4 Books To Read On These Pretty Spring Days

Happy spring! When I think of spring I think of warm weather, sunny days, driving with the windows down and having a few weeks to take my dogs to the beach before tourist season starts. Oh, and I think of books, duh. All this perfect weather pulls me outside to curl up on a chair on the deck and read. If you’re looking for a good book that will give you all the feels and transport you to another time and place, pick up one of these great books.

The Kitchen House

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Y’all. This book. I am so in love with it I can barely explain. I actually listened to this book via audible. I have about a 30 minute commute to work and recently discovered the only way to stay sane during the inevitable traffic (for no reason! #roadrage) is to listen to a book. I downloaded The Kitchen House, honestly, because it was $14. Most audio books are so expensive and I had seen the title at Barnes and Noble recently so I figured I would buy it. The story takes place in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s and focuses around a plantation in VA. The plot is a tangled web of relationships between the white upper-class homeowners, their slaves and a young Irish indentured servant girl.

Just to reiterate how hard I fell for this book, I would actually be driving home, to my man, a warm meal, my PJ’s and my dogs (basically all the things I love) and would cheer when red lights would stop me because that was an extra minute I got to listen to The Kitchen House. I would actually get home and sit in my drive way, not going inside, to listen a few minutes longer while my dogs looked at my car from the doorway in complete confusion.

When a book captivates you so much that you get excited by traffic, you know it is good. And to make it even better, there is a sequel being released next week!

P.S.- Just a little thanks to my boyfriend who actually let me drone on and on about this book for weeks, explaining the plot to him, the characters, the drama and the love. You know I am weird, you picked me, thank you for always letting me explain the best books to you, play by play.

Me before you

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Watch this trailer. Try not to cry from it alone. (Books are always better than the movie, read the book first!)

This book was a charming and unique love story and it was funny. I love when books give you so many emotions. This is a perfect beach read and the main character, Lou, will charm you more and more with each turn of the page.

Girl at War

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Hi, I am Rachel and my favorite genre of books is historical fiction. This book follows Ana through being a child during war into college in the States. The book is compelling, interesting and, the best part? It was written by a 26 year old. #goals

Firefly Lane

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I love Kristen Hannah, she is one of my favorite authors. I didn’t know much about this book before driving in but it started like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and ended like Beaches so it was a full blown roller coaster. The story follows two best friends from highschool into their 50’s. Any girl who has a best friend that they’ve screamed Taylor Swift lyrics with and used to sneak PBR with will feel like this book is a warm hug from a close friend.

What are you reading?!

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Read With Me- Fall Edition

Fall means coffee, cozy socks, warm blankets and BOOKS. Hundreds of pages filled with gorgeous descriptions of love, passion, food, nature and dynamic relationships. If you know me personally, or not at all, you can probably guess that I love to read. In addition to reading, I love to buy books. I have books coming out of every nook and cranny of my home. They can be found in my laundry room, tucked under my bed, decorating my tables and shelves, in my car and in all of my purses and bags.  So when chilly fall rolls around, I look forward to dark, cozy nights finally getting a chance to curl up and read all the books I have prepared for my hibernation. In the coming months, I plan to read the books below. If you are looking for a good book, read one with me! Or, if you have read one already, let me know how it is!

Liar’s Bench

By: Kim Michele Richardson

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“In 1972, on Mudas Summers’ seventeenth birthday, her beloved Mama, Ella, is found hanging from the rafters of their home. Most people in Peckinpaw, Kentucky, assume that Ella’s no-good husband did the deed. Others think Ella grew tired of his abuse and did it herself. Muddy is determined to find out for sure either way, especially once she finds strange papers hidden amongst her mama’s possessions. But Peckinpaw keeps its secrets buried deep. Muddy’s almost-more-than-friend, Bobby Marshall, knows that better than most. Though he passes for white, one of his ancestors was Frannie Crow, a slave hanged a century ago on nearby Hark Hill Plantation. Adorning the town square is a seat built from Frannie’s gallows. A tribute, a relic–and a caution–it’s known as Liar’s Bench. Now, the answers Muddy seeks soon lead back to Hark Hill, to hatred and corruption that have echoed through the years–and lies she must be brave enough to confront at last.”

Ten Thousand Saints

By: Eleanor Henderson

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“A sweeping, multigenerational drama, set against the backdrop of the raw, roaring New York City during the late 1980s, Ten Thousand Saints triumphantly heralds the arrival a remarkable new writer. Eleanor Henderson  makes a truly stunning debut with a novel that is part coming of age, part coming to terms, immediately joining the ranks of The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud and Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude. Adoption, teen pregnancy, drugs, hardcore punk rock, the unbridled optimism and reckless stupidity of the young—and old—are all major elements in this heart-aching tale of the son of diehard hippies and his strange odyssey through the extremes of late 20th century youth culture.”

Brooklyn

By: Colm Tobin

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“Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.”

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

By: Katherine Boo

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“Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.”

Rising Strong

By: Berne Brown

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“It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.   Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.”

Bel Canto

By: Ann Pratchett

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“Ann Pratchett’s award winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Patchett’s other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician’s Assistant, the author’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.”

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

By: Ransome Riggs

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“A mysterious island.

   An abandoned orphanage.

   A strange collection of very curious photographs.

   It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.”

The Life We Bury

By: Allen Eskens

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“College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?”