MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

December 16th, 2019

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

Have you been looking for a free book club to join? Check out the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our FREE book club today! These 12 selections have all been read and loved, by me.  I look forward to our free book club chats, interactive book club crafts, and our interviews with this year’s chosen authors.

This is one of my favorite days of the year. I am so excited to reveal our MomAdvice Book Club selections with you today. 

I have read each of these selections and couldn’t be prouder of the gathering this year. Not only do I love them, but I think that they will lend themselves well to a great book club discussion.

Why?

Well, each of these books have challenged my viewpoint, in some way. I really believe that this is one of the BEST side effects to being a reader. It expands your world in a new way and reminds us that we all have the capacity to grow.

After reading each of these, I contacted each of the authors (with the exception of Betty Smith, of course) to let them know that their book had been officially selected as our official monthly selection.

I admit, I am no Reese, Jenna, or Oprah, but I do believe that I have gotten many to read books that they never would have picked up.

I consider this one of my superpowers.

I am hoping there will be a few on this year’s list that will be new to you and that they will top your list of favorites too.

If one of your goals this year is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to our FREE book club you can join. This is  an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group filled with almost 3,000 (!!!) readers where we all share in a monthly discussion together.

MomAdvice Free Online Book Club

What Will Be Different in the MomAdvice Book Club This Year?

This all has been a big learning process, for me, on how to expand and make the book club even more beneficial to you.

In the past, I selected novels based on awards, authors that consistently delivered great reads, or anticipated buzz books for the year. 

This strategy ended up working a lot, but there were books that I wasn’t as crazy about that ended up on our list.

This year I made it a goal to read all the 12 selections to (hopefully) deliver consistently great books that you will, truly, love. 

I also  contacted the authors to let them know that their book had been officially selected as our official monthly selection.

With their help, we will be having interactive discussions, reviving the author interview series, and we will have a copy of each book to giveaway to a reader.

In addition to our chats, this year, I am partnering with MJ, at pars caeli, to craft a project around each read. 

MomAdvice Book Club Chats

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?  

Scroll down to see my list of the twelve books that we will be discussing.

The Book Club Chat is held on the last Friday (of the month)  and an Event invite is sent out to members at the beginning of each month.

Once you RSVP to an event, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you are able to hop on at anytime during the day (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

This year, we will have many authors also participating in our chats.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals (sign up for our daily deals newsletter to receive these directly to your inbox)  and I share our book club picks through something called an affiliate link.

What is an affiliate link? 

Great question!

Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website.

The web hosting currently costs me approximately $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you. This year, I will also have the additional expense of mailing giveaway books and the cost to hire a designer for our crafts.

Thank you for helping me make this book club great with your purchases.

I promise that I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I do try to pick books that I think you will enjoy.

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed.

MomAdvice Reading Retreat

How Do I Meet People from the MomAdvice Book Club?

Did you know that we hosted our first MomAdvice Reading Retreat this year?

I can’t begin to tell you how magical it all was and how thankful I was to meet these incredible women.

You have to be an active member in our club to participate in our face-to-face weekend retreats so be sure to join!

Enough waiting! I’m thrilled to share these twelve 2020 book club selections with you today! I can’t wait to hear what you think about this year’s list.

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett January- The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali February- The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica March- The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

When All Is Said by Anne Giffin April- When All Is Said by Anne Giffin

Dominicana by Angie Cruz May- Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Formation by Ryan Leigh Dostie June- Formation by Ryan Leigh Dostie

The Warehouse by Rob Hart July- The Warehouse by Rob Hart

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop August- We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson September- Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

October- The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

November Road by Lou Berney November- November Road by Lou Berney

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith December- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (my favorite classic!)

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

 

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site!

Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads

You can also sign up for the MomAdvice Daily Book Deals Newsletter with the latest book news!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

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The 2019 MomAdvice Summer Reads Guide

June 1st, 2019

For many years, I have wanted to do a reading guide for you all, but each year the days would slip away and I would think, “Maybe next year!”

Well, not today, Satan!

I am thrilled to share my first Summer Reading Guide with you! This has been a true labor of love and I’m incredibly proud how this turned out.

Within this 15 page guide you will find:

  • A huge list of great books to read over the summer. I have included some new (and upcoming) novels, but I also weaved in some older favorites that might be easier to snag at your local library.
  • Tips for reading more this summer including a few of my own tried-and-true formulas for reading.
  • A bookworm gift guide filled with fun finds from Etsy sellers.
  • 10 of my all-time favorite books
  • 5 summer selections curated by the Currently Reading Podcast.

All you need to do to access the free guide is be an email subscriber! Upon signing up for our mailing list, you will receive a link to the reading guide.

If you decide to read any of these selections, I’d be honored if you used the #momadvicesummerreading hashtag and tag me on Instagram!

Happy reading, bookworms! xo

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter and receive your FREE Summer Reading Guide!

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

November 26th, 2018

Check out the 2019 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our FREE book club today!

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more great reads for your stack!

Can you believe that I am picking our 2019 MomAdvice Book Club selections this week? This year has flown by and I have SO enjoyed sharing books and discussions with you.

If one of your goals this year is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to our FREE book club you can join. This is  an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group filled with almost 2,000 (!!!) readers where we all share in a monthly discussion together.

The best part?

There is no commitment to participate in chats (although I love it when you do!). This is a place to get opinions about books, find out what everyone is reading, and start chats of your own about books you would just love to talk about.

I wanted to get this list up a little early so you have loads of time to make requests to your local library or read ahead on any of these selections.

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

Scroll through the book list below to see what we have in store for you in 2019.  The discussion is held on the last Friday and an Event invite is sent out at the beginning of the month to join a virtual chat. Once you RSVP, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you are able to hop on at anytime during the day (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website.

The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I promise that I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed.

Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

I’m thrilled to share these 12 selections with you from a pool of talented writers. As always, I try to keep a good mix of fiction, nonfiction, YA, memoirs, and mysteries.

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

January- A Ladder to the Sky

February- My Sister the Serial Killer

March- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

April- Little

May- The Friend

June- The Editor

July- In Sight of Stars

August- There Will Be No Miracles Here

September- No One Can Pronounce My Name

October- The Lying Woods

November- The Library Book

December- Virgil Wander

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

January 1st, 2018

"MomAdvice

Is one of your goals to join a book club this year? I’m thrilled to share that we have an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group that I’d love for you to join. I’m so excited to share with you our MomAdvice 2018 Book Club selections.

Our book club now has over 1,200 bookworms (!!!) and we would love to have you join in on the fun discussions this year. I loved last year’s selections so much that they even found their way on my Best Books of 2017 list.

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

I will be your book club hostess this year and have selected the entire year of books for 2018 to round out your book stacks.  The discussion is held on the last week of the month and posted in the group with a thread for each question.

To make finding these discussions easier (and so you can hop in at anytime!!) we have moved our discussions into the Events tab. You will receive an invitation to each discussion and can find the entire discussion in the Events, instead of searching through our VERY active page.

You can jump in to answer questions at any time throughout that week, interacting with loads of other fellow bookworms.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do You Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website. The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

In fact, I have been reading our book club picks before we get to them to make sure that not a moment of your time or penny is wasted.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed. Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

Here are the books we will be talking about this year!

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood January- Alias Grace

Lucky Boy February- Lucky Boy

American Fire March- American Fire

Lilli De Jong April- Lilli De Jong

The Music Shop May- The Music Shop

Everything Here is Beautiful June- Everything Here is Beautiful

Salt Houses July- Salt Houses

Little Broken Things August- Little Broken Things

Far From the Tree September- Far From the Tree

The Hunger by Alma Katsu October- The Hunger

Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy November- Steal the Stars

Girls Burn Brighter December-Girls Burn Brighter

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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June 2021 Must-Reads

June 1st, 2021

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

A new month brings a new stack of great summer reads to check out. Get the scoop on 9 great books to add to your stack including the latest in historical fiction, excellent book club picks, beach reads, and several great mysteries. Bookmark this list for your next beach read stack! 

Are you ready for another month of great reading? 

I’m happily trucking along through my GoodReads goals and feel so lucky to take you along for the ride.  Reading has been the perfect anxiety escape and my anxiety must be SKY HIGH because I’ve already read fifty books this year.

I can’t wait to see how many more I can read and share with you this year.

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

editor’s note: I’m still in the process of working on my June gifts for our Patreon subscribers. Stay tuned because you are going to love what I have up my sleeve for this month.

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am offering 4 gorgeous bookmarks (with some of our favorite quotes from last month’s book club pick) and a ’90’s-inspired playlist. Did someone say, Hot Girl Summer?

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early! The newsletter allows you to print with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
  • A Curated Playlist- To fully embrace each month’s theme, you receive a playlist to listen to, while sipping on coffee and reading the newsletter
  • Monthly Book Printable or Digital Download (I have so many fun things in store for you!!)
  • Quick Monthly Vlog Reviews- Don’t have time to sit down and read the newsletters? I’ll break it down to you in a quick vlog so you know exactly what books to grab on your next library visit.

Sign up here to support my work.

Join Us for Our June MomAdvice Book Club Discussion and Get Your Book Club Shirt Today!

snag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

You can check out the full list of 2021 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here. 

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

here is what is on sale today- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked!

Check this list daily here or you can sign up for my daily deal newsletter and I will send them right to your inbox!

Get a FREE Book Just for Being a Prime Member

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Yup, I always try to remind you of this amazing little Prime perk!

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR June over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the June Book of the Month Club Selections:

Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkin Reid (read my review of this one here)

 

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

June 2021 Must-Reads

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood

5 Out of 5 Stars

Heart and humor are always a winning combination for me and this novel combines both beautifully, landing it in in my 2021 favorites pile.

Karachi, Pakistan is all that Anyar has ever known so that’s why it is such a shock when his parents decide to start their lives over again California.

They would have never expected which family members would adjust well into this new life and which  would struggle to find their place there, but the contrast is swift within their family.

While Anyar’s brother is a model-Muslim, Anyar decides to commit to being a bad Muslim and all that he believes that entails.

At the same time, Safwa is living in a war-torn Baghdad and takes a dangerous path to escape to America. Safwa’s life is a difficult one, made more difficult by her grief-stricken father and her time in America is anything but easy.

Safwa and Anyar find their paths begin to intertwine into some surprising ways as they discover solace in one another and away from their conservative upbringing.

This relationship is beautifully woven together as they each try to meet their family’s expectations while discovering independence in their new country.

I can’t rave enough about this beautiful story that would lend itself so well to any of your planned book club discussions this year.

Set in 1995, it also offered a lot of great ‘90’s nostalgia, for this reader, that I really appreciated.

Don’t miss this read!

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

What Comes After by Joanne Tompkins

5 Out of 5 Stars

I love books about “chosen families,” and that theme is just what you will find in this powerful debut mystery novel that I would HIGHLY recommend adding to your stack.

Isaac is mourning the loss of his teenage son, Daniel, and has been experiencing all the loneliness and isolation that comes with this.

Next door, a working single mother, is also struggling with the tragic loss of her own son, but for very different reasons.

When a sixteen-year-old girl shows up, needing a safe place to stay and food to eat, she seems like the perfect person to fill the loneliness in Issacs’s heart.

Her presence gives him purpose again to his step as he tries to be a steady person in her life.

Evangeline is hiding a secret though and it is a secret that will bind these neighbors together in some surprising ways.

I can’t say enough good things about this haunting story and how beautifully woven these alternating chapters came together.

It was such a satisfying page-turner that will remind you how tragedy can bring about unexpected blessings.

As an aside, this may be my first novel that features characters of Quaker faith and I found these sections of the story so beautifully done.

The quiet faith of these people and how our church can step in to support us through these moments was heartwarming. 

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

4 Out of 5 Stars

Katherine Heiny is, truly, such a witty writer and her latest novel is another absolute delight. 

If you are looking for an endearing character-driven story, that makes you laugh out loud, I think this one fits the bill.

Heiny’s trademark humor seems to have hit the right notes with critics too, as it tops all the “best of 2021,” lists this year.

Jane is a school teacher that has found love with the town’s most eligible bachelor, Duncan.

Duncan has seemed to live up to his playboy reputation too, as Jane encounters his old girlfriends everywhere.

Jane begins to wonder if a serious relationship could ever exist between the two, due to Duncan’s inabilities to commit, and if this relationship is even worth pursuing.

They could never guess though how radically their lives would change after a tragic car accident.

Not only are their lives altered, they are thrown together into an unexpected family that deepens bonds with people she could have never guessed would be part of her life.

Heiny is such a gifted writer and I kept reading passage after passage to my husband, who belly-laughed right along with me.

This has Schitt’s Creek level cuteness that I gobbled up during these pandemic-filled days.

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

4 Out of 5 Stars

This novel was a Reader’s Choice pick for our MomAdvice Book Club and I could not be more grateful. It is one of those instant modern day classics that I can imagine sharing with so many people in the future.

Nora has had a string of bad luck and when her cat dies, she decides that she just can’t go on anymore. W

hen she decides to check out of her life she is introduced to the midnight library that holds a Book of Regrets, filled with Nora’s missed chances and opportunities.

