Oh William! | Book Review

Oh William!

Elizabeth Strout

Publisher: Random House

Pub Date: 10/19/2021

4 / 5

This is book three in the life of Lucy Barton. Although I haven’t read any of this series, Iโ€™ve read other Strout books and I fell in love with her sharp, honest, and conversational way of writing. ๐—ข๐—ต ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—บ! certainly follows that formula to a tee.ย 

Lucy is now in her sixties and grieving the loss of her second husband David. But Lucy is still friendly with her first husband, William, and suddenly she finds her life rotating around him once again.

William has remarried, wife number three for him, but he is having night terrors that center around his mother. Andย Lucy was really the only wife who knew his mother well. So Lucy and William investigate this a little deeper, together.ย 

What I loved about this book was that Lucy is telling you the story. And she will digress and say, โ€œthatโ€™s all I want to say about that now,โ€ but of course, she will tell you more later, or right then and there. Itโ€™s like sitting across the table with an old friend who is catching you up on their life. And she lets you in on her most intimate thoughts.

Oh William! is also a very pensive tale. Lucy feels invisible; actually she says she literally is invisible in this world (which isnโ€™t true). But by the story’s end, I think she realizes that we all have a sense of aloneness, for can we truly be known by another?

Thank you to @randomhouse for this gifted digital arc.

The Wish | Book Review

The Wish

Nicholas Sparks

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Pub Date: 9/28/2021

4.5 / 5

Itโ€™s been years since I read a Nicholas Sparks book, so I was excited to receive The Wish. I donโ€™t easily cry at books, but boy, Nicholas Spark is the master at making you reach for the tissues.

Maggie Dawes is a successful Photographer and gallery owner in New York, but life has dealt her a devastating blow; she has terminal cancer. As what might be her last Christmas, she finds herself in the company of her newly hired young assistant, Mark.

Over coffee and dinners, Maggie recounts to Mark how at sixteen, her life changed dramatically. When Maggie got pregnant, her parents sent her away to live with her aunt on the tiny Island of Oakley. Maggie stayed there for the duration of the pregnancy. Thinking this would be one of the worst years of her life, Maggie met Bryce. Bryce, the boy who introduced her to photography and stole her heart.

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐–๐ข๐ฌ๐ก is a perfect book to grab for the Holidays as Mark, the perfect gentleman, helps Maggie set up a tree, they share eggnog, and he even helps Maggie skate at Rockefeller Center. As Maggie tells him how she and Bryce fell in love, it’s hard not to get attached and feel for Maggie and all she has gone through. So Iโ€™m warning you now – have the tissues ready, just in case. 

Thank you to @grandcentralpub for this gifted copy.

๐Ÿ•ฏ Thinking gifts yet? Or maybe you just love candles, I sure do! @birthdatecandles has the best candles and gifts. Make sure you use my Code: ๐’๐ฎ๐›๐š๐ค๐ค๐š๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ for a discount on your order today!

The Corpse Flower | Audiobook Review

The Corpse Flower

Anne Mette Hancock

Publisher: @crookedlanebooks

Pub Date 10/12/2021

4 / 5

I think Nordic or Scandi Noir has got to be some of my favorite types of thrillers. I looked up the definition of Nordic Noir to see what elements I might love so much about them. They usually include police or detective procedural, a murky atmosphere, dark narratives, and flawed protagonists. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐จ๐ซ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ž ๐…๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ offers all of this and more.

Danish journalist, Heloise Kaldanโ€™s job is on the line because one of her sources has lied. Then she begins to receive cryptic letters from Anna Kiel, the woman wanted for the murder of a prominent criminal attorney. No one has seen nor heard from Anna in three years, but now sheโ€™s reaching out to Heloise.ย 

When the reporter who first wrote about Anna Kiel turns up murdered, detective Erik Schรคfer has his first lead in the three-year-old case. Has Anna killed again? And what is her connection with Heloise Kaldan? Heloise is going to have to come clean about the letters. But as Heloise connects the dots, she is shocked by who is involved in this sick and twisted case.

This wasnโ€™t an action-packed thriller for me; it was more of a cat-and-mouse game. I wasnโ€™t sure where this was headed, but it became glaringly apparent that this was a case of revenge and meting out justice. The end is what really got me; it was disturbing, raw, and emotional.

