Showing you my books

When I logged on to Goodreads to see what books I’d added since my last recap, I was surprised there weren’t more. You’d think with all my hibernating I would have read a library’s worth but that just isn’t the case. Luckily, the ones I have read are definitely worth recommending. Although, don’t you sometimes value the “don’t read” reviews more than the “definitely read?”

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My three favorites recently were The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant and The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery. I didn’t realize until typing this out that all three had the word ‘girl’ in the title. Go figure.

The Girl on the Train had me absolutely hooked. I know a lot of people have compared it to Gone Girl and while I see why, I think it has a big draw all on its own. From GoodreadsRachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

The Boston Girl was written by the same author who wrote The Red Tent so I was excited to see if it lived up to my expectations. I’m happy to say that it did. I loved it. From GoodreadsAddie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine – a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.

Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her “How did you get to be the woman you are today.” She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.

The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery was a lighter read than the others but perfect for those hopefully soon approaching beach days. From GoodreadsNicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there’s a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she’s never seen. He won’t even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves?

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it?

Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she’ll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, three very different women will discover that friends can become family, and that life is richer with sisters at your side.

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These other four deserve to be read as well, just not as immediately as my first three (at least in my humble opinion).

War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen is about what happens when two woman find out they were married to the same man… at his funeral.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert is a light read sharing the love story between a restaurant owner and a food critic.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was a beautifully written but sometimes but almost too descriptive story of the Nazi occupation in Paris and its effects on two very different people.

And Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline, while definitely a great read, seemed from the description to be about a woman who is in a tragic car accident but turned out to be more about the complications of marriage.

So, there you have them… my recent reads.

I’m linking up with Jana Says and Life According to Steph for Show us Your Books. You can find more reviews there!

As the ship turned…

Well, I’d like to say I’ve been cruising since I last posted, but that just isn’t the case- except in my dreams. If you’ve turned on the news lately, then you know Boston is currently buried in a mountain of snow. South Boston is especially a disaster. My commute is now an absurdly expensive Uber ride or a public transportation nightmare. Either way, I have to leave my house over an hour before I need to be at work just to ensure the two-mile adventure doesn’t cause me to be late. The bright side to now being single again is that when I finally make my way home some nights almost two hours after leaving the office, it is perfectly respectable to have chips and salsa or cheese and crackers for dinner.

I could go on and on about the ridiculousness that is winter right now (and maybe I will at some point) but for now I’ll leave you with some pictures from my sunshine-filled week earlier this month.

We spent our days swimming with dolphins in Cozumel, snorkeling off a catamaran in Roatan, hanging out with stingrays and turtles in Grand Cayman and cave tubing in Belize. We spent our nights in the casino bar where our friend who worked on the ship was performing nightly with her band (80s night was my favorite) and our late nights in the crew bar having $1 beers. Trust me, I was tempted to hide once we got to port in Miami so I wouldn’t have to go home.

 

And yes, I did catch the Patriots Superbowl win in the middle of the ocean on a giant screen above the pool deck.

Can I go back, please?

Surviving the winter blahs

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Hi this is Karen, I blog over at Book Delight and I’m so happy to be here guest posting for Kate today. I’m sure you can pretty much guess what I write about over on my site just by it’s title. Instead of blabbing about another book I read I thought I would take this chance to write about something else, surviving the winter blahs.

I live in the Northeast where winter can be a total pain by mid-January. Sure that first snowfall is pretty but after days of frigid, blustery weather I start to feel the blahs coming on. It’s dark so early, being outside for more than ten minutes feels like a chore and feeling “cozy” inside gets old no matter how many marshmallows I pile into my hot chocolate. This winter I’m doing something that I never do; I’m being proactive and putting together an anti-blah plan for myself.

1. Participate in a reading challenge-I read so much but I don’t think I’ve ever kept up with a challenge. I usually forget about updating my “finished” list but this time I’m keeping track on Goodreads. My goal is 75 books! Why 75? I have no idea. At first I had this insane idea of doing 215 books in 2015. Yea, that was pretty stupid.

2. Makeover a space in my home- This isn’t going to be any sort of gut renovation, I just want to pick a space and give it a little face lift. I already worked on my closet (I turned part of it into my home office) and now I ‘d like to spruce up my living room. Maybe some new pillows, possible paint change, and whatever accessories strike my fancy at Target or HomeGoods.

3. Try a new exercise routine- Okay so I don’t really have the strictest exercise regimen now, however, I want to switch things up. Pure Barre is all the rage where I live but I really think I would look ridiculous trying it out. I’m thinking more along the lines of a yoga class, which I haven’t done in years.

4. Start planning a vacation- I so wish we could travel during these cold months but my husband’s work schedule is crazy. Aside from our usual July trip to Cape Cod, I’m looking into some other vacation ideas. It’s actually pretty fun clicking over to Trip Adviser and other sites to do some hotel research. We may even decide on a cruise. All I know, whatever we finally plan, it will give me something to look forward to (and shop for).

These are just a few things I came up with to get over my usual winter blahs. If all else fails, I’m doubling up on my vitamin D everyday!

How do you beat the winter blahs?