New Books

This is my monthly roundup of books that came my way in the last month. I also share updates with you on other things in my and my family’s lives.

Family and Life Update

Our baby turned 18 in January which means we are now parents of 3 adult children. I don’t have to tell you how fast this time goes. Like Gretchen Rubin says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

Show choir season is already almost over. It consumes our weekends and then in a flash, it is gone. This is truly one of our family’s favorite activities and as you can see above, our daughter shines on the stage.

The dance team is performing once or twice a week at basketball games. I love the joy on her face when she is out there dancing.

I started January by staying at my parent’s home for a week due to my mom having unexpected surgery. It forced me to slow down and just be in their world for a while. Thankfully, she has recovered quickly and we even got in a few Scrabble games. Like many of you, I had goals and plans for the first week of the new year and all of those things went out the window. And, guess what? I’ve had a hard time refocusing since then. I am feeling a little out of sorts and rethinking all those “plans” and “goals” that I had for myself. Instead, I want to focus on just being present…in our home, in our children’s lives, in my parents’ lives, being present for our friends, and taking time for myself and my needs.

Since I love Scrabble and Words with Friends and other readers do as well, I wanted to share a game my BFF gave me for Christmas. Q-Less is a single-person game that is like Bananagrams but isn’t a race and just uses 12 lettered dice. You roll the dice and try to use up all of them to build connecting words of at least 3 letters. You can make it a challenge to time yourself, my fastest is 25 seconds so far. I also have downloaded the Q-Less app. It allows one play a day for free or you can pay for the full version and play multiple times. So, every morning after I play Wordle, I play Q-Less. Q-Less is also on TikTok where they share a daily roll. I’ve only not been able to use up all the letters just a couple of times, but for the most part, if I stick with it, I can use up all the letters. It may take me all day, but I like the challenge. Q-Less was created by Tom Sturdevant who lives in the Nashville area. You can find his game on his website, HERE.

Now on to the books! 

In January I read 6 books. Three physical copies, one eBook, and two audiobooks. Three of the books were ones I was able to remove from my shelves. I have also finally finished The Gilmore Girls series and A Year in the Life as well. We went to the theater and saw A Man Called Otto, which I enjoyed, but my husband didn’t like it as much. We also watched Glass Onion on New Year’s Eve and enjoyed it.

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.

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction Books


By: James Polkinghorn

Published: May 16, 2023

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing


Format: Paperback

This one came for review.

When hungover ex-lawyer and Key West bar owner Jack Girard groggily wakes up one morning, he’s greeted by a beautiful woman lying next to him and a shrill, ringing telephone. Seeing the call is from his father, Claude “The Duke” Girard, Jack answers. Within seconds, he learns that his mother is dead in an apparent suicide, and Jack hits the road, heading back to his childhood home in Miami to face his tyrannical father.

The death of his mother brings up haunting memories from Jack’s past—memories of his brother Bobby’s suicide when they were in college together. Being back in Miami only continues to dredge up his family traumas, but things grow more complicated when The Duke suggests that his estranged wife’s alleged suicide may have been a murder.

As Jack begins to uncover the truth about his mother’s death, including the secret she had revealed to only two people—the same secret Bobby had taken with him to his grave—he finds himself in imminent danger. Can Jack reveal the true story before it’s too late? He has to act quickly, or he fears he may be the victim of the next Girard family tragedy.


A Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery #5

By: Robert McCaw

Published: June 6, 2023

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing


Format: Paperback

This one came for review.

In the back alley of a bar on Hawaii Island, a young man is found stabbed to death. When Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kane begins investigating the crime, the murder weapon is recovered only a few feet away from the body. Crime scene technicians find fingerprints on the knife — they are a perfect match for Koa’ s younger brother, Ikaika.

As the brothers scramble to prove Ikaika’ s innocence, another crime sends shockwaves through the Hilo police force. A sniper tries to take out Makanui, Koa’ s closest colleague. As Koa tries to figure out whether these crimes are linked, the sinister force continues their killing spree, threatening Koa and his loved ones at every turn.

Could Koa be the real target? If so, who is behind this trail of retribution? With his own secret criminal past, Koa confronts an all-out offensive against those closest to him and his police force to which he has devoted his life. As the bodies pile up, Koa finds himself the ultimate target of a ruthless adversary and must risk it all to survive.


By: Charmaine Wilkerson

Published: February 1, 2022

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: Hardcover

This is our book club choice for our next meeting.

We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?


By: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Published: January 17, 2023

Publisher: William Morrow


Format: Hardcover

This was my Book of the Month choice for January. I have one of her previous books, BEFORE WE VISIT THE GODDESS, on my shelf.

