August Book Review

It’s my August Book Review!

Some of you are total book worms like me and you’re all like this today…


…while others of you are all like…


…not another book review!!!!

For you non-readers out there, I still recommend you watch The Good Wife.  I’ve been binging and it is so stinkin’ good!  Watch, watch, watch!

Okay, this month was a beating of a reading.  I was just so defeated and disappointed with my books when it was all said and done.  I think the problem was that the authors I love the most disappointed me the most and then the authors I didn’t know, actually gave me the best reads.  By the time I got to my final book, I was just limping to the finish line and dying for a winner (and it was only blah).  Come September, I need a whole new batch of books because this month left me feeling all sad inside.

Here we go…


So, Before the Fall was…dare I say, my favorite book this month?  When a fictional book about a plane crash is my favorite, you know it was a weak month for me. #ilikehappybooks #planecrashesarenothappy  So, this book was really interesting.  It starts with a plane crash and only two survivors and then as the crash investigation unfolds, every other chapter is a look back at the lives of the people who were all on board the plane…before the fall (get it?).  I’ve never read a Noah Hawley book before, but I really enjoyed this one.  It’s kind of gloomy but kept my attention the whole time.


Oh, say it ain’t so!  I was so disappointed by Liane Moriarty’s newest book, Truly Madly Guilty.   Am I the only one???  You ladies know how much I adore this author and have read every single one of her books…so I totally pre-ordered this one and squealed with delight when it arrived on my doorstep.  I packed it away for my trip to LA because I knew it would be the perfect book for my flight.  And about halfway through…I wanted to toss it out the window.  Now, the back of the book is filled with quotes from super prolific authors singing its praises, so please, please, please…don’t just take my word on it.  I was just kind of blah about the whole thing.  Her books typically grab me and keep me the entire time.  They usually are filled with some great characters, funny anecdotes, a little suspense and a twist or two.  This one was just vanilla.  I was so sad.  I waited over a year for it to arrive and it fell flat for me.  Am I crazy?  If you’ve read it, please tell me what you think!!

The Status of All Things

The Status of All Things was a nice little read after the book I had just read.  I read this one on my flight home and really enjoyed it.  Back in June, I read The Year We Turned Forty by the same two authors and liked it so much that I bought another one of their books.  This little fictional tale is about a woman who, after being left at the alter, realizes that anything she posts on Facebook comes true in real life.  It’s quirky.  It’s cute.  It’s light.  It’s easy to read.  It was an excellent plane book for my trip home.

Amy Schumer

Okay, so I did not finish Amy Schumer’s new memoir The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo.  I love me some Amy Schumer and was excited about her new book coming out, so I had pre-ordered this one too.  And…I read about half and quit.  It is a lot of information about Amy (insert my eyes WIDE open) and after a while, I didn’t feel like I needed to know any more about her.  It’s hysterical and basically just what you would think it would be (rated R mind you)…but after reading half of it, I thought I had heard enough.  It was just a lot of Amy Schumer ;).

Present over Perfect

Present over Perfect might be my biggest disappointment of the year.  Ugggggggggg.  I grieved this one.  Last year, I read 63 books and declared Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine my favorite book of the year.  OUT OF 63 BOOKS.  I loved that book.  It spoke to my soul.  It challenged me, encouraged me, convicted me, motivated me…loved it.  So needless to say, I had high expectations about Niequist’s newest books.  Perhaps that’s my fault…maybe my expectations were just too darn high?  I found this book boring.  (I hate to even type that sentence.)  I think it had real potential but I wasn’t drawn in to it at all.  I felt she was so passionate in Bread & Wine and so bullet point in this book.  I needed this book to be good.  My month was counting on this book.  Do you know what I did when I finished it?  I got up from the chair in my family room and marched to my bedroom where I keep all of my new books and pulled out a happy little French book because I NEEDED HAPPY DANG IT…

IMG_6390 (3)

…and Amazon had recomended Joie de Vivre to me, so I started reading.  And it was okay.  (Insert my really sad face HERE.)  I’ve read approximately 4 billion little books on living in France, so I am well versed in them and do have my faves.  The author of this book has lived in France with a French husband for over 40 years.  I found it very interesting but not as quirky as others I have read.  She talks about raising kids in France, caring for a home, healtcare, politics, finances…she covers it all.  But seriously…I was at a desperate place when I sat down and needed extraordinary.  I didn’t find that here…but I did find a cute little read that I breezed through.

Friends.  This month blew in the book department.  I beg you for suggestions.  I have a stack by my bed, but at this point, I’m ready for some fresh choices.  Please share!!  I beg you.  I cannot read another flop :).

Don’t forget, to see all of my books for the year, just click HERE.  There you will find a complete listing plus my reviews.  And if you want to be my friend on Goodreads, click HERE.


See you tomorrow for What’s Up Wednesday!

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  • Leslie Ann Rowland August 30, 2016 at 5:05 am

    I was so disappointed with Truly, Madly, Guilty too! It has been my biggest disappointment so far this year. You have to read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. So far it’s my second favorite book of the year (right after Cancel the Wedding, which I read after reading about it from you…LOVED IT!). The Hating Game is the cutest little love story about two people who work side by side in a little cubicle and hate each other (or so they think!). I’ve never smiled as much reading a book as I did with this one! 🙂
    If you’re in the mood for a thriller, I just finished The Couple Next Door and LOVED IT! It’s about a couple who leave their 6 month old baby at home while they attend a dinner party next door and the baby is taken.
    The Hopefuls is also good! It’s about a couple who lived Washington, D.C. and work for the Obama Administration. It’s fun to read right now with the election coming up!

    • Jess August 30, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      I just finished “Little Beach Street Bakery” by Jenny Colgan and loved it! It was a good reminder to find happiness in simplicity and things you love doing, rather than material items. Highly recommend!

  • Jen August 30, 2016 at 5:06 am

    How about Jojo moyes “one plus one”? Loved it! Much lighter than “me before you”

    • Mix and Match Mama August 30, 2016 at 6:02 am

      Yes! I completely agree! I loved it more than Me Before You too!

    • Ashley September 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Oh my gosh, just finished One Plus One and I second this! Might have been my favorite book I’ve read so far this year and they’re making it into a movie as well!

  • Aiko August 30, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Tarryn Fisher – Mud Vein
    Colleen Hoover – Maybe Someday
    Renee Carlino – Swear on this Life
    Colleen Hoover – It Ends With Us
    Katherine Allred – The Sweet Gum Tree
    Leylah Attar – The Paper Swan
    Ginger Scott – The Hard Count

  • Kathryn R August 30, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Have you read the Robert Galbraith series? It’s by JK Rowling (her pen name) and they are so so SO well written. They’re not the type of books that I usually go for but holy cow were they good. They keep you on your toes the whole time!

    • Jill August 30, 2016 at 8:09 am

      I love those books! Can’t wait for the next one!

    • Jill August 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

      Also, the books remind me of a lighter version of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, if you like that series. Crime/detective in a European city. A bit less gory than those books though.

    • patrice L September 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

      The best series ever…I am so hooked on the main characters. Can’t wait for book 4.

  • jamie August 30, 2016 at 5:13 am

    OH MY GOSH i am so sad right along with you! what a depressing book review, right?!!?! i don’t think that has happened in all the history of your reviews. let’s just hope september makes up for it with #cantstopwontstop books that blow all the others out of the water. i’m reading {uninvited} right now and for me, there are not enough highlighters in the world.

    • Michelle August 31, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I’m reading it too really good!!

    • Tracy September 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Hi Jamie! Can you tell me which author for Uninvited? That seems to be a popular name for a book! TIA!

      • Lauren September 2, 2016 at 9:28 pm

        Lysa TerKeurst just released Uninvited

  • Reader August 30, 2016 at 5:17 am

    Anything by Lisa Genova. Love Anthony is my favorite but all her books are great!

    • Meghan O'Rourke September 4, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Totally agree!! Love Lisa Genova!!

  • Alaleh Sadri August 30, 2016 at 5:21 am

    One True Loves was one of my faves I read this summer!!

    • Jenn August 30, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      I loved it too!

  • Sally Hepworth August 30, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Oh boy. I hate a bad reading spell, so here are my guaranteed winners:
    Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
    The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
    Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
    The Invention of Wings OR The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (both AMAZING)
    Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
    All my personal faves xx

    • Mix and Match Mama August 30, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Ha! I need a new Sally Hepworth book to come out ASAP :). Thank you for the suggestions!

      • Sally Hepworth August 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm

        I have a feeling a Sally Hepworth book might be coming your way very soon (via my publicist), but if it doesn’t show up, let me know and I’ll chase it! xx

      • Grace August 31, 2016 at 9:06 am

        I agree with Shay, we need another Sally Hepworth book! They are always 5⭐️!!

    • Jordan Cendrowski August 30, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I hate to look like a weirdo but I read your book after Shay recommended it and it was/is in my top three books of ALL TIME. I loved it so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

      • Sally Hepworth August 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm

        Thank YOU Jordan!

    • Eileen August 30, 2016 at 9:48 am

      LOVED The Pilot’s Wife!!!

    • Jenn August 30, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Pilots Wife was fantastic! Read it in one sitting and also loved Orphan Train. Shay, have you read The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, The Girl He Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, A Man Named Ove is my current book but has been raved about. I always get my choices from you so I’m bummed you didn’t have a great month. My friend agreed with your Truly Madly Guilty review. 🙁

  • Erika Slaughter August 30, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Woh-woh…bummer! I just finished one that was good! It’s a little dark but wasn’t disturbing kind of dark. The Good Girl…let me know if you wanna read it. :). I just passed it to Megan-I’ll let you know what she thinks.

  • Morgan Soper August 30, 2016 at 5:29 am

    My favorite book of all time is “Surprised by Oxford” by Carolyn Weber! It’s her memoir about finding her faith and it is wonderful! I’ve read it four times and I read A LOT of books like you. I highly recommend.

    Also, have you read any Ruth Reichl books? She’s a chef/food critic and her books are great! I liked “Comfort Me With Apples” and “Delicious”. I hope you have a better book month!

  • Holly Hopkins August 30, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Have you read any of Francine Rivers books? I read Redeeming Love every year because it is just sooooo good. I also love Atonement Child & lineage of Grace.

    • Tracy Kistler August 30, 2016 at 6:47 am

      Agree with Redeeming Love!!! Not my typical genre, but one of my all time favorites!

  • Eileen August 30, 2016 at 5:37 am

    I love your book reviews each month and I felt the same way about Truly, Madly, Guilty!!!! My love for Liane Moriarty runs deep and I looked forward to this book all summer. And it was just ok, if that. I couldn’t relate to the characters (any of them). I think the old man was the most interesting character and she barely brushed the surface with him. So disappointed. Glad I’m not the only one – I was feeling guilty for not loving another one of her books!

