This is my monthly roundup of books that were added to my shelves in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my life.

Wow! It’s hard to believe everything that has happened in the last month. I traveled to Nashville, right after the tornados hit there, and got home just in the nick of time before the social distancing really started. Spring is usually a very busy time for us and now our calendars, like everyone else, are completely empty.

I loved catching up with my college BFF and having her take me to all these fun places in the Nashville area. I visited three bookstores during my trip, Parnassus Books, Landmark Booksellers in Franklin, and The Bookshop Nashville.

The Bookshop Nashville has to cutest sign out front!

We also visited The Hermitage on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, toured the Jack Daniels Distillery, and saw a concert at The Grand Ole Opry. It was a wonderful trip and I’m glad that it was just before all the limitations were put on traveling. Please keep Nashville in your prayers as right before my trip was when the tornados hit and the devastation is heartbreaking. Their students have not been in school since March 3 and there is so much yet to clean up and figure out. Their community needs all our prayers.

The Hermitage – President Andrew Jackson’s Home

When I got back from Nashville, I went to see my mom for her 81st birthday. I had lunch with my mom, my sister (it was her birthday too) and my niece and great-nieces. Then I brought my two great-nieces back home with me to spend the night with us. We had so much fun.

Then all chaos broke loose, our boys moved home from college, our daughter’s school canceled and we are in the realm of social distancing. I can’t believe all that has happened and I am thankful I was able to see my parents before this all happened. We are adjusting to new normals here with the boys doing online classes and living here at home. We have done lots of puzzles, played all kinds of board and card games, and enjoyed spending time together again. Our new normal is quite a change from our old normal, but we are holding tight to the hope that this will all be over soon.

My walking was more miss than hit in March, but now that it is getting nice out, it’s easier to walk outside, which I enjoy more!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, HERE to see snippets of what I’m reading or what’s going on in my daily life.

If you have missed any of my recent book reviews, you can see all of them by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.

If you choose to make a purchase through any of the links I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

I have a crazy amount of books to share with you this month. Several of them I purchased while on my trip to Nashville, but the rest all arrived in my mailbox. I continue to be blessed to receive books and then share them with all of you. I hope you find something in this list for your own bookshelves or a book you want to share with your kids.

*Due to COVID-19 some of the publishing dates listed below may be changing. The books may be coming out later than scheduled. This is the most accurate information I have at this time.*


By: Maggie Brookes

Published: May 26, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Fiction/Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

WWII + based on a true story… I’m totally in! Can’t wait to dive into this one.

Inspired by the true story of a daring deception that plunges a courageous young woman deep into the horrors of a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.

In the dead of night, a Czech farm girl and a British soldier travel through the countryside. Izabela and POW Bill have secretly married and are on the run, with Izzy dressed as a man. The young husband and wife evade capture for as long as possible–until they are cornered by Nazi soldiers with tracking dogs.

Izzy’s disguise works. The couple is assumed to be escaped British soldiers and transported to a POW camp. However, their ordeal has just begun, as they face appalling living conditions and the constant fear of Izzy’s exposure. But in the midst of danger and deprivation comes hope, for the young couple is befriended by a small group of fellow prisoners. These men become their new family, willing to jeopardize their lives to save Izzy from being discovered and shot.

The Prisoner’s Wife tells of an incredible risk, and of how our deepest bonds are tested in desperate times. Bill and Izzy’s story is one of love and survival against the darkest odds.


By: Lesley Kara

Published: June 16, 2020 (Hardcover December 26, 2019)

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: Paperback

This is now coming out on paperback. I hadn’t heard of it this winter, but it sounds like a thrilling and suspenseful page-turner.

We said to keep it a secret, that no one needed to know.

Astrid is newly sober and trying to turn her life around. Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and darkness of her previous life, she is focusing on her recovery. She’s going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she’s wronged. If she fills her days, maybe she can outrun the ghosts that haunt her. Maybe she can start anew.

But someone is tormenting me now. Someone knows where I am and what I’ve done.

Someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won’t stop until she learns that some mistakes can’t be corrected. Some mistakes, you have to pay for . . .