Nora has the opportunity to live out some of her biggest regrets that help her realize the consequences of those choices, for better or worse.

The reader gets to go into these regret-filled moments and live vicariously through Nora’s missed opportunities, making this a fun literary escape for the reader.

While the messaging might have felt a little heavy-handed at times, it seemed to be so appropriate for this moment in our world.

As many of us struggle with the mental health consequences of our world right now, the encouragement to go on and how we can unexpectedly impact others was a beautifully bittersweet reminder that life is tough, but so are we.

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

3 Out of 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you are looking for a quick romance novel to enjoy, this novel gave me Lifetime TV vibes in book format.

A couple becomes famous for designing smart small living spaces that brings them an audience and a publishing deal.

Their latest novel is all on the success of their partnership and marriage, but behind-the-scenes is quite a different story.

In short, this couple is a hot mess.

When they have to go on tour, their assistants go with them to help supervise the “messaging and brand,” while finding immediate chemistry with each other.

As the HGTV couple’s marriage starts to fizzle, the reader follows along with the relationship that isn’t fizzling.

I am loving how romance novels are starting to really embrace characters with real health challenges (i.e. “Get a Life, Chloe Brown”), and appreciated how they weaved this into their story.

These real-life challenges added a little more depth to this novel, while keeping it sweetly satisfying.

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

4 Out of 5 Stars

I have always been fascinated by Depression-era cooking and the smart resourcefulness that was required to feed a family.

This well-researched historical fiction novel really dives deep into those creative wells by creating a BBC cooking contest that focuses on how creatively women use these rations to inspire others for a fresh first-ever female program.

This utilizes alternating perspectives from these four women and their motivations for winning this contest.

As they work to bend the rules in their favor, they come to admire one another and support one another in some beautiful ways throughout the contest.

Each chapter shares their recipes to really showcase how these dishes were created.

It added a really lovely element to the story to read through these and see how these women used their rations in such clever ways.

Honestly, I learned SO MUCH more than I had expected about this era and how the ration system even worked.

The entire concept was beautifully executed, and I found the characters to be quite endearing.

This is one of those novels you could hand over to anyone in your life and they would thoroughly enjoy it.

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin

4 Out of 5 Stars

I fell in love with Hankin’s satirical writing style with her first novel, “Happy & You Know It.” If you haven’t read this one and need a good laugh, I really recommend reading it.

I became an instant fan after the belly-laughs that I got from that one.

This latest novel spins out from the Madeleine Albright quote, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.”

This “special place,” is exactly what Hankin crafts up in this creative concept with an exclusive women-only social club where New York City’s social elite meet.

A down on her luck journalist, Jillian, discovers that there is a secret club in town that may have influenced the mayoral election and decides that joining it would make the perfect piece.  

The problem is that she doesn’t really know if her hunches about how the women are abusing their power are correct and she can’t imagine the directions that this club will take or how she will pull off this article when no one is allowed to question their motives or tactics.

This, admittedly, went into some interesting magical places that I wasn’t really expecting.

This ended up being a very genre-bending book that really explores this concept of female empowerment in such a unique way.- I really couldn’t put this down

I could see this one being developed into a really successful film (editorial note: this has now been optioned for a television series!!)  and appreciated the creativity that Hankin brought to this concept.

If you are looking for a fun book club pick that explores feminist topics, I think you would love this one.

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

4 Out of 5 Stars

This book is making big buzz this year and I’m HERE FOR IT, especially since I have enjoyed Laura Dave’s prior books so much.

Not only was this book selected as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection, but it also has been chosen for a brand new series, starring Julia Roberts.

Imagine if your husband disappeared and only left behind a note telling you to protect his daughter and a bag of money.

Well, that is exactly what ends up happening in this intriguing mystery, from Laura Dave.

Unfortunately, not only does Hannah want to get to the bottom of the mystery, the F.B.I. would like to.

What Hannah and her stepdaughter discover though is that Owen has been leading a double life and that his lies go so much deeper than they could ever expect.

It forces both of them to question everything about their past relationship and a deep desire to discover why Owen was so intent on hiding the truth.

I would recommend this novel for fans of, The Husband’s Secret.” If you need an audiobook this month, I would encourage you to give this one a spin.

The narration was really well done and the mystery was solid from start to finish.

I really look forward to seeing what they do with this series, especially with such a great casting choice.

June 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering

5 Out of 5 Stars

For some reason, this phenomenal thriller slipped past my radar, but I’m SO thrilled to have picked this one up this month.

I can’t say enough good things about how beautifully developed the twists were.

My only regret was that I, truly, could not turn the pages fast enough.

A whirlwind romance isn’t always a good thing, but when Skye & Burke fall in love, they just can’t get to their wedding day fast enough.

While Skye is over the moon to have found her soulmate, her family and friends remain skeptical about Burke because she knows so little about him.

It doesn’t help that Burke really doesn’t have a lot of friends or family to back up the story of his past.

Burke’s real story though is one that it is deeply twisted with another woman and Skye is about to find out why she has become the target of Burke’s affection and just how deep his lies go.

If I tell you more, I’d blow the whole plot for you.

This is one of those books that you should read as little as possible about and just enjoy one of those crazy 24-hour stay-up-way-too-late thriller vibes.

I really don’t like to throw around the phrase, “the next Gone Girl,” because it is used too much, BUT Lovering’s writing proves that she has the writing chops to rival the twists of Gillian Flynn.

Don’t miss adding this one to your stack this month.

I promise, it won’t disappoint.

 

 

 

May 2021 Must-Reads

May 3rd, 2021

May 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Looking for the best summer beach read? I’ve got you covered with fourteen of the most-anticipated books to read this year. This stack has a little bit of everything- cozy mysteries, thrillers, chick lit novels, and the best contemporary fiction. Be sure to bookmark today’s post for your next library day! 

I can think of nothing more fun than sharing my thoughts on some of the most-anticipated books of the summer. Beach read season is my FAVORITE and I have been reading nonstop, in preparation of today’s post.

Do you need a new book for your stack? I’ve got fourteen great suggestions that I think you should give a spin for May! 

Before we get started, here are a few things in book news that I don’t want you to miss! 

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am offering 4 gorgeous bookmarks (with some of our favorite quotes from last month’s book club pick) and a ’90’s-inspired playlist. Did someone say, Hot Girl Summer?

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MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections snag this month’s incredible book club book

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June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the May Book of the Month Club Selections:

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

How Lucky by Will Leitch

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Wang

 

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

May 2021 Must-Reads

The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks

4 Out of 5 Stars

The premise for Matthew Dicks latest novel was so intriguing to me that I just had to pick it up.

Imagine waking up and believing that your mother has been replaced by an identical version of herself and no one believes you.

She has been perfectly duplicated, but she can’t fool Michael, even if she fooled everyone else.

Narration of these events is told through the eyes of the thirteen-year-old boy as he works to uncover the truth about who could have replaced his mother. 

I was expecting more of a science fiction premise, but this one is grounded in reality as we learn more about our character and the daily challenges he faces.

I would recommend this novel for fans of The One in a Million Boy!

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

3 Out of 5 Stars

This novel comes with some trigger warnings as it focuses a lot on eating disorders and body dysmorphia.

Rachel may have temporarily abandoned her Jewish faith, but she found a replacement through a religion of calorie restriction and obsessive food rituals.

Miriam is the polar opposite of Rachel as she practices her faith and eats whatever she wants.  Rachel finds herself deeply attracted to her and the lifestyle that she represents.

As the two become more intertwined, Rachel is forced to deal with some of her biggest psychological issues and the ramifications of her mental illness.

The reader follows along as she makes these discoveries about faith, family, and self-love.

I don’t consider myself to be a prude, but I found the graphic nature of the sex scenes to be a bit much and it overshadowed the bigger themes that I hoped to get out of this one. 

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

4 Out of 5 Stars

If you are looking for great storytelling, look no further than this incredible historical fiction novel.

Libertie’s mother is a practicing physician that can’t wait for her daughter to explore the exact same path and continue in her footsteps.

It is when Libertie goes to school that she realizes that this isn’t the path she dreamed of for herself.

When she meets a young man, from Haiti, he promises she can be his equal on the island and that he will care for her.

Not everyone is excited about this marriage and the two must deal with the consequences of family and how these roles will work in society.

This story was inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and Greenidge does an incredible job with the effort and research that went into telling her story.

If you add one historical fiction book to your stack this month, I would recommend this one!

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

4 Out of 5 Stars

Returning to your small town isn’t easy and Ruth returns to her Indiana factory town to finally look into what happened to the baby that she gave up for adoption.

As a teen mom, she let her family make the necessary decisions so that she could still have the best future, schooling, and career. As she digs into her past though, she realizes that many of these decisions weren’t necessarily the right ones.

Johnson explores the theme of division among Black and white communities, particularly, the ones that occurred during the 2008 financial crisis and the era of the Obama presidency.

I enjoyed reading this one and thought Johnson brought up some very thought-provoking points that would lend itself well to any book club.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

4 Out of 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Is there anything better than a fresh Riley Sager thriller for the summer? This new novel will hit bookshelves on July 29th and is sure to be a big hit for fans of, “No Exit.

Two strangers end up sharing a ride together and the backdrop is perfectly set in the early 90’s where it is just a little bit more challenging to let your loved ones know where you are.

A college campus serial killer is on the loose and Charlie can’t seem to overcome her guilt that her college roommate was killed. Not only has this incident haunted her, but she has started to hallucinate dream-like sequences to cope, that cloud her ability to know what is real and what is not.

When she finds a ride home with a stranger, she starts to become suspicious when their conversation begins to reveal that he never was a student on campus and that his past may be far more sinister.

The thing is, she can’t tell what the heck is real and what is that movie reel in her mind.

This was fun, fun, fun and a great beach read escape.

I wouldn’t say it is my favorite from this author, but I will say that he always delivers on the perfect summer thriller that can keep you up all night.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle 

5 Out of 5 Stars

Holy heck! If you need a giant LOL and are a fan of, “The Hating Game,” add this book to the top of your stack FOR SURE.

What happens when you realize you hate your fiancée, but don’t want to be the one to call off the wedding? Absolute hilarity, that’s what happens. I haven’t laughed this hard in a book in a long time and it was just what I needed this month.

The couple does everything they can to push each other right over the edge and the best part is that the future mother-in-law is atrocious and becomes a good part of the pranking fun.

I finished this one in a day and kept my husband up with all my laughing as I flipped through the pages. It’s just the kind of perfect love-to-hate-you romance that makes this genre so great.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

4 Out of 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

“How were you supposed to change- in ways both big and small- when your family was always there to remind you of exactly the person you apparently signed an ironclad contract to be?” 

I have been a HUGE fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid for years and years. 

You can always count on this author for real and relatable love stories that pull at all the heartstrings.

If you liked the set-up of Anxious People, I feel like this novel utilizes a similar plot builder… one unforgettable night that builds out and the deeper stories of each of these characters.

In the case of this novel, it is an annual end-of-summer party that will change everything and then the reflective stories of each of these siblings, their love affair, and the love affair of their parents that acts as the glue for this story.

The love story, between the parents, is the type of reliable love story that I have come to appreciate about Reid’s writing.

The moments with these two characters, in particular, really showcased Reid’s writing chops and just how well she can build those rise and falls in a relationship.

Dealing with the element of fame and fortune is something that we have also come to know her for, in her last few books, and she does an incredible job with this storytelling element again and the consequences of all of that within those we love.

I will continue to worship the ground that this author walks on and impatiently await her next book.

Reid builds beautiful dysfunction within this family’s story SO WELL. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

4 Out of 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was such a big fan of, “The Nest,” so I couldn’t wait to dig into the latest from Sweeney.

This one is very different from her first and, dare I say, I enjoyed it even more?

Any book with a good theatre plot is always a winner for this former thespian.

This follows the story of two couples that have been friends since their very early days of dating and marriage.

Flora has always considered her marriage to be one of her strongest assets and has never had reason to question the relationship or their love for each other…that is until she finds the wedding ring that her husband claimed he had lost one summer.

It’s this shocking discovery that causes Flora to abandon her friendship with her best friend, Margot.

These discoveries force Flora to focus on these fractured relationships and how they came to be while discovering if there is really space for forgiveness.

This was a satisfying novel that might not have had huge plot twists, but I loved how beautifully flawed and fleshed out these characters were.

A Good Family by A.H. Kim

4 Out of 5 Stars

Looking for a fast page-turner? This family drama is juicy, twisty, and delivers on great plot twists.

ADHD medication sure would be a lot easier to give if it was created into gummies, wouldn’t it?  

What if the messaging of the drug could allow for a wider range of customers with a better (and more deceptive) marketing message too?

One successful pharmaceutical agent moves up the corporate ladder with these “savvy” marketing ideas and ends up behind bars, thanks to a whistleblower.

Who would want to see her behind bars so badly and what was to gain?

This mystery, told in alternating perspectives, made this into one fantastic novel that was just as good as any Netflix drama.

Fans of, “Orange is the New Black,” will also appreciate all the details of this prison scene and how she makes the most of every minute behind bars.

