Wednesday, May 25, 2016

12 Books You Need To Read This Summer

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

Hey, y'all. Join me as I introduce you to some titles that I'm itching to get my hands on this summer.

Many of the authors listed here are some of my all-time favorites. You'll also find recommendations from authors who have recently caught my eye. I have decided to include some I - personally - have never read before. I hope you'll be as interested in meeting them as I am.

If that intro isn't enough you'll need to trust me. Whatever kind of book you're looking for you'll find it here. So consider pre-ordering (or ordering - depending on when you read this post) these so they wind up on your Kindle or in your mailbox as soon as they're released. You'll thank me later!

All links provided are affiliate links to assist you in your shopping experience.


This Too Shall Pass, Milena Busquets
Release Date: May 24


summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

Busquets has an international hit on her hands. This Too Shall Pass has been praised by magazines like Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire and French Vogue. Translated from Spanish it's been a huge hit overseas and recognized as a phenomenal story. The main character of Bianca is mourning the loss of her mother - the loss of a parent touches a nerve for me. It's caught my eye. And at only 176 pages, this seems like the perfect summer read. And lucky for you this book is available to order now!
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Happy Family, Tracy Barone
Release Date: May 26

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

Happy Family is the debut novel of Tracy Barone. It looks chock-full of relationships, connections, and a dynamic that surrounds the main characters - from past to present. Starting in the 1960s and bringing us forty years down the road we'll get to know them well. I expect excellent story-telling. The characters are described as beautifully damaged people. These are the kind I need to get to know.
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Saving Abby, Steena Holmes
Release Date: May 31


summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

Saving Abby is going to be one of the breakout books of the summer - I'm sure of it. It was a powerful read. I have a review coming out next month, so I don't want to give too much away today. But I will point out that while this might not be the kind of story you would expect me to recommend as a beach read, but that doesn't matter - just get your hands on a copy and jump right in. It's introduced me to Holmes and now I'm on a mission to check out everything she's written. Join me!
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All Summer Long, Dorothea Benton Frank
Release Date: May 31

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading
Dorothea Benton Frank is one of the best writers of southern fiction you'll ever come across. Her ability to weave the settings in with her characters gives you a true feel of how much the scene impacts the story. Confession: I am so excited that this book follows a New York couple as they head south. They're going to SC, and I am (obviously) in NC, but still ... it's absolutely attracted me to this story. That and her talent? I'm sold. I hope you'll get a copy, too, and we can read it together!
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Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
Release Date: May 31

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

Emma Straub may not be new to you, but I've only heard of her because of her recent popular release, The VacationersModern Lovers keeps showing up for me - on must-read lists AND on Amazon/BN - so I've decided that I need to add it here. I might even pick up The Vacationers at the same time, because that seems like a fantastic summer read. Although it's probably the title and the cover that have me thinking that. I totally judge a book by its cover. Don't you? Oops.
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Here's To Us, Elin Hilderbrand
Release Date: June 14


summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

Elin Hildebrand writes beachy summer reads like nobody's business. Her stories weave friendships and romance together to bring us characters that we love, hate and question. She finds a way to wind up in my beach tote every summer, and I rarely go to the beach. To find out why you need to take a look at Hilderbrand's books - the covers alone will bring you a feeling of relaxation, you'll imagine fresh air and the hot summer sun. Throw in a cool breeze and a tropical drink (cocktail or mocktail - your choice!) and you're ready to sit yourself down with new friends.
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Invincible Summer, Alice Adams
Release Date: June 28

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading
Let's introduce ourselves to Alice Adams. This is her first novel and it looks like a great story. Invincible Summer is about four friends who were inseparable during college, but, as most college friends find, are distant from one another in their later years. They make their way back to each other as they navigate through adulthood and learn about life, love and friendship. It's perfectly fitting that I am listing this one right before In Twenty Years, because that story is similar. I look forward to getting to know the characters Adams brings us - just as I look forward to getting to know her.
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In Twenty Years, Allison Winn Scotch
Release Date: July 1

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading
I've been a fan of Allison Winn Scotch for years. I'm so excited to see a new release from her. I just read this book and absolutely loved it. It's the perfect summer read. The dynamic of six friends who met in college and come together to reconnect after so much has happened to them - between them. Winn Scotch weaves together a story of different perspectives that you don't want to put down. I'll refrain from saying more because I'll be posting a full review on this book soon. Stay tuned!
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The Perfect Neighbors, Sarah Pekkanen
Release Date: July 5

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading

I've been a Sarah Pekkanen fan for a long time. With this story, as with all of her others,  you find yourself wanting to dive in with just the introduction. The main character Kellie is returning to work after years of stay-at-home-mom life. That's enough for me. I can relate. Add to that another mom in the neighborhood with a big secret? I'm in. Secrets. Family. Motherhood. Mystery? Sign me up. 
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The Choices We Make, Karma Brown
Release date: July 12

