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Wednesday, May 1, 2024


Goodness, it's been a long time since I've shared some book reviews with you, I read all the time but am often slow to share.  It's been a while since I read these, I had to think hard on some of them to share with you today- ha!  So here's list #4 in my Books I'm Loving Lately Series, you can see list #1 here, #2 here, and #3 here if you need more great book suggestions.  Happy Reading! 

book recommendations Dimples and Tangles

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.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus- Loved it!  I read this before the tv series of the same title came out, always glad I've read the book before I watch the show.  It's set in the 50s and 60s and is about a female chemist, her struggles in her profession since she is a woman in a field that was primarily dominated by men at the time, and a career decision she made that changed her life and career path.  The show was really good as well (not exactly like the book of course but pretty close) and the time period made the sets, props, clothes, and styles so fun to watch.  

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt- This was probably one of my favorites I've read in a while.  The story is told chapter by chapter through the perspective of different characters, one of them being an octopus in captivity at a public aquarium.  It's heartwarming and interesting with a great ending, I didn't want it to be over.  

The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel- This is a historical fiction story set during the time that the Germans occupied France. It is about two young mothers who befriend one another after a chance meeting and become very close.  One is Jewish and makes the gut wrenching decision to entrust her daughter to her friend for safekeeping during the war.  The story weaves through both women's lives and circumstances, the anguish of mother and daughter's separation due to the war and the hope of finding one another again.   

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan- This is totally a little beach read romance book which if I recall has a few spicy parts as you would expect with the genre, but this was a quick, fun read if you just want a book to check out with for pure entertainment! 

The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey- Anyone with fond memories of growing up going to summer camp will enjoy this book!  Three girls that formed a lifelong bond of friendship return to their beloved Holly Springs camp 30 years later as it is in danger of being closed down, with hopes of helping their favorite camp director rescue it and keep it open.  Even with their long history of friendship, those bonds are tested as they confront their own personal problems and relationship struggles. Fun read especially this time of year as summer approaches. 

Seabreeze Series by Jan Moran-  Seabreeze Inn is the first of a multi-book series about Ivy, a young widow who is surprised to discover that she inherited a seaside hotel that her recently deceased husband had purchased with their life savings unbeknownst to her.  Because of her circumstances, she finds herself renovating and living at the hotel, making a run of operating it as a business along with the help of her sister.  This is a fun series of their adventures as innkeepers as they get to know their new community and learn how to make their business successful.  I've read quite a few books in the series, need to pick up another one!  

Memory Lane by Becky Wade-  I've read several by this author and really enjoy her books. Remy happily lives alone on a remote island where she is an artist who creates wood sculptures.  One day while looking out across the ocean she spots something peculiar, and upon closer inspection realizes it's someone struggling to keep their head above water.  She hurries out to haul him in, and discovers he has lost his memory as a result of an unknown injury.  The story progresses as she reluctantly helps him recover and they try to discover who he is and what has happened to him.  Sweet characters and good story! 

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah-  Man, this was a great book that really stayed with me for a while.  Deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, a young girl appears who apparently is alone, doesn't speak, and has been fending for herself for quite some time.  Dr. Julia Cates has returned to her Washington hometown following a scandal involving her psychiatry practice.  Despite her troubled career, she is recruited to help "Alice" as they call the girl and ends up taking her in, determined to unlock the secrets of the girl's past and help her. 

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner- Set in 1906 after a devastating earthquake in San Fransisco, a young mail order bride finds herself wondering about her husband's odd behavior while totally drawn to and loving his 5 year old daughter.  Mysterious characters and circumstances develop as Sophie discovers secrets about her husband's past and strives to makes sense of what she learns. 

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner- This historical fiction story takes place around the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, and many of the circumstances were all too familiar after living through 2020.  The Bright family moves to Philadelphia to work with an uncle who is the local undertaker in hopes of giving their family a better life.  Although the subject matter is grim and takes place primarily around a funeral home, it is also a heartwarming story that chronicles the life and struggles of a mother and daughters as they cope with the devastating pandemic and later the war.  

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susal Meissner-  Obviously I was enjoying this author and read several of her books one after the other!  This was also one of my favorites in a while.  It toggled back and forth between the 1940's and current day England, chronicling the journey of two sisters who were separated during WWII.  So good!  

All My Knotted Up Life by Beth Moore- I really enjoyed her memoir.  I HIGHLY recommend listening to the audio version of this one since she narrates it herself.  It might have, but I'm not sure it would have made the same impact just reading it without hearing it all in her voice and tone.  

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!  

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Thanks for all the recommendations! I’m always looking for the next good read. I just finished listening to The Women by Kristen Hannah. It was amazing! So shocking to realize just how recent it was that women were not recognized for their critical roles during wartime.

  2. I am currently listening to Remarkably Bright Creatures in my car as I do my daily errands. It’s one of my favorite pleasures to use this time to listen to a story! Thank you for all the recommendations and I will refer to this list for my upcoming summer reads (or listens😊)

  3. I loved Beth Moores’s memoir, too! I read it as an ebook and “heard” her voice the whole way through. I had to go back and check which format I’d read! I heard Nancy French’s memoir—Ghosted—is also excellent. (Titled that because she’s a ghostwriter.)

  4. Love your book suggestions...keep 'em coming!

  5. Jennifer, thank you so much for your recommendations. I am not an avid reader, but I do love listening to them in my car going to and from work. I absolutely loved the Ms. Julia series and felt lost when it ended. So I'm glad to have some new recommendations.

  6. Hi Jennifer, Thanks for the book recommendations. I’m stacking up my summer reads. May I be so *brave* as to recommend my book to you?
    I think you will enjoy it.🩵-Angie


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