August 2019 Book Review

It’s BOOK DAY!!!!
I always get so darn excited when we talk about BOOKS!!
Okay, this month, I tried to read a wider variety for you ladies.  I love the happy go lucky books so much, but I know many of you like a more mixed bag, so that’s what August was…a very mixed bag.  I read a beach book, the cutest fictional book about “mom life”, an “on the edge of your seat” thriller book, and a very graphic/hard to read/makes you think biography. I have all the thoughts on all four books, so let’s get this review started.  First up…
I mean…the cover screams “read me on vacation” doesn’t it?!
Many of you ladies recommended this one to me because a) I love Mary Kay Andrews books b) They’re always easy to read chick-lit books c) They’re happy. So, I read it…BUT can we chat about something?  I love Mary Kay Andrews books but GEEZ THEY ARE LONG.  Typically, when I open my Kindle and start a new book, it says something like “this book should take you 4½ hours to read”, but when you open one of her books, it always says “this book should take you 8 hours to read”.  Why are they so long?  They’re good!  Please hear me, THEY ARE GOOD, but they’re very long.  Am I crazy?  Does anyone else think this?  Okay…back to the book.  Want to know what I liked most about this novel?  It was suspenseful!  I mean, it wasn’t a “on the edge of your seat thriller”, but instead of just being a little beach read, it was a little beach read with a murder, a mystery and some very complicated characters.  Even though the book was long, it held my attention the whole time because I had to figure out “who done it?”.  If you’re a Mary Kay Andrews fan, read it.  If you’re on the fence about her, still read it because it is a little meatier than her other books.  A woman moves back to her hometown only to uncover some secrets about a murder case her attorney dad was working on?  Don’t you want to know more about that?  I’m sure you do!
Friends!  You’ve Been Volunteered was one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time!  It was hilarious and PERFECT for this time of year!  This is the sequel to her novel last year (which I also read and loved!) Class Mom.  This is a fictional tale about a mom in the Kansas City area who is once again roped into not only being the class mom for her elementary aged son, but the crossing guard too.  Friends, it was such a fun read!  I hope Laurie Gelman continues to write these books because as a mama to kids in elementary school (and a class mom myself!) I laughed out loud and totally related to so many aspects of this novel.  From mom life to wife life to exhausted life to friend life to relationships we have with other parents at school, the teachers, the students…all of it was spot on for me.  I did not want this book to end.  I found it warm, charming, funny and very relatable.  Two BIG thumbs up from me!  This book will absolutely get you in the back to school spirit!
The Other Woman was gooooooood!
Erika kept telling me to read this one (as she was reading it).  She knew before it was over that it was one I would also enjoy, and guess what?  When I went to put it on my Kindle, it was already on there because so many of YOU also thought I’d enjoy it and recommended it earlier this summer for me.  This is a fictional story about a couple in London who…as they get closer to marriage…another woman comes into the picture in a big way.  This is a thriller.  This is one where you might read between your fingers as your hand is covering your eyes (anyone else besides me do that?!).  You will be on the edge of your seat the whole time.  I loved it!!  I read a fair share of suspenseful books and sometimes, they run together.  This one…will stand out to me.  (Side note: I think you could potentially label this one a very strong PG13 or R depending on who’s rating it.)
I was scrolling through Instagram one day when I saw Kelly Ripa post a pic of her reading this book.  Her caption said “This book is breathtaking.  A must read.  Read the prologue.  Read the q and a with the author at the end.  Read from cover to cover.” .  I was intrigued.  I went to Amazon and read the reviews.  I was even more intrigued.  I bought the book and read it this month…and I seriously doubt I will ever forget it.  Three Women was completely different than any book I’ve ever read before.  Please hear me when I say this…THIS BOOK IS RATED R.  This book is a biography.  The author starts and finishes the book with her own personal story and then in the middle, covers the lives of three women she spent years interviewing here in the US.  None of the women knew each other…they were all “normal” American women with stories to be told.  This book is about rape, physical abuse, adultery, manipulation, control, labels, emotional abuse, the effects our parents have on us, eating disorders, suicide, sexual abuse and so much more.  It’s gritty, it’s complex, it’s honest, it’s shocking and it’s all true.  This book really made me sit back and think about not only these women but other people in my life that perhaps act out because of certain things that have happened to them.  It also made me sit and think about all of the people I know who are suffering in silence…I will probably never know the depth and scope of their hurt.  This book is just…whoa…graphic.  I honestly don’t know if you should read this book or not.  If you or someone you love have suffered from one of the things I listed above, it might hit too close to home?  Or it might bring healing and validation to your feelings and actions?  I don’t know.  I don’t think you’ll read this book though and not be shocked.  It’s one page after another of raw honesty from these three women (and the author).  If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your take on it!
That’s it!
Those four books were what I read in August!  What did you read this month??? 
If you’re interested in what my kids are reading, Kensington is still working her way through the Percy Jackson series and Smith is making his way through the John Grisham books for kids.
Okay, spill it!  What are you reading now?  What are you thinking I should read this fall??  Comment, comment, comment!  I just love book day!!
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.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2018 (all 61 of them), click here.
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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog August 29, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Thanks for your book recommendations as always! I actually want to read all four of these now! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Eileen August 29, 2019 at 4:52 am

    This month I read We Came Here To Forget, The UnHoneymooners, Things You Save In a Fire, The Friend Zone, You’ve Been Volunteered, and The Flatshare. I loved all of them!

    • Emily O. August 29, 2019 at 5:38 am

      I also loved Thing You Save in a Fire! I have read three of Katherine Center’s books now!

      • Tammy August 29, 2019 at 7:37 pm

        Yes! Love all her books and I just finished Things You Save.., so good!

    • Carly August 29, 2019 at 7:33 am

      WHAT A FUN LIST, Eileen!! I’ve read and loved most of these, and the others are on my Library hold list right now!!

  • Erika Slaughter August 29, 2019 at 4:58 am

    I finished You’ve Been Volunteered and LOVED IT!! And you know I agree with Mary Kay Andrews books being too long!

  • Kristen Thompson August 29, 2019 at 5:00 am

    I can’t wait to add some of these to my list!! The Last Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio was my favorite read of the
    Month! It had a little mystery, a little love story and Paris both in present day and WWII-what’s not to love?!

  • Sally Hepworth August 29, 2019 at 5:06 am

    What a great list! I am reading Three Women at the moment!

    • Lara August 29, 2019 at 6:51 am

      I just finished your book The Mother-In-Law last night! So good!

      • Rachel August 29, 2019 at 1:03 pm

        I just finished it last night, too! Great read Sally Hepworth!

        • Danielle Mcdermott August 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm

          Just read paper ghosts ! Good book meh ending!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 29, 2019 at 7:50 am

      I feel like you’ll love it!

  • Mother of 3 August 29, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Right now I’m reading the Perfect Child. It’s pretty good and each time I think I know what’s going to happen another plot twist gets thrown in.

  • Sarah Parsons August 29, 2019 at 5:22 am

    I loved You’ve Been Volunteered and Subset Beach! The Other Woman is sitting on my nightstand right now. I can’t remember if you’ve read any Lisa Jewell. I read Watching You this summer and loved it. It was suspenseful without giving me nightmares. Have a great day!

  • Renee August 29, 2019 at 5:36 am

    I recently read A Place for Us and now I think everyone should read it. The book is a fictional story about a Muslim family living in California after the parents move from India. I was fascinated by their family drama and I loved learning about their culture. Read the description and reviews on Amazon.

  • Dana Hennesey August 29, 2019 at 5:41 am

    A great list! I highly recommend The Nickel Boys and The Most Fun We’ve Ever Had.

    • Emily August 29, 2019 at 7:23 am

      Just finished The Nickel Boys – SO good!

    • Julie Psurny August 29, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      Shay have you read anything by Wally Lamb? He’s one of my all-time favorites. My favorite of his is She’s Come Undone and it’s amazing how convincingly he writes from a female point of view. Another one of his novels, I Know this Much is True, is currently being made into a miniseries that will air on HBO. Both incredible novels. I highly recommend!

  • Paige M. August 29, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Back in July, when you read a Christina Lauren book, a few of your readers recommended their book Love & Other Words so I read that one & LOVED it! I also just read Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker & loved it too!

  • Jill August 29, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Could you please share the link to your last year’s fall reading list? I’ve tried searching for it and couldn’t find it. I am seriously in the mood for snuggling up in my slippers and a warm blanket, drinking a PSL, and reading a good fallish book!

  • Rory August 29, 2019 at 5:59 am

    I read Three Women too, and I think…I loved it…? It was painful, heartbreaking even, but the writing was incredible, and it felt like I was reading something important. Even though I’m so different on paper from these women, I could find so much to relate to in each one of their stories. The thing I found most interesting was the format itself. Even though it was a biography, I felt it read more like a novel. I had to keep reminding myself that these were REAL women who had REALLY been though these trials.

  • Rory August 29, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Oh! and I would also recommend the novel Normal People by Sally Rooney. Set in Ireland, easy to read, and it’ll leave a big impact!

    • Kelly Brooks August 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Things You Save in a Fire, The Friend Zone (take a risk on this one!!!), The Unhoneymooners, Searching for Sylvia Lee, and Evvie Drake Starts Over were all AMAZING reads I sped through this summer!!!

  • Christina Staggs August 29, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Loading up my kindle ASAP! Like you, I’ve been putting off The Other Women, for some reason but I’m going to download it right now. I just finished “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone”….I HIGHLY recommend! I might actually read it again, and I never do that! Also one that I read early in the year and keep recommending is “The Au Pair” by Emily Rous. Can’t wait for your September list!

    • Greta August 29, 2019 at 11:42 am

      I LOVED “Maybe you should talk to someone”! One of a kind!

  • Narci August 29, 2019 at 6:19 am

    What a fantastic group of books this month! I can’t wait to add them to my list!

  • Amy August 29, 2019 at 6:21 am

    I read The Window in the Bay by Debbie Macomber…it was really good about two best friends going through new seasons in their life as they become empty nesters after being single moms. It was a bit different then her normal books but was funny, sad, loving and so relatable as a mom transitioning too and when the focus can return back on your needs. I also read 2 books by a new author for me and who is quickly becoming a favorite. The author is Catherine Center and I read What You Save in a fire and How to Walk Away. Her books are so rich and easy reads that grab you right away. Her characters are so well developed that you feel like you have none them forever. The heroine in her stories is funny, quirky, sarcastic at times but so loveable. There were times I laughed out loud when reading through both stories and other moments I had tears in my eyes. I have shared both books with 4 different friends this month and they all were as spellbound as I was. You just get captivated and don’t want to put them down

  • Michelle August 29, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I was torn on how I felt while reading Three Women- which is probably a sign of a good book. There is a podcast, Bad on Paper, that just did an incredible book review of it. I enjoyed what they had to say about it and actually made me like the book more than I thought I did.

  • Susie Harrold August 29, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Things You Save in a Fire DEFINITELY!

  • Dena August 29, 2019 at 6:44 am

    I always look forward to Book Review!! You’ve Been Volunteered was such a fun read! I loved her passive aggressive emails to the parents. Right now I’m reading Life And Other Inconveniences by Kristin Higgins. It’s her latest book. So far, so good. Next up: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood which I have no idea about but it had a “Reese’s Book Club” sticker on it so hoping for a good one! I’m also going to add Three Women and The Other Woman to my list. Thanks!

    • Kristen Thompson August 29, 2019 at 11:56 am

      I loved life and other inconveniences too! It really made you think!!

  • JL August 29, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I just finished The Silent Patient, an absolute must read!!!!!

  • Kathleen August 29, 2019 at 6:57 am

    I just started listening to Three Women and just got through the Authors portion. I’ll get myself prepared for it to be graphic the whole way through. I just finished The Silent Patient and that was a really good and fast read.

    • Mara August 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Yes! I just finished the Silent Patient. It was really good!

  • Elspeth August 29, 2019 at 6:58 am

    After hearing both yours and Erika’s review of The Other Woman, I definitely want to give it a read. Love all your book reviews!

  • Tanya August 29, 2019 at 7:25 am

    My favorite post of the month! I can’t wait to read You’ve Been Volunteered, since I loved Class Mom. My favorite book last month was Ask Again, Yes. It has gotten a lot of hype and is definitely a “heavy” literary fiction book. But I absolutely loved it, and the story will stick with me for quite awhile. Thanks for all the reviews. You can see my Media Monday book review post here –> Tanya – The Other Side of the Road

  • Ina August 29, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Have you read Kisses from Katie? It’s one book I will never forget as long as I am living.

  • Kimbrough August 29, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Is that THE Sally Hepworth leaving you a comment?? 😍😍

  • Meredith August 29, 2019 at 7:40 am

    All four of those books are currently on my list at the library to read. (I’m weird/nerdy and love holding a book in my hand. I just can’t read on my kindle.). Currently reading “The Perfect Couple” by Elin Hilderbrand – a recommendation from you I’m fairly certain…and I’m loving it!

  • Amber Vance August 29, 2019 at 7:41 am

    OH MY! I just finished You’ve Been Volunteered and it was the perfect book to get you back into the school spirit! Haha!! And I have The Other Woman to read next! Thanks for the awesome recommendations!

  • Taylor August 29, 2019 at 7:47 am

    I’m pretty sure I gave Sunset Beach 3 stars because there was so much added “fluff” in the book. In my opinion the author could have totally cut the book length in half. My suggestion for this month is Miracle Creek! It’s a court room drama that has many twists and turns & the ending will shock you!
    I also think I’m going straight to the library to get Three Women after your review.

  • Carly Webb August 29, 2019 at 7:50 am

    I have You’ve Been Volunteered on my nightstand! I’m going to read it next now!!

    My recs from August are: City of Girls, A Nearly Normal Family and Surfside Sisters.

  • Melinda Bridge August 29, 2019 at 7:52 am

    I finished Outfox by Sandra Brown and Undercurrents by Nora Roberts. Both are really good and hard to put down. I also read Window in the Bay.

  • Jen August 29, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I loved Daisy Jones & The Six so much that I’m working my way through all of the Taylor Jenkins Reid books now! This month I finished Maybe in Another Life, Forever Interrupted, After I Do, and One True Loves – all great, though One True Loves was my favorite of the four. Also read The Last House Guest (also good!). Currently reading The Proposal and The House on Mango Street (my 8th grade son is reading it in his Language Arts class and I thought I’d read along!). Also going to re-read the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy in anticipation of movie #2 coming out in a few months! Loved that series!

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams August 29, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Ohh some good ones to put on my list! I just finished The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters about Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her sister Lee. It was fascinating to read more about their bond and how they went through all the glamour and tragedy together!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Melissa Terry August 29, 2019 at 8:02 am

    LOVED “You’ve Been Volunteered”! It’s all the things I want to say, but can’t haha! Thanks for the recommendations-this is always one of my favorite posts.

  • Leslie S August 29, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Two I finished this month were: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (had never read it and wanted to read a classic!) and Beneath the Scarlet Sun (this is “historical fiction ” as the story is true, but the author added dialogue and details based upon interviews of the people involved. It was so good and changed my perspective of wartime!).

    • LisaD August 29, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Absolutely read Beneath A Scarlet Sky, so good! I read The Girl With Seven Names in 2 days, I could not put it down. It is a true story about a North Korean teen who defects to China and then to South Korea. I also read a book that I keep pondering called Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. It is about persecuted Christians in China. And on the lighter side, Surfside Sisters. It was a fun quick read. And finally, I have just started Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly.

  • Katie August 29, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I honestly love it when a good book is super long! Then you’re in the story longer 🙂 I rarely buy short books as I feel they’re not a good way to spend my money if they’re short!

  • Katie August 29, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Shay! I love your book review days, but I have to tell you–you read too dang fast! I can’t ever keep up. I’m a library girl so anytime you have a book I’d like to read, I add it to my library “hold” list. I just looked today and I have 18 books on there just from this year…geesh! Luckily they let me keep the list and when I’m ready for my next book I can request it and they’ll have it ready for me. Thank you for always getting me excited about my next book! While I don’t read as many as you do throughout the year, I definitely read a lot more thanks to all your recommendations! 🙂

    • Lisa August 30, 2019 at 10:28 am

      same! my hold list is getting out of control. i love when they take a while and it’s a fun little surprise when i finally get to read a book that everyone has raved about.

  • Sheaffer Sims August 29, 2019 at 8:23 am

    When are we meeting for lunch next?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 29, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Bahahaha! Next Thursday 😉 .

    • Vickie August 29, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      I search for her responses each month! Ha!

  • Christina August 29, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Neither are new but Before we were Yours and The Wife Between is were incredible. I still think of the characters from the first book and the second surprised me multiple times and up to the last page.

  • Staci Patyrak August 29, 2019 at 8:27 am

    OMG! I immediately bought Class Mom and LOVED it when you wrote about that one. I almost jumped out of my seat when I saw there was another book. Just uploaded You’ve Been Volunteered on Audible and cannot wait to start listening!

  • Mer August 29, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Just want to let you know how much I appreciate you doing these book reviews! My list of books to read is a mile long, and I’m just getting to some of the books you recommended LAST year at this time, but I’m never disappointed and I’ve discovered authors I absolutely love and had never heard of before your email. So, thank you!!

  • Ashley August 29, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I’ve been trying to read Three Women, but I feel like it’s a book I have to really get INTO and those are hard to read for me when i’m not confined in a plane seat!!

  • Amanda August 29, 2019 at 8:44 am

    If You Want to Make God Laugh is the most beautiful book I’ve read not only this year, but in a long time. It will be my top pick for 2019. You must check it out. Katherine Center’s new book, Things You Save in a Fire is also excellent. Both of these books are so good!!

  • Keisha Dawson August 29, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I read My Oxford Year, City of Girls, and The Lager Queen of Minnesota. I really think you would enjoy The Lager Queen of Minnesota. It is a book about family, hard work, and beer, but it was so wonderful! Not at all what I was expecting. The characters were so lovable!

  • Jessica August 29, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Do you have to read Class Mom before You’ve Been Volunteered or do they stand alone?

  • Julia August 29, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Best book I’ve read lately is The Turn of the Key. It’s a thriller and I think you’d love it! I see a lot of people recommending Things You Save in a Fire and, while I enjoyed it, I thought it was a little too fluffy for me. But it was a quick enjoyable read!

  • Morgan August 29, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered — I can’t get over the geographical errors in the those books. Being from Kansas City, it’s hard to overlook them. Did the author do any research on Kansas City whatsoever? It’s evident that she did not. Unfortunately, that made it very hard for me to enjoy her books. Especially the information regarding the Kansas City Roller Warriors. Super inaccurate. I am on the executive board of the company and I have invited her to visit one of our games, so she can have accurate information regarding us.
    I love Mary Kay Andrews books. They are on my summer reads shelf. I do have this book, but I haven’t read it yet.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 29, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      Do you know who the author is? She’s a New Yorker married to the Exec Producer of Live with Kelly and Ryan. I don’t know if she’s from KC or not, but she certainly doesn’t live there. At the end though she does say in her acknowledgements something about thanking a KC friend for helping. That would probably annoy me too if I read a book about Dallas that wasn’t accurate.

  • Anna Kate August 29, 2019 at 9:09 am

    This month I read In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Reckless Oath We Made, The Turn of a Key, The Whisper Man, and now I’m reading The Goldfinch. I’ve just started it, but I can already tell The Goldfinch is going to be a new favorite of mine!

  • Susan Crivella August 29, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Just read “After the end” it was SO good!

  • Khirsten August 29, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I highly recommend Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Unbelievable book that has stayed with me.

  • Rhonda August 29, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I just finished Class Mom last week and oh my goodness, I loved it! Going to order You’ve Been Volunteered right away. I wish Jen Dixon was a real person that so we could be friends! As someone who did 12 consecutive years of elementary school, it’s perfect. I felt the same as you about Three Women. I read it because of all the BUZZ and it really made me sad, and a little depressed at the end. It’s so heavy. I can’t imagine listening to these women’s stories for eight years without grabbing all of them and screaming, “Come with me! We’re going to get you some counseling and you can sleep in my guest room and we’ll get you out of this mess!” Tough. I’m reading Star Crossed by Minnie Darke and it’s all about a young newspaper reporter that alters the daily horoscope because she’s trying to get her love interest (who reads the horoscope religiously) to realize she’s for him! Of course this affects lots of other readers too. I’m not a horoscope/astrology person, but I still think it’s very cute. Very light and fun!

  • Yvonne August 29, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Hi Shay, thank you for always providing us with a great book review! You inspired my niece and I to do our own little book club, we live in different states so it’s a great way to stay connected and strengthen our bond even more! I really loved your recommendation of The things we cannot say, soooo good! Can you please check out The Friend Zone, it is the first novel from Abby Jimenez who has won numerous Food Network Competitions. The book has over 700 5 star reviews on Amazon, it is a combo of chick lit with serious topics thrown in. I would say rated pg13 to R.
    Thanks friend, appreciate you!!!

  • Michelle Parsons August 29, 2019 at 11:10 am

    I know you loved How To Walk Away by Katherine Center as much as I did – I picked up another one of her books the other day, “The Lost Husband” and so far I love it! Highly recommend so far!

  • Mary August 29, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I still say you should read Denise Hunter books. Start with her Nantucket series. They are really good!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      A Nantucket series?! I need to read those!!

  • Brittany August 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    You’ve got to read Searching for Sylvie Lee! Love your book recommendations!

  • Georgia August 29, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    I, too, ALWAYS look forward to Book Review Month and have a long list of books on hold at the library. I LOVED The Other Woman as well and gave it five stars on Goodreads!

  • Michelle August 29, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    I read most of the books you recommend. Thank you for reviewing books on your blog. I am always excited when it is book review day!!!

  • Teresa Holman August 29, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    I have a question about your ratings. Is the PG 13 because of sexual stuff? Because if novels get too graphic, I have set a rule for myself that I have to quit reading the book.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      It depends! I would say that typically the books I read aren’t violent, so my ratings are made more off of language and sexual content.

  • Kelly August 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    I think you would really enjoy Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten by Lady Pamela Hicks. It is a collection of stories from her life as cousin of Prince Philip and Lady in waiting to the Queen. Her stories are fascinating and very entertaining. And she has had a front row seat to so much history.

  • Kelsee August 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    I also enjoyed Sunset Beach & You’ve Been Volunteered too! And… The Other Woman and Three Women are in my TBR pile. This month I read:

    1. Where the Forest Meets the Stars: SOOO GOOD! Definitely a must read.
    2. Tweet Cute: Cute book but more YA I think.
    3. The Birthday Girl: This one was so so for me.
    4. The Two Lila Bennetts: I really enjoyed this one!
    5. Christmas Shopaholic: Per usual, I loved this addition to the Shopaholic series. So cute.

  • Patty Anderson August 29, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    When Crickets Cry and Long Way Gone by Charles Martin…one of my new favorite authors. How is it I’m only just discovering him?

  • Andrea Juhasz August 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    I read : Eye for revenge From Cheryl Bradshaw. Very good read, sort of thriller. I liked it. 😉

  • Miranda August 29, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    You would love The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

  • Kendall August 29, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    The Girl He Used To Know! So so good!

  • Kathy August 29, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    I typically don’t do audio books but got The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. I was obsessed and even went on the treadmill so I could continue to listen. I love when the author(s) do the narrating. Her strength and optimism right up to the end was inspirational.

    I read and enjoyed The Things You Save in a Fire.
    I found a new author (to me), Allen Eakins and enjoyed his first book, The Life We Bury. I’m currently reading the sequel, The Shadows We Hide.

    Due to your recommendations, I’ve read and lived A Hundred Summers, Summer Wives, One Day in December and We Were the Lucky Ones. Thanks, Shay and your followers for great recommendations.

  • Kelly Graf August 29, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Even if you stop doing anything else, please never never stop the books reviews! They keep my reading list full!! Love them.

  • Kim Marcolivio August 29, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    So I just bought myself a kindle and my first read was The Wife Between Us. I think you actually recommended! Next up is Handmaid’s Tale! I save all of your lists!

  • Kate August 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    “Before We Were Yours” I’ve read a lot of books but this was my first historical fiction book and wow was it good! If I describe it it won’t do it justice. But I read it in two days! It’s about kids and a corrupt adoption system that was happening in the south back in the 40’s, and just wow that it truly happened kept me turning each page! Heartbreaking that it was true but a beautiful story!!

  • LisaD August 29, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Absolutely read Beneath A Scarlet Sky, so good! I read The Girl With Seven Names in 2 days, I could not put it down. It is a true story about a North Korean teen who defects to China and then to South Korea. I also read a book that I keep pondering called Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. It is about persecuted Christians in China. And on the lighter side, Surfside Sisters. It was a fun quick read. And finally, I have just started Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 30, 2019 at 5:29 am

      The Girl with Seven Names is a book I will never forget! A must read!

  • Jennibell August 29, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    I just picked up Daisy and the Six yesterday and am neglecting housework b/c of it!!!! I really like Harlan Cobin and just finished his latest, Run Away. He never disappoints. Mary Kay Andrews….the only time I “read” her books is by listening – they are long, but entertaining, and it’s super-easy (for me) t multitask and listen to her stuff. My kids (and us!) really like the Theodore Boone books – when we have long car trips we listen to them. We started when the first was released and now they are 20-15 years old and i’ve downloaded the latest one to listen together on our next trip :). We did that with Percy Jackson also. If your family is into audiobooks AT ALL, the Harry Potter series is phenomenal!!! The actor who reads it is amazing….sometimes we would bring the CDs in the house (I’m dating us now!) and just sit in the living room and listen together. I would get so into them that I would read ahead in the book and then enjoy driving and listening to them. My kids have asked if we can listen to them again someday 🙂
    Thank you for all your book reviews – you keep me reading!!

  • Leslie August 29, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    You would love A Stranger On The Beach by Michele Campbell. So good!

  • Kim August 29, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Shay! I just finished reading The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore and it was really cute, you would get a kick out of one of the characters who writes a food blog but with a twist. I also read The Tattooist of Auschwitz and it was amazing!! I’m currently reading The Accidental Beauty Queen and loving it. Looks like I need to pick me up a few Katherine Center books, I see her name popping up frequently in the comments. Happy Reading! 😊

  • Nicole August 29, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    You’re always my go-to source for book recommendations! Thank you!
    A different book I read this month was “Save me the Plums” by Ruth Reichl. It’s an autobiography of her time as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. It was worthwhile, not heavy, and just different than the usual beach-read. 😊

  • Cathy August 29, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    I resisted Elin Hilderbrand for a long time because I’m not really a ‘beach read’ kind of person but The Matchmaker sounded intriguing so I checked it out on Libby and I loved it! What a great surprise! I’ve since read The Identicals and The Castaways and really enjoyed them too. So thanks for recommending her. It looks like I’ll have a lot more to chose from in the future.

  • Sara Darveaux August 29, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Perhaps one of the most impactful books I read all summer was Only Child. The main character is incredible and the book will stay with you forever.
    I am pretty stingy with my star ratings on Goodreads and this is my first 5 star read of the year!

  • Sara August 30, 2019 at 1:41 am

    I love book review days! I always get so many good suggestions from you and the other comments. I also want to recommend a book for your kids. I think someone in a previous book review mentioned it & I’m always trying to get my kids to read more so I checked it out right away. It’s called “The Wild Robot” and my 5th grader & I took turns reading chapters to each other every night (the chapters are very short) and we both just loved it. He would ask if he could go to bed a little earlier so we could read more.

  • Susan M. August 30, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Right now I am reading Where the Crawdads Sing and loving it. My favorite book I finished so far this summer is Watching You by Lisa Jewell. It is an interesting read.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 30, 2019 at 7:41 am


    • Kristine August 31, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Also Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain was SO GOOD!!!

  • Lisa August 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Thank you for the disclaimer on Three Women. I just finished Before we Were Yours and felt there should have been a disclaimer on there too. I read only the introduction and was calling my sister and aunt making sure i had all the facts surrounding my moms first baby who was born still born while my dad was deployed. It was almost identical to the intro to that book that it shook me to the core. I had to confirm that someone in our family was present other than my mom. I did eventually get through the book and thought it was so well written and a story that needed to be told but wow did it take me a while to get started.

    Just like the rest reading, i open my library account each month after your reviews and add all your recommendations to my hold lists.

  • Amy August 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I just finished The Sound of Gravel last night and LOVED it. A friend told me that there is a book by her cousin, the daughter of the uncle who killed her father, that is supposed to be from her experience after the murder and on the run from the FBI. It’s called The Polygamist’s Daughter and I’m going to read that or Girls Burn Brighter next.

  • Patty Grimm August 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Right before we left on our New England/Canadian cruise booked by your wonderful Claire, I went on the library site and reserved two books from your June suggestions, Summer of 69 and The Things We Cannot Say. While they didn’t come in before vacation, I got them after and have read them both. I loved Summer of 69 and will definitely check out more of her books! I just now finished The Things We Cannot Say and all I can say is WOW. What an amazing story! It’s rainy and cool here and I have been sitting on my couch, covered up with a blanket reading all morning.

    On our cruise I read two Peter Heller books, The River and Celine. Both so good! At this point I can’t remember if I got those recommendations from you or somewhere else! If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend! Thanks for your monthly reviews. I usually read it, and switch right over to my library website to reserve or check out one, two or all of your recommendations!

    Our cruise was amazing and Claire was a delight to work with! We have our 35th wedding anniversary next year and are thinking about what we want. A Greek Isles cruise is high on the list so we will definitely be in touch with your for that!

  • KRISTINE August 31, 2019 at 8:57 am

    I would highly recommend Unwinding of the Miracle. Currently reading The Woman in the Window. So far so good! I reserved Three Women at the library after seeing Abby Wambach’s recommendation. Now I’m really intrigued!

  • Lauren moore August 31, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Hey! Have you read Mom Truths by Cat and Nat? I’m sure you’ve heard about them…2 moms from Canada who talk about the truths of motherhood. They keep it real and hilarious at the same time! It is so relatable! You’ll laugh, cry, and agree with them the whole time!

  • Jana September 2, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I always love your book recommendations they are always right on! My favorite books this month which were all so so good were: The Huntress by Kate Quinn, Evie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and A Woman is about Man by Etaf Rum 😊

  • Belinda September 3, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    I had picked up The Other Woman to read at the beach this past weekend when I finished my current book (The Wedding Party) but still haven’t started it. Now I definitely want to read it after seeing your review!

  • Dawn K September 4, 2019 at 9:19 am

    I love all your books!! Currently I am struggling my way through The Goldfinch, have you read it? It is good, but long, and dark. Yikes! I am craving a light, fun read! Thanks for these book reviews – always my favorite (along with “a day in the life” of course)

    • Mix and Match Mama September 4, 2019 at 9:26 am

      That’s one that I started and then stopped. I could not get motivated to read it, so I quit.

  • Kate September 4, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I tried to read Three Women- and thought it was so depressing I stopped!

  • Katherine September 7, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    I have not read this book yet, so I cannot say for certain that I recommend it… BUT I purchased it and am about to start reading! It is called “Meet Your Baker” by Ellie Alexander – the first in the Bakeshop series. It caught my eye because I saw it described somewhere as Gilmore Girls meets mystery! Seems pretty lighthearted and fun! There are also some recipes in the books. 🙂

  • Sara September 8, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I just finished The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. It’s historical fiction. Gosh it was good, I couldn’t put it down!

  • Jess Wade September 9, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I was on a beach vacation last week and had read your book review before I left. I had already started another book (The Goldfinch), but I couldn’t quit thinking about Three Women. After the long plane ride, I stopped The Goldfinch and read Three Women. Not a light beach read, but I’m so glad I read it. It was definitely raw and gritty, but it made me think about others and what they’re going through. Thank you for the review because it was really good. I have switched back to The Goldfinch and it’s good, but it’s a long one! Who knows when I’ll finish!

  • Sara September 11, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I comment on this post when I finish a book I love! Haha. Just finished A Nearly Normal Family by MT Edvardsson. I couldn’t put it down. It was a family drama, a murder mystery, and a legal thriller all wrapped up together!

  • Dianna September 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Have you read The Lost Man by Jane Harper or Café by the Sea by Jenny Colgan. Both really good books. The first one takes place in Australia and the second on a sweet Scottish Island. My full book review is here with some of your favorites and other random ones I liked-

  • Katy G September 17, 2019 at 7:22 am

    I just read The Perfect Mother and it is a MUST read!! Seriously read it in a day because it was so suspenseful!