Books and Authors I just LOVE!

So in the past few years I have found my passion for reading again. I love to read YA – it helps me to figure out how to cope with real-life teenagers in the house in addition to nostalgia for my own teen/growing years. They are all so well written. One of my favorite new YA authors is Hannah R. Goodman. She has written a series of books about 15 year old Maddie and her trials and tribulations. The first book in the Series is called My Sister’s Wedding . It’s a great story and I recommend reading the whole series. It’s also a great way to support a newer Rhode Island author.

Another great author is Deborah Nam-Krane and she has written The Pioneer Series. I am also lucky enough to know this fine author from Boston (where I am originally from). She’s a homeschooling mom who is an author who writes some amazing stuff. I have read 2/3 of the series and on my way to read the last few in the series. The latest one just came out today. If you want to get to know all the characters I’d recommend starting with The Smartest Girl in the Room . It’s a great read.

One of my all-time favorite books is Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons . I read it for the first time in the first bookclub I was ever in. The ladies of Somerset, Massachusetts were a hysterical group of women all of whom I adored (and still do). The book was a great read about women’s life struggles in the ’60’s I believe and it held my attention to the point I could not put it down. It led to a boisterous book club and it was just so much fun. It is the book that got me back into reading. I loved it that much!

I don’t often read self-help books but I just loved The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It was such a great read. It helped me purge several years of clutter and it also helped me teach the kids to let go. I’ll never forget walking up the stairs hearing Meghan talking to someone. I was confused- nobody else was home. This is what she said “Listen Kate- I do not need you. I do not find Joy with you. You are a doll that I felt pressured to get. I never play with you and I need you to find a new home.” This doll was a brand new- never played with- expensive and purchased by Meghan with her own saved money. It was an American Girl Doll and she hated it. She hated it because she had lovely dolls of her own and her friends at the time made fun of her because she didn’t have an American Girl Doll. I refused to spend over $100 on a doll and accessories so if she wanted it she could use her birthday money and she did. This book helped her realize that this doll was bogging her down and it certainly wasn’t bringing her joy. If you need help decluttering and letting go I highly recommend this book.

Jessica Vealitzek is another newer author who I also had the pleasure of meeting via Facebook in the local area of Chicagoland. Her book was featured at a local book club here and the book was fascinating. It was a great read and I highly recommend The Rooms Are Filled. It’s a lovely story about a Minnesota farm boy who has been relocated to Chicago. He’s transplanted and has to adjust to big changes and new found friendships.

One of my other all-time favorites is The Help. It was a fascinating look back at the times when race and class really impacted our daily lives. Where living on the “other side of the tracks” really meant something. I had no idea how pervasive racism truly was in this country and it saddens me that it is still alive today. Read this book to become more aware of the roots of racism in America.

That’s all I can think of for today. I am about to read Ordinary Grace. It’s this month’s book for my local Palatine, IL neighborhood book club. I’ll be sure to share if I liked it or not. I know I probably will as Teresa picks some might fine books to read in our book club. Til next time – and keep reading!

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