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. Adult fiction and nonfiction as well as middle-grade fiction, picture books, and board books are included in the books that came my way in August 2023.

Family and Life Update

Van Horne Little Free Library

In the early part of August, I wrapped up my work painting our new Little Free Library in our city park. This has a really special back story and you can read the article I wrote for our local paper, HERE.

My parents

My parents celebrated their 67th Wedding Anniversary and my dad celebrated his 91st birthday. I’m so blessed to have them in my life and their example of a lifetime of love.

Our family at UNI

Reagan is all settled into college and Pat and I are adjusting to empty nest life. Bennett is also excited about finishing his last semester of college and I’m so glad they are near each other for a few months at least.

Now on to the books! 

In August I read 5 books! Even with a lot of family things going on, I’m pretty happy with my reading this month. Three of the books were audiobooks and I also read one eBook and one physical book. I’ve hardly watched any TV this month, but just this last week I started The Crown on Netflix because I’ve read several books about the Royal Family lately.

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 NonFiction Books added to my Shelves in August

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction


By: Donna Everhart

Published: January 25, 2022

Publisher: Kensington

Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

This is our book club read for the month. I am not familiar with this one or the author so I’m excited to check it out. It’s marketed as a mix of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING and THE FOUR WINDS, two books I loved.

It takes courage to save yourself…

In the dense pine forests of North Carolina, turpentiners labor, hacking into tree trunks to draw out the sticky sap that gives the Tar Heel State its nickname, and hauling the resin to stills to be refined. Among them is Rae Lynn Cobb and her husband, Warren, who run a small turpentine farm together.

Though the work is hard and often dangerous, Rae Lynn, who spent her childhood in an orphanage, is thankful for it–and for her kind if careless husband. When Warren falls victim to his own negligence, Rae Lynn undertakes a desperate act of mercy. To keep herself from jail, she disguises herself as a man named “Ray” and heads to the only place she can think of that might offer anonymity–a turpentine camp in Georgia named Swallow Hill.

Swallow Hill is no easy haven. The camp is isolated and squalid, and commissary owner Otis Riddle takes out his frustrations on his browbeaten wife, Cornelia. Although Rae Lynn works tirelessly, she becomes a target for Crow, the ever-watchful woods rider who checks each laborer’s tally. Delwood Reese, who’s come to Swallow Hill hoping for his own redemption, offers “Ray” a small measure of protection, and is determined to improve their conditions. As Rae Lynn forges a deeper friendship with both Del and Cornelia, she begins to envision a path out of the camp. But she will have to come to terms with her past, with all its pain and beauty, before she can open herself to a new life and seize the chance to begin again.


A Love Story

By: Emily Habeck

Published: August 8, 2023

Publisher: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books


Format: Hardcover

This was one of my Book of the Month choices for August. I chose this totally because Laura Tremaine told me to. This is NOT something I would typically read, but I’m so intrigued by the premise I wanted to give it a chance.

For Lewis and Wren, their first year of marriage is also their last. A few weeks after their wedding, Lewis receives a rare diagnosis. He will retain most of his consciousness, memories, and intellect, but his physical body will gradually turn into a great white shark. As Lewis develops the features and impulses of one of the most predatory creatures in the ocean, his complicated artist’s heart struggles to make peace with his unfulfilled dreams.

At first, Wren internally resists her husband’s fate. Is there a way for them to be together after Lewis changes? Then, a glimpse of Lewis’s developing carnivorous nature activates long-repressed memories for Wren, whose story vacillates between her childhood living on a houseboat in Oklahoma, her time with a college ex-girlfriend, and her unusual friendship with a woman pregnant with twin birds. Woven throughout this bold novel is the story of Wren’s mother, Angela, who becomes pregnant with Wren at fifteen in an abusive relationship amidst her parents’ crumbling marriage. In the present, all of Wren’s grief eventually collides, and she is forced to make an impossible choice.

A sweeping love story that is at once lyrical and funny, airy and visceral, Shark Heart is an unforgettable, gorgeous novel about life’s perennial questions, the fragility of memories, finding joy amidst grief, and creating a meaningful life. This daring debut marks the arrival of a wildly talented new writer abounding with originality, humor, and heart.


