Good Reads

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

I never read Stephen King until a few years ago. Strange, I know. I am loving the last few books I’ve read by King, this one included. This is the story of a vengeful reader. He is a super fan of John Rothstein and is, frankly, obsessed with the author and why he concluded his “Jimmy Gold” series the way he did.  He sets out to steal the old author’s stories and ends up committing murder. Fast forward years later and teenager Peter Saubers finds a treasure chest filled with books and money. He finds it right at the perfect time when his family is falling apart due to financial struggles. I enjoyed reading the story and imagining how on earth these two stories were going to converge. It is suspenseful, thrilling and a very unique story. I recommend it!

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

One of my most favorite of all-time students, Christina, recommended this book to me. It was awesome! It’s a light, fun, fluffy read, much like the coconut cake that’s featured throughout. Lou is the owner and chef at Luella’s in downtown Milwaukee. She is engaged and trying to make her restaurant successful. When she gets a horrid review from the local restaurant critic, she falls apart as does her restaurant. What happens when she discovers the man she is in love with is the one who destroyed her dreams? This story reminded me of You’ve Got Mail and I loved it. It’s a fast, easy, fun read. I also made the coconut cake recipe that’s featured at the end and it’s to die for!

Why Do They Act That Way? by David Walsh

This was a non-fiction book recommended to me by my therapist. It’s not a fun read but, if you have teenagers or work with teenagers, it’s very fascinating and informative. It helps you understand (at least a little!) why they act the way they do.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Harder

I found this from a list on Pinterest of YA books to read before they become movies. It was unique and interesting but kind of strange. I was let down by the ending too. I was hoping for more than your basic “nice girl dates jock and he ends up being a douche and breaking her heart” story but I was disappointed. Harder tells a good story though through his unique writing style and imagery. The characters are well-developed, especially the main character, Min. I wouldn’t recommend it but I wouldn’t say it’s bad either. If you’re in the mood for a teenage love story with great characters and good writing, dive in. If you’re not in the mood for another basic love story, skip it.

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

This is one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. I definitely mean that in the best way possible. Remember when you read Time Traveler’s Wife and is was so unique and you loved it, but at the same time it was so far-fetched and strange? That’s what this one is like. At it’s most basic it’s a lovely love story. I don’t usually like love stories, but I really enjoyed this one. Evelyn Roe is sent to work alone on her family’s farm. One night, in the middle of the storm, she discovers a strange, human-like form in the mud. Over a matter of days, the creature turns into Addie and they fall in love. I don’t want to tell you any more about it so you’ll read it. I wanted more when it was over. It’s a wonderfully odd, fascinating love story. I highly recommend it!

The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

This was good enough but I finished it, but not so good that I could remember what it was about when I went to write about it. This was a free book through Kindle Firsts that Amazon Prime members get each month. The last several “firsts” have ended up not finished on my Kindle so it’s a good sign that I at least finished this one. Sarah and Johnny are a happily married couple when Sarah is caught in a fire that destroys their home and their neighbors. Soon Sarah finds out that her life is not as it seems and her husband may not be the  wonderful husband she though him to be. It was worth reading, but it wasn’t great. It was suspenseful and I enjoyed that.

The Bear by Claire Cameron

This has been on my list for ages. It is loosely based on a true story. A family is camping in Canada when the parents are attacked by a bear. The dying mother tells her five and three-year old to run and they do. They escape but must survive the woods until they are, hopefully, rescued. It was a short read and entertaining but it’s told in the voice of the five year-old and that got old really quickly.

When by Victoria Laurie

This is another YA novel and it was awesome! Maddie is a shy, smart teenager who has a unique gift — when she looks at a person their “death date” is on their forehead and she can see it. Maddie’s mother has been an alcoholic since Maddie’s father was killed in the line of duty. To help out financially, Maddie agrees to do “readings” for people in their home. A client comes in and Maddie tells them when they, or their loved one, will die. When Maddie tells a client that her son will die the following week, and then he goes missing, the police are all over Maddie and her special gift. It was a page-turner and a unique story with a twist. I loved it and highly recommend it!

Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis

First let me tell you that this is a book written by one of my friends. She did not in any way, shape or form ask me to review it, she simply shared it with me in my chemo care package and I finally had enough brain power to read it.

It. Is. Amazing.

You know how you know someone and then you learn something about them that makes you look at them like “who are you???” but in a good way? That’s how I felt after reading her book. She’s the mother of two of my students and a friend and I think she’s wonderful. This book is amazing and I can’t believe someone I know and adore wrote such an outstanding book. Katrina packs a lot of different plot lines into her book but she does it so well it doesn’t seem overloaded. Her main characters are sisters. There is Catherine who is a forty-something professor looking for love and battling cancer. (You can tell Katrina has been through cancer with a close friend because of how spot on all of her references to all things cancer are in the book. Kudos.) There is Anne who is a stay-at-home mom of two in financial trouble and always wanting for more. Jessica is their baby sister who escaped Indiana, and never looked back, at the age of 18. She’s now a stripper and her family has no idea where she is. Their mother is in a home and has Alzheimer’s after being married to a cheating asshole for years. See what I mean? There’s a lot in the story but she writes it so well it’s not overcrowded. I read this in two days. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want it to be over. I’ve continued thinking about the sisters ever since it was over. Those are all signs of a great book, don’t you think? It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and comes out on April 16th! It’s a wonderful, wonderful book! I’m so proud of my friend!

What have you read lately?

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One response to “Good Reads

  1. have you ever read Stephen King’s book 11/22/63? It is about time travel and the Kennedy assassination. I am not a Stephen king fan really but I LOVED this book. It is an amazing story. I am going to write down some of these titles to try. I need to find more time to read..I am in two book clubs and each month if I get to those two books I consider myself successful 🙂 we just read “dark places” by Gillian Flynn which I thought was ok, “big little lies” by Liane Moriarty which I enjoyed.

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