Amazon First Reads For October (Get 2 Free Books)

October 3rd, 2022
Amazon First Reads for October (Get 2 Free Books)

Prime members shouldn’t miss access to this FREE Amazon First Reads program. Learn about this Kindle reading program and get two free books this month. 

Let’s choose our October Kindle First Reads selections together! This month we get access to TWO selections, and we have some wonderfully tried-and-true authors on the list (like a short story collection from Alice Hoffman) and some well-established Kindle book authors to choose from.

These books are available to you at no extra charge if you have Prime.

What is Amazon First Reads?

If you aren’t familiar with how this program works, head to this post that shares everything you wanted to know about the Amazon First Reads program (formerly the Kindle First program). This is my beginner’s guide to navigating these freebies.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Amazon First Reads

Please note, when you add it to your cart it should display the purchase as captured above (BUY IT NOW FOR FREE). If it does not, you are not signed into your family’s Prime account.

If you have a moment, leave a comment and let me know what you picked or if you have read any of these!

This month, Amazon is offering TWO books for free with your Prime membership. Don’t miss this deal!

Here is what you need to know for this month and what I chose (if you need help making decisions). To help you find this info easier, I’ve included the blurbs, GoodReads ratings (so far), and any critical reviews that might help guide your decisions.

Amazon First Reads For October (Get 2 Free Books)

PICK TWO HERE OR ON THE LANDING PAGE

The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey (THRILLER)

Killers hiding in plain sight. Small-town secrets. A girl who knows too much. From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline comes a nerve-twisting novel inspired by a shocking true crime.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.28 stars with 160 ratings.

One seasoned reader of her books stated that this was her favorite by the author so far.

Reviewers praised it as atmospheric, claustrophobic, and a great pick for fans of serial killer stories set in small towns.

The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb (GOTHIC FICTION)

She’s restoring the old family home on the hill. And unearthing something evil.

In the tourist town of Wharton, on the coast of Lake Superior, Tess Bell is renovating her old family home into a bed-and-breakfast during the icy dead of winter…

What evil has been locked away for so many years? The ominous brushstrokes, scratching at the door, and moving shadows begin to pull Tess further and further into the darkness in this blood-chilling novel of suspense by the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Keepers of Metsan Valo.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.07 stars with 29 ratings.

Reviewers shared it is a solid pick for Halloween and called it a great atmospheric ghost story.

If you are looking for a book for spooky season, this looks like a great pick.

Well Behaved Wives by Amy Sue Nathan (HISTORICAL FICTION)

Perfect wives, imperfect lives, and upending the rules of behavior in 1960s America.

Law school graduate and newlywed Ruth Appelbaum is acclimating to life and marriage in a posh Philadelphia neighborhood. She’ll do almost anything to endear herself to her mother-in-law, who’s already signed up Ruth for etiquette lessons conducted by the impeccably accessorized tutor Lillian Diamond. But Ruth brings something fresh to the small circle of housewives—sharp wit, honesty, and an independent streak that won’t be compromised.

Right away Ruth develops a friendship with the shy Carrie Blum. When Carrie divulges a dark and disturbing secret lurking beneath her seemingly perfect life, Ruth invites Lillian and the Diamond Girls of the etiquette school to finally question the status quo.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.45 stars with 22 reviews.

Reviewers went into this one expecting a light-hearted story, but discovered it to be a challenging read.

Her editor shares this intriguing blurb, ” As the women of this powerful book continue to change and grow, they come together to save one of their own from hidden abuse. I hope you’ll feel as inspired as I did watching these women stretch beyond their comfort zones and challenge expectations for women in 1962, with some lessons for us even today.”

The Break by Katie Sise (DOMESTIC SUSPENSE)

Can she trust the people she loves? Can she trust herself? A new mother is pushed to the edge in a provocative thriller by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Open House.

After the traumatic birth of her daughter at a New York City hospital, Rowan O’Sullivan returns home to her apartment with her perfect newborn, Lila. At her side are her husband, Gabe, and June, a part-time babysitter hired to help Rowan in any way she can.

But in this time of joy, Rowan can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right. She feels dread. She’s breaking.

Rowan’s growing instability leads her to accuse June of unspeakable things. And when June disappears just days later, Rowan becomes a suspect.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.24 stars with 21 ratings.

This selection is coming in with some rave reviews already and recommended for fans of The Push.

This domestic suspense novel is a Zibby’s Book Club pick for November and was featured in Publishers Weekly.

In the PW, they shared this review, “With this white-knuckle journey, Sise shows her mastery of suspense.”

The Bookstore Sisters BY Alice Hoffman (SHORT STORY)

VERDICT: WHAT I PICKED

From New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes a heartfelt short story about family, independence, and finding your place in the world.

Isabel Gibson has all but perfected the art of forgetting. She’s a New Yorker now, with nothing left to tie her to Brinkley’s Island, Maine. Her parents are gone, the family bookstore is all but bankrupt, and her sister, Sophie, will probably never speak to her again.

But when a mysterious letter arrives in her mailbox, Isabel feels herself drawn to the past. After years of fighting for her independence, she dreads the thought of going back to the island. What she finds there may forever alter her path—and change everything she thought she knew about her family, her home, and herself.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.39 stars with 274 reviews.

If you are looking for a sweet read for your book stack, this is the selection for you.

It’s no surprise that this is the book with the most feedback since Alice Hoffman is such a seasoned writer.

Reviewers have called this short story endearing, delightful, and sweet.

Her editor shares this charming observation on this story, “Alice Hoffman’s writing transported me as I read Isabel’s story, conjuring the dusty back room of the Once upon a Time Bookshop, the heirloom flowers that climb the walls of Red Rose Cottage, and the lupines that turn the whole island blue in summer. In my short visit to Brinkley’s Island, I found a second home.”

Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N. Holmberg (HISTORICAL FANTASY)

A house of haunted history and ill temper. Make yourself at home in this beguiling novel of love, magic, and danger by Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg.

Rhode Island, 1846. Estranged from his family, writer Merritt Fernsby is surprised when he inherits a remote estate in the Narragansett Bay. Though the property has been uninhabited for more than a century, Merritt is ready to call it home—until he realizes he has no choice. With its doors slamming shut and locking behind him, Whimbrel House is not about to let Merritt leave. Ever.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.56 stars with 48 reviews.

This author is a well-known fantasy writer that wrote The Paper Magician, The Fifth Doll, and The Will & The Wilds.

This book is already receiving some critical acclaim. Publishers Weekly shares, “Filled with delightful period details and artfully shaded characters, this whimsical, thoughtful look at magic and its price is the perfect read for a cold fall night.”

Reviewers are praising it as an enjoyable historical fiction fantasy read and say that Holmberg is one of the most versatile writers.

Excuse Me While I Disappear by Laurie Notaro (MEMOIR)

A laugh-out-loud spin on the realities, perks, opportunities, and inevitable courses of midlife.

Laurie Notaro has proved everyone wrong: she didn’t end up in rehab, prison, or cremated at a tender age. She just went gray. At past fifty, every hair’s root is a symbol of knowledge (she knows how to use a landline), experience (she rode in a car with no seat belts), and superpowers (a gray-haired lady can get away with anything).

Though navigating midlife is initially upsetting—the cracking noises coming from her new old body, receiving regular junk mail from mortuaries—Laurie accepts it. And then some. With unintentional abandon, she shoplifts a bag of russet potatoes. Heckles a rude driver from her beat-up Prius. And engages in epic trolling on Nextdoor.com. That, says Laurie, is the brilliance of growing older. With each passing day, you lose an equivalent amount of fear.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): 4.45 stars with 33 ratings.

This has a starred review from Kirkus Reviews this month.

They described it as “Witty and full of sarcastic energy, the author fearlessly tackles what it means to get old…Unplugged, refreshingly off the hook, and consistently entertaining.”

Reviewers loved this writers hilarity on going gray, menopause, and settling into middle age. This looks like a winner if you need a laugh this month.

Over Her Dead Body by Susan Walter (SUSPENSE)

Ashley Brooks’s life isn’t working out as planned. After years of struggling to make it in Hollywood, she’s still waiting for her big break. When fate leads her to the doorstep of legendary casting director Louisa Lake George, Ashley thinks her luck is about to change: the prickly old pro knows about a role she’s perfect for. The aspiring actress never gets to thank her, though, because the day after the audition, Louisa is dead. The bigger shock—she left all her money to Ashley.

Louisa’s grown children arrive stunned and ready to fight. Her nephew tries to play peacemaker, while Ashley grapples with why Louisa would leave her fortune to a stranger—and whether she should keep it. But Ashley quickly discovers everyone, including the dead woman, is hiding something, and it’s a race to get to the truth before someone else winds up dead.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): Ratings: 4.50 stars with 44 ratings.

Readers shared that this is the kind of book you can read in a day with short chapters, multiple POVs, and a great ending.

One author review shares these details about the author, “Susan Walter is a master storyteller with an insider’s view of the film business, and her novel glints with danger and brilliant insight into the hopes and dreams of an aspiring actress. I read it in one sitting, guessing the whole way through, stunned by the conclusion.”

Pesos by Pietro La Greca Jr. (TRUE CRIME)

Pietro La Greca Sr. was an intimidating Napolitano con man dubbed “Mexico’s real-life Don Corleone.” He ran Mexico’s biggest money-laundering scheme during the worst economic period in the country’s history. His was a world of fast cars, mansions on the water, and VIP treatment at Las Vegas casinos. His exploitation of Mexico’s financial free fall made him a wealthy man. But while he was running his criminal empire, his son, Pietro Jr., a.k.a. Picho, was learning his father’s tricks—if only to bring the man down.

