Anonymous Soccer Mom

Musings from the Mundane to the Marvelous

My Spring Seven

Okay, so Spring sprang a while ago. Butterflies are fluttering through the air, the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue. If I had my druthers, I’d while away my days relaxing on a chaise lounge soaking up the prose of brilliant authors whilst soaking in rays (and sipping a margarita made with ruby red grapefruit juice).  But alas, since I only have so much time in the day, instead of the Spring Seventy I dream about, it’s the Spring Seven.

The following are the seven books that have stood out to me over the past several months. I going to tell you why I liked/loved them, and if you want more detailed descriptions, just click on the book.

(BTW, for the sake of honesty, I’ll admit I read some of them in winter, but I couldn’t find a number that started with a W. The only alliteration option is My Winter One. Which would be a very short post.)

 

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  1. The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth: I loved this book from the very start. At its heart, it is a love story. The characters are beautifully drawn and Sally Hepworth handles the multiple POVs deftly. She also manages to mix humor and compassion when dealing with the issue of Alzheimer’s disease.41jTPkXy43L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_
  2. Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner: I’ve said it before, when I grow up I want to be Jennifer Weiner. I love all of her books, but this one–about a boy and girl who meet in their youth, then spend decades finding their way back to each other– spoke to me. It was funny, touching, heartbreaking and lovely, and I was engaged from the first page to the last.2016-02-01-1454357880-2655414-NoOrdinaryLife_cover2
  3. No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn: I read Suzanne’s first novel in one day, and not just because I was recovering from a back injury and couldn’t move. Her second novel is equally good. I connected with the main character’s plight as she tries to make the best choice for her children, her family and herself while succumbing to the lure of fame and the financial security that can come with it.download (3)
  4. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I don’t read much nonfiction. Some of it is dry and sterile. This book is not. It is rich with information about the creation of the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, the men who made it happen, and the serial killer who was on the loose in the city during that time. But unlike other historical nonfiction books it reads like a novel. I found it hard to put down.download
  5. The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack: Womack weaves tales of the past into the present as she delves into the former lives and many incarnations of the main characters. Strong prose throughout, a clear thread through each of the lives, and a story that is both suspenseful and romantic.download (1)
  6. Deception by Jonathan Kellerman: Perhaps because I’m releasing the first book in my Musical Mystery Series next month, I’ve been reading some of my favorite series characters. Child psychologist turned sleuth Alex Delaware never fails me. If he were real, I most certainly would be in love with him. Is it any wonder that my real husband’s name is Alex…?download (2)
  7. X by Sue Grafton: What will we all do when she gets to Z? I love Kinsey Milhone as much now as I did when I first read A is for Alibi. And I am always amazed at an author like Grafton who can come up with absolutely unique plot lines and characters after so many books.

Happy Reading!

 

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MY SUMMER SIX

I know that summer is just a faded memory, but as you can see by the date of my last post, I’m a little behind on everything. It’s okay, though. I’ve had kind of a tough year-and-a-half. But now things are getting back on track and I’m catching up with my life.

No matter how busy or chaotic my world gets, I never fall behind with my reading. Books are like a drug and I am an addict. A good novel is like a balm for my soul, an escape from grief, stress, screaming kids, crushing boredom. I can’t wait to finish this post just so I can get back to my latest download.

Over the summer, I purchased and read many women’s fiction novels. So many, in fact, that some of them blended into others, and sometimes I could barely remember where one ended and another began. The following are those that stood out to me.

 

one plus one1. ONE PLUS ONE: A Novel by Jojo Moyes. Part romance, part road trip, part dysfunctional family story, I loved this book from the minute I started reading it. I adored ME BEFORE YOU, but I never wanted ONE PLUS ONE to end.

husband2. THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty. Thought-provoking and powerful, this book interweaves three women’s lives, all of which are connected by an event that took place decades earlier and the awful secret one of them discovers about that event.

all fall down3. ALL FALL DOWN by Jennifer Weiner. Of course this would be on my list. Weiner can do no wrong. This story takes a hard look at how addiction masquerading as a ‘bad habit’ can impact our lives and the lives of those closest to us. (All Fall Down made me rethink my beer habit. I’ve since switched to wine. Kidding! Jeez!)

sharp objects4. SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn. Okay, I know that Gone Girl is all the rage, what with the new Ben Affleck movie. And although the book was very good and very well-written, I honestly didn’t enjoy it. (Ironically, I did enjoy the movie. And no, I’m not just saying that to get back into Ms. Flynn’s good graces. I doubt my not enjoying Gone Girl will keep her awake at night.) Sharp Objects, however, really got me. Dark, disturbing, but unexpectedly filled with hope.

above 15. ABOVE by Isla Morley. I bought this book after hearing Isla’s keynote speech at the Southern California Writers Conference last month. Well-written, suspenseful and engaging, but the twist is what really made this book stand out.

don't let me go6. DON’T LET ME GO by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Great characters that leapt from the page and stole my heart. Funny and lovely tale of how one girl can transform a group of apathetic strangers into a close, caring family unit.

(If I were a shameless self-promoter, I would also note that I read my own novel SAY NEVER fresh from the formatter, and even after God-knows-how-many times I’ve read it, it still made me laugh and cry. But since I’m more of a shameful self-promoter, I refuse to add it to the above list. It’s coming out soon, so maybe it will make someone else’s list…hint hint…)

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler. I’ve only just started it, but I have a feeling it’s going to make my Fall list!

What are your favorite reads of the last few months? Comment below. I’m always looking for suggestions!