The question is: Who did you tell? 


By: Victoria Schade

Published: March 24, 2020

Publisher: Berkley


Format: Paperback

How can you resist that adorable puppy on the cover? If you are looking for a light-hearted read right now, this looks like it could be just the book you need.

A few rough breaks lead a woman at the end of her leash to journey across the pond to fetch a suprise inheritance–but the dogs she rescues along the way have other ideas.

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would suffer through a quick trip to her late father’s family homestead in the English countryside, try not to think about how she was unjustly fired from her dream job, claim her inheritance, and hop on the next flight back to Silicon Valley where she can get her life back on track.

The plan does not include rescuing an abandoned black and white puppy. Or bonding with her long-lost aunt and uncle, their Border Collie, and their two very opinionated sheep. Or falling for the handsome local who runs the town’s craft brewery. As Elizabeth’s brief visit to Fargrove turns into an extended stay, she discovers that she has more in common with the new puppy than she realized. 


By: Martha Hunt Handler

Published: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press


Format: Paperback

This isn’t my typical type of read, but I am drawn to it. I think my daughter would like it too.

An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved fifteen-year-old, who is determined to unravel the mystery of her brother Sam’s death. Though all evidence points to a suicide, her heart and intuition compel her to dig deeper. With help from her friend Julie, they retrace Sam’s steps, delve into his Inuit beliefs, and reconnect with their spiritual beliefs to uncover clues beyond material understanding.

Both tragic and heartwarming, this twisting novel draws you into Bean’s world as she struggles with grief, navigates high school dramas, and learns to open her heart in order to see the true nature of the people around her. Winter of the Wolf is about seeking the truth–no matter how painful–in order to see the full picture.

In this novel, environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler, brings together two important pieces of her life–the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Center–to tell an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages.


By: Brooke Fossey

Published: April 14, 2020

Publisher: Berkley


Format: Hardcover

Meet Duffy, an old curmudgeon who lives in an assisted living home.

Meet Josie, a desperate young woman who climbs through his window.

Together, they’re going to learn it’s never too late—or too early—to change your ways.

For Duffy Sinclair, life boils down to one simple thing: maintaining his residence at the idyllic Centennial Assisted Living. Without it, he’s destined for the roach-infested nursing home down the road—and after wasting the first eighty-eight years of his life, he refuses to waste away for the rest. So, he keeps his shenanigans to the bare minimum with the help of his straight-laced best friend and roommate, Carl Upton.

But when Carl’s granddaughter Josie climbs through their bedroom window with booze on her breath and a black eye, Duffy’s faced with trouble that’s sticking around and hard to hide—from Centennial’s management and Josie’s toxic boyfriend. Before he knows it, he’s running a covert operation that includes hitchhiking and barhopping.

He might as well write himself a one-way ticket to the nursing home…or the morgue. Yet Duffy’s all in. Because thanks to an unlikely friendship that becomes fast family—his life doesn’t boil down the same anymore. Not when he finally has a chance to leave a legacy


By: Julie Berry

Published: February 4, 2020 (Hardcover March 4, 2019)

Publisher: Penguin Books

Fiction/Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

This was part of the Page 1 Books DON’T OVERTHINK IT Bundle that I purchased. I believe this is written for YA readers, but gosh, the cover is so lovely. This is definitely a twist on what I normally read for historical fiction.

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love. 


By: Thrity Umrigar

Published: May 3, 2011 (Hardcover January 10, 2006)

Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics


Format: Paperback

This was part of the Page 1 Books DON’T OVERTHINK IT Bundle that I purchased. Somehow I missed this one even though I remember hearing about it and it totally sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years.


By: Therese Fowler

Published: March 10, 2010

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


Format: Hardcover

This was my Book of the Month choice for March. I have heard some bold opinions on this one and I’ve very anxious to check it out for myself. Way back in 2011, I read EXPOSURE by Therese Fowler. I remember loving it and passing it around to all my girlfriends.

In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son. Xavier is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door – an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.

Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he’s made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn’t want to live in Oak Knoll? With little in common except a property line, these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie’s yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.

Told from multiple points of view, A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―What does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.


