By Authors

Audio Book Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

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Title: Small Admissions (unabridged)
Author: Amy Poeppel
Narrator: Carly Robins
Length: 9.5 Hours on 8 CDs
Publisher: HighBridge
ISBN: 978-1-6816-8375-1

Synopsis:

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiance,” she abandons her grad school plans and spends her days lolling on the couch, leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews. For reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity during the height of the admissions season. Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome neighbor is more than he seems.

Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary-including the truly unexpected.

My Review:

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Book Review: Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Nicolas Barreau

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Title: Paris Is Always a Good Idea
Author: Nicolas Barreau
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 9781250072771

Synopsis:

Rosalie Laurent is the proud owner of Luna Luna, a little post-card shop in St. Germain, and if it were up to her, far more people would write cards. Her specialty is producing “wishing cards,” but where her own wishes are concerned the quirky graphic artist is far from lucky. Every birthday Rosalie sends a card inscribed with her heart’s desire fluttering down from the Eiffel Tower – but none of her wishes has ever been fulfilled.

Then one day when an elderly gentleman trips up in her shop and knocks over a post-card stand, it seems that her wish cards are working after-all. Rosalie finds out that it is Max Marchais, famed and successful author of children’s books who’s fallen into her life. When he asks her to illustrate his new (and probably last) book, Rosalie is only too glad to accept, and the two – very different – maverick artists become friends.

Rosalie’s wishes seem to be coming true at last, until a clumsy American professor stumbles into her store with accusations of plagiarism. Rosalie is hard pressed to know whether love or trouble is blowing through her door these days, but when in doubt, she knows that Paris is Always a Good Idea when one is looking for the truth and finding love.

My Review: (more…)

Book Review: Always by Sarah Jio

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Title: Always
Author: Sarah Jio
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-1-101-88502-4

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March comes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember.

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt “right.” But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

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Book Review: The Endurance Training Diet & Cookbook: The How, When, and What for Fueling Runners and Triathletes to Improve Performance by Jesse Kropelnicki

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Title: The Endurance Training Diet & Cookbook: The How, When, and What for Fueling Runners and Triathletes to Improve Performance
Author: Jesse Kropelnicki
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Synopsis:

Reach your peak performance with the best training and fueling plan.

Achieve your goals in endurance racing with the detailed training advice and perfectly tailored recipes in this new must-have manual and cookbook. Fueling your body is just as important as training it, but different phases of training and racing require different combinations of nutrients. Written by one of the world’s leading triathlon coaches, The Endurance Training Diet & Cookbook includes in-depth advice to boost your performance and seventy recipes that will help you reach your personal best. Inside, you’ll find:

• the best nutrition information to support your body when exercising at intense levels whether you’re a distance runner, cyclist, or triathloner
• guidelines for fueling during preworkout, postworkout, and recovery windows
• a game plan for what to eat and drink during workouts and on race day
• delicious, nutrient-rich recipes made with fresh, whole foods for every meal of the day

The Endurance Training Diet & Cookbook has everything you need to help you break through in your racing.

My Review: (more…)

Book Review: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

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Title: Good in Bed
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN: 9780743418188

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner brings to life an irresistibly funny and relatable heroine in the novel The Boston Globe called “funny, fanciful, extremely poignant, and rich with insight.”

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

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Book Review: The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

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Title: The Fifth Petal
Author: Brunonia Barry
Publisher: Crown Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-101-90560-9

Synopsis:

Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of THE LACE READER with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.
But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?”

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Book Review: The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

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Title: The Shark Club
Author: Ann Kidd Taylor
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 9780735221475

Synopsis:

A novel about love, loss, and sharks by the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the memoir Traveling with Pomegranates.

On a summer day on the Gulf of Mexico in 1988, two extraordinary things happen to twelve-year-old Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is attacked by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve is a world-traveling marine biologist studying and swimming with the very animals that once threatened her life. Known among her peers as the “shark whisperer,” Maeve is fearless in the water. On land, however, Maeve is dogged by unresolved wounds and indecisive about the path her life will take. After a particularly inspiring assignment abroad, Maeve returns to the small island off Florida’s coast where she grew up and to her childhood home—the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses, where she was raised by her grandmother. There, she is greeted by troubling news.

An illegal shark-finning operation has moved into town, and hundreds of sharks are dying. As Maeve fights to protect the fate of the animals so dear to her heart, she finds that her twin brother may be about to make it big as a novelist, using her love life as his jumping-off point. Will she confront her feelings about her brother’s betrayal—and forgive her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, the missteps of their youth? Or will she dive headlong back into her work and open her heart to Nicholas, her colleague who shares her passion for the ocean?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, blood orange sunsets, calypso bands, and key lime pies, The Shark Club is a love story, an environmental mystery, and an exploration of a woman’s mysterious kinship with the sea and the sharks that inhabit it.

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Audiobook Review: Another Glass of Champagne by Jenny Kane

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Title: Another Glass of Champagne
Author: Jenny Kane
Narrator: Anna Parker-Naples
Length: 8 discs/ 9 Hours and 8 Minutes Unabridged
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
ISBN: 9781520035611

Synopsis:

Amy and husband Paul are expecting their first baby – they want Amy’s best friend Jack to be godfather, but having left London to ‘find himself’ he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack suddenly turns up, things seem to fit nicely into place – but his motives for returning to Richmond aren’t all altruistic. He has a plan – one which could put community hub Pickwicks Coffee Shop out of business, and potentially ruin a number of old friendships…

Meanwhile, Kit has problems of her own: just when her career as an author has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write – and there’s a deadline looming…not to mention two children to see through their difficult teenage years…

A warm-hearted, contemporary tale of life in a small corner of busy London.

About the Author:

Usually to be found within range of a plate of hot buttered toast, a hug mug of black coffee, and with a bar of emergency chocolate tucked in her jacket pocket, Jenny Kane spends her days in her local cafe typing away.  Kane combines her past experiences as an archaeologist, university tutor, cheese seller, newsagent, hat maker, and data clerk, with the sights and sounds of everyday life, to weave tales of relaxingly relatable romance.

My Review:

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Book Review: Navigating Life Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me by Margaux Bergen

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Title: Navigating Life Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me
Author: Margaux Bergen
Publisher: Penguin Press
ISBN: 9781594206290

Synopsis:

You learn a few useful things at school–the three Rs come in handy, and it’s good to know how to perform under pressure and wait your turn–but most of what matters, what makes you into a functioning human being, able to hold your own in conversation, find your path, know what to avoid in relationships and secure a meaningful job, no teacher will ever tell you.This diamond-sharp, gut-punchingly honest book of hard-earned wisdom is one mother’s effort to equip her daughter for survival in the real world.

Wise, heartbreakingly funny, and resonantly true, Navigating Life has invaluable lessons for students of life of all ages. It will challenge you to lead a more meaningful life and to tackle the bumps along the way with grace, grit, style, and ingenuity. What The Blessings of a Skinned Knee did for the early years of parenting, Navigating Life does for the next, far more perilous chapter, when new graduates are cast out on the high seas and have to learn to swim and find their way by themselves.

About the Author:

margauxbergenheadshotBorn in Paris and raised in London, educated at Edinburgh University and living in Washington D.C., Margaux Bergen is the mother of three Millennials. She has worked in international development and women’s leadership. And is still learning the extreme sports of raising three children.

My Review:

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Book Review: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

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Title: My Not So Perfect Life
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Random House
ISBN: 9780812998269

Synopsis:

Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

My Review:

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