By: Pip Williams

Published: July 25, 2023

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

This was my other Book of the Month choice. It sounds like a book that I typically enjoy and I also usually like books published by Ballantine.

It is 1914, and as the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, women must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who live on a narrow boat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the university press.

Ambitious, intelligent Peggy has been told for most of her life that her job is to bind the books, not read them—but as she folds and gathers pages, her mind wanders to the opposite side of Walton Street, where the female students of Oxford’s Somerville College have a whole library at their fingertips. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has: to spend her days folding the pages of books in the company of the other bindery girls. She is extraordinary but vulnerable, and Peggy feels compelled to watch over her.

Then refugees arrive from the war-torn cities of Belgium, sending ripples through the Oxford community and the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can educate herself and use her intellect, not just her hands. But as war and illness reshape her world, her love for a Belgian soldier—and the responsibility that comes with it—threaten to hold her back.


By: Sara Goodman Confino

Published: September 1, 2023

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook and audiobook

This was my free Amazon Reads choice based solely on the recommendation from my cousin who chose it, read it right away, and loved it. I got the eBook for free and the Audio for $1.99.

When Marilyn Kleinman is caught making out with the rabbi’s son in front of the whole congregation, her parents ship her off to her great-aunt Ada for the summer. If anyone can save their daughter’s reputation, it’s Philadelphia’s strict premier matchmaker. Either that or Marilyn can kiss college goodbye.

To Marilyn’s surprise, Ada’s not the humorless septuagenarian her mother described. Not with that platinum-blonde hair, Hermès scarf, and Cadillac convertible. She’s sharp, straight-talking, takes her job very seriously, and abides by her own rules…mostly. As the summer unfolds, Ada and Marilyn head for the Jersey shore, where Marilyn helps Ada scope out eligible matches―for anyone but Marilyn, that is.

Because if there’s one thing Marilyn’s learned from Ada, it’s that she doesn’t have to settle. With the school year quickly approaching and her father threatening to disinherit her, Marilyn must make her choice for her future: return to the comfortable life she knows or embrace a risky, unknown path on her own.


Building a Healthier Body Through Functional Medicine

By: Dr. Stephanie Gray

Published: December 19, 2017

Publisher: Advantage Media Group


Format: Paperback

This was recommended to me by a friend and the author has a practice near me. I’m curious to read and learn more about my changing hormones.  

How well are you aging?

Were you told your labs are normal but you don’t feel 
normal? Has conventional medicine been nothing but a Band-Aid? Are you ready 
to try something different?

Many health care providers want to help their patients 
but don’t know how, and many patients wait until their symptoms are causing 
problems before they see a provider. Both patients and providers can benefit from 
a guide to aging well. 

In Dr. Stephanie Gray’s Your Longevity Blueprint, you’ll learn how you can use 
functional medicine to: 

Your body is your home, and your functional medicine provider will act as your 
body’s contractor and builder–giving your body the foundation, framework, and 
electricity it’s always needed. Where conventional medicine treats symptoms, 
functional medicine discovers the root cause. This is determined by your test 
results, what Dr. Stephanie Gray calls your fingerprint. 

Learn how functional medicine assesses the interaction of nutrition, genetics, 
hormones, toxins, and infections to improve your health and overall longevity. 
Imagine what life would be like with true health. Let’s live long together! Wellness 
is Waiting™!


Recipes for Keeps and Essential Techniques to Master Everyday Cooking

By: Bri McKoy

Published: August 29, 2023

Publisher: Revell


Format: Hardcover

I love following Bri on Instagram and have enjoyed several of her recipes. This cookbook is gorgeous and made for those who need more fun in their cooking. Bri has made learning and cooking joyful with her silly recipe titles and easy/flavorful food.

Tired of food blogs and cookbooks that look impressive but lack practicality? Find yourself Googling to figure things out while cooking? Could you pull a meal together with only the ingredients you have on hand?

Introducing The Cook’s Book, your guide to mastering cooking with joy and confidence.

More than just a collection of recipes, The Cook’s Book is your ultimate kitchen companion. Filled with engaging lessons, techniques, and strategies–as well as delicious go-to recipes, food and wine pairings, and a beginner bar cart guide–this resource teaches you what you need to know to create and share great food with the people you love every day.