An epic tale of greed, high-finance scams, drug cartels, and brazen corruption by the rich and powerful on both sides of the border, Pesos is as personal as it is lavish and fantastical.

GodReads Rating (So Far): 3.80 stars with 5 ratings.

Reviewers praise this as mesmerizing, intriguing, and challenging. There is a lot of language in this one that has received some negative feedback for those that prefer cleaner dialogue.

Publishers Weekly shared this review, “La Greca proves a snappy raconteur of this turbulent tale. Fans of true crime and epic family sagas will not want to miss this one.”

June, Reimagined by Rebekah Crane

June Merriweather is on the run—from her own life. Her brother is dead, her parents are liars, and her college major is a joke. Apart from her best friend, Matt, June is desperate for reinvention. And a one-way ticket out of Cincinnati to the Scottish Highlands is a good place to start.

With a backpack, an urn, and a secret, June begins again. She snags a job at a café and finds lodging at a quaint inn with a quirky cast of housemates. The only problem: the inn’s infuriatingly perceptive (and sexy) owner, Lennox. He’s suspicious of June. After all, no one comes to Scotland in the winter unless they’re running from something. From rocky start to sizzling temptation, June’s new world is exhilarating…and one detour away from disaster.

GoodReads Rating (So Far): Ratings: 4.08 stars with 40 ratings.

Readers called this a heartwarming page turner that you can read in a day.

Kirkus Reviews shares, “The real love story here is between the protagonist and her authentic life…A sincere story about navigating life and love.”

VERDICT: WHAT I PICKED

I’m so glad we get two selections this month!

Honestly, I can’t picture the Alice Hoffman not being available for free in the Prime catalog because that is where their original stories are living. I am taking a gamble and spending my credits on two other books.

I decided to grab Well Behaved Wives– the Stepford Wives scenarios sound intriguing especially after seeing Don’t Worry Darling (and loving it).

I also got The Break because of its comparisons to The Push and selection by Zibby’s Book Club. If it is good enough for that book club discussion, I feel like I need to give it a try!

SOUND OFF: Have you read any of this month’s selections? Tell me what you plan to pick this month!

READ BETTER THIS YEAR WITH THESE ARTICLES

My Favorite Things (So Far) This Year

June 21st, 2022

The best books, tv, movies, podcasts and products I’ve purchased in 2022!

Hello, my friends! I hope that you’re having a wonderful summer! I thought it might be fun to talk about my favorite things (so far) this year.

Personally, I get bogged down with those end-of-year recaps so I thought a mid-year surprise might be a lovely escape for summer.

Please consider today’s list as INTERACTIVE! Please leave a comment and tell me what’s topped YOUR list this year! It can be anything- books, podcasts, apps, recipes, clothing, organizers- WHATEVER. I love and miss the interactions we share in these spaces.

My Favorite Things (So Far) This Year from MomAdvice.com

My Favorite Things (So Far) This Year

Please keep in mind, these are new-to-me discoveries and may not have been released this year.

The Best Apps of the Year (So Far)

Two apps changed my mental health journey this year and I’m forever grateful.

Loona App

Loóna

I have been struggling with nighttime anxiety and this app came recommended to me by my therapist to help with my sleep anxiety and insomnia.

Friends, it has helped me more than ANYTHING we have tried.

In particular, it has helped so much with my racing thoughts and inability to shutdown.

Throw on a pair of headphones and immerse yourself in these gorgeous interactive sleep stories.

The narrator acts as a guide, giving you directions for coloring in images and you tap the screen to fill in the colors.

As you tap, it has ASMR sounds that are beautifully pleasant as an added reinforcement. Sounds like tapping floor boards, paper shuffling, rocking a chair, or spinning a metal toy- that kind of thing.

The music and narration are just beautiful and will transport you somewhere else.

I don’t use this app only for bed though.

In fact, I’m listening to the work/study music while I type this post.

Other musical options include lullabies, sleep songs, music to wake up to, and calming tunes.

We share an account as a family and every family member has tried (and loved) this app too.

Sunnyside App (formerly Cutback Coach)

Sunnyside App (formerly known as the Cutback Coach App)

Last summer I decided I wanted to reign in my evening drinking habit and I used this app to help reinforce my commitment to myself.

Can some people do it without an app?

Sure!

Did I ever honor a commitment that I didn’t invest into and get spelled out to me in black-and-white?

No, I didn’t.

Each week I would make a commitment to the amount I would drink that week and it would coach me every evening to remind me of that commitment I made to myself. It sent me charts on saved money, sleep hours reclaimed, and calories saved.

Gradually, I went from two drinks in the evening (or more) to being a girl who has a glass of wine on special occasions.

Admittedly, the holidays were weird this year and I now notice how I used alcohol to brave social situations.

It was the hardest and best gift I could have ever given myself to feel so aware of my actions.

Alcohol no longer plays a role in my life really at all and it was because of this app.

The Best Podcasts of the Year (So Far)

You know I have to mention the launch of the Book Gang Podcast (subscribe wherever you get podcasts!). The challenge with podcasting has been making shows AND listening to other people’s shows. That said, these are two that I loved this year.

Maintenance Phase Podcast

Maintenance Phase

When people talk about podcast hosts feeling like friends, I never really got that. I have always been pretty grounded in the separation in these feelings…that is until this podcast came along.

Fun fact that might change how you feel about me- I deeply despise harmful wellness culture and dieting fads.

These hosts, it turns out, do too, and they debunk and explore the myths around these topics in their show. They tackle everything from fad diets that we perceive as healthy to the problematic Dr. Oz and don’t mind exposing a few wellness influencers and their dramatic demises.

I have belly-laughed through so many of these episodes and appreciate the extensive lengths to their research they go to on why this culture and how fat-shaming is so harmful.

Sidedoor Podcast

Smithsonian Sidedoor

This podcast is going on its eighth season and I’ve enjoyed every single episode.

This takes you through the side door to learn the stories behind the exhibits from the experts themselves.

Each episode is different and utilizes the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers, and astrophysicists to tell the story behind the story.

I promise, you’ll fall in love with this one too. It’s also (relatively) family-friendly, but you can go through episode-by-episode if you have smaller children to pick topics they might enjoy.

I always learn something new and have fun trivia for any dinner party.

The Best Books of the Year (So Far)

If you thought I could narrow it down to just one, I can’t.

These two books that I’m sharing today transported me to a different time and place that I never wanted to end.

They both are coming out this summer so get those pre-orders in.

Carrie Soto is Back

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Masterful storyteller Taylor Jenkins Reid serves her readers a healthy dose of love and drama on and off the courts in Carrie Soto is Back

Carie fights for all of her tennis titles but refuses to be a media darling.

If she’s tough (shrug), that is on you.

She can’t be friendly and kick your ass at the same time.

Her nickname, Battle Axe, was won through her ruthless game.

After winning every title (and facing an injury), a girl should just enjoy retiring.

Right?

Well, Carrie refuses to take take the easy road.

She jumps back into training and challenges her body beyond its capabilities to try to win Wimbledon again.

She also discovers that it is okay to be loved and needed by others along the way.

This is CINEMATIC in nature and pure book club catnip.

Sweet, but never saccharine. Bitingly feminist-forward. 

It asks us to examine how we think about women in sports.

Why must we be likable?

Why are men held to different standards?

What does it mean to age out?

How can we find joy in the later years?

I held my breath through tennis matches when I care nothing about sports.

I snickered through trash-talk.

I ugly-cried through the ending and then cried again that this was over.

I am trying to be measured with praise and I can’t.

Reid has written another fully fleshed character that makes this book feel like a memoir.

Was Carrie real? Is there a Wikipedia page on her?

Since her debut, I have followed this author and have read her entire backlist in real-time.

I did my homework, and I’m telling you, this is going to be your favorite book too.

This book hits store on shelves on August 30th. Thank you to the publishing house for this sneak peek.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is a tried-and-true storyteller, but no one could have prepared me for the epic and sweeping journey she crafted for these characters in her latest book Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

For three decades, we follow two unlikely friends who find each other in a children’s hospital.

Sadie’s sister is receiving treatment for cancer, and Sam is recovering from a series of surgeries after a tragic car accident.

They bond over their shared love of video games in the gaming room of the hospital.

However, when Sam discovers that Sadie has been tallying her visits to fulfill her bat mitzvah service, he feels like her charity project instead of a friend.

It ends the fast friendship abruptly, but they find one another again in college when Sadie shares another computer game she has been developing.

The two decide to develop a game together, which follows their success in the gaming industry with their first game.

It also follows the consequences of virtual world-building when they build a world where all are welcome that ends in violence and the dissolution of their formed partnership.

Sam’s chronic pain from his foot injury are written so beautifully and help us understand the daily challenges of chronic pain and learning to find peace with our disabilities when we face them.

This experience is unlike any other that a reader could imagine because Zevin writes each of the games for this company in beautiful and intricate ways that each feels fully fleshed from idea to execution.

I shared these scenes with my software developer husband, who was equally astounded by this remarkable execution.

One world she built, in particular, left me in a puddle on the ground.

It is a journey within a journey within a journey.

Publishers Weekly put it best when they said this book is a “one-of-a-kind achievement.”

Again, I assure you that this will be your favorite book too.