By: Bel Kaufman

Published: Paperback April 30, 2019 (Original July 3, 1991)

Publisher: Vintage


Format: Paperback

I purchased this at The Bookshop Nashville. It’s a tiny bookshop in East Nashville and thankfully escaped the tornado damage. Definitely pay them a visit if you are in the area. This classic has been on my to-read list for a long time and when I saw it on the shelf, I knew that was what I needed to purchase.

Bel Kaufman’s Up the Down Staircase is one of the best-loved novels of our time. It has been translated into sixteen languages, made into a prize-winning motion picture, and staged as a play at high schools all over the United States; its very title has become part of the American idiom.

Never before has a novel so compellingly laid bare the inner workings of a metropolitan high school. Up the Down Staircase is the funny and touching story of a committed, idealistic teacher whose clash with school bureaucracy is a timeless lesson for students, teachers, parents–anyone concerned about public education. Bel Kaufman lets her characters speak for themselves through memos, letters, directives from the principal, comments by students, notes between teachers, and papers from desk drawers and wastebaskets, evoking a vivid picture of teachers fighting the good fight against all that stands in the way of good teaching. 


A Novel of the Royal Wedding

By: Jennifer Robson

Published: December 31, 2018

Publisher: William Morrow

Fiction/Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

I have already raved about this book after listening to it on audio last month. See my review, HERE. I loved it so much I wanted a physical copy and purchased it at Parnassus Books in Nashville.


By: Ann Patchett

Published: September 24, 2019

Publisher: Harper


Format: Hardcover

I knew when I visited Parnassus Books in Nashville that I wanted to purchase an Ann Patchett (owner of Parnassus Books) book or two. This one is autographed and I have been wanting to read it.

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.


By: Beth Troy

Published: June 21, 2017

Publisher: Kingsbury Publishing


Format: eBook

This sounds like a good women’s fiction for when you need a lighter read between heavier choices.

Lu Sokolowski never planned to return to her small hometown of Dunlap’s Creek, but it’s the only place she can think of to go after her boyfriend cheats on her. Moving back in with her family lets her run away from her problems, but it also means suffering their attempts to reassemble her failed life, including arranging a job as the wedding beat writer at the local paper and setting her up with Jackson, the divorced pastor of her family’s church. Unexpected success and friendships restore Lu to the family and faith she’d left behind. But when the small-town life Lu never intended shakes up, will she run again?

Lu’s story is a journey of a woman back to her family, her faith, and herself. It’s about second chances and the unchosen circumstances that press the point of who we are and what we believe. Are we the sum of our successes and failures, or does our identity rest in a greater hope?


By: Hazel Prior

Published: June 16, 2020

Publisher: Berkley


Format: eBook

I just think this sounds like a delightful story and who can resist one about penguins??!!

Eighty-five-year-old Veronica McCreedy is estranged from her family and wants to find a worthwhile cause to leave her fortune to. When she sees a documentary about penguins being studied in Antarctica, she tells the scientists she’s coming to visit—and won’t take no for an answer. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica’s closed heart starts to open.

Her grandson, Patrick, comes to Antarctica to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about.


By: Kerry Winfrey

Published: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Berkley


Format: eBook

I may admit to rewatching all the Tom Hanks rom-com movies multiple times. I’ve been interested in reading this one and received a copy because the author has a new book coming out this summer that is the sequel to this one.

Can a romcom-obsessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey?

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?


By: Kerry Winfrey

Published: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Berkley


Format: eBook

Part two in the Waiting for Tom Hanks series.

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, she’s pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that’s about to premiere in theaters across America…and happens to be inspired by Chloe and Nick Velez, Chloe’s cute but no-nonsense boss.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can’t see him as anything but Reason #2: The Scruffy-Bearded Hunk Who’s Always There When You Need Him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn’t so sure her own story will end in a Happily Ever After. 


By: Lian Dolan

Published: April 28, 2020

Publisher: William Morrow


Format: eBook

I am always a sucker for a good sister story. The author is part of the well-known “Satellite Sisters”.

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.

But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.

When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.

Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?

By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family. 