This novel kept me up way past my bedtime, perfect for pulling you out of any reading slump.

The Great Pain Deception by Steven Ray Ozanich

5 Out of 5 Stars

Ozanich struggled with severe chronic pain, following a traumatic event in his family, and did not know how he was going to go on.

He stumbled upon a book called, Healing Back Pain,” that changed the entire trajectory of his pain journey and he documents how he now lives a pain-free life thanks to the principles in John Sarno’s book.

The pandemic has complicated many pain journeys for so many in my life and it is no wonder that many are suffering.

The stress of this experience has ways of trickling into every facet of our lives and can create so much tension in our bodies.

This tension can have a domino effect in our lives and addressing it in fresh ways allow us to take control of our story. I can’t say enough good things about the ideas in this book and how much I needed it this year.

Although intentionally repetitive, to reinforce these principles, I REALLY got a lot out of this read and am now using his tips to get better control on my own life with chronic pain.

Healing Back Pain by John E. Sarno

4 Out of 5 Stars

I have been using an app, called Curable, to help manage chronic pain. Although I was familiar with Sarno’s work, I had never been curious enough to read his book until this year.

Although this is targeted to back pain, in particular, the principles can apply to so many areas of the body and how the mind-body connection comes into play.

Through his work, he shares how many of our beliefs about chronic pain are false and that much of this is related to muscle tension from repressed emotion that can be solved through a process of reframing the source of our pain and the unnecessary steps we can become distracted by when finding the source of it all.

If you find value in this book, I would definitely take the time to download the Curable app because it puts the ideas of this philosophy into a digestible format.

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

5 Out of 5 Stars

If you happened to watch, “Surviving R. Kelly,”, you will feel quite familiar with this story of how an R&B singer ends up using his fame to take advantage of younger girls.

In fact, the parallels were so identical that the author’s note was necessary to explain that this was actually a work of fiction, but that these things do happen to black women and they need to be stopped…oh, and #MuteRKelly

In this story, Korey Fields shows up to a singing contest that Enchanted, a teen girl, is coming to audition for.

He loves her audition so much that he offers her VIP tickets to his next show, which is followed by the opportunity to be mentored by him.

The interest in Enchanted goes far beyond her singing though as the text exchanges become increasingly inappropriate, but Enchanted can’t help but to be flattered by the exchange.

When he asks her to join him on tour, her financially struggling family can’t help but to accept the offer, especially since she wants it so bad.

What she s love, soon becomes a nightmare as Korey becomes more and more controlling and abusive. The scenes are very triggering, heartbreaking, and all too familiar to the R. Kelly story.

Jackson is a phenomenal writer and writes some of the most compelling YA fiction. This was another home run that begs us to examine how we value black women in our society and the broken system that is in place for these abuse victims.

The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms

5 Out of 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I was growing up, Freaky Friday was definitely one of my absolute favorite movies.

Well, imagine that body switching theme, but with the mom next door that couldn’t be more your opposite.

In this story, one mom is a highly successful productivity expert that is motivated by her work, while the other mom is the perfect Pinterest mom that has mastered the art of being a stay-at-home mom at an expert level.

After a fundraising party where they drink a sangria that seems to contain a magical secret ingredient, they wake up in each other’s bodies and are forced to live each other’s life for one week.

This one is absolutely FILLED with the best kind of belly laughs.

They, of course, have judged each other harshly and the opportunity to walk in each other’s shoes and try to “improve their lives,” unfolds in some really fun ways.

This book was an absolute delight and was enjoyed as much as, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.”

I doubt you will be able to put this one down once you start it and I appreciated this fun twist on the mommy wars.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

4 Out of 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For a change of pace, I picked up this little mystery with a fun culinary spin, the first book in this new mystery series.

A notoriously nasty food critic comes in to do his usual complaining and critiquing of a restaurant, but ends up dead on the floor instead.

Lila has been tasked with saving the failing family restaurant, but finds herself as the number one suspect when investigating this murder, tarnishing the restaurant’s reputation further.

Intent to save her family’s legacy, Lila becomes her own detective and decides to run an informal investigation, of her own, to clear her family name.

This is sweetly satisfying and filled with some fun recipes at the end, for replicating a few of these great dishes that you are reading about.

If you need a great palate cleanser, between heavier novels, this is a solid choice and a winner for my foodie friends.

#RelationshipGoals from the TV Shows I’m Watching Right Now

April 23rd, 2021

#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

#RelationshipGoals from the TV Shows I’m Watching Right Now

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

 

When I set out to write this post for you, I made a long list of all the best marriages I’ve seen on television.

Of course, you can probably guess the top couples from tv on my list:

Coach and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights

Ben and Leslie from Parks & Recreation

Adam and Kristina from Parenthood

After all, these are the couples on everyone’s #MarriageGoals list!

As I expanded my memory and my list, though, I realized that I’d written this post before!

Yep, that’s right. Over on my blog, you can read all about my favorite TV marriages and why I think they’re great. https://marycarver.com/2019/02/best-marriages-tv-makes-great/

So today, I’m going to talk about something else.

Today, I’m thinking about the best relationships in the shows I’ve watched recently—including friendships and family relationships, not just marriages—the ones that give me #RelationshipGoals.

 

#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

 

 

 

 

Ted Lasso #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Ted Lasso and Coach Beard

If you haven’t watched TED LASSO on Apple TV+, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.

This truly is the show we need in 2020.

It’s a sitcom about an American college football coach hired to coach a professional soccer team in the U.K., and it is the most delightful, heartwarming, hilarious show I’ve watched in years.

One of the best parts of the show is the deep, authentic friendship between Ted, the main character, and his assistant coach, Coach Beard.

The two men have such a complete understanding of one another that they can frequently speak in their version of shorthand, uttering just a few words to get a complicated point across.

They also support each other, completely and unconditionally, and it’s beautiful. 

 

Psych #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Shawn and Gus

Before the new PSYCH movie came out this summer, I rewatched the whole series.

And one thing that struck me this time around was how completely on board Gus was for all of Shawn’s shenanigans.

Sure, their vastly different personalities mean they approach life differently.

But rather than one roping the other into trouble, they really are—for the most part—equal partners in crime (or, crime-solving).

I also appreciated that when Shawn went too far, Gus called him on it.

True friends speak the truth, even when it’s hard or when they normally go along with things.

 

One Day at a Time #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Penelope and Schneider

I actually adore every relationship in the new ONE DAY AT A TIME, but Penelope and Schneider are my favorite.

Over the seasons, they’ve developed such a deep friendship, partly bonding over their personal struggles and hard-earned through some serious conflicts.

Though they come from totally different backgrounds, they have found common ground, and it’s created an affection and a bond they don’t seem to have with anyone else.

 

Sweet Magnolias #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue

The ladies of SWEET MAGNOLIAS have been friends since childhood, and it shows.

They know each other at a level we don’t always see in newer friendships, and that allows them to accept and encourage one another so completely in everything they face.

It also allows them to be honest, but loving, with each other—a gift to any woman living life and navigating decisions in career and relationships like they are!

 

Holly Hobbie #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Holly Hobbie’s Parents

If you haven’t watched HOLLY HOBBIE on Hulu, I do recommend it!

Sure, it’s a show made for and aimed at tweens like my daughters, but I loved it just as much as they did!

And while the show focuses on the children, I couldn’t help but be impressed and inspired by the parents in this show.

The mom is the breadwinner of the Hobbie family, while the dad takes on more of the daily parenting duties—and I am here for that.

They were supportive of one another and presented a [mostly] united front to their kids, and I love the way the show avoided stereotypes of dumb parents or needlessly contentious spouses.

 

Cobra Kai #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Daniel and Amanda LaRusso

I wasn’t sure about this one.

Every single main character of COBRA KAI, the Karate Kid reboot series, seems determined to make the worst decisions possible.

But while I do not love Daniel nearly as much as I did in the 80s, I do love his wife and her refusal to put up with his crap.

When he acts like a child, she rolls her eyes and gently points out a more reasonable approach to parenting, teaching, work, and his relationship with Johnny Lawrence.

And when his feud blows up their life, she draws a hard line to protect her family and restore some sanity.

At the same time, the series shows them working together as an excellent sales team at their car dealership, working through disagreements in a realistic way, and connecting like actual adults who love each other.

It’s the most refreshing part of this show.

 

Madam Secretary #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Elizabeth and Henry McCord

I will never miss an opportunity to shout the praises of MADAM SECRETARY, including the marriage portrayed by the main characters.

Elizabeth and Henry are two high-powered professional in an intense industry (politics!), but never do they neglect care for their relationship and for each other.

Even when they disagree at work or about decisions they must make, they treat one another with respect and genuine affection.

Almost every single episode of this show (which, though it ended last year, I finished watching this year so it counts) finds the McCords in their bedroom, getting ready for the day or unwinding before bed or even in bed together.

Like a normal adult person love story. (I’d like to stop feeling the need to classify fictional characters as “normal adult people,” but let’s be honest: So many TV characters are ridiculous and unrealistic and childish! That can be fun to watch, but I like the normal adult people, too.)

 

Girl Meets World #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Cory and Topanga Matthews

Most of us know Cory and Topanga as childhood sweethearts from BOY MEETS WORLD in the 90s.

I do, too, but I was re-introduced to them when my girls watched the reboot, GIRL MEETS WORLD.

The new show is just as cheesy and “Disney-fied” as the original, but also?

It’s sincere and heartfelt and lovely at times.

And the way grown-up Cory and Topanga appreciate each other as professionals, present a united front as parents, speak kindly to and about each other, joke and tease and play off each other—well, I loved it.

 

Babysitter Club #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

The Girls of The Baby-Sitters Club

I mean…could they BE any cuter?

The girls in the new version of THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB aren’t perfect.

They are awkward, they make mistakes, they feel and act insecure and jealous, and they are just as different in personality as Ann M. Martin intended.

But, they are also sweet and kind and normal kids who make the choice to develop these friendships they then rely on and nurture and protect.

It’s adorable and lovely, and those are the kind of friends I want for my girls—and myself!

 

The Unicorn #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Every relationship in The Unicorn

Don’t sleep on this fairly new CBS sitcom.

THE UNICORN is about a friend group of three couples after one of the wives dies.

The way the two couples show their love for both their widowed friend and his late wife is beautiful.

When you think of the phrase, “it takes a village,” this is what you’re probably imagining.

The three families swap carpooling duties and share meals; the kids play together (and sometimes don’t); the married couples encourage their newly single friend to begin dating but balance out their silly advice with true understanding and love.

Again, this is a show (surprisingly) about actual adults, acting like adults.

And the best kind of adults, because they’re just such incredible friends.

To be clear, they’re not perfect and their relationships aren’t conflict-free (that would be a boring show).

But they work through things and come out stronger and more loving in the end, and I think we need more of that.

 

 

So, that’s my updated #RelationshipGoals list! Who’s on YOUR list of best TV relationships?

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#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

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9 More Ideas for At-Home Dates (That Aren’t Watching a Movie)

April 2nd, 2021

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice.om

Stuck at home, but still looking for some fun ideas for quality time with your spouse? We have some new creative and fun ideas for spending quality time together at home.

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Another winter, another season of few—if any—date nights out.

That’s true today because we’re still living through a global pandemic, but any number of circumstances could create this challenge for a couple.

Tight budgets, too many kids at home, kids with special needs who can’t be left in anyone else’s care, illness or injury, or even being exceedingly busy and needing a night at home more than you need another night out.

Whatever the reason that is keeping you at home right now, it doesn’t eliminate the need for connection with our spouses.

As someone who’s written a whole slew of blog posts about dating your spouse, I should have remembered this—but to tell you the truth, I forgot.

And as the world and our lives have grown progressively more chaotic and complicated, and our responses to all that have been as unique as we are (and therefore baffling to the other who’s handling all of it differently), my husband and I have grown distant.

The connection that we rely on to keep our relationship steady has become frayed, to say the least.

And while many factors play into that, our lack of intentional, just-the-two-of-us together time—where we talk about something other than the day-to-day, urgent needs of our family—is one of the main culprits. I can’t change those other factors, but I can get back to planning date nights.

Even if they look a little different than usual.

If you’re looking for creative, non-movie, at-home dates, I’ve got you covered!

9 More Ideas for At-Home Dates (That Aren’t Watching a Movie)

 

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice

Game Night

Or puzzles.

Or cards.

Or, hey, if you both like crossword puzzles or adult coloring books, that might work too!

Board games, card games, and puzzles are best, because you’re interacting with one another.

But coloring or completing word puzzles while you sit quietly together might be nice, too—especially if you frequently feel like ships passing in the night or business partners who only discuss the business of parenting and family management.

Taking a break from all that, together, could be a pleasant way to work back into spending time together simply for fun.

 

Ideas for at Home Dates from MomAdvice.com

Goals and Budgets

I know.

Sounds romantic, right?

Well, actually, I’m guessing spreadsheets and bulleted lists might put stars in some of your eyes. (I won’t deny I’m a big fan of them myself!)

But my suggestion is to set aside time to make plans for the year but to make sure you order in (or make) some fun food.

