August Books

Happy Friday!  It’s time for some of our book picks again.  We always find that our summer reading tends to be a little lighter. And with August being the last breath of summer, we picked a few more beach reads for the month, for you to soak up.  We always find Fall calls for more serious reads that you can really dive into, and there are some wonderful new releases coming out this Fall from some of our favorite authors.  So, in this last weekend of August, we hope you enjoy these last of the beach reads, even if you are just sitting in your backyard.

Here’s To Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Here's To Us

From Amazon:

Three romantic rivals. One crowded house. Plenty of room for jealousy.

Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver share only two things; a love for the man they all married, Deacon Thorpe–a celebrity chef with an insatiable appetite for life–and a passionate dislike of one another. All three are remarkable, spirited women, but they couldn’t be more different. Laurel: Deacon’s high school sweetheart and an effortlessly beautiful social worker; Belinda: a high-maintenance Hollywood diva; and Scarlett: a sexy southern belle floating by on her family money and her fabulous looks. They’ve established a delicate understanding over the years–they avoid each other at all costs.

But their fragile detente threatens to come crashing down after Deacon’s tragic death on his favorite place on earth: a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage. Deacon’s final wish was for his makeshift family to assemble on his beloved Nantucket to say good-bye. Begrudgingly, Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett gather on the island as once again, as in each of their marriages, they’re left to pick up Deacon’s mess. Now they’re trapped in the crowded cottage where they all made their own memories–a house that they now share in more ways than one–along with the children they raised with Deacon, and his best friend. Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett each had an unbreakable bond with Deacon–and they all have secrets to hide.

Before the weekend is over, there are enough accusations, lies, tears, and drama to turn even the best of friends–let alone three women who married the same man–into adversaries. As his unlikely family says good-bye to the man who brought them together–for better or worse–will they be able to put aside their differences long enough to raise a glass in Deacon’s honor?

May’s Review:  This was my first novel by Elin Hilderbrand. I have seen her books on the library shelves many times, but always had so many books waiting on hold for me, I never picked one up. This was a fun, light beach read with interesting characters. I loved the sprinkling of recipes throughout the book, and even copied a few to try.  I look forward to reading some of her other books.

June’s Review:  I always look forward to a new Elin Hilderbrand book each summer.  She is an author that can always be counted on for a beach read especially because all of her books are set on a beach in Nantucket.  I enjoyed this book for a good light read.  The characters were interesting and each distinctive.  And once again, like many favorite books, there is food and recipes in the story which always makes it fun.  If you are looking for a fun read that feels like summer, check it out and if you haven’t read any of Elin Hilderbrand’s other books, you may want to read them when you are looking for a lighter read.

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Don't You Cry 2

From Amazon:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller everyone is talking about THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica returns an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession.

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

May’s Review: This was my second novel by Mary Kubica, a Chicago author. This book also takes places in Chicago, which is always fun when the setting of a story is in your home town. The story is told from two points of view and it’s about a young woman who is missing, and her roommate’s search to find her. I was thoroughly engrossed for the first half of  the story. This was a thriller and although I did enjoy the book, the story didn’t keep it’s momentum for me, and I found the ending to be a bit of a let down.

June’s Review:  Mary Kubica is a Chicago author and because we live in Chicago it always fun to recognize some of the setting in the story.  This book is a little mysterious and a little bit of a thriller.  I have come to the conclusion that thrillers are not my favorite genre because I am not usually surprised by the story or if I am surprised by it, I tend to be mad at it.  However, for the genre I liked this story.  It kept me engaged and guessing a bit.  It is a bit reminiscent of any creepy roommate movie or story that you have seen or read, but made it a little figure out what exactly was going to happen.  It was a fast read, perfect for the summer.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose


From Amazon:

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten–her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed byLa Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
May’s Review: I just picked up this author’s newest novel, The Secret Language of Stones this week and am looking forward to starting it. There is something about Paris in the 1890’s that always draws me in, and this story pulled me in from the beginning. The story is sometimes dark, and ghostly with a touch of the supernatural, and it held my interest up to the last page. It was a nice change from all the beach reads this summer.
June’s Review:  This author has several books including a new one called The Secret Language of Stones: A Novel which from the synopsis looked really interesting, but I had never heard of her.  I loved the setting of this book in Paris in the 1890s and I loved the description of the paintings and the jewelry and the clothes.  I had a little trouble getting into the story a bit for some reason.  I am not sure if it is the book or if it was because we had just spent the weekend writing at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, which always makes reading difficult for me for a few weeks.  The story was interesting and definitely a gothic style about ghosts and the supernatural.
Finally, next Friday, September 2 the movie based on the book The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is being released.  If you have not read the book, pick it up this weekend before the movie comes out.  It is a wonderful emotional novel.  And if you have already read it, let us know what you think of the movie.  May and June are planning on having a girl’s night at the movie theater to check it out.
Have a good weekend.  Happy reading.  -May and June
“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
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