New Books

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.

Family and Life Update

I traveled to Northern Minnesota the first of June to attend my cousin’s daughter’s graduation. The morning I left, the flight was delayed for fog and once we finally took off, I noticed we were traveling between the clouds.

This photo and the one below it are me with my mom. My mom is the girl in the photo on a bike. She was just 12 when this photo was taken in 1951, after riding to her aunt’s house in Wisconsin on the train all by herself to help her with her baby and toddler for the summer. My mom’s photo is on the outside of the Walker General Store building in Walker, MN. It’s a wonderful store and if you are ever in the area, you should definitely stop in and shop!

My mom and I from the family reunion we attended a couple weeks ago.

Summer means weddings and I was thankful that our whole family could attend a friend’s wedding in St. Louis for the weekend. These times with the five of us together are few and far between.

In May, I became an Olive and June Ambassador. I absolutely love their polish system and wrote about it, HERE. If you’d like to try them out, click HERE and use my code stacieg20 for 20% off your own system.

It’s crazy to think we are into July already! We are just heading out for a week in Kentucky that I’ll share about soon! The best part I’m sure will be the five of us being together but I’m also looking forward to some other tourist destinations and maybe a little whiskey tasting too. I love summer and I’m hoping I can soak up some sun while reading over the next 6 -8 weeks left of summer. Here’s to happy summer reading!

Be sure to check out all the books below! Let me know which ones you are interested in reading or hearing more about!

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.


By: Ashley Schumacher

Published: February 16, 2021

Publisher: Wednesday Books


Format: Hardcover

I first heard about this book on the podcast, “What Should I Read Next?”. I thought it might be something both my daughter and I would enjoy.

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.


By: Angeline Boulley

Published: March 16, 2021

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co


Format: Hardcover

When I heard about this book, I immediately told my nephew about it. He teaches high school English in a Reservation school in Northern Minnesota. It would be an excellent book for his classroom. I can’t wait to read it myself.

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.


Published: June 8, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Paperback

These WEIRD BUT TRUE! books are full of fun and learning and are always favorites among the kids at school.

Dive into these fishy facts: Did you know that the prehistoric shark, megalodon, had jaws so big that it could swallow a car? Or that goats, pigs, dogs, cats, and even an alpaca have all learned how to surf? And if that’s not weird enough for ya, one man even rowed solo across the Pacific Ocean for 312 days!
In this book filled with 300 wacky facts and pictures, you’ll glimpse the ocean’s weirdest wildlife, uncover shocking shipwrecks, and meet sensational seafarers, from pirates and sailors to ground-breaking marine scientists. Perfect for ocean enthusiasts and trivia-loving landlubbers alike! 


By: Jill Esbaum

Published: May 11, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Hardcover

National Geographic never disappoints in these types of animal-focused books.

Welcome to the wild world of sea turtles! In this intro to the species, youngsters discover where on Earth this reptile lives, what it eats, and how big it grows. Cool photos of all the different kinds of sea turtles and adorable photos of just-hatched turtle babies bring the creatures into full focus. After learning the basics, young readers will learn why sea turtles need our help and what people around the world are doing to help save them. Filled with fun facts, games, and an activity focused on making a difference in sea turtles’ world, Go Wild! will inspire kids to care about this swimmingly cute animal. 


By: Margie Markarian

Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Hardcover

I’m sure I’ll learn something about Pandas from this book too.

Welcome to the wild world of pandas! In this intro to the species, youngsters discover where on Earth this bear lives, what it eats, how big it grows, and how it communicates. Cool photos of adorable panda cubs and panda relatives bring the creatures into full focus. After learning the basics, young readers will discover why pandas need our help and what people around the world are doing to help save them. Filled with fun facts, games, and an activity focused on making a difference in the panda’s world, Go Wild! will inspire kids to care about this adorable animal. 


By: Moira Rose Donohue

Published: July 13, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Hardcover

A great book to get even the younger kids excited about learning. Summer is the perfect time to explore your area or vacation spot for rocks and shells.