India, 1947. In a rural village in Bengal live three sisters, daughters of a well-respected doctor.

Priya: intelligent and idealistic, resolved to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor, though society frowns on it.

Deepa: the beauty, determined to make a marriage that will bring her family joy and status.

Jamini: devout, sharp-eyed, and a talented quiltmaker, with deeper passions than she reveals.

Theirs is a home of love and safety, a refuge from the violent events taking shape in the nation. Then their father is killed during a riot, and even their neighbors turn against them, bringing the events of their country closer to home.

As Priya determinedly pursues her career goal, Deepa falls deeply in love with a Muslim, causing her to break with her family. And Jamini attempts to hold her family together, even as she secretly longs for her sister’s fiancé.

When the partition of India is officially decided, a drastic–and dangerous–change is in the air. India is now for Hindus, Pakistan for Muslims. The sisters find themselves separated from one another, each on different paths. They fear for what will happen to not just themselves, but each other.


By: Sonali Dev

Published: December 1, 2022

Publisher: Mindy’s Book Studio


Format: eBook and Audiobook through Audible

I purchased this for my BFF for her birthday in December. Then I was able to get it on a Kindle Deal with my Kindle credits plus the audio for just another $1.99. So, I hope we can read it together.

What Mindy Kaling had to say about this book, “Bursting with humor, banter, and cringeworthy first dates, Sonali Dev’s The Vibrant Years is a joyful and fun read, but it’s also very much a timely tale about a group of underestimated women demanding respect and embracing their most authentic selves.” 

When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded―and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. On an impulse, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida.

The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for her own dreams.

As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors―and they want the dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer.


By: Will Schwalbe

Published: February 21, 2023

Publisher: Knopf


Format: eBook through Netgalley

I’ve read Schwalbe’s other book, THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB and really loved his relationship with his mom and their book club. When I read the premise of this book, I realized it mimicked my friendship with my BFF from college who I also met during my junior year. So, I was thrilled to get an early copy to read.

By the time Will Schwalbe was a junior at college, he had already met everyone he cared to know: the theater people, writers, visual artists and comp lit majors, and various other quirky characters including the handful of students who shared his own major, Latin and Greek. He also knew exactly who he wanted to avoid: the jocks. The jocks wore baseball caps and moved in packs, filling boisterous tables in the dining hall, and on the whole seemed to be another species entirely, one Will might encounter only at his own peril.

All this changed dramatically when Will collided with Chris Maxey, known to just about everyone as Maxey. Maxey was physically imposing, loud, and a star wrestler who was determined to become a Navy SEAL (where he would later serve for six years). Thanks to the strangely liberating circumstances of a little-known secret society at Yale, the two forged a bond that would become a mainstay of each other’s lives as they repeatedly lost and found each other and themselves in the years after graduation.

From New Haven to New York City, from Hong Kong and Panama to a remarkable school on an island in the Bahamas–through marriages and a divorce, triumphs and devastating losses–We Should Not Be Friends tracks an extraordinary friendship over decades of challenge and change. Schwalbe’s marvelous new work is, at its heart, a joyful testament to the miracle of human connection–and how if we can just get past our preconceptions, we may find some of our greatest friends.


A Father, His Daughter, and the Deadly Battle She Won

By: Michael Schnabel

Published: March 23, 2023

Publisher: Armin Lear Press


Format: Paperback

When I first looked at this book, I assumed it was about a child struggling with a terminal diagnosis, but it is an adult woman who just had a child and her father that is telling the story. A daddy’s love for his daughter and protection of her doesn’t end just because she is an adult! I’m interested in this one.

How does a young mother overcome an 8 percent chance of living to raise her newborn son? She becomes a warrior and provides hope for others. Daddy’s Girl is the story of a father, his daughter, and the deadly battle she won.

In each person’s life there are events that forever change their course. Twenty-seven year old Stephanie experienced two of these events in fourteen days; the birth of her only child and discovery that she has an 8 percent chance of living. She is haunted by the thought that this baby will only know her through pictures, until she makes that thought her motivation to survive.

This is a story of one family facing the most daunting of circumstances, at once celebration and devastation. Michael Schnabel, Stephanie’s father tells the story of survival and how three generations of a family respond to crisis. Stephanie’s courage is fueled by her son’s deep brown eyes and unconditional love. Her faith comes from the belief that something greater than us provides what we need, when we need it. Daddy’s Girl illuminates a range of emotions, and delivers them with humor, love–and some miracles.


