November was a great month for reading. There were lots of good books this month, and several that I highly recommend!
GoodReads Synopsis: Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression. Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride ornery horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery--and especially romance--may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.
My Thoughts: This was a very sweet story with a bit of intrigue on the side. I really enjoyed it!
GoodReads Synopsis: 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart. At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.
My Thoughts: This book had been on my list FOREVER, and I finally got around to reading it. It was good but not fantastic. There were a lot of family dynamics to navigate in this one, so at times it was a little sad. But I really appreciated the way she tied everything together at the end.
GoodReads Synopsis: In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. Starting with the bullet that's been lodged for years in the victim's spine, they must pull new leads from years-old information, which soon reveals that this shooting may have been anything but random.
My Thoughts: Another fantastic novel in the Harry Bosch series. Harry is one of my all-time favorite book characters, and this one did not disappoint. In fact, it was probably one of the best ones in a while. The mystery was exciting with unexpected twists and turns. If you want a good detective series, look no further than Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch!
GoodReads Synopsis: It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store. Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts. Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has. Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke? When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.
My Thoughts: I was unbelievably excited to get this book as an ARC from NetGalley! I obviously love Sarah Addison Allen, and the prequel to this book, Garden Spells, is my favorite. I loved reading more about the Waverley women, especially Bay now that she's a teenager. It gets released in January, so make sure you pick it up!
GoodReads Synopsis: The war is over. The South has lost. Josephine Weatherly struggles to pick up the pieces of her life when her family returns to their Virginia plantation. But the realities of life after the war cannot be denied: her home and land are but a shell of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. Her life of privilege, a long-ago dream. Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak--but a bitter hatred fuels her. Can hope--and a battered faith in God--survive amid the devastation?
My Thoughts: Another Lynn Austin book for me this year. I haven't read this many of hers since college, but I'm really enjoying them. This one took a bit longer for me to get into, but it picked up mid-way through the story. Romance, danger, and intrigue-- what more could you want?
GoodReads Synopsis: No sooner had supermodel Laura Ayers and Celtics star David Baskin said "I do" than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia's Great Barrier Reed, David went out for a swim-and never returned. Now widowed and grieving, Laura's search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back thirty years...
My Thoughts: This was Harlan Coben's first-ever novel. He states at the beginning that if this is your first novel of his to attempt to read, to put it down and get another one. I would agree with that advice. It's not his best book, but I was able to appreciate it a bit more, I think, because I already love his writing. This one was long and windy, and I saw the two big twists at the end coming. That said, it was a great suspenseful story, always left you wondering who you could trust and who was really the bad guy.
GoodReads Synopsis: Debbie Macomber continues her warmhearted tour of Cedar Cove, Washington, with this sixth installment in her bestselling series. This one focuses on Seth and Justine Gunderson, whose business, the Lighthouse restaurant, was destroyed by arson. While young runaway Anson Butler is the prime suspect, his stalwart girlfriend, Allison Cox, doesn't believe it for a moment. Meanwhile, the fire has caused a rift in the Gunderson marriage, and Warren Sager, who never stopped loving Justine, is all too willing to offer a shoulder to cry on. But solving the mystery of who started the fire is hardly the only plotline. There are new developments in the romance between Linnette McAfee and Cal Washburn, big changes in the lives of Jon and Maryellen Bowman, and an unexpected, whirlwind romance between hair stylist Teri Miller and a chess superstar. Rainier Drive is packed with the updates Macomber's many fans expect to get.
My Thoughts: Another good one in the Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber. This is probably one of my favorites-- a little mystery always makes a story better, in my opinion. This one definitely had that plus a little less cheesiness than some. These are great books to just pick up and fly through if you are looking for some easy reads.
GoodReads Synopsis: The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.
My Thoughts: This is another one that has been on my list for a while that I finally got around to reading. I didn't love it. It was very different than my usual genres and was a bit difficult to get into. The plot was interesting, but it just wasn't my favorite. If you like books that are just a little off-center or about secret societies, then this is the book for you.