On a summer reading binge {warning: long post ahead}



I just got back from vacation and I read a lot. We went on a cruise where we had a balcony room and let me tell you, I spent much time in that room on the balcony reading. Although the cruise was to Alaska, the weather was warm and sunny. I look at every trip as a way to explore a new place but also forgo television and read as much as I can. Here’s what I read:

Lake Como by Anita Hughes

GOODREADS synopsis: Hallie Elliot is an up-and-coming interior designer in one of San Francisco’s most sought after firms, and has recently become engaged to Peter, a brilliant young journalist. But when she stumbles upon Peter and her boss in what seems to be a compromising position, her trust in her perfect life is shaken. Hallie escapes to Lake Como, Italy to spend time with her half-sister, Portia Tesoro, an Italian blueblood dealing with the scandal of a public estrangement from her cheating husband. Hallie falls in love with the splendor and beauty of Lake Como, and finds work designing the lakeside estate of a reclusive American tech mogul. The caretaker of this beautiful estate is a handsome man named Angus, and Hallie finds herself drawn to his charm and kindness, despite hints of a dark secret in his past.

My thoughts: Anita Hughes is a great author! I love how she manages to write a light novel (I devoured Market Street) but the book still manages to have depth to it. The reader becomes invested in the main character and you find yourself wanting them to find happiness and success. Loved it. And the setting of Lake Como? How soon can I book a ticket and go there?

Karma Gone Bad: How I Learned to Love Mangos, Bollywood and Water Buffalo by Jenny Feldon

GOODREADS Synopsis: A charming yet honest memoir of one Upper West side housewife who finds herself saying good-bye to Starbucks and all her notions of “home” when she and her husband are outsourced to Hyderabad. Jenny Feldon imagined life in India as a glitzy yoga whirlwind. Instead she found buffalo-related traffic jams. Jenny struggled to fight the depression, bitterness, and anger as her sense of self and her marriage began to unravel. And it was all India’s fault–wasn’t it? Equally frustrating, revealing, and amusing, this is the true story of an accidental housewife trapped in the third world.

My thoughts: I love a good memoir like this one. I couldn’t put this book down and wish it came out sooner than November so you could read it too. I can’t say my own attitude woudn’t be just like Jenny’s- a total fish out of water in India and feeling completely alone and out of place. I felt that way when I lived in Hawaii and that’s part of the USA! India is whole other story.

Jenny writes in a very engaging and fun way and as I was reading, I could imagine the book as a TV movie. Paging’s your next movie. Loved this and love Jenny!

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison

GOODREADS Synopsis: Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. The Best Man at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations—providing a wedding—and running for her life. She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank.

But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it?

My thoughts: Who doesn’t love the title? This book was a lot about the main character trying to put the past behind her and move on. She fell in love with one brother as a teenager and another as an adult. Its a good exploration of making choices and life decisions. I chuckled out loud a few times, I always like some humor in my books. Another novel that made me laugh was…

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

GOODREADS Synopsis: In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything – her family, reputation and life – in the hope of seeing her true love one last time. Nearly a century later and Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened…

In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most – whatever the cost

My thoughts: Get this book right away along with the novella that takes place before this one called Honeymoon In Paris. This author is so amazing, I will be eagerly anticipating anything else she writes. I always enjoy a novel that takes place in another time as well as present day. I was so  into this novel, I couldn’t put it down until the last page!

Love Rehab by Jo Piazza

GOODREADS Synopsis: Sophie isn’t dealing with her breakup well. Dumped by her boyfriend, Eric, for his sexting, D-cupped, young Floozy McSecretary, Sophie leaves Manhattan and lands back in her hometown, crushed and pajama-clad, blaming herself and begging her ex for a second chance.  But when her best friend, Annie, gets in trouble for driving drunk and is forced to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, something clicks in Sophie’s strung-out mind. Women need love rehab, she realizes, to help fix the craziness that comes along with falling for someone.  When she opens up her home to the obsessed and lovelorn, Sophie finds a way to help women out there who have overdosed on the wrong men—and she saves herself in the process.

My thoughts: I liked the idea of the book- a love addict looking to change her ways and in the process, she finds like- minded women and a few men, revamps her life and ultimately finds love but with a healthier attitude. A must read for every female who has ever sat by the phone waiting for ‘him’ to call! I think that’s just about every single woman. This is a quick read, a cute story and the perfect summer novel.

More books on my radar:

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan (coming in 2014!) Nancy wrote the acclaimed novel, Loving Frank and is back with a novel about Robert Louis Stevenson. I have high expectations for this one!

The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown.  I just started this one that has been described as a suspenceful novel with many layers. Sadie Watkins is a wife and mother, who is depressed over the birth of her stillborn  baby girl. Her life is upended when a boy from her youth comes back into town. Where I’ve left off in the novel is the two are about to have an affair. The story bounces between the present and the past where Sadie has played a prank on a childhood friend which I think ties into the present day at some point. The book shows great promise!

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber. This is historical fiction about a woman who pretends to be a man in order to earn a decent wage and provide for her young daughter back in 1855. Sounds interesting!


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