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Book Recommendations Tips and Tricks

Let’s Get Lost in a Good Book …

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Guys, what a time.  As I’m writing this, my state has gone into lockdown — schools are closed so I start my first day of homeschooling my kindergartner and preschooler tomorrow.  My 6 year-old asked what skills I had as a teacher – umm, I attended school and that about wraps it up?  Last class was about 15 years ago, but no problemo.  Oh and I helped with a volleyball camp one time in 1995, so I think it’s safe to say we’ve got PE programming on lock.  Whatever else is going on, I think we can all agree that teachers should earn $1M a week.  Minimum.

In all seriousness, for a generation who has known extreme choice and abundance,  the empty shelves at Walmart, cancellations and closings have been  jarring to say the least.  It’s scary and unsure and we’re all doing the best we can.  To say this is an unprecedented time is like saying that the movie Titanic is about a boat that runs into a little trouble during its trip.   But in the midst of everything that is cancelled, I saw a meme that said “sunshine is not cancelled, music is not cancelled, laughter is not cancelled …”  You know what else is not cancelled?  Really good books.  I daresay good books are more important now that they have ever been.  In my last book recommendation post, I previewed a lot of these on my “to be read” list and this time I’m adding in a few of my most re-readable favorites that aren’t recent reads, but a few faves I go back to again and again.   Basically like comfort food, but book-style.            

In addition to not having a super sharp teacher skills resume, I also am not gonna win any book-synopsis writing awards.  So I’ve given you a few  lines to give you a sense of if it might be for you and linked to the Amazon listing in case you need a little deeper dive.

Book Comfort-Food Favorites:

The Rosie Project

Genre: Literature 


Synopsis:  A brilliant but socially-inept scientist tries to find love.  It is that, but it is SO much more than that.  This series (three books in all) follows Professor Don Tillman and is a true, laugh out loud delight.  Find it here.

Rating: 

Outlander

book recommendations

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  Let the record reflect I was an Outlander fan since long before the series came out.  Why this is important, I do not know, but distinctions are thin on the ground right now, so I need that win :).  I haven’t seen much of the series, but I don’t think it can touch the book but my friend saw the series first and still really enjoyed the book.  A nurse in the 1940’s mysteriously time travels back to 1740’s  Scotland.  Unlike some lighter time travel novels, this goes deep into how the heroine adjusts to the new time and challenges she faces 200 years in the past.  This is one of the few truly re-readable books for me and I’ve read it half a dozen times in 10 years. Find it here.

Rating: 

Bringing Down the Duke

book recommendations

Genre:  Romance

Synopsis: Now I’m not honestly much one for the romance books.   I like stuff that keeps it real — like it was super romantic when I told my husband I was “perfectly capable” of using a box cutter in a real snooty tone and then he didn’t throw it in my face that I accidentally sliced a hole in the sheets while using said box cutter during an ill-conceived closet-organizer DIY project.  That’s romance to me.  But this one was really delightful and kept it as real as you can in Regency England.  Very easy and light read!  Find it here.

Rating: 

Daisy Jones & The Six

book recommendations

Genre: Historical Fiction 

Synopsis:  This is the second book I’ve read by this author (review of the first book here) and I loved the first one.  This reads like a VH1 Behind the Music on a fictitious band from the 1960’s.  The story was all told in interviews and while it got a little hard to keep some of the secondary characters straight, this was an engrossing read and I thought about it a lot after I finished it.  Find it here.

Rating: 

Ghosted

book recommendations

Genre:  Fiction/Mystery

Synopsis:  The synopsis kinda read like it was a romance type book with a meet cute start.  No, this was FAR from what this book was.  It ended up as a thriller/mystery that had me reeling by the ending.  Find it here.

Rating: 

The Golden Hour

book recommendations

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  I guess I’ve been a sucker for the historical fiction genre these last months!  This is a book about WWII but set largely in the Bahamas.  There is a little bit of a mystery here, but the draw of this book is the descriptive writing that makes you feel like you’ve lived in another time and place.  Find it here.

Rating: 

All the Light We Cannot See

book recommendations

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  I read the description again and again and still couldn’t get a sense of what this book was about.  I am so glad I decided to read it though!  The author truly transports you and is one of the most descriptive writers I’ve ever read.  This novel deserves any and all praise it receives!  Find it here.

Rating: 

In a Dark, Dark Wood

book recommendations

Genre:  Thriller

Synopsis:  Bachelorette Party in the woods goes wrong and results in a murder.  This was a nail biter from early on and I can still feel the creepiness of those woods.  Find it here.

Rating: 

Beyond the  Point

Genre:  Fiction 

Synopsis:  Three women graduate from West Point post-9/11 and it follows their lives after graduation.  This was such a deep story about friendship and family and I loved every second of it.  Find it here.

Rating: 

The Nightingale

book recommendations

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  Sometimes when people are too crazy about a book I do a weird resistance thing.  A friend encouraged me to give it a try though and this was the best book of last year for me.  It follows two women during the Nazi occupation of France and while it is a WWII story, it shows what everyday people had to do to survive and it emotionally tore me apart but it was so worth it.  Find it here.

Rating: 

The Wife Between Us

Genre:  Thriller

Synopsis: Thriller that’s seemingly about a first wife vs. a new wife and some unresolved bitterness, but it’s not at all what you think.  Super twisty and kept me guessing!  Find it here.

Rating: 

Summer of ’69

book recommendations

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  I love this author and first came across her in her Winter in Paradise series (also incredibly good).  This book follows four siblings during their summer on Nantucket but Hilderbrand’s quiet but powerful writing style really draws you in to another time and place.  I also loved the follow up novella Summer of ’79!   Find it here.  Summer of ’79 here.

Rating: 

Lock Every Door

book recommendations

Genre:  Thriller

Synopsis:  This is my third Riley Sager novel and when his fourth novel comes out June 30th, I will be first in line!  This is a novel about an apartment building with sinister secrets and the story line was just so inventive and cool with just a touch of supernatural spookiness.

Rating: 

Find it here.

Next on my list:

Fountains of Silence – historical fiction set in 1950’s Spain.  Yes, I realize I’m becoming a genre addict, lol

The Sun Down Motel – thriller

The Goldfinch – am I the only one that hasn’t read this?  I need to change that

The Great Alone – recommended by the same person who recommended The Nightingale, so high hopes

Where the Crawdads Sing – heard mixed reviews but my FOMO is kicking up!

If you live locally, I would gladly put any of these on my porch for you to pick up and read!  My outfit standards have dipped very low — like one day I definitely looked like I was ready for my starring role as an eggplant in a school play, so as long as you don’t judge, I’m ready to lend or I’ve linked to the Amazon listing if you need it delivered.  Any titles I missed that I should add to my list?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

 

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2019