  • Jennie August 30, 2016 at 5:37 am

    The Nightengale by Kristin Hannah. I can’t remember if you’ve read this, but it is a MUST read!! My husband stayed up late reading it one night (after I gave it rave reviews) and I awoke, at some point, to tears streaming down his face. Definitely NOT a light read though.

    • Lina August 30, 2016 at 6:46 am

      Yes!!! I couldn’t stop crying. It was so moving. My husband thought I was out of my mind because I didn’t stop crying for 10 min AFTER I closed the book.

      • Greta September 8, 2016 at 4:16 am

        Exactly! I really don’t remember the last book that I cried AFTER I finished it except the Nightingale!

    • Sherrie Moore August 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Night Road also by Kristin Hannah is an awesome book! Highly recommend it!

  • Jess August 30, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson. It is a great read for all moms. I highly recommend it. And for fun, I have been reading the shopaholic series! Fun and easy reading!

  • Narci August 30, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Oh man! That is such a bummer when you have a month like that–when none of the books speak to you! Here’s hoping you get some great recommendations for September!! 🙂

  • Denise Panetta August 30, 2016 at 5:45 am

    For my September book reads I have recently bought THE SOUTHERN EDUCATION OF A JERSEY GIRL by Jaime Primak Sullivan #cawfeetawk. You should visit her Facebook book page. She puts up some very good videos on life and some have hit really home. I also bought for only $1.99 at B&N A DOG’S JOURNEY its the sequel to A DOG’S PURPOSE. I haven’t started reading them yet, waiting till this long weekend up at our lake house to start. August was a busy month for me so I haven’t really even finished ONE book yet UGH … so not me!

  • Christi Smith August 30, 2016 at 5:46 am

    I recently found Kristin Hannah books at my library and have read 2 so far and loved them both. I too die for Elin Hilderbrand! Hannah is similar in that her books are set in the same a small Northwest town and have a similar feel to Hilderbrand when I’m reading them. I suggest reading Home Front.

  • Emily August 30, 2016 at 5:49 am

    It took me a month to finish the Liane Moriarty book when typically I can’t put her books down… I totally feel you! I wish I could recommend a new book, but I just realized I get most (all) of my recommendations from you… Whoops! Have you read any of Mindy Kalings books? I don’t even watch her shows and thought both of the books were super funny and you’d probably read them quickly!

  • Leslie August 30, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Anything by Adriana Trigiani. I would recommend starting with the Valentine series.

    • Brooke August 30, 2016 at 6:56 am

      Ohhh, I second this!!! Or try The Shoemaker’s Wife if you don’t want to start a series. Love ALL of her books.

  • emily @ a little bit of emily August 30, 2016 at 5:53 am

    How disappointing! Hopefully next month turns things around for you!

  • Samantha August 30, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Totally agree with you about truly, madly, guilty! It was blah and I didn’t care for any of the characters! I loved “one hundred summers” and “along the infinite sea” by the same author. Good luck!

    • Amy Brockway September 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Yes! Beatriz Williams is fabulous! I recently discovered her via the book “Overseas” and am going to have to pick up the others.

  • Lindsay Freeman August 30, 2016 at 5:55 am

    I can’t remember if you’ve read Elin Hilderbrand’s “Here’s to Us” yet or not but I just finished it and really enjoyed it. It tackled a lot of different issues that I’m not used to Elin writing about (read: heroin and some violence/fights) but I still enjoyed it… although I may have speed read through a couple of those parts!

    I am also reading a devotional for Mom’s right now. It’s AMAAAAAZING!!!!! “Pressing Pause, 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet Jesus” by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwink. I’d highly recommend it.

    A couple of older books that are my faves:
    -The ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” is a great book! I read the book years ago but saw the play on Broadway last week (which was just as good as the book… that never happens in plays/movies I don’t feel like!).
    -Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

    • Mix and Match Mama August 30, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Okay, thank you for the suggestions! I have read Here’s to Us and really liked it! I also love Baby Proof, so you and I are on the same page :). I’m going to look into your other suggestions too. Thank you!

      • Lucy August 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

        Here’s To Us was my first big disappointment by a favorite author. I could hardly believe It was a Hilderbrand book. Drugs and selfish/dysfunctional adults with low priorities for family values is not what I expected the book to be about.

      • Kris M. August 30, 2016 at 8:24 am

        Nightingale ….just take one peek at Amazon reviews–you want a guaranteed great book, this is it!

  • Kathleen August 30, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Totally agree on the Lianne book. It made me crazy. Tell me what happened at the BBQ already. I understand suspense but this just annoyed me.

  • Sarah August 30, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Have you tried anything by Jen Lancaster? Her first book was Bitter is the New Black, and she’s written about a dozen since then. Most are memoir-style, but she has a few fiction books.

    How about Pat Conroy? Beach Music is my favorite of his. It starts a bit dark, but the story is engaging.

    You’d love Dorothea Benton Frank. She writes about life in Coastal South Carolina. She has a variety of great titles – they are quick and easy reads like Hildebrand.

    • Valerie August 30, 2016 at 7:52 am

      I was just going to mention Jen Lancaster. She is so funny and I also enjoyed her fiction books.

  • Kristi August 30, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I couldn’t finish reading Truly Madly Guilty. I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve been reading free books from Bookbub lately on the kindle and they’ve been decent reads.

  • Allison August 30, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I just fished reading “The Ship of Brides” by Jojo Moyes and loved it!! I’ve not read any of her other books yet, but I’m so glad I read this one. I’ll admit it took me awhile to get into, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. If you like historical fiction, you should read this book!

  • Rebecca VanDeMark August 30, 2016 at 6:05 am

    I love your honest book reviews- and truly make decisions based on what you have said! I have to admit… I was SO glad that I wasn’t the only one bored with Shauna Niequist’s new book… I totally felt that I was the only one. You described EXACTLY my feelings on it! Here is hoping to a better September review!! 🙂

  • Andrea August 30, 2016 at 6:06 am

    I just read Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – I really enjoyed it, it was not a flop!!

    • Katie Bauer August 30, 2016 at 10:03 am

      I really liked this one, too! Even though you kind of new what was going to happen, it was entertaining!

    • Cheryl August 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Really enjoyed Eligible too! I didn’t want it to end.

  • Kristin August 30, 2016 at 6:09 am

    I rarely say that I “hate” a book but those were my feelings about Truly Madly Guilty. I read half and skimmed the rest of the book. Such a disappointment!

  • Pamela Geltz August 30, 2016 at 6:13 am

    An author I just discovered, but read every book she’s written over the last 3 months, is Sarah Addison Allen. Such sweet, whimsical charming books. My favorite was Garden Spells.

    • Diane August 30, 2016 at 8:06 am

      My daughter and I love Sarah Addison Allen books, too. As you said, whimsical, charming books. My favorite was The Sugar Queen. It was my first so that may be why.

  • Sheaffer August 30, 2016 at 6:15 am

    I’ve got nothin’.

    • Michal September 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Love the honesty! 🙂

  • Whitney August 30, 2016 at 6:25 am

    You would probably love It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I don’t want to give anything away but it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read this summer.

    • Kelley September 2, 2016 at 6:43 am

      I loved It Ends With Us!! My favorite book from this summer!

  • Sonia Limon August 30, 2016 at 6:27 am

    So sorry about your book month! I have had some major flops back to back recently, and when other books fail me I escape into some mindless yet hilarious books by Janet Evonovich . I have read her Stephanie Plum series (23 books so far), and while they are plain silly…they always crack me up!

  • Jessie Weaver August 30, 2016 at 6:27 am

    I am pretty sure you’re in good company with Moriarty’s newest. Myself included.

    Have you read The One in a Million Boy? It was probably my favorite of this month.

  • Alison August 30, 2016 at 6:28 am

    The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is in my top five of all time. It is long-ish but has the most beautiful imagery (set in India). There is a sequel as well, though it’s not as good as first one. I happened upon Jennifer Niven’s Velva Jean books at the library and read four in one week because I fell in love with the characters (it’s historical fiction and begins during the Great Depression and follows Velva Jean through WWII and the golden age of Hollywood–she has some great adventures). It sounds boring because in the first book she is a teenager in remote mountains of North Carolina, but trust me when I say her life becomes extremely interesting as she finds herself and grows up. Ok, I’ll stop now! Velva Jean Learns to Drive, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, Becoming Clementine and American Blonde.

    • Leah McPeak August 31, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I love The Art of Hearing Heartbeats!!! I’ve seen the author speak and he is very interesting!

  • Kristen levangie August 30, 2016 at 6:29 am

    I really disliked truly,madly,guilty as well!! Just finished Eligible ,which is a take on Pride and Prejudice with a reference to the Bachelor in it! Probably my fav book of the year and I’m an avid bookworm!

  • Kim Clark August 30, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Hi, Shay! Your book reviews are my favorite, and you and I have very similar tastes in books! That’s why I think I have a great recommendation for you: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. It was an Amazon recommendation for me, and it ended us being the happiest surprise! It’s about a very special dress and the women who wear it. I didn’t realize when I started reading that this is a Christian author (bonus!). I’ve since enjoyed The Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop as well. Happy reading!

    • Janet August 30, 2016 at 9:29 am

      I recently listened to The Wedding Dress on Audible. It was an Amazon rec as well. I really enjoyed it. Didn’t realize she was a Christian author. Thanks for the suggestions of the other books.

    • Anita G. August 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Yes, The Wedding Dress is great! The others are on my to read list.

  • Jaime August 30, 2016 at 6:36 am

    If you haven’t read Hope Heals by Jay and Katherine Wolf, read it! So great! I followed along with their story from the beginning and still loved the book. It addresses our hope in Christ, the community we have, and encouraged me as a healthcare professional. It was a quick read…I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a day.

    • Debi Jacobs August 30, 2016 at 10:47 am

      I completely agree with Jaime above! Hope Heals is the best book I’ve read in a long time. Jay and Katherine are dear friends of ours and they have an AMAZING story.

      • Kelly September 3, 2016 at 1:29 am

        I loved Hope Heals!! As someone who has struggled with difficult health issues, this book spoke to me and encouraged me like none I have ever read. Loved, loved, loved it!!!

  • Kate August 30, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I read a minimum of 4 books per month and my August success was similar to yours. I wanted to curl in the fetal position and console myself with comfort foods after I read Present Over Perfect because I was so disappointed. However, if you have not read her other books yet (Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet), I do recommend those. They are much more in line with the author we know and love. I also recommend Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series. They are some of my favorites-a mystery to solve, a little romance along the way, a whole lot of Jesus. I do a celebratory bootie shake whenever she releases a new book (she has others but I love the O’Malley’s the most). Other potential good reads are Anne of Green Gables, Delicious by Ruth Reichl, and For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.

