The Whispers of Valentine’s Day, 2024

Valentine’s Day can be hard. My husband, Jeff, and I understand. We buried our sweet little girl, Jackie, thirty-nine years ago today. She lived only a day.  And though the decades have been good to us, the memory of her lingers like a soft whisper. A quiet breath you hear but can’t make out, so … Read more

Mad Honey by Picoult & Boylan

Rating:           9.5 General Rating:  Mad Honey is a book for the soul. It coaxes compassion and empathy from its readers. While fiction, its storyline is pertinent in today’s world and a widely important theme. I wish everyone would take the time to read. Skip factor:  0%. That’s how you know it’s a good one. I … Read more

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Rating:           9 General Rating:  If you enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, you’ll also like The Book of Lost Names. Seventy-six percent of over 28,000 readers rated this book five stars. Skip factor:  Nothing. Who should read:   If you love good writing or World War II stories, this book is definitely for you. Most heart wrenching line: … Read more

Valencia and Valentine by Suzy Krause

Rating:                              9.0 General Rating: A wonderful story that jumps between the lives of thirty-something Valencia and eighty-something Mrs. Valentine.   Skip factor:  0% I skipped nothing. This is the second book I’ve read by Krause and I’ve skipped 0% in both. Simply, I love her writing. Who should read:  Women who like good writing and unique stories, … Read more

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Rating:           10 General Rating:  Kristin Hannah’s best novel. There’s a reason 81% of over 280,000 people have rated this five stars. I’m not a fan of World War books but loved this. The Nightingale should go down as one of the best war books ever written, a classic.    Skip factor:  Nothing. Who should read:   Everyone. This … Read more

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Rating:           8 General Rating:  Typically, I’m not a fan of memoirs but this one is worth reading. Skip factor:  2%. A little wordy but not much for a memoir. Who should read:  Men and women who enjoy narrative history and especially those of Irish descent. Summary:  I’ll be brief as the voice and writing kept me … Read more

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Rating:           9.5 General Rating: This is more than a great story. It’s spectacular writing, too. Skip factor:  0%. Nothing. The writing was way too good to skip a word. Who should read: Women, young and old, black and white. Summary/storyline: This is the story of twins, Desiree and Stella Vignes, light-skinned black women who grew … Read more

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Rating:           10 General Rating:  Cried like a baby over this one. I bought this by mistake when my book club was reading American Dirt. (I loved that, too.) BEST book mistake I ever made. Skip factor:  Less than 1%. Only when I couldn’t stand to wait for the next paragraph. Who should read:   Every. Single. White. … Read more

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Rating:           10 General Rating:  If you’ve ever wondered how a girl could find herself in an abusive relationship, read Colleen Hoover’s It Ends with Us. Skip factor:  1%. Only a little at the beginning when I thought it was a romance novel. Who should read:   Women and girls of any age. Summary:  I’ll admit this begins … Read more

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Rating:           9 General Rating: Crawled out from under my rock this week and read my first Kristin Hannah book. (Don’t judge.) Steinbeck would be proud. Of Hannah, not me. This novel is of “Grapes of Wrath” caliber. Over 170,000 Wind reviews versus 19,000 Grape reviews, both garnering over 70% 5-star reviews. Skip factor:  2%. Only because … Read more