Perfect for graduates, newlyweds, new homeowners, and new parents, The Cook’s Book is everything you wish your mother had taught you (if she hadn’t also been brought up in a time of pricey packaged convenience foods and too-busy schedules). Strap on an apron and get ready for flavorful meals with fabulous company.


The Radically Cassual Ast of Cooking for Others

By: Amy Thielen

Published: August 29, 2023

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company


Format: Hardcover

I have been so anxious for this cookbook, but it has been delayed several times so I was thrilled to see it finally arrive on my doorstep. Thielen lives near some of my family and they have been part of some of her recipe testing and parties and even make an appearance in the book. Thielen shares stories of cooking for others along with her recipes and her photos make me want to grab a flannel and attend one of her dinner parties.

In her much-anticipated follow-up to The New Midwestern Table, Amy writes, “no one will ever care about the food as much as you and I do.” Company will have you rethinking the way you entertain, throwing dinner parties that are less formal, more frequent, and as fun for the cook as for the guests. Preaching leniency, not-guilty pleasures, and the art of making it in advance, Amy soothes the most common party anxieties one by one. Her reflections on writing menus, produce shopping, and how to time a meal are novel but timeless. Not afraid of meat (but obsessed with vegetables), these 125 loyal recipes are arranged in menu form―from intimate dinner parties to larger holiday feasts to parties that serve up to twenty.

With a feast of gorgeous photography and plenty of down-in-the-pan cooking nerdery, Company encourages a return to the habit, and the joy, of cooking for family and friends.


The New York Times Page-A-Day Calendar 2024

A Year of Fresh and Delicious Recipes

Published: August 8, 2023

Publisher: Workman Publishing


I love having a daily calendar by the kitchen sink. In the past have used the Delish calendar, but I wanted to try something different this year.

It’s the best of the best: the tastiest recipes from the most authoritative source, delivered daily. Curated by New York Times Cooking’s expert editors and authors, including Sam Sifton, David Tanis, Melissa Clark, Yotem Ottolenghi, Millie Peartree, and more, this calendar answers the age-old question—what’s for dinner? For a winter Sunday, there’s a hearty Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew. Luscious Maple-Baked Salmon for a quick but elegant weekday dinner, perfect for guests or when you want something a little more special. A bursting-with-flavor Almond Cake with Saffron and Honey, and hundreds more recipes for unforgettable meals, snacks, and desserts. Each recipe includes approximate time from start to finish, number of portions, and easy-to-follow instructions. It’s the perfect gift for anyone seeking inspiration in the kitchen.

Middle Grade Fiction, picture books, and board books added to my shelves in August 2023

Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction


By: Jenn Bishop

Published: October 24, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids

Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Hardcover

It is hard to find sports books for girls, especially basketball ones. This sounds like an excellent one for girls on sports, friendship, and self-esteem.

Cincinnati, Ohio, lives and dies by college basketball, with two elite Division I rivals separated by a mere three miles. Rory’s dad just secured a new coaching gig at the University of Cincinnati, so it means yet another school and move for her, only this time to her dad’s hometown. Rory’s life revolves around basketball; she’s never had a close friend outside of it. Could this be a chance for a fresh start?

Abby has always lived in Cincinnati, where her dad grew up playing ball and now coaches at Xavier University. But Abby has recently retreated from basketball after a frustrating season that left her confidence in shambles. This year, she finds herself on the outside looking in when it comes to her former teammates, and she could seriously use a new friend.    

The coaches’ daughters connect over their shared love of the game when Abby chaperones Rory on her first day of school. But when Abby’s dad practically forbids their friendship because of something that happened between him and Rory’s dad when they were younger, Abby and Rory have no choice but to move their budding friendship underground.

Can the two of them get to the bottom of what went down between their dads in the 1990s before history repeats itself?


By: Anna E. Jordan

Published: October 10, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids

Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Another girl-focused book for fans of switcheroos and being on stage.