This book hits store on shelves on July 5th. Thank you to the publishing house for this sneak peek.

Best Movies of the Year (So Far)

I try to see a movie every week (both in theatre and/or streaming).

If you need some inspiration for dating yourself, here is an action shot of me on my weekly solo movie date and you could also try this fun new streaming tradition I’m going to do every year for the awards season.

This is another challenging category to narrow down so I’m going to share three that packed a punch this year.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once (watch the trailer)

I can’t recall the last time that a movie has transported me MORE than Everything Everywhere All At Once. We went into this one knowing very little and I am really glad we did.

This is the official blurb for the film- “An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.”

It pretty much tells you NOTHING.

Keep it that way.

This is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve seen on the challenges of mothering our daughters. It made me laugh and cry- sometimes at the same time.

The film was astonishing and visually spectacular.

It was so visually stunning, in fact, that we felt guilty that we didn’t pay for a live theater ticket to see it.

It also is spectacularly strange as she goes through the different universes.

I loved every minute of it and the statements it made about what it means to be family and to fight for those you love.

Captive Audience

Captive Audience (on Hulu- watch the trailer)

I’ve been obsessed with true crime this year, and this series was one of the best I’ve seen.

Honestly, I’ve been surprised that I haven’t heard more people talk about it.

This documentary follows the life of Steven Stayner and his family, diving into the family’s 50-year journey to unravel the tale of two brothers, one deemed a villain and the other a hero.

Don’t Google anything if you are unfamiliar with the case- allow yourself to be immersed in this family’s story (told by their mother).

What made this one so compelling isn’t just the true crime case itself but the unique use of narration they used to tell this story.

The documentarians brought back the made-for-tv cast to read the scenes from the movie that was made about this case.

It sounds cheesy, but these readings were phenomenal, and they also reminisced on their own experience acting in these roles in a really beautiful reflective exercise about how they felt for their own characters.

If you are highly sensitive, the storytelling is compassionate and beautifully told.

The Best TV of the Year (So Far)

I am REALLY having a hard time today with this category because television has been so exceptional this year.

I’m narrowing it down to the best in ensemble casts and outstanding women’s lead performances today.

I do want to give two honorable mentions to The Righteous Gemstones & Physical this year.

The Thing About Pam

The Thing About Pam (on Peacock- watch the trailer)

This true crime tv series is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband, Russ’ conviction. All along, Russ swore his innocence, but who else could have done it?

Well, it turns out this brutal crime was committed by her weird friend, Pam Hupp, who has felt MORE than entitled to a few of the finer things in life.

Again, narration wins for this one as it utilizes Keith Morrison, the journalist who first covered the mystery in a 2016 episode of Dateline as the narrator for this saga.

This dark comedy of errors could not be illustrated better and Zellweger deserves every award she receives for playing this role.

Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary (on Hulu- watch the trailer)

My friend Kelly recommended this show as one of her favorites, and we devoured this first season.

This adorable mockumentary series follows a group of teachers as they navigate the financial challenges of one public school.

This has so much heart and humor to it.

You can really tell that Quinta Brunson has been a powerful observer in her own mother’s teaching career.

It mimics, I’m sure, the challenges that so many of today’s teachers face. It also showcases brilliantly creative ways teachers work around budget constraints in the show’s thoughtful details.

The Dropout

The Dropout (on Hulu- watch the trailer)

Our fascination with con artists knew no bounds this year, did it?

I think I’ve watched every single con documentary and film that has come out this year. This is the one that I enjoyed the most though.

This limited tv series, chronicles Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ attempt to revolutionize the healthcare industry after dropping out of college and starting a technology company.

Thanks to all of this coverage on the case, I felt like I knew this story inside out.

Still, nothing prepared me for the performances of these actors or the way that they would tell this story.

It is such a binge-worthy series that you will have a hard time stopping once you start it. The writing of this story is so thoughtful and there are jaw-dropping performances in this cast too.

Amanda Seyfried could not have been more perfectly cast as Elizabeth Holmes.

The Best Purchases of the Year (So Far)

We continue to embrace minimalism. The purchases that I make and share about will always be authentically chosen. These are the things that have made my life better this year.

Conway AirMega Air Purifier

Conway AirMega Air Purifier

For the record, I’ve never owned an air purifier, but since I bought this I cannot imagine a day without it.

This gadget came highly rated by NYT and has done a phenomenal job not only reducing the odors in our home, but it also has reduced our difficulties with allergies.

The biggest glow-up from this device is when I am cooking. It has an eco-friendly setting that kicks on to clean out detected odors quickly. While I’m cooking, it efficiently cleans up smells before we have even sat down to dinner.

It also does a stellar job with pets, teenagers, sweaty workout smells, and trash.

Thirdlove Classic Uplift Plunge Bra

Thirdlove Classic Uplift Plunge Bra

I had been dealing with unbearable shoulder pain this year and never thought a poorly fitted bra could have contributed so much to this pain.

I had one bra, in particular, that was my go-to, but they went through some pandemic manufacturing changes that really affected the quality (and my body, it turns out!).

This company boasts half-sizing on bras and smart inclusions like a soft-back detail that doesn’t hurt and ways to adjust pads if you have two different cup sizes.

I can’t believe how much better I feel and imagine there might be a few others out there who haven’t seen a bra update since the pandemic that might benefit from a switch too.

Florence Cream Blush

Florence Cream Blush

I’m not sure why it is so hard to find a cream blush with staying power, but my quest ended when I discovered this product this year.

Do you recognize this brand owner? (I had no clue until my daughter told me this fun fact today)

The hue (Glowing G) adds a natural flush that lasts all day. Although it is a little bit pricier than my usual drugstore options, the tiniest bit goes a long way without any need for a second application.

Home Edit Organizers

The Home Edit Organizers Sets (from Walmart)

Our home has been so disorganized since the pandemic and part of the problem is that so many of our organizing systems have been failing us.

I implemented some of these organizing systems in our poorly functioning bathroom closet, pantry, and laundry area with REAL success.

Particularly, we had been stockpiling a lot of canned food during these past couple of years and these stacked tiers have stopped me from buying repeat purchases.

Dishwasher Sign

The Dishwasher Sign

It’s all about communication-free communication at our house. This magnetic dishwasher sign lets everyone know if things are clean or dirty, reducing the stacked dishes with people claiming they couldn’t figure it out.

If you need one more communication-free communication strategy, here’s my final hot tip.

Tell me, what have been your favorite things (so far) this year? Are you going to try anything from today’s list? If you love this list, be sure to sign up for my newsletter for a weekly dose of this fun!

this post contains affiliate links

other things we are loving this year:

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack from MomAdvice.com
11 beach reads that I loved for your summer
join my book club for a great read year of reading

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life

June 13th, 2022
How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

Scribd offers unlimited books at an affordable price. Learn why I’ve been listening to audiobooks through the Scribd app since 2013. Here are the pros and cons of this monthly subscription service from a REAL user.

In 2013, I got the opportunity to work with a new eBook and audiobook membership service called Scribd.

What I didn’t expect was that I would convert into one of their most loyal customers who has been a paid member ever since.

A Scribd subscription is BY FAR one of the best book and audiobook subscriptions for your money and is my most used subscription. However, there is a reason I continue to stay with them, and it isn’t just because they have great books (even though that is the most significant part).

Today I want to talk about why I think this is TRULY the best audiobook service for readers and how I make the most of my membership EVERY MONTH.

I want to explore your biggest burning questions like if authors get paid, what the significant differences are between this kind of access versus Kindle Unlimited membership and some particular things that *I* use this membership for (that might be helpful to you too).  

Even if you have been a subscriber for years, today’s tutorial will also offer some hidden benefits to membership.

Let’s get every dollar out of your experience with today’s tutorial.

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life 

Scribd (it sounds like RIBBED) is, basically, the Netflix membership for book lovers. 

For one monthly fee (currently $11.99 per month), you can have access to their entire catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, sheet music, and uploaded documents.

I want to clarify that this is a digital lending library, much like our experience with online tv streaming services. 

You do not own the materials.

You own membership to stream the books you want to read or listen to in their membership catalog. 

As long as you are a member, you can stream these materials.

At this time, Scribd offers these notable items (plus rotating perks)-

  • Over TWO MILLION audiobooks and ebooks in one app (they work with 5 of the biggest publishing houses).
  • Unlimited sheet music and documents (They have over 70,000+ pieces of sheet music available. This catalog includes the classics and contemporary artists). 
  • Unlimited access to podcasts, magazines, and news (including Time Magazine, The Atlantic, Cook’s Illustrated, & Newsweek).
  • Rotating Membership Perks (more details below on some of my past favorite bonuses).

The monthly subscription includes fiction, nonfiction books (like cookbooks), young adult books, and children’s books.

So your entire family can benefit from this service, all with the cost of just one membership.

How to Find and Add Books to Your Library

Well, the BEST place to check would be the Book Gang Podcast (stream wherever you get podcasts) since it celebrates under-the-radar books, debuts, and backlist selections.

Scribd makes it easier too by offering recommendations based on other books you are reading or have on your library list, much like your experience with other online book purchases. 

You can add books by searching the specific title or browse the incredibly curated selections from Scribd’s editors.

These editors’ picks are where I start when I need a little guidance on book selection.

Bookmark the books that you want to save in your library.

Once you decide what you might like to add to your library, you open up the book and read or listen to it. 

That’s it!

Now let’s talk about those hidden features on the app and some of those faqs.

