Beautiful Ruins

There’s nothing like a trip to the Italian coast when the temps plummet into winter. Beautiful Ruins is a lovely, lovely tale—taking the best parts of an intricate tale like The Casual Vacancy and blending it with sweeping, emotionally wrought stories of love, such as in The Light Between Oceans. Were I a single girlContinue reading “Beautiful Ruins”

Heading Out to Wonderful

Liked A Reliable Wife? So did I. But I liked this better. Author Robert Goolrick’s sophomore effort, Heading Out to Wonderful, is worth your time on a long, rainy weekend. Or a road trip. Or the doctor’s office. It doesn’t take very many pages before you are completely engrossed in the tale of Charlie Beale,Continue reading “Heading Out to Wonderful”

The Casual Vacancy

So J.K. Rowling can write for adults, after all. “The Casual Vacancy,” the sordid tale of politics and personality in the small town of Pagford, is the author’s first true foray into adult literature—although, let’s be honest, she already had adults reading her work when she was the queen of all things Potter. The bookContinue reading “The Casual Vacancy”

The Midwife of Hope River

What a lovely book. That probably sounds contrite—and I certainly don’t mean it that way. But it is—”The Midwife of Hope River” is really, a lovely book. Engaging, romantic, quiet, introspective, sad … it’s not as gripping a novel as say, “Gone Girl.” But the story of Patience Murphy latches on to you emotionally, makingContinue reading “The Midwife of Hope River”

The Age of Miracles

The hell? I’m not sure who or what told me to read “The Age of Miracles.” And let me be clear—I am not disappointed I did. But seriously …. what the hell? This debut novel from Karen Thompson Walker was as disturbing as it was entertaining. And by entertaining, I mean that it swallowed upContinue reading “The Age of Miracles”

Gold

If I’d read this before the Olympics, maybe I would have followed the cycling more intensely. Chris Cleave’s latest, “Gold,” pits frenemy against frenemy as cyclists Kate and Zoe go head to head for the right to represent Great Britain in the Olympics. It’s Cleave’s third novel and his follow-up to the very popular “LittleContinue reading “Gold”

The Sandcastle Girls

You know the term “investment piece?” We hear it a lot in fashion and furniture. Sure, it’s not exactly trendy, and it costs more, but it lasts longer. You’ll use it forever. It’s well-worth the larger financial and/or emotional investment. That’s “The Sandcastle Girls.” This book isn’t going to blow up the summer reading chartsContinue reading “The Sandcastle Girls”

One Breath Away

It’s another hit for Heather. “One Breath Away,” Heather Gudenkauf’s third novel (“Weight of Silence” and ‘These Things Hidden” are also excellent), is a great modern mystery, taking readers on a terrifying journey to find out just who would walk into a small-town Iowa school and take a classroom hostage. Gudenkauf’s storytelling style of alternatingContinue reading “One Breath Away”

Unholy Night

Full disclosure: I am not the most religious person in the world. Not even close. I’m not sure if that made “Unholy Night” more enjoyable or not. Even the most religiously-challenged have a vague idea of what went down on the night of Jesus’ birth. Three wise men appear thanks to a star in theContinue reading “Unholy Night”

Gone Girl

Wicked fun. “Gone Girl” has been all the buzz this month, so I grabbed it for July 4th weekend, knowing I’d have a solid chunk of time to spend with it. This may well be the “it” book for the summer. Chicago-based author Gillian Flynn takes readers on a roller coaster journey through the courtship,Continue reading “Gone Girl”