2018 is here and it’s February 2

This subject title could be more creative but it’s definitely direct. I wanted to get directly to it so now time for too much SUBJECT LINE editing.

Lilac Girls: By Marth Hall Kelly

I read this book on a Caribbean vacation after I had picked it up at the Take a Book Leave a Book Library at the resort. Oh how I wish I had taken a photo of the view from this library.! It was dreamy. Lots of books to peruse with posh interior/exterior lobby. The breeze, the blue green shades of couches and mirrors and the beaitufl shelves.

So I’m looking and looking and don’t see anything I have heard of until The LIlac Girls is there just waiting to be picked.

Well, what a pick!

This is a strong debut and a wonderful companion to my The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah love.

It’s a definite page turner, heart-wrencher. It reminded me of my post The Nightingale quest to read more World War II books. I’m on that quest again!

Now I’m in to the 4 grade approved Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales collection and enjoying it very much.



“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
― Voltaire

Yes! This month there has been a lotta reading going on. You know it. Well, you wouldn’t if you read this blog exclusively instead of talking with me in person. I update in real life. On the blog, not so much.

Here’s what I’ve read recently:

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Graphic Novels by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm – Sunny Side Up and Swing It, Sunny

Also in Book-Tober I will be visiting the independent book shop Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill for the first time. The first time of what I hope will be many times.

Brit Bennet who wrote The Mothers (What?! You haven’t read it yet?) will be speaking and reading.


Can’t stop, won’t stop


Amazing books the should be on everyone’s To Read lists:

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout. My favorite writer just wrote my favorite book! This is the one. My fave of my fave.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman. The biggest takeaway from this one is how have I NOT read any of her work prior to this? But this one, I just can’t stop talking about it, it’s supposedly one of her best. So, good for me and more so good for the world of readers who read it! It is a yummy one. A page turner with not much action but a lot of inner thoughts and almost existentialism with being overly wrought. That could be mostly because it is a tale of a young woman’s life from ages 17 until about 27.

Will anyone talk about it with me next time you see me IRL?! Pretty please. Thanks for that.

Currently reading: Superficial, More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries.

It’s super fun and the frivolity is sooo perfect after those two very provocative reads. Love when I get the order right. Bestseller, bestseller & bestseller!!

I think, therefore I read

But I do not write blog posts a lot.

Just got done with Anita Shreve’s most recent. The Stars are Fire.

I love going into her worlds. This one was down and sad but she’s a fantastic writer and has fantastic plots about resilient women so you really can’t go wrong. I’d recommend this one with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

You know what you are going to get with her. This isn’t a tome. It’s a story with a beginning middle and end. It has adults and kids. It has some flashbacks and it has some love and some hate. Feels like more hate in some ways because it is hostile in the most subdued way. Anita Shreve has a gift and I am so glad I’ve gotten to benefit from it over the years of reading many of her 18 novel. s




Approval Junkie & Dietland

Sometimes you’re reading more than one book at a time and sometimes it’s so luxurious, right? And sometimes that feeling exists because you are away from home on vacation and it IS luxurious. Your daily to do list is to read. Ok it’s to put on sunscreen, bring your sunglasses and hat to the pool and then read. So that is what I did.

I had the hardcover copy of Approval Junkie by Faith Salie and Dietland on my iPhone kindle app. Two very different books and two very different ways to read them.

Approval Junkie is skinny and wants to be happy the way she is. It’s quasi-inspiring and relatable and I definitely enjoyed the book very much and would recommend. Especially if you are a Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me NPR listener as Faith Salie is often on the panel and she dedicates a chapter with some radio show inside scoop.

As of this writing I am still not finished with Dietland. I’m not so sure about this one though I do want to see how it will end. It’s fictional and a little fantastical and I am intrigued. In this book, the main character is overweight and wants to have surgery to get rid of her fat. I am not sure ultimately what she will do.



My girls

Just Finished: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Currently Reading: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

I feel like these two writers are just part of my squad. It’s wrong but I do.  It’s wrong. We’ve never met. We’ve never hung out. Or have we?!

Ann. Oh Ann!

I’ve read almost everything she’s written and her Truth and Beauty is one of my top 10 books ever read. Bel Canto, too. Truth and Beauty though – that one’s non fiction and well, a non fiction story about friendship really makes you know a person. Hi Ann. I loved Commonwealth! That is on par with Bel Canto. These are your top two novels. The others are wonderful but these two are of a different level. Anyone and everyone should read these. Pure enjoyment. Pure thought-provoking works and stellar story telling.  So pure. Wow.

And Curtis. It’s just that your debut blew me away. You went over the top with Prep. I will always hands down recommend that to a reader. Any type of reader. You like to read? You read a lot? You don’t read a lot? Read this and then tell me you don’t want to read more books?! Then much later I read American Wife. Um. I wasn’t expecting that. It was amazing and page turning and how? Oh, right. You’re brilliant.


Everyone’s Books and Bartelby’s

These are two of my favorite book stores. They are both in southern Vermont and both deserve a visit if you are ever in the area.

Everyone’s Books I have only been to twice but it feels like I always belonged and was always there. It very much reminds me of the book store that is parodied in Portlandia. I can laugh at it and I can love it and I do.

Bartelby’s is just my dream place. I walk in and one of the managers knows me. She knows me! and we shoot the shit. The book shit, that is.

What have you read? What have you heard of?

What are you reading next and

sometimes even “what did you read 5 years ago that for some reason you want to mention and are thinking about right now?”

How about now?

This shop is just the right size for a quick walk through: children’s area, new paperbacks, current hardcovers, bestsellers in non-fiction, the gift & stationery section (yum) and you’ve done the store, you’ve made your selections. You feel satisfied and good!

During my last visit to Bartelby’s, I learned about an independent bookstores of VT loyalty program, so to speak. If you visit 5 or more you get a prize!

I’m planning visits to Northshire in Manchester, the Bennington Bookshop in Bennington and one other shop TBD.