    • Mandee August 30, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Ahhh the O’Malleys are a definitely favorite of mine too!! Please listen to this very smart lady 🙂

  • Susie Harrold August 30, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard. The storyline is based upon a tragedy, but talk about falling in love with a character. That’s the problem I had with Liane’s latest book; I didn’t feel invested in ANY of the characters. Cage of Stars is BEAUTIFUL. You will love the main character and more or less grow up with her. This book draws you into a fictional story that feels so real. I would cry and put it down, wondering just how an author makes me FEEL the words she writes. I’ve read this book numerous times over the years and it’s like an old friend. Give it a chance; you won’t be sorry!

  • Beth Miller August 30, 2016 at 6:37 am

    The Woman in Cabin 10 was excellent! It was so suspenseful and had me reading like crazy to get to the end! I’m so sad Present Over Perfect wasn’t good. It’s been on my list bc I love Shauna. And Truly, Madly, Guilty was on my list too! Bummer.

  • Emily K August 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    I’ve had a bad reading summer and I usually agree with you on books but I really enjoyed Truly Madly Guilty. I can understand why you may not have liked it, but it kept my attention and I kept reading wanting to know the outcome.

    I was greatly disappointed with Emily Giffin (my fav author) and Elin Hilderbrand’s new books this summer. I hate to say it, but I think First Comes Love is one of the worst books I’ve ever read and everyone else seems to be singing its praises.

    The book that turned things around for me this summer was The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger. It was fun and refreshing. I also enjoyed Falling by Jane Green.

    • Austin August 30, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      I second Falling by Jane Green. She is my favorite author and this one doesn’t disappoint!

  • Katie August 30, 2016 at 6:41 am

    An Invisible Thread is a great, great book!! I read it this time last year and haven’t stopped recommending it!! And also Wonder is a must read…it’s technically a middle school book but I think everyone should read it! Reading The Rumor now…so many books, so little time!! But I’m so jealous of all the books you read every month!!

  • Angela August 30, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I have been a reader of your blog for years but never commented! I would highly recommend DIARY OF A MAD BRIDE and DIARY OF A MAD MOM-TO-BE. I think the author is Laura Wolfe. I have never laughed as much over a book as when I read these two. They are so so funny and I think right up your alley! I am married but no kids…I’m sure you would be able to relate to them even more. 🙂 I enjoyed them so much that every year I check to see if she has written any other books. I keep hoping!

  • Stacy August 30, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I’d recommend Shoe Dog. It’s the memoir abt the founder of Nike. Not my usual read, but SO GOOD! I couldn’t put it down!!

    • Barb August 30, 2016 at 7:33 am

      I agree Shoe Dog was a great read! Made me realize how great a good memoir is and this one does not disappoint.

      • Stacy September 2, 2016 at 6:07 am

        I’ve already given copies to 4 of my friends plus my Bro-In-law who is impossible to buy for. They all loved it, too!

  • Nicole August 30, 2016 at 6:50 am

    I have two faith based books on my wish list and I’ve heard are amazing! Bummer about Present Over Perfect as that was on my wish list too!
    •Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
    •Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch

    • Kaley August 30, 2016 at 8:13 am

      These are both on my list for next reads also!! About to start Uninvited (love Lysa TerKeurst!) and have heard Raising Grateful Kids is amazing!!

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life August 30, 2016 at 6:51 am

    I’ll be scrolling the comments for some suggestions too!

  • Sharon August 30, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Some of the books I have enjoyed over the last few months:
    – Boston Girl
    – When breath becomes air
    – The Nightingale
    – The mIddle place
    – Before I go
    – Fly Away and Firefly lane
    – The things we keep
    – A fall of Marygolds

    • Betsy August 30, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      The Nightingale and Boston Girl are both really good! ❤️

    • Erica September 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Oooh. The Fall of Marigolds was awesome!!

  • Deb August 30, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Do you like murder mysteries? The In Death series by J D Robb aka Nora Roberts have me hooked! It’s centered on a brilliant and tough female cop but has lots of romance and quirky lovable characters that I can’t wait to read about again. She has well over 40 books and I Iisten to them on audible. I am caught up with her last book and am actually rereading from the beginning while I wait for the new one next month.

  • Kristin August 30, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I was also so disappointed by Truly Madly Deeply!!!! I didn’t finish it and I always finish books!! I don’t even know what happened at the dang BBQ!!!! Feel free to spoil it for me…I didtry to google what happened but no spoiler alerts to be found!

  • Kelsey August 30, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Someone else recommended Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld- best book I’ve read all summer- a modern day Pride and Prejudice.
    Also Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is a cute, easy read!

  • Susan August 30, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I just finished Truly Madly Guilty in the wee hours of the night because..I just wanted to say it was done. I love the author but this was a miss as well for me. Very dissapointing. I look forward to your book reviews every month for ideas and suggestions. Do you have any other Diane Chamberlien recommendations?

  • Erin S. August 30, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Secrets of a Charmed Life, Susan Meissner! Favorite book so far for 2016!

  • Amy Snodgrass August 30, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Sarah’s Key, The Storyteller (Picoult), Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.

    • Amy Brockway September 2, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Love, love, love Sarah’s Key. I read a similar book around the same time that I also loved, called “Those Who Save Us”

  • Susanne August 30, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I love your book reviews but I felt your disappointment this month! Have you read Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah? Just about my all time favorite book. I just started The Light Between Oceans since the movie is coming out soon. Hope next month is better for you!

    • Christie August 30, 2016 at 7:43 am

      I second winter garden. I read lots and lots of books, and this one is at the very top of my list. Can’t go wrong with Kristin Hannah.

  • Kelly August 30, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I’m sorry you had such a crummy month for reading but I do appreciate a frank and honest book review! Thank you!

  • Maria August 30, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Do you like historical fiction? All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is absolutely fantastic!

    • Sandra September 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      So excited to see All The Light We Cannot See listed. One of the best books I’ve read in several months! I’m in mourning since I finished it last week. Just ordered Boston Girl by Anita Diamant and The Life Changing Magic of Cleaning Up from Amazon. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards is another excellent choice. Happy Reading!

  • Laura August 30, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I felt the same way about Truly, Madly, Guiltly! I couldn’t even finish it because I was so bored with it. I skimmed the last 40-50 pages just to know what happened, and when I found that out my thought was “Really, this is it?” I need a good book after that one as well.

  • Kaley August 30, 2016 at 7:16 am

    I think you would like “Uninvited” by Christian author Lysa TerKeurst! It’s her newest book and I’ve heard it’s wonderful! I’m about to start it myself!

  • Emily August 30, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I agree with those who recommended ‘Redeeming Love’ by Francine Rivers. It’s so good! I also recommend ‘Uninvited’ by Lysa TerKeurst. It was so encouraging and spoke so much truth to me.

  • Anna S August 30, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Ugh, I was soooo excited about Truly, Madly, Guilty and I felt the exact same way as you. It was especially disappointing after all of her other great books!

  • Catherine Turner August 30, 2016 at 7:24 am

    I just read Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. You should check it out!
    I love it so much that I started reading her other books. American Wife was my other favorite by her. I also saw that they are turning her first book, Prep into a TV series.

  • Sandy August 30, 2016 at 7:25 am

    You should read Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love by Katherine and Jay Wolf. I read it only because it was a deal on Amazon one day. It is an incredible story of the love between a husband and wife, and God who provides in a crazy difficult time. I spent a lot of time in tears as I read it, but I was very touched and encouraged. It was a fabulous detour from my usual fiction novels.

  • Kelly August 30, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Eligible and American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

  • Pam August 30, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Do yourself a favor and hunker down with “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger. It is heartbreakingly beautiful and you will cry, but don’t let that stop you.

    • Kathy September 2, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      I read “Ordinary Grace” this summer and I have to say that it is one of my favourite books of all time. A beautiful, beautiful book.

  • Mary August 30, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Have you read Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler? British author who leaves her magazine job in London and renovates a house in a rural French village. There’s a few in the series and they are a good little reads! Also, when I have a spate of bad books I pick up a Kristin Higgins, they are super light but great.

  • Anna C August 30, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I always say that Memoirs of a Geisha is a must-read. It starts slow, mind you, and it took me about 3 chapters to really get into it, but once the story really began developing I couldn’t put it down! Also, I think I remember you saying you like books with some history: The Pillars of the Earth is hands down my favorite book ever written. Is it long? Yes. Did I skip over some of the parts where the details of building a church got a bit cumbersome? Yes. Was it an epic story of love, war, loss, betrayal, and victory? YES. So, so good. It restore my faith in books.

  • Sydney August 30, 2016 at 7:34 am

    One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I read a lot!! I started it at 8:00 and stayed up until 2am to finish it!

  • Jessica O'Keefe August 30, 2016 at 7:35 am

    My Name is Mahtob by Mahtob Mahmoody – her mom wrote Not Without My Daughter in the 80’s after escaping from Iran with Mahtob where they were being held by Mahtob’s father. This is Mahtob’s memories of that time and her life since. AMAZING, uplifting, inspiring. and so interesting! I read it in January and it is still my favorite book of the year.

  • Anna August 30, 2016 at 7:37 am

    I completely agree with truly madly guilty! A serious struggle to finish the book and I’m only half way! I’d love to know what you do with all of your books when you’re done… do you keep your favorites and giveaway the others?

  • Deb Pojtinger August 30, 2016 at 7:38 am

    One Thousand White Women. It’s historical fiction. I read it several years ago, but still one of my all time favorites!

  • Katelyn August 30, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I think you would love Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley and I believe Chip and Joanna Gaines book comes out in October which I can’t wait for!

  • Alli August 30, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I agree with Francine Rivers. Redeeming Love is ALSO…a book that every Christian (or every human really) needs to read–Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. It’s a quick read, but WOW!!!!–it’s incredible. About a strong Muslim’s journey (while in college) to share his faith with other peers and his attempt to prove the Bible wrong–and how he finds Jesus. A true modern day Paul conversion story. It’s incredible!!

  • Lauren August 30, 2016 at 7:41 am

    The Nightingale! One of the VERY best books I have ever read. The Kitchen House, The Lake House.

    • Rebecca August 30, 2016 at 9:22 am

      I highly recommend “The Nightingale” and “The Kitchen House” as well. “The Language of Flowers” is one of my all time favorites. It’s about a young girl who ages out of the foster system in San Francisco and how her job as a florist enables her to open her heart to give and receive love. Absolutely beautiful!

  • Kelli August 30, 2016 at 7:41 am

    #ilikehappybooks Yes! There’s enough downtrodden and sad in the world- I want to escape to the land of mostly happy endings when I read. I’m reading Uninvited by Lisa TerKeurst as a devotional, and really like it.

  • Peggy August 30, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Shay- I love your book reviews! Read Bread and Wine after reading your review and LOVED it! My favorites this summer have been:
    Me Before You
    After You
    One Plus One
    First Comes Love
    Here’s to Us – LOVE Elin Hilderbrand
    The Friends We Keep

    Memoirs of a Geisha and The Secret Life of Bees are two of my all time favorite books! Along with Tuesday’s with Morrie (have read it probably 5 times!).