By: Lori Nelson Spielman

Published: November 17, 2020 (changed from April 2020)

Publisher: Berkley


Format: eBook

I previously read and loved THESE BOOKS by Lori Nelson Spielman and was thrilled to hear she had a new book coming out. Unfortunately, her publishing date was pushed back due to COVID-19.

A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse.


By: Kelly Rimmer

Published: June 18, 2015

Publisher: Bookouture


Format: eBook

This was part of a Kindle Deal and it has been on my to-read list for quite some time.

As I saw my new-born baby’s face for the first time I tried desperately to capture her face in my mind—to stamp it onto my eyelids. As she was taken from me I knew I might never see my daughter again.

38 years later…
‘You were adopted’. Three short words and Sabina’s life fractures. There would forever be a Before those words, and an After.

Pregnant with her own child, Sabina can’t understand how a mother could abandon her daughter, or why her parents have kept the past a secret.

Determined to find the woman who gave her away, what she discovers will change everything, not just for Sabina, but for the women who have loved her all these years.


By: Lisa See

Published: March 21, 2017

Publisher: Scribner


Format: eBook

How cool is it to open up an email from Simon & Schuster saying that you can choose a free eBook from their list in the email!!! I love those kinds of emails. I had no trouble choosing this one since I love Lisa See’s writing and haven’t read this one yet.

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.

As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family.


By: Heather Gudenkauf

Published: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Park Row


Format: Audiobook

This was part of the Chirp Books audio deals of the day. I haven’t read this one yet but have been wanting to, so maybe with audio, I’ll be able to get to it sooner. Gudenkauf is an Iowa Author and I love her books. She has a new one coming out this May titled THIS IS HOW I LIED. Chirp Books offers a daily audio deal email and it is super easy to sign up, HERE.

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters–her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice? 


By: Anne Tyler

Published: July 10, 2018

Publisher: Knopf


Format: Audiobook

Again, another email from a publisher that says, choose a FREE audiobook and download it to their app, Volumes. Ok…twist my arm! I haven’t read anything by Anne Tyler yet but I have a few of her books on my list already.

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: when she was eleven and her mother disappeared, being proposed to at twenty-one, the accident that would make her a widow at forty-one. At each of these moments, Willa ended up on a path laid out for her by others.

So when she receives a phone call telling her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot and needs her help, she drops everything and flies across the country. The spur-of-the-moment decision to look after this woman – and her nine-year-old daughter, and her dog – will lead Willa into uncharted territory. Surrounded by new and surprising neighbours, she is plunged into the rituals that make a community and takes pleasure in the most unexpected things.

A bittersweet novel of hope and regret, fulfillment and renewal, Clock Dance brings us the everyday life of a woman who decides it’s never too late to change direction, and choose your own path.


A Simple Guide to the Best Yoga stylers and Exercises for Relaxation, Stretching, and Good Health

By: Ntathu Allen

Published: October 15, 2017

Publisher: TCK Publishing


Format: Paperback

This is a great time to be learning yoga for all the anti-anxiety and destressing qualities that yoga can provide.

Yoga: The Key To Relaxation, Inner Peace, and Longevity
If you typically find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted from work and life, Yoga For Beginners is the book for you!

Say goodbye to the frustration and stress that comes from spending your entire day meeting other people’s demands but never taking care of yourself because you’re about to learn how to start taking amazing care of your own physical and emotional needs in as little as 5 minutes per day.

You’ll learn easy restorative yoga poses to strengthen your body and powerful meditation techniques to remove stress for work and home. Just imagine creating your own custom 5-minute yoga routine that allows you to instantly relax, clear your mind, and energize your body—without needing a yoga mat or instructor to show you what to do.


The Roadmap to Healing from Your Past and Living with Ease and Vitality

By: Ilene Smith

Published: May 5, 2020

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing


Format: Paperback

An interesting look at working through trauma with a body-based therapy approach. I’ve never heard of this type of therapy and am intrigued.

