Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

My Favorite Reads/Listens of 2019

2019 kicked me in the rear. Life got hard, so my reading got easy. This may explain why I stopped reviewing books or writing on this blog. But, many of you have requested a list of my favorite books from the year, and I am happy to deliver.

With the year I had, I pretty much avoided all wartime historical fiction and psychological thrillers. I pretty much read fluff from March through the end of the year. Somehow, I still managed to read (or listen to) 110 books.

Here are the 10 books I read in 2019 that stood out (in no particular order):

Evvie Drave Starts Over - Linda Holmes

*NPR Pop Culture Writer's Debut Novel. Excellent.

A Spark of Light - Jodi Picoult

*Very timely. Another win for Picoult.

I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends - Kelsey Miller (Audio)

*If you love Friends and you love literary analysis, this audio is super fun.

Us Against You - Fredrik Backman (all the stars)

*I could not love Beartown more. All the tears.

Daisy Jones and the Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

*Like reading a transcript of Behind the Music.

Pachinko - Min Jin Lee 

*Very long. Very depressing. Very well written.

The Mother-in-Law - Sally Hepworth

*A thriller that accurately presents two sides of the story.

The Dreamers - Karen Thompson Walker 

*Unusual and lyrical.

Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever - Gavin Edwards 

*One of the best, short biographies about Mister Rogers I have read.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know - Malcolm Gladwell (Audio)

*Podcast style audiobook that I could not stop listening to and discussing.

I have also fallen hard for the Rom-Com novels by Jasmine Guillory and Helen Hoang.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book Review: The Mother-in-Law

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Well, here's the first book you're going to want to put in your beach bag! Thanks to #netgalley I got to read this #soontobereleased novel by @sallyhepworth and you are going to want to read it, too.

Told from both the MILs and DILs perspective before and after the MIL had committed suicide (or did she?). This is not a spoiler because it takes place in the very beginning of the novel when Lucy finds out her mother-in-law is dead and the cops are investing the possibility that it was not suicide.

Lucy and her MIL, Diana, have a pretty typical relationship. They both want to be closer to one another but neither finds the right way to communicate this so they end up on opposite ends. In fact, Lucy has even imagined what life would be like without her MIL - and now she's dead.

Plot and character-driven, this novel kept me engaged the whole time - and up way past my bedtime! This book was a fun read because the author does a fantastic job of making it that way. For instance, Lucy has been without a mom for years and is desperate for a maternal relationship. Diana is viewed as this saintly perfect woman in their town, but she has plenty of secrets. Her past has made it difficult for her to open up to others, which makes Lucy feel unwelcomed. I wanted to keep reading as the secrets from both the past and present are revealed.

Plus, I appreciated that the author showed how often we form judgments without knowing the whole story and how often a simple misunderstanding leads to bad relationships by showing the good and bad in all the characters.

Overall, this is a book that makes for a great escape. You'll read it and be happy for the family you have when you finish it. Thanks to the author and Netgalley for providing me with a copy to read and review.