Or play fun music.

Whatever the two of you enjoy, incorporate that into your serious planning date and then enjoy dreaming about your future and working together to make those dreams come true.

 

Ideas for at home dates from MomAdvice.com

Virtual Escape Room

I wouldn’t normally suggest something on-screen for a date night, but I’ve heard that virtual escape rooms can be a blast. (Depending on what’s safe and open in your community, you also might look into local escape rooms that allow you to be the only participants in your time slot.)

 

Ideas for At Home Dates from MomAdvice.com

Try a New Coffee Shop

Now, when I first made this list, my idea was for couples to go into new-to-them coffee shops, buy their favorite drinks, and sit and talk for hours.

Times are different now, but this one still works! Find a new coffee shop, order online or by phone, pick up your drinks curbside, then go park and talk.

With fewer distractions, this date might even be more meaningful.

And, of course, if you can’t both leave home right now, you can order with a food delivery service or have one person pick up your order and bring it home.

The point isn’t the location right now; it’s doing something new and fun with your favorite person.

A variation on this theme would be to try new restaurants the same way.

Support local businesses and find your new favorite dish.

I’m planning to do this with my husband and BBQ restaurants we haven’t tried yet.

 

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice

Get Cooking

Try a new recipe together.

My husband and I love watching Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins—but I’m going to invite him to make something delicious in our house, with me, instead of just salivating over what’s on the screen!

 

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice.com

Bust a Move

This may not be for every couple (to be honest, it’s probably not for my husband and me), but I bet it would be a blast for some of you!

Take an at-home dance lesson. I’ve seen multiple ads for those on Facebook, but I know many local dance studios now provide online lessons as well.

Or, just search YouTube!

And if dancing isn’t your thing, but moving is, you could try a virtual kickboxing class, a yoga video or maybe even an interactive video game.

 

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice

Plan (and Eat) a Progressive Dinner

Normally, this would mean getting drinks at one restaurant, then eating appetizers, your main dishes, and dessert at three separate restaurants.

Or, if you do it with a group of friends, you rotate homes for each course.

But, life being what it is right now, a progressive dinner looks like ordering each course from a different place, picking it all up and bringing it home, then enjoying it as leisurely as you want.

Same concept, just a bit different, but still tasty and fun!

 

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice

Serve Together

Serving the community might look different when you can’t leave home, but it’s not impossible—and it’s just as rewarding.

Pack care bags for the homeless; make no-sew blankets for the children’s hospital; write letters to patients in nursing homes.

Another idea I’m excited about: my family signed up to cook meals for teens living in a homeless transition home.

Giving back together is so meaningful and so good for your relationship (and the community!).

 

 

At Home Date Ideas from MomAdvice

Browse the Bookstore

Well, okay, this is not possible for many of us right now.

But that’s okay!

Look up lists of recommended books (the MomAdvice Book Club is a great place to start!), and take turns looking them up and creating your own reading lists.

And if you or your husband don’t like to read, have a movie marathon. You could make a list of old movies you want to watch together by “browsing” movie lists or IMDb.

You could peruse Pinterest for recipe ideas or scroll through a travel site to dream about vacations you’d like to take.

Whatever you browse, enjoy finding new-to-you treasures, learning more about what interests your spouse, and dreaming about more things to enjoy together in the future.

 

What do your at-home dates look like?

Don’t miss these other great ideas:

 

2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

MomAdvice Free Virtual Book Club

 

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Homeless Care Packages

 

 

Ideas for Date Nights at Home

19 Ideas for Date Nights at Home

 

 

TV Shows to Binge with Spouse

Best TV Comedies to Watch with your Spouse

 

DIY Chunky Knit Hygge Blanket

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket

At Home Date Night Ideas from MomAdvice.com

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April 2021 Must-Reads

April 1st, 2021

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

It’s time for another big stack of books. Pick up these 11 incredible reads up today for your upcoming spring break travels.  This carefully curated list includes your next contemporary fiction novel, historical fiction novel, western, mystery, rom-com, and a little bit of satire. Be sure to bookmark today’s post.

A brand new month means a brand new stack of book recommendations.  The best part is that this month was filled with books that might have normally been out of my comfort zone and I couldn’t believe how amazing some of them ended up being.

It is not every day that I pick up a mystery or a western novel for my stack, but it is just what I needed for a great literary escape.

Today, I’ve got ELEVEN great books to talk about that I just know you will love as much as me.

Before we get started, here are a few things in book news that I don’t want you to miss! 

 

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am offering fun bookish Zoom backgrounds and the perfect playlist to stay in bed all day with a big stack of books. 

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early! The newsletter allows you to print with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
  • A Curated Playlist- To fully embrace each month’s theme, you receive a playlist to listen to, while sipping on coffee and reading the newsletter
  • Monthly Book Printable or Digital Download (I have so many fun things in store for you!!)
  • Quick Monthly Vlog Reviews- Don’t have time to sit down and read the newsletters? I’ll break it down to you in a quick vlog so you know exactly what books to grab on your next library visit.

Sign up here to support my work.

Join Us for Our April MomAdvice Book Club Discussion and Get Your Book Club Shirt Today!

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections snag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

You can check out the full list of 2021 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here. 

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

here is what is on sale today- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked!

Check this list daily here or you can sign up for my daily deal newsletter and I will send them right to your inbox!

Get a FREE Book Just for Being a Prime Member

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Yup, I always try to remind you of this amazing little Prime perk!

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR April over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the April Book of the Month Club Selections:

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

What Comes After by Joann Tompkins

Arsenic & Adobo by Mia P. Manasia

Libertie by Kaitlyn Grenidge

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

April 2021 Must-Reads

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida (on sale for $2.99 today!!)

3 Out of 5 Stars

If you loved the movie, “Isn’t it Romantic,” than I have a feeling that you will appreciate having this book in your stack this month.

Mia wakes up from a coma and can’t even remember her own name.

What better way to learn about yourself than your own social media feed to figure out your past memories?

If her pictures are any indication of who she is, she knows that she is very wealthy, has a hot boyfriend, and is the town “it,” girl.

Unfortunately, the projection she may have been putting out in the world may be VASTLY different than what her reality is and the reader gets to go on these adventures of discovery right along with Mia.

This was an entertaining little read, particularly, if you are looking for a light rom-com escape. Tschida does a great job weaving humor and heart into Mia’s story, while also making some great observations about the selfie culture that we have found ourselves in. 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Perfect Happiness by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

4 Out of 5 Stars

Being a guru of happiness doesn’t sound easy, but what if this is your job AND you are living a deeply unhappy life? That’s the premise that Lewis tackles in her latest novel that addresses how we can find ourselves projecting a very different image than who we are to the world, especially if our social media and brand don’t align with our real life.

 This novel ended up being such a thought-provoking read that explored a lot of issues that so many of us face in these middle-aged years. 

This addressed more than just the exploration of our changing roles as our children get older and our challenges in marriage, but it also did a fantastic job addressing “wine mom,” culture and the slippery slope that can happen when we are looking for ways to numb our reality.

This was a fast page-turner that would be a great one for a book club. 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

3 Out of 5 Stars

I love Straub’s novels so I couldn’t wait to add this one to my stack this month. The big theme in this family drama is that our coming-of-age can happen at any point in our life and this pivotal moment seems to be happening throughout all the generations, of one family, at the same time.

The family matriarch has fallen in love with a woman and wants to no longer keep her love story secret, her daughter has decided to start a family via a sperm donor instead of waiting for marriage, and her son is struggling because of the impossible standards he has created for himself.

The story is told through each of the family’s viewpoints as they discover more about themselves through each of their revelations.

This was the kind of enjoyable story that didn’t really have one big lesson, but just explored the quiet dysfunction that seems to happen in all families and how these roles don’t *really* change even when we become adults. 

 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Memorial by Bryan Washington

3 Out of 5 Stars

Mike, a Japanese American chef working at a Mexican restaurant, is in love with Benson, a Black daycare teacher. 

Well, they used to be in love, but now they just find themselves living together and are no longer finding the same connection.

In this time of feeling the least connected, Mike must head home, to Osaka, and care for his father. Just as he leaves, his mother comes for a visit and Benson is left to keep her company.

It’s through this time with her that Benson really learns more about Mike, as their relationship struggles along with the distance between them.

I had difficulties connecting with this story although I think this did address some big topics in beautiful ways, like identity and what it means to be family.

Washington did do a beautiful job fleshing out the characters even if I was hoping for more from this story. 

 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

5 Out of 5 Stars

This heartbreaking novel was a Reader Pick this year for our MomAdvice Book Club and it was just beautiful.

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows that more than anything that she wants an education. Unfortunately, her father is broke and decides to sell her as a third wife to an old man.

Adunni’s life is hard and a difficult one to read about. What is more difficult is knowing that so many girls are like Adunni STILL and that many find themselves in these marriages and working as house girls, with no pay or even adequate food or shelter.

That’s why it’s such a joy when a local woman decides to take Adunni under her wing, helping her apply for a scholarship that could be pivotal to her future.

This was a beautiful read and many readers recommended doing the audiobook since the narration was so gorgeous on this. I loved this novel so much and it made for one incredible book club discussion. 

 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour 

4 Out of 5 Stars

Full of satire and social commentary, this noel explores the adventures of one black man who becomes a breakout salesman star in a startup com and the consequences that come with success.

When Darren convinces a customer to change his standard coffee order, he could have never expected how it would change his world.

That customer happened to be starting a “therapy matching service,” and thinks Darren would make the perfect recruit for many reasons, including adding diversity to his company.

Success doesn’t come easy for Darren and when it does come, it changes his relationships with others in a lot of negative ways.

Not everyone wants Darren to succeed and the reader gets to go along on the ride as he sabotages himself and as others try to interfere with his success.

I found the first half of this one to be a little stronger than the second, although Askaripour does a fantastic job tying up on the loose ends. The book has a lot of food for thought about how we compromise Black people for our own success.

The best part is that weaved within all the satire are some really incredibly layered lessons about achieving success in business and sales. 

 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

A Star is Bored by Byron Lane

5 Out of 5 Stars

This is the kind of book that made my face hurt from smiling and that delivered on ALL THE FEELS this month.

Lane was the personal assistant to Carrie Fisher and makes sure to let the reader know right away that this in not a memoir of that time and that all is fiction.

The parallels, of course, are hard to ignore because this story just so happens to be about a personal assistant and the iconic celebrity he comes to work for.

Did I mention that she is famous for her role as Priestess Talara in a sci-fi movie series?

Kathi isn’t an easy person to work for and her eccentricities seem to find a way to consume much of Charlie’s life. Charlie becomes intent on becoming Kathi’s most relied upon person and has to learn to anticipate all of her needs before she even speaks them.

As Charlie finds his own self, he must make harder decisions about how far he is willing to go to keep Kathi happy. This journey to self-discovery is what makes this story so beautiful and sweet.

Readers can also appreciate taking a bit of time to visit the acknowledgements in this one as Lane proposes to Steven Rowley (one of my favorite writers) in the acknowledgements at the end of this book. 

This book was an absolute delight and I, truly, did not want it to end. Thank you for the big goofy grin, Byron Lane! 

Outlawed

Outlawed by Anna North

4 Out of 5 Stars

This feminist Wild West tale hit all the right notes this month weaving a unique and powerful tale that would be perfect for any book club. In this story, ostracized women band together to create their own incredible girl gang, finding love and acceptance within each other.

Set in the late 1800’s, women are expected to carry on their lineage and bear as many children as they can.

Period.

That’s their entire goal in life. Women who can’t reproduce are banished from society, disowned by their families, and are often accused of witchcraft.

Ada has been married for a year and is unable to get pregnant.

As the daughter of an expert midwife, Ada knows that achieving this if often more complex than just that and her curious nature leads her to want to learn more.

She’s determined to find out all she can about this topic and the search for the best medical books ends up leading her on an adventure that she would have never been able to discover alone.

What better place to find community than other women who are facing the same fate?

This unlikely sisterhood is found in the, “Hole in the Wall Gang,” a group of women that have banded together to use their talents to create their own community.

These outlaws have to be very creative to survive and the reader gets to go on their adventures with them from robbing banks to surviving those long winters.

This took me right out of my reading rut and I ended up absolutely loving it. The characters are endearing, the message was beautiful, and I loved the author’s focus on women supporting women. 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Goodnight, Beautiful by Aimee Molloy 

4 Out of 5 Stars

I appreciate a thriller with a good twist and Molloy delivers several in this dark psychological thriller.

Who hasn’t fantasized about hearing the stories told on a therapist’s couch? Sam has no idea that the sessions that he has been doing with is clients are all within hearing distance, thanks to the vents in their home.

Sam is a happily married man, but he is also carrying a lot of secrets in his own personal life.

As he works through these difficulties, a new client shows up that could throw a wrench in their happily ever after.

That is why when Sam disappears, his wife can’t help but to wonder if someone else caught his eye, especially as she begins to uncover his secrets.

Smart twists like the one that Molloy creates in this story had me, truly, guessing from start to finish. If you like your thrillers dark, make to give this one a read this month!