Have you noticed that no matter how much time you spend in talk therapy, you still feel anxious and triggered? That is because talk therapy can keep you stuck in a pattern of reliving your stories, rather than moving beyond them. But, most of all, it’s because trauma doesn’t just reside inside your mind–much more importantly, it locks itself in other parts of your body. When left unresolved, that trauma continues to live there, impacting your life, your relationships, your sense of safety, and your ability to experience joy in very real ways.

In Moving Beyond Trauma, Ilene Smith will introduce you to Somatic Experiencing, a body-based therapy capable of healing the damage done to your nervous system by trauma. She breaks down the ways in which trauma impacts your nervous system and walks you through a program designed to process trauma in a non-threatening way. You will discover a healing lifestyle marked by a deeper connection with yourself, those around you, and with everything you do.


Confessions of an Urban Beekeeper

By: Andrew Cote

Published: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: Paperback

My high school classmate’s parents are beekeepers and I remember going there for field trips as a kid. For several years now, her parents have also had hives on my parent’s property. So, we are blessed in jars and jars of fresh honey every year.

A year in the life of New York City’s premier beekeeper, who charmingly chronicles his adventures and the quirky personalities he encounters while spreading his infinite knowledge of and passion for the remarkable honey bee.

Andrew Coté takes readers through the world of Big Apple beekeeping, complete with its eccentric players, rivalries, and celebrations. But Coté’s travels as an apiarist go far beyond city limits, from rural Uganda to warn-torn Iraq, from a remote Chinese hospital to Paris’s Notre Dame, to the rocky regions of Kenya to remote Fijian islands–anywhere that honey bees can thrive and improve the lives of those who tend them. He shares all of these moments and more with his trademark humor and verve, resulting in a delightful and informative read about these most magical creatures.


A Memoir

By: Patricia Walsh Chadwick

Published: April 2, 2019 (Paperback April 28, 2020)

Publisher: Post Hill Press


Format: Hardcover

This reminds me of Tara Westover’s story in EDUCATED.

Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s.

It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to be excommunicated) Catholic priest, has founded a religious community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Center’s members—many of them educated at Harvard and Radcliffe—surrender all earthly possessions and aspects of their life, including their children, to him. Patricia Chadwick was one of those children, and Little Sister is her account of growing up in the Feeney sect.

Separated from her parents and forbidden to speak to them, Patricia bristles against the community’s draconian rules, yearning for another life. When, at seventeen, she is banished from the Center, her home, she faces the world alone, without skills, family, or money but empowered with faith and a fierce determination to succeed on her own, which she does, rising eventually to the upper echelons of the world of finance and investing. 

A tale of resilience and grace, Little Sister chronicles, in riveting prose, a surreal childhood and does so without rancor or self-pity. 


A Dynamic Experience of Consciousness, Transformation, and Enlightenment

By: Darlene Green

Published: December 13, 2019

Publisher: Waterside Productions


Format: Paperback

This book offers 122 days of guided therapy in two-to-three page readings. In skimming through some of the readings, I’m reminded of Dr. Wayne Dyer. If you liked him, you might like this type of therapy as well. Books two and three will take you through the rest of the year.

In Service to Love offers a pathway for shifting your awareness from the de-stabilizing chaos of the external world to the ever-present, potent, multi-dimensional, innovative expression of Love that is your authentic nature. When it is time for you to discover your own purpose and truth, In Service to Love offers a modern day mystery school that elevates your conscious awareness, catalyzing transformation and ultimately enlightenment. Revealed through daily messages, scribed by Darlene Green from the Masters that comprise the Council of Light, you experience your own unique, exquisite process of enlightenment. Each day’s message holds rich frequency. Simple foundational concepts, exercises, meditations, light infusions and activations guide your experience, allowing your own resonance to reveal truth.

Enlightenment is not a privilege to be earned, it is who you are at your essence. The process of enlightenment uncovers what gets in the way of your greatest expression. With each step made on your unique journey, the experience of your life here and now is enhanced. The work of In Service to Love masterfully aligns your awareness to your divine nature so you may hear the voice of your soul and create your best life possible.