Discover how rocks are formed, the three kinds of rocks, and the difference between rocks and minerals. Learn how rocks and minerals are used in art, architecture, industry, and science. Then journey to the oceans to explore seashells and the amazing animals that once inhabited them. Packed with more than 200 stunning photos, including closeups of each specimen, this colorful book showcases breathtaking natural sites such as the Giant’s Causeway and human-built structures such as the Great Wall of China.


A Dealing with Feelings Book

By: Deborah Fannie Miller

Illustrated by: Diane Jacobs

Published: September 7, 2013

Publisher: Frontenac House, Ltd


Format: Paperback

These books just arrived and I haven’t had a chance to skim through them yet, but I love books that help kids handle their feelings. See the one below as well.

Everyone grapples with the grumblies from time to time, but this lovely (and funny!) book will help your child–and you–discover new ways of dealing with difficult feelings.


By: Deborah Fannie Miller

Illustrated by: Danielle Bazinet

Published: September 7, 2013

Publisher: Frontenac House, Ltd


Format: Paperback

Juggling the Jitters is a Dealing with Feelings children’s picture book about anxiety for K-3.


By: Zakiya Dalila Harris

Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Atria Books


Format: Hardcover

I heard about this one from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide and it definitely piqued my interest.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.


By: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: Hardcover

I chose this as my Book of the Month choice. It’s been everywhere and getting crazy rave reviews. Plus, Taylor Jenkins Reed is a must-read in my mind!

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them… and what they will leave behind.


By: Sofia Lundberg

Translated by: Nicola Smalley

Published: March 23, 2021

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Format: Hardcover

I really loved Lundberg’s THE RED ADDRESS BOOK and when I saw she had a new book out, I had to get it.

From the author of The Red Address Book, Sofia Lundberg comes a captivating story about overcoming shame and guilt, about finding oneself and the truth—and in doing so, learning how to love.

Elin has the perfect life. A successful photographer, she lives in New York with her husband Sam and their seventeen-year-old daughter, Alice.
But something has always been missing…

When Elin receives a letter from her childhood friend Fredrik on the Swedish island of Gotland, memories come flooding back: of a past she has tried to forget, and a terrible secret she has shared with nobody – a secret that made her flee the island, and never return.

Torn between past and present and afraid the truth will destroy her family, Elin sets out on a journey to another continent, but also to another time and another life.


By: Jodi Picoult

Published: November 30, 2021

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: eBook

Jodi Picoult is a must-read for me so I was thrilled to be sent her upcoming release as an eBook.

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. The whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.


A Novel of An American Spy

By: Stephanie Marie Thornton

Published: September 14, 2021

Publisher: Berkley

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook

I have AND THEY CALLED IT CAMELOT by Thornton on my shelf. She is a very much-loved writer and I’m anxious to read her newest.

1963: Reeling from the death of her mother and President Kennedy’s assassination, Catherine Gray shows up on Elizabeth Bentley’s doorstep demanding answers to the shocking mystery just uncovered about her family. What she doesn’t expect is for Bentley to ensnare her in her own story of becoming a controversial World War II spy and Cold War informer…

Recruited by the American Communist Party to spy on fascists at the outbreak of World War II, a young Bentley–code name Clever Girl–finds she has an unexpected gift for espionage. But after falling desperately in love with her handler, Jacob Golos, Elizabeth makes another unexpected discovery when she learns her lover is actually a Russian spy. Together, they will build the largest Soviet spy network in America and Elizabeth will become its uncrowned Red Spy Queen. However, once the war ends and the U.S. and U.S.S.R. become embroiled in the Cold War, it is Elizabeth who will dangerously clash with the NKVD, the brutal Soviet espionage agency.

As Catherine listens to Elizabeth’s harrowing tale, she empathizes with her, that is, until she uncovers startling revelations that link the two women’s lives in shocking ways. Faced with the idea that her entire existence is based on a lie, Catherine realizes there can be many sides to the truth. And only Elizabeth Bentley can tell her what that truth really is. 


By: Bruce Dennler

Published: April 4, 2014


Format: eBook

At my family reunion at the end of June, I was catching up with my cousin from California. I hadn’t seen him in years and our conversation it naturally turned to books and reading. He casually shared that he wrote a book, so I had to go right to Amazon that night and purchase it.

Pete Johnson is a small town boy made good in Manhattan. As a happy-go-lucky advertising copywriter, Pete thinks his life is a giddy recipe for single-guy perfection. He’s got an entertaining job, good money, buddies, booze, football on the tube, bars aplenty, women to pursue, and a hell of a town to turn upside down. Good-hearted, hardworking, hard-playing, instinctive, and quick of wit, Pete is well armed to make a long, successful run at big city life.

The unraveling enters on tip toes and Pete is well into it before he realizes that his life is moving too fast into a turn. As he scrambles to gain control, it becomes apparent that the rural upbringing that he left in the dust was never quite as gone, or as benign, as he believed it to be. It’s coming after him.

Propped up by his buddies, distracted by buffoons at the office, prodded by a lunatic, and soothed by the prospect of real love, Pete reluctantly bumbles into a suckhole of murder, lust, deceit and tragedy that threatens to pull him under.

HALF LIVES: The Unlikely History of Radium

By: Lucy Jane Santos

Published: July 6, 2021

Publisher: Pegasus Books


Format: Hardcover

I love learning something new from history and this book blends science with history definitely intrigues me.

Of all the radioactive elements discovered at the end of the nineteenth century, it was radium that became the focus of both public fascination and entrepreneurial zeal.

Half Lives tells the fascinating, curious, sometimes macabre story of the element through its ascendance as a desirable item – a present for a queen, a prize in a treasure hunt, a glow-in-the-dark dance costume – to its role as a supposed cure-all in everyday twentieth-century life when medical practitioners and business people (reputable and otherwise) devised ingenious ways of commodifying the new wonder element, and enthusiastic customers welcomed their radioactive wares into their homes.

Lucy Jane Santos—herself the proud owner of a formidable collection of radium beauty treatments—delves into the stories of these products and details the gradual downfall and discredit of the radium industry through the eyes of the people who bought, sold, and eventually came to fear the once-fetishized substance.

Half Lives is a new history of radium as part of a unique examination of the interplay between science and popular culture. 


Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman)

By: Dana Perino

Published: March 9, 2021

Publisher: Twelve


Format: Hardcover

I really loved Perino’s AND THE GOOD NEWS IS and this one sounds great too and one I can pass on to our daughter.

Beloved co-host of Fox News’s The Five, The Daily Briefing,and bestselling author of And the Good News Is…, Dana Perino is back with advice for young women to overcome the quarter-life crisis and succeed at career, life, and relationships.


By: Bess Kalb

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Vintage


Format: eBook

Ann Bogel has recommended this a few times on her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?” and it was recently a Kindle Deal so I grabbed a copy.

Bess Kalb, Emmy-nominated TV writer and New Yorker contributor, saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force–irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking to Bess once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life.

Recounting both family lore and family secrets, Bobby brings us four generations of indomitable women and the men who loved them. There’s Bobby’s mother, who traveled solo from Belarus to America in the 1880s to escape the pogroms, and Bess’s mother, a 1970s rebel who always fought against convention. Then there’s Bess, who grew up in New York and entered the rough-and-tumble world of L.A. television. Her grandma Bobby was with her all the way–she was the light of Bess’s childhood and her fiercest supporter, giving Bess unequivocal love, even if sometimes of the toughest kind.


Scenic Drives

Published: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Reader’s Digest


Format: Paperback

We love taking road trips for our vacations. I look forward to driving some of these scenic roads in the future. Unfortunately, no roads in Kentucky were mentioned so we won’t be able to try one out on our vacation this week.

Let the natural beauty of America’s most scenic drives inspire the travel bug within you and get you exploring the wide-open spaces and breathtaking vistas in our country.

Absorb the best America has to offer from the slow lane! This collection of scenic drives, broken out by region, features breathtaking road trips, both long and short. Highlighted by over 140 gorgeous photos, each trip also includes helpful info to help you plan your trip. Inspirational photos showcase why these well known drives are worth the drive. Many of the drives are described in the first person by people who have made the trip, taken the photos and visited the cool places along the way.

Which one (or two or three) 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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