 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano 

5 Out of 5 Stars

Looking for a really great audiobook to indulge in? The narration on this smart murder mystery was just what I needed this month and I just know it is going to be one of your favorite reads too.

A struggling novelist happens to be discussing her next suspense novel with her literary agent. A table over, someone overhears the conversation and mistakes her for the killer that she is supposed to contract out for a murder.

Finlay is a stressed-out single parent who happens to be down on her luck financially.

This opportunity to earn a ton of cash could not have come at a better time AND she *could* consider it research for her next book.

Why shouldn’t she take advantage of this opportunity?

This book is laugh-out-loud funny with incredibly witty dialogue that had me giggling through so many sections.

Finlay’s unlikely accomplice and love interests just add more and more fun to the plot.

Highly entertaining and a joy to read, add this book to your stack today because I just know you will enjoy it as much as me.

 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

5 Out of 5 Stars

Are you a sucker for rom-com movies? As all rom-com lovers know, each movie includes a good, “falling in love,” montage that brings all-the-feels together.

Imagine planning a series of dates around these montages and that, my friends, is the secret sauce to this adorable LGBTQ romance.

Not only did this have a gorgeous little love story, Smyth added a really gorgeous mother-and-daughter story that brings a unique challenge to one of the characters and her ability to love and be loved by those around her.

This YA novel had much more depth than I had expected and I even found myself quite teary-eyed through a few of the scenes.

As a disclaimer, the mother has early onset dementia in this which made it a challenging read. That challenge though is what added so much beauty to the story and made it one of my new favorite YA reads this year. 

April 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

 

March 2021 Must-Reads

March 17th, 2021

Is reading more on your 2021 list of goals? I can’t wait to share 10 incredible books that I think you should add to your book stacks stat!  This carefully curated list includes your next romance novel, thriller, courtroom drama, and even some phenomenal historical fiction to sweep you away. Be sure to bookmark today’s post.

Hello, friends! It has been quite a month and I’m so sorry that the blog has been suffering in my absence. 

Although I am a bit late to the party, this month,  I have been reading SO MUCH while I have waited out some health storms. Now that I’m able to sit down at my desk again, I am thrilled to share some books for your stack and so appreciate your patience waiting for this post.

I promise it is worth the wait.

Today, I’ve got TEN great books to talk about that I just know you will love as much as me. These books all had me staying up way past my bedtime and lingering far too long in bed in the mornings.  

Heck, if I have to stay home, I might as well make it as enjoyable as possible.

 

 

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am offering fun bookish Zoom backgrounds and the perfect playlist to stay in bed all day with a big stack of books. 

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early! The newsletter allows you to print with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
  • A Curated Playlist- To fully embrace each month’s theme, you receive a playlist to listen to, while sipping on coffee and reading the newsletter
  • Monthly Book Printable or Digital Download (I have so many fun things in store for you!!)
  • What I’m Reading (in real time) and Monthly Discussions on a Book Theme

Sign up here to support my work.

Join Us for Our March MomAdvice Book Club Discussion and Get Your Book Club Shirt Today!

When No One Is Watching snag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

You can check out the full list of 2021 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here. 

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

here is what is on sale today- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked!

Check this list daily here or you can sign up for my daily deal newsletter and I will send them right to your inbox!

Get a FREE Book Just for Being a Prime Member

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Yup, I always try to remind you of this amazing little Prime perk!

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR March over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the March Book of the Month Club Selections:

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

What’s Mine & Yours by Naima Coster

Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering 

In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

March 2021 Must-Reads

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

Set in Seoul, Korea, this novel explores the world of impossible beauty standards and how four young women deal with these challenges, navigating the difficult landscape to unlock beauty perfection.

These four perspectives all share the same apartment building, but all come with different viewpoints on how to address these challenges.

I think the biggest eye-openers, in this one, are the themes that explore this idea of extreme plastic surgery and what is required to get the perfect look to land the perfect partner.

It also explores the psychological challenges that women face, including their roles within their society.

I really enjoyed this novel especially as I got into a rhythm with these four characters and learning more about how they got to these places in their story.

This was a strong debut and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Holdout by Graham Moore

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Courtroom dramas are rarely my thing, but once in awhile a book packs the perfect punch and The Holdout ended up being a book that I just couldn’t put down.

When a fifteen-year-old girl goes missing, her teacher (Bobby Nock) is the prime suspect.

The prosecution believes that they have an easy case for conviction on their hands, but one juror manages to convince the jury to deliver a verdict of not guilty.

Ten years later, a docuseries decides to explore what happened. When they gather to film, one of the jurors is found dead and just so happens to be in “the holdout’s” room, making her the top target for the next investigation.

This fast page-turner is perfect for true crime lovers and the perfect little read-it-in-a-day kind of book that is guaranteed to pull you out of a book slump.

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

If you need a book to just completely escape with, I can’t recommend this incredible read enough. Described as, The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club, I have no doubt that this one will top my favorite reads (already) for 2021!

Fans of Sarah Waters, in particular, should scoop this one up IMMEDIATELY.

Set in eighteenth century England, Ruth could have never expected that one day she would be fighting bare knuckles in the prize rings of Bristol.

Growing up in a brothel, she was not born with the looks necessary to get those paid patrons, but she does discover a hidden talent for getting these patrons to pay her to fight the other girls.

Charlotte is on a different path altogether although she faces the same impossible beauty standards. Smallpox has left her scarred and makes finding a romantic partner difficult.

After Ruth finds herself on the sidelines, she meets Charlotte and discovers that Charlotte would love to learn a few tricks of the fighting trade too. Who better to guide her than Ruth?

I stayed up way past my bedtime reading this Dickens-esque story and just could not put it down.

All of the characters are so beautifully fleshed out and Freeman brings on big themes with women’s roles in society and how these characters creatively navigate around them.

If you add one book to your stack this month, I recommend this incredible one! 

10 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

I finally can say that I have read my first Elin Hilderbrand novel and am so thankful that so many of my readers recommended this story.

Mallory and Jake have a unique little love story. The two live their lives separately (no questions asked) and are committed to a one-weekend-per-year affair that they share together for many years.

The story gets more and more complex as the years go by and as they develop relationships with other people and as their families grow.

To add even more layers, Jake’s wife becomes a well-known politician and they have to work even harder to keep this secret relationship under wraps.

This was such a beautiful little escape and I adored all the references to South Bend, Indiana that are weaved throughout this one since that is where I live!

I can see this one being made into a film and am so glad to have finally read an Elin Hilderbrand book. 

Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what I should read from this author next.

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Secret of You and Me by Melissa Lenhardt

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When a tragedy brings Nora back to her conservative hometown, Nora is confronted with her past and a relationship that she could never let go.

Her childhood friend, Sophie, was the love of her life although Sophie now is married to one of the most successful men in town.

Although Sophie has tried to move past her relationship with Nora, she still is madly in love with her and seeing her reminds her of just how much she misses her.

I thought this was a beautiful love story as it really showcases the challenges of growing up in a conservative town and how hard it is to navigate these feelings and relationships when your family and friends disapprove.

The changing viewpoints and shifts from the past to their current situation really added a lot of depth to this love story. 

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

White Ivy by Susie Yang 

If you are looking for a great audiobook to devour, this novel was beautifully narrated and ended up being such a solid read.

Ivy’s immigrant grandmother teaches her early how to steal to get what you want in life.

Ivy has managed to use this skill to get what she needs in life and manages to attract the attention of a boy that she has fallen for.  When her mother discovers her secret she is sent to China, away from the boy she adores, as punishment for her thieving ways.

Years later, she runs into the boy again and she feels like she can finally have the relationship she has always wanted. Her past always has a way of creeping in though and that’s just what happens again. The reader gets to witness Ivy scheme her way out of this to get what she wants.

I found this to be such a satisfying read and loved the dark places this one went! 

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

I’ve been a blogger for sixteen years and can, honestly, say that I don’t really *get* the influencer space (or really like it).

It might be why I found this story to be so darn enjoyable because it does pull back the underbelly of this space and I am HERE FOR IT.

A calculating mom blogger has built her following on her ol’ relatability factor, down to faking hair out of place, the difficulties of child rearing, and even messing up her home to build up that authenticity factor.

One of her followers though doesn’t think she deserves it and she has decided to make her pay for her poor advice and for being such a fraud.

These chapters escalate with each incident and as the reader discovers the root cause of the behavior.

This would be a good one to pair with a viewing of the Fake Famous documentary (currently available on HBO) because it plays into this fake world so much.

If you are looking for a thriller with a great audio narration, this was so enjoyable that I finished the book in a day!

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Comeback by Ella Berman(16-9)

Hollywood directors have played a big role in the #metoo movement so this fictional exploration of this topic is so timely and really dives into all the psychological repercussions for their victims.

Grace is chosen for a large role in a film trilogy, in her early teen years. The magic that happens on screen feels largely, in part, to how well she is cared for by her director. The two continue to make film magic for years until one day Grace disappears for a year.

When she returns, she is a shell of the media starlet she was. Her battle with drug and alcohol addiction have taken their toll, but the real toll is the internal struggle she has been dealt from being a victim of sexual abuse by this director.

When his wife takes an interest in taking her under her wing, Grace now must make a decision if she will take this private battle publicly and what will happen to her reputation if she does.

This was such a great page-turner and had some smart twists woven into this timely plot.

The evolution of Grace made this into a very satisfying read! 

4 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Don’t Make Me Turn this Life Around by Camille Pagan 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Camille Pagan is back with another contemporary fiction read that will be hitting store shelves on May 11th!

When Libby Ross gets the news that she is cancer-free, she is surprised to not really feel *more* alive.

With a spouse that has felt distant and a daughter that requires lots of health monitoring, she knows that the one thing her family could use most is a getaway.

Where better to escape than to the Puerto Rican island where she fell in love and try to rekindle their lost spark?

What she could never expect though is that a tropical storm would hit the island and challenge her in ways that she did not think possible.

Pagan delivers a relatable motherhood journey and all of the struggles that middle age bring to us.

Bigger than that are the beautiful reminders of the importance of family, especially in times of struggle, that we really need right now. 

3 out of 5 Stars

March 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

There isn’t a Lisa Jewell novel that I haven’t loved so I was excited to get a chance to review her latest thriller.

Owen Pick is in his thirties, living with a relative, and really struggles socially at work and in his persona life.

When a student accuses him of sexual conduct, it sends Owen into a rage about all the times his intentions have been misinterpreted and how angering it is that he can’t get dates.

Through his rage, he ends up stumbling upon a web community of, “involuntary celibates,” He really believes he has found his people and finally has a place to spew all of the hate that’s building inside of him.

When a girl goes missing though, it’s this damning evidence and the encounters with the neighbor family that really come into play.

It makes Owen an easy target for blame, but is he really responsible for this troubled girl’s disappearance?

This was a decent thriller, but seemed to lack the spark and twists that I have appreciated from her past work.

Jewell still delivers though on a fast page-turner that already has me looking forward to her next book. 

3 out of 5 Stars

 

January 2021 Must-Reads

February 2nd, 2021

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Is reading more on your 2021 list of goals? I can’t wait to share 10 incredible books that I think you should add to your book stacks stat! This stack has everything from a great nonfiction new-year-new-you book to a great rom-com to stay-up-all-night thrillers.  Be sure to bookmark this post for your next library day!

It’s a brand new year of reading and I couldn’t be happier to share another book stack with you.

In fact, I’ve got ten great books to talk about this week that I think will be perfect for your stack of cozy winter reads. These books all had me staying up way past my bedtime and lingering far too long in bed in the mornings.  

Heck, if I have to stay home, I might as well make it as enjoyable as possible.

Did you see that we announced our MomAdvice Book Club picks for 2021? Be sure to head to this post and snag this year’s picks. You can print out our free downloadable list and even get a t-shirt this year with all of our selections on it! 

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am sharing gorgeous bookish wallpapers for your desktop and phone along with a beautiful collection of Love to Love You songs that I think you will enjoy.

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus (on the 20th of every month, beginning September 20th), as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early, get all the latest book to movie news, and get ideas around the month’s chosen theme (this month we are talking about Storytellers). The idea is that you can print this newsletter out with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
  • A Curated Playlist- To fully embrace each month’s theme, you receive a playlist to listen to, while sipping on coffee and reading the newsletter
  • Monthly Book Printable or Digital Download (I have so many fun things in store for you!!)
  • What I’m Reading (in real time) and Monthly Discussions on a Book Theme

Sign up here to support my work.

Join Us for Our February MomAdvice Book Club Discussion:

snag this month’s incredible book club book

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You can check out the full list of 2020 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here

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June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the February Book of the Month Club Selections:

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

Girl A by Abigail Dean

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (read my review of this one over here)

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

January 2021 Must-Reads

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

At the end of the year, I wanted to escape with a little something lighter and decided to finally tackle the first two books in this series.

Imagine a book club for men that read romance novels to figure out new ways to woo their women. This is the adorable concept Adams has concocted for her series and I enjoyed every minute of this first read.

The club is a secret one, but when their friend, Gavin Scott, finds his marriage in trouble, they know they can help him by teaching him the ways of the romance world.

