For me, nothing signals the day being officially over quite like grabbing a good book and a few fluffy pillows; it’s a subtle nod to put the chaos of the day behind, wind down and relax. Considering how many stresses that are undeniably part of life, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I love feeling indulged. And there’s something very pampering about this little pre-bedtime routine of swapping out TV time for book time. If you’re not scoffing at this idea, and love a good bedtime story to relax and shrug off your day, scroll down for some reading inspiration.
This story, which takes place 14 years after the Civil War is atmospheric and intense. Two young girls go missing after one of the most devastating blizzards of the century. They are presumed dead, but months later re-appear. The story delves into what happened to the two girls. It’s a tale of courage and survival and culminates with a fantastic courtroom drama scene. Appallingly, the age of consent during this time was only ten years of age. (more on this book here)
A beautifully written and sad coming of age story of a gay love affair. It’s about seventeen-year-old Elio and his obsession with twenty-four-year-old Oliver, who is living in his family’s spare room for the summer. As the book explores Elio’s romantic and sexual fantasies, passions surge and emotions churn. (more on this book here)
A character-driven international espionage thriller, with lots of murder, sex, intrigue, and plot twists you don’t see coming. Cassandra Bowen is a flight attendant, she binge-drinks and makes one bad decision after another. She wakes up in the beds of total strangers and can’t remember how she got there. She knows she must change, but she can’t. Until one morning, her life is turned inside out. As usual, this author builds fabulous characters and gives the reader a well-researched story. (more on this book here)
“Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.”
~ Dave Eggers
Contrary to what the title suggests, this is a book about a woman in her 50s. Her husband of 30 years suddenly wants a divorce so he can marry a much younger woman. With her kids grown up, and her husband gone, Maggie needs to redefine herself, find a new purpose and learn to navigate life again. This story is full of love and inspiration, and Maggie is a character most women will relate to. Great light read. (more on this book here)
A beautifully told fictionalized account of Charmian London, the second wife of Jack London. This is an interesting, well-researched book with some fascinating details of the passion she and Jack shared for their craft and each other. Excellent character development and descriptions of the changing times. (more on this book here)
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”
~Alan Bennett, The History Boys
The setting is 1907 England – women were not seen as equals to men. In this story, a young woman exchanges her calm life as a schoolmistress to work with and eventually become a leader in the Suffragette Movement. Lilia Brooke is feisty and determined as she fights for the women’s vote, and also the highly controversial issue of contraception. Aside from being an excellent read, it also highlights the Suffragette movement, a significant time in history for women. (more on this book here)
A cleverly plotted and beautifully written story of a woman who claims to be Duchess Anastasia who, as the world now knows, was massacred, along with her family in 1918. It goes into the dangers the family faced and the rumors of Anastasia surviving. The book also has some great historical details. (more on this book here)
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