2018 Book ReviewBook ClubBooks

Recent Book Reads and Recommendations!

By July 21, 2018 June 20th, 2019 6 Comments

I’m going to start posting books by ones and twos per The Word Nerd’s Recommendation, but until then, here’s a whole bunch. My recent reads and recommendations:


I ADORE a complex medical dilemma coupled with lots of family drama. And Genova is an actual neuroscientist – as well as a superb writer. Richard, the main character, is a brilliant and world-renowned pianist. He’s also a terrible family man. So what happens when you suddenly start noticing a funny weakness in your hand and are diagnosed with ALS? It’s the family who steps up. This hit very close to home as I lost a dear friend to this horrible disease. For me, an informative tear-jerker.

2. THE BONE CURSE BY Carrie Rubin

What do you know? Carrie Rubin is also a doctor in real life, and a superb writer. THE BONE CURSE is book #1 in an exciting new series: a medical thriller with a supernatural element! I also kindof know Carrie through the internet and it’s always so thrilling to see your writer friends pave the way and do it SO WELL! Great job, Carrie.


Oooh…this one was kindof a guilty pleasure (in the tamest of ways!) The moral of this story is: it’s time get stone-cold sober. At least for Cassandra Bowden, who woke up next to a dead man. Did she do it? SHE CAN’T REMEMBER! She really doesn’t think she has it in her, but…SHE CAN’T REMEMBER! After flying through this book (ha), I said to self: GO FIND ALL THE BOHJILIAN BOOKS NOW.

4. EDUCATED BY Tara Westover

This book is getting all the rave reviews for good reason. I LOVED it. I could not put it down. In the same vein as THE GLASS CASTLE: a family, a brilliant but mentally ill father, a child with no formal schooling who is schooled in survival and using her own smarts. After listening to the audiobook, my dad commented, “I knew a few people like that in Idaho.” Wide eyes.

5 & 6. GHOST (Track #1) and PATINA (Track #2) by Jason Reynolds

Give me a book about running and I’ll open it! Jason Reynolds is a really exciting middle-grade author who is giving us books with heart and diversity. I’m really enjoying this series for kids 8-12.

7. THE GREAT ALONE by Krisin Hannah

After reading EDUCATED, I must have been on a survivalist kick, which is what Hannah’s written. The setting is the wild, beautiful, and dangerous Alaska. I enjoyed this book, but the mother’s horrible enabling DROVE ME CRAZY the entire book. Obviously I lack empathy. Or something.

8. MIDWIVES by Chris Bohjalian

This book is pretty astounding in its writing and its research. Bohjalian is really really good. I have so much more respect for what midwives do – and what they risk. A medical thriller with lots of family drama and ethical questions that are terribly hard to answer – right up my ally! A GREAT READ. Jodi Picoult fans will love Bohjalian (but you probably already knew that.) Also, he’s lives in Vermont! Think he’d mind if I knocked on his door?

9. JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS by Melissa Sarno

YAY FOR DEBUT AUTHORS! I’ve known Melissa for years. How fun it was to both have debut books in June. This was a very sweet, yet realistic look at child homelessness. Sad, but hopeful. I loved all of the images of trees, throughout. Themes of hardship, sisterhood, and home run through this novel. Melissa has more books on the way and I look forward to more from this huge talent!

10. THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST by Samantha M. Clark

This book was not at all what I expected – in a really fun and surprising way! There’s this boy who doesn’t know where he is. What’s his name? Where are all the people? Why won’t his inner bully leave him be? With only one character throughout, Clark does a fantastic job of keeping the reader engaged. It’s somewhat heartbreaking but somewhat not…I don’t know. I’ll be thinking of this book for a long time. “Once upon a time there was a boy…” So good!

Okay, that’s it for me. What’s kept you up at night? Do tell! I love hearing what you’re reading and yes – I’m ready for a new book!



  • Carrie Rubin says:

    Thank you so much for including me on this wonderful list. I’m beyond honored to be in such amazing company. I love Bohjalian’s books. Midwives is in my top five favorite books, and I’m actually starting The Flight Attendant tomorrow, so it’s cool to see them both on your list.

    By the way, I’m meeting with my book club on Monday and am going to bring your book. Most of the group are elementary school teachers so I want to share it with them. It’s so good.

    Thank you again. You made my night! Hope your summer is going well.

  • Nina says:

    I LOVED Educated and The Great alone! Great to see your other reads.

  • Julia Tomiak says:

    Thanks for the shout out! These look like very interesting books, and I haven’t heard of many of them, so thanks for making me aware. I’m currently reading THE HUSBAND’S SECRET. A great read to keep my mind busy on the plane.
    So, I’m curious… are Ghost and Patina “sports books”? How did they work? (Just thinking about a friend and her recent middle grade WIP). 😉

  • Angelina Casa says:

    Looking for a book for my son who is entering 4th soon. But it must be smooth, engaging with lil illustrations. I want him to really experience the enjoyment of a book over a movie.

  • Dana says:

    I’ve been thinking about only reviewing a few books at a time too! Although that would mean more frequent posting, so we’ll see…

    I just finished Educated, loved The Great Alone, and am a big Bohjalian fan. I was iffy about Genova’s latest – I’m sure it’s good, but the last one I read, Inside the O’Briens, was heartbreaking. I’ll keep it on my radar though!

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