All posts filed under: WeekEND Reading

Moms–how are you faring? Tired of being a people-pleaser? Looking to strip off that mask? Katherine Wintsch will show you how in her book, SLAY LIKE A MOTHER

By Leslie Lindsay  Entertaining, honest, hopeful self-help book for busy mothers, reads like a chat with your best girlfriend. ~WEEKEND READING|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ NOW IN PAPERBACK! GET IT, GIFT IT…FOR MOTHER’S DAY. This book came across my desk at the very right moment. I had been feeling like a hamster in a wheel going nowhere fast for some time. I work hard, but why do I feel so burned out? I wanted a break from it all. And then–the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Did I want to slay the virus? You bet. Could I? Not really. So I holed up and read. SLAY LIKE A MOTHER (Sourcebooks trade paperback, March 2020) by motivational speaker and mom Katherine Wintsch was a bit of a wake-up call, but it also affirmed that I am doing a lot of things ‘right.’ Here she talks about the idea that many of us are people-pleasers. We almost *have* to be with work demands, household stuff, raising children, partner/spouse connectivity. She talks about ‘why’ we are people-pleasers (and not all of us are, but we’re …

Carol Goodman’s newest THE SEA OF LOST GIRLS about deception, moody teens, a mysterious death, and so much more, set against the backdrop of an elite prep school

By Leslie Lindsay  ~Weekend Reading Spotlight|Always with a Book~ CAROL GOODMAN is the 2018 recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award from the Mystery Writers of America for The Widow’s House.  She’s nominated for the award again in 2020 for her most recent novel, The Night Visitors. And years ago, I was completely enamored with boarding schools thanks to THE LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES. Now, THE SEA OF LOST GIRLS (WilliamMorrow, March 3, 2020; Trade Paperback Original) Goodman uses her adroit storytelling to bring a simmering new work of psychological suspense, in which one woman’s carefully hidden past might destroy her future—all set against the backdrop of a prestigious prep school with its own dark secrets hidden among the ivy.     “Carol Goodman is a superb writer, and she explores family and small-town dynamics in a way that’s both suspenseful and touchingly real. THE SEA OF LOST GIRLS features a fascinating cast of characters, intriguing setting—and enough shocking twists to leave you breathless. I loved it.” — Alison Gaylin, Edgar Award-winning author of Never Look Back Tess has worked hard to keep her …

Twisty courtroom drama that is both perceptive and culturally-intelligent, touching on special needs, mothers, secrets, immigrants, and a medical mystery in Angie Kim’s MIRACLE CREEK

By Leslie Lindsay  A literary courtroom thriller about an immigrant family, a fascinating medical exploration, secrets, lies, and more. *NATIONAL BESTSELLER* ~Weekend Reading | ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ May IndieNext Pick ♦ April LibraryReads Selection ♦ April Book of the Month Club Pick ♦ Amazon Editors’ Pick ♦ Apple Books 2019 Top Ten Debuts ♦ Time Magazine 11 Best Fiction Books of 2019 So Far ♦ Washington Post Summer Reads ♦ Good Morning America Hot Summer Read ♦Entertainment Weekly April Jewels ♦ ELLE April Reading List ♦ Real Simple The Short List ♦ Southern Living Best Spring Books ♦ July Junior Library Guild Adult Crossover Selection (Grades 11 & Up) PLUS, named a Most Anticipated 2019 Book by BuzzFeed, Nylon, The Millions, Electric Lit, BookRiot, CrimeReads / LitHub, GoodReads, Vulture and more ~PAPERBACK EDITION COMING IN APRIL~ MIRACLE CREEK (April 2019) is such a powerhouse of a novel from Angie Kim, I was seriously questioning whether it was truly a debut, it’s that good. In rural Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and her husband, Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment, hyperbaric chamber known as ‘the miracle submarine.’ It’s a pressurized oxygen chamber patients enter for therapeutic reasons–the ‘dives’ could potentially cure anything from autism to infertility, and a few things …