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

The Best Hidden Scribd Features and Frequently Asked Questions

What Device Can I Read My Scribd Books Through?

These books are available across many ebook reading devices, including iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire tablet, Android & the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet.

At this time, the Kindle Paperwhite is not a supported device. 

Is it Unlimited? Sort of! 

Regarding reading, there’s no limit on the number of books or audiobooks you can read or listen to each month. 

You may sometimes notice that a title you have saved indicates it will be “Available Soon.” 

Once your subscription renews for the next month, your library will refresh, and you’ll be able to select from the entire library.

The reason for this is because they can “adjust availability” of books based on contracts with these publishing houses.

In their defense, they claim it is to pay authors fairly based on the contract distribution terms.

It can be frustrating so if there is a book you are, particularly excited to read that month, prioritize it just in case it becomes unavailable until the next month.

I would say that this is my only issue with this platform.

How Do I Download Content When I’m Traveling?

To store content on your device for offline reading, tap on the cover of the book you wish to save, and you’ll be dropped into the book’s summary page.

To download the book, tap the “Download” button on the summary page.

Again, it is up to each publisher what they want to make available to its users. Some publishers disable downloading for specific titles, and the ‘Download’ option won’t be shown for those titles.

You’ll still be able to enjoy them on Scribd, but they won’t be directly downloadable.

Do Authors Get Paid When You Read on Scribd?

As I hinted earilier, Scribd does pay authors for their work.

I am quoting them directly when I share this statement, “Scribd has deals with our authors and publishing partners concerning payment for all membership content.

Basically, every time you read a premium title or listen to an audiobook, we pay the author the full price of their work!

Revenue that Scribd earns from monthly membership fees is paid to the original publishers or authors every time you read their work on Scribd.”

What is the Difference Between Scribd and Kindle Unlimited?

Scribd is a better value and they offer a completely different catalog.

Kindle Unlimited is a library of (primarily) self-published authors.

On the other hand, Scribd works with five big publishing houses- Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, & Macmillan. 

The catalog is updated so well that I can often secure my new release books the week they come out. 

I find with Scribd that their audiobook selection is more robust though than their book selection. 

What is the Difference Between Scribd and Audible?

The most significant difference between these two is the pricing.

Scribd is an unlimited service, while Audible offers a single credit for $14.95 a month. 

Audible may offer a more extensive selection but comes at a higher price.

You can read about their different plan offerings for more specific pricing.

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

What Are Some of My Favorite Hidden Features on Scribd?

Although I wouldn’t consider this first element to be “hidden,” I want to remind you that access to ebooks means you have access to cookbooks and books on health. 

If you are on a specific diet or diagnosed with a health condition, this resource is INVALUABLE for your family.

When my daughter played guitar, we used the catalog of sheet music for her lessons. 

My kids also have benefitted from my membership when assigned summer literature. (Be sure to read how to enable parental controls if you share your account as a family).

I also want to discuss two lesser-known features you might have missed with your membership. 

Let’s start with your Member Perks! 

Scribd keeps a rotating catalog of member bonuses through various partnerships that, in the past, have included NYT subscriber bundles and Pandora Premium memberships. 

Check this page for the included perks for this month

Another fun feature is that Scribd offers a sleep timer on audiobooks. So if you want to listen to a book to fall asleep, try using this feature! 

Just click the icon in the upper left-hand corner, and you can select any chapter immediately!

Select the moon icon on the lower right side of the audio page to use the Sleep Timer. The menu will appear, and select the length of time you wish for the book to play. The playback will automatically turn off once the timer counts down to zero.

Try Scribd for FREE for 60 Days with my Referral Code

This referral code doesn’t give you a 30-day trial- it provides you SIXTY days of reading to try the platform. Activate it HERE

Sound off: What has been your experience with Scribd? Do you have any other questions about this platform?

Looking for more great reading resources? Don’t miss these posts!

How to Use Storygraph For a Better Reading Life
How to Use the Storygraph App for a Better Reading Life
How to Check Out Library Books for Free On Your Kindle
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The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack

May 18th, 2022

Beach reads are required reading in the warmer months. These summer books deliver on page-turners filled with family drama, steamy love stories, and small-town feelings. Bookmark this summer reading list for your next library day.

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack from MomAdvice.com

Beach books have been a hot top request in our book club and today I wanted to share a few of my top recommendations for this summer’s reading.

After all, summers should be filled with good books, fun drinks, and fictional escapes. I also have one REALLY compelling memoir that reads as fast as fiction.

Escape real life with a few of my favorite reads this year.

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer

The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta

Vogue described this as “a perfect summer read,” and I have to co-sign this comment. This book is now my go-to summer recommendation for a sophisticated romance with enough dimension for a thoughtful book club discussion.


The fake dating trope rarely works for me, but this debut examines the media and public’s obsession with Hollywood figures.

Whitman (“Win) Tagore is a well-known actress making headlines with a jet-setting playboy named Leo Milanowski.

The two have made headlines for a decade with their on-again, off-again romance. The public doesn’t know that the entire relationship is staged.


The two manipulate the press for necessary coverage and to gain favor and attention when necessary. All these situations are carefully orchestrated events between two friends.


As you might guess, this gets complicated but in all the best ways. Rather than leaning into the stereotypical plotlines, this goes into smart places like examining what it is like to be a woman of color in Hollywood.


This wife writing duo truly crafted one of my new favorite romances. I can’t wait to see what they write together next! (P.S.- Stay tuned for a summer interview with this fantastic writing duo on the Book Gang Podcast)

Cover Story

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

This buzzy novel has been making its rounds on bookstagram, and that’s how it landed in my stack. Described as Inventing Anna meets Catch Me If You Can, get ready to meet the next prominent con artist. 

While the novel clocks in at 362 pages, the page count is quite deceptive and can easily be read in a day. Told in diary entries, emails, and text messages, the reader can observe a naive aspiring writer get conned in real-time. 

Lora can’t believe she has landed a summer internship at ELLE Magazine, where she meets Cat Wolff, a contributing editor and heir to a clean-energy mogul. The two begin a side project crafting a short story for a potential magazine submission.

Cat has story ideas, but they aren’t fleshed out well. Lora is a great writer but struggling to make rent. Why not solve both issues at once? 

Cat’s brilliant plan is that Lora can move into the Plaza Hotel with her, and the two can work on the story together.  Lora’s name won’t be on the work, but she can earn a salary and get her start as a ghostwriter. 

Lora grapples with this decision but loves the lifestyle that Cat provides and the ability to do what she loves. It becomes more difficult as she awaits those precious paychecks and as her work begins to gain notoriety. Lora doesn’t know that Cat is being investigated by the FBI, and she may be the next victim.

What makes this story the perfect reading slump buster is that it moves SO FAST by including these different documents and diary entries.

I have been immersed in both Inventing Anna and the memoir that it helped to inspire (My Friend Anna). If you are familiar with this story, it borrows most of its plot from that experience. 

It wasn’t until the 58% mark that the plot switches. 

What makes it the reason you want to finish it is that the last fifteen pages will give you the best plot twist whiplash that you will, FOR SURE, never see coming.

The book is worth the read for the ending alone.

Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

It is the early 1960s, and Elizabeth Zott wants to do her job and get credit for it. As a chemist, her work environment is less than desirable, with a boy’s club mentality among her coworkers at the Hastings Research Institute.

One man, though, treats Elizabeth with the respect she’s always desired, and their relationship evolves into a mutually beneficial exchange that brings them both unexpected joy. 

In a pivotal plot point, Elizabeth has unexpectedly become a single mother and an incredible television star on a cooking show called Supper at Six.

What makes the show such a success is Elizabeth’s refusal to see women as just housewives and to see them as aspiring chemists too. 

The leading lady isn’t the only notable character because Garmus has made an entire beloved cast of characters for the reader to adore, including an adorable dog that the reader will fall in love with. 

This novel is quirky, heartwarming, and feminist-forward in all the right ways.

This will be on my best books of the year list and would be the perfect selection for any book club. Read this before the TV series on Apple+.

Deconstructed

Deconstructed by Liz Talley

Finlay Donovan fans will devour this fun Southern story that blends heart and humor into a perfectly satisfying story.  

An antique-shop owner overhears a gossipy conversation about her husband that draws into question whether her husband has been unfaithful to her or not.

If her husband has been cheating, she will not let him get away with it, and she decides to hire a private investigator to look into this affair and what else he could be hiding. 

What she doesn’t expect is that her new assistant is the perfect accomplice to help her uncover his hidden secrets.

Not only is Ruby a wildly talented seamstress, turning her store’s trash into treasures, but she also knows all the right people to get any job done in town. 

These two women become unlikely friends, and there are some lovely layers to this story with checkered pasts and town secrets. 

What the Fireflies Knew

What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris

It is no secret that I am a sucker for coming-of-age stories, and this debut delivered on so much beauty. If you enjoyed our book club book, The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones, this novel would hit all the sweet spots. 

Almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB) has undergone some challenging changes in her life.

Not only has her father died, but her mother also has left.

She and Nia (her sister) are dropped off at her estranged grandfather’s home for an indefinite amount of time with no explained reasons. 

Told through KB’s eyes, this story is beautifully told as she learns more about what tore her mother and grandfather apart.

It’s a big summer of discovery for many reasons.

Still, one of the most powerful is the transition between the two sisters as Nia begins to separate herself from her sister and move away from the things of her youth to embark on the big girlhood journey of self-discovery (and boys).