By: Bruce Wilkinson and Heather Hair

Published: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers


Format: eBook

This one interested me in the listing from the publisher. I feel like my prayers for our adult sons have changed in the last few years. In my initial reading this focuses on both praying for our adult children who may have taken the “wrong path” in life and may even be in harm’s way, but also praying for our children’s future careers, spouses, children, safety, and health.

You never stop caring about your children, even once they’ve become adults. Your influence in their lives may lessen as they grow, yet no matter the state of the relationship between you and your children—or your children and God—you will always have one powerful tool to use on their behalf: prayer.

Prayers of Blessing over My Adult Children will help you express compassion for your children’s struggles while deepening your trust in God. With daily scripture and devotionals, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson shares his three-step guided prayer method based on established biblical prayer patterns, helping you develop the wisdom and boldness to approach God with a spirit of dependence, gratitude, and praise.

No matter what season of life your now-grown children are in, Prayers of Blessing over My Adult Children will help you surrender their problems and your own to God, bringing you peace through the recognition that He alone is in control. 


Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life

By: Anne Bogel

Published: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Baker Books


Format: Paperback

I was part of the launch team and received an eCopy of this book, but I also wanted a physical copy. This was part of the Page 1 Books DON’T OVERTHINK IT Bundle that I purchased. I can’t wait to transfer my highlights from my ebook to my physical book and reread some sections. This is an EXCELLENT book to read right now while you are anxious and trying to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. You can see my review, HERE.


An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times

By: Kenneth Whyte

Published: October 10, 2017

Publisher: Knopf


Format: Paperback

I’m sad to say that I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life and have only just recently visited the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch for the first time. We have talked about going there dozens of times (it’s just 1 1/2 hours from our house). After hearing a whole chapter devoted to President Herbert Hoover in the book MOBITUARIES and there was even a CBS Sunday Morning special about it, we decided to take a day and go with another couple. We learned so much about this President, born in Iowa, and I highly recommend you visit if you have the opportunity. My husband chose this book in the gift shop.

A poor orphan who built a fortune, a great humanitarian, a president elected in a landslide and then routed in the next election, arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism–Herbert Hoover is also one of our least understood presidents, conventionally seen only as a heartless failure for his handling of the Great Depression.
Kenneth Whyte fully captures this rich, dramatic life: from Hoover’s difficult childhood to his meteoric business career, his work saving hundreds of thousands of lives during World War I and after the 1927 Mississippi floods, his presidency, his painful defeat by Roosevelt, and his return to grace as Truman’s emissary to help European refugees after World War II. Whyte brings to life Hoover’s complexity and contradictions–his modesty and ambition, ruthlessness and extreme generosity–as well as his political legacy. Here is the epic, poignant story of the poor boy who became the most accomplished figure of his time, who worked ceaselessly to fight the Depression yet became the public face of America’s greatest economic crisis. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that captures the full scale of this extraordinary life.


A First Weather Book for Kids

By: Huda Harajli, MA

Published: March 24, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press


Format: Paperback

A great book for introducing weather concepts to toddlers and preschoolers.

Welcome to the wonderful world of weather! Of all the weather books for kids, All About Weather has been specifically created to educate and entertain children ages 3 to 5.

From the warm, balmy days of summer to the cold, crisp nights of winter, youngsters will learn all about the four seasons, as well as what the sun is, how clouds form, why it rains, what causes a rainbow, and so much more. Read along and wow your child with the meteorological magic that’s happening around them every day.


By: Carolyn Drew

Illustrated by: Debi Pirie

Published: September 2, 2019

Publisher: Carolyn Drew


Part of the proceeds from this book and the others in the series goes to animal welfare organizations.

Roxi wants to help all the animals in the world have a nice life.

Today she heads down Elephant-TRUNK Road to visit the elephants.

Are they happy? Do they need her help?

What mischief will she get into?

Will she need her Super Hero cape today?

A cute, whimsical story about a rescue dog who rescues other animals.

Great for preschool children and young readers.


By: Joan M. Lexau

Illustrated by: Aliki

Published: March 24, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior


Format: Hardcover

This retelling of a classic looks so good!

