I have a fair amount of self-control when it comes to shopping. I usually know when to stop. This is mainly because my NYC space is small, forcing me into a minimalist approach to life, which I like now that I’m used to it. However, this doesn’t always hold true for books. And, I don’t know about you, but I think winter is the best reading season. All you really need is a book, a glass of wine, and a cozy reading spot. This means when I’m getting ready for colder weather, my mind automatically starts contemplating new reading material. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I tend to cull my books and give or donate a lot of them this time of year. But, again, this is a space issue..
Now for the good part. After doing a fair amount of research and reading, I have some excellent selections for you. So, If you need a book or two to jazz up your bookcase, keep scrolling.
“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” – W. Somerset Maugham
My Thoughts: The storyline is dark, and the characters are seriously flawed; I couldn’t put the book down. One caveat, though- there’s a lot of detailed graphic sex. So if this is something that bothers you- you better skip this one. Personally, I found it steamy and an integral part of the plot.
My Thoughts: This beautifully written coming-of-age story shows people’s strength and resilience. It will captivate you almost from the start and stir up many emotions. In addition, the book highlights some old customs of 1948 Japan that will for sure horrify modern-day thinkers.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
My Thoughts: Short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 – and a great book club choice. In fact, this is PBR’s December Book Club pick. If you loved “Circe” and “The Song of Achilles” as much as I do, you don’t want to miss this one. It’s a unique retelling of the trojan war told from the perspective of the women left behind rather than the men who go to war. It explores the darker side of war heroes and delves into the captured women’s desire for revenge.
My Thoughts: Faye aches for the mother she lost when she was young, then accidentally discovers a portal to the past and now meets her. This is an emotional read about the love between a mother and child as Faye struggles to resolve her conflicts. Should she stay in the past with her mother or return to her family in the present day.
As much as I love finding and sharing new books –
I’d also like to share some of my favorites, recent and all-time.
Below are books I’ve read recently – followed by a few of my
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
My Thoughts: I can’t decide which I like more – the author’s incredible atmosphere or the fabulous plot. It’s about a woman who helps other women by creating poisons to eliminate their errant husbands. So clever and undoubtedly fun to think about.
My Thoughts: This is a fast-paced psychological thriller that will have you turning pages and skipping dinner. It’s full of twists you won’t see coming and wrong assumptions that will surprise you. At some point in the book, everyone is a suspect. Well done, Alice Feeney!
My Thoughts: I think this book stays with me because it rings true – even today. A well-educated couple become victims of our flawed justice system. It’s their story, and it’s about racial justice and how it makes a difference if you are black or white, rich or poor. It was also an Oprah book club pick.
Below are some my All Time Favorite books.
My Thoughts: This is a powerful story that takes place when the Romans took over Jerusalem. It’s based on actual events – the presentation is fabulous, and the plot, although intense, is entertaining and flows beautifully. I loved the voices of the four main characters in this book and found the premise and information fascinating. I learned a lot about religious beliefs and everyday life during this period.
My Thoughts: This book challenged my perceptions. The story focuses on two women who are both mothers but are polar opposites. It’s character-driven and highlights the similarities all mothers share. You’ll find yourself rethinking what makes a good or bad mother.
My Thoughts: Although I know the things depicted in this book are true, I found the way of life for people living at the dump unbelievable. The story is inspiring but also poignant. Sang Ly wants a better life for her son. I loved that she thought the path to realizing this dream was learning to read, which is true.
“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” – Arnold Lobel
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