Gavin begs his wife for another chance, they set a timeline, and he starts putting into practice all that he has learned. The question is if it will be enough to bring back the love of his life.

This had some great laugh-out-loud parts and the characters are quite endearing. It is a good thing they are as Adams uses a different bromance club member for each of her books.

Will this one change your life? Nope. Is it a great light-hearted escape? YOU BET! Put this novel in your stack, between your heavier reads this month.

4 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Longtime readers know that it is rare for me to ever read a series book, mostly because I have commitment issues. Since the first book in the Bromance Book Club was such a fun escape, I decided to dig into this second one too.

This novel takes on another bromance book club member (Mack- their faithful leader) and Gavin’s sister-in-law (Liv). We knew it was coming thanks to those hints of chemistry in the first book.

Liv is working at one of the hottest restaurants in town, as a sous chef, for a chef that she loathes. When she finds out that he has been sexually harassing his employees, she decides to take matters into her own hands to get the justice he deserves. Unfortunately, her decision to do this leads to her being blackballed by every restaurant in town.

Mack happens to be a local nightclub owner and would love to assist Liv with this assignment, along with a few other ones…

I didn’t connect with this story as much as the first book, which is why I am such a fizzler on series books. That said, this was still a really enjoyable read and a great little escape between my heavier books this month.

Adams has a third book in the series that I look forward to reading and following these bros for another love saga.

3 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I got an opportunity to sneak peek this release, that is coming to bookstores on February 2nd.

Just as a man is about to jump off a bridge and commit suicide, a talk therapist pulls up and convinces him to stop his attempt and join her for a cup of coffee. Not only does he join her for coffee, but she also lets him stay with her for the weekend so that she can monitor him at her house.

Recently divorced, Tallie finds comfort in his company and the two become fast friends with lots of spark over the course of these three days.

The problem is that neither is REALLY being honest about who they are.

One must suspend reality a bit with this idea of a therapist allowing a suicidal stranger to join them for a weekend, blurring those lines an awful lot.

I read this one really quickly and was disappointed to find the ending to be an abrupt one after so much build-up to their unusual love story, of sorts. Despite not connecting with the story as much as I wanted, I did read this one in a day and would definitely read the author again, even if this wasn’t my favorite this month.

3 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Push by Ashley Audrain 

One thriller that I think a lot of people will be talking about this year is, The Push. Meaty enough to be a book club pick, shocking enough to have you holding your breath, and twisty enough to keep you guessing until the final pages. What more could a girl want in a thriller?

Motherhood doesn’t come naturally to everyone and Audrain shows how this can make connections with our children difficult, especially if we don’t have any example of what that looks like.

This is the case for Blythe who ends up having a child that is unusually difficult and where she struggles to find connection.

Is it because she hasn’t had the right example or is it because there really is something disturbing about her child?

The book shares Blythe’s story, but also shares the story of generations of women before her that have all had disturbing relationships with their children.

When a tragedy happens, the reader is left wondering if this is really brought on by the child or if Blythe’s past is just catching up to her.

This is the stay-up-all-night thriller you need and would lend itself for a great book discussion as it explores the idea of nature vs. nurture.

5 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Liz Moore’s first novel, Heft, is one of my all-time favorites so I was ready to treasure this novel based on her writing reputation alone. This book, of course, did not disappoint.

A Philadelphia neighborhood is rocked by an opioid crisis and Mickey is no stranger to it, both personally (as the sister of an addict) and professionally (as a cop).

Although the sisters have lost touch, a series of murders begins to concern Mickey when she discovers her sister has been missing from her regular haunts.

In alternating chapters, Moore lays out the challenges that these sisters have faced since the very beginning, including Kacey’s drug abuse and Mickey’s role in how she has stepped in for her sister.

Moore writes about addiction with compassion and empathy, both for those that use and for those that suffer the consequences of these addictions.

I would not categorize this one as a thriller, but more in the vein of a well-developed mystery, as Mickey tries to find her sister. At almost 500 pages, Moore takes her time telling the story of their complicated past and the redemptive nature of family.

Moore proves, once again, that she has storytelling chops and I can’t wait to read what she writes next! 

4 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia

Reese Witherspoon’s selections are, admittedly, a hit-or-miss with me and I think that is important to note since I know many of you are a big fan of her selections.

This story is about two small town sisters that have competing fried chicken restaurants. Hoping to get some publicity for the restaurants, they agree to compete in a Food Network type of challenge to see who is serving up the best fried chicken in town.

The idea is a charming one and the story is what I would classify as good Hallmark fun as the two sisters make discoveries about themselves and the story behind the split of these restaurants.

I was able to read this one in a day and it had lots of feel-good messages about the importance of family and it weaved in some fun with this competition in their town.

I can see why many might gravitate towards a story like this in these hard times and there were some really charming moments in this one. Even if this one lacked a little meat (pun intended), I can see this being a perfect winter read for a lighter escape. 

3 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Power of Ritual by Casper Ter Kuile

I always like a “reset” book when the year starts and this was the perfect book, even in these COVID-filled times.

Kuile brings together wisdom and research to show the power of rituals in your life and how these can bring joy and structure to your day.

Treating the ordinary routines as a sacred practice immediately elevates whatever you are doing whether it is reading a good book, connecting with friends, connecting with nature, or connecting with a higher being.

I found myself highlighting so many portions of this book and found it to be the perfect excuse to connect with friends to discuss.

I knew that I did not want to set a lot of New Year’s intentions this year, but rituals feel like something that is nourishing and that can add some structure to my day. With Kuile’s guidance, I’m creating some new practices in my life and treating old habits as sacred rituals now.

4 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Many of the big buzz books don’t usually end up getting read over here because I know so many of you have already read them. This thriller is one of those books that comes up in conversation, with much surprise, that I have not read. I thought you wouldn’t mind indulging me in finally reading this one since you all have talked so much about it.

A famous artist shoots her husband dead and then goes completely silent and never speaks again. No one really knows the motive behind the murder and interventions have been less than successful.

When a new therapist joins the team, he believes that he can get the story out of her and considers it his duty to explore every angle from allowing her to paint again to interviewing anyone who might have any knowledge about why this happened.

When he finally makes some progress with her, she allows him to read her journal where she has shared the story in her own words. Get ready for the twist because it just might be hidden in those journal pages.

This was not as good as I had hoped, but I did finish it in a day. The twist at the end was sufficiently satisfying, the pacing was good, but it just didn’t develop into the memorable type of plot that I had hoped for. This concludes why I rarely read buzz books anymore.

3 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Get out your tissues for this haunting story because it is a real tear-jerker. Emezi writes such memorable characters and evokes some emotion in her imagery that you will be thinking about this story long after you finish the pages.

Growing up in Nigeria, Vivek is unlike the other boys. He loves to wear dresses and prefers to wear his hair long. In 1990’s Nigeria, his lifestyle is one that is usually kept in secret. When his mother discovers his body on her doorstep, bound in colorful fabric, she has no way of knowing what or just who would harm her sweet boy.

His cousin though knows of Vivek’s secrets and may be harboring a few of his own. As each chapter unfolds, in this heart aching book, we get a peek at what these two boys share and how Vivek’s life was taken.

This short novel is powerful and Vivek’s character is one of those memorable characters that is written so beautifully that you will have a hard time letting Vivek go once you close the pages.

This Book of the Month selection was one that I’m thankful I bought this year!

5 out of 5 Stars

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

NPR and podcast lovers are going to DEVOUR this adorable rom-com that had me grinning from ear-to-ear in this fun concept for a modern day romance novel.

When a local NPR station hits the struggle bus with listeners, a concept is crafted to start a fresh talk show that focuses on breaking up. The thing is, these two colleagues have never been in a relationship, but they are willing to fabricate that to lure in new listeners.

To really bring the concept home, they must get to know each other to create those perfect relationship quirks and problems that make listening so fun.

When the two really get to know each other, they realize that maybe they might like to be in a real relationship after all.

What is a couple to do though when the entire show relies on their break-up for its success?

Fans of The Hating Game and other similar romance novels are going to LOVE this clever concept. The included scripts for the show make this such an enjoyable and laugh-out-loud read that I couldn’t put it down. I hope you guys love it as much as I did!

5 out of 5 Stars

Read With Me This Year

Best Books of 2020

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enjoy these reviews? here are a few other reads you’ll enjoy this year!

The Best Books of 2019 from MomAdvice.com the best books of 2019

 

19 thrillers to keep you up all night 19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Reading!

January 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

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The Best Books of 2020

January 7th, 2021

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com

Looking for a book that you just won’t be able to put down? Today I’m sharing the 20 best books I read in 2020. Bookmark this list and be sure to check out all the previous best books of the year lists that we linked to below.

Every year I make a goal to read 100 books and share them with you. Unfortunately, 2020 was not my year (or anyone else’s) and I was only able to get 83 in this year.

I’ll still give myself a pat on the back, even though it wasn’t where I had hoped to be.

Between volunteer opportunities, temporary vision loss, pandemic parenting, and a million other challenges..it ended up leaving very little space for reading. 

I welcome a fresh year, a fresh page, and another opportunity to hit my goals in 2021. 

I promise, I am already off to the races this year and will have so much more in store for you next year! 

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com

Did You Join My Free Book Club?

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the FREE MomAdvice Book Club. Have you joined yet??? Our Facebook group now has over 4,000 (!!!) members and we are growing strong already in 2021

Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus (on the 20th of every month, beginning September 20th), as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early, get all the latest book to movie news, and get ideas around the month’s chosen theme (this month we are talking about Storytellers). The idea is that you can print this newsletter out with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
  • A Curated Playlist- To fully embrace each month’s theme, you receive a playlist to listen to, while sipping on coffee and reading the newsletter
  • Monthly Book Printable or Digital Download (I have so many fun things in store for you!!)
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P.S.- Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads

Today I’d love to share with you the best books I read in 2020! 

The Best Books of 2020

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

 

Longtime readers know that I am am an absolute sucker for a good time travel book and this year’s biggest hit was this gorgeous time travel story, from V.E. Schwab.

I started this one morning and found myself reading until the wee hours of the morning as I followed Addie’s adventures and this cleverly developed love story.

In 1714, a woman strikes a deal with a dark god to get her out of a promised marriage to a man that she does not love.

She is given immortality, but she is always forgotten.

She can end her immortal life, at any time, by surrendering her soul to the dark god- a compromise she isn’t willing to make.

This takes you through 1714 all the way to 2014 and hops around through Addie’s scrappy life of survival as she tries to navigate life where she is always forgotten.

When she meets a boy that really can remember her though, she finds just the peace she has always been desiring in her immortal life.

This is the kind of book that you can get swept away in and I’m thrilled to be sharing it with you in our 2021 book club next year. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

 

Some people turn away from books about pandemics to cope and then there are people like me who find comfort in reading the pandemic stories of past.

This book really brought me a lot of comfort to know that we had so many parallels and how people managed to get through it. 

The only disheartening part was just how little we seemed to have learned and how history seems to repeat itself in the most crazy ways.

This historical fiction novel, set in 1918, shares a hauntingly beautiful story of one family’s fight for survival during the Spanish Flu. 

Telling this story, through the point of view of a family that owns a funeral home, really illustrates how destructive the pandemic was and what type of emotional toll it would take on them. 

At times this story felt eerie in its similarities.  The bravery that is shown by this family through this trying time ended up being a really incredible page-turner and was one of the most beautiful historical fiction novels I’ve read. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

 

If I was going to pick a book that really stuck with me this year, this would be the one.

I listened to this one on audiobook and, if you can go that route, I would recommend this format because it was phenomenally narrated. It is a compassionate examination of one man’s homecoming during the AIDS epidemic and the reaction by his town and family to his return. 

Brian has been living a full life, in New York, but his days are now numbered. Diagnosed with AIDS, he now has to return to his hometown, in Appalachia where he had to hide who he was.

Set in the ’80’s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, there is so much fear with this disease and Brian is finding very few are welcoming. 

Living his life out loud also has fractured and strained his family, but this is the only place he has to go. 

This haunting story is told in shifting viewpoints and each of them add their own element of process towards acceptance and understanding of Brian’s life.

From the opening sentence, I was moved by this thoughtful novel that addresses the cruelty of this era, the misunderstanding that comes with living in a small town, and the hope that one can change their viewpoints and come to welcome their family members again. 

I haven’t been moved by a story like this in a long time and just can’t get over the brilliant storytelling that Sickels achieved with this debut. In light of its beauty, this is on our MomAdvice Book Club agenda for January. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

 

It is rare that I finish a book and try to hunt down the author to send a thank you, but that’s what happened after I read this incredible memoir.

I can admit that I usually gravitate towards memoirs of celebrities and well-recognized names, but I stumbled on this book and was intrigued about the premise and about Brodeur’s life story.

This coming-of-age memoir shares about Adrienne’s unbelievable involvement in her mother’s love affair with a good family friend.

Not only does she become her mother’s most trusted confident, but she also uses her daughter to help her schedule the repeated secret rendezvous with him.

