Book Review: The Lion’s Den, by Katherine St. John

The Lion's Den, by Katherine St. John

The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John

Published by Grand Central Publishing on June 30, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, mystery

Format & Length: e-book, 368

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Book Review: Of Literature and Lattes, by Katherine Reay

Of Literature and Lattes, by Katherine Reay

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

Published by Thomas Nelson on May 12, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, christian, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 336

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Book Review: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Published by Berkley Books on July 9, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 333

Source: purchased

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Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all–or mostly all–excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Published by Algonquin Books on December 2, 2014

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary

Format & Length: paperback, 258

Source: purchased

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A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over — and see everything anew.

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Audiobook Review: A Window Opens, by Elisabeth Egan

A Window Opens, by Elisabeth EganA Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Published by Simon Schuster Audio on August 25, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:40:48

Source: library

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In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine, Elisabeth Egan, brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age.

Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

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Audiobook Review: Maybe in Another Life, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC on August 18, 2015 (originally published July 7, 2015)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 8:52:21

Source: library

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From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

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Book Review: Allegedly, by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly, by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Published by Harper Collins Publishers on January 24, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 245

Source: purchased

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Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.

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