I have never read this stage so beautifully captured- it reminded me a lot of the transition between my sister and me at that stage.

If you want a book that you want to hug when you finish, this is the book to add to your stack.

Harris writes vividly and beautifully with turns of phrases that are a delight to read.

It also layers in more significant themes like mental illness, race, and identity that add depth to this sweet summer adventure story.  

Described as an ode to “black girlhood and adolescence,” this was one of my favorite library discoveries.

Cleopatra and Frankenstein

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

The book opens with a young painter (Cleo) meeting an older successful businessman (Frank). They could not be more opposite but immediately are drawn to one another’s company.

They find a deep appreciation for one another and also acquire their nicknames, Cleopatra and Frankenstein, yielding the book’s unique title. 

Cleo requires a Green Card, and Frank offers her both the steadiness that her artistic life lacks and a permanent residence in the states. 

We follow the two as their marriage goes through the highs of new love to the monotony in the middle and then what it feels like to fall out of love. 

Each chapter is a month, and the observations of family and friends round out the story as they too observe this relationship and try to forge their own in different ways. 

There is so much humor throughout these pages, even in heartbreaking moments in their marriage.

Their brief stint as parents of a sugar glider (go ahead and look that up on Tik Tok and tell me you aren’t intrigued) may be some of the most memorable chapters I’ve read in a long time.  

Mellors writing draws Salley Rooney comparisons. Comparatively, I thought this delivered on Katherine Heiney writing joy.

It’s not just the unlikely love story though, for me. It is the dry humor where this one shined and made it such a wildly memorable debut. 

If you are looking for really readable literary fiction, this is it.

Book Lovers

Book Lovers Emily Henry

Beach Read was my favorite book by this author until this latest contemporary romance dropped.

When a New York City literary agent goes on a small-town getaway with her sister, the two work through a checklist of adventures that you would appreciate in any Hallmark movie. 

Expecting to find romance with a hunky local in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, is just what Nora believe is destined to happen. 

She couldn’t expect that a difficult editor she worked with from the city just might be living there too. 

In Henry’s signature writing style, this has heart, humor, and loads of bookish moments.

This love story also loves to poke a little fun at the romance tropes while leaning into a few of them in its own story.

Fans of Elin Hilderbrand or Jennifer Weiner should definitely get acquainted with Emily Henry’s backlist selections as well as this fantastic new release.

This Will Be Funny Later

This Will Be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland

This fascinating memoir of Jenny Pentland’s childhood is the book that you won’t be able to put down.

Imagine your real-life becomes episodes for a sitcom. Most of us can’t fathom this existence, but the life of Jenny (and her siblings) became the show we know as “Roseanne. “

Jenny’s mom, Roseanne Arnold, is more of a compassionate side note, while the meat of this story focuses on Jenny’s anxieties from paparazzi encounters and struggles with obesity.

In response to these trials, she goes through various programs, including those infamous wilderness camps and fat camps. 

A couple of truth bombs about Pentland’s journey (both in these programs and with the paparazzi) may have yielded an audible gasp. I was also unfamiliar with Roseanne’s backstory, so the captured moments are pretty surprising.

Through even these sad and challenging moments, Pentland embraces the funny.

I, indeed, will count this among my favorite memoirs.   (P.S.- Stay tuned for a summer interview with Jenny on my podcast)

The Kaiju Preservation Society

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

Craving a summer blockbuster film in a book? This lighthearted science fiction book is just what your beach bag needs.

The timing for this is just as the pandemic is descending on the world, but there is no need to stick around to see the devastation when you get to go to another world.

THANK GOD!

Jamie is a driver for an Uber Eats competitor although he never expected his corporate job to take such a turn.

Stuck in the rat race of trying to make ends meet, he ends up making a life-changing series of food deliveries to someone that promises him a job that can get him away from what’s happening in the world.

AND pay him far better too.

Jamie joins a team of scientists in an alternate world intent on the preservation of Kaijus (giant dinosaur monsters).

This book is filled with laughs and “boy humor” that I couldn’t wait to pass on to my husband, from laugh-out-loud mating rituals to heart-pounding danger.

I love that Scalzi never takes things too seriously and isn’t afraid to poke a little fun at some of the more predictable themes.

Stick around for the author’s note on this one- it includes a tale of a double-saved manuscript that was lost and how this book came to be.

Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

I fell in love with Ashley Winstead’s thrilling debut and was so surprised to see that her next book was a romance.

This gigantic genre leap shouldn’t have worked so well, but Winstead delivered on a laugh-out-loud plot that has made me a believer that she can write anything.

Lee works as a communications director at a women-run electric car company.

While serious and successful at work, Lee definitely leans into the “work hard play hard” mindset. She’s not afraid to throw back a few or call a guy for a one night stand. 

Her carefree attitude isn’t because she’s so easygoing.

There have been many heartbreaks in her life (both in her childhood and as she is older), which is why she keeps so many at a distance.

This jumping to conclusions and mistrust is exactly what ends an important relationship in her life with some of her signature sabotage.

It is also why, five years later, she is stunned to discover that she must reunite with this old boyfriend when the two are both working towards getting a clean energy bill rolling. 

With a political backdrop that doesn’t lean into the negativity, lots of chemistry between old flames, and loads of LOLs, this is destined to be a favorite in this summer’s book stack.

The Truth About Ben And June

The Truth About Ben and June by Alex Kiester

Thank you to the publishing house for the complimentary copy. 

The story opens with the disappearance of a young mother, and Kiester builds a beautifully believable mystery layered with big book club themes. 

Ben never expected to be at a police station inquiring about the procedure for filing a missing person case, but that is precisely where he has found himself.

The juggle of work and family without his wife takes its toll quickly and he would do anything to have June back.

Ben discovers that he doesn’t really know his wife at all and, frankly, neither do her friends.

Kiester takes the reader on a journey to understand June’s motives and a rarely explored topic in literature. To tell you what this is, though, would rob you of the beauty in this read. 

CW: suicide ideation

The Best Psychological Thriller Books to Read

Looking for a few thrillers to add to this stack? Be sure to check out this list of the best psychological thriller books to check out!

What beach reads would you add to today’s stack? Let me know what I’m missing in the comments below!

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack from MomAdvice.com

The Best Psychological Thriller Books To Read

April 18th, 2022
The Best Psychological Thriller Books to Read from MomAdvice.com

Looking for great psychological thriller books? This list offers mystery, unreliable narrators, and creepy serial killers. 5-star thrillers guaranteed!

I’ll lead with an unpopular book opinion- The Woman in the Window & The Silent Patient are not my favorite thrillers.

Embracing the unreliable narrator trope requires more than replicating the next Gillian Flynn Gone Girl experience. It must come with a good backstory and the writing chops to lead me down the wrong path.

Do these books exist? 

You bet they do! 

Today I’m sharing 12 thrillers to get your book stack started. 

The Best Psychological Thriller Books To Read

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is a MomAdvice favorite and for a good reason. She writes some of the best psychological thrillers, and I’ve been sharing about her work since her debut (read my exclusive interview on that one). 

In fact, I am such a fan that Mary graciously agreed to co-host the podcast with me to share about HER favorite psychological thrillers, so definitely give this episode a listen to learn more about her writing process and the books she loves. 

LISTEN HERE:

Did you know that Local Woman Missing won the Audie Award? If you are looking for an audiobook to devour, I would recommend adding this to your listening stack.

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 is connected to the other disappearances.

This book is fast-paced, has inventive twists, and reads like a suspenseful film.  I, truly, had zero idea where this was going and that made it a pleasure to read from start to finish. 

The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push by Ashley Audrain

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.

White Smoke by Tiffany Jackson

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Marigold struggles with anxiety after a bedbug situation in her home caused significant stress, among other difficult situations she has had to face.

Her newly blended family is embarking on a new journey, though it is just the change they all need. Her mom has accepted a new job, and one of these fun perks is rent-free living. 

When they pull up to their newly renovated home, they realize that the neighborhood is unexpectedly creepy. All the houses are rundown, and the neighbors are less than welcoming.

But that isn’t the only thing that’s unwelcoming.

The house has a vibe to it that is deeply unsettling. 

Jackson’s love for the Goosebumps series inspired this fast-paced YA psychological thriller. If you need a further endorsement, R.L. Stine said: “The creeps come on slowly, then start to build. I wanted to scream, but I was too busy to turn pages. I had to know.”

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Marin seems to be leading the perfect life- a fantastic husband, a beautiful son, and a successful career. 

Her life comes to a crashing halt when she is out shopping and her son is taken.  In this split second of her looking away, her son goes missing, and her entire world is shattered.

One year later, Marin’s marriage is struggling, they still have been unable to find her son, and she is in a spiraling depression. 

She hires a private investigator to reexamine the case as a last-ditch attempt. 

What she digs up, though, isn’t information about Sebastian but surprising information about her husband that changes everything. 

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

This thriller doesn’t lean into the intoxicated woman trope or a therapist who suddenly has become the love interest in the couple’s story. For that, we are thankful. 

Marissa and Matthew Bishop are the title’s “golden couple” who surprisingly found their perfect marriage in trouble. Who better get their marriage on track than Avery Chambers, whose controversial therapy methods have gotten her kicked out of traditional therapy settings and featured in headline news. 

Her program guarantees results even if it explores beyond the boundaries of the traditional settings. As each viewpoint is revealed, the reader is led on a wild goose hunt on who offers the most reliable view since they ALL harbor a few secrets. 