Sweeping meditation on sacrifice and survival spanning generations, weaving into the present, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s shattering, THE REVISIONERS

By Leslie Lindsay Gifts, glories, and gospels of generational legacies spanning time, race, and more in THE REVISIONERS.  ~WeekEND Reading: Spotlight~ NATIONAL BESTSELLER A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year  Just how much our past is woven into our present? That’s the question Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s asks in THE REVISIONERS (Counterpoint, 2019). Told in a trifurcated timeline from a first person POV–1924, 2017, and 1855–but focusing on one family and several strong women, this is a tale of generational legacies, healing, traditions, motherhood, prejudices, and a dash of magical realism. Set in New Orleans 2017, Ava and her teenage son, King, are living with Ava’s white, wealthy grandmother, Martha, serving as her companion/caretaker. Ava–a single mother and recently laid-off–is paid for her service to her grandmother and saving up so she and her son can leave and have a home of their own. But Martha’s behavior soon becomes erratic, then threatening and Ava must leave before her story–and that of an ancestor she never knew–Josephine–collide. “Sexton takes on [Toni Morrison’s artful invocation of the …

Stunningly shocking and terrifying, and so good, FEVER DREAM is haunting and magical and I am obsessed

By Leslie Lindsay  A blazingly stark yet lush and surreal tale that will shock and injure your world, no matter how comfortable you think it is.  ~WeekEND Reading: Spotlight~ I’m dubbing this week, “Fantastical Fiction Week.” I mean, wow. I read two books (see Wednesday’s interview with Vikram Paralkar on NIGHT THEATER) that absolutely blew me away and are very closely related in terms of themes, writing style, and genre. And this genre is a slippery one to pin down. Some call it speculative fiction, others say it’s magical realism.  Others still might liken it to horror or gothic or even a fairy tale. All agree it’s imaginative and stark and might include elements of science fiction.  I find it thought-provoking, literary, dreamy, hallucinatory, mysterious, and at times, terrifying. “This is a weird hallucination of a book—reading it feels like an experience, like something that happens to you, as infectious and mysterious and unstoppable and possibly magical as the disease that powers its plot.” —LitHub A  young woman called Amanda lies dying in a rural …

National Book Award-winning and NYT bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson’s RED AT THE BONE, about family, history, ambition, and a teen pregnancy

By Leslie Lindsay  Beneath the trouble, lies a very powerful and poignant tale about race and class, ambition, and more. RED AT THE BONE is destined to become a classic.  ~Wednesdays with Writers: SPOTLIGHT!~ The thing with ‘classic’ literature is that it is typically polarizing; that is, not everyone is going to love it, there will be themes that make readers squirm, that make us uncomfortable. Classic literature does that. That’s exactly what we’ll find in this bestseller from Jacqueline Woodson, RED AT THE BONE (September 17 2019). Told in a forward-and-backward momentum, Woodson tells the story of two African American families from different social classes who come together because of a teen pregnancy and the child it produces. We begin with a sixteen-year-old’s coming-of-age party in somewhat contemporary (2001) times. Melody is that baby from sixteen years ago, when her mother was an unmarried pregnant teen. Adoring relatives look on, but what we don’t know is the pain each of them has carried. “In less than 200 sparsely filled pages, this book manages to encompass issues of class, …

Queen of romantic thrillers, Erica Spindler is here chatting about her new book, THE LOOK-ALIKE, set in small-town Wisconsin with a flair of mental illness

