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The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

Posted by on 8:00 am in Book Club Fiction, Pamela's Recs | 4 comments

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

The Hopefuls Lately, I’ve been thinking about whether or not we can ever be truly objective when reviewing a book. Of course, we can recognize excellent writing, a devastating plot, or how complex the characters are. But when it comes to really loving a book, I find that it’s always because the book rings true about something I wasn’t sure we were allowed to talk about. That’s what I loved so much about Jennifer Close’s new book, The Hopefuls, a wonderful slice of life novel about being newly married and living in a city that wasn’t your...

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Posted by on 8:00 am in Book Recommendations, Jess's Recs, Literary Fiction | 6 comments

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry This is the story of an “almost eight-year-old” girl named Elsa and her best friend: her grandmother. Elsa and her grandmother share the bond of being different, and her grandmother creates a wonderful fantasy world for Elsa to escape to when needed. When Elsa’s grandmother dies, Elsa is left with her grandmother’s stories, both real and imaginary. Through a series of letters that Elsa’s grandmother left behind and asked Elsa to deliver, we discover the growing connection between the real world...

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Life, Incorporated by Halley Bock

Posted by on 8:00 am in Hallie's Recs, Non-Fiction | 2 comments

Life, Incorporated by Halley Bock

Life, Incorporated “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu My book recommendation is a little different than what you normally see here but I think everyone can gain some valuable insight from what author Halley Bock has to say in her recently published book, Life, Incorporated. Halley (pronounced like my own name, rhymes with Sally) had been a high-level executive for the majority of her career. She led an emerging media company that went through an IPO, then led a leadership development and...

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A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Posted by on 8:00 am in Katie's Recs, Literary Fiction | 3 comments

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World Immortalized in Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World, in which she crawls across a field toward her family’s Maine farmhouse, Christina Olson lived a quiet, private life. She was hampered and eventually crippled by a degenerative muscular disease, but insisted on living independently (with the help of her brother, Alvaro) for as long as she could. Christina Baker Kline delves into Christina’s story – her razor-sharp mind, her stubborn family, her fierce pride, the degenerative disease that eventually stole her...

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This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Posted by on 8:00 am in Literary Fiction, Stacey's Recs | 2 comments

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel I read Laurie Frankel’s This Is How it Always Is without knowing anything about the story. I absolutely love it when this happens. Somehow books are always better in my mind when I have no expectations. I would love for readers to approach this story in the same way so I am going to do my best to review this book without giving away too much. This Is How it Always Is is a family story. A love story. A story of secrets. And a fairy tale. As the story opens we fall immediately in love with Penn and...

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Posted by on 8:00 am in Memoir, Nina's Recs | 13 comments

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, written by, none other than Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is the kind of book most readers could complete in one sitting. Instead, I only allowed myself a few pages a day. I enjoyed Rosenthal’s voice and world-view so much that I didn’t want it to end. I began reading Rosenthal’s unusual memoir weeks before her New York Times Modern Love essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” went viral. In that piece, Rosenthal, 51, revealed she was battling ovarian cancer. I...

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Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Posted by on 8:00 am in Memoir, Non-Fiction, Pamela's Recs | 2 comments

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen I’ve only seen Bruce Springsteen live, in concert once, during the 1988 Amnesty Internatonal Human Rights Now! Tour. Four friends and I took a three-hour bus ride into Philadelphia on September 19th and climbed the crumbling steps of JFK Stadium to the nosebleed section. But the seats didn’t matter. All you needed that night were your ears and your heart. Tracy Chapman lifted us up and then crushed us, Peter Gabriel raised our fists to Biko, and Joan Baez surprised us all simply by being there. But all of them...

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A Country Between by Stephanie Saldana

Posted by on 8:00 am in Lindsey's Recs, Memoir | 4 comments

A Country Between by Stephanie Saldana

A Country Between Stephanie Saldana’s A COUNTRY BETWEEN is a love letter to her first son, Joseph, and a chronicle of the years she and her growing family spent living on Nablus Road in Jerusalem. Nablus Road, the “seam” between Palestinian Jerusalem and Israeli Jerusalem, is full of characters and personality, and Saldana beautifully evokes their years living there. She describes a “one-street village with thousands of visitors who pass[ed] through daily,” and brings this cast to life.  In one street, there is the world. Nablus Road is even...

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Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Posted by on 8:00 am in Jessica F's Recs, Literary Fiction | 1 comment

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett A bottle of gin. A gun. A tablet of Benadryl. A book. In Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, these everyday objects take on resonant meanings for the blended family that is born in the wake of an adulterous kiss at a gin-and-orange soaked party. Fix and Beverley Keating are picture perfect, for a few pages, at least. He is a police detective in LA and she is a beautiful housewife. They are raising two children in the 1960’s when, out of nowhere, a handsome lawyer avoiding his own family decides to pay his respects and...

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Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Posted by on 8:00 am in Book Club Fiction, Historical Fiction, Jennifer's Recs | 1 comment

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly I am always on the lookout for a great new book – whether it’s at the bookstore, through a Goodreads email, or when friends talk about books they love. This time around for my recommendation here at GNB, I have gone back and forth on several books, especially one that is an important recent book, which I read, but honestly did not love. For weeks I have scoured shelves and lists to find a book to recommend, and then I landed on Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, a first-time author. I bought it and devoured all...

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