This writing duo delivers again on a fast-paced thriller with solid twists. 

I love that they wrote in a few red herrings that had me fixating that I knew the endings or twists, but I was wrong.

We Are Watching Eliza Bright by A.E. Osworth

We Are Watching Eliza Bright by A.E. Osworth

Eliza is one of only two women who are hired as a programmer at a gaming company. Unfortunately, her presence isn’t welcomed, particularly in the programming department, where Eliza becomes a source of ridicule and is harassed.

When the incident is reported, her boss doesn’t take the necessary next steps and goes along with the “boys will be boys” toxic dialogue instead of addressing the issue correctly. 

When Eliza takes the incident to a journalist, all hell breaks loose as people begin to demonize, target, and dangerously harass her. One user, in particular, has made it his mission to destroy Eliza for her actions.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Need a thriller you can finish in a single day? This novel from Lisa Jewell is just the ticket!

I am, admittedly, fascinated by cults and the power of charismatic leaders to manipulate people to do unthinkable things. I’m reading another cult thriller RIGHT NOW.

In this story, Libby returns home from work to find a letter written to her on her 25th birthday. 

It is the letter that she has been waiting for all her life.

Within the note, she learns the identity of her birth parents and that she is the sole inheritor of an abandoned mansion in one of London’s most fashionable neighborhoods that are worth millions.

This house has a dark history that makes it less desirable than one might expect. 

Twenty-five years ago, the police were called to this house because there were reports of a baby crying. 

This baby, healthy and happy, was found in her crib- safe and sound.

Downstairs though, were three dead bodies, all dressed in black, and the other four children had mysteriously disappeared.

Get the surprising backstory in this twisty thriller.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Told from the husband’s perspective, we are quickly enveloped in how much he adores his wife. They seem like the perfect couple, and she does all the things any good wife would do. She’s beautiful, she keeps track of everyone’s activities, she makes incredible dinners, and they have a great romantic life. 

It’s just that their new favorite hobby is working as a team to seduce and murder 

This web of lies affects everyone in their house, like their poor unsuspecting children, and it becomes more and more difficult to keep anyone from finding out, especially when people turn up dead.

This added and believable suspense is what I loved about this story and kept me engaged until those final pages.

Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering

Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering

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

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

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

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

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

Nina’s mom is a con artist who does her best to keep Nina in a good school and has given her the best childhood she can, despite her profession.

When Nina finds friendship with a wealthy boy at school, they find comfort in being outcasts together. 

As their friendship blossoms into something more, they get busted by his father, and Nina is removed from the school and taken away from him.

Now Nina works as a high-end con artist herself; she scopes social media accounts for the fabulously wealthy, drugs them up, and then takes all she can from their home.

When she hits a rough financial patch, she remembers the boy she fell in love with…oh, and the passcode to the family safe that holds millions.

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Lucy knows that she is not the wife that Diana has envisioned for her son.  Lucy struggles with the distance Diana seems to create within them, despite her charitable spirit and working tirelessly for others as an advocate for female refugees.

When Diana unexpectedly dies of suicide, her family is surprised and realizes that her cancer diagnosis may have just been too much for her.

The problem?

The autopsy shows that she never had cancer, but the body does show traces of poison and evidence of suffocation.

Diana’s complex relationships come into play as you try to piece together what has happened. Told in alternating points of view, through past and present, you realize just how many people had a motive in Diana’s death and how many layers she did have to her own story.

False Witness by Karin Slaughter

False Witness by Karin Slaughter

Trigger warnings galore- proceed with caution.

Leigh has been running from her past for twenty years, and the only one who knows the truth is her estranged sister. Callie hasn’t been a part of Leigh’s life as she battles a lifetime of addiction. Yet, the sisters must come together because time is running out, and life as they both know it could end.

I would suggest reading the letter to the reader BEFORE reading this one, which you will find tucked in at the back of this book. 

Slaughter chose to set this story during pandemic times, and it is laced with all the daily dilemmas we are finding ourselves in with our current pandemic and why she felt it was important for this story.

This book is so gripping and has so many layers to it. The dynamics between how these two sisters weather the pandemic and the big moral dilemmas these two face make this an incredibly captivating read.

Looking for more thriller fun?

19 thrillers to keep you up all night
19 more thrillers to keep you up all night
read my exclusive interview with Ruth Ware

QUESTION: What’s the latest thriller you read that kept you up past your bedtime? Comment below!

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

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8 TV Shows with Hilarious Halloween Episodes

October 28th, 2019

8 TV Shows with Hilarious Halloween Episodes from MomAdvice.com

 

Here’s a list of everything you need to stream on television for Halloween! These 8 tv shows, with hilarious Halloween episodes, prove that Halloween can be funny (and not spooky). Be sure to pin this post so you can remember this list of Halloween episodes, for your family,  every year.

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

When I was little I started having nightmares. My mom eventually realized they were caused by something she’d allowed me to watch on television. The terrifying show? Scooby Doo.

I’m no longer scared by a silly cartoon, but I’ll admit I could only watch one season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before I got too scared. (Yes, I know it’s so fake! Yes, I agree it’s super campy! I know!)

I don’t see horror movies in the theater, I don’t read Stephen King novels, and when our local amusement park starts playing its “fright night” commercials every year I lose my mind because HOW DARE THEY.

Suffice it to say, I’m not really here for the scary parts of Halloween. But the candy and costumes?

Oh yeah, that’s my jam.

I love dressing up my kids and seeing other kids’ clever and cute costumes. Sometimes I even dress up with them.

And, obviously, I’m in it for the candy.

And the pumpkins.

And don’t forget It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

The Peanuts gang waiting for the Great Pumpkin is, by far, our family favorite for Halloween entertainment.

(A close second for me is the “Monster Mash” song, which — for some reason — never fails to make me laugh.

And sing along.

Much to my kids’ dismay.)

But luckily for scaredy cat couch potatoes like me, that’s not the only Halloween fun to be found on TV.

To hear Mary and Amy talk about Halloween in pop culture, listen to season 2, episode 17 of The Couch with Mary Carver.

In case you’re like me and looking for something to watch that’s more silly than spooky, I’ve got some recommendations.

8 TV Shows with Hilarious Halloween Episodes

 

These shows have aired several Halloween episodes, so you have plenty to choose from!

Brooklyn 9-9 Halloween Episodes List

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Each year’s Halloween Heist is crazier and funnier than the last, but season 5 takes the cake (and our hearts). Stream on Hulu.

  • Halloween – Season 1, Episode 6
  • Halloween 2 – Season 2, Episode 4
  • Halloween, Part III – Season 3, Episode 5
  • Halloween IV – Season 4, Episode 5
  • HalloVeen – Season 5, Episode 4

Modern Family Halloween Episodes List

Modern Family

If ever there was a family that goes all out for Halloween, the Pritchetts and Dunphys are it! Stream on Hulu.

  • Halloween – Season 2, Episode 6
  • Open House of Horrors – Season 4, Episode 5
  • Halloween 3: AwesomeLand – Season 6, Episode 6
  • Halloween IV: Revenge of Rod Skyhook – Season 8, Episode 5
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Phil Dunphy – Season 9, Episode 5
  • Good Grief – Season 10, Episode 5

Parks & Rec Halloween Episode List

Parks and Recreation

Of course the show that introduced us to new holidays including Galentine’s Day and Treat Yourself Day would have fun Halloween episodes! (My favorite is the one where Ben just about breaks Leslie’s heart and ours, but then totally redeems himself. It’s the best kind of Halloween surprise!) Stream on Netflix.

  • Greg Pikitis – Season 2, Episode 7
  • Meet N Greet – Season 4, Episode 5
  • Halloween Surprise – Season 5, Episode 5

New Girl Halloween Episodes

New Girl

The New Girl gang threw a lot of parties in their loft, including on Halloween. But I think I love the one at the haunted house, where the relationship drama is scarier than the special effects, even more. Stream on Netflix.

  • Halloween – Season 2, Episode 6
  • Keaton – Season 3, Episode 6

How I Met Your Mother Halloween Episodes List

How I Met Your Mother

Who commits to a bit better than this gang? Nobody, I tell you! Ted’s search for “the slutty pumpkin” (not to mention their costumes through the years) never fails to make me laugh! Stream on Hulu.

  • The Slutty Pumpkin – Season 1, Episode 6
  • Canning Randy – Season 6, Episode 7
  • The Slutty Pumpkin Returns – Season 7, Episode 8

Community Halloween Episodes List

Community

The later seasons of Community were so disappointing, but those early seasons were must-see TV for me. And their Halloween episodes? Well, they brought us Britta’s squirrel costume, Jeff Winger in eyeliner, and Abed as Batman. Who can argue with that? Stream on Hulu.

  • Introduction to Statistics – Season 1, Episode 7
  • Epidemiology – Season 2, Episode 6
  • Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps – Season 3, Episode 5

The Office Halloween Episodes List

The Office

When a regular day at this office is so crazy, you know Halloween is going to be totally bonkers! Stream on Netflix.

  • Halloween – Season 2, Episode 5
  • Diwali – Season 3, Episode 6
  • Employee Transfer – Season 5, Episode 6
  • Murder – Season 6, Episode 10
  • Costume Contest – Season 7, Episode 6
  • Spooked – Season 8, Episode 5
  • Here Comes Treble – Season 9, Episode 5

Frasier Halloween Episodes List

Frasier

Of course our favorite stuffy Seattle-ites would throw a fancy Halloween costume ball. And of course misunderstandings and laughter are aplenty! Stream on Netflix.