By Leslie Lindsay  A young woman returning to her hometown in Wisconsin learns a brutal murder case she witnessed is being re-opened in this romantic thriller. ~WeekEND Reading~ A most anticipated book of 2020 according to: CrimeReads BookRiot The Nerd Daily Erica Spindler weaves a fast-paced tale of an unsolved murder in THE LOOK-ALIKE (St. Martin’s Press, Jan 28 2020). Trudging back to her door room late one night at Frederick College ten years ago, Sienna Scott stumbles upon a murdered classmate, her white coat and snow-covered ground stained crimson. The case is never fully solved, but closed. Sienna is shipped off to London to live with her grandmother. For ten years, she attends school there, becomes a chef. She’s back now, because her mother, who suffers from a paranoid delusional disorder is requiring more assistance. Others have always said Sienna looks just like her mother and Sienna’s biggest fear is that she will inherit her mother’s mental illness. What’s more, Sienna realizes there were some similarities between she and the girl who was murdered: they both had the same white coat. Could …

Lush and graceful reflections on life, love, family, and nature–it’s about the South and the interstitial space between humans and the natural world

By Leslie Lindsay  From NYT opinion writer Margaret Renkel comes the most luscious and unique portrait of a family, how it’s touched by love and loss, and also nature.  ~WeekEND Reading~ The Today Show’s “Read With Jenna”  book-club pick for December A finalist for the Southern Book Prize Highlighted in year-end lists by The A.V. Club, the New Statesman, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, BookPage, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and Iowa Public Radio Growing up in Alabama, Margaret was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents—her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father—and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver. Braided into the overall narrative, she offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. There’s love and heartache, detailed and gorgeous descriptions of nests, wings, red-tailed hawks, fluffy bunny fur, even snakes and orb spiders, bees, ladybugs, more. These two threads–the human connection and the animal world–haunt and harmonize …

Jennifer Chiaverini talks about her new book, THE CHRISTMAS BOOK, how quilting binds friendships and community, her next book about Mrs. Lincoln’s dressmakers, and so much more in this delightful winter read

By Leslie Lindsay  New to the Elm Creek Quilts series from bestselling author of THE QUILTER’S APPRENTICE, MRS. LINCOLN’S DRESSMAKER, and RESISTANCE WOMEN comes this warm story brimming with nostalgia. On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of THE QUIILTER’S APPRENTICE, the novel that launched the Elm Creek Quilts series in 1999, comes an update on the quilters we’ve come to know and love. THE CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE by Jennifer Chiaverini(William Morrow, Oct 1 2019) is a heartwarming tale steeped in nostalgia, old friendships and new. And I completely have a cover crush—you, too?! It’s a snowy day in mid-December when we awake and begin the day with Sylvia, master quilter, and recently remarried…but there’s been a blizzard and the temperatures have plunged…water pipes at the local church have burst. The wooden floor at the community hall is warped and ruined and those plans for the Christmas Boutique—an annual sale of baked goods and handcrafted items to benefit the county food bank—is thwarted. Sylvia offers to host the event at Elm Creek Manor, her ancestral estate and also the …

Warmth, friendship, quilting, & a darling manor home in Pennsylvania lend to a heartwarming tale by Jennifer Chiaverini this holiday season

By Leslie Lindsay  SPOTLIGHT! Such a nostalgic, warm, and endearing story about women bound by one another, the craft of quilting, and shared stories, Jennifer Chiaverini is back with the next installment of the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, THE CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE (William Morrow, October 1, 2019). Just weeks before Christmas, severe wintry weather damages the church hall hosting the Christmas Boutique—an annual sale of handcrafted gifts and baked goods that supports the county food pantry. Determined to save the fundraiser, Sylvia Bergstrom Compson offers to hold the event at Elm Creek Manor, her ancestral family estate and summertime home to Elm Creek Quilt Camp. Devotees of the [Elm Creek] Quilts series will relish these new episodes, and new fans will delight to discover such a well-stocked back catalog. A warm portrait of women bound by craft—perfect for fireside reading.” —Kirkus In the spirit of the season, Sylvia and the Elm Creek Quilters begin setting up market booths in the ballroom and decking the halls with beautiful hand-made holiday quilts. Each of the quilters chooses …