NOTE: This one has some Trigger Warnings, but they are key to the plot, so message me if you have concerns.

Thank you to @librofm and @dreamscape_media for this audiobook. 

๐ŸŽง Looking for great Earphones? @sudio are the best! ๐”๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐‚๐จ๐๐ž: ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“๐ฌ๐ฎ๐›๐š๐ค๐ค๐š ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“% ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ!

Very Important People | Book Review

Very Important People

E.C. Silver

4 / 5

Nicole dreamed of moving out of her small Pennsylvania town and living a refined, high-society life in Boston. But after graduating college and making the move, she is shocked to find that she is lonely and a bit scared.

Much to her parentโ€™s dismay, she lands a job at a nightclub called Timeless. Soon, she spends her nights working and going out with her coworkers to Bostonโ€™s hottest nightclubs. Now, because of the company she keeps, Nicole has obtained VIP status at some local clubs, and she becomes involved with one of the guys from work. But the weird hours, the partying, and the rumors flying around work are not part of her original dream.

I could relate to this story because, after college, I worked as a waitress while I searched for a job in my profession. I remember the party atmosphere, and especially the swapping of relationships with coworkers (you never knew who was with who). E.C. Silver does a great job of showing how easy it is to get caught up in the crowd, in the pressure, and forget the people most important to you.

Thank you to @vip_a_novel for this gifted copy.

Fifty-Four Things Wrongs with Gwendolyn Rogers | Book Review

Fifty-Four Things Wrongs with Gwendolyn Rogers

Caela Carter

Publisher: @harpercollinsย | Quill Tree Books

๐ŸŽ‰ Happy Pub Day ๐ŸŽ‰ 

4 / 5

Gwendolyn Rogers is a fifth-grader who loves horses, her hamster Mr. Jojo, and her half-brother Tyler. But every night, after sheโ€™s tucked in tight, she reads over her list, a list of fifty-four things wrong with her.

Gwen is bright and intelligent, but sheโ€™s forgetful (loses her pencils), argumentative (fights with her mom), reactive (throws things), and can be rude (says whatever). Her mom took her for assessment when she was younger, and it came back without a diagnosis. Gwenโ€™s mom, a recovering alcoholic and single parent, has been trying to help Gwen the best she can, but with no real luck.

Gwen continues to get in trouble at school. Her mom is exhausted, and Gwen doesnโ€™t understand why she canโ€™t have a diagnosis like Tyler, who has ADHD. Finally, they meet Dr. Nessa, who truly listens to Gwen, even when sheโ€™s angry and loud. And when the list of fifty-four things is discovered, real progress is made.

๐…๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ฒ-๐…๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐“๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐–๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐†๐ฐ๐ž๐ง๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ง ๐‘๐จ๐ ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ is as heartbreaking as it is eye-opening. Caela Carter did a marvelous job conveying how frustrated Gwen would get. How her feelings of anger and sadness would crawl up inside, and she would have to battle her own thoughts and feelings. Gwen thought something was wrong with her. 

I loved how this story displayed how positive affirmation, proper resources, diagnosis (if needed), and of course, loving support systems are so crucial, not just to neurodiverse children but to all children.

Thank you to @harperkids and @harpercollins for an invite to this tour and a gifted copy.

แ—ทOOK แ—ฐแ—ฉIแ’ช

แ—ทOOK แ—ฐแ—ฉIแ’ช ๐Ÿ“ฌ

THANK YOU to the following:

@stmartinspress for THREE SISTERS by Heather Morris

@grandcentralpub and @readforeverpub for A LADYโ€™S GUIDE TO MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM by Manda Collins

@harperperenial and @bibliolifestyle for A THOUSAND SHIPS by Natalie Haynes 

@williammorrowbooks and @bibliolifestyle for THE COLLECTIVE by Alison Gaylin (out 11/2/2021)

๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜›๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ @suzyapprovedbooktours:

– THE SECRET NEXT DOOR by Rebecca Taylor (out 11/9/2021)

-THE GAMBLER WIFE by Andrew D. Kaufman

And thanks to my hubby for A MILLION THINGS by Emily Spurr as one of my Anniversary gifts last week.ย 

Are these on your TBR list?

Shooting Out the Lights: A Memoir | Book Review & Tour Stop

Shooting Out the Lights: A Memoir

Kim Fairley


I find that what makes a good memoir isnโ€™t always a dark, traumatic past or even being a celebrity. No, for me, itโ€™s a great storyteller, and Kim Fairley fits the bill in ๐’๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ž๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ.