The dysfunction is on full display and, yet, a daughter can’t help but be thankful to bask in her mother’s glow as she pulls her further and further in with her. 

If you have a challenging relationship with your mother, this might be a difficult one to read.

That said, Adrienne’s lessons learned through this experience contain so much wisdom, as she begins processing the actions of her narcissistic mother. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

This is one of those books that I just knew that I would fall in love with, especially after hearing all the rave reviews from our book club members. 

Sam Hill is born with a rare condition called ocular albinism and becomes the subject of ridicule, at his Catholic school, and his classmates refer to him as the, “Devil Boy.” Although his last name is Hill, the bullies at school refer to him as, “Sam Hell,” instead.

Despite his differences, his mother believes that this is God’s will and that this difference is what makes Sam so extraordinary. 

She will stop at nothing to help Sam pave his path and it is, honestly, one of the most beautiful mother and son stories that I’ve ever read.

Dugoni masterfully pulls in Sam’s adult perspective too that adds a really great reflective bonus to this story.

It is unlike anything else he’s written and will be a book that I will long remember. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

 

This story is quite brutal and comes with numerous trigger warnings so please go into reading this with that in mind. The chapters alternate between the years of 2000 and 2017, examining Vanessa’s complicated abusive relationship with her forty-two-year-old English teacher, when she is just fifteen. 

Seventeen years later, the #metoo movement is happening and allegations begin to fly that this teacher hasn’t just abused her, but many other girls. Vanessa had felt special and chosen, believing that she is in a real relationship with this man that has carried into her adult years. It is the processing of this relationship that Russell writes so beautifully and with a raw intensity that can make it agonizing to read.

It is important to know that this does not glamorize pedophilia, but showcases the confusion of an adolescent who has never experienced a truly loving relationship. It’s a journey that, as brutal as it was, ended up being a journey worth taking. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein

 

Books about the Holocaust always teach me something new and this book was no exception.

This gorgeous historical fiction novel explores the friendship between two girls and the nation’s abrupt swing into fascism. When two Berlin teenagers, Ilse & Renate both decide to join Hitler’s Youth Army together they are stunned to find out that one of them does not qualify because she is not of the, “purest race.” 

These inseparable girls find that the race law not only shatters their friendship, but also leads to a shocking betrayal that has devastating consequences. 

Given how crazy politics have gotten, I think this ended up being a timely read about how we show up for others in our lives and what side of history we want to be on.  It was so good, in fact, that you will find it is also a MomAdvice Book Club selection. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

If there was one genre that I gobbled up in 2020, it was thrillers. I can admit that it takes a lot for a thriller to stick with me because many of them follow such similar formulas.

Goldin’s novel struck a completely different note and gave me so much to think about especially as I tend to be a bit obsessed with true crime stories.

Rachel Krall runs a true-crime podcast, very similar to Serial, where she explores a case each season to help rectify injustices that may have occurred. This makes her a target of fandom, but also a target of frustration, for those who may be involved in these cases.

In the new season, Rachel is investigating a rape trial, where an Olympic-hopeful athlete has been accused of committing this crime. The family is well-known, wealthy, and connected in the town so he has the best people involved to represent him.

As Rachel settles into this town, for her investigation, she begins to receive letters from a woman who is begging her to reopen an investigation into the death of her sister.

As these cases share many parallels, Rachel learns more about the dark side of this town and the people in it.

Goldin does an incredible job building out sympathy for these women, in each case, and exploring really important themes about these #metoo stories and how wealth and power allow men to not be punished for their crimes. It’s a really thoughtful book that I enjoyed from start to finish. (full review here

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

 

I adore a quirky tale and this book was one of the most unique and hilarious books that I’ve ever read. 

The premise of this novel is that a zombie apocalypse has occurred and it is told through the perspective of their pets and other animals that are observing this bonkers behavior.

In fact, the main perspective we get is from a crow.

It sounds bizarre, but it was one of the most unique reading experiences that I’ve had in a long time.

I could not stop laughing and highlighting and laughing and highlighting. I sat on the couch and read passages out loud to my husband and kids who, fortunately (unfortunately) have the same twisted sense of humor as me.

It’s so rare to belly laugh through a book and I couldn’t have appreciated the escape more this year. All the stars for the unique perspective and the author’s notes at the end really brought home her love for animals and unique perspective on the world of crows. (full review here)

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

I am stunned that more people are not talking about this incredible novel this year. With vivid storytelling, that is written so beautifully that it reads like a classic, it should be at the top of your book stack this year. This Southern historical fiction novel, spans generations of women, before and after the war.
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The story is of three women- May Belle (a midwife and healer in their community), Rue (who discovers she has some of her mother’s gifts for healing), and Varina (the master’s daughter).  Being the town healers means that May Belle & Rue know many of the secrets, both of the slaves and their owners. Knowing this information has life-altering consequences, especially when it comes to their unforgiving master. 

Afia Atakora’s historical novel moves forward and backward in time in episodes labeled Slaverytime, Wartime, Freedomtime, or the Ravaging. While shifting timelines can feel confusing, in the beginning, you soon start to fall into the rhythm and crave each section in this phenomenal book. 

The writing is masterful, evocative, and beautifully researched. I just know you will fall in love with this one from the first page. (full review here)

Ten Honorable Mentions for 2020

It is always hard to narrow my list down to just ten! Here are ten others that hit all the right notes for me this year and deserve to be in your reading stack! 

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Need More Book Ideas? Here are my top ten lists from the past ten years!!

Best Books of 2019

Best Books of 2018

Best Books of 2017

My Top Ten Books of 2016

My Top Ten Books of 2015

My Top Ten Books of 2014

My Top Ten Books of 2013

The Best Books Read in 2012

My Top Ten Books in 2011

The Top Ten of 2010

 

Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads

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Don’t miss these other great reads on MomAdvice:

2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections 2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections (join our free club!)

9 cozy books for winter reading

19 thrillers to keep you up all night

quick reads to reach those reading goals quick reads to reach those reading goals

53 historical fiction novels to escape with 53 historical fiction novels to escape with

The Best Books of 2020 from MomAdvice.com

 

December 2020 Must-Reads

December 30th, 2020

December 2020 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Looking for your next great read? Today I’m sharing 19 incredible books I read this winter. Be sure to bookmark this post for your next library day!

Did you see that we announced our MomAdvice Book Club picks for 2021? Be sure to head to this post and snag this year’s picks. You can print out our free downloadable list and even get a t-shirt this year with all of our selections on it! 

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month I am sharing printable bookshelf coloring pages for your next year of reading and a holiday playlist, perfect for ending your year. 

Patreon Community

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus (on the 20th of every month, beginning September 20th), as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early, get all the latest book to movie news, and get ideas around the month’s chosen theme (this month we are talking about Storytellers). The idea is that you can print this newsletter out with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
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Join Us for Our December MomAdvice Book Club Discussion:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

snag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

You can check out the full list of 2020 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

here is what is on sale today- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked!

Check this list daily here or you can sign up for my daily deal newsletter and I will send them right to your inbox!

Get a Free Book Just for Being a Prime Member

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Yup, I always try to remind you of this amazing little Prime perk!

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR November over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the January Book of the Month Club Selections:

The Survivors by Jane Harper

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

Outlawed by Anna North

The Removed by Brandon Hobson

 
Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

December 2020 Must-Reads

 

The Monsters We Make by Kali White

Any child of the ‘80’s remembers the heightened awareness of stranger danger and the  missing kids that lined our milk cartons. 

This smart and chilling thriller is a work of fiction, but relies heavily on a true life case of three paper boys that disappeared, all within a few years of each other, while out on their morning deliveries.

This page-turner is told from alternate perspectives that include the officer assigned to the case, the sister of a fellow paper boy, and a 12-year-old boy that is carrying around a secret that haunts his every waking minute.

I could not put this book down and recommend it, in particular, for fans of Rene Denfeld.

The author spent hundreds of hours researching these missing person cases and conducted numerous interviews with reporters and officers that covered these past cases. This read is absolutely solid from start to finish.

Triggering warnings: child sexual abuse 

4 out of 5 Stars

Verity by Colleen Hoover

I have finally dipped my toes in the Colleen Hoover waters after SO many of you have insisted that I dig into her books.

I realize that I picked the one that fits the least with her romance writing, but this book is also one that people post about with a good ol’, “WTF??” so I had to find out what the fuss was about.

It seems this is one of those either you really love it or you really hate it.

Personally, I thought it was a really clever twist that had to me guessing from the beginning. 

A woman is hired as a ghost writer to finish the remaining books in a famous author’s series (Verity Crawford), after a car accident has left her bedridden and unable to communicate.

To really make sure that she gets all of the author’s notes and start to understand her process, she stays with the writer’s family to gather all she needs.

While gathering information for the book though, she stumbles upon Verity’s memoir that makes some stunning declarations that all is NOT as it seems in this woman’s world.

The memoir is highly disturbing and graphic, which made me turn the pages even quicker than I had expected.

The ending is really quite clever and, overall, I enjoyed this twisty thriller a lot.

I would recommend this if you are looking for a dark winter thriller to keep you entertained!

4 out of 5 Stars

The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I know many of us have come to rely upon Kristin Hannah’s novels for her heartstring pulling narratives and a good yearly cry.

I can tell you that she is delivering on that again with her new novel, available on February 2nd, 2021.

This historical fiction novel is set in the 1930’s, just as the drought has broken across the Great Plains. 

This account of one family’s story showcases some of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, when the Dust Bowl era strikes with a vengeance.

Farmers are forced to either uproot their families, to supposed promises of greener pastures or try to farm in inhabitable conditions for their livestock and land.

More surprising, to me, is how many simply abandoned their families with the burden became too much, leaving behind women and children to figure out how to handle everything.

That is what happens in this story and it is, honestly, one of the bleakest books that I’ve read.

There is, truly, not a glimmer of hope in this one and the tragedies go on for hundreds of pages. 

It is beautifully written, I learned a lot, I cried a lot, and I was left begging for a little more hope in this story.

4 out of 5 Stars

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections

Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Wunderland ended up being so excellent that I decided to select it as 2021 MomAdvice Book Club pick.

This gorgeous historical fiction novel explores the friendship between two girls and the nation’s abrupt swing into fascism.

The Berlin teenagers, Ilse & Renate, both decide to join Hitler’s Youth Army together.

What they don’t know is that Renate’s family doesn’t qualify and she is considered a, “mischling,” because she is not born of the purest race.

Once inseparable, the race laws shatter their friendship and lead to a shocking betrayal.

Decades later, this betrayal is brought to light again, upending the life of Isle’s daughter as she uncovers the shocking truth about her mother and her long-buried secrets.

As with all books set during this era, I walk away feeling like I have learned just a little bit more about the daily challenges people faced during this time.

Epstein does a fantastic job tying all of the details together and weaving these different decades of perspective into the story.

She ends the book with a thoughtful commentary on today’s politics and the overlaps that she never would have thought would have pertained to her story. 

Reflecting on this history in time and the continued conversations about race and social justice will yield, I am sure, a really impactful book chat this year.

5 out of 5 Stars

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

Looking for a novel that really packs a punch and delivers on rich storytelling? I found myself unable to put this book down and I think you will too.

When a young mother is murdered in her home, on Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a black neighborhood.

Ruby King knows that there is more to her mother’s story than just that and she knows that her mother’s death puts her in an even more dangerous position than before.

Luckily, she has a best friend (Layla) to lean on who, truly, understands the gravity of what has happened.

Layla’s father is the Pastor of their church though and demands that Layla stay away from Ruby and her father.

Not only are they supposed to not show up for Ruby, they also are assisting and turning a blind eye to the fact that Ruby’s father could have been the murderer.  

It leads the reader to wonder what the minister has at stake to protect a man like this.

This confident debut is one of my favorite 2020 reading surprises! West even allows space in her novel for the church building to be its own character, as it is observes the members throughout its halls.

I was blown away by this novel and the cleverly woven plot.

5 out of 5 Stars

 

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

This was the month for dark thrillers and I stumbled upon this book when it ran on sale this month. 

It is the kind of book that you can devour in 24 hours with all that unreliable narration that I’ve grown to love over the years.

The His & Hers aspect allows the reader to switch between two perspectives- a news reporter who is covering a murder case and the detective that is suspicious of her involvement…oh, and happens to have had a romantic relationship with the woman that was murdered.

This is one of those perfect whodunit kind of books and Feeney builds out the story well, even adding in a third perspective from the unknown killer.

There is smart complexity built into each of these characters that made it a satisfying read that kept me up way past my bedtime.

4 out of 5 Stars

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you need a holiday romance escape, this novel is absolutely adorable and grin-until-your-cheeks-hurt cute.

Minnie Cooper has had an unlucky New Year’s birthday ever year of her life and it started with a man that she has never met…Quinn Hamilton.

The mothers gave birth to them at the hospital, just after midnight, and Quinn’s mother stole the cash prize for being the first baby born on New Year ’s Day AND what should have been her name.

Since this historic day, Minnie has had one bad birthday after the next. 

After another disastrous time at a party, she ends up meeting Quinn and finds her world forever changed.