A boy is sitting on a rock in the jungle when a tiger approaches him. “Run!” says the tiger, “or I will eat you!” But the boy is too tired to run and in order to avoid being eaten he tells the tiger a story. What follows is a thrilling tale that will captivate young readers just as thoroughly as it captivated the hungry tiger. Kids will enjoy waiting breathlessly for every flip of the page as the boy tells his story involving a rhinoceros and a crocodile. Originally published in 1963 and out of print for many years, this book by award-winning illustrator and author Aliki features fabulous vintage style illustrations. This new edition preserves the vivid colors of the original book while introducing a new generation of young readers to a skillfully told story-within-a-story with a surprising and satisfying ending.


By: Rotraut Susanne Berner

Published: February 18, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior


Format: Hardcover

I previously reviewed ALL AROUND BUSTLETOWN WINTER and I’m thrilled to have the rest of the seasons to share with you.

It’s springtime in this charming, busy town and there is a lot going on! A house gets a top-to-bottom spring cleaning and farm fields are being prepared for planting. People are shopping, commuting to work, constructing buildings, and meeting friends. If you look closer, you’ll recognize the same characters appear on every page, each with their own story. There’s Wilfred the jogger slipping on a banana peel and his friend Erica who comes to help him. Three cheerful nuns shop, chat, and share a snack at the cafe. A stork surveys all the activity from the sky while a mischievous fox scampers through the streets. In the tradition of Richard Scarry and Where’s Waldo, this book encourages kids to return again and again to each spread, following along with the characters and inventing their own stories. They’ll recognize parts of their own world, while also learning about the endless ways we live, work, and play in the spring.


By: Rotraut Susanne Berner

Published: March 19, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior



It’s summer and that means flowers, picnics, thunderstorms, and bike rides. It’s a busy time for construction workers, farmers, and house painters. Playgrounds are filled with kids and vacationers are boarding trains in droves. In the sky a pair of balloons drifts through every scene, while on the street people of all ages make their way to an outdoor birthday party. There’s even a big storm that turns umbrellas inside out, sends hats flying, but ends in a lovely rainbow. As kids pore over these oversized spreads, they will delight in identifying the same characters on each page as they walk, play, jog, and roller skate–from homes to parks and office buildings to rail stations. In the tradition of Richard Scarry and Where’s Waldo, this book encourages kids to return again and again to these charming spreads, following along with the characters and inventing their own stories. All kinds of summer activities come alive in these endearing drawings that provide endless entertainment and spark engaging conversations.


By: Rotraut Susanne Berner

Published: July 21, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior


Format: Hardcover

The leaves are blowing off the trees and the birds are flying south in Bustletown. Farmers are preparing the fields for winter and kids are back in school. And look, there’s a water main break that’s causing havoc and a chimney sweeper perched on a roof! Each time readers look at these delightfully detailed spreads they’ll discover something new, whether it’s what’s for sale at the outdoor market or how many pumpkins they can spot on a single page. Familiar characters appear on each page–a maestro and a violinist, a balloon-toting nun, and a mom with her baby. All the activity culminates in a harvest celebration lit by dozens of paper lanterns in every shape and size. In the tradition of Richard Scarry and Where’s Waldo, this book encourages kids to return again and again to these charming spreads, following along with the characters and inventing their own stories. As they peruse scenes from the home to the farm, from the shopping center to the park, kids will enjoy identifying the different things that fall brings.


By: Ann Patchett

Illustrated by: Robin Preiss Glasser

Published: May 7, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins


Format: Hardcover

I had no idea Ann Patchett had written a children’s book and when I saw this one at Parnassus Books and it was about lambs, I had to get it. It’s also autographed by Ann and the illustrator. I’ve already read it and it is so adorable! I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

On the farm there was a flock of lambs who believed that everything was done especially for them….

So when they overhear Nicolette and the rest of the Farmer family say something about winning a school election by a landslide, they mistakenly hear the word


Un-baa-lievable! Could this be? A slide made JUST for lambs?!

With humor, curiosity, and just the right amount of entitlement, the lambs search the entire farm for the special slide. When they can’t spot one, there’s only one thing to do: take a vote!

Which one of these books will you be adding to your list?

To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.

So many books, so little time!

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