How I Set Myself Free from an Abusing Marriage

By: Kanchan Bhaskar

Published: April 11, 2023

Publisher: She Writes Press


Format: Paperback

I really love the She Writes Press imprint, but I honestly am not sure I’ll be able to read this one. It hits me personally and I typically struggle reading books with domestic violence in them. I am so grateful for women willing to share their stories in hopes of saving someone else. If you know someone struggling in an abusive relationship, please stay close, offer support in a way that is safe for them including resources like this book and other local places for help.

Raised by two loving parents in New Delhi, India, Kanchan Bhaskar has always been taught that marriage means companionship, tenderness, and mutual respect—so when she enters into an arranged marriage, this is the kind of partnership she anticipates with her new, seemingly wonderful, husband. But after they marry, she quickly discovers that his warmth is deceptive—that the man beneath the bright, charming façade is actually a narcissistic, alcoholic, and violent man.

Trapped in a nightmare, Kanchan pleads with her husband to seek help for his issues, but he refuses. Meanwhile, Indian law is not on her side, and as the years pass, she finds herself with three children to protect—three children she fears she will lose custody of if she leaves. Almost overnight, she finds herself transformed into a tigress who will do whatever it takes to protect her cubs, and she becomes determined to free them from their toxic father. But it’s not until many years later, when the family of five moves from India to the United States, that Kanchan is presented with a real opportunity to leave him—and she takes it.

Chronicling Kanchan’s gradual climb out of the abyss, little by little, day by day, Leaving is the empowering story of how—buoyed by her deep faith in a higher power and single-minded in her determination to protect her children best—she fought relentlessly to build a ramp toward freedom from her abuser. In this memoir, Kanchan clearly lays out the tools and methods she utilized in her pursuit of liberation—and reveals how belief in self and belief in the Universe can not only be weapons of escape but also beautiful foundations for a triumphant, purpose-driven life.


Quotes for Everyday Life

By: Karla K. Gavin

Published: January 13, 2022

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing


Format: Paperback

My mom gave me this collection of quotes for Christmas. The author is from Fayette, Iowa, and is a professor at Upper Iowa University. She is also a long-time friend of my mom’s.

Calming the Creative Chaos: Quotes for Everyday Life is a collection of meaningful quotes that touch on a wide variety of life topics. We all have challenges at different times in our lives and we look for inspiration to overcome the obstacles we encounter. These quotes are presented in a month-by-month format with specific topics dedicated to each month. It is the author’s hope that individuals will find several quotes that become their personal mantras to support them through the good and the challenging times, and that they can refer back to dates or months within the book and find a quote that fits their most difficult and special moments.


An Ice Cream Binge Across America

By: Amy Ettinger

Published: June 27, 2017

Publisher: Dutton


Format: Hardcover

This was a gift from my BFF for Christmas. She knows our family loves ice cream and we usually find ways to visit an ice cream shop each day on a vacation.

A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America.

For Amy Ettinger, ice cream is not just a delicious snack but a circumstance and a time of year–frozen forever in memory. As the youngest child and only girl, ice cream embodied unstructured summers, freedom from the tyranny of her classmates, and a comforting escape from her chaotic, demanding family.

Now as an adult and journalist, her love of ice cream has led to a fascinating journey to understand ice cream’s evolution and enduring power, complete with insight into the surprising history behind America’s early obsession with ice cream and her experience in an immersive ice-cream boot camp to learn from the masters. From a visit to the one place in the United States that makes real frozen custard in a mammoth machine known as the Iron Lung, to the vicious competition among small ice-cream makers and the turf wars among ice-cream trucks, to extreme flavors like foie gras and oyster, Ettinger encounters larger-than-life characters and uncovers what’s really behind America’s favorite frozen treats.

Sweet Spot is a fun and spirited exploration of a treat Americans can’t get enough of–one that transports us back to our childhoods and will have you walking to the nearest shop for a cone.


100-Plus Recipes to Take the Stress Out of Cooking

By: Steve and Kathy Doocy

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks


Format: Hardcover

This was a gift from my husband for Christmas. He knows I love cookbooks and especially those that also tell a story. Steve Doocy is co-host of Fox & Friends. Years ago, I read his book THE MR. & MRS. HAPPY HANDBOOK.

#1 New York Times bestselling authors Fox & Friends cohost Steve Doocy and his wife, Kathy, share more delightful stories and delicious recipes that are simple and stress-free.

What’s better than serving your family food they rave about? Keeping it simple, of course! Sure, there are times when you want to spend all day noodling around in the kitchen, but most days we want more oomph with less effort. In The Simply Happy Cookbook, Steve Doocy and his wife, Kathy, provide more than a hundred recipes for their favorite dishes that are just as comforting to make as they are to eat—using fewer ingredients, simpler preparations, and less time in the kitchen.

