GIRL

Sometimes I get in a total reading slump where  nothing catches my interest. And other times, there are just too many good books and too little time. I’ve read great book after great book this week and am so excited to share with you. Here’s what you need to read!

I love a good memoir and  Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis (due out in September) is  worth your time to read. The comparisons between it and Cheryl Strayed‘s brilliant book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, are inevitable but they are very different.

Aspen was a new student in college when she was raped. Depressed, upset and angry, she left college and began a bike on the Pacific Crest Trail where she uncovered unresolved feelings about the rape and about her upbringing and relationship with her mother.

A young woman alone in the woods, hiking through dangerous situations is a compelling read but this book is so much more. Aspen writes such vibrant descriptions that I almost felt like I was there with her, hiking and camping and starving.

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Also gripping and true is Christina McDowell’s memoir After Perfect. I found this book to be a real page turner and I couldn’t put it down.

Christina led a charmed and perfect life with her family in Washington DC. She grew up in a fancy mansion and had every luxury money could buy. But it all came crashing down when her father was charged with fraud/insider trading. Nineteen year old Christina drove him to jail. He insisted he’d figure everything out and they would be fine.

Christina soon discovered her father used her name to accumulate various credit cards and she was deep in debt with no possibility of clearing her name without suing her own father who was already serving time for fraud.

Going from fabulously wealthy to scrambling for rent money, Christina and her sisters struggled to make ends meet. Still hoping her father would take care of everything, Christina was dealt a cruel blow when his lies continued.  Trying to understand the man she loved, who raised her and gave her a fairy-tale childhood, she spent years waiting for  him to sweep in and make everything better. She ends up on a rampage of reckless behavior and only towards the end of this fascinating story does she find a way to come full circle.

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After reading two emotional memoirs, I needed something fun so I reached for Pretty Much Screwed by Jenna McCarthy. Then I read it within a day. So funny, but with heart and a good story line, this is the perfect book for a summer afternoon. I was familiar with Jenna’s non fiction which I have enjoyed and here she proves she’s equally adept at fiction too.

Charlotte Crawford is dumped after nearly twenty years of marriage. Her husband’s declaration of, “I don’t love you anymore”  has shocked and stunned Charlotte.  Now she not only has to deal with ending her marriage but living alone and navigating the world of dating.

Its a clever and fun book, with a few little twists to keep things interesting. I highly recommend it!

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I just began this novel, Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Its already good- a light, beachy kind of read.

Here’s the synopsis: 

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent story-lines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

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And last but not least, The Ice Cream Blonde: The Whirlwind Life and Mysterious Death of Screwball Comedienne Thelma Todd by Michelle Morgan

I learned about actress Thelma Todd while researching Hollywood mysteries for my own novel. I was instantly intrigued with the story of this late actress.

Like serendipity, this book appeared- clearly the author and I were on the same wavelength!

Thelma Todd was only 29 when she was found dead inside of her car, in the garage near her apartment. The death was ruled an accident but author Michelle Morgan digs around the circumstance to figure out what really happened to this comedienne whose career was cut short.

Gangsters, gambling, a forbidden affair all come into play. A party girl with an inclination towards  bad boys, Thelma’s life is like a Hollywood tale…but its true. Fascinating! Get your hands on this book when it comes out on November 1st.