Every month I share a post about all the new books that came my way during the past month. You can be sure to see these posts at the beginning of every month.

I read four books in January including two fiction, a non-fiction, and a YA book. I am currently reading four books jumping around based on my mood. They include three non-fictions and a mystery. I need to finish the mystery because I have a couple historical fiction books I’m dying to read, but won’t allow myself to start a new one without finishing one of these.

If you would like to purchase any of the books below, clicking the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting me.

By: Jojo Moyes
Published: December 6, 2016 (reissue)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Format: Paperback

One of my husband’s clients passed this along to me thinking I would like to read it. I read ME BEFORE YOU and have been wanting to read the sequel.

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love
By: Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D. and Emily McDowell
Illustrated by: Emily McDowell
Published: January 17, 2017
Publisher: HarperOne
Format: Hardcover

I purchased this book because I love Emily McDowell’s line of cards and other products. A close friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer and I’ve been at a loss for what to say to her that lets her know I’m here, I love her, and I’m scared for her. It seems like there are lots of situations in life where “I’m sorry.” or “I’m praying for you.” just isn’t enough. I’m hoping this book will offer me more options with a hint of humor.

The creator of the viral hit “Empathy Cards” teams up with a compassion expert to produce a visually stunning and groundbreaking illustrated guide to help you increase your emotional intelligence and learn how to offer comfort and support when someone you know is in pain.

When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell’s immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation.

Written in a how-to, relatable, we’ve-all-been-that-deer-in-the-headlights kind of way, There Is No Good Card for This isn’t a spiritual treatise on how to make you a better person or a scientific argument about why compassion matters. It is a helpful illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear.

There Is No Good Card for This features workbook exercises, sample dialogs, and real-life examples from Dr. Crowe’s research, including her popular “Empathy Bootcamps” that give people tools for building relationships when it really counts. Whether it’s a coworker whose mother has died, a neighbor whose husband has been in a car accident, or a friend who is seriously ill, There Is No Good Card for This teaches you how to be the best friend you can be to someone in need. 

How Smart Women Pivot and Relaunch Their Careers
By: Wendy Sachs
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: AMACOM
Format: Hardcover

This came to me for a review. I’m intrigued because I’m not doing what I went to college for. But, I am also not necessarily in a career. I’m doing what works for me right now and I am okay with that.

We all need to think more like entrepreneurs. Seeking and seizing opportunities, boldly taking risks, quickly changing course—achieving success today requires the kind of action-first, fake-it-‘til-you-make-it ethos celebrated in the tech industry.

This formula is not typically a female one. Women tend to be cautious. We overthink our next moves, become paralyzed by fear, and simply don’t act. We might be safer . . . but we’re also stuck.

But, what if women embraced the startup model? What if we had the confidence to take chances, even if we knew we may fail fabulously? What if instead of agonizing over which step to take, we leapt forward quickly? Fearless and Free empowers women, showing us how we can all use lessons from Silicon Valley to pivot in our careers—and unlock a world of possibilities.

Author Wendy Sachs talked to a wide range of women who faced down fears, roadblocks, and failures…to reinvent themselves. Spanning industries and ages—from media maven Jill Abramson to Aminatou Sow of the Tech LadyMafia—the book weaves their insights and experiences together with current research and actionable advice. You’ll learn how to:

● Capitalize on your skills and expand them
● Grow comfortable with being uncomfortable
● Sell your story
● Engineer serendipity
● Nurture your network
● Shake off setbacks
● Brand yourself—without bragging
● Build momentum
● Compete with digital natives
● And more

Being disciplined is no match for being disruptive. Whether you want out of a shrinking industry or into a business of your own creation, Fearless and Free helps you dream big—and act now.

How Did They Die?
By: Tod Benoit
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Black Dog and Leventhal
Format: eBook

I know this may sound a little morbid, but I am finding it very interesting. I first saw this book in a Cracker Barrel Store around Halloween and thought it sounded interesting. I thought of it again and reserved it through our online lending library. I like that I can read about a person while waiting in line or waiting to pick up our daughter since I have this book on my phone. The brief biography reminds me a bit about who the person was and then briefly shares how they died and where they are buried with detailed directions if you want to visit their grave. I’m shocked how many so far have died due to drug/alcohol abuse. I’ve already renewed this once as I didn’t realize how long of a book it is.

Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy

Updated with dozens of entries of the newly dead and now in paperback, an irresistible and browsable guide to the lives, deaths, and final resting places of the world’s most influential figures.

This unparalleled compilation of profiles of the deceased—from Abbott and Costello to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, from Arthur Ashe to Paul Newman, offers all the pertinent details on how they lived and died. It is also a detailed atlas of where they are buried.
Each entry in this fascinating book includes an entertaining capsule biography full of little-known facts, a detailed description of each subject’s death, and very specific directions to the location and site of the grave. Fifty photos and informative sidebars (on such topics as how to find anyone’s grave) round out this indispensable field guide to the “permanent addresses” of the world’s most significant late citizens.
New additions to the roster of final resting places include: • Tim Russert • Heath Ledger • Norman Mailer • Anna Nicole Smith • George Carlin • Rosa Parks • Hunter S. Thompson • Paul Newman • Katharine Hepburn … and many more

By: Colson Whitehead
Published: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Doubleday
Format: eBook

I had a free eBook credit and chose this book based on a recommendation from my friend, Tammy. It made many of the Best of 2016 lists around the blog-o-sphere, so I’m sure it will be a good one.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

By: Chris Cleve
Published: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: eBook

I received this one for free through the publisher as a thank you. It’s been raved about everywhere.

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage. 