Just as in their previous two cookbooks, they share family photos and stories along with their recipes, so the time and energy saved in the kitchen can be put toward what’s important—reading charming and funny stories about their family and (sometimes famous) friends.

The Doocys offer recipes for every occasion, including appetizers, breakfast, sandwiches, sides, casseroles, slow cooker meals, pasta, pizza, and desserts, so you’re covered no matter what you’re looking to make. 


The Doctor-Developed, Patient-Proven Plan to Burn Fat and Tame Your Hormonal Symptoms

By: Mary Claire Haver, MD

Published: January 10, 2023

Publisher: Rodale Books


Format: Hardcover

I follow Mary Claire Haver on Instagram and like what she has to say about women and menopause. After turning 50, I know that I will be entering this stage of life soon if I haven’t already. I’m anxious to read her tips and suggestions.

A comprehensive, medically-tested eating and lifestyle program–including 40 delicious recipes–to balance nutrition and sustain weight loss, tailored to women in perimenopause or menopause.

Women store more fat and have a tougher time converting calories than men do. In midlife, these differences are amplified by hormonal fluctuation, and most women gain stubborn and harmful weight–especially around the belly–without having altered their routine. Suddenly the standard advice to eat less and exercise more is no longer the solution!


By: Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex – also narrates it

Published: January 10, 2023

Publisher: Random House


Format: Audiobook through Audible

I succumbed to pressure and used one of my Audible credits to get this book into my earbuds. I’ve started it, but frankly, I’m not riveted yet. It’s quite long, so I’m expecting it to take me a while to get through it.

It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.

For Harry, this is that story at last.

Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.

At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love.

Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .

For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.


By: Theresa Brown RN

Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert

Published: September 22, 2015

Publisher: Algonquin Books


Format: Audiobook through Audible

This has been on my to-read list for a while and I noticed I could add it to my Audible library for free.

In a book as eye-opening as it is riveting, practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown invites us to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day on a hospital’s cancer ward. In the span of twelve hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. In Brown’s skilled hands–as both a dedicated nurse and an insightful chronicler of events–we are given an unprecedented view into the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country, and by shift’s end, we have witnessed something profound about hope and healing and humanity.

Every day, Theresa Brown holds patients’ lives in her hands. On this day there are four. There is Mr. Hampton, a patient with lymphoma to whom Brown is charged with administering a powerful drug that could cure him–or kill him; Sheila, who may have been dangerously misdiagnosed; Candace, a returning patient who arrives (perhaps advisedly) with her own disinfectant wipes, cleansing rituals, and demands; and Dorothy, who after six weeks in the hospital may finally go home. Prioritizing and ministering to their needs takes the kind of skill, sensitivity, and, yes, humor that enable a nurse to be a patient’s most ardent advocate in a medical system marked by heartbreaking dysfunction as well as miraculous success.


By: Sarah Karsnostein

Narrated by: Rachael Tidd

Published: April 10, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


Format: Audiobook through Audible

Another book on my list that I could get into my Audible library for free.

Husband, father, drag queen, sex worker, wife. Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner is a love letter to an extraordinary ordinary life. In Sandra Pankhurst she discovered a woman capable of taking a lifetime of hostility and transphobic abuse and using it to care for some of society’s most in-need people.

Sandra Pankhurst founded her trauma cleaning business to help people whose emotional scars are written on their houses. From the forgotten flat of a drug addict to the infested home of a hoarder, Sandra enters properties and lives at the same time. But few of the people she looks after know anything of the complexity of Sandra’s own life. Raised in an uncaring home, Sandra’s miraculous gift for warmth and humour in the face of unspeakable personal tragedy mark her out as a one-off.


By: Mary J. MacLeod

Narrated by: Gwen Hughes

Published: April 1, 2013

Publisher: Arcade


Format: Audiobook through Audible

Another free addition to my Audible library.

Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud owners of a near-derelict croft house–a farmer’s stone cottage–on “a small acre” of land. Mary assumed duties as the island’s district nurse. Call the Nurse is her account of the enchanted years she and her family spent there, coming to know its folk as both patients and friends.

In anecdotes that are by turns funny, sad, moving, and tragic, she recalls them all, the crofters and their laird, the boatmen and tradesmen, young lovers and forbidding churchmen. Against the old-fashioned island culture and the grandeur of mountain and sea unfold indelible stories: a young woman carried through snow for airlift to the hospital; a rescue by boat; the marriage of a gentle giant and the island beauty; a ghostly encounter; the shocking discovery of a woman in chains; the flames of a heather fire at night; an unexploded bomb from World War II; and the joyful, tipsy celebration of a ceilidh. Gaelic fortitude meets a nurse’s compassion in these wonderful true stories from rural Scotland.


