October 2019 Book Review

This was ME THIS MONTH!!!
Seriously, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed reading as much as I have this October.  Thanks to so many of your suggestions, I read and loved FIVE books!  I was like a crazy person staying up super late reading as much as I could.  When was the last time I saw midnight?!  Um, never.  I saw it this month though finishing one book.  I COULD NOT PUT THEM DOWN!  It was just a great month of reading!!  So, settle in, friends.  You are going to want to read all of these books 🙂 .
Oh friends, this is one of my favorite books OF THE YEAR!!  I loved every single page of American Royals!!  The entire concept just made me happy…it’s a story about the present day United States had we had a royal family.  I just found it incredibly clever and refreshing!  The main characters in the book are the current members of the royal family (king, queen, two princesses and a prince).  It’s about their personal lives and how they bleed into “the crown”, how they function as royalty in D.C. (where the palace is).  It’s all very The Royal We…but a la American (had our forefathers emulated the British system).  It is totally PG, funny, witty, smart, fascinating…just all around FANTASTIC.  That being said, I did scream OUT LOUD when I hit the “next page” button on my Kindle and realized the book was over.  I NEEDED ONE MORE CHAPTER!  (I would have taken 10 more chapters, but I really needed at least one more to tie up the loose ends, finish things off, make me happy 😉 ) .  I just loved the whole concept of this book and after reading so many “chick lit” books this year, the originality of this one really got my attention.  I hope there is a sequel.  This one is fun, friends!
The number one recommended book last month from you guys was Becoming by Michelle Obama, and I loved it!!
Last month, I asked for biography/memoir suggestions as I love those, but haven’t read one in a while, and you ladies spoke out!  I had so many suggestions, but this one was by far the most recommended.  I have lots of thoughts about this book.  First, when you read on a Kindle, passages can be underlined and when a lot of people underline the same passage, it will tell you (like 4 people underlined this statement or 100 people underlined this sentence), I have NEVER read a book with more underlined passages than this one.  There were just so many profound and poignant thoughts sprinkled throughout this book.  She starts at the beginning and takes us on the journey of her life through present day.  I thought she was a remarkable storyteller and I loved learning more about how she grew up, where she was raised, the expectations her parents placed on her (and the ones she placed on herself).  Obama was so thoughtfully detailed throughout the entire memoir.  I found the book very inspiring and encouraging as it touched on everything from her childhood to her struggles at school at work as a woman trying to get pregnant, as a mom and as someone with doubts and self-confidence issues.  I think if you ever feel like you’re the only one in the room who ___ (fill in the blank…is a different race, ethnicity, has a disability, speaks another language, is more educated/less educated, physically different, emotionally different, older, younger…WHATEVER) you will relate to this book.  I also think that this book and the next one on my list had the similar theme of “how to thrive and not just survive when you’re married to someone who is so dynamic and self-assured”.  She spoke so much about how her husband was so sure of himself and that it only made her own doubts more prominent…and how she rose above that.  This book also touched on finding yourself which I really loved.  Sometimes, you can be doing exactly what you set out to do (and doing it well!!), and then all of a sudden realize that you don’t love where you are no matter how hard you worked/fought to get there…and it’s okay to stop and go a different direction. So, clearly, I enjoyed this one!  Thank you for the rec!  Speaking of which…
…Actress Demi Moore’s new memoir, Inside Out, was the second most suggested book from you to me last month, and I was OBSESSED.  Me oh my oh…I could not put this book down.  I cannot remember a time when I have been as sucked into a book as much as I was during this one.  It is raw.  It is real.  It is unfiltered.  It is the perfect read in my opinion.  I loved it!  In many ways, this book complemented Obama’s book.  They’re both about women growing up and working through complicated childhoods and then absolutely flourishing once they hit “their stride”, but still they both struggled with self-worth/self-esteem issues that were highlighted by living with very big and confident personalities (their husbands).  Moore talks about everything from being raped to regrets she has, to her marriages to her divorces to her miscarriage and drug abuse.  Once I started, I just couldn’t put this down.  I loved how she took you behind the scenes of all of her movies and gave you glimpses of the experiences but then also brought you into her safe zone, her house in Idaho where she raised her girls.  Even if you’re not a “Demi Moore fan”, I think you’ll find this whole look into the life of a movie star very interesting.  This book does cover content that I would say makes it rated R.
Okay.  Deep breaths.  Here I go.
We all know that I love Elin Hilderband.  I am the self-proclaimed president of her fan club. I. LOVE. HER.
BUT, I didn’t love her new winter series that debuted last October and told you so.  The first book in her series, Winter in Paradise, came out this time last year and was for me, a big disappointment.  I didn’t like the setting, I didn’t like the main characters, and I didn’t care about the people that the main characters were mourning.  That was her first book to not take place in Nantucket, and for me, she just didn’t make St. John (where this three part winter series takes place) very likable.  (And I’ve been to St. John!  I know it’s very likable!).  SO, I wasn’t sure I would read this second book in this series, What Happens in Paradise,  but when it came out this month, I felt like a bad Elin Hilderbrand Fan Club Prez if I didn’t, so I did.  Now, I still didn’t like the same things I mentioned above, BUT I did enjoy this book much more than I did the first one.  I went into the book knowing that I didn’t like the setting, the main characters or the people they were mourning, but I did appreciate where the story went this time and how the characters developed.  Is it my favorite Hilderband book?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Do I think it has anything to do with winter/Christmas as the titles suggest?  NO WAY.  Do I think you should read it?  Probably not unless you’ve read all of her other books (read the Winter Street series!), but did I read it quickly and enjoy it? Yes.  Do I want to read the third and final book next October?  Yes.
Does that make sense?
Probably not.
For this novel about two families coming together in St. John after the deaths of their loved ones, you really do need to read them all in order, so make sure you start with Winter in Paradise and then read this one.  This was okay…my bar was set low, but I’m glad I read it.  Hilderband has a way with fiction that just speaks right to me.  They’re more complicated and unpredictable than so many I read, but always happy, upbeat and feel good.  I love her novels so much!  Other than this series and the Winter Street series (which I love!), they’re all stand alone novels.
My fifth and final book this month was another rec from you guys…Ask Again, Yes.  Now, I have absolutely no idea why it’s titled that, BUT I loved it.  This book read very much like a Kristin Hannah book.  It’s not chick lit…it’s heavy, complicated, messy, emotional, dramatic, draining and absolutely lovely.  This novel is about two families and their relationship with each other and themselves over a 30ish year time period.  This book tackles the complications and ramifications of mental illnesses and alcoholism.  It’s about pain, heartache and forgiveness.  This book is not a “light, feel good read”, but instead it’s thought provoking.  I never sat it down without thinking about it after.  If you like those messy, emotionally charged books and movies like The Family Stone, you will like this one.  It’s just complicated.  I think this is also one of the best books I’ve read this year.  It was outstanding.
Whew!  That’s it!  Five books that you should read this November!  I am getting a list together of holiday books for you and will share it sometime soon.  In the meantime, if you have a holiday book idea for me, please share!!  I would also love any other biography/memoir suggestions.
What did you read this month?  I want to know!!  Please comment and share!!
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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  • Reply Rosa October 28, 2019 at 4:44 am

    I read American Royals too! Loved it till the end, I was like you I felt like it needed a little more to finish it off! Makes me hope maybe a sequel will come!

    • Reply Stacia October 28, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Sequel comes out next year!

  • Reply Sarah October 28, 2019 at 4:59 am

    Looking forward to reading a few of these. Favorite post of the month!

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog October 28, 2019 at 5:13 am

    You are crazy inspirational for finishing five books on top of family commitments and blog managing this month! I can’t even seem to finish one! Thanks for the recommendations again, Shay 💕✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • Reply Kelly October 28, 2019 at 7:19 am

      I was excited for your book review day to recommend you read “The Dearly Beloved.” It was a Jenna Bush Hager Book Club pick a few months back and Jenna said it was one of her favorite books ever. It is now one of mine too. A beautiful novel about faith, ministry, relationships (all kinds). I think you, too, will find it absolutely beautiful.

  • Reply Mia October 28, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Loved Ask Again, Yes.

    Would highly recommend Maybe You should Talk Ro Someone. Humorous, insightful and reflective as it tells the story of a therapist and her clients.

    Also love The Great Believers. Incredible and detailed storytelling.

    Love the book reviews and adding new ones to my list!

    • Reply Rach October 28, 2019 at 7:27 am

      Loved Maybe you should talk to Someone! I’ll check out your other recommendation!

      • Reply Meg October 28, 2019 at 10:42 am

        Came here to recommend maybe you should talk to someone as well!

      • Reply Mia October 30, 2019 at 5:41 am

        The Great Believers is written as two parallel stories that intertwine — 1980s Chicago during the AIDS epidemic and present day Paris. Lots of book awards as it is beautifully written but very captivating storyline.

        We need a book club for Maybe You Should Talk to someone! Still thinking of the patient stories weeks later.

  • Reply Molly Christy October 28, 2019 at 6:15 am

    American Royals will have a sequel next year! She’s working on it right now!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 28, 2019 at 6:16 am

      I’m so happy to hear this!!! I need MORE!!

      • Reply Kelsey October 28, 2019 at 6:36 am

        A Woman Is No Man. I’m 2/3 of the way though and literally cannot put this book down. Ask Again, Yes and The Guest Book are next!

        • Reply Kelly October 28, 2019 at 7:24 am

          I second “A Woman is no Man.” I don’t think I’ve had a book that stuck with me for so long after being finished. It is absolutely gut wrenching but so so beautiful.

        • Reply Julie October 28, 2019 at 11:26 am

          Love A Woman is No Man! I can’t stop thinking about the characters.

      • Reply Haven October 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm

        Yes, more American Royals will be splendid, please! Also, on a different theme (where suspending one’s disbelief would be imprudent), just finished the riveting book by Elizabeth Johnston, “Not On My Watch”…so good, a must-read!!

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims October 28, 2019 at 6:16 am

    You know I’m not going to read any of these. But let’s go to lunch and you can tell me more about Michelle and Demi.

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 28, 2019 at 6:31 am

      You will be FASCINATED! Also, let’s get dip.

    • Reply Chane October 28, 2019 at 11:24 am

      I only read the reviews for your comments! Keep them coming, Sheaffer!

  • Reply Kristen October 28, 2019 at 6:26 am

    I read all these books in the past month too! Great books. “Ask again yes”is mentioned in the end of the book 😉 I was like aha when I finally came to realize why they used the title.

    • Reply Jennifer Maynard October 28, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I was going to say the same thing. I didn’t want to say too much though because then it will give away what happens with the characters.

  • Reply Erika Slaughter October 28, 2019 at 6:26 am

    I need you to take a break. My must read list is getting too long!!

  • Reply Alexis deZayas October 28, 2019 at 6:29 am

    I’m currently reading Every Note Played by Lisa Genova and am really enjoying it!

    • Reply Erin McMorris October 28, 2019 at 7:08 pm

      Yes!!! Loved this and all of Lisa Geneva’s books.

  • Reply Tammy October 28, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I’d thought about reading American Royals but it’s listed under Young Adult and that was a turn off for me. Did you find it a bit “immature” for lack of a better word?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 28, 2019 at 6:43 am

      I did not. I thought it was very much like The Royal We. YA or not, I loved it!

    • Reply Beth Miller October 28, 2019 at 7:24 am

      I thought it was a little immature! I thought The Royal We was SO MUCH better and should not be compared!

      • Reply Alaina Stokes October 28, 2019 at 8:33 am

        AGREED! Nothing can compare to the Royal We. I went into it thinking it would be similar and it only set me up for more disappointment!

  • Reply Dena October 28, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Always look forward to book review and will add these to my ever-growing list! Elin should start her next book in St. John but bring the characters back to Nantucket. She can title it “Coming Home”. Or maybe she writes about characters from her past novels and what they’re up to now. That would be a book for the the true fan that has read them all!

  • Reply Lynn W October 28, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Yeah for the book review. I am going on a week long trip next week and was searching through your previous reviews for books to load into my kindle. Thank you for doing this! Your recommendations/reviews are spot on. I rarely get to read right now since I am still working. I have no self-control. Once I start a book I have a hard time putting it down even to the point of staying up in the wee hours before having to get up the next day for work. So ready to retire in a few years so I can read at my hearts content.

  • Reply Charly October 28, 2019 at 6:47 am

    I just bought the Winter Series! You have me all excited to read it!!

  • Reply Kristy October 28, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Red, white and royal blue is so good too and similar if you liked the Royal we and American Royals

    • Reply Romi October 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      I second this! I adored RW&RB

  • Reply Julianne October 28, 2019 at 6:51 am

    As I do after each of your monthly book reviews, off to my library website/Amazon to get ordering these books. You save me so much time trying to find good reads – so THANK YOU! It’s like finding a wine taster/reviewer who has a similar palate to your own and knowing you can just trust their recommendations!

    • Reply Taylor R October 28, 2019 at 7:41 am


    • Reply Paula October 28, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Me too, girlfriend! I’m building up a Go To list For when I retire!

    • Reply Sara October 28, 2019 at 10:21 am

      I’m the same way! I open my library app as soon as I see Shay’s monthly book review and request all the books! I love having something new to read without the usual duds that I inevitably pick on my own. 😂

    • Reply Jennibell October 28, 2019 at 10:17 pm


  • Reply votemom October 28, 2019 at 6:59 am

    the forgotten garden by kate morton – read it!

    • Reply Martha October 28, 2019 at 11:44 am

      I agree – anything by Kate Morton! Shay, I just started listening to a podcast I think you might like. I enjoy listening to the people talk about what they’re reading as much as adding new titles to my to-read list. https://modernmrsdarcy.com/what-should-i-read-next/

  • Reply Ani Martinez October 28, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Love your book review posts! I always find something to read that I end up loving. My favorites this month were How to Walk Away and The Things We Cannot Say (I sobbed – truly sobbed – through the ending). Can’t wait for the holiday picks!

  • Reply Melissa Terry October 28, 2019 at 7:04 am

    I felt exactly the same way about American Royals and Becoming as you did. Both good and unique in their own way and I’ve heard American Royals is getting a sequel-HOORAY!

  • Reply Elspeth October 28, 2019 at 7:06 am

    American Royals sounds so good. I can’t wait to read it. As always, I love your book reviews, they are some of my favorite posts. Can’t wait to hear your December picks!

  • Reply Rebecca October 28, 2019 at 7:12 am

    I saw just yesterday that the Royal We sequel, The Heir Affair, is coming out in June 2020!! I’m so excited!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 28, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Really???? I cannot wait!!

    • Reply Laura October 29, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      I read a couple of great books this month. First I read Cilkas Journey which is by the same author who wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Beautiful story with heavy content but such a great story. Another book I recommend is Evvie Drake Starts Over. A sweet romantic book with a little depth to it. Loved that it was an easy fun read after Cilkas Journey.

  • Reply Brianna October 28, 2019 at 7:16 am

    I think you’d really like The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans! It was actually made into a Hallmark movie too.

  • Reply Beth Miller October 28, 2019 at 7:23 am

    I read most of these books this past month too! I listened to Becoming, and it was amazing hearing her tell her story! We don’t agree on lots of things, but Michelle Obama is an amazing woman. I was disappointed in American Royals. I thought it was so cheesy and all the forbidden love stories of teenagers was a little silly to me. However, I’ll read the sequel to see what happens! Ask Again, Yes was a great book that really helps you understand that you don’t know what’s going on with everyone behind closed doors. It was titled that because at the end she asks him to ask her to marry him again and she would still say yes!

  • Reply Holly D October 28, 2019 at 7:25 am

    I am in the middle of reading Ask Again, Yes and am LOVING it! Happy to see your review… I’m clearing my calendar today and am going to spend the rest of the day reading! LOL

  • Reply Sarah October 28, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Can’t wait to start reading some of your recommendations! For Christmas books – I’m halfway through Christmas in Paris and am LOVING it! Just as adorable as Christmas in London.

  • Reply Hillary October 28, 2019 at 7:29 am

    I’m currently reading The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal and am really enjoying it. If you like family sagas and food/drink memoirs, he is a great author to get into. He only has one other book out , Kitchens of the Great Midwest, but that was also fantastic.

  • Reply JK October 28, 2019 at 7:49 am

    I am hoping you are going to do a Christmas book list soon! I didn’t write down all those titles on IG last week!

  • Reply Lindsay October 28, 2019 at 7:51 am

    The Scattering (it’s the second book in the Outliers series)

  • Reply Sheila October 28, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Just finished ‘Summer of 69’ by Elin Hilderbrand last night and was wondering what to read next! Yay, me, when I saw your post!

  • Reply Jenn October 28, 2019 at 7:56 am

    My favorite post! My tbr pile is growing. Thank you so much for always giving the best recommendations.

  • Reply Lori October 28, 2019 at 7:57 am

    I just finished Evvie Drake Starts Over. A great read and another of Jenna Bush Hager’s recommendations. It definitely fits in the same vein as many of your other reads . . . I highly recommend.

    • Reply Jeanelle October 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      I loved “Evvie Drake” too – I loved that the characters were very human and imperfect.

  • Reply Kelsey October 28, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Do you read all of the books simultaneously each month, or do you read one start to finish before picking up the next one? You’re impressive either way girl!!! Can’t wait to check these ones out!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 28, 2019 at 9:07 am

      Unless I’m reading a faith book, I read them all one at a time. Sometimes, I read books about faith with my quiet time each morning, so they go throughout the month.

  • Reply Gail Morgan October 28, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Since you loved The Tatooist of Auschwitz you must read Cilka’s Journey. It is the sequels to Tatooist following what happened to Cilka after the rescue from Auschwitz…..I could not put it down!

  • Reply MelanieL October 28, 2019 at 8:11 am

    I’m reading Becoming right now, so good! It’s worth a mention that I read 0 books prior to 2019 and I’m on my 14th for the year! I set aside a certain amount of time each day and that works for me to be able to keep chugging along, even though it’s very slowly. 🙂

  • Reply JL October 28, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I highly recommend A Woman Is No Man. I could not put it down and it has stuck with me. A must read!

  • Reply Elizabeth McGrath October 28, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Haven’t read this one yet, but All That You Leave Behind is a memoir next up on my list that I’ve heard good things about. Also, I’ll be reading Elton John’s book next month!!

  • Reply Candace October 28, 2019 at 8:18 am

    I have to put in a plug again for My Life From Scratch by Gisene Bullock-Prado. It’s really a good one!

    • Reply Patty Anderson October 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Yes, such a good book which left me thinking about it for a long time after I finished it. Loved My Life From Scratch!

  • Reply Sara October 28, 2019 at 8:22 am

    I read Ask Again, Yes this month, too. And I am still thinking about it. What a roller coaster!

  • Reply Kim October 28, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Yay book review day!!! I’m so looking forward to reading both memoirs you reviewed and I’m curious to know if you’re a fan of Demi Moore’s movies? Two of my all time favorite movies are About Last Night and Indecent Proposal. If you haven’t seen them you must!!! I can’t wait to read her book! I’m currently reading The Unhoneymooners and I like it but the concept is so similar to The Accidental Beauty Queen and apparently I’ve read them too close together bc I’m struggling with that. Does that ever happen to you since you read so much?? Thank you for another great list!! Happy Reading!! 😊

    • Reply Stefany October 28, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      Kim, how funny…I have not meet another person who loved About Last Night…I thought I was the only one. 😉 I even have the soundtrack in my car and still listen to it occasionally. I even told my husband several times, if we are ever on a game show (cuz you know that can happen, ha ha) and they ask what your wife’s favorite movie is tell them “About Last Night”…😂

      • Reply Kim October 28, 2019 at 6:46 pm

        Oh my goodness! I’m old enough that I actually saw it in the theater when it came out and lost count how many times I’ve seen it since. The soundtrack must be amazing, I’ll have to look it up. They did a remake of the movie but it just wasn’t the same. My husband and I still quote the movie all the time. I have an old VHS copy lol! Good luck when that game show rolls around! 😉

  • Reply Kristin October 28, 2019 at 8:24 am

    You have to read The Dollhouse if you haven’t already!! Phenomenal!

  • Reply Tanya October 28, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I can’t wait to read American Royals. Thanks for all the recommendations. I’ve been in a slight reading slump, so these will be great additions to my list. I also loved Ask, Again Yes.

  • Reply Julie October 28, 2019 at 8:32 am

    I just read about a new book “All This Could be Yours/Jami Attenberg” that is getting a lot of attention. Elin Hilderbrand raved about it! They are saying it’s Big Little Lies in a New Orleans setting so I’m intrigued. So that is top on my list! “The Dutch House” and “The World that we Knew” are also on my list though I’m finishing “Night Road” right now (SOB) so I may have to read some lighter books before I start either of those! The World That we Knew is about WW2 so… Love your book reviews and can’t wait to hear your holiday recommendations! As a side note, Trader Joe’s just put out their warm vanilla body butter and it’s my favorite all year! You have to try! 🙂

  • Reply Lori C October 28, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I love your book reviews! I get so many new book ideas; thank you! You should definitely read The Storyteller’s Secret. It is a wonderful story set in India. I was able to borrow it free with my prime membership. I also recommend The Friend Zone as a good chick lit book.

  • Reply Elizabeth October 28, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Haven’t read this one yet, but All That You Leave Behind is a memoir next up on my list that I’ve heard good things about. Also, I’ll be reading Elton John’s book next month!!

  • Reply Wendy October 28, 2019 at 8:38 am

    I actually thought I was the Elin Hildebrand self proclaimed fan club prez…but maybe just in Missouri? Lol
    Crazy though, I COMPLETELY agree with you, like eerily so…you wrote my exact thoughts on this series, I wasn’t terribly excited to read the second book, but I did like it a little better than the first, and, of course, I will read the third because I love her, but I do hope she comes back to Nantucket!

  • Reply AMY October 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

    I’m not a consistent reader.. I used to be but then I became a mom. All that to say, I recently read Losing Leah Holloway by Lisa Regan. She has a lot of books out and many are in a series. I’ve read several but this particular book had all of the elements of a great mystery… strong characters, well developed secondary story line and the gamut of emotions. Great read.

  • Reply Meg October 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Rena’s Promise is a truly unforgettable memoir about sisters at Auschwitz.

  • Reply DENISE October 28, 2019 at 9:02 am

    I loved Winter Paradise and could not wait for the sequel. When I finished reading it I was like, “Really?” I felt like she just needed to write a book but gave no thought to the story line. Will I read the next one? Probably. LOL

  • Reply Kelly October 28, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Every book review I have to pull up my library Acct. to request all the books I haven’t read yet, thanks for keeping me busy!! Love all your recs.

  • Reply Kristin October 28, 2019 at 9:06 am

    I just finished Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me on Audible. It’s a memoir by Adrienne Brodeur and it was fascinating. I also listened to Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View” by Ramin Setoodeh. That was full of juicy scoop behind the scenes of The View! I haven’t watched The View in years, but it was still really interesting.
    The new Christina Lauren book, Twice in a Blue Moon was as awesome as I expected it to be, and I really enjoyed Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin, which kind of snuck up on me. Super witty writing and really enjoyable characters with a very light hearted mystery regarding paternity. Lulu’s Cafe by T.I. Lowe is another great read. It starts off with a rough storyline involving domestic violence, but is really about the evolution of the main character and the people that help her heal and thrive with a sweet romance mixed in there, too. 🙂

  • Reply Shawna Beucler October 28, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Have you read The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger?AMAZING! A super entertaining thriller!
    XO, Shawna @ Lunchbox Babies

  • Reply Lauren October 28, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Always love your book suggestions Shay! One book I just finished that I loved was “Next Year in Havana”. I just picked up “When We Left Cuba” which is about a character from Next Year in Havana. Really interesting perspective on Cuba and the years ruled by Fidel. I think you’d enjoy them!

  • Reply Elizabeth Valdez October 28, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I felt the same exact way after I read American Royals!!!!!! I loved Michelle’s book, couldn’t put that one down either 🙂

  • Reply Eileen October 28, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Ask Again, Yes is one of my top three books so far for 2019. Reading Dearly Beloved now and Demi Moore and Julie Andrews are up after that!! I think 2019 has been a great year for reading in general but then I probably think that about every year!! Love your monthly reviews posts!!

  • Reply Tracy Robinson October 28, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much for your reviews. I look forward to them each month!! I am just finishing Before and After by Judy Christine and Lisa Wingate. It is a follow up to Before We Were Yours and includes true stories of people reconnecting who were affected by Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Since you read Before We Were Yours, you need to read this one too.

  • Reply Amanda October 28, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Yes on the last page of the American Royals it says the story continues in fall 2020. I need it to be sooner because it left in such a cliffhanger ending. I’m reading Shopaholic Christmas and it’s great. Nancy Thayer- Let it Snow is in my pile along with Finding Christmas, Christmas Town, The Christmas Tree Inn, and Christmas at Silver Falls. I have a stack ready to read for the Christmas season.

  • Reply Julie October 28, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Cant wait to get my hands on the royals book, I’ve heard nothing but good things!

  • Reply Peggy October 28, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Thank you so much for the book reviews! I keep a running list to check out from the library and request the ones not available. I highly recommend Conversations with Saint Bernard by Jim Kraus. It’s funny, sad, heartwarming and so much more!

  • Reply Taylor October 28, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I can’t remember if you read the Tattooist of Auschwitz but the authors next book Cilka’s Journey is out and it was amazing. Those two books will go down as my favorite books I’ve read this year.

  • Reply Stephanie October 28, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Heart of Miracles by Karen Henson Jones! Memoir, travel and Jesus. Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv69e3KCM1E

  • Reply Chelsea October 28, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I’m about halfway into “The Oysterville Sewing Circle” and I’m really liking it.

  • Reply Lindsay October 28, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I also read American Royals and Becoming this month!!!

  • Reply Annie October 28, 2019 at 10:22 am

    You would definitely enjoy Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. Also, Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah is so great! And it is being make into a Netflix series with Katherine Heigl. Another interesting memoir is From the Corner of the Oval, about a young girl in her twenties working in the White House and her relationships with people in the Obama administration.

  • Reply Kim October 28, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I look forward to your book reviews as I’m always looking for the next book to read. I’m able to find many of them at my local library. Either the physical book or the digital that I can read for free on my Kindle. If I bought all the books I read, I have no idea where I’d store them! I love books and already have a vast collection. Thanks again for the post.

  • Reply Elizabeth October 28, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I just finished Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Lauren Ezzo and I loved it!

    • Reply Natashajk October 28, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      Isn’t that by Glendy Vanderah? It’s soooo good! I highly recommend it.

      • Reply Elizabeth October 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm

        You are correct, Glendy Vanderah is the author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars.. I looked too quick when I checked Amazon for the author’s name. Lauren Ezzo is the narrator. Great debut novel! I look forward to future books by Vanderah!

  • Reply Addison October 28, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Love your book reviews! I just finished The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox and LOVED it! A little spooky, a little mystery… it was amazing! I’m about halfway through The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda and it’s so good!

  • Reply Cathy October 28, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Twice In a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren just came out and I loved it. It’s one of their best!

  • Reply Aubree Browning October 28, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Ok, I have started Becoming but not finished it. This review has me so excited to dive back in! I am most definitely married to a dynamic self-assured man and would love to read her perspective on how to rise above. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply Kelsee October 28, 2019 at 11:01 am

    American Royals and Ask Again, Yes are in my TBR pile. Also looks like I should put Demi Moore’s memoir on there too! I also had a big month for reading. I read:

    The Other Wife by Claire McGowan: Liked but did not love
    My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing: I could not put this one down. Wow, it was so good!
    A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell: Also loved this one! I would say its rated R, but highly recommend it.
    Last Couple Standing by Matthew Norman: Another 4 star read for me. I really loved this one! Would also consider this rated R.
    My Story by Elizabeth Smart: Per your recommendation, I finally read this one. What an incredible story of perseverance, faith and strength.

    Already can’t wait to see what you read next month 🙂
    Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer: I though this was such a cute, light Christmas read.

  • Reply Donna Cheatham October 28, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Great reviews, thank you. Beth Moore also has her “personal reflection series” they’re 90 days with—- 4 separate books., Jesus, David, John, Paul. I highly recommend, available on amazon. Also recommend the 3 books by Ron Hall & Denver Moore. First is Same kind of different as Me, also made into a movie. j.l.Wittericks My mother’s Secret, inspired by true story WW2

  • Reply Kristi October 28, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Read “The Lucky Few” by Heather Avis!! The story of her adopting three children, two of whom have Down Syndrome. You’ll feel like you’re listening to a friend the whole entire book. I couldn’t put it down.

  • Reply Jenna October 28, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Definitely going to be picking up the American Royals one!! Sounds like a nice fun read! I’m almost half way through Michelle’s ‘Becoming’ for whatever reason I just can get into it and sit and read big chunks at a time? Need to see a holiday book review for the season!!

  • Reply Michelle Harmon October 28, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Favorite post all month! I’m the girl that sat behind you at the purses event! 😊

  • Reply Aimee Feather October 28, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    You are missing out if you have not read any of Kelly Corrigan’s books. She is an amazing writer (and person!). Highly recommend all if her books.

  • Reply Shelley October 28, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    I read True Colors by Kristin Hannah this month and it was fabulous!!! Loved every single page! If you haven’t read it, read it!

  • Reply Mother of 3 October 28, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    I read What Happens in Paradise this month too and while I didn’t love it; I had dismal books I attempted to read this month so it probably made it to the top of my list as a favorite of the month by default. That said I did get a bit more into the storyline this time and can’t wait to see how she wraps all this up in the last book. I have been waiting for what seems like FOREVER for Becoming to come in at our library. I can’t wait to read that or Demi Moore’s book.

  • Reply Denise October 28, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Right now I’m reading “The Hypnotist’s Love Story” …. very good so far. She was able to hook me right from the beginning!

  • Reply Deana Lewis October 28, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    A biography I thoroughly enjoyed several years ago was “Home” by Julie Andrews. It came out in 2008 (I think) and ended with her on Broadway in America. She has (finally) released “Home Work” a memoir of her Hollywood years! I can’t wait to read it. She is so iconic and has had a very interesting life! As far as a Christmas rec, I highly recommend a sweet series by Robin Jones Gunn “Finding Father Christmas,” “Kissing Father Christmas”, and “Engaging Father Christmas”. The books are set in the UK. They have all been made into Hallmark Christmas movies (although set in the US) and are just sweet!

  • Reply Kristen Hardison October 28, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I’m reading “Royal Holiday” which is the latest by Jasmine Guillory (author of The Wedding Date and The Proposal). I really like it and it could count as a holiday book!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 29, 2019 at 4:56 am

      Is it part of that series or a stand alone book?

      • Reply Natashajk October 29, 2019 at 9:53 am

        I think they are all stand alone books although they feature some of the same characters. I think you could easily read them out of order.

  • Reply Jenna Miller October 28, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I think you’d like The Royal Secret by Lucinda Riley!

  • Reply Jessica Dupre October 28, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    As far as the book, “Ask Again, Yes”, I believe the title is pointing to her love for her husband despite their challenges and toward the end of the book it’s as if he’s asking her to marry him again, and her answer was and always will be yes. But that just might be my interpretation. 🙂

    You should try “What the Wind Knows” by Amy Harmon. Any of you Outlanders fans out there would enjoy it too. 🙂

    I LOVE my Goodreads app and would highly recommend anyone who enjoys reading to download it. I’m going to try to connect with you on it!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 29, 2019 at 4:56 am

      I think you’re right! I think I was so mentally spent at the end of the book that I wasn’t connecting the dots.

  • Reply Kristy Moore October 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Have you read the trilogy by Jojo Meyes? Me Before You, After You, Still Me? (The first book is a movie if you remember). So good! I’m on the third, and I swear they just keep getting better!

  • Reply Kate October 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    I’m saving a Holiday wish list – Christmas Shopaholic, Let it Snow, (Thayer) and What Happens in Paradise (but in agreement on it not being a very Holiday setting). Can’t wait to see what else is on your list!
    I loved Twice in a Blue Moon (could’ve gone for one more chapter!) and The Friend Zone this month!

  • Reply Mackenzie October 29, 2019 at 12:34 am

    Barbara Walter’s memoir is excellent. Not only was her life from early childhood on incredibly unique and interesting, she takes you behind the scenes of some of her biggest interviews and it’s like having a backstage pass to decades of history. I recommend!

  • Reply Amanda October 29, 2019 at 7:01 am

    The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez! Cant say enough good things! It had me hooked from page one! laughed out loud and then was crying!!!

  • Reply Katie October 29, 2019 at 7:10 am

    So you were asking for holiday books. I know you have read The Proposal and The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. I read her third book The Wedding Party this summer, also very good. Some of the same characters but focuses on two people. Anyways I just saw she has a new book Royal Holiday. I haven’t read it yet but the description sounds like it’s based at Christmas and in England!

    • Reply TG October 29, 2019 at 8:04 am

      Must reads:
      The Kitchen House
      When Breath Becomes Air
      The Glass Castle

  • Reply Becki October 29, 2019 at 7:11 am

    American Royals sounds quite amusing 🙂 I read Becoming earlier this month and LOVED it too!

  • Reply Lora October 29, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Have you read Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners? Same author as My Favorite Half-Night Stand.. Currently reading this and really enjoying it!

  • Reply Deb October 29, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Coming here to agree with many others who recommended “A Man is No Woman”. It’s been a long time since a book has made me think so much – All the emotions. A somewhat lighter read I also enjoyed was “Evvie Drake Starts Over” and if you are looking for a thriller – “The Whisper Man” and “Lock Every Door” are both so good!!

  • Reply Deb October 29, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Marisa de los Santos writes a good novel also!

  • Reply Jennifer October 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    I read Demi Moore’s book because I grew up in the Brat Pack era and I love them all. Based on that, I would recommend Rob Lowe’s Stories I Only Tell My Friends. He has two books out but the first was the better of the two.

  • Reply Dana October 30, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I read Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan this month and LOVED it!! I have actually read all of her booksand have loved each of them! She is such a great storyteller, funny, witty and real! I think you would love her books!! There is a little language sprinkled here and there, so beware, but not enough to take away from the greatness of her books! Can’t wait for the Christmas book list!!

  • Reply Hallye Terrell November 1, 2019 at 8:26 am

    You always have such great recommendations, Shay! I just finished The Flatshare (Beth O’Leary) and loved it. Two people share a one bedroom flat in London (work opposite schedules) and get to know each through post-it notes back and forth. It was quirky, fun and original. I came back to your post looking for my next read. Thanks for your reviews – they are my go-to!

  • Reply Cori November 5, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    So what IS your favorite Elin Hilderbrand book???

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