151: Dating by the Book

Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

I picked this up after it grabbed by attention on the table by the book returns at the library It had a pink cover and was a romance set in a book store. What’s not to love?!

It had a little You’ve Got Mail vibe along with some boy-next-door/childhood friend. It was a delight. It’s a closed-door romance, so no wacky scenes.

Oh it’s also set in a small town in Indiana with some sabotage, a book club, some baked goods, and an adoption.

Only ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ because the writing could have flowed a little better – but all in all a nice romance to stay up late (10:30 pm) reading!


150: If I Knew…

If I knew You were Going to be This Beautiful I never would have Let You Go by Judy Chicurel

I picked this book up at the library because it had an interesting title, a beautiful cover, and the main character was named Katie. Felt like enough to keep me really interested, but it wasn’t.

The entire time I was reading it I just kept asking myself, “why am I still reading this?” I don’t feel like anything worthwhile really happened. Kids graduated from high school during the Vietnam War and engaged in lots of drugs and drinking, a little bit of sex, and some rock ‘n roll.

That’s it.

I did read this in a beautiful place though, so there’s that.


149: The Lost Husband

The Lost Husband by Katherine Center

Did I start this on the plane last night and then finish while listening to the other members of my team give their presentations at the Stewardship Day that’s the reason why I get to spend a week with my godmother and cousins? Um, yes.

Katherine Center has become one of my favorite authors. Her novels are smart, compelling, and captivating. Libby loses her husband in a tragic accident. She spends 12 month trying to make it on her own before her mother took her in for the next 24 months. It was miserable. Her mom invited her and her two kids in out of obligation, but her mom never really figured out how to love her.

All of a sudden she receives a letter from her aunt inviting her and the kids to move in and milk the goats. Life is so horrible at her mom’s, she packs up and moves the next day.

Life goes on. She meets Sunshine, O’Connor, Russ, and Jean finding out her own life story and learning how to love again.

I loved almost everything about this book, except the response to bullying with PeePants Gaveski. The school should have done something different, and the parents should have too. Although it worked, it could have been outlined differently.


148: The Right Swipe

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

I’ve had this on my hold list forever because you know I love a good love story and online dating love stories are my recent guilty pleasure. With everyone telling me “just get online, then you’ll find a spouse” I’ve yet to read a really good book about how online dating helped someone find an amazing relationship like what I’m looking for.

This book doesn’t break my streak. They meet for a one-night-stand via a dating app, he accidentally ghosts her, then they have to team up to make both of their businesses (competing online dating businesses) successful, before her revealing that she’s got major trust issues which is why she only does one-night-stands and not relationships.

I’m not going to judge someone else’s journey – but if you’re doing only one-night-stands, I think you probably have trust issues that you’re just making worse. Get off the online dating apps and get a therapist … you could even just get the app therapist. Find someone to work that stuff out with. If you don’t trust anyone at any time, then that’s a thing to figure out.

Also this is not PG. There was enough ‘girl power’ | trust the victim | women can do great things for me to keep reading, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Both of their views on sex were a little ‘extra’ if you ask me.


147: No More Bad Dates

No More Bad Dates by Kate O’Keeffe

I had a rough end to my workday yesterday so when I got a Kindle notification about a book I might like on Kindle Unlimited I downloaded the sweet romance and started reading. Then I proceeded to say up quite late just to finish.

I knew who she was going to end up with by the end of the first paragraph of chapter 1 … but still found the story sweet. This is a sweet, chaste romance story with some funny twists and turns. Overall a fun read and a great escape!

Favorite Quote: “Everyone is entitled to my opinion.”


146: Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I really loved this book! It’s a dystopian novel that talks about the before, during, and after the ‘end of the world as we know it.’ Basically a very contagious flu outbreak (you’re exposed and sick in 3 to 4 hours and dead in 24 to 48) begins in Georgia (the country) and spreads, rapidly. At first not so much, but with air travel the way it is, soon almost everyone is infected and they aren’t sure where it even came from.

There’s no cure. Entire work places, cities, families, airplanes, buses, etc. are taken down in a matter of weeks. Some people survive – the estimate is about 99% are dead.

The story is set in Toronto and the area of the Mid-West around Chicago and the lake. The writing is fantastic. The storytelling arc is incredible. I need people to read this so we can talk about it! So go, get it at the library, come back and let’s talk!!


145: The Book Charmer

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

I loved this book! It has all the things I love about a book: a woman who loves books, another who brews special teas, redemption, a mother finding her way, a town on the brink of disaster, an apple festival, and a little bit of romance (but it’s not about that at all).

Grace has lived her whole life not knowing where she belongs after she and her sister were abandoned by her mother. Mama G becomes the foster parent who sees the girls for who they are and teaches them the necessities of life: love, relationships, and belonging. Grace learned these pretty well, her sister, however, did not.

The story is set in Dove Pond, North Carolina, a small town with a little magic. Grace moves there with Mama G and Daisy from the big city of Charlotte to help Mama G’s memory return. What they find is friendship (Grace has never had a friend, not a true friend), belonging, purpose, family, and love.

There’s a bit of magical realism, but only the kind you wish you had in your life – that books choose you! They whisper to someone and ask to join you for a time … what a delight!