1. LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds. So so so good. A young African-American boy has just lost his brother in a shooting. Does he seek revenge or not? He’s got 60 seconds to decide (an elevator ride that’s a looooong way down). Brilliant writing. One of my favorite authors. Read it. Gritty Young Adult.

2. BOB by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. Really good. NOT gritty. Very sweet Middle Grade you and your kids will love.

3. THEN SHE WAS GONE by Lisa Jewell. Thriller, family drama, page-turner, not gruesome – my kind of book! Didn’t love the ending, but still good. Adult Fiction.

4. THE PERFECT NANNY by Leila Slimani. I questioned my book choices on Instagram, wondering why I am so drawn to domestic tragedy. Especially of this sort. Where there is a nanny. And the children do not survive (you know this on page one and yet I kept reading….Really good writing, I’ll give Slimani that! Adult fiction.

5. CON ACADEMY by Joe Schreiber. How about this: our 15 year protagonist is a total con artist at an elite prep school. He has a bet with Andrea (also a con). Who will win? It’s so SMART, so delightful. The prose is sparse and witty. I loved it! Young Adult.

On my bedside table: ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane.

Now you tell me! What did you read last month??? Recommendations?



  • Alana Eaton says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, Amy. I’m writing them down for when we get back and I’m reading books other than English History and gospel study. What’s the news about your new book? Maybe that will be published by the time we return. We love reading Cope’a
    Letters. Lots of writing talent in your family.

  • Heide Johnson says:

    Last month I read Charles Dickens ‘A Tale of Two Cities;’ Garth Stein’s ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ (I’m guessing the book is better than the film, judging from film reviews); and Camille Aubray’s ‘Cooking for Picasso’. Nothing need be said about Dickens (except I really enjoy 19th century writing, and this was a rare example of Dickens’ foray into historical fiction). Stein’s is a lovely easy read – a book that makes you happy (and sometimes sad). Aubray’s really would be better classified as YA fiction in my mind – switches back and forth between Picasso’s era (this part I really enjoyed) and modern day (sometimes contrived). But a good page-tuner!

  • Dianne Klabechek says:

    Heart in the Right Place a memoir
    by Carolyn Jourdan
    Awesome story of a DC Lawyer going home to the backwoods and finding what matters most.

    The Mighty Queens of Freevile by Amy Dickinson

    Shackleton’s incredible voyage to the Antarctic. By Alfred Lansing
    Anything Shackleton is on my must read list

    Willy Maykit. In Space. By Greg Trine
    (Read with the grand boys)

    This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel.
    Must read for anyone with children. It is about a boy who loves to wear dresses and how his family loves him and the world not so much. Excellent realistic humor of having children.

  • Julia Tomiak says:

    Con Academy sounds fun! And Long Way Down sounds like required reading. Thanks! Will add those to the TBR.

    This past month, I listened to WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING – great literary fiction and THE AUDACITY OF HOPE by Barack Obama (read by him!) I found his memoir of his years in the senate insightful and wish more politicians would express a need for empathy and understanding. I’m currently reading (in hard copy) Michelle Obama’s BECOMING, which inspired me to read her husband’s work. No matter your politics, both of these books provide interesting commentary, hers on family/ career balance and priorities, and his on American politics. I also read EDUCATED – another fascinating memoir. (That’s a lot of memoir, huh?) Currently listening to Dracula, as are my boys. 😉

    • Thanks for the recommendations. I can’t wait to read, especially Bob!

      The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacey McAnulty – Loved it!

      The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden – Loved it!

      Lost & Found by Brooke Davis – I enjoyed this at first, but the end disappointed me.

      The Tatooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – I’m not done this one. I’m listening to it in audio. I haven’t fully formed what I think.

      Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick. I enjoyed this almost as much as my favorite in this genre, A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

  • Nina says:

    I really liked Ask Again, Yes. But yes, more domestic tragedy.

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