These two couldn’t be more different, but they find a deep mutual appreciation for one another that they could never have expected.

This novel can be summed up in two words: ABSOLUTELY CHARMING.

I could not have loved this one more and would love to see this one expanded into a sequel because Minnie & Quinn were such a treat!

5 out of 5 Stars

All That’s Bright & Gone by Eliza Nellums

Stories told from a child’s perspective can be an absolute hit or an absolute miss.

Luckily for me, Nellums does a phenomenal job in her debut, sharing the story from six-year-old Aoife’s perspective.

Aoife’s brother is dead and since this time, Aoife’s mother has been getting more and more confused.

When her mother ends up being hospitalized, her uncle comes to live with her and realizes just how bad things have gotten for Aoife. 

Aoife has been living without essentials like food and a safe home, but she is able to navigate all of this thanks to her imaginary friend, Teddy.

With Teddy’s help, Aoife wants to get to the bottom of what really happened to her brother as she begins to uncover the truth that has been kept from her.

If you appreciated, Where the Forest Meets the Stars, I really think you will love this story too.  It does lean a bit into magical realism, but I found the story to be beautifully told throughout. 

4 out of 5 Stars

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

While Ove has been one of my favorite characters, I can’t always say that I connect with Backman’s work the way that many of my readers do. 

This novel was one that really grew on me and I wasn’t sure what to think most of my way through it.

Readers advised though that the audiobook was super enjoyable and I read the printed version so I do want to share that this appears to be the best format for connection.

An apartment open house becomes the site of a failed bank robbery and this is where a group of strangers are being held hostage.

This unlikely group of misfits all come with their own sets of baggage and find themselves trapped together where stories begin to flow and connections are made.

Backman finds seemingly loose strings and manages to bring these characters together in surprising ways.

The story is told through alternating perspectives that can feel disjointed, but somehow add some magic to the story.

This was voted as a favorite by our book club members and will be featured as a 2021 MomAdvice Book Club selection.

I plan to reread this one in the audio format to see if that really does add the needed connection to this story.

4 out of 5 Stars

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

I was so excited to dive into this novel, particularly, after watching the real life documentary of Hillary that was on Hulu.

If you are at all interested in her younger years, I do recommend this because I found it to be quite fascinating hearing about her younger years.

In this fictional retelling, Hillary does enjoy her time with Bill, dates him, and refuses his proposal.

Clinton works on her own successful career as she decides to campaign and run for a presidency and the reader gets to go on the bumpy ride with her.

It was an interesting spin on her life story and builds all the way up until meeting Trump and then running against him.

In all honesty, I admired the concept even though the sex scene with Bill and a saxophone may be permanently imprinted on my brain.

4 out of 5 Stars

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

This is, by far, my favorite thriller this year and I hope that you can join us to chat about it in our 2021 MomAdvice Book Club. 

Described as Get Out meets Rear Window, this clever thriller explores the topic of gentrification in a way that begs for a book club chat.

In this novel, Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her neighborhood seems to be changing before her very eyes.

Lifelong neighbors are now throwing up for sale signs and the shops she has visited for years are now being replaced by hipster juice bars.

Sydney decides to deep dive into the history of the neighborhood and finds an unlikely assistant, when taking a city walking tour.

What the two uncover can only be categorized as a nightmare and they must band together to stop the evil forces as work.

This is as good as any movie, has sooo much meat for discussion. Don’t skip this one this year!

5 out of 5 Stars

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

One of the big buzz books this year was this novel by Rumaan Alam. Reading the description, the plot sounded like one that I would immediately get sucked into and the audiobook ended up being beautifully narrated.

A Brooklyn family rents a luxurious house for a weekend getaway and, after barely unpacking, the owners come knocking and ask to come back to stay with them during a severe power outage in the city. 

What the white renters didn’t expect was that the wealthy couple is black and that builds out into some well-developed plot points about “subtle” racism even when we *think* we do not have a racial bias.

They also didn’t expect that they would be without all technology, during the outage, and how the outage is only the start of this dystopian family vacation.

The beginning of the book was strong, intriguing, and well-written. The ending was VERY ambiguous without a clear conclusion that left me wanting a lot more.  If the book had not ended so abruptly, I would have rated this one a lot higher.

3 out of 5 Stars

Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

This science fiction novel sounded so intriguing that I couldn’t wait to dive in. 

The premise for this one is that there is a machine that tells you exactly what makes you happy and people use this as guidance for success in their everyday lives and to get ahead in their professional world.

Even armed with this information (and working for the company that makes the machine) Pearl has a son that it is intent on living an unhappy life.

He isn’t interested in what this machine can tell him and is working through disordered eating and personal struggles that no happiness machine can fix.

The book started really strong, but I had a hard time connecting with this one.

Even if it wasn’t my favorite this month, I do think the messaging was strong. As we become more and more reliant on technology to motivate us, the idea that we shouldn’t allow it to define us was a strong one.

3 out of 5 Stars

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This thriller will be hitting store shelves on January 5th and was the perfect winter read-it-in-a-day kind of thriller.

Jane is working in a ritzy neighborhood as a dog walker. 

Down on her luck, meeting Eddie Rochester couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

Eddie is a widow, after a tragic boating accident takes the life of both his wife and her best friend.

Although it may seem a bit soon to be pursuing a love interest, he falls head-over-heels for Jane and can’t wait to start a fresh chapter with her.

As the title implies though, this widow’s story might not be all that it seems. 

Lucky for him, Jane’s isn’t either. 

Told in alternating perspectives this novel was a treat.  I hope you enjoy this game of cat-and-mouse as much as I did.

4 out of 5 Stars

Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin

Although I am WAY out of the baby/new mom phase, I was looking for something light and decided to read this little book, “Happy and You Know It.”

This novel was full-on dark satire.

Set in NYC, this is all about a privileged group of moms that gather for weekly playgroups. Their gatherings even include their own private musician, who is paid to sing to their babies, as they update their coveted social media profile.

All of them harbor little secrets (dark pasts, money woes, sordid affairs, and deep rooted beliefs in the wellness culture that has them spending loads of $$$). It’s delightfully awful.

Hankin, the author, happens to write for McSweeney’s and has been featured on Funny or Die.

Being funny doesn’t necessarily mean smart comedy, but this author attended Princeton so she has the academic chops to make it all believably hilarious.

It reminded me a little of, “A Ladder in the Sky,” where it is so deliciously terrible that you can’t stop flipping the pages.

With parents behaving badly these days (is distance learning bringing out our *true* sides or what?) I loved sinking my teeth into parents that I just don’t have to really deal with in my real life. 

4 out of 5 Stars

Do No Harm by Christina McDonald

Thank you to the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Night Olivia Fell was one of my favorite thriller’s last year so I was absolutely thrilled to receive an advanced reader of her latest novel, available on February 16th

There is nothing we wouldn’t do to protect our children and McDonald explores that idea when a mother finds out her son has a rare form of cancer that requires a treatment that no family could ever afford.

Practicing as a physician, Emma knows that the she has access to one thing that can help her bank enough money for this cancer treatment…access to opioids.

In a town that is gripped by the opioid epidemic, she has no trouble finding clients, but also finds herself in a dark world that takes a surprisingly bad turn.

One thing I really appreciate about McDonald’s writing is that she creates a compelling story both for this mother and compassion for the opioid crisis, as a whole.  

This one challenges your own moral compass in some really clever ways.

This thriller is beautifully paced and meat enough for a great book club discussion.

5 out of 5 Stars

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m all about the thrillers right now and I can’t wait until you can get your hands on this one (hitting store shelves on December 29th) because it kept me guessing all the way up until the final pages.

As a seasoned thriller reader, you know that is no easing feat anymore!

Lilia is a complex character with a dark past and becomes one of the prime suspects when her husband goes missing.

The two are in a loveless marriage  and it would come to a surprise to no one if Lila ended up killing him, after the way he has treated her.

He’s not the only one who has gone missing though and as the police (and true crime podcasts) start digging into Aaron’s disappearance, they begin to wonder if a few unsolved missing person cases might be connected to this.

Lila killed her husband though so she’s a little less worried…until the body disappears and she starts receiving messages that indicate that he might still be alive.

Say what?!

The readers gets to follow along on each twisty path and Kane does an incredible job weaving these stories together.

The ending is oh-so-satisfying.

Make sure you add this one to your stack this month!

5 out of 5 Stars

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mary Kubica is one of my favorite thriller writers so I was absolutely thrilled to get a copy of her latest novel.

I’m sorry to say that this won’t hit store shelve until May 18th, but I want to put it on your radar, in the meantime.

Kubica builds a great twisty story that has the just right amount of suspense and whodunit fun that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could.

It is unusual for more than one person to go missing in a neighborhood, but that’s what happens in this story leaving one to wonder if these cases could be related. Not only do two women disappear, but a six-year-old little girl has also vanished.

Eleven years later though, the child is found and everyone wants to know where she could have been and how this could be connected to the other disappearances.

This book is fast paced, had really inventive twists, and read like a really suspenseful film.  I, truly, had zero idea where this was going and that made it a pleasure to read from start to finish. 

I can’t wait for you to get your hands on this one so be sure to add it to your to-be-read stack for 2021!

4 out of 5 Stars

Read With Me This Year

January 2020 Must-Reads

February 2020 Must-Reads

March- SKIPPED (pandemic brain)

April 2020 Must-Reads

May 2020 Must-Reads

June 2020 Must-Reads

Pandemic Hiatus for eLearning

September 2020 Must-Reads

October & November 2020 Must-Reads

Sign up for the MomAdvice Daily Book Deals Newsletter

Join Our FREE Book Club

Visit ALL my Book Reviews

enjoy these reviews? here are a few other reads you’ll enjoy this year!

The Best Books of 2019 from MomAdvice.com the best books of 2019

 

19 thrillers to keep you up all night 19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Reading!

December 2020 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

 

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections

December 28th, 2020

2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

Have you been looking for a free book club to join? Check out the 2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our FREE book club today! Learn more about how you can join our virtual book chat for these next 12 selections! 

So many things have fallen to the wayside while we have been figuring out our rhythm with parenting through a pandemic and navigating a complex year with my health. 

Despite all the challenges, one thing that I have been working hard on is continuing to cultivate our book club community. This year, we have grown by another thousand members, as so many of us work to find new ways to connect through this pandemic. 

If one of your goals this year is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to our FREE book club you can join. This is  an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group filled with almost 4,000 (!!!) readers where we all share in a monthly discussion together.

MomAdvice Free Online Book Club

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?  

Scroll down to see my list of the twelve books that we will be discussing.

The Book Club Chat is held on the last Friday (of the month)  and an Event invite is sent out to members at the beginning of each month.

Once you RSVP to an event, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you are able to hop on at anytime during the day (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals  and I share our book club picks through something called an affiliate link.

What is an affiliate link? 

Great question!

Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website.

The web hosting currently costs me approximately $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you. This year, I will also have the additional expense of mailing giveaway books and the cost to hire a designer for our crafts.

Thank you for helping me make this book club great with your purchases.

I promise that I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

Patreon Community

What If I Want a Premium Book Club Experience?

COVID has made things very challenging as a small business owner. In light of this circumstance, I have created a Patreon community for our book club members! For JUST $5 a month, I create exclusive bonus content just for you! 

Each month I create a fun playlist, a free digital download, and a big fat MomAdvice Book Gang newsletter that gives you an ad-free place to read the book reviews ten days prior to readers, filled with bonus book news about upcoming releases! 

This month, for example, I am giving you a winter preview of upcoming releases with 19 new reads to check out this month.

I would be so honored for you to join us! So far there are loads of book review journal sheets, bookshelf coloring pages, mobile backgrounds, bookmarks, and so many accompanying playlists to listen to while you print out the fun. 

By joining the community, you help a small business owner- thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

Grab Our Official 2021 MomAdvice Book Club Shirt

Are you planning to read with us? I have created a brand new book club shirt with our new stack on it.  We are so thankful to Bonfire for their hard work on this adorable design that captures our reading together! Get the shirt HERE!! 

We have long sleeve, short sleeve, crewneck sweatshirts, and hoodies for this year!  

Enough waiting! I’m thrilled to share these twelve 2021 book club selections with you today! I can’t wait to hear what you think about this year’s list. (Click Here for A FREE 2021 Digital Download Of Our Books!)

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections January (MomAdvice Pick)- The Prettiest Star

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections February (Reader’s Choice)- The Girl With the Louding Voice

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections March (MomAdvice Pick)- When No One is Watching

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections April (Reader’s Choice)- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections May Reader’s Choice)- The House in the Cerulean Sea

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections June (MomAdvice Pick)- Lights All Night Long

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections July (MomAdvice Pick)- The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections August (Reader’s Choice)- The Book of Lost Names

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections September (Reader’s Choice)- Migrations 

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections October (Reader’s Choice)- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections November (MomAdvice Pick)- Wunderland

MomAdvice 2021 Book Club Selections December (Reader’s Choice)- Anxious People

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site!

Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads

You can also sign up for the MomAdvice Daily Book Deals Newsletter with the latest book news!

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2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections