September 2018 Book Review

September Book Review


I’m not sure there is a quote that more accurately describes me.

A few housekeeping things before we get to today’s post…which by the way contains four books AND I LOVED THEM ALL!!  Woohoo!  I didn’t love them all last month, so this month was an extra special delight!  First up…


…did you see this yesterday?!

My travel agency is giving one lucky winner $3000 to apply towards a Mix and Match Travel Agency vacation!


To see all the details and enter to win, click HERE.  The winner will be announced on Friday morning, so hurry on over there if you haven’t already!!


WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY is tomorrow and our bonus question is what’s your favorite way to eat or drink pumpkin.


If you blog, make sure you link up tomorrow!

If you’re a Pinterest junkie like me, there is no better time to be pinning than now!  I pride myself on having beautiful boards, but this one right here

…is the prettiest 🙂 .

Finally, one more thing before we get to the books I read in September…

Fall Reading List

…don’t forget, I pulled together a list of my favorite Fall Reads for you guys this season.  I’ve read all of these books and LOVE them!  They’re all so perfect to read during the fall.  Enjoy those too!

Okay…on to today’s reviews!

I want to make sure I’m really clear about something, when you ladies give me book suggestions, I take them seriously!  Here’s what I do after each post, I go back through the comments and write down books that appeal to me on a sticky note.  Today’s post includes the final four books that were on my July Book Review sticky note (I actually had two notes for that month!).  If I haven’t read your book suggestion yet, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to!  I just means, I haven’t gotten to it on my sticky note yet.  So, please keep those suggestions coming!  As you’ll see today, they are almost always spot on for me.  Thank YOU!!!

First up, after I read a Mary Kay Andrews book this summer, all of you told me to read Hissy Fit!

Cuteness.  This book was just CUTE!  It made me want to read even more of her novels (suggestions, please!).  This fictional book is about a jilted bride who throws an epic hissy fit when she finds her fiance cheating on her and well…there are small town repercussions that follow.  This story also has a deeper layer because as she’s recovering from the embarrassment of what happened at her rehearsal dinner, she also starts to wonder why her mom ran off so many years ago and what might have happened to her.  There is a little love story, a little mystery, a lot of funny and some great characters.  Now, I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this book…but I will say that it did feel a bit long to me.  I have the page numbers turned off on my Kindle because I like to just read without knowing how far into the book I am, buuuuut when I read this book, I did swipe up a few times to see how much longer because it did feel long to me.  And then the ending was really abrupt.  Which seemed ironic after a long book. Right?  It was long…but good.  I think you’ll all like this one, but I at least wanted to mention those two things.  #chicklitforlife

Okay, I feel like everyone is reading Big Sexy Love.  This novel was highly recommended, so I was eager to jump in with two feet.  Here’s the thing though…it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  I honestly think it was poorly named.  Big Sexy Love to me, had my mind going one direction, but it was actually much deeper than that title lends with some substance and depth I wasn’t expecting.  Yes, it’s total chick lit…but a more substantial one (at least in my opinion).  I wonder if it were called something else if more “non chick-lit” readers might pick it up?  Anyway…those are my initial thoughts 🙂 .  This is a fictional story of a young British woman who sets out for NYC (her first time ever leaving her hometown) to find her dying best friend’s long lost boyfriend.  See? I bet you’re already confused by the title 🙂 .  This story is about stepping out of your comfort zone, finding friends that feel more like family, exploring new places and meeting new people, discovering that life is so much different outside of your “box”, pushing yourself to be a different version of you than you ever imagined and more.  It was really a delightful read and I hope…it has a sequel.  I thought all of the characters were developed enough for a second book to spin off.  I really liked this one.  I don’t know if I would call it a “laugh until you cry romantic comedy” because I thought it was more about the main character and her self discovery than anything else…but they don’t pay me to title and subtitle books so what do I know? Read this one!

Whoa!  I was absolutely consumed with Educated.  So many of you told me to read this memoir (especially after I read and loved The Sound of Gravel so much), and I can see why.  This book was spell-bounding.  I could not put it down!  This is the true story about how one girl was born and raised in Idaho by parents who did not believe in any sort of formal education and how she rose above.  It’s about being motivated, being a self-starter, realizing the bigger picture and not letting family, fears, or other outside influences determine who you are and who you will always be.  It was amazing!  After I read this book, I had a long talk with my older kids about it.  The author really makes you feel like there are no excuses in life…you can be the best version of yourself if you really want to be.  I was telling everyone to read this book and one friend texted me and said that it was like The Great Alone…but true.  YES!  That is so true!  (And we all know how much I loved The Great Alone!)  This has been the year of me reading about women (both real and fictitious) that have tenacity.  Women that have true fortitude that comes from some place deep within.  I highly recommend this book!  From beginning to end, I was consumed.

I finished up my month by reading the very last book on that sticky note…How to Walk Away.  Friends, I loved it so much that as soon as I was done, I went online and bought another book by Center.  This is why I love your suggestions so much…THEY’RE ALWAYS SO SPOT ON!!!  This novel was so darn good!!  I could not put this book down and finished it in two days (insert me staying up waaaaaaaay past my bedtime!).  This novel is about a new bride-to-be whose whole world is thrown upside down when she’s in a plane crash.  And I’m not going to say anything else…I do not want to spoil a minute of this juicy read.  This is chick-lit but heavier.  There are those light and fluffy moments I love so much in chick-lit, but also some thought provoking moments too that will make you wonder what you would do in the same situation.  This book could totally be in my top 3 for the year!  I also loved how it wrapped up because it tied up every loose end and didn’t leave you hanging.  This was such a good book!!  I cannot wait to read more from Center!  Please tell me her other books are just as wonderful!

There you have it…my September Book Review!

I have another sticky note already going, but let’s start me one more.  What should I be reading next?!  Comment and tell me please!!

Don’t forget!!  To see a running list of the books I’m reading this year, click HERE.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2016 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2017 (all 62 of them), click here.
Happy book day!!  Thank you so much for your wonderful suggestions!!!
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  • Rebecca Rooney September 25, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Another great review! After your last months review, I read Bring Me Back and completely agreed with you about the ending! Ridiculous!!!!!! Have you ever read any Maeve Binchy books? She’s an Irish author and since you loved Ireland so much I bet you’d love her books. My faves are Tara Road, Circle of Friends and The Glass Lake.

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 5:10 am

      I have read her books!! I have loved the ones I’ve picked up.

  • Alexis deZayas September 25, 2018 at 5:01 am

    Yay I love book review days!!! Have you read any of Max Lucado’s Life Lessons series? I’m reading The Gospel of Matthew right now and am so enjoying it!

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog September 25, 2018 at 5:02 am

    How To Walk Away sounds like a good read! I’ve never heard of the book before but am definitely going to get my hands on a copy now 🙂 and ps. I love your fall Pinterest board! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Katie September 25, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Do you ever look at ReeseWitherspoon’a book club picks? I always love them! They aren’t typically “chick-lit” but so good!

  • Alexis Jalovick September 25, 2018 at 5:07 am

    When I finished How to Walk Away, I went and got two more of Katherine Center’s books, too! I read Happiness for Beginners and The Lost Husband. LOVED THEM BOTH! Between those two, Happiness for Beginners was my fave but I absolutely loved The Lost Husband, too. Which book of hers did you get to read next?!

    I’m reading Rush by Lisa Patton now and I think you’d love it! Reminds me of The Help in many ways. It’s gotten great reviews and I can see why!! Write it on your list! 🙂

    • kim k September 25, 2018 at 8:47 am

      I agree with Happiness for Beginners! I found Katherine Center through last month’s comments and I couldn’t stop reading them. She is fantastic!

  • Lisa September 25, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Shay! You have to read The Dinner List. Oh my gosh, I just finished and I was a sobbing mess and can’t stop thinking about it. Such a magical, bittersweet, yet still hopeful book. Quick read that I promise you’ll love.

    • JENNY Vuong NG September 30, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Agreed about the Dinner List…just finished it yesterday!

  • Erika Slaughter September 25, 2018 at 5:12 am

    Your book review word this year is tenacity and I’d have to say mine is plane crash. Why are all of my books about that? 🙈🙈 I’m adding all four of these to my must-read list!!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 5:46 am

      Bahahahahaha! That is a theme for you this year. Ha!

  • Alexis Jalovick September 25, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Ohhh! And you’ve got to read All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover. It’s one of her best!!!! Second only to It Ends With Us but I *almost* loved it just as much.

    • Kristine September 25, 2018 at 6:36 am

      I totally agree!

  • Tish Ferry September 25, 2018 at 5:35 am

    I absolutely LOVE Book Review days!! Seeing just your graphic makes me happy! And I fell in love with Mary Kay Andrews because of you! I adore her books! Excited to add some new books to my list! Simply Tish

  • Rachael M Rohne September 25, 2018 at 5:37 am

    I’ll be honest a year ago I would just scroll past your book reviews. Then I got a changer. Now these are some of my favorite posts. I grab my kindle and immediatly put them into my wish list. THANK YOU!!

  • Narci September 25, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Yay!!! You always have the very best book recommendations! I love book review day!!

  • Marie Curcio September 25, 2018 at 5:38 am

    With how much you loved going to the White House with your family I think you would enjoy Kate Anderson Brower’s books The Residence and First Women!

    • Jamie F. September 25, 2018 at 8:03 am

      The Residence was wonderful!

  • Sheaffer Sims September 25, 2018 at 5:39 am

    I mean, you made a solid case for a couple of these.

    • Amanda Wilson September 25, 2018 at 7:21 am

      You crack me up!!!!

    • Leslie S September 25, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Shaeffer your replies always make me LAUGH!

  • Elspeth Mizner September 25, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Ohhh great suggestions! I’m adding a few of them to my list to read in the future!

  • JL September 25, 2018 at 5:52 am

    The Alice Network is a must read!!

    • Angela September 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      Yes! The Alice Network is SO SO good!

  • Jen September 25, 2018 at 5:53 am

    Are you still using the goodreads app?

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 6:02 am

      I sometimes forget to use it…urg.

  • Lesley McFarland September 25, 2018 at 5:54 am

    One of my favorite post!!! Love love loooooved Educated. I read it twice!! For some fun fall reads you need to read Teri Harmon’s Trilogy Blood Moon. Great easy reads about Witches. Perfect for this time of year. K

  • Amy Heinl September 25, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I love your book reviews and always look forward to yhem. I am definitely going to check out Bossy For because this month I finished my very first book by Mary Kay Andrews. A co worker was raving about her and I never read any of her stuff so I got her newest book The High Tide Club and loved it

  • Cassie September 25, 2018 at 6:00 am

    I highly recommend Everybody Always by Bob Goff. He is funny and very inspiring! I also recently read and liked You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac.

  • Shannon Voss September 25, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Where the Crawdads Sing…in the running for my favorite book of the year. It’s Reese’s book club pick this month (though I read it before that). Beautiful, beautiful story.

    • Teal September 25, 2018 at 8:14 am

      Where the Crawdads Sing…..This was the best book from the last few YEARS that I’ve read. A total must read!! It will make you not want to read again for awhile just to absorbed what you just took in. Everyone I recommend to thanks me. THE BEST!

    • devon ciliberto September 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      I second where the crawdads sing. SO so good!! Must read.

  • Lynn DePalma September 25, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Love your suggestions and added samples of them to my long growing Kindle sample list! As I was adding them Amazon suggested The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani. The description peaked my interest and thought it might for you as well!
    I’ve only read Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrew’s and loved it; so I’m looking forward to reading Hissy Fit! I read the back of Big Sexy Love last month and put it back thinking it wasn’t for me. You’ve peaked my curiosity and have officially added it to my sample list!
    I just finished Mr Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal and highly recommend! I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more in the series!

  • Julie September 25, 2018 at 6:19 am

    A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan.
    Perfect for October 🙂

  • Amy September 25, 2018 at 6:26 am

    You may have read this already, Little Fires Everywhere. I feel like I was behind in reading it but man, once I started I couldn’t put it down. It was so good. Another from mine this month was Tayor Jenkins Reid’s short story for amazon, Evidence of the Affair. Just a super quick read but very good! Had me thinking at the end. Ghosted also a good read, about 2 people who meet and have a wirl wind romance but then once disappears. I would say this one is ‘deeper chic-lit’. Happy Oct reading! Can’t wait to see next months.

    • Claire September 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Yes! Little Fires Everywhere, and also Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi…I really missed the characters after finishing each book. They both definitely fit the tenacious women theme too!

  • BeckyM September 25, 2018 at 6:30 am

    I’m working my way through your fall reading list and have really been enjoying it!

    I’d recommend The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert! It’s fun chick lit and the main character is a chef, so it’s fun for us foodies 😊

    • Sharon September 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Thx for this tip! I’m a foodie and will definitely be adding this to my list! One of my favorite recent foodie-reads was “A Homemade Life!” Sooo good!

    • Brooke Hood September 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      I second this recommendation!! Another book by the same author, The Simplicity of Cider, is also very good. Another author I think you would like, Shay, is Sarah Addison Allen. Also, have you read any Liane Moriarty? I’m sure you probably have, but her books are fantastic as well.

  • Jessica September 25, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Im about to start “the wife between us”…not sure if you’ve read it yet but I’ve heard really good things about it!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 6:44 am

      I have!!! That one is really good!!

  • Beth Miller September 25, 2018 at 6:42 am

    All of Mary Kay Andrews’s books are LONG! I just finished The High Tide Club by her as well. I read The Great Alone this month, and oh my goodness was it amazing! I also read How to Walk Away and loved it! I’m currently reading Outlander (I’m really late to the party), but at over 800 pages, it’s going to take me awhile!

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams September 25, 2018 at 6:46 am

    Educated sounds so interesting! So happy it’s book review day, I need to gather some more books for fall cozy reading time. I highly recommend Maria Shriver’s I’ve Been Thinking. It’s the perfect little read for each day since it’s a bunch of reflections, prayers and meditations.

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Gardner Story September 25, 2018 at 6:47 am

    This may sound crazy, but have you ever read the Harry Potter series? You may have no interest, but honestly those books are the best to start reading in the Fall as the books start at the beginning of his school year. They have great character development, are easy to read, and really incredibly written by J.K. Rowling. Just a thought. 🙂

  • Susan September 25, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Have you read My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan? It’s about a young woman who moves to Oxford University for a year on a fellowship. There’s a big plot twist about midway through that really changes the direction of a book. No spoilers! It’s excellent.

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 7:30 am

      Probably my favorite book of the year so far!!!!

  • Angela Jernigan September 25, 2018 at 6:56 am

    You’ve got to read Mary Kay Andrews’ The High Tide Club and The Weekenders. Both are so good!

  • Melissa Terry September 25, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Book Reviews are always my second favorites of your posts (adoption wins, hands down) and I look forward to adding to my list each month. I saw Educated at the library last time we were there and decided against it but now it’s going on the list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Kat Anthony September 25, 2018 at 7:10 am

    I don’t know if you’ve read any books by Jodi Picoult (her and Elin Hilderbrands are total gal pals and it’s adorable), but I am a HUGE fan. Recently I read “The Storyteller” and I have honestly never been so entranced by a book and just totally consumed it. It’s about a baker who has had a lot of misfortunes in her life and is incredibly withdrawn from people. One day a little old man comes to the bakery she works at and they grow a friendship, then he drops a huge secret on her and it changes their relationship completely/makes her take a look at who she is. I won’t say much, but it’s a bit of a historical drama involving the holocaust and questions morality and forgiveness. Total twist ending too with some romance added. It was so phenomenal!

  • Dana September 25, 2018 at 7:12 am

    You know, it’s a little random, but you should really come to France in September! It’s not great timing in terms of school starting, but it is wonderful in terms of trees, sunshine, crisp air…I love going on walks around Paris with all the leaves and ivy changing color and listening to Michael Bublé with a hot tea. It is my absolute favorite time of year here! (Spring is a close second, too. 🙂 )

  • Kasey Eldred September 25, 2018 at 7:19 am

    It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
    The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
    Brain on Fire by Susannah Callahan

    • Jocie September 25, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Yes I agree with Brain on Fire!

      • Liz Thorson September 25, 2018 at 1:54 pm

        Brain on Fire is a spellbinding read and it’s non-fiction. I read it quite a few years ago and was so captivated! I just finished Little Fires Everywhere and highly recommend it. It is NOT chiclit. The writing is really top-notch, I think. Educated, was one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Another incredible memoir is The Girl with Seven Names!

  • Pam September 25, 2018 at 7:24 am

    You must read Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts!!

    “After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman.

    Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her small Amish community. The secrets that have kept her isolated from her own community serve to unite her in an unlikely friendship with Delilah.

    Sparrow, Delilah’s eldest daughter, knows she is responsible for the death of her little brother. When tensions at home become unbearable, she seeks solace at Emma’s house, becoming the surrogate daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could sever all ties to her safe refuge.

    Life for these three gets harder when church and social issues confront them, causing rifts within Sinking Creek’s three distinct communities: whites, blacks, and Amish. When their carefully protected secrets come to light, there seems to be little hope for friendship, restoration, or even forgiveness. But when the unthinkable happens, Delilah and Emma find themselves looking into the mirror of their own self-deceptions and are forced to make a choice that will set the way of their future.”

  • Amanda Wilson September 25, 2018 at 7:25 am

    I miss summer….I haven’t picked up a book since September. After seeing this post though October is going to be my month!!! I always love all your suggestions. Sometimes I go rogue and read something you didn’t suggest and zi always regret it!!

  • KE September 25, 2018 at 7:25 am

    I was obsessed with Educated. I was sad when I finished it. I love the way Tara writes. Even if everything she says happened in her childhood isn’t true, I still think it’s a great read. I loved reading about her struggling to define herself and realizing she has her own set of beliefs. I also appreciated her footnotes when there were differing versions of events people remember. I hope she writes something else because something about her writing style drew me in. I would talk to anyone who would listen (and those who wouldn’t) about it.
    I can’t wait to read Liane Moriarty’s new book Nine Perfect Strangers.

  • Katherine Grohs September 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Have you read the Maggie Hope mysteries yet? The first one is call The Prime Minister’s Secretary.
    The books follow a woman in WW2 working for Churchill in London, lots of mystery (not the super scary kind) and some romance and fun thrown in too. I’ve loved every book in the series!

    As I fellow anglophile I thought I had to atleast suggest them.

    • Jenna September 25, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Yes, her books are very good!

  • Alison Brinkley September 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

    What do you think about Educated for a 12 yr old to read?

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 7:29 am

      There is violence and abuse…so, I’m probably not sure about 12.

  • Sarah P September 25, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I actually read Educated and then The Great Alone back to back. It was a great memoir/fiction pairing. I followed those two up with Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and it is AMAZING!! Another young women who is surviving through the rough situations life is throwing her way. I cannot recommend it enough! Next on my list is the new Elin Hilderbrand book and I can’t wait!

    I love your book posts! Keep ’em coming!

  • Bev September 25, 2018 at 7:42 am

    We Were the Lucky Ones is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I read it months ago (twice) and still think about it. I thought it beautifully written and the story was so poignant.

    • Mary Jane McNeill September 25, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      That is our One Book for our city this month. The author will be here next week to speak! I can’t wait to hear her!

  • Carly September 25, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Have you read anything by Karen Kingsbury? I’m slowlyyyyy making my way through the Baxter Series, starting at Redemption. She also has a spin-off from them {the Frazier, if you will 😉 } that I’m liking even more. I like them because I know what I’m getting. She’s a Christian author so I’m not getting an over abundance of sex or violence or language, and the dilemmas they face are walked out through their faith. So about once every month or two when I need a palate cleanser, I pick up the next one ;).

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Yes!! I love her books!

  • Ashley Spivey September 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

    You have to read The Dinner List next! I know you would LOVE!

    • Alexis September 25, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      When Ashley Spivey has an Insta post dedicated to a book recommendation, it’s kind of non-negotiable to read it. 😉

  • Sarah September 25, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I just finished The Banker’s Wife and could not put it down. I am all about the thriller but am over unreliable narrators so this was a breath of fresh air! Fast-paced and hooked from the very start!

    Also, Same Kind of Different As Me! It’s now a movie (on Netflix) but do yourself a favor and read the book. So inspiring and uplifting.

  • Abigail Carter September 25, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Love these days! I just finished “A Simple Favor”…out now in the movie theatre with Blake Lively & Anna Kendrick. 🙂 I guess it is the author’s first book & it was already made into a movie. So creepy and I loved it! Perfect for Fall! Also, “All Your Perfects” by Colleen Hoover, and getting ready to start The Dinner List…heard everyone is reading that I like to jump on all the Book Bandwagons! xoxo (We leave for CHINA in 28 days to bring home our baby boy!) EEK!

  • Natalie Alvarado September 25, 2018 at 7:52 am

    I know you will eventually get around to reading All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover and it is so good! I just read Language of Flowers and I think you would like it too! I also read The Book of Essie this month and I couldn’t put that one down.
    Love your reviews!

  • Lindsay September 25, 2018 at 7:53 am

    I was completely captivated by Educated this summer! Have you read Hillbilly Elegy? They have some strong similarities and are both so thought-provoking!

  • Taylor September 25, 2018 at 7:58 am

    September is a really slow month for me book wise..I have only read three books this month..ugh.
    As far as a Mary Kay Andrews suggestion I always recommend Ladies Night. It was so good & I actually thought of you when I read it because the main character runs a very successful blog.

  • Blake September 25, 2018 at 8:06 am

    I love book review day- always great suggestions. Thank you!

    I don’t remember you mentioning it, but if you haven’t read it, I would recommend “Lilac Girls.”

  • Jenna September 25, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Check out Rush by Lisa Patton! She got the idea for this book when she returned to visit her sorority and discovered that one of the ladies who had worked in their sorority house for years had died from cancer. None of the workers were offered any health benefits or retirement so she couldn’t afford the bills. She’s a Southern author who usually writes lighter fiction, but this one was obviously much deeper. So good.

  • Deb September 25, 2018 at 8:12 am

    You may have already read this (because it’s not a new book), but if you loved The Great Alone, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go read The Nightingale by the same author. It’s amazing!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Loved that one!!!

  • Yvonne C September 25, 2018 at 8:16 am

    I always LOVE your book reviews. I have a few suggestions for you. I just finished The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani. It was one I borrowed from the Kindle Lending library and it was really good! Another favorite lately was The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman. I have Educated on my Audible app and need to listen to it!! Thanks again for the suggestions!

  • Teal September 25, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Where the Crawdads Sing…….THE BEST book in a VERY long time. Friends thank me for the recommendation after reading. A MUST!!!

  • Kathy L September 25, 2018 at 8:19 am

    I just finished reading the first two books by author Melinda Leigh in her Morgan Dane (6 book series) and REALLY liked them! I stayed up way past my bedtime a couple of nights because they were so good. 😉 The titles are Say You’re Sorry and Her Last Goodbye. Morgan Dane, the main character, is a former prosecuting attorney, who (due to circumstances in the first novel), has gone private and is now a defense attorney working with a private investigation firm. There is mystery, romance, and always a twist involved that had me guessing what really happened in each book. I’m really looking forward to reading the other four books in the series and hoping they’re just as good.

    Of your recommendations this month, I’m interested in adding Educated and How to Walk Away to my list of future reads. I read Big Sexy Love last month and really enjoyed it because of the great character development and laugh out loud antics by the main character.

  • Bobbie September 25, 2018 at 8:32 am

    OK I’ll be honest here, reading your blog for years and I used to always just skip your book review days, haha! But…I have made it a personal goal to read more and in the past 2 weeks I have read Class Mom and Secrets of Midwives (both I got from your recommended Fall books). I absolutely loved them both. Just ordered The Family Next Door because Hepworth’s writing style I loved! As a 1st grade teacher and Mom to 2 little ones, thanks for inspiring me to do some reading for myself!

  • Kayla A Bruce September 25, 2018 at 8:40 am

    I do think you’d love The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s really wonderful. Also, I haven’t read it yet, but I’m excited to read Reese Witherspoon’s new book Whiskey in a Teacup. Would love to hear your review of it!

  • Lena September 25, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Just finished another Renee Carlino book, Blind Kiss! It was a 2 day read for me…couldn’t put it down!

  • Shelley September 25, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I just requestss Educated and How to walk away at my local library so I’ll be reading those soon! Yay! I just finished Emily’ Giffin’s new book last night. I read Summerland and Firefly Lane last week while on vacation. Both of those were really good. I’m about to read Weight over Water by Anita Shreve and Night Road. by Kristin Hannah. Have you read either of those?

  • Lauren Marino September 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I’m gonna make a bold prediction…The Dinner List will be one of your top 3 books of 2018, YOU NEED TO READ IT! It has everything you’d want in story! So so so good!

  • Kait September 25, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I just finished Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell and read it in only one day! It is a physiological thriller, so it’s in the realm of Mrs. Parrish & Wife Between Us, but it’s not about a husband/wife relationship. The premise is that a woman’s 15 year old daughter goes missing, and ten years later she meets a man and his 9 year old daughter looks just like the missing daughter. I couldn’t put it down!

    • Susan September 25, 2018 at 11:16 am

      I am reading Then She was Gone now…..It is good!

  • Jessi's Design September 25, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Ok these are great and I need to up my reading game – definitely adding to the list! BUT I have a great one for you – a dear friend of mine just published her first book and it is going to literally SWEEP the holiday season. Its called The Giving Sack (

    I’m going to review it soon on my blog and I’m sure she would be over the moon is you took a peek! Thanks Shay and have a great rest of the week!

  • Lindy September 25, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Hi Shay, I loved Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center! Have you ever read anything by Jill Mansell? The Unpredictable Consequences of Love, and Rumour Has It we’re both really good! Also check out One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. And… finally you should read Edenbrooke by Juliane Donaldson. It’s a regency romance, but written with a modern “voice” so it’s easy to read. It’s one of my favorites!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick September 25, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Big Sexy Love is my favorite chick lit book of 2018! I thought you would love it way more than that! I was most definitely laughing out loud and then crying at the end but in a good way. haha I agree that the book title makes you think it’s something it’s not. That book just made me happy! I’m going to read How to Walk Away next!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Sara D September 25, 2018 at 9:08 am

    I recently read and LOVED The Alice Network (talk about women with tenacity!) and Little Fires Everywhere. Definitely recommend both!

  • Jocie September 25, 2018 at 9:14 am

    This month I read: “Us Against You” it is the sequel to Beartown and just as wonderfully written. I read “the Immortalists” and it was very good! (but rated R) I read “The Perfect Mother” and it was just okay. I also read “All We Ever Wanted” and completely agree with Shay on this book- not her best and not my favorite. I also went a little out of the box and read a true crime novel, “I’ll be gone in the dark” and it was interesting! Definitely a different type of read but I enjoyed it! Books I read that I don’t recommend: “The Disappeared” and “The Female Persuasion”

  • Marie September 25, 2018 at 9:35 am

    You got me reading again! I kept reading your book reviews and thinking “if she can make time to read 5+ in a month, I can make time to read 10 in a year.” And I’ve already surpassed that goal for the year! Thank you for curating such a great assortment of books and taking the time to review each one. It’s more appreciated than you may realize!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 25, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Ah! This makes me so happy, Marie!!!

  • Liz September 25, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Between Me and You – a great book that is written in such a unique way!

  • Cory September 25, 2018 at 9:52 am

    I heard an excellent speech presentation that Katherine Center gave here in Houston, a fundraiser for our local backpack program. It was about how she wouldn’t be where she is today without failure :). Did you know she is a fellow Texan? I was so impressed!

  • Rhonda September 25, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens needs to go on your Post It note, Shay! It was a People recommendation and then Reese Witherspoon made it her September book. She always picks books written by female authors about female characters. LOVE. Love this book. It might be my favorite of the year. It’s beautifully written, but you’re also hooked into the story right away. Highly recommend.

  • Julie September 25, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I really got to stop popping in on book review days, my poor goodreads list keeps growing! Thanks for the suggestions!!

    • Patty September 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Mine too! I read like crazy but can’t keep up with everything I want to read!

  • Jayne September 25, 2018 at 10:13 am

    As I read your posts and comments, I add books to the list on my phone and then search a few on my library’s website to find a couple that are available or put them on hold (I don’t get through as many in a month as you do). Thanks so much for the inspiration to read more!

  • Kim Fleming September 25, 2018 at 10:14 am

    You REALLY need to read THE DUTCH WIFE. If you are interested in historical fiction this is incredible. What these women went through is beyond my comprehension of survival. It helps you see why you might choose one way in order to truly have a future of living, and why some chose to forget.

  • Chelsey September 25, 2018 at 10:14 am

    I finally picked up The Royal We from your Fall Book List – loving it! Next up on my list is Text Me When You Get Home:The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship – my book club picked this one out so I’m interested to see what I think of it!

  • Catherine Cramer September 25, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I just listened to the audiobook of Remember God by Annie F Downs and it comes out on October 2! It was so good and real and raw. Anyone could relate as she really dives into the question of whether or not our God is kind despite circumstances that are not. I was blessed by it for sure!

  • Jeanelle September 25, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I grew up a voracious reader but stopped reading in my 20s when life got busy. I generally just read on vacations but not anymore. Thanks to your great lists, the amazing comments from your readers, my Kindle and the Libby app, I’m reading (and listening to audiobooks during my commute) more and more and I love it! I might even set a book goal for 2019 😉 Oh and thank you for always saying when a book is R rated…that is so helpful!!!

  • Hannah D September 25, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Thank you so much for your book reviews!! You have given me so many great suggestions that I have loved! I am in school so I don’t get to read for fun often, so it helps having some guidance to make sure I choose wisely! Also, you have probably read them but I just read “The Glass Castle” and “Unbroken” and I highly recommend both of them!!

  • Kristen Cartledge September 25, 2018 at 11:09 am

    So I’ve been on a Mary Kay Andrews kick and have read six since May! Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze- read these two in this order. I also read Hissy Fit, Deep Dish and Ladies Night but my favorite has been The fixer Upper! She has so many good ones! All of her books are on my to read list!

  • Jeanine September 25, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I can’t remember if I’ve suggested this book to you before, but I think you would love Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber. It’s a true story along the lines of a C.S. Lewis book. It’s one of my top five books ever!

  • theresa September 25, 2018 at 11:28 am

    have you ever read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah? It’s WWII historical fiction and it is an amazing story. i loved it so much. i will warn that it’s pretty intense! but so worth it.

    • carol September 25, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      ooo I newly discovered Kristin Hannah..lover her!
      (read Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer…set in prewar Europe as well)

  • Meg September 25, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Did you read the Kiss Quotient? Super cute chick lit, I loved it! Definitely rated R though…

    Also, I highly, highly recommend This is how it Always Is by Laurie Frankel. It really opened my eyes and filled me with empathy and compassion for those I previously didn’t always understand. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

    • Lindsay D October 9, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Totally agree about This Is How It Always Is. I don’t agree with the choices the family made in the book but it absolutely gave me compassion for those walking that path.

  • Meg September 25, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Wait – just looked at my goodreads and have more recs! Young Jane Young and Ghosted were also great this year!

  • Jen September 25, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Shay, your book reviews are THE BEST!! I look forward to them every month! A couple of years ago I wasn’t much of a reader but you inspired me and now I read 50+ books a year. I just finished “Good Luck With That” by Kristan Higgins and I LOVED it! It was chiklit but also deep and definitely stuck with me.

  • carol September 25, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Your book reviews are my favorites.
    While I bet no one has recommended this book to you I HIGHLY endorse it for you and ALL your readers.
    INVISIBLE BRIDGE by Julie Orringer. It’s a love story and a war story set in 1930s Budapest (I NEVER read war stories and I prefer modern day). This 600 page book ,by a first time novalist ,had me from the get go. It made me REALLY think of things I’d only superficially thought of before. It made me smile, it made me sob.

    Please read it—- and let me know if you totally LOVED it.
    (you WILL want to visit Budapest as well!)

  • Sheila September 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I love your reading lists! I have read some really great books off your list! Just finished “The Little Bookshop of the Seine” and am a quarter way through “Flowers for Algernon”. I really like it so far, but I’m afraid the main character won’t have the happy ending I’m rooting for! It’s cool and rainy here in Mass, a perfect reading day!

  • becky Rasdall September 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I love your book review days, my goodreads list is growing and growing! I am hoping you will soon do a “winter reading guide” too! I am up for my book club’s pick for Nov/Dec and we always love a good winter/Christmas read at that time of year! I have picked it the past few years and am running out of ideas!! Thanks 🙂

  • Shannon September 25, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I just read The Glass Castle. I loved it! It sounds a little like the book Educated, I’ll have to read that one next. Also, The War that Saved my lIfe and The War I finally won have been my very favorites this month!!

  • Sharon September 25, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I’m currently reading “The Last Thing I Told You,” a psychological thriller, and it’s so good! I’ve just finally gotten into borrowing books from library and using them Libby or cloud app and getting to read them for free!!! Love this… it’s making me read faster too, bc I only can borrow for 14 days I think (maybe 21?). Anyway, I am loving this book so far!! LOVED Educated too. And you still must read “A Homemade Life” if you haven’t yet. It’s a delightful food memoir with some recipes too!! Great for foodies! 🙂 Happy fall!

  • Shea Kitzman September 25, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t know if you have read any of Fredrik Backman’s books but they are all SO good and SO out of the ordinary. I loved My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, A Man Called Ove, Bear Town, and am just starting on Us Against You. If anyone needs a good book recommendation I always tell them to read anything by him, you will devour them in a day or two and will think about them for a long time!

  • Kasey Nelson September 25, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I second Edenbrooke , for a old fashioned romance . It is one of my favorites .

  • Julie September 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Because you mentioned page numbers on the kindle…do you happen to know if they correspond to the book? I’m contemplating getting a kindle for when I’m waiting at appointments, traveling, etc, but I really truly prefer to read actual books. Do you find you can go back and forth between books and kindle easily? Thanks for your book review-I always look forward to them and find something good to read!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 26, 2018 at 5:15 am

      I don’t think that they do! On your Kindle, you can change the font size, so it depends on how big or small your font is to how long your Kindle book is.

  • Elizabeth S September 25, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    I have sticky notes all over my bulletin board of books that you and your readers suggest…so many books not enough time 🙂 I have on my counter waiting to read “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and “Daughters of the Night Sky” that you might find worth reading…I also just read a autobiography “Trials of the Earth” The astonishing first-person account of Mississippi pioneer woman struggling to survive, protect her family and make a home in the early American SouthNear the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866 – c.1936) began recording her experiences in the backwoods of the Mississippi Delta. If she went through life with a smile…I certainly can. The book is written in her own words and is not the most polished piece of literary work but it is inspiring, uplifting, and at times a little sad.

  • Heather O. September 25, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I went to add “How to Walk Away” to my goodereads “want to read list” and saw I have another Katherine Center book already there! “Happiness for Beginners” was recommended to me by a close friend who’s book recommendations are always spot. on.

    Another recommendation, is “Beartown” and more importantly its sequel “Us Against You”. Truthfully, I don’t know if you’ll love them (I love all your book recommendations though so I’m hopeful!). They’re heavy but truly fantastic books. Full disclosure, I haven’t finished Us Against You yet but it is even better than its predecessor so far!

  • Taylor September 25, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I LOVED How to Walk Away too! I want to look into her other books as well… how have I never heard of her before now??

  • Laura September 25, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Yay for book review day!!! I am so happy you loved Educated and How to Walk Away because I did too. I read How to Walk Away this month and was surprised by how much I loved it. It felt like talking to a friend. Ive got a couple more of her books waiting on the hold shelf at the library. I read the Husband Hour which was good. The Immortalist which I don’t really recommend, x-rated and tough to read the first quarter of the book. I was glad I finished it because it got much better but just hard subject matter to read in the beginning, almost quit it which I never do. Beneath A Scarlett Sky was a great book this month too. I really recommend this one. Its 500 pages but reads so easy that I never noticed, its based off a true story. I read All Your Perfects which I also liked, it is a little x-rated for those care and I think it could definitely be tough for people with fertility problems to read. Im reading By Invitation Only right now, a Dorthea Benton Frank book, also good. Thank you for sharing your reviews with us and for all of the readers that comment with recommendations – most of the books I read come from this blog! Now for a tough decision – do I wait to read Where the Crawdads Sing from the library (I’m number 10 in line!!) or do I just buy it 🙂

  • Kim September 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I just finished reading Tending Rose by Lisa Wingate. She also wrote Before we were yours, Tending Roses was wonderful. It makes you think about the things that are really important in life. I highly recommend it!

  • Amy September 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    The Rock, The Road and The Rabbi by Kathie Lee Gifford. I I just finished it and loved it!

  • Sheila DeSpirito September 25, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    The Alice Network. My favorite for the year.

  • Eileen September 25, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    I love Book Review Day. I get some of my best suggestion from you and the comments! I loved both Educated and How To Walk Away was one of my favorites this year! Have you ever read any Jodi Picoult books? My favorites are Nineteen Minutes (an older book but very fitting with what’s going on with school shootings), My Sister’s Keeper, Small Great Things, and Handle With Care. The chapters go back and forth being told by different characters, so each book gives you everyone’s perspective. She’s coming out with a new book in October too. I’m also excited to get my hands on Elin Hildrebrand, Nicholas Sparks, and Liane Moriarty’s new books. Have you ever thought about doing a Book Review blog link-up? That would be fun!

  • Mary Jane McNeill September 25, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    You MUST put “Where the Crawdads Sing” on your sticky note!! Delia is from Thomasville, GA (my hometown), and she was one of my sister’s best friends in high school. This is her first novel and it is incredible!! After she graduated from UGA, she moved to the African wilderness with her (then) husband and wrote “Cry of the Kalahari” along with a couple of other books (non-fiction). She said she experienced such loneliness there and wanted to convey that loneliness in “Crawdads”. It will keep you reading until the VERY LAST PAGE!!!

  • Lori Jones September 25, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Shay, have you read Reese Witherspoon’s book Whiskey In A Teacup? It’s basically about things she’s learned in life, a few recipes & lots of laughs. I LOVED it, mostly because it made me smile a lot…it’s a HAPPY book! I highly recommend!

  • Melissa parsons September 25, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Have you read the Hate U Give? Our entire book club loved it and it’s about to be a movie….also Behold the Dreamers!

    • Jayne September 29, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Melissa, I second your recommendation of The Hate U Give. So compelling!

  • Janet September 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for another great list of books. Mary Kay Andrews….read any and all of them. There is at least one group that is a series. So just make sure you are reading it in order.

  • Abby V September 25, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Shay! First time commenter, long time reader. I am currently reading an amazing book that I wanted to tell you about. It is called ‘Magpie Murders’ and it is by the author Anthony Horowitz. It is about an author who has written this book (also entitled ‘Magpie Murders’), and his editor is reading the manuscript for the first time. The first half of the book is the manuscript she is reading, and is about unexpected deaths/murders in a small English town. There are very interesting characters involved and thrilling secrets. Would definitely recommend this for a fall murder mystery read. It is on the longer side (around 400 pages), but I can’t put it down!

  • Suzanne September 25, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Love your book reviews, you make my “sticky notes” every month! The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams would be a good one to add to your list.

  • Christina L September 25, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Shay! I just finished the 4th book in Elin Hilderbrand’s “Winter” series. Do you happen to know if there will be a 5th book or any sort of spinoff? I was so sad when I finished I want everyone’s stories to continue:-)



    • Mix and Match Mama September 26, 2018 at 5:12 am

      I don’t think there’s a fifth one. Aren’t those so good?!

  • Kristi September 26, 2018 at 6:06 am

    The Alice Network is excellent. I also enjoyed Dreams of Falling by Karen White.

  • Jill September 26, 2018 at 6:48 am

    I am a first time reader of your book lists. I saw your fall book list on another post and it got my interest since I am into all things fall (pumpkin spice, anyone?). Anyways, so far I’ve read When Life Gives You Lululemons and Class Mom. I am in line to get Crazy Rich Asians and Now That You Mention It is on hold at the library. I went on a tangent and I checked out The Devil Wears Prada. I want to read the second book next. Thanks for introducing me to chick lit. My life will never be the same. 🙂

  • Rachel L Harvey September 26, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I don’t ever leave book suggestions, but I’ve got a couple this month after reading a few good ones in September! No Way Back by Andrew Gross and The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain! Both so good!

  • Gail Schoen September 26, 2018 at 9:10 am

    You may have already read it, but the Glass Castle is another memoir about tenacity that just blew me away. Could not stop thinking about it after I finished. Now I just need to watch the movie!

  • Holly September 26, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Ok, I’m a little late to the party on this one, so it’s possible you’ve already read it (but I don’t remember seeing it on any of your book reviews)… But if you haven’t read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas it should absolutely go on your list! It’s quite a bit heavier than your (and my) typical fare, but it is about SUCH an important topic that is a big part of our culture right now. The author does such a fantastic job of putting you inside the mind and experience of the main character. It’s absolutely Rated R (for language and violence), but it truly is real life – so to me that makes it worth it. (Also, the movie based on this book is coming out later this fall, so it’s the perfect time to read it.)

  • Martha September 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Have you heard of Kate Morton? She writes novels with stories that go back and forth between two different time periods with the modern character trying to piece together something that happened in the past. Perhaps one of my favourite authors! Start with The Secret Keeper which refers back to war-time London (my favourite setting.) Also agree with the Maeve Binchy recommendation, I particularly liked Firefly Summer. I recently used Imitate Their Faith for my bible study book – more tenacious women for you!

  • LeAnn September 26, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Have you read The Hate U Give?

  • Kris September 26, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned Hannah Anderson’s books! They are more meatier, but amazing! Humble is my favorite but a new one is coming out.

  • Mother of 3 September 26, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve read quite a few of Mary Kay Andrew’s book but I haven’t yet read that one. I’ll have to add them to my list. Pinned.

  • Heather September 27, 2018 at 10:47 am

    I am looking forward to the recommendations – have you read “A Man Called Ove” – great book. It has a similar feel to Eleanor Oliphant

  • Jamie September 28, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Three books I’ve read in the last week: “A secret history of witches” (PERFECT for Halloween/fall. It follows a family line of “witches/Romani” women. The old ways are passed from mother to daughter and each uses her gifts differently over history.
    “The book of Essie” follows a girl who is on a reality tv show of a super rigid Christian Family.
    And “The Alice Network” which is a WWI book about female spies. It flips between WWI and post WWII following two women searching for two people.

  • Tamra September 28, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Since you loved this Mary Kay Andrews book, you have to read Save the Date! I have literally read/listened to it about 5 times. It is so good and one of my favorites! Also The Weekenders is a good one by her!!

  • Rebecca September 29, 2018 at 12:48 am

    We seem to have similar taste in books. Try Cathy Lamb. She’s my favorite author. Interesting characters.

  • Kristina Briggeman September 29, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Have you read any of Lisa See’s books? I’ve read a few and really enjoyed them all. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is one of my favorite books. I just finished “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane”; it’s an adoption story and I think you’d really like it. She’s a fantastic writer and her character development is always so good.

  • Kori L. Chambers September 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan – an incredible true story (with some embellishments) about a young boy in World War II Italy. The story has stuck with me since I put the book down 3 months ago. Talk about tenacity – the main character is tenacious and wise but also still a teenager with teenage experiences. Incredible read!

  • Regan September 30, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    If you loved Educated and The Great Alone, you should read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. So good!

  • Lois Jenison October 14, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Have you read Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers??? So good!