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading
Come Away With Me was one of my favorite books of 2015. That alone means I'm going to read whatever Karma Brown writes, now and for many years to come. The Choices We Make has been described as a powerful tale of incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true. Sounds perfect, doesn't it? Friendship? Risks?  Dreams? Yep. I definitely think so. 
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Truly, Madly, Guilty, Liane Moriarty
Release Date: July 26

summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading 

I'm so excited to see a new book from Liane Moriarty that I don't even care what it's about. I've pretty much decided that I need to read every book she has ever written, but since it is possible you're unfamiliar with her work, I'll tell you what I've learned about Truly, Madly, Guilty. The story includes marriage, sex, guilt and secrets. Relationships, families, friends and more. Moriarty has a writing style that draws you in and has you trying to figure out what is going to happen. You try to predict, but you're not always right. She leaves you questioning yourself. You're going to want in. 
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Falling, Jane Green 
Release Date: July 19


summer reads, beach reads, fiction, goodreads, book recommendations, novels, amazing authors, reading, amreading
I've been a Jane Green fan for over twenty years. Literally. Two decades! I read her as as a new college graduate making my way to work in NYC. Green's writing became a fast friend keeping me company on my trip in from Brooklyn. I devoured her books. I bought each one immediately after it was released. Honestly, it's taken me too long to find my way back to her, and I'm really excited to dive into Falling. I love that it's a love story, because I know that's something she writes best. 

So - there you have it - my list of must-reads for the summer. Get to pre-ordering now so you'll get them as soon as they're released. I've got LOADS of book recommendations for you, so have a look around. Oh! And if you're in need of a book immediately you're going to want to read my list of books you must read this spring, because these are available to purchase NOW.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Review: When The Moon Is Low, Nadia Hashimi


Nadia Hashimi has crafted a beautiful story with her latest release, When The Moon Is Low.

I had heard of Hashimi because of her international bestseller, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell. I have a copy of that book, but have not yet had a chance to read it. I'll be remedying that quickly, as she has a new fan in me. Needless to say, when I saw her name on the TLC Book Tours list of possible reads for review - I grabbed hold and got myself a copy.

When The Moon Is Low (affiliate links provided for your shopping convenience!) is set in Afghanistan, and tells the story of a beautiful mother - Fereiba - and her family. We meet her in her youth, actually, at her birth, and we follow her as she goes through life. She establishes herself. She creates her own story.

When we move forward in time to the point where Fereiba marries we watch the turmoil of Afghanistan surround her and her loved ones. We watch as her family faces too much danger. We know that their time to journey will come soon.

Hashimi tells this story from the perspective of both, Fereiba and her son, Saleem. Saleem's struggles are relatable and realistic. Fereiba's choices leave her aching. As a mother - a woman - a family member - as everything she is and can be.

As the family looks towards England with hopes to connect with Fereiba's sister they face obstacle after obstacle along the way.

Saleem is separated from his mother and family members, and much of his journey is his heartbreaking battle to return to them. His desperation and determination leave us admiring the young man, while in many ways we long to reach out to him and hold him close, as his own mother would have had she been near.

He became a man way too soon. The journey he takes is an impossible one. But we hope for him to make it. We hope for them all to stay strong and find ways to survive.

When The Moon Is Low is such a wonderful read. It's a story that will stick with you for some time. It's the kind of book that you'll recommend to friends and family members and not truly be able to describe why - you just know that you think they should read it.

That said, you can order your copy of When The Moon Is Low on Amazon right now. Click this link or click the cover image below. You'll also find the cover of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell for your convenience. Maybe we can read it together!

    

Friday, May 13, 2016

Help Support the 24th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive!

charity, food drive, donations, support your local food bank, stamp out hunger

It's that time again!

Saturday, May 14, 2016 is the 24th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive run by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Which means that the easiest way to donate food happens right at your door. Or mailbox. Or both - pretty much however you want to look at it, you get the opportunity to do good - and all it takes is leaving a bag of nonperishables for your letter carrier to pick up as a part of this incredible campaign.

I am a social media ambassador for my local food bank in North Carolina, and a part of my role is to spread awareness about the importance of food donations to our community food banks. There are so many people in need of assistance and YOUR HELP can be what ensures that they have food on the table for their families in the coming months.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: Where We Fall, Rochelle B. Weinstein

book review, reading, fiction, amreading, goodreads, review, recommendation

Rochelle B. Weinstein has created a dynamic storyline that we watch weave throughout the pages of Where We Fall. With the reader's perspective shifting between Abby and Ryan, their daughter Juliana, and their old friend Lauren, we see the story from all sides.

A woman. Her husband. Their daughter. The woman's former best friend. All four voices.

Personally I'm a fan of books written from varying viewpoints. I like when chapters shift this way. It helps me get a full feel for all of the characters when the author delves into each of them to such an extent.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

6 Ways To Manage Parenting Without Losing It


Parenting is no easy task. As our kids get older we trick ourselves into thinking it's going to be an easier road to travel - but you know what? We're so wrong.

We're lying to ourselves, likely to make it through the witching hours and the temper tantrums. But each year comes with new developments and new struggles. New hurdles to find ourselves jumping over, looking forward with a smile on our faces, and then over our shoulders to see what's coming up next.

So I'm here to offer you a few strategic tips on managing parenting without losing it on your kid. I don't always manage to pull these off, but when I do? They work. And since I know they work I try to do them more often. The trick is remembering.

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