Book Club Reviews and Menus (Month 4) – See what I’ve been reading this month and check out a sample menu to enjoy with your friends at your next book club meeting.  I am always looking for new recommendations and would love to hear what YOU are currently reading…please leave a comment with your favorite suggestions!  Click here to subscribe and receive next month’s reviews sent directly to your inbox!

Here is a summer inspired Sample Menu to serve at your next Book Club meeting:  Whipped Feta & Tomato Avocado Crostini, Chicken Caesar Salad served over romaine, and Healthy Lemon Blueberry Bread

The Nightingale | by Kristin Hannah

The latest and greatest in World War II fictional accounts, this book tops my list of Kristin Hannah favorites.  I was mesmerized by the characters, the setting, and the unique perspective of the war, told from the point of view of women and wives left behind in rural France.  I have read numerous WWII stories, and with every book, I learn a little more about the shocking and horrific events and my disbelief grows.  This book is fascinating, heartbreaking, and the female heroine incredibly inspiring.  A must read!  5 Stars for sure!!

Flight of Dreams | by Ariel Lawhon

I have to admit I was embarrassingly clueless about details surrounding the Hindenburg disaster before reading this book.  Although the events and characters in this story are totally fictional, I found myself believing every detail and totally wrapped up in the suspense.  This book is reminiscent of a Titanic account – you know the ending, yet the events leading to it are nonetheless mysterious and entertaining.  Another winner to add to my growing list of historical fiction favorites! 

Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House | by Kathleen Grissom

When I saw that this book was going to be released, I couldn’t wait to read it.  The Kitchen House was a book club favorite, so a sequel definitely piqued my interest.  Although I wouldn’t rate it on the same level as the first book (sequels rarely do, right?), I still appreciated the historical account of the many slaves who attempted to escape and journey north and their struggle to build new lives.  This book fell a little short in the narration and tempo – while the first half dragged, the last half felt rushed in its plot line and attempt to wrap up.  I am always a fan of stories set in this era, however, and did enjoy that the book continued to develop the characters of Jamie Pyke and Sukey from The Kitchen House.


Selections on  my shelf for next month:

A Man Called Ove | by Frederik Backman

Amazon Description: Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky | by Nancy Horan

Amazon Description: At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”
Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

The Rosie Effect | by Graeme Simsion

Amazon Description: With The Rosie Project, “Graeme Simsion achieved the impossible and created an entirely new kind of romantic hero,” Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You said. Now Don Tillman returns in the hilarious and charming sequel to the international sensation. Get ready to fall in love all over again.

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

Picking up where The Rosie Project left off, The Rosie Effect is a fun, hilarious, and poignant read. “Don Tillman helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell” (Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook).




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