By: Yiyun Li
Published: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Random House
Format: eBook

I received this one for review. I was interested because the author attend the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and most everyone that comes through that workshop is quite talented. I do think the title is a little odd though.

In her first memoir, award-winning novelist Yiyun Li offers a journey of recovery through literature: a letter from a writer to like-minded readers. A meditation on the fact that literature itself lives and gives life. Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead.
What a long way it is from one life to another, yet why write if not for that distance? 
Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is a luminous account of a life lived with books. Written over two years while the author battled suicidal depression, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living. 

Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Soren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together. 

Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live? 

Guide to Taking Stunning Beautiful Pictures – DSLR Photography and Smart Phones
By: Jonathan Cooper
Published: December 3, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: eBook

This was a free Kindle deal and since I am always wanting to learn more about my camera, I decided to get it. I’ve got nothing to lose since it was free.

Do you Love taking pictures? Do you wish you could become a professional photographer? Would you like to learn what it takes to become a professional photographer ?

When you download Photography: guide to taking stunning beautiful pictures DSLR photography and smart phones, Your skills will improve steadily each day! You will discover everything you need to know about Photography.

Would you like to know more about:

  • Composition?

  • Shutter speed

  • Natural light

  • Troubleshooting blurry, dark, and bad pictures

  • Instagram photography

This book breaks Photography down into easy-to-understand modules. It starts from the very beginning so you can get great results – even as a beginner!

Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge
By: Pia Edberg
Published: April 7, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Indpendent Publishing Platform
Format: eBook

This was a Kindle deal that interested me because of this Danish way of living called hygge.

In today’s world, we’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next and are struggling with information overload. We’re more disconnected from ourselves and our loved ones than ever before. Rediscover the joy of the simple things through the Danish concept of Hygge in The Cozy Life. This book will inspire you to slow down and enjoy life’s cozy moments! 

Learn about the Danish cultural phenomenon of Hygge, and the secret to why 
Denmark is consistently rated the happiest country in the world 
Embrace the little things and take simplicity and minimalism up a notch 
Add Hygge into every aspect of your life with practical examples and tips 
Say goodbye to the Winter Blues and live a healthier, centred life 

This charming little book, filled with hand drawn illustrations, beautifully addresses that yearning we all have for a more authentic life, created by ourselves instead of external forces. 

What’s stopping you from living a more meaningful and connected life?

By: Erica Bauermeister
Published: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eBook

Another Kindle deal that I snagged because I loved Bauermeister’s book JOY FOR BEGINNERS.

The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. 

Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students’ lives. 

One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian’s food, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.

Published: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Time for Kids
Format: Hardcover

This book is small in size, but large in information and has been a hit so far in the classrooms I’ve been teaching in. Kids seem surprised that President Trump is already in the book.

TIME For Kids presents a complete overview of our nation’s chief executives from George Washington to the newly elected 45th president!Did you know that James Monroe was the first president to appear without a wig in public? Or that George W. Bush appointed the first African-American secretary of state? Presidents of the United States invites the reader inside the White House to discover fascinating facts about the U.S. commanders-in-chief-their origins, accomplishments, and place in history-as told through famous quotes, important historical dates, and a timeline of events. Special sections cover the election process, the branches of government, and the role of presidents in the expansion of our nation from before the 13 colonies through westward expansion. With more than 200 photographs, illustrations, portrait reproductions, and maps. 

A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency
By: Ann Bausum
Published: January 10, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic
Format: Hardcover

The kids have been loving this book too. It is much larger and has full-page photos of each President. This is also up-to-date including President Trump.

National Geographic presents the 43 individuals who have led the U.S., plus America’s newest commander-in-chief, in this up-to-date, authoritative, and lavishly illustrated family, school, and library reference. It features comprehensive profiles of the 43 former presidents along with timelines and descriptions of crucial events during their terms. Information about the 2016 president-elect is also included. 

Thematic spreads cover a variety of topics from the history of voting rights to writing a presidential letter. Full-page portraits, famous quotes, and fascinating facts help kids get to know each leader. This new volume is a fascinating read and excellent reference for students and kids of all ages.

By: Julie Dillemuth
Illustrated by: Laura Wood
Published: March 13, 2017
Publisher: Magination Press
Format: Hardcover

I’m not sure how this book ended up in my mailbox as I wasn’t expecting it. But it looks really interesting.

Flora loves drawing maps and uses them to tell us about her life! Mapping My Day introduces spatial relationships and representation: where things and places are in relation to other things. This book intends to show readers how maps can convey information, inspire children to draw their own maps, and introduce basic map concepts and vocabulary. Spatial thinking is how we use concepts of space for problem solving and is shown to be a key skill in science, technology, engineering, and math. Includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” with extra mapping activities.

By: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by: Edward Hemingway
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Two Lions
Format: Hardcover

I couldn’t resist a book about a cat. This one came for a review and I’ll be sharing it with you this month.

Mr. Fuzzbuster knew he was Lily’s favorite. They did everything together. Naps. Story time. Walks. And more naps. But now four more animals lived in the house.…
To prove he’s still Lily’s favorite, Mr. Fuzzbuster will have to ask her, but will her answer surprise him? This funny, heartwarming story is for every child who has ever wondered if there’s a favorite in the house.

That’s a lot of books and I seem to not have much time to read lately. But, as always, if you read any of these be sure to let me know your thoughts!

I’m linking up with THE DELIBERATE READER for her monthly feature NEW ON THE STACK. To see other bloggers new books, click HERE.

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1 Comment

  1. Kate Unger on February 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I just requested Mapping My Day yesterday. It sounds really fun. I'm anxious to hear what you think of After You. I wasn't a fan. I loved Me Before You though.

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