Some summer reading pleasures for when you’re laying on the beach or relaxing on the front porch.
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My 2018 Fiction/Memoir list in no particular order
Let me know if you enjoyed one of these books and I’m always looking for another good book to read if you’d care to share your favorites with me. (I am an Amazon Affiliate so you can click on the book title or picture to go directly to Amazon to purchase).
True Colors (fiction) by Kristin Hannah
What it’s about: In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town.True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption—and ultimately, what it means to be a family.
Why I liked it: Kristin Hannah once again wrote a story that I had trouble putting down. The characters are real, messy, heart-warming, and unpredictable. The trials these three sisters endure and yet remain there for each other, at least most of the time, is the way families should be. The story takes place in the Pacific Northwest, where I used to live. It deals with the lives of three sisters, I have five. The setting is on a horse ranch, and I used to have a horse. Everything I love! A heart wrenching and tender read.
When Crickets Cry (fiction) by Charles Martin
What it’s about: A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts. In a sleepy Southern town, a spirited seven-year-old in a yellow dress with a scar on her chest runs a lemonade stand. Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, heads to his car, his mind on a boat he’s restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives. Before it’s over, they’ll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.
Why I liked it: I didn’t just like this book, I loved it! The charming little girl, the doctor running from the past and his quirky positive brother-in-law all were woven beautifully into a tear-jerking, but delightful masterpiece. I especially enjoyed reading about the doctor, his training and hearing all the details about what happens during a heart transplant. I had never heard of this author before, but I know I’ll be reading more of his work. I actually listened to this book and the narration was wonderfully done.
Tattoos on the Heart (memoir) by Gregory Boyle
What it’s about: Working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Father Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest and founder of Homeboy Industries (whose motto is “Nothing stops a bullet like a job”) has created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. He fights despair and shame with a loving heart. He shows us that no matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love.
Why I liked it: Father Boyle tells about his experiences working with gang members with humor and humility showing us all the way to love others better. His touching stories teach us we all want the same thing – love. His real life examples are inspiring and convicting. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on a life.
Glory Over Everything (fiction) by Kathleen Grissom
What it’s about: The year is 1830 and Jamie Pyke, a celebrated silversmith and notorious ladies’ man, is keeping a deadly secret. Passing as a wealthy white aristocrat in Philadelphian society, Jamie is now living a life he could never have imagined years before when he was a runaway slave, son of a southern black slave and her master. But Jamie’s carefully constructed world is threatened when he discovers that his married socialite lover, Caroline, is pregnant and his beloved servant Pan, to whose father Jamie owes his own freedom, has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Fleeing the consequences of his deceptions, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation to save Pan from the life he himself barely escaped as a boy.
Why I liked it: After reading Kathleen Grissom’s book “The Summer Kitchen“, I couldn’t wait to read this sequel. Glory Over Everything is an emotionally rewarding and epic novel “filled with romance, villains, violence, courage, compassion…and suspense.” (Florida Courier). It has everything a great story needs along with a picture into the history of of our nation when slavery was still an evil part of our culture.
The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress (fiction) by Ariel Lawhon
What it’s about: One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again. Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing to seize any chance to break out of the chorus line.
Why I liked it: The suspense in this book starts from the beginning and keeps you guessing until the very end who killed the judge. Lawhon portrays a clear picture into the lives of each of these three women showing the messiness of fame, political life, compromise and the dirty underworld of the mafia. Just when you think you have it figured out, you’ll realize you don’t.
Need More Suggestions? (Just encase you read books like I eat dark chocolate).
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton . OR
The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck