Amy Clark

Great Reads for Moms: September ’10 Edition

Welcome to this month’s gathering of great reads for moms! I tackled five great books this month that I think you guys will really enjoy! There is everything here from great chick-lit to a fifties throwback to a couple of modern-day thrillers. I hope that you will be able to check out a few of these on your next library visit!

Just as a reminder, I read many more  books than are just featured here, but try to feature the ones that are my absolute best picks of the month here. If you want to read more, please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! My username is momadvice and I am always happy to connect with people there too! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

I am traveling a lot over this next month for work and am looking forward to sharing some of the great reads that I encounter over those trips. Always the frugal girl, a library book is always tucked in my purse for those layovers and time spent on the plane. Even with the new fall television line-up and the busyness of a new school year, I still would much rather curl up on my couch with my favorite quilt and a great new read.  It is just what I need after a hectic day! Happy reading, everyone!

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

For photographer, Abby Mason, she loves to view life through the eye of her camera lens. One day as she is photographing her fiancee’s daughter on the beach, she is distracted for a moment by an animal that has been injured and washed up on the sand. As she turns her head for that one moment, the unthinkable happens and six year-old Emma seemingly disappears in thin air.

Michelle Richmond vividly captures those sheer moments of initial panic as Abby scours the beach for Emma, the call that she must make to Jake to let him know that Emma has disappeared, and the search for Emma as Jake and Abby become consumed by Emma and her disappearance.

While Emma’s father, Jake, is willing to go along with the police investigation and only what is considered police protocol, Abby, on the other hand, is living with the guilt of knowing that she is the one who lost Emma and is determined to bring their happy little family back together. She begins trying the unconventional routes of discovery like hypnotism and even putting herself in harm’s way to post Emma’s picture anywhere and everywhere she can over the course of that year of her disappearance.

When a clue finally comes through a hypnosis session, Abby travels to a foreign country to try to unearth where Emma may be and ultimately discover who could have kidnapped Emma. Surprising discoveries are made that will leave the reader guessing up to the final pages about who could have taken Emma and what the motives could have been to take her from a family that loves her.

It is a book that tugged at my heart as I read it, and the pacing is so slow at times in order to build up that anticipation and ache in your heart that makes you hang on to the last page to figure out what has happened to this little girl.

Fantastically written, beautifully paced, and a great gentle reminder of how life can change in an instant- this one is a must read!

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

something borrowed by emily giffin

Rachel & Darcy have been best friends their whole lives. Darcy is the beautiful one and is the friend that is always hogging the spotlight, while Rachel has always been content to be in Darcy’s shadow, concentrating on her studies in school. As Rachel is out celebrating her thirtieth birthday with Darcy, her fiancée Dex, and their other friends, she finds that she drinks a tad more than she normally would and finds herself in a predicament that changes the outcome of her life.

That night, when Dex graciously offers to see Rachel home, one thing leads to another and they find themselves having an affair that neither one of them bargained for. Writing it off as a one night stand, Rachel decides that she will try to forget that the encounter ever happened.

Thinking that Dex likely had too much to drink too, she is stunned when Dex admits that he has had feelings for Rachel for a long time.

As the two of them try to resist each other, Rachel is forced to complete the duties as the maid of honor to Darcy, and help her with the decisions for her wedding to Dex. Rachel is consumed with guilt while Darcy continues to be consumed with herself and is oblivious to what is happening.

Told from Rachel’s perspective, you begin to sympathize with Rachel and the challenges that she has had to live with to be friends with a person like Darcy. As she reflects on childhood incidents and the way that Darcy has made her feel, you can’t help but to sympathize for her and root for her to be with Dex.

The twist is such a good one at the end and while it is more of the chick-lit genre, this book is more about the friendships and the dynamics within a friendship than anything else! I am so glad that I finally read this and dived into the sequel, “Something Blue,” as soon as I finished it.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

something blue by emily giffin

After wrapping up, “Something Borrowed,” I was anxious to dive into this sequel and can honestly say that is one of the first sequels that I have ever read that I loved even more than the first.

Giffin takes a smart approach towards the sequel and decides to tell the story from a different perspective, this time from Rachel’s best friend Darcy’s perspective, about what has transpired in the first book and how Darcy saw her friendship with Rachel and relationship with Dex.

While it goes over the old ground of what has happened to Darcy’s relationship, it begins to take shape when Darcy decides to head to London to stay with an old classmate from school, and try to start a new life that is away from the Rachel/Dex drama. She also happens to be pregnant with a Hampton-fling’s baby and quickly discovers that she is alone in the world. For the first time, Darcy is not wanted by any man and now must figure out how she is going to make a life for her child on her own.

Instead of focusing on the baby though, she immediately moves into a routine of continuously shopping and then waiting for Ethan, the best friend with whom she is staying with to come home. While Ethan encourages her to think outside of herself for once, Darcy really doesn’t decide to start to change until she has a tift with Ethan and realizes that staying there is really her last hope. She has ostracized all of her friends and family and now must find who Darcy really is.

I don’t want to give any of the plot away so you can enjoy this book as much as I did, but will admit that it was a bit predictable in parts. The predictability and the ease that this one is to read makes it perfect to tuck in your bag for a trip.

For a character that will be easy to love to hate though, Giffin puts a spin on Darcy’s story that finds you empathetic towards her as Darcy ultimately learns to love someone other than herself and the series ends with that fairytale ending that you will be craving as you conclude this amazing sequel.

(MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars)

The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

Caryolyn Parkhurst is a vividly descriptive writer and has a uniqueness to her writing style and perspective that is unmarked by many authors. The Nobodies Album is an ambitious novel that is almost three novels in one. The concept for this book offers a unique plot unlike any that I have read before.

Octavia Frost is the fictional bestselling author who has decided to take on the enormous task of rewriting the previous ending to all of her past books. As she is on the way to deliver this book to her literary agent in New York, a headline captures her attention in Times Square. The reason it captures her attention? The headline claims that her son, a rock star with whom she is estranged, has murdered his girlfriend.

Blindly she heads to San Francisco to support her son Milo, knowing that he couldn’t have possibly murdered Bettina, the love of his life. Upon her arrival, she is unsure if she will even be welcomed into his circle because of a mistake that she made many years ago. She is warily enveloped into Milo’s fold, as Milo confesses that he can’t remember what happened the night of the murder.

With all evidence pointing to Milo, Octavia takes a writer’s perspective and begins to piece the story together, just as she has done with all of her books in the past. As she tries to figure out who would have murdered Bettina, you are taken on a journey through the chapters and then the revised chapters of the books as the story begins to unfold. You also are taken on a journey as you discover the deep secret that has kept Milo and Octavia apart and the tragedy that has enveloped their lives since Milo was a child.

The fact that Parkhurst can grab the reader as each chapter is shared, you almost wish that she would write a book of her own that would build upon the brilliant chapter ideas she has created for Octavia’s book. The chapters are interjected in a suspenseful plot which can be agonizing at times because you want to read the real story so much.

It was a great book by a great author and I am looking forward to reading more of her future books.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald

I feel like I have been on a journey after finishing this 410 page novel that manages to transcend the different decades of culture from the middle of the twentieth century and on through the wild and psychedelic sixties, following the story of Henry House. Built upon the fascinating true-life home economics programs that were offered in the thirties, Henry House is a test baby for a home economics house to teach women the basic life skills of running a house and caring for a child.

Henry House is an abandoned orphan who is taken in by the strict house mother, Martha, as a test baby who is cared for by six house mothers who alternate weeks and routines with him. Martha is of the firm believe to never pick up a child if the child is crying unless it follows her strict scheduled regime and requires that the mothers in the house follow suit. They all are immediately smitten with Harry and Harry lives a strange and enchanted existence where six women are at his beck and call while following the regime that Martha has ordained for all of them.

Martha develops an attachment to Harry unlike she has experienced ever before to any other test infant in the house, and decides to keep Harry instead of returning him to the orphanage. Martha soon finds that her ways of child rearing become challenged when she keeps Harry longer and has to deal with him as he grows older, something she has never experienced before. She begins to question if her ways are really right and if she really was as qualified in the role of a house mother when she has never had a real child of her own.

When Martha tells Harry that his mother died in a car accident instead of telling Harry the truth that his mother abandoned him because she had the baby out of wedlock, his relationship to Martha is forever altered from that point on and he vows he will pretend to be mute so he does not have to speak to her.

You then follow Harry’s life as he lives his life through a mute, as he discovers the healing powers of art, as he discovers his sexuality, as he finds that it really isn’t all about that, as he searches for love through a cast of unlikely characters, as he finds a career in animation, and then as he finds where he thinks he might finally belong.

If you are a fan of Forrest Gump, Mad Men, or even The Curious Case of Benjamin Button…this book is for you! While slow paced in some parts and a dissatisfying ending, it still was a fascinating premise of a book that I will long remember!

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

Not enough great reads for you? Check out our Books section of our site for monthly recommendations and ideas for making reading a priority again in your busy mom life!

Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the books quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me a latte instead.  Then we both would be really happy and we could have our own little book club together! Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely? Happy Reading!

What has been in your book stack this month? Feel free to share your book recommendations or feedback on any of the books that have been mentioned above! I love getting new suggestions for my book pile!

Published September 07, 2010 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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