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Wednesday, March 29, 2023


What is it about cold and dreary winter days and evenings?  All I wanted to do through the coldest weeks of winter is hibernate and read!  Maybe you could tell that by my lack of DIY projects after Christmas... ha!  This list is a whopper, I looked back through my list and found several I'd neglected to share with you in previous posts.  Hope you find something you like!  

As a reminder, I'll give a brief summary here (enough to tell you I recommend the book!) without a lot of details, but am linking each book here out of convenience if you'd like to read the more detailed summaries.  However,  I generally check them out from the library, either the physical copy or digital copies through the "Libby" app and then upload them to my Kindle account (or you can read directly through the app).  If you're not familiar with Libby I highly recommend it for free e-books and audiobooks by registering with your library card.

*I enjoyed all of these or I wouldn't recommend them, but I noted my very favorite ones this time with a star. 

The Chocolatier by Jan Moran- The story of a young widow who takes her son from their home in San Francisco to meet the inlaws and grandparents they've never known, her late husband's family in Italy.  There are some surprises as family secrets are uncovered and she strives to find her new purpose and identity in life.  The story drew me in and I loved the setting of the book which has seemed to one of the hot travel spots on social media lately... Amalfi and the Italian coast. 

*Home Front by Kristin Hannah- a poignant novel following the life of a military service woman, wife and mother when she is deployed to Iraq.  After her tour of duty she comes home different in every area of her life and must adjust to a new way of life.  This was a compelling and heart warming story, a good education for me showing the tiniest glimpse of what life is like for countless military families. 

Sweet Tea B&B by Rachel Hanna- Two sisters who don't know the other exists are brought together after their mother's death.  I shared this one with my Mom and she really enjoyed it too.  The first in a series, these are easy, light, quick reads. 

The Record Keeper by Charles Martin- I shared the previous books in this series in my last book post, this one rounds out the series and fills in all the missing blanks of Murphy Shepherd's life for the reader.  

*The Bodyguard by Katherine Center- A little meatier than a typical rom-com type book, this role-reversal story of a female bodyguard protecting a famous actor from a crazy stalker fan was equally entertaining and heartwarming.  

I enjoyed The Bodyguard so much I continued to check out several others by the same author, those are listed next. I've read multiple others since then and liked them all with the exception of "The Bright Side of Disaster"- couldn't really get in to that one for some reason.
Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center- As the only female firefighter at her Austin station, Cassie mainstains the highest level of professionalism in her job and excels at it.  When life throws her a curve that she didn't see coming, she's forced to face a strained relationship with her Mother as she moves in to live with her in a new city. This in turn requires her to find a job at a new station, get to know and trust a new crew (and they her), and prove her abilities to them in a setting where a woman colleague is not readily accepted.  This is a heartfelt story about trust in relationships, courage, and vulnerability. 

What You Wish For by Katherine Center- After leaving her previous city and school for a fresh start in a new place, a school librarian is surprised that someone from her past shows up to be the new principal at her current school.  Once a friend, it seems that he's had a total personality change and hardly recognizes or acknowledges knowing her at all.  He jumps in head first changing just about everything about the quaint small school that everyone loves and quickly becomes despised by teachers, parents, and students alike.  I loved the setting, the characters and their personalities and had a hard time putting this one down!

*The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron-  Based on true events during WWII, this is the story of a Polish Catholic teenage girl who works in a shop that a Jewish family owns.  They have practically taken her and her young sister in as their own and consider the girls part of their family.  Stefania finds herself solely responsible for the care of her young sister when Germans invade the city they live in and begin rounding up all of the Jews to contain in the ghetto or send away to concentration camps. Over the next several years, Stefania and her sister fight to survive, to try to help the Jewish family they love, and they end up working to bravely hide 13 Jews in their home from the Nazis who they are constantly surrounded by.  As soon as I finished this book I found myself curious about this heroic girl and seeking to find out more about the rest of her life after the war and what became of her.  

*In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner- This is the story of a young man on the verge of manhood and his deep devotion to the only family he knows... his Grandparents.  It chronicles the struggle he faces when he's offered an amazing opportunity to further his education and attend an elite school along with his best friend (which would require a move far away from home),  and his conflicting feelings about leaving his grandparents alone to do so.   

*The Maid by Nita Prose- An intriguing young maid who is fully devoted to her job is the first to discover a dead hotel guest in a room she enters to clean.  The death is mysterious and murder is suspected, and one thing leads to another finding her a suspect.  The characters were interesting and I didn't want to put this one down once I got started! 

Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman-  I favor suspense & mystery/light romance books and read far more of them than I end up sharing here.  This is the first in a new series I started, about an elite law enforcement team who is trying to protect witnesses when cyber criminals have stolen a master list of all the names of those in witness protection, threatening to expose them. 

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave-  Hannah is a fairly newlywed with a stepdaughter she gained with the marriage.  Her husband mysteriously disappears after leaving one note for Hannah simply saying "Protect her." The suspense builds as Hannah seeks to find her husband, discovers he might not be who she thought he was, and as she works to protect his daughter (who can't stand her) as he requested.   Another author that I really enjoyed and ended up checking out other works of hers after reading this first one.  This book has been made into a multi-part series starring Jennifer Garner and will be on Apple TV in April, excited to check that out! 

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave-  Ooh, this book was super interesting to me as an "influencer!"  Sunshine is a young version of Martha Stewart with multiple cookbook deals and a huge social media following, until she's outed as not really being a cook or developing her own recipes at all.  Her life that appeared perfect from the outside falls apart, and although she loses everything she ends up discovering a lot about herself and the most important things in life. 

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave- Crushed after discovering a devastating secret about her fiance just a week before their wedding, Georgia seeks refuge and comfort with her family at their renowned family winery just before harvest season.  With even more decades long family secrets revealed once she arrives, this is a story of family, home, and doing the hard things when life doesn't turn out like you planned. 

*Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson & Dolly Parton- I read this a year ago and realized I never shared it here.  It left me wishing there were more novels by this pair of authors! This is the story of a young girl with an exceptional voice and promising future in the music business, but a past that she is running from.   I'm a country music fan so the story felt familiar, like song lyrics coming to life.  I suspect I'll pick this one up again and enjoy reading it a second time some day!

As always, I'd love for you to tell me in the comments if you've also read any of these, and one or two favorites that you've read lately as well!  See the other books I've recommended in these past here:

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing the books you have read. Like you, I check them out from the library to read on my Kindle which is so easy and economical. Your book suggestions have all been “right up my alley” as books go. Sometimes it is difficult to find books that are interesting, heartwarming and, for lack of better word, PG. I look forward to your next batch of books. Although with summer coming, I may have to wait until fall!

  2. Thank you! I hate to waste time on books that aren't good, so it's nice to find recommendations!

  3. A great array of books. There is nothing better than curling up with a good book. At the beginning of your blog is a cloth or rug under the objects, it is fantastic love it!

  4. Thank you for this wonderful list of books. I still have your previous list saved in my emails. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


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