When Shira and Esther first meet, they can hardly believe their eyes. It’s like looking in a mirror! But even though they may look identical, the two girls couldn’t be more different. Shira dreams of singing and dancing onstage, but her father, a stern and pious rabbi, thinks Shira should be reading prayers, not plays. Esther dreams of studying Torah, but her mother, a glamorous stage performer, wishes Esther would spend more time rehearsing and less time sneaking off to read books. Oy vey! If only the two could switch places . . .

Would Shira shine in a big-time televised talent show? Would Esther’s bat mitzvah go off without a hitch? What’s a little deception, when it means your dreams might finally be within reach? One thing is certain: Shira and Esther are going to need more than a little chutzpah to pull this off. But if they do, their double dream debut is sure to be the performance of a lifetime. 


by: Nina LaCour

Illustrated by: Sónia Albert

Published: November 7, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids

Early Chapter Book Fiction

Format: Hardcover

For fans of Ivy + Bean and those ready for a chapter book but still want some illustrations, check out this new book, the first in a series from the popular author Nina LaCour.

Welcome to 1106 Wildflower Place: It is no ordinary apartment house, but you, reader, are no ordinary visitor. So, please, come in!

Two new tenants have just arrived, and nine-year-old Ella is determined to help them settle in. Who better to teach them about the glitchy lights and the nighttime noises? After all, Ella knows all the neighbors. Well, almost all. No one has met the mysterious Robinsons who live on the top floor. Will a special neighborly celebration change all that? This bighearted chapter book by bestselling author Nina LaCour, highlighted by lively illustrations throughout, celebrates community, friendship, family, and home. It is a place of walking dogs that aren’t yours, keeping surprises secret, and making everyone feel welcome.


By: Chelsea Lin Wallace

Illustrated by: Alison Farrell

Published: November 7, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I have another book by Wallace waiting for review as well. Both of her books are perfect for the start to the school year.

Kids at Bluebell don’t feel well—
Gus is sad, and Benny fell. 
Splinters, lice, a paper cut, 
throw-up, bumps, a hungry gut. 
Charlee’s tooth won’t wiggle free!
But there’s someone to go to—Miss Peatree!

The big feelings and minor dilemmas of elementary school are no match for this hilarious, delightful cast of characters and the untiring compassion of Miss Peatree. One after another, students pile into her office to get fixed up—whether they need a Band-Aid for a bumped knee or a solution for a touch of homesickness. Even the principal visits with an urgent paper cut!


By: Jane Mount

Published: November 7, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I’m THRILLED to share Jane Mount’s first picture book with you. I love BIBLIOPHILE and her bookish art.

Lotti isn’t sure she wants to make friends. She’s shy, and she doesn’t really know how. While everyone around her is playful, outgoing, and loud, Lotti prefers a quiet place and a book to read. Lotti LOVES books. To her, books are full of magic and aren’t as scary as new friends. But perhaps Lotti’s books can show her how to find magic in everyday moments, and maybe the friends she can share this magic with are closer than she thinks.


By: Joy Givens

Illustrated by: Courtney Dawson

Published: September 12, 2023

Publisher: Two Lions


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This reminds me of another inspiring picture book, GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE!

Jamie likes to pretend he’s a superhero. With his cape and gadgets, he feels like he can face anything. When his picture is chosen to be shown in Times Square for the NDSS Buddy Walk®, his family travels to New York City to see it. As he makes his way through the loud, busy, unfamiliar city, Jamie discovers that he doesn’t have all his special tools. But he soon realizes that it isn’t what he wears or the gadgets he uses that make him brave―it’s who he is inside.

This uplifting story includes an author’s note with information about Down syndrome.


By: Ajuan Mance

Published: November 14, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Based on black men the author saw engaged in everyday life so young boys could see themselves on the pages of a book.

Have you ever wondered . . .
What do brothas do all day?
Brothas drive. Brothas dance. Brothas work. Brothas listen. And brothas love.

Scarry’s now-classic book, first published in 1968, is a richly illustrated guide to the places, jobs, and activities that defined the daily lives of grown-ups. Author-illustrator Ajuan Mance created What Do Brothas Do All Day?, like Scarry, in response to children’s innate curiosity about the activities and experiences of others, but also to meet the longing many kids have for characters and communities that look and feel like the people and places they know.