By: Corrie ten Bloom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne

Published: November 1971

Publisher: Chosen Books


Format: Audiobook through Audible

During a discussion with family members about books, my cousin mentioned this as one of her favorite books of all time. I was embarrassed to say I had never read it. So, I added it to my Audible library right away.

At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. However, with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, a story did ensue.

Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch Underground, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room and aiding their escape from the Nazis. For their help, all but Corrie found death in a concentration camp. The Hiding Place is their story.

Children’s Books


Pick Your Path: Science Explorers

By: Amy Seto Forrester

Illustrated by: Andy Chou Musser

Published: April 25, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A choose-your-own path book learning about and searching for a giant squid. Fun learning and reading experience for kids.

An exciting ocean-themed choose-your-path STEM adventure for emerging readers!

Take a journey to the ocean’s twilight zone in Search for a Giant Squid! An exciting mixture of fiction and nonfiction, this choose-your-own-adventure-style story allows readers to take on the mantle of a teuthologist looking for a giant squid in its natural habitat. Once readers pick their submersible, pilot, and dive site, the adventure begins!


Read and Play in the Tree!

By: Hannah Rogge

Illustrated by: Emily Dove

Published: May 2, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Interactive Board Book

Fly the hummingbirds from page to page in their fun board book. Emily Dove has illustrated several other books I’ve shared, HERE.

The youngest nature lovers will adore this clever interactive board book! Simply “fly” the two hummingbird characters—attached to the board book with ribbons—through the beautifully illustrated pages to hover over flowers, sip sweet nectar, and build a cozy nest for their eggs. Full of playful and informative touches, this book is a sweet introduction to these bright and irresistibly appealing little birds.


By: Marcia Berneger

Illustrated by: Susanna Chapman

Published: February 14, 2023

Publisher: Starry Forest Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This one is so adorable and fun!

Follow along as adorable baby feet move through a busy day. Where do these feet go? How do they get there? What exciting activities will they get up to? See just how busy little feet can be at playtime, bath time, and more!


By: Lindsay Ward

Published: January 31, 2023

Publisher: Two Lions


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I’ve already reviewed this one, HERE. Don’t miss this excellent history lesson on female motorcycle riders.


By: Norene Paulson

Illustrated by: Maria Mola

Published: February 7, 2023

Publisher: Beaming Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This book, written by an Iowa author, offers an important lesson on needs vs wants and sharing with others.

Nila and her mom love shopping at the thrift store. But when Nila finds the most perfect, shiny, puffy coat, Mom says no: Nila’s winter coat still fits her just fine. With a lot of determination and some birthday money from Dad, Nila sets out to prove the coat really is perfect–but along the way, learns maybe it’s perfect for someone else. Someone who needs both a coat and a friend.

An engaging and accessible story about having enough and helping others in need.


By: Chelsea Lin Wallace

Illustrated by: Hyewon Yum

Published: April 18, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This might be just as important a read for parents as kids. Don’t we all have bad days?

OH BAD DAY! A hilariously dramatic series of odes to the little bumps in our days, perfect for any kid dealing with a not-so-good day.

Oh Too Much Milk in My Cereal!

Soggy, squishy! Boggy, mushy!

You turned my crispy into gushy!

Sometimes the small disappointments and inconveniences in kids’ days can feel much bigger than they are. And when they start multiplying . . . oh, what a bad day it can become! Told in a series of dramatic odes to a day’s annoyances, Ode to a Bad Day lets children and caregivers alike find the humor and compassion in the days that could have gone better—and encourages readers to look forward to a better day . . . tomorrow.


A lot of bookish people also like puzzles, so I thought it might be fun to share puzzles in this space too. I was lucky to receive 4 of them in the last couple of months.


A gift from my cousin for my 50th birthday. Our kids loved Legos and putting this one together will take me back to building Legos with the kids.


My BFF gave this to me for Christmas. She lives in a suburb of Nashville and can go to Parnassus Books all the time which makes me so jealous. Order your own, HERE.


This was a gift from friends for Christmas. They know my love for puzzles. White Mountain puzzles are some of my favorite because they are usually pretty quick to put together and so much fun!


My son and daughter-in-law gave me this puzzle for Christmas. I’ve never done a PuzzleTwist puzzle before so I’m a little nervous. But, I am sure it will be fun!

Which one (or two or three) of these books will you be adding to your list?

Click HERE to see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves.

So many books, so little time!

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