Reading Roundup


It’s not that I have not been reading… I stopped writing reviews when it got to be three weeks before my wedding with much left to do!

I went on an Elin Hilderbrand kick as the weather warmed while waiting for her new novel to come out, re-read a Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door with my daughter Josie, and we are a quarter of the way through A Swiftly Tilting Planet, all childhood favorites of mine the late, great Madeline L’Engle.

And in other news, we are working on installing a Little Free Library outside of our house in Arlington MA.

I will link to these as I add the reviews; from April to August, I read:

In Case You Missed It by Lindsay Kelk (#netgalley) ***

The League of Extraordinary Funny Women by Sheila Moeschen ****
Biography. Comedic biographies of funny women in standup, film, movies.

The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett (#netgalley) ***

Not Your Basic Love Story by Lindsay Maple (#netgalley) ***

A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall (#netgalley) ****
Trans period romance with humor, sensitivity, and excellent speculation about how to be your true self in a time period much less accepting than the one we are currently in.

For the Love of the Bard (#netgalley) *****
Two former flames reconnect during a small town’s annual Shakespeare festival, and the path of true doesn’t run smooth… but the star-crossed lovers get a happy ending.

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand *****
Nantucket ghost story about a woman who signs on to manage an up and coming property to score a perfect five review from a travel influencer. Especially satisfying because of the appearance of a character from The Blue Bistro, my absolute favorite Hilderbrand novel.

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand ***

Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand ***

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand ***

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand ***

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand ***

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand ***

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand ***

Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand ***

No Funny Business by Amanda Askel (#netgalley) **
Romance. Not my sense of humor, I guess, because I wanted to get to read the stand up sets, in the way Marvelous Mrs. Maisel lets you see the character performing her stand up routines, but overall this romance about stand up comics on the road together did not tickle my funny bone.

Built to Last by Erin Hahn (#netgalley) ****

Luck and Last Resorts by Sarah Grunder Ruiz (#netgalley) ***

The Reunion by Elizabeth Drummond (#netgalley) **
Boarding school rivals romance. A photographer and influencer cut off by her family proposes a fake engagement to a fellow alum who needs business capital, because the school will pay for the high profile wedding if the Head Boy and Head Girl get married.

The Wedding Season by Katy Birchall (#netgalley) ***

Sea Glass Summer by Miranda Liason (#netgalley) ***

Jadie in Five Dimensions by Dianne K. Salerni
Juvenile science fiction. I was shocked that my 10-year-old daughter selected a science fiction novel to read at the local library, and we both really enjoyed the alternating voices, mystery, and setting, so much we went on to read another book about tesseracts, A Wrinkle in Time.

The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henry (#netgalley) ***

The Suite Spot by Trish Doller (#netgalley) *****

Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory (#netgalley) ***

Husband Material by Alexis Hall (#netgalley) **
Romance. Did not care for the sequel, focused on a friend’s wedding, as much as the original.

All Fired Up by Dylan Newton (#netgalley) ****

Just Another Love Song by Kelly Winfrey (#netgalley) ***
Romance. Sandy scores famous Hank to play at a fundraiser–they haven’t really spoken since their high school relationship.

Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee (#netgalley) ***
Romance. I keep opening this egalley, but it scrolls down instead of page to page and I cannot make the print larger so keep closing it to try later.

To Get to the Other Side by Kelly Ohlert (#netgalley)
Romance. I keep opening this egalley, but it scrolls down instead of page to page and I cannot make the print larger so keep closing it to try later.

The Pilot’s Wife (re-read) by Anita Shreve ****
Mystery/Suspense. Not my usual fare, but it’s set in the same home as Fortune’s Rocks, and is connected to two other novels in Shreve’s desire to tell a story about a house and generations of inhabitants.

Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve ****
Historical. May/December romance set in a large summer home on the NH coastline.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (audio) ****
Nonfiction. Not my usual fare. I listened to it for an anti-racist book group I’ve joined, and was disturbed by how much I just don’t know about why there is a wrong side of the tracks, red-lining, and how local, state, and federal governments essentially kept people of color and other “undesirables” in a slavery state and maintained segregated schools.

Dinner for One: How Cooking in Paris Saved Me by Sutanya Dacres **
Memoir. Most of this book is focused on the relationship and what went wrong without juicy details, a little about the food, and finally some recipes at the end. Integrating the narrative with the food would have made for more flow and interest, I think this great premise suffered from oblivious editing.

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade (#netgalley) ****
Romance. As epic as others in the Spoiler Alert series, my favorite part was the reintroduction of past characters through their group chat.

A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (#netgalley) ***
Romance. More shenanigans and love from the usual cast of characters in this next in the series about a group of wealthy Chicagoians and their elite circle. A country music superstar needs to find his muse for his next album, and chases after a one-night stand that he thinks is The One, calling on his book club buddies for help.

Witcha Gonna Do by Avery Flynn (#netgalley) ***
Romance. Charming magical realism enemies to lovers romance.

28 Disastrous Dates A (Mostly True) Humorous Memoir by Poppy Mortimer ** (#netgalley)
Memoir. in this dating tell-all, Poppy recounts dates with many men who portrayed themselves as other than they were and shares lessons learned along the way. While unflinchingly honest, it lacked the humor of Chelsea Handler and was formulaic, unflattering and not compelling.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner ****
What I thought was going to be a Nantucket wedding hook-up romance featuring a plus-sized influencer turned into a murder mystery — but I loved the writing and voice enough to keep going.

A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young (#netgalley)
Romance. An astronaut and an events planner fall for one another.

The Rom Com Agenda by Jayne Denker (#netgalley) ***
Romance. Completely predictable but very sweet romance about a man pining for the one that got away who he loves based on her stellar looks. His siblings push him to watch romantic comedy movies so he can make a grand gesture when he comes back, and more often than not, their new friend becomes his default practice date.

One Night Stand After Another by Amanda Osen (#netgalley) **
Erotica. Plot what plot? Not enough story between the blow by blow by blowjob details.

The Getaway by Emily March (Lake in the Clouds #1) (#netgalley) **
Women’s fiction. Mom finally puts her foot down when her very privileged children refuse to stop their infighting. I didn’t enjoy the entitlement and couldn’t relate and put this one down at 32% complete.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss (#netgalley)
Romance. Bayliss’s new novel focuses on a boarding school set meeting on holiday just before the Christmas holiday in advance of the wedding of two schoolmates to one another. 

Under the Influence (#netgalley)
Romance. I keep opening this egalley, but it scrolls down instead of page to page and I cannot make the print larger so keep closing it to try later.

Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor (#netgalley)
Introvert heads to summer theatre with a list of goals from her therapist parents to transform her from naive homeschooler to Oxford early-admission ready student.

Room and Board by Miriam Parker (#netgalley)
Contemporary Fiction. Shamed publicist returns to her elite boarding school to be a role model for entitled young women, and falls hard for a former crush, now dad to one of her charges.

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