At only twenty-four, Kim meets and marries Vern, who is fifty-six, and then quickly becomes pregnant. Although only in their first year of marriage, Vern suddenly decides that they will take care of a dead friendโ€™s child for a while, until the mother can sort out a few things.

The child becomes a testing ground in Kim and Vernโ€™s marriage. Fairley does a beautiful job of unpacking the psychological ghosts haunting both Vern and Kim. Vern may be trying to substitute for the loss of his own child, and had Kim been running away from her parents?

Kim now worries for the child growing within her and watches as Vernโ€™s health deteriorate, and she realizes every moment is precious. 

Family drama lovers will become absorbed in this story, as Fairley lets you observe the details and realities of her own marriage and life. 

TW: ๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด.

Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours and @kimfairleywrites for an invite to the tour and a gifted copy. 

โ„‚๐• ๐•ฆ๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ ๐”ป๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ ๐•ฅ๐•  โ„๐•’๐•๐•๐• ๐•จ๐•–๐•–๐•Ÿ | Bath Bombs & Gothic Horrors

โ„‚๐• ๐•ฆ๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ ๐”ป๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ ๐•ฅ๐•  โ„๐•’๐•๐•๐• ๐•จ๐•–๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐ŸŽƒ ๐Ÿ› 

As Halloween is fast approaching, I have to share with you how Iโ€™ll be spending the spookiest night of the year.

Iโ€™m grabbing some classic gothic horror books and soaking in a candlelit tub with my @planttherapy Limited Edition Halloween Bath Bombs. 

This Bath Bomb set comes in three spooktacular scents:

Spooky (black): is a lavender and citrus scent, and it will turn your bath water a dark ghoulish gray!

Trick or Treat (orange/yellow): is a fruity scent and can help calm your nerves.

Galaxy: (green/purple): is a swirling out-of-this-world scent of vanilla and lavandin.

These fizzy bath bombs are packed with natural moisturizing ingredients like Jojoba Oil and vitamin E. They are also vegan and cruelty-free! Check out @planttherapy page for all their great products. 

Thank you to [partner] @planttherapy for my gifted Halloween Bath bomb set. 

African Icons | Book Review & Tour Stop

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History

Tracey Baptiste | Illustrations by Hillary D. Wilson

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pub Date: 10/19/2021


๐€๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ˆ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ looks at ten Africans that shaped and influenced not only the African continent but the world. Names such as Menes, Merneith, Aesop, Amanirenas, and Mansa Musa. They were kings, queens, military leaders, poets, and scholars. But no matter their position in life, they have a story that needs to be heard.ย 

Along with stunning illustrations, you will learn details about these menโ€™s and womenโ€™s lives. I appreciated that Tracey Baptiste included facts about the African continent, from its rich cultural heritage, expansive natural landscape to its vast resources. 

๐€๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ˆ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ is a book all schools and children should have in their libraries. This could easily be book one of a series, sharing with us the lives of so many that have influenced and shaped our world.

Thank you to @algonquinyr and @tracsybaptistewrites for an invitation to the tour and a gifted copy.

The Last Season | Book Review & Tour Stop

The Last Season

Jenny Judson and Danielle Mahfood

Pub Date: 10/19/2021

4 / 5

Honestly, I havenโ€™t read many historical romances. But I love good historical fiction and add romance and drama, and youโ€™ll have me hooked. Set in the Victorian Era of England, when your standing in society was everything, ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐’๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง is a love story that shows that the heart knows no bounds of wealth, class, or standing.

Cassandra, daughter of Lord Drayton, is well-to-do and lives on beautiful Drayton Manor. But she is motherless and friendless except for her governess, Miss Fairfax. When Cassandra meets the stable boy, Crispin, they develop an unlikely friendship in secret. Once discovered, Crispin is forced off the Manor and sent to Calcutta, India. 

As the years pass, Cassandra must enter society, attend balls, entertain, and even travel to America with her father. Crispin, meanwhile, works his way up to aย right-standing businessman in the cotton trade. When the two childhood friends finally reunite, they are both pledged to others, but they show their true intentions when circumstances take a hard turn.

Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours @getredprbooks and @daniandjenny.authors for an invite to the tour and a gifted copy.