  • Halloween – Season 5, Episode 3
  • Room Full of Heroes – Season 9, Episode 6
  • Tales from the Crypt – Season 10, Episode 5

Mary Carver is a writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. She lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons, but she lives because of God’s grace. Mary writes with humor and honesty about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places on her blog,MaryCarver.com. She is the author of Fast Talk & Faith: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls and co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. She is also a regular contributor to incourage.me and MothersofDaughters.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

What are your favorite Halloween TV episodes?

To hear Mary and Amy talk about Halloween in pop culture, listen to season 2, episode 17 of The Couch with Mary Carver.

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Love this post? Here are 4 other Halloween projects you might appreciate!

How to Make a Minecraft Steve Costume from MomAdvice.com diy a minecraft costume for halloween

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake doughnut hole ghost cake (no baking required!)

how to make glow in the dark jell-o how to make glow-in-the-dark jell-o

19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Halloween!!

The Best Halloween Episodes to Stream on Television from MomAdvice.com

 

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How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

October 28th, 2019

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

It is so easy to make your pumpkin spice lattes at home. Today’s coffee drink is made with real pumpkin purée, your favorite milk, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and coffee. You won’t believe how easy it is to diy this expensive treat at home. Check out this pumpkin spice latte recipe today and SO many more diy Starbucks drink recipes.

Fall, for me, is Pumpkin Spice Latte season and that’s why I love sharing my favorite DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe with you. Not only do you get to have full control over the sugar and fat content, you also get to save a few dollars in your pocket too.

Have you ever thought about what might actually be going into your pumpkin spice latte? Here is what I discovered, when researching for this recipe…

For a long time, Starbucks did not have pumpkin in their pumpkin spice lattes!

Say what?

Don’t worry, you get your pumpkin spice latte full of real pumpkin now, but it was one of those interesting facts that I stumbled on while preparing today’s post.

How Does Starbucks Get the Pumpkin Flavor In Your Lattes?

Did you know that up until about 2015, the PSL didn’t have any actual pumpkin in it?

Originally, they relied upon an artificial caramel coloring and a mix of spices to create these drinks. 

That’s why it was such a big deal when Starbucks announced that they were getting rid of the caramel syrup and relying on a little pumpkin instead.

It is good to know that when you order this treat that you can look forward to these delicious real ingredients in your cup.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

Why Should I Make a Starbucks Drink at Home if It Doesn’t Contain Artificial Ingredients Anymore?

Honestly, for the cost-savings.  As we all know, the cost to buy drinks from Starbucks REALLY adds up.

Have you heard of the latte factor?

This outlines PERFECTLY how these tiny expenses multiply over time.

Let’s look at the cost on a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Price will vary by location, but hovers in the $4.45- $5.45 range for a tall.

Even if you only buy a tall latte once a week (as a treat yo’self day!!), this will cost you $17.80 a month or $213.60 a year.

This also doesn’t factor in the tip for the barista, which is SUPER important (just ask my brother who worked there!) or if you need to use an alternative milk, like coconut or almond.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather put $213 to work by investing it in women-owned businesses and saving it up for my retirement fund.

In addition to the cost factor, there is also the huge difference in  fat and sugar in each of these of these delicious beverages.

A grande is 380 calories (120 of these are fat calories) and an unbelievable 50 grams of sugar.

This is why it is so great to make this treat at home. When you make these Starbucks copycat drinks at home, you have more control over the sugar, the milk mixture used, and the strength of the espresso or coffee. 

Heck, who even said that these need to be caffeinated? Try a decaffeinated pumpkin spice latte so you can enjoy it later in the day because YOU CAN AFFORD IT NOW.

This is why I developed my own recipe to share with you today. 

This Pumpkin Spice Latte relies on strongly brewed coffee, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, milk (I love almond!), vanilla, and a fraction of the sugar.

What Type of Pumpkin Do I Use For My Pumpkin Spice Latte- I Get Confused at the Grocery Store?

One of the biggest mistakes I made, when first starting to cook with pumpkin, is picking up the wrong type of pumpkin at the grocery store. If you see a can that says, “Pumpkin Pie Mix,” (it looks like this), you do not want this type of pumpkin for your pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin Pie Mix is intended to just be mixed with milk and eggs to create pumpkin pies really fast. Lucky for you, you don’t need anything like that because you have this recipe in your back pocket.

Instead, you are looking for canned pumpkin (that will look like this) because it is ONLY pumpkin and allows you to add in your own sugar and spices to create your dishes. 

As you can see, the labels are almost identical and this can really throw people off when they are shopping for their recipes. 

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

What Supplies Do I Need to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home?

The tools I would recommend are an immersion blender (or small individual blender for drinks or a simple whisk), a saucepan, and a french press or espresso pot (depending on how strong you like to make it).


I like to use a French Press for my lattes, but I also embrace my little stovetop espresso maker when I need that extra bit of caffeine.

How Can I Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte At Home if I Have a Keurig?

I don’t, personally, have a Keurig, but two of my amazing readers shared their tricks to get that coffee shop taste at home with your Keurig.

Lora said, “Try one of the dark, strong coffee K-Cups they offer! Jet fuel is one. They do make some nice strong ones you just have to look!”

What a great idea! Take a peek at some of the k-cup options for a diy latte at home.

Another reader, Kim, shared this super smart idea to brew coffee with a completely different type of k-cup.

Kim said, “If you buy the iced coffee blends for Keurig (I have Nantucket Iced Coffee) and just brew it like a normal cup (not over ice) – it is super strong and works great for these type recipes!”

Another fantastic suggestion! You can shop for iced coffee k-cup options here.

Do You Have Any Pumpkin Spice Latte Topping Suggestions?

I try to skip these (because of the sugar and calories), but I would HIGHLY recommend this fun spiced whipped cream as a finisher and an extra dusting of cinnamon.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

What Other Ways Can I Spice Up My Latte Routine?

Here are the best suggestions from our reader comments!

“Something that I have been doing for the past week that creates a DELICIOUS cinnamon flavor is to make cinnamon water to brew your coffee with. Take a large jar or container. Fill it with filtered water and throw in a cinnamon stick or 2 (depending on size). Let it sit for a whole day. The next morning use that water to make your coffee and it is to die for! Would be a great addition to this drink, especially those who have texture issues! Cheers!”- Liz

“I’ve made this at least a half dozen times now…YUM!! Thanks for sharing. I reduced the sugar and with the last two I’ve made, I’ve cut the cinnamon stick in half to make ’em stretch a little, but those are the only changes I’ve made. Thanks again! LOVE the recipe and all the money I’m saving”- Sara

I love hearing how much you enjoy these homemade Starbucks treats! I also REALLY love that this is a great way to put a partial can of pumpkin to work!

A batch of this simmering away on your stove will bring the scent of the Fall season right into the room.

This milky coffee treat tastes just like a little pumpkin pie with a hint of warm spices throughout. Top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to round out these beautiful flavors.

By making this at home, it is one homemade treat you can enjoy guilt-free as often as you like!

Be sure to scroll down after the recipe to get even more warm drink ideas and good old Starbucks Knock-Off Recipes.

Remember, this is just a base recipe that can be played with to your own tastes and preferences. It is meant to be personalized depending on how you like your latte!

Thank you all for trying and sharing this recipe!

The response has been overwhelming on this one and I love it.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of today’s recipe!

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte
 
Recipe Type: Drinks
Author: MomAdvice.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
It is so easy to make your pumpkin spice lattes at home. Today’s coffee drink is made with real pumpkin purée, your favorite milk, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and coffee. You won’t believe how easy it is to diy this expensive treat at home. Check out this pumpkin spice latte recipe today!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk of your choice (almond, rice, coconut, whole, skim, 2%)
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon spice
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, strong coffee, vanilla extract, and spiced pumpkin seasonings into a saucepan.
  2. Heat saucepan over medium heat until the coffee is steaming hot, whisking with a wire whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and a little frothy. If you have an immersion blender or single-serve blender, you would just blend these until your homemade pumpkin spice latte is frothy.
  3. Pour into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!
  4. Note- If you are not a fan of the cinnamon texture, add a cinnamon stick to the coffee mixture while heating instead. This way you get all of the cinnamon taste, but none of the grit! Visit our reader suggestions for more great ideas!
 

 

Love this recipe? Here are a few more that I think you should check out!

How to Make a Salted Caramel Latte from MomAdvie.com how to make a salted caramel latte

How to Make a Peppermint Mocha from MomAdvice.com how to make a peppermint mocha

DIY Your Own Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice.com homemade vanilla chai mix recipe (an easy diy for the pantry!)

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte from MomAdvice.com how to make a gingerbread latte

How to Cold Brew Coffee from MomAdvice.com how to cold brew coffee at home

Amy's Famous Cocoa Mix Amy’s Famous Hot Cocoa Mix

Peppermint Cocoa Recipe from MomAdvice.com peppermint cocoa recipe

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows from MomAdvice.com homemade peppermint marshmallows

Chocolate Coffee Spoons from MomAdvice.com chocolate coffee spoons

Do you have any suggestions to improve on this DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com Pin It

How To: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles

October 3rd, 2019

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

Learn how to make your own DIY candles in your crockpot or slow cooker. Did you know you can make pumpkin spice scented candles at home with just wax, a wick, and essential oils? This easy tutorial will have you make large batches of candles in no time.

DIY Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

Gift-giving season is upon us and I am always looking for great gifts that don’t cost a lot, can be made in bulk, and will actually be used!

Do you remember when we made Citronella Candles in our slow cooker for thoughtful hostess gifts for the cookout season?

We are going to replicate that same idea, but with one of my FAVORITE fall scents…Pumpkin Spice!

Can you believe you can make candles in your crockpot?

The first time I tried making candles in my slow cooker, I knew that I was hooked on a new favorite craft.

I am so excited to show you, yet again, how to make candles in your slow cooker and this time we are making easy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles.

As a Pumpkin Spice everything addict, these are full of my favorite holiday scent and can be made with just a few inexpensive purchases.

These candles can also be added to a tabletop with some winter squash and some jack-o-lanterns for a festive Fall display.

FYI- I just want to warn you how good your house is going to smell so GET READY!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

This is an easy DIY for homemade pumpkin spice scented candles perfect for Autumn.

Use your slow cooker to make your own pumpkin pie candles to give as gifts or to make your house smell like all the best things of Fall.

Supplies Needed

8 Pint-Sized Mason Jars

5 Pounds Candle Wax Flakes

6” Natural Candle Wicks

2 Jars of Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil

8 Bamboo Skewers (or you can use pencils!)

Slow Cooker or even your pressure cooker on the slow cooking setting

Food Scale or Postal Scale

Decorative Accents to finish your candles – I used twine and tags, but other lovely ideas would be ribbon, burlap, stencils, or even glitter!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

 

Directions for Making Slow Cooker Pumpkin Candles

1. Measure and weigh out 7 ounces of soy wax flakes for each mason jar in a glass measuring cup (be sure to tare your scale).

It should fill jar to the top, and we will be adding more flakes after the first round melts down and creates more space inside the jar.

Repeat the measuring with all of the other candles you plan to prepare.

 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

 

2. Add an inch or two of water to your slow cooker to create a water bath for your candles. Nestle the mason jars inside the slow cooker, place a lid on top, and turn it on HIGH for two hours.

As the wax melts down, feel free to add more wax flakes into the jars to the desired height. These will melt down to about half the size of your jar, so approximately 7 more ounces of soy flakes can be added to get a full candle like my pictures.

3. Once the “cooking time” of two hours has passed, open the lid and add 10-20 drops of Pumpkin Spice fragrance to each candle (approximately 1 ml of oil).

Using a bamboo skewer, stir each candle after adding the oil. Turn your slow cooker off, then add your candle wick in the center of each candle.

Take a bamboo skewer or pencil and wrap the top of the wick to the middle of it and allow it to help stand the wick up in the center of the candle. 

Leave the candles in the slow cooker until the wax begins to harden. Remove them and then dry the jars well with a dish towel. 

Allow the candles to fully harden on your countertop.

4. The next day, trim your wicks and attach a little jute twine and thank you note for your favorite hostess.

 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

 

 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

 

The best part about making these is how incredible your house is going to smell all day long as these cook and then cool.

My kids thought I had baked pies all day when they got home from school.

What sad trickery I played on them with a slow cooker full of candles for our friends (#worstmomever).

I hope you have fun making this easy Fall craft for those you love!

 

DIY Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

 

diy slow cooker pumpkin spice candles momadvice.com

This post contains affiliate links! Thank you for supporting the site with your purchases!

 

Don’t miss these other great ideas from MomAdvice.com:

 

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

 

 

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins

 

 

 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

 

 

http://www.momadvice.com/post/easy-burlap-wreath-tutorial

Autumn Burlap Wreath

 

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DIY Decorative Thumbtack Pumpkins

September 19th, 2019

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

These gold pumpkins are the perfect craft for autumn, even if you aren’t crafty. You will love these DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins for your home!

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to decorate the holiday table that are festive while staying easy on the budget. The gold trend has really been catching my eye this year so I wanted to create something beautiful and gold that anyone can do, no matter what your craft level.

Today’s tutorial is for a decorative thumbtack pumpkin that requires just two items for a fun and festive touch to your table.

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins Tutorial

Decorative Thumbtack Pumpkin Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed

700 (or more!) gold or silver thumbtacks– these can be purchased in a package of 300 at your local dollar store

Small Faux Styrofoam Pumpkin (look for one with a fun stem detail like the glittered stem on this one)

 

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

Directions

  1. Going along one of the ridges of the pumpkin, begin inserting thumbtacks, starting at the very top and working your way down. You will want to make sure that they overlap just a bit to create a feathered effect on your pumpkin. You do not need to go to the very bottom, just enough to cover it so that if the pumpkin is placed on a pedestal or candlestick holder that you can’t see the plastic bottom. This row helps to anchor your ridge as you place the thumbtacks in.
  2. Right next to that row, again overlapping from the side and down the row, begin placing thumbtacks in the same way, repeating this process until you have covered the entire ridge. Once the ridge is filled, just check and make sure there aren’t any holes in any places and fill, as necessary, with additional thumbtacks.
  3. Begin in the next ridge, just as you did with the first, giving just a little room between those ridges so you can still see that pumpkin shape. Now repeat this process again and again, until you have filled the entire pumpkin. This small pumpkin took 700 thumbtacks, but you may need more or less depending on how tightly you are overlapping your thumbtacks.

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? Who would ever have guessed that it costs around $5 to make! I made two of them and wanted to show you a fun way to dress up your holiday table with these.

I spray painted two other faux pumpkins and then roughed them up with a little sandpaper. I filled a glass bottle with branches from our backyard to center these and then purchased these faux logs from my local craft store in two different heights to place my gold pumpkins on. I love all the variations on height and the different textures in this budget-friendly centerpiece.

I hope you find this idea easy and inspiring! Use your own creativity to create a few beautiful pumpkins of your own.

Speaking of autumn crafts…here are a few tutorials you might enjoy!

how to make a blanket scarf how to make a blanket scarf

Painted Pumpkins painted pumpkins tutorial

woodland art download FREE autumn printables

cabled earwarmer pattern cabled ear warmers (free pattern)

easy burlap wreath easy burlap wreath tutorial

Fall Burlap Wreath fall burlap wreath tutorial

how to paint laminate painted laminate fireplace to cozy up by

she shed make a she shed (best investment EVER!)

doughnut-hole-ghost-cake doughnut hole ghost cake

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

This post contains affiliate links!

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Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

September 12th, 2019

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

Have you ever decorated for fall with acrylic paint pumpkins? This tutorial shows you what kind of paint to paint pumpkins with and how to paint those faux pumpkins to match your home decor.  You’ll love these creative ways to paint a pumpkin.

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

Who could use a pumpkin decorating craft for fall?

I decided to decorate fake pumpkins this year and am showing how you can do the same thing with supplies from your local craft store or even dollar store.

This was my first time painting our pumpkins this way and it could not be easier. I wanted to create a pumpkin display that would be perfect for the entire fall season and wanted to show you a cute way to display your pumpkins this year!

I am not big on decorating for Halloween and would prefer to skip right over that part of the fall decorating.

This month’s challenge was to create a Halloween decorations so I wanted to create a minimalistic display that would give a nod to the season, but complement our decor until it is time to deck the halls.

The best part is that these pumpkins can be used year after year and the painting is a lot less messy than carving pumpkins or using spray paint.

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with MomAdvice.com


How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

Any size you like of their faux pumpkins- the small ones are just $.98!! (you could also do real pumpkins!)- try Etsy for supplies.

Waverly Inspirations Acrylic Paints in Elephant, Plaster, Pool, & White

Waverly Inspirations 4-piece wide brush set

Cup with water, paper towels, and something to cover the surface while painting

Wooden Crate 

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

Remove the labels from the pumpkins and protect your surface with cardboard while painting.

With a clean wide brush, begin painting your pumpkins, using the stalk of the pumpkin as a handle to work around the surface.

If you find the area around the stem to be difficult to decorate, you can pull the stems off carefully and use hot glue to reattach after they dry.

Paint the entire pumpkin and then set it aside to dry. Don’t feel limited by painting them all one color though. Feel free to add designs on your pumpkin for Halloween too or decorate your pumpkins with an autumn-theme. The possibilities are endless on the pumpkins you can create. Personally, I love polka dots and think that would be fun AND easy.

 Drying time can take anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour, depending on how thickly you applied the paint.

Repeat this process as many times as you like to achieve the hue you are going for.

I found the gray pumpkins only required a single coat, while the white pumpkins required two coats.

Once dry, sprinkle these pumpkins throughout your house or create a crate display like I have done.

I love how these pumpkins spill out onto some of my favorite childhood reads.

The chalkboard side on this crate gives me the chance to make this display feel a little more Halloween and then can be replaced with a different label later in the fall.  I added my knitted leaf centerpiece to the side of the table- I can’t believe how well these branches have held up over the years!

For a corner in our home that used to have nothing, this has quickly become my favorite focal point in our living room.

 

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

 

I love how these pumpkins spill out onto some of my favorite childhood reads.

The chalkboard side on this crate gives me the chance to make this display feel a little more Halloween and then can be replaced with a different label later in the fall.  I added my knitted leaf centerpiece to the side of the table- I can’t believe how well these branches have held up over the years!

For a corner in our home that used to have nothing, this has quickly become my favorite focal point in our living room.

Do you prefer to paint your pumpkins with chalk paint? I think you will get a kick out of the pumpkins we created for