudy is what made this book so enjoyable for me.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5
I received this book from the publisher for a review.
Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex.
In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois.
Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?
I had mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed the history Elle Marie includes in the book. I have not read a lot of Native American history and I found all of the information provided in the book fascinating. I learned a lot about the Mound Builders and I also learned a lot about archaeology as well. Marie obviously took the time to do a lot of research for the book and the history part of the story is great.
My biggest problem with the book was the writing, the story jumped from one character to another so many times that I got confused a few times, especially in the beginning. Some characters were introduced that had no relevance to the story at all and I could not figure out why they were included. I also had a problem with the dialogue, it just seemed forced and unnatural to me. To me it felt like so much time was spent on the history of the book and not enough time was spent on making it a story that is easy and enjoyable to read.
I also did not like the ending. I felt like a romantic relationship was just kind of thrown in there to add some romance to the book. There was no build up to a relationship, the two just met and became involved. The ending to the mystery and the supernatural spirit that was part of the end I just found really creepy and I just was not impressed.
I did enjoy the history in the book but the writing and the plot just did not work for me. If you would like to know more about Mound Builders this might be a worthwhile read for you but if you are just looking for a well written story I don't think I could recommend this one.
Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother's beloved necklace—despite Tess's advice. To Annelise, the jewel's value is in its memories.
But Tess's own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.
The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she's never heard of.
Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep. A place where falling in love is not only possible, but inevitable.
And in a season filled with new experiences, Tess begins to see the truth in something Annelise once told her: if you don't believe memories are worth more than money, then perhaps you've not made the right kind of memories.
I must say that the first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I have never read anything by Susan Wiggs before so I was looking forward to reading this book. I did enjoy the book a lot, it did not wow me but I did enjoy the story. Tess was fun to read about, it was great to watch her change from a workaholic to someone who takes the time for others. She had such a lonely life before going to Archangel and it was wonderful to see her get to enjoy being part of a family and a community.
While I loved reading about Tess, I wish there would have been more about her newly found sister Isabel. We get small glimpses into her past through the story but never really get to know what she is thinking or feeling. I liked Isabel a lot and would have liked to learn more about her.
The relationship between Tess and Dominic was sweet and I appreciated how Wiggs let them take some time to get to know each other before they fell into a relationship. I really hate books that have no build up to people falling for each and just has them jumping into bed. I liked how we got to read about these two really get to know and care for each other.
This was a good story with some great recipes added in that I always love to see in a book. I would recommend this one to any romance reader, it was an enjoyable read.
The challenges we face over the course of a lifetime, especially those that involve major personal loss, can seem devastating, as radio personality and self-help specialist Dr. Raeleen D'Agostino Mautner discovered when her husband suddenly and unexpectedly died of a heart attack. The Italian rituals and lifestyle habits she grew up with and later began researching were instrumental in helping her stay grounded, feel comforted, and be gently redirected to a new path of joy and the next level of her own personal transformation. "Lemons Into Limoncello "shows readers how to find self-acceptance, comfort, courage, and personal renewal on the heels of adversity Italian style.
At some point in our lives, most of us will experience the kind of personal devastation that accompanies death of a loved one; or the loss of a job, a home, a pet, finances, health, a friendship; or even the loss of one's self-esteem. When in the throes of such challenges it is hard to believe that we will ever enjoy life again, let alone possibly come away with the courage to live the next phase of our lives with deeper appreciation and clarity. "Lemons into Limoncello" offers a front-row seat to the Italian ability to "arrangiarsi" (get by) through elevating ordinary events to the extraordinary, and is the first self-help book to prescribe a traditional Italian cultural approach as a pathway to one's own personal renaissance at a time when it is most needed.
This book really was not what I was expecting. I am part Italian and love reading books about Italian culture. I was hoping for lots of interesting information that would give me more insight into what it is really like to be Italian. Unfortunately I did not get that from this book. Instead the author gives lots of fairly common advice about how to bounce back after a personal crisis. Some nice details are added that bring Italy into the book but not enough to keep me interested in reading this one.
Mautner means well and does give good, practical advice but I did not find anything new in the book. It is just some good suggestions to help people to move on from a difficult loss with some Italian references thrown in. I would have enjoyed the book more if more specific ideas were included in the book that pertained specifically to Italy. For example, my favorite part of the book was the part that talked about making pasta sauce from scratch and a lovely recipe was included. I wish there would have been more things like that added to the book.
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Moment comes a remarkable new novel that explores how and why we fall in love. Laura works in a small hospital on the Maine coast, scanning and x-raying many a scared patient. In a job where finding nothing is always the best result, she is well versed in the random unfairness of life, a truism that has started to affect her personally. Her husband Dan has become a stranger since losing his job. With a son in college and a daughter set to leave home, she wonders how the upcoming empty nest will affect the disconnected state of her marriage.
Still, Laura jumps at the opportunity to attend a conference in Boston where she meets a man as grey and uninspired as her drab hotel. His name is Richard. He’s a fifty-something salesman, also from Maine, also in Boston for the weekend. When a chance meeting brings them together again, Laura begins to discover a far more complex and thoughtful man behind the flat facade. Like herself, Richard ponders his own life and wonders if the time has come to choose desire over obligation.
Five Days is a moving love story that will have readers reflecting about the choices made that so shape all our destinies. Featuring Kennedy’s trademark evocative prose and his brilliant ability to delineate life the way it is truly lived today, it is a novel that speaks directly to the many contradictions of the human heart.
I was really impressed by this book. It is the first book I have read by Douglas Kennedy and I still cannot believe how well he has written this story from Laura's point of view. I really came to love and respect Laura and I really enjoyed reading about her. She comes to a lot of harsh realizations through the book about her marriage, her job, and how she never feels she deserves better in her life. All of this is brought about by a chance encounter with another man, Richard, while at a conference. He too is dealing with an unfulfilling marriage and the two of them have a passionate few days together. Laura begins to understand that she deserves more than she has been getting in her life and the book deals with the choices she makes to change her life for the better.
I often find that it is the little things in a book that can make it special and what stood out for me in this one was the fact that both Richard and Laura loved reading and learning new words. The book is filled with delightful exchanges between them that the book lover will enjoy, I know I loved it. I also liked reading about Laura's relationship with her children, especially the special bond she had with her son.
I would highly recommend this book, it will make you look at your own life and relationships while reading about the things that Laura deals with in the book. I was really impressed with Kennedy's writing and will definitely be reading more of his books in the future.
My rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5
I received this book from the publisher for a review.
I am a stay at home mom of three kids who loves to read. I have always been a reader, but I have been reading even more recently and have found some amazing books. My favorite genres are historical fiction and classics. I also try to read lots of other types of books, but I always come back to my favorites.