By: Nikki Grimes

Illustrated by: Michelle Carlos

Published: October 10, 2023

Publisher: Beaming Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

The story of Christmas with imaginative storytelling of the gifts the animals brought to Jesus.

An awe-inspiring Christmas tale from multi-award-winning poet Nikki Grimes.

The caravan traveled through wilderness, uphill and down, for hours that spun into days.

Then at last, glittering diamond-bright, Bethlehem appeared through the haze.

With glittering poetry and stunning watercolor artwork, Lullaby for the King ushers readers into the awe and wonder of the Christmas story. Animals from across the ancient Palestinian landscape lumber, gambol, crawl, fly, and parade toward Bethlehem with gifts worthy of the newborn King. Rare ebony wood, a finely tuned harp, mustard and saffron, a zither, apricot cakes, and other treasures are carried to the manger. The animals bow low and join the music of the angels in a welcoming lullaby.

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes and illustrator Michelle Carlos bring together a captivating tale of awe, wonder, and imagination that is sure to become a holiday classic.


By: Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by: Claire Keane

Published: October 31, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I have loved every one of Stacy McAnulty’s books that I’ve shared here.

A young girl proclaims, “I want 100 dogs.” In a twist, her parents agree, but they have just one question: Where will 100 dogs sleep? Our protagonist revises her request to 90 dogs. But how does one walk 90 dogs? A silly, subtractive counting tale and an over-the-top ode to the joys (and woes) of canine company, this sweet and surprising story proves that no matter how boundless your enthusiasm, when it comes to finding the perfect pet, sometimes less really is more.


By: Patrice Karst

Illustrated by: Kayla Harren

Published: September 12, 2023

Publisher: Two Lions


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

The author of the popular The Invisible String series has a new heartwarming story for kids.

Ruby’s got a problem. At school and at home, everyone is so busy all the time, and no one seems to notice her at all. Ruby finds herself feeling kind of…lonely. It’s a big problem! But one day, while walking home alone after school, she decides to look at her problem from a new angle. She even gives it a name―Lonely―a seemingly small but significant decision that transforms her problem, and entire life, in the most surprising and extraordinary way. Join Ruby as she discovers her inner best friend in this relatable and heartwarming story. A note from the author and discussion questions are included.


A Hide-and-Seek Lift-the-Flap Book

By: Marianna Coppo

Published: October 3, 2023

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Interactive Board Book

I loved Coppo’s FISH AND CRAB.

Lift the flaps for a highly amusing hide-and-seek game! Randolph isn’t very good at hide-and-seek, and where he thinks are the best hiding places will have young readers squeal with delight as they lift the flaps to find him.


By: Wednesday Kirwan

Published: December 5, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Interactive Board Book

Pre-order now for your little ones’ Valentine’s Day gift. Kirwan illustrates the cutest books.

Hide—and find—hearts for Valentine’s Day or any day! Just turn the wheel, lift the flaps, and play!

First, turn the wheel to hide the heart, then lift the flaps to find it in this delightful activity book for curious kids.

An interactive wheel hides brightly colored hearts across a variety of sweet scenes. After the heart is hidden, it’s time to guess where it is. Lift the flap for the reveal in this game-in-a-book, then play again (and again) for hours of heartfelt fun!


By: Shana Gozansky

Published: September 6, 2023

Publisher: Phaidon


Format: Board Book

Introduce your young child to fine art with this new board book.

An ode to life’s adventures in all their many forms, illustrated with an expertly curated selection of fine art for young children

Every day is an adventure for toddlers … and now we can celebrate their milestones through their first art collection! 35 full-page artworks from a variety of periods celebrate life’s many adventures – from the day they are born to first experiences, picnics in the park, to journeys far beyond. Each image is accompanied by a brief and tender read-aloud text, with the work’s title and artist’s name included beneath, helping toddlers and pre-schoolers to connect their own experiences to those they see on the canvas – allowing them to truly engage with the artwork through an expertly curated selection of artists and their works. The perfect celebration of life’s adventures for all ages.

All the books added to my shelves in August 2023

Which one (or two or three) of these books that came my way in August 2023 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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