  • Kelly Brannan August 30, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I love your book review every month – thanks for the honesty! I have “Before the Fall” on my to-read list, so glad to hear you liked it. I have read a few really good books this year (all very different from each other), and usually my tastes in books are similar to yours, so I would recommend:
    – “Secrets of a Charmed Life” by Susan Meissner (one of my all time favorite books – SO good!!)
    – “What She Knew” by Gilly Macmillan (very well written, and I just ‘had’ to keep reading to find out what had happened)
    – “Come Away with Me” by Karma Brown (such a good book, and left me actually with my mouth hanging open at the end. A rare book where I actually thought about re-reading it immediately, which I didn’t do, but I will read it again in the future for sure! You will need tissues at the end!)
    – “Somewhere Out There” by Amy Hatvany (very good; this was my first book of hers, but will not be my last!)
    – “I Let You Go” by Clare McIntosh (a bit dark, but not too much so, and really good!)
    – “Calling Me Home” by Julie Kibler (loved it!)
    – Anything by Kate Morton! She is my favorite author, and one of the few that I will pre-order her books and not wait for reviews first. My favorites of hers are “The Secret Keeper”, “The Lake House” and “The House of Riverton”. Truly, if you haven’t read any of her books, read one of those 3 and you will be hooked!

  • Amy Roemer August 30, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Felt the same about Truly, Madly, Guiltly. Total bummer!! I think you would enjoy A Man Called Ove. It’s so charming!

  • Heather August 30, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I am a junior high teacher and mom of a 7th grader so I’m reading some younger genre books right now but really enjoying them. My son is reading Al Capone Does My Shirts and I’m reading it with him. We are only half way through but I love the book. Set in 1935 about a family living on Alcatraz island for the dad’s work. The main character also has a sister with autism and the author explores Howe that condition was treated at that time.

    A good series that my students love are the Lunar Chronicles. I’m re reading Cinder. Modern Cinderella stories with a twist.

    I hope September is a much better book month for you!

    • Teri August 30, 2016 at 8:56 am

      Loved “Cinder”! I was surprised how much I have enjoyed the series. I am on the third book, “Cress.”

  • Kate McMillan August 30, 2016 at 7:47 am

    After you recommended Necessary Lies, I went on a Dianne Chamberlain kick and read The Bay at Midnight, The Silent Sister and The Midwifes Confession. I loved them all!

    • Bethany August 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Every one of Dianne Chamberlains books are amazing. I also love Karen White and Lisa See

  • Andra August 30, 2016 at 7:50 am

    My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry is my recent favorite! I think possibly the best book I’ve read is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – nonfiction and eye opening. The author does such a good job of presenting all sides of every issue (specicially race and medical ethics) brought up without being biased. So good!

  • Liz August 30, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Have you read The Girl in Cabin 10? I can’t remember if you reviewed that or not, but I just finished it and liked it. I am reading Truly, Madly, Guilty now and I keep waiting for something exciting to happen. I haven’t picked the book up in days because I guess I am just not that into it. Does it even get exciting? I need to finish it! I also just got the book In a Dark Dark Wood and I am excited to read that. It’s by the same author as The Girl in Cabin 10. I hope next month is a better book month!

  • Jenn C. August 30, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I just finished reading The Paper Magician (followed by series mates) The Glass Magician and The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. They are not my kind of books as I lean towards the kind of books you love BUT I was so intrigued and loved every second! I read all 3 within the weekend because I couldnt put them down! Also, A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor is a good one too!

  • Rebecca August 30, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Jojo Moyes “Ship of Brides”…I’m reading all of her books and so far this one is my fav.

  • Annalisa August 30, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Anything by Colleen Hoover…and I mean ANYTHING!! All of her books are wonderful. I’d start with September 9 or It Ends With Us. You won’t be disappointed!!

  • Carol August 30, 2016 at 7:58 am

    If you haven’t read any Karen White books, then she is an author you should try. She is a wonderful storyteller and I have passed her books onto my mother-in-law and she loves them so much, she only loans the books out so she can read them again! The Tradd series is great and On Folly Beach was the first book I read and began my search for all books Karen White.

    • Mary August 31, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Oh, absolutely! Patti Callahan Henry writes similar type books. I loved Driftwood Summer the best of her books.

  • Sarah August 30, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I”m so bummed to hear that about Shauna’s book. I adored Bread & Wine. I gave it as gifts at Mother’s Day. I just received my copy of her new book and will still read it but thanks for the heads up. I do have a book that to me was so interesting and kinda life changing. Cleaning House (A Mom’s 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement) by Kay Wills Wyma. A mom of 5 from Dallas wrote it after her son told her he was getting a Porche when he turned 16. Just trust me. It’s a book all moms need to read!

  • Emily August 30, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Hi Shay, I am not a huge book reader but if you like Francine Rivers (Christian author), then I HIGHLY recommend the “Mark of the Lion” series. Its a 3 book series, historical romance. It is very popular, so perhaps you have read it. I was ADDICTED, could not put them down, type of reading. Also a series that is captivating: by Jean M. Auel – The Earth’s Children series, but may not be up your alley :). Also, “Somewhere Inside” written by Laura Ling & Lisa Ling (the correspondent on The Oprah Show). This book had me hooked… about Laura’s journey being captive in North Korea. Good Luck!

  • Megan Stam August 30, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight, After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, and Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale 🙂

  • Terri Dunham August 30, 2016 at 8:01 am

    So glad I am not the only one who was disappointed in Truly Madly Guilty. I also pre-ordered it and couldn’t wait for it’s arrival. I could barely get through it. I can see you have lots of book suggestions but I will add two more: “Called For Life” by Kent and Amber Brantley. (He is the physician who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was flown to Atlanta for treatment. Such an excellent book on many levels!!) and the second is “The Red Thread” by Ann Hood. This book follows five families with different backgrounds and different stories as they navigate the adoption process for foreign adoption. It is fiction but is really good. Also agree with another comment that suggested anything by Lisa Genova! Here’s to a better reading month in September!! 🙂

  • lauren August 30, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews.

  • Annaliza R August 30, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I felt the same way about Truly Madly Guilty! It was so disappointing. I saw that Colleen Hoover’s newest book It Ends With Us has amazing reviews. I’ve read a couple of her other books (Confess and November 9) and really enjoyed them. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls is a really good memoir. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton is one of my favorites as well.

    • Tracy August 30, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Colleen Hoover is my favorite! It Ends With Us was so good that when I was done, I immediately wanted to start it again! I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

  • Whitney Pegram August 30, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Love your book reviews. Is there a bonus question for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday post?? Happy Tuesday! 🙂

  • Angie August 30, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I have been looking forward to reading Present over Perfect, but perhaps I’ll wait until it’s available in the library rather than buying it. I felt the same way about the book Wild and Free, I saw rave reviews all over Instagram for this book so I bought it and it really fell flat for me.

    I’m in the middle of Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Uninvited, and girl she is speaking to me in this one! Also, I highly recommend Breaking Busy by Ali Worthington. Both are great reads.

    Also, because of all your Elin Hilderbrand reviews I’ve found myself searching her books out when I visit the library. I have read 4 of them in the last month, they are so good! So far my favorite was Summerland.

  • Karen August 30, 2016 at 8:11 am

    This is definitely NOT a fiction book, and I’m only 1/3rd of the way through it, but if you or anyone you know struggles with always having to “get it right” in life… OH MY WORD. I feel like every line in the book should have a “, Karen.” in it.. Might just be me, but it’s been great. And it might also be that I had low expectations that a book with some pretty little cover would take me so deep. 🙂 Recommending… You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to be Perfect by Holley Gerth.

  • Mandee August 30, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I’m greiving with you!! I look forward to this post every month, so I’m sad for the both of us. As far as recommendations go, I’m a broken record at this point but you NEED to read something by Charles Martin. When Crickets Cry was excellent in my opinion!

  • Amy August 30, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I’ve read the most disappointing books this summer too! And not even the same ones you read. Hopefully some of these suggestions will get me excited about reading again.

  • francyface August 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Some recent favorites:
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (an older book that I just recently read, amazing, loved it)
    A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans (very interesting, every month takes some aspect of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible, made me think about a lot of things very differently, and she’s funny)
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (WWII YA, so good)

  • Leslie August 30, 2016 at 8:20 am

    I was soooo disappointed in Liane Moriarty’s book this month too. It was a real struggle to get through.

  • Haley Sulka August 30, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Have you read The Shack? It’s the only book I’ve read multiple times. The Shoemaker’s Wife is also a beautifully, I mean BEAUTIFULLY written novel that is just lovely. Finally, I just read “No Easy Day” and it was so well written, very serious, but kept me captivated when I don’t find warfare books interesting at all. And I learned so, so much. Recommend that one for sure.

  • Melanie August 30, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I have come to find that while celeb memoirs have lots of funny quips, I struggle to finish them. Everything in between those funny moments bores me to tears. I didn’t hate Schumer’s book, but it’s just another one of those blah books about their life.
    On my To-Read List for this month:
    Giddy Up, Eunice
    First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
    The Light Between Oceans

  • Katherine August 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Have you read It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is not oil too) by Nora McInerny Purmort? I started it a couple of days ago and haven’t been able to put it down. It is a memoir about how Nora dealt with the death of her husband and puts an interesting twist on mortality and resilience.

  • Katie Hayes August 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

    TOTALLY AGREE about Truly, Madly, Deeply! I was so disappointed after waiting forever to read it. Big bummer. 🙁

    I did just finish reading “Lilac Girls” and it was great. It’s about WW2, but from three girls different perspectives. I couldn’t put it down!

    The rest of my good books this month all come from your recommendations. 🙂

  • Jennifer Maynard August 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

    The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman is really good, anything by Mary Kubica is ones you can’t put down and my favorite of the year has been I let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. Also if you haven’t read The Selection series by Kiera Cass, they are light reads (Young Adult) and soooo good!

  • Jordan Cendrowski August 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I haven’t looked at your good reads list but I read Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern a long while ago and it is still one of my fave books to pick up when I need a cute love story to hook me! It’s written a little different- in the style of letters, emails, texts, etc between two people but it is SO GOOD!!
    And for an easy series to read that is sweet, funny, and relatable then I would recommend The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe. Its a 3 part trilogy and each book is wonderful 🙂

  • Marisa August 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

    You cannot go wrong with Pat Conroy. I am not typically a fan of southern writers but Pat Conroy can do no wrong. His storytelling is intense but his writing is pure beauty. One of my favorite books of all time is Prince of Tides. It is dark and haunting but in all the right ways. I remember vividly sitting on a stool in the kitchen during high school reading it out loud to my mother. It is a memory and feeling that I cherish now that she is gone. Do yourself a favor and read one of his books.

    • Sherrie Moore August 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      I have always loved his books! Prince of Tides is incredible!

  • Shay August 30, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I thought Truly Madly Guilty was a dud too.. I was so excited to read it and then it just fell flat. I loved Elin Hildebrand’s Here’s to Us- that was a winner this Summer for sure!

  • Lizzie August 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

    I am waiting on Liane Moriartys book from the library and was debating just ordering it, but now I’ll just wait!

    I highly recommend Whistling past the graveyard. Best book I’ve read in a long time.

  • heidi August 30, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I’m about to start ‘ the nightingale’ everyone told me it’s a must read! .. I hate reading a disappointing book. . Boooo

  • Jamie August 30, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Have you read the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella? They are some of my favorites.

  • Becky August 30, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I also HATED Present over Perfect. 🙁

  • Lana B August 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Jojo Moyes “The Girl You Left Behind” was extremely good. Also, try Joshilyn Jackson (she is an EXCELLENT author)–her books are extremely well written. If you like quirky, humorous, and well-developed plots/characters, I think you’ll really like her books. Sooo good!

  • Lana B August 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Addition to my previous comment– for Joshilyn Jackson, I suggest starting with “gods in Alabama” and/or “Between, Georgia.” I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  • Katie August 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Thanks so much for your book reviews! I always look forward to adding to my list of things to read! Lately I’ve been on a run of Chris Bohjalian books. So, so good! I especially loved Skeletons at the Feast…not at all what the title sounds like! 🙂 It’s a story about a family fleeing their home at the very end of WWII. I also just read JoJo Moyes’ The Last Letter from Your Lover. It was my favorite of hers so far! One of my favorites of all time is A Place Called Home by Deborah Smith. Oh my goodness! It’s a wonderful redemptive love story that is just so, so good! It’s one of those that I wish I hadn’t read so I could read it again for the first time! And I second the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. I can’t wait til my girls are old enough to read it!

  • Bethany August 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

    If you haven’t read any of Karen Kingsbury’s books, they are a MUST! I would recommend starting with the Baxter series or some of the older ones. I had so anticipated your August review because all of my August choices were “bleh”, including Truly, Madly, Guilty. What a disappointment! Hopefully these will make us appreciate the really good ones even more!

  • Heather Smith August 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I read Truly, Madly, Guilty and enjoyed it…but didn’t love it. I had several good books that I read this month, but I have had months like yours was and it’s always so disappointing.

    If you like WW2 books you should definitely read “The Nightingale and The Girl you Left Behind. Two of my favorites so far this year!

    Good luck with your September books!

  • Kristine August 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Have you read anything by Jodi Picoult? Leaving Time is her most recent, but I’ve loved all of her books!

  • Lindsay August 30, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I’m surprised…I loved “Present Over Perfect” from beginning to end! I hope this doesn’t dissuade others from reading because it was a fantastic book. It is beautifully written and I felt that Shauna really poured her heart into this one. And the message is so important for so many women…to slow down and do life at a pace that is meant for you. If anyone out there is thinking about reading it, I encourage you to still do so. Books are not one size fits all!

    • Chelsea Connor August 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I agree! I LOVED Present over Perfect!

    • Kathy August 30, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      I loved it also! As did several of my friends.

  • Kristen August 30, 2016 at 8:50 am

    The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken- about the persecuted church. If you haven’t read it-YOU MUST! I’ts AMAZING! And the movie premiers tonight…but it’s a select viewing and our College Station theater is sold out (PTL for living in a Jesus loving area WHOOP 🙂 But I can’t wait till it comes out on DVD.

  • kanah August 30, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I too was SO disappointed in Truly Madly Guilty… If you like a deeper, historically true book, get Necessary Lies. It is probably in the top three books I’ve ever read. It’s set in North Carolina and focuses on the lives of plantation workers in the mid 1900s. Also, I thought Missing Presumed was really good–and it’s set in London. It’s about the case of a Royal Family’s doctor’s daughter who goes missing.

  • Kim August 30, 2016 at 8:54 am

    You’re not the only one who didn’t like Truly, Madly, Guilty–in fact, the only reviews I’ve heard are negative! Bummer, because I also enjoy her books. Some I’ve loved this summer:

    Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice)–I was surprised how much I liked this one. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah–Loved.
    Kate Morton books–The Lake House and The Secret Keeper were my faves.

    And favorites from prior years–The Kitchen House, and for a lighter, quirky read–The Rosie Project.

  • Kfriesen August 30, 2016 at 8:58 am

    This book is a true story but sounds similar to your favorite book this month. It was a great read.

  • Ginger August 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Before the Fall was so good! Still not sure how I feel about the ending, but I couldn’t put that book down. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld was a really light easy read that I enjoyed (modern day Pride & Prejudice). Have you read The a Coincidence of Coconut Cake? Its by Amy E. Reichert and definitely seems like a book that is right up your alley! Also, from one basebal fan to another, you simply must read Calico Joe by John Grisham! It is absolutely wonderful, especially if you love baseball (but great even for someone who doesn’t!)

  • aimee August 30, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Ugh, my last few reads were disappointments, too. BUT, Results May Vary by Bethany Chase was surprisingly soo good! My heart went on a roller coaster but I walked away with it in tact. I found it similar to books by my new fave author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, who I’ve mentioned here before. You will love her!

  • Meg August 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I felt the same about Present Over Perfect…was SO bummed. Have you read anything by Susan Meissner? A Fall of Marigolds and Secrets of a Charmed Life were both really excellent! I love how she approaches historical fiction and blends it seamlessly with the current.

  • Diana Barton August 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Hi Shay! I just made a list of at least 10 books and/or authors to check out ASAP from everyone’s comments, which is so awesome! Although you didn’t have a great month of books, it looks like there are some great recommendations for September! 🙂 The book I would suggest for a great light-hearted read is The Royal We. I’m pretty sure that you recommended the book to me but in case someone missed that month’s post, they’ll see it here. One of my favorites of the summer!

  • Lisa August 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I’m reading Truly, Madly, Guilty right now and it’s taking me forever to get through it which is not typical for me. A disappointment for sure! :/

  • Lisa August 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I want to read “truly madly guilty” next and have been looking forward to it for a long time too. Now I’m curious if I’ll share your opinion. Right now I am reading “The light between oceans” by M. L. Stedman and it’s really good so far. Maybe you would enjoy it, too!

  • Aubrey August 30, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Loads of other people have recommended Eligible (Sittenfeld) with the Bachelor connection, and I concur. (Also loved American Wife by the same author which is a fictional twist on the life of Laura Bush.) And if you like Eligible, all of the Austen Project books are good!

    I know it’s not at all your genre, but one of the best books I read all summer is Queen of the Tearling (Johansen). It’s kinda fantasy and sorta YA, but I LOVED it and cannot wait to read the second book!

  • Lisa August 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I love your book reviews and pull them up every time I am at the library or searching for books online!

    I just finished The Light Betweeb Oceans and it was so good! Be prepared to cry but worth the read.

    I also love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It’s a few years old so you may have read it but if not it’s a great read as well!!

    Hope September is a better book month, I need some new ones to read!

  • Katie {Always, Katie} August 30, 2016 at 9:09 am

    You should check out December Caravan by Rebecca VanDeMark! She’s the one who first pointed me here eons ago (during Pinspired linkups), and I know she’s a big fan. 🙂 I just posted my review of it on my blog this morning 🙂 Now I need something new to read… I think I’ll check out Joie de Vivre… I’m a total Francophile 🙂

  • Emily Scott August 30, 2016 at 9:15 am

    A current favorite of mine is “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry”–Fredrik Backman. Great story!

  • Linda Henderson August 30, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Have you read any of the Susan Branch books? She is marvelous. I loved A Fine Romance.

  • Pgarrett August 30, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I could not agree more about Present Over Perfect……I waited FOREVER for it to get here and I wanted to cry half way through with how horrible it was. I am looking forward to getting Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines and also I can’t wait to get your new cookbook.

  • Jessica Smedley August 30, 2016 at 9:19 am

    One of my top 3 favorite books is “And Only to Deceive” by Tasha Alexander. Since you loved Downtown Abbey, I think you will love it too!

  • Kristen Thompson August 30, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Your book reviews are always spot on!! I always go to apple books and buy the books you reccomend and always love them!!!! For a reccomendation, I loved Susan mallery’s The Friends We Keep!

  • Trisha Conklin August 30, 2016 at 9:21 am

    To Know Her by Name is one of my all time favorite books. It’s by Lori Wick. Pretty much any book written by Lori Wick is fantastic. I often catch myself reading at 1 in the morning because I don’t want to put her books down.

  • Teri August 30, 2016 at 9:23 am

    My favorite book so far this year is “A Man Called Ove.” I laughed and cried through it and so did my friends. The author is Frederick Backman. It is a translation from Swedish. I didn’t like the character of Ove at first, but I love how the story builds and it is so well written. Our bookclub read “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. It is a YA book that we all loved. I started reading out loud on a road trip with my husband and he loved it as well. I would also recommend “Ross Poldark” by Winston Graham. I have been listening to it and really have enjoyed it. I was interested because of the PBS series “Poldark.” So good!! The second season is starting soon!

    • Susan September 2, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      I loved A Man Called Ove! I cried so much when I finished it that I woke up with swollen eyelids. Bradley is writing a sequel to The War That Saved My Life. I ready to read what happens to the characters.

  • Kristin August 30, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Fragile Beasts by Tawni Odell. I am half way through it and love it. My moms book club read it this year and my mom said it was the only book they gave a 10 rating to. Definitely should read it!

  • Anita G. August 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

    My two favorites this month were The Secret of Midwives by Sally Hepworth and Three Sisters by Susan Mallery. Three Sisters is actually the 2nd book of the series, but is not a continuation, so it also stands alone. I laughed, I cried and I cheered. It nay be my favorite of the year

  • Kacy August 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

    These are not new…But have you read the Mitford Series by Jan Karon? I’m rereading them, and oh man. I just love love love them. I get lost in the sweet little town of Mitford and the quirky townsfolk, and the main character Father Tim. I can’t get enough and I just love them. I want to move to Mitford.

  • Holly K August 30, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I had a reading month like that a few months ago and it really does mess with your month and your emotions! Life is just too short for bad books! 🙂 Some books I’ve enjoyed lately that I think would be right up your alley are 100 Summers (a perfect beachy read that’s a little different from the standard modern day beachy read), Dumplin’ (I’ve never described a book as adorable until this one, so great), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I had this on my to read list forever as I’d heard very trustworthy sources aka Jen Hatmaker RAVE about it but the name turned me off from it because it sounded boring! Now I regret waiting so long because it was so precious). And here are a couple that are not happy or lighthearted in the least but they ARE heartbreakingly beautiful and left me thinking about them for a long time afterwards….”Before I Go” and “When Breath Becomes Air.” I love these posts and immediately open my goodreads and get to adding, thank you!

  • Rebecca August 30, 2016 at 9:33 am

    The Secret History by Donna Hart is great – captivating read and extremely well written.

  • Kelly Testerman August 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I’m reading Same Kind Of Different As Me… I’m really really enjoying it, it is so well written that I’m enjoying simply reading it- add interesting content and I call it a win. Bonus- it’s being made into a movie… so maybe a fun night out too!

  • Rebecca Jo August 30, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I’m reading Amy’s book right now too & I’m like, “I shouldnt be reading this” … its a little TOO MUCH. I get she’s a funny gal but man, some of the stories & wording, I’m like, She really didnt have to say it that way… but I guess I should have expected it from her.
    I keep hearing mixed reviews on Lianne’s book.
    You totally have me wanting to get that first one though

  • Kelly August 30, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I agree with the recommendation of Necessary Lies. Also, if you haven’t read The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, you should read it! It’s a great read!

  • Janet August 30, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I have read two series of books that I love. First group is Mary Alice Monroe’s Lowcountry Summer series. Start with Summer Girls. There are 4 books so far. Like your love of France, I have a love of the Lowcountry. Most everything I have read by Mary Alice Monroe I have loved. The other group is Wendy Wax Ten Beach Road series. (These are based in Florida not Lowcountry). I like Wendy Wax books too. They are all light fun reads. Some other authors I thoroughly enjoy are Sue Grafton, Mary Kay Andrews, Dorothea Benton Frank, Anne Rivers Siddons (although there was one book of hers I started and could not bring myself to finish), Wendy Wax. I have been enjoying books by Karen White too.

  • Eileen August 30, 2016 at 9:51 am

    The Light Between The Oceans was a fantastic book and it’s going to be a movie soon.

  • chelsea jacobs August 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I LOVE The Good Wife! And that first picture is adorable!

  • Christa August 30, 2016 at 10:08 am

    So glad others recommended Joshilyn Jackson and completely agree with where to start. I just read her latest and really liked it. I have not read the new Lianne book as keep hearing it is disappointing! I would recommend Kitchen House and Glory over Everything, the new book. I just started Summer Island by Kristin Hannah and have liked some of her other books too. I am also reading free Bookbub books and liking them. Enjoying some historical fiction, mail order brides, wild west type books.

  • Lindsey August 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld was a cute quick read! I really enjoyed it.

  • Erin August 30, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I, like you, have a strong long of history and all things French. Try A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable. Think you’ll like it!

  • Lindsey August 30, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld was a cute and quick read! I really enjoyed it.

  • Meghan August 30, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I would agree 100% with Truly, Madly, Guilty. I love love loved her other books and read them so fast because I could not put them down. However, with this one… it was hard for me to even pick it up to finish. A book that I truly loved this year was WILD AND FREE. Such an amazing life changing read.

  • Jordan Howle August 30, 2016 at 10:19 am

    For the Love- Jen Hatmaker
    It’s very honest but so funny. She talks about finding grace in a world with so many rules and standards to live up to. I absolutely love the humor and heart and she puts into this book. And I read it I felt like I was hearing myself talking. But that be because I’m PK and she talks, in one chapter, about the life of a preacher’s family(with plenty of humor).

  • Elizabeth August 30, 2016 at 10:22 am

    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd…fantastic!

    All the Light We Cannot See

    The Nightingale

    Memoirs of a Geisha. I saw it mentioned a couple of times. Read it years ago…very interesting.

    Dead Wake, Eric Larson

  • Mackenzie K August 30, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Hey Shay! I’m curious to know what you do with all of the books you have read? Is there a book exchange program that you’re apart of that allows you to sell/donate the books that you don’t want to keep? Or do you keep them all in a specific place? I’m a huge reader as well, but I find my little library is just too full of books that I won’t pick up again. Thanks!????

  • Tifany August 30, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I couldn’t agree more with Truly, Madly, Guilty. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book and was beyond disappointed. I kept waiting for it to get better and it just didn’t do it for me. I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who felt this way!

  • Nikki August 30, 2016 at 10:28 am

    My 4 favorite books of this year, so far, are:
    The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman
    The Sound of Glass by Karen White
    Wonder by R.J. Palacio

    I honestly cannot see anyone disliking any of these titles. Wonder is actually a book for young readers, but I truly feel like everyone needs to read it. I guarantee you will need tissues.

  • Glenny August 30, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I always look forward to your book reviews. I was just wondering, can you please recommend some of your favourite french books? thanks!

  • Debi Jacobs August 30, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Thank you Shay! I love your love of reading and your book reviews!

  • Anne August 30, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I completely agree!! Truly Madly Guilty was terrible! I got about 3 chapters in, then skipped around trying to figure out the twist then read the last 2 pages, then quit. It was sooo disappointing! Lilac Girls was good, a very different perspective on the WWII story. I thought The Nightingale was better, but Lilac Girls was good and very worth reading.

  • Lynn August 30, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Have you tried an of the Lisa Scottoline books? Keep Quiet was the first one I read it is very good. I always look forward to your book suggestions. Thanks for being honest about this month.

  • Page Adams August 30, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I hate this feeling! A lot of the books I’ve read recently were ones you’ve suggested over the last few years so I only have a few I think you haven’t read but I LOVE. Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova (same author as Still Alice), Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes (creepy and disturbing but excellent), and the The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (I think you read this but I just finished it in 2 days and it made me so happy!) I love reading your book reviews each month, here’s hoping for a better reading month for September!!

  • Marissa Hester August 30, 2016 at 11:08 am

    We had an almost identical (and disappointing) reading month. I quit in the middle of reading Joie de Vivre, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling, Luckiest Girl Alive, and Truly, Madly, Guilty. It’s my new goal to not waste time on books I’m not enjoying, but I find it so hard. I loved The Status of All Things, but I wondered if it was because the other books were so terrible! I also managed to finish Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin (about Truman Capote, Babe Paley and some other socialites and I loved it) and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (well written buy sad). A warning: I didn’t enjoy Savor by Shauna Niequist, but I love Bread and Wine. I also like Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I may try some more of her stuff, but I’m scared.

  • Mary Odrobina August 30, 2016 at 11:09 am

    All of Taylor jenkins Reid’s books are amazing – so good and they keep you coming back for more
    – One True Loves
    – Forever, Interrupted
    – After I do
    – Maybe in Another life
    All really good!
    Also, Sarah Pekkanen is great!
    – Things you won’t say
    – Skipping a beat
    – The opposite of me
    These books were deep and so good!

    • Aimee August 31, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      LOVED all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books, especially After I Do. You might try Results May Vary, it’s got a similar feel. So good!

  • Sophie August 30, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I have to tell you that I started watching The Good Wife after your recommendation and now thanks to you my house is a mess, yard needs mowed, children are hungry . . . 🙂 I LOVE this show!!

  • Kathryn August 30, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I just finished Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan and it was so good. Highly recommend!!

  • Brady W. August 30, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Have you ever tried Jodi Picoult? I usually only read Christian fiction, but found her books and LOOOVE them. They’re all very well written and the plots really keep my attention. Some of them can get a little dark and some of them are a little too…..descriptive (in a way that I have a feeling you were indicating about Amy Schumer’s book), but overall, they’re great reads!

  • Jodi August 30, 2016 at 11:34 am

    After reading Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain I wanted more! I read her book Pretending to Dance and really enjoyed it. She touches on a social issue the same way she did with eugenics in Necessary Lies. It has two stories of adoption in it as well. I’m currently waiting on my library hold list to arrive with more Chamberlain books! My personal feeling is if I am halfway through a book and I am bored or not interested I don’t finish it. When I used to purchase books I wouldn’t do that but now that I use my local library to request what I like I never feel bad if I drop a bummer book. I love reading too much to waste my time on boring books! Better luck next month!

  • Angie Hodge August 30, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I agree on Kate Morton – ALWAYS a good read. If you enjoyed The Help or Secret Life of Bees, you’d enjoy Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. I also vote for Karen White, Mary Kay Andrews and Sarah Addison Allen. I guess I’m stuck on “southern fiction” for now. Your book reviews and the subsequent comments are my favorite…it’s where I get my best book tips!

  • Nicole August 30, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I’m currently finished up Before The Fall and totally agree with your review. Although, a great book, the story is a little dark and depressing. I’m ready to finish it up and start something light and happy 🙂

  • Alanna August 30, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Have you read any Sophie Kinsella books? She is very funny!! I have read Can You Keep a Secret? and I’ve Got Your Number both good and funny! I just finished A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. It was very good too.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World August 30, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Unfortunately I don’t have any to recommend, but I do have one to NOT recommend… Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley… SO. BORING. I actually bought it because I thought the cover was cute (guess that’ll teach me!), and when I researched the reviews someone had said, “If you like Emily Giffin, then you will love this book.” Well, being as how Emily Giffin is my favorite author, I snatched the book up so fast. However, I’d like to smack whoever said that because it’s so far from the truth that it’s not even funny. The characters are underdeveloped, the author tries to use too many big words and it comes off like she’s trying too hard, and the book is just, well, BORING. As a matter of fact, I had to google the name of it because I couldn’t even remember it! And I’m CURRENTLY reading it. I kinda just want to toss it in the trash, but I feel like I’m invested, so I’m trudging on through. I feel like I’m in high school all over again being forced to read something I hate. Haha. And this review that I just wrote here is so good I think I’ll copy and paste it into my “What I’m Reading” paragraph for my What’s Up Wednesday post tomorrow. Haha. #Seriously

  • Katherine Maxwell August 30, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I was so disappointed in Truly, Madly Guilty too! I had a hard time finishing it which is something I never do with her books.

  • Sara Robinson August 30, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Colleen Hoover! You have to give her a try. I count the minutes til each of her books of her books are released. I just finished her latest “It Ends With Us”. Tough subject matter but finished it in a day. You also should read her others – my favorite is Hopeless and Finding Cinderella. Love!

  • Kim Taylor August 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Do you ever check books out at the library? I hate when/if I buy a book and it wasn’t that great. I hate wasting money on so many books that get read once and then placed on a book shelf. If you have a Kindle you can also check out e-books!

  • Julie August 30, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    11/22/63 by Stephen King? I know you like history and this covers the JFK assassination and is a page-turning mystery. Also Curtis Sittenfeld (prep) is a great author. Have you tried Elizabeth Berg? Open House or Durable Goods?

  • Kelly S August 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve been in a mega book slump as well. Didn’t love Before the Fall- great premise, but fell short at the end. But I highly suggest Defending Jacob, or The Life We Bury. Great suspense books that kept me turning the pages late into the night. Or All the Light We Cannot See (which will soon be a movie) and was a great book. I loved it. I told you to read The Nightengale, and so I never mislead 🙂

  • Jordyn Hickman August 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I am reading The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. It’s really good so far, and holding my attention.

  • Abigail Carter August 30, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole…has some ties to Norway (thought of you!) and is Nicholas Sparks-ish!

  • Sarah August 30, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I am so glad that I’m not the only one that felt that way about Present over Perfect. I loved Bread and Wine so much and I’ve literally been forcing myself to read the new one. I was disappointed as well.

  • Christine Jandorf August 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I always agree with you completely on your book reviews and I was just as disappointed with Truly,Madly, Guilty. Im looking forward to reading a few books from your list last month. If you’re looking for a good book I love Alan Brennerts book Molokai about a leper child in Hawaii torn away from her family. Yes, this actually happened up until the 1960’s. Also, one of my all time favorites is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Both books sound a little strange but they will draw you in until it’s 3am and you realize you don’t do well with no sleep.

  • Kristin S August 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Shay, your honesty in these reviews each month is so so helpful! I love it.

    Shauna’s book. I didn’t pre-order simply because her last book, Savor, was just so terrible. It was marketed as a devotional but it barely contains any scripture. That was disappointing for sure. I loved Bread & Wine and also Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines. I’ve listened to her on several podcasts talking through what brought her to this current book. It made me sad. Women trying to do ALL THE THINGS! Saying ‘yes’ too much to things outside home/family. I’m so glad she came to the realization that she can say ‘no’ and it’s OK but it made me sad that before that time, no older woman has spoken truth to her. At the same time, I think that’s one of the current states of popular Christian speakers/writers. So much travel. So much away from home. None of these are bad things but nobody (woman or man) can do it all. This is so not a slam on women. Someone may read this and misunderstand my heart. I’m not saying women should be home barefoot and pregnant. It just grieves me to watch these women be away from home for 40 weekends a year. That’s just not healthy for family. Sigh. I hadn’t decided whether or not to buy the book but you put me over the edge to not. I’m pretty good with boundaries.

  • CynthiaBrew August 30, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    oldies but goodies: The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker, Morning Glory by Laverne Spencer (really old, probably out of print but so good), A Piece of Heaven by Barbara Samuel (and anything else by her – she has several pen names – Barbara O’Neal most recently). For anglophiles, I love most books by Erica James- The Queen of New Beginnings is great. I also like Maisie Dobbs mysteries but they are slow to get into. The author is so detailed about post-WWI England – really smart writer. Someone mentioned Cecelia Ahern – P.S. I Love You was a favorite -better than the movie.

  • Peggy August 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I loved Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Not so much her other books.


  • Lauren Butts August 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World! Hate to hear Moriatys latest book is a flop, it’s waiting on my bookshelf for me!

  • Kaity McMullin August 30, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    The Secret Keeper By Kate Morton and Necessary Lies By Diane Chamberlain

  • Stacey Walden August 30, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Have you ever read any Jodi Picoult? I’ve read three of her books now and they are all so incredibly well researched and are the types of books that wrap you up in the story. I highly recommend The Storyteller!!

  • Megan Butler August 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I saw that someone suggested Karen Kingsbury on your fb! I love the Baxter series! You should check them out. I also love Debbie Macomber. Have you read any of hers? I’m a fan. She typically writes Seattle based books! I think that’s up your alley!

  • Allison Scranton August 30, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    If you’re looking for a cute series and an easy read I LOVE the English Garden Series by Lori Wick! Historical fiction and Christian romance, they’re just the sweetest books and I’ve read them all twice!

  • Olya @ The Siberian American August 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I read Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino this month and was SO blown away. I think it will be easily my favorite book this year (and I’ve read over 100 due to rest after surgery).

  • Shelly August 30, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    love your honest reveiws!!

    Shelly||The Queen in Between

  • Heidi August 30, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Calling me home. By Judy kibler. I just loved this book, it has great substance actually!! Just what you need to get out of the book funk.

  • Chelsea Connor August 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Ah really you didn’t love Present over Perfect?? Ah it was in my top 3 books of the year!! I’m so sorry you didn’t love it- but you might not resonate with it as much. I felt like Shauna was speaking to my soul, so I LOVED it.

    Have you read The Gilded Years by Karin Tenabe? It came out last year or maybe even 2014.. and I’m new to your blog so forgive me if you’ve already done a review of it. It was my favorite fiction book I’ve read in forever!!

  • melodie August 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Oh my goodness you have so many comments of suggestions now. I need to read through them all and make a list. A friend loaned me the faraday girls by monica mcinerney. A story about 5 grown sisters. Im in the middle of it now and really enjoying it. I don’t have all the time for reading so i dont finish the ones i don’t like after a few chapters in. I made that change a couple of years ago and it has saved me hours of my life. In the past i was a finisher no matter what.

  • Erica August 30, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Try Lisa See! Shanghai girls is my personal favorite (read it before dreams of joy). It’s intense, but I was HOOKED!

  • Whitney Woolley August 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I love Francine Rivers, “The Mark of the Lion” series. Me and four other friends read it at the same time and we texted back and forth so many times a day about those books! One of my absolute favorite books of all time is “The Same Kind of Different As Me”. I’m so excited that it is being made into a movie!!

  • Erina August 30, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Tuscan Rose by Belinda Alexandra
    Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
    The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

  • Betsy August 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    “Where the Light Gets In” by Kimberly Williams-Paisley is ammmmmmmazing! A must read about dealing with life and the hand you’re dealt when illness strikes. It’s non-fiction but a story of conviction and truth. Couldn’t put it down!

  • Cathy August 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Melissa F. Miller’s Sasha McCandless series (read the 1st one 1st)

  • Sherrie Moore August 30, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I’ve read Truly Madly Guilty. Maybe not her best book, but I did enjoy it. But I think I really enjoyed it more… because I alternated on my Kindle with the “whisperlink” version. I LOVED the reader’s voice! Her Australian accents!! Her voice for Tiffany, the wife of Vid especially!!!! It truly transformed the book for me!! I don’t always buy the audible portion for my Kindle books… but I do when I know I need a book for a long car ride.

  • Lisa August 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Love love love Crazy Rich Asians and the sequel… China Rich Girlfriend!

  • Kathy August 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I’m with you. Truly, Madly, Deeply did not do it for me either and I LOVE Moriarty’s books. It fell flat for me too and was not well developed at all. I just finished A Light Between the Oceans and LOVED it…after the first little bit that is. It comes out as a movie this Friday!

  • Sherrie Moore August 30, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Book suggestions:
    The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff
    Night Road by Hannah Kristin (Same auther as The Nightingale)
    The Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) First book is Cuckoo’s Calling
    All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    Orphan Train by Christina Baker
    This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

  • Cristina Hartman August 30, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah AND The Light Between Oceans M.L. Stedman- I read them both recently and LOVED THEM!

  • Lauren Calabrese August 30, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom was my favorite fiction read this summer. It is the sequel to the Kitchen House, and it is really well written and compelling.
    Do you ever read Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog? She has some great lists!

  • Rachel B August 30, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Ugh- bad book slumps are the worst!
    I have an Amazon cart full of books (mostly ones you’ve suggested) and I can’t figure out which next to read. Could you give a mid-year (or 3/4 year since it’s almost September ????) top 3 from 2016?

  • Erin August 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Everything we Keep. Was an Amazon kindle first freebie, but I really enjoyed it! Love your book reviews!

  • Maria Thomas August 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I have been waiting for your book post all month hoping you would feel the same way I did about Truly, Madly, Guilty. Uuugh! What a disappointment! I had been waiting for Emily Giffin’s book, too and it was also a huge disappointment. I hope you’re still reading the comments at this point because you MUST read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I saw a few others had recommended it and you must read it next. My favorite book since The Royal We. Happy Reading:)

  • Heather August 30, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Circling the Sum by Paula McLain (she also wrote The Paris Wife). Not so,etching I would normally pick up but it was recommended by Allison Williams in the book of the month club and I was surprised how much I liked it. Also anything by Taylor York. My book club is reading Maybe in another Life and so far so good.

  • Clare McGuire August 30, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    One of my husband’s best friends, and a dear friend of mine, US Navy Lieutenant Brad Snyder was serving in Afghanistan as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer with SEAL Team Ten when he was blinded by a massive blast caused by an enemy improvised explosive device.

    Brad was a collegiate swimmer with the US Naval Academy and as part of his rehabilitation program, he returned to the pool which felt familiar to him even after losing his eyesight. And then, exactly one year after losing his sight, Brad won a gold medal in swimming and stood atop the podium at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

    Brad’s story is beautifully captured in Fire in My Eyes – I highly, highly recommend the read. Also I know you and your family were such huge Olympics fans and you can watch Brad go for more gold medals at this Paralympic Games in Rio starting September 7. His bravery and attitude towards life are truly inspirational!

  • Cassidy August 30, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    A must read is— It’s okay to laugh (crying is cool too!) a memoir by Nora McInerny Purmort
    Also, Let it Go by Clare Mackintosh similar to the girl on the train.

  • Angela Ellingson August 30, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Oh nooo! I just ordered Present Over Perfect last night and was so excited for its message. Oh well, I’ll still give it a chance. 😉

  • Kay August 30, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    A great book to read is Sea Glass by Anita Shreve, if you haven’t already read it. Seriously, check it out!

  • Heather August 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    **Taylor Jenkins Reid** I messed but her name on my previous comment ????

  • Stephanie August 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Have you read the book Wonder? This book is really popular for teachers to read with their classes (usually 5th grade). It’s an easy read but a MUST read. It’s about a boy with a facial difference and it’s written from his point of view. You will cry, laugh, smile… Awesome book!

  • Brenna Devanney August 30, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Just finished reading The Decent Proposal and loved it! It’s definitely a lighter read and has an Emily Giffin vibe to it. So good.

  • Melysa B August 30, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford is an older book but such a great story.

  • Kaci Drapes August 31, 2016 at 3:19 am

    I’m super sad about ‘Present Over Perfect’!!! I loved ‘Bread and Wine’ as well and was really looking forward to reading it! Mix and Match Mama, if you see this, what is your VERY FAVORITE French book that you have read?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 31, 2016 at 4:32 am

      Probably Forever Chic by Tish Jett :).

  • Aparna August 31, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Hi Shay, I’m a book worm too and enjoy your monthly reviews…I read Lucinda Riley’s Seven sisters first book last month…it’s really good! There are 7 books in the series, each about 1 adopted sister. I read the first one and definitely plan on reading others….you’ll love it if you like modern and historical mix.

  • bella August 31, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Here are two new books that you won’t be able to put down once you start. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.

  • bella August 31, 2016 at 6:05 am

    I want to recommend two new books. Once you start them you will not be able to stop reading. One is The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and the other is Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.

  • Kelsey Morris August 31, 2016 at 6:08 am

    I’m so sorry that your month was such a flop! (book wise.) I’ve not been much of a reader for my whole life but recently I’ve started picking it up as a hobby and I’m loving it! I have a one year old so it’s the perfect quiet thing to do while he naps. Here are some of my recent suggestions: The Nightingale, The Secrets of Midwives, Gone Girl, and The Homemade Life (this one especially.) Here’s to hoping next month is better for you!

  • Kristen August 31, 2016 at 7:02 am

    I haven’t read it but have seen it recommended in 2 different reviews…..The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis.

  • Rachel Brown August 31, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Have you read Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker? It’s short chapters of daily devotionals for mothers. In true Jen Hatmaker style she will make you laugh, reflect and cry all in one book. It’s an easy read and I think you’d enjoy it.

  • Lori Reggio August 31, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I would like to recommend Adriana Trigiani! Every one of her books is wonderful!

  • Courtney August 31, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Absolutely amazing… You’ll cry and laugh. So so good.

  • Mary August 31, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Since I know you are a foodie, I have like four or five books to recommend wholeheartedly. They are possibly the best fiction I have ever read.

    The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister – It’s got some depth to it, but it still is fun. It has a sequel, which I did not enjoy as much (I think it is called Joy for Beginners), but this debut novel is SO GOOD. Please read it! And then tell us what you thought of it!!

    Anything by Barbara O’Neal – She also has food in her books, and they are romances, but they are not fluffy romances. And they also have some depth but plenty of lightness. Her books are The All You Can Dream Buffet, The Lost Recipe for Happiness, The Garden of Happy Endings, How to Bake a Perfect Life, and The Secret of Everything. I love books with strong female characters, and these fit the bill.

    The Love Goddesses’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate – LOVED it.

    I am sure that you have read Dorothea Benton Frank, but if not, look up her Lowcountry Tales series. They are fantastic. I also loved the Lowcountry Summer series by Mary Alice Monroe. For someone who has never vacationed in Charleston, I do love to read about it.

    And Kristan Higgins writes super fun romance novels that are not at all smutty, and they are great, light reads. She always has fun characters, and her Blue Heron series is a great little collection of books.

    Clearly, I could go on forever, but this is enough for now!

  • Rachel Tapscott August 31, 2016 at 11:23 am

    You should definitely give Jen Lancaster a try!!! She is HYSTERICAL! True story: I peed in my pants at the airport reading one of her books. “Bitter is the New Black” is hysterical and a memoir. If you want fiction, she has several fiction books, as well, but my favorites are her memoirs bc she is not afraid to make fun of herself and she is just a joy!!

  • Patricia August 31, 2016 at 11:27 am

    The Girls by Emma Cline was my favorite read of the summer!

  • Kathleen August 31, 2016 at 11:57 am

    HI – I took a look at your goodreads and have a few suggestions for you (some of my more recent favorites) – Happy reading and looking forward to your review next month!

    * The Silent Sister
    * The Lilac Girls
    * Inside the O’Briens (I listened to this book and it is one of my favorite ever, especially where I am from Boston and it is set in Boston)
    * The Light Between Oceans
    *Still Alice (same author as Inside the O’Brien’s)

  • Malorie August 31, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    The Girl Without a Name – Sandra Block

  • Sandee Rae August 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Check out Fredrik Bachman. I have read both, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and A Man Called Ove. Both wonderful books!

  • Kelly August 31, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I love these posts for your oh so honest reviews (thank you!!) and all the book suggestions. I don’t know how there can be so many really good books yet I feel like I’ve only read so-so ones this summer. Hoping for a better fall:).

  • Morgan Dykes August 31, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    You HAVE to read The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin! You will not be disappointed. It is such a sweet read!

  • Liz W August 31, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    The girl you left behind- Jojo Moyes
    Once we were brothers- Richard h Balson
    Eligible- Curtis sittenfield
    The coincidence of coconut cake- Amy e reichert

  • Jennifer August 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I loved Truly Madly Guilty. Maybe only because I was SO SO SO super disappointed in my favorite author (Emily Giffin’s) new book right before I read this. I had waited so long for it, looked forward to it, went to her book tour and then – blah, snooze. So I loved Liane’s. I also read Elin H’s new one and really liked it. Reading Light Between Oceans right now and SO depressing 🙁 And stressful, if I can be so bold. Ugh. Heard the Vacationers is good?!

  • Leah McPeak August 31, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I highly recommend Counting by 7s. Also- Delicious and Love Walked In.

  • Suzanne Hines August 31, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Oh, man…such a bummer! I get most of my book recommendations from you, and from Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast, of course! I’m also an avid reader, and some of my favorites this year have been:
    – The Nesting Place
    – Falling Free by Shannon Martin (if you like anything by Jen Hatmaker, and if Radical by David Platt spoke to you, this is a MUST!). It is not released yet, but you can preorder it on Amazon to be released on Sept 22. MUST READ!!!!
    – Hope by Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry. This is the story of three ladies who were kidnapped in Cleveland and kept in captivity for ten years. That might sound dark and scary, and the reality of it was horrible, but the way the story is written is incredible and in the end it does end with so much HOPE. I couldn’t put it down. I read this book back in January and I still remember it like I just read it yesterday.
    – The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (a series of mysteries). Light and fun with great character development! Have loved every single one in the series!
    – The Language of Flowers. SO GOOD!

  • Alexis Meacham September 1, 2016 at 10:09 am

    So sad about Present Over Perfect! That was on my “want to read” list! 🙁

  • Megan K September 1, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I just finished the Orphan Train and I absolutely loved it.

  • Bonnie McCreary September 1, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Even though I haven’t read this book it appeared to be one that might be one you would like.

    LAUREN COLLINS, When in French: Love in a Second Language
    The New Yorker writer and NC native fell in love with a Frenchman, moved to Geneva and realized she could not say her love’s name in public for fear of mispronouncing it. Thus began her study of French and an exploration across culture and history into how we learn languages—and what they say about who we are.

  • Liz September 2, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Still Life by Louise Penny (1st in the series)
    Mystery, romance, perfect characters, tiny Canadian village.

  • Lane September 2, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Have you read The Heavenly Man…. A book about a brother in Christ.. brother Yun. A story of what it’s like to be an obedient Christ follower in China. he tells the story after story of being persecuted and Gods faithfulness through it all. This is one of those life changing reads:)) you won’t be able to put it down once you start!

  • Martha Patricof September 2, 2016 at 7:59 am

    “Mary and O’Neil” by Justin Cronin will make you wish for more of his writing, at which point you should read his “The Summer Guest,” also WONDERFUL.

  • KimW September 2, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Thanks for the reviews, Shay! I have to agree with you about Present Over Perfect… I actually didn’t even finish it! I love Shauna’s words and loved Bread and Wine but just couldn’t get into POP and felt that a lot of it was just repeating things she has already said.
    I aree with the recommendations for the Coincidence of Coconut Cake as well as The Good Girl … both good reads! I also recommend a book that I found very inspiriting… When Breath Becomes Air by author Kalanithi.

  • Kati September 2, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Had to comment!:) I loved Safely Home by Randy Alcorn…little older but so so good! I read everything by Charles Martin…he’s a fav! I love some Joel Rosenberg too!!:)

  • Amy Brockway September 2, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Wow, lots of great comments and suggestions! I’ll have to go back when I have time and make a list! I’m not sure if you’ve read any of theirs but I recommend Susannah Kearsley (particularly The Rose Garden and The Winter Sea) and Ciji Ware (A Cottage By The Sea, That Summer in Cornwall , That Autumn in Edinburgh). They kind of have a multiple timelines/time travel element to them.

  • Sami Moss September 2, 2016 at 8:31 am

    So glad I wasn’t the only one disappointed by Shauna’s newest. It’s rare that I buy books instead of getting them at the library, but I bought this one because I love her so much. I haven’t even finished it because it’s kind of depressing me and not her usual style. SO SAD!
    I second the recommendations for The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd–it’s incredible! Don’t know if you’ve read Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong, but I finished it in like 2 days and it was awesome! Finally, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst–another one I finished in 2 days.

  • Tracy September 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I know you’ve mentioned that you loved Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. A few years ago she had a two book series come out about mother/daughter relationships – the first is called Her Mother’s Hope and the second is Her Daughter’s Dream. I’m almost finished with the second one and I’ve neglected everything in my life the past week while I’ve been reading them, because I can’t put them down!

  • Erica September 2, 2016 at 11:20 am

    *Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio is my all-time favorite book. I love all her others too: The Violets of March, Morning Glory, the Bungalow…
    *Cleaning House by Kay Willa Wyma was fantastic about redirecting entitled kids.
    *The Fall of Marigolds was also wonderful.
    * Rachel Goodman’s new books From Scratch and Sour Grapes are fantastic as well, she’s a blogger who goes by Mojito Maven, maybe you’ve seen her blog?

  • Stacee Adams September 2, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I love the Outlander series- they are long but so good. Other favorites of mine from are Ready Player One, Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and the Cormoran Strike Series. An oldie but a goodie is Julie by Catherine Marshall. 🙂

  • Amanda Cox September 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Do you realize that Sally Hepworth commented?!?! ^^^^

  • Robin Ince September 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    KATE MORTON!!! The Secret Keeper is her best novel though I haven’t finished her newest one. I think you’ll like her books as a fellow Anglophile.????

  • Loren September 2, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    The Year of Cozy – is the perfect book for you!!! I hope you love it as much as I did. Here is the link:

  • Paige September 2, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Bread and Wine is also my favorite book – sad to hear Present Over Perfect isn’t great. Have you read A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg? The style is very similar to B&W (short essay chapters with a recipe attached). I think you will enjoy it!

  • Sarah Lewis September 5, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Sorry I’m late to the party, but I just finished “Roses” by Leila Meacham and LOVED it. She’s a Texas author, and it’s the first of a trilogy. Only thing is it’s about 600 pages but it’s 600 pages of goodness. 😉

  • Kaycee September 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I highly recommend Karen Kingsbury! Even Now and its sequel Ever After are really good! If you want a series, the Baxter Series is pretty good too!

  • Detroit Duchess September 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I just started reading Daughters of the Dragon for my book club and so far it’s great! I wish I was reading it now, lol!

  • Kathryn Story September 14, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I recently read and really loved The Lake House by Kate Morton! And I am reading The Woman in Cabin 10 now and can’t put it down! You always inspire me to find time to read more. 🙂

  • NancyS September 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Just discovered your blog and, as an avid reader, love your book posts (especially that you’ll read multiple books from the authors you like). I tend to do that as well and some of my favorite authors are Lisa Genova, Lisa Scottoline, Jodi Picoult (just read her book coming out next month and it’s excellent), and J. Courtney Sullivan, to name a few. To satisfy your French and cooking interests, try Bonjour Kale! It’s a new book about how kale returned to the farmers markets in Paris (and includes some recipes)! Also guess I’m in the minority because I did like Truly Madly Guilty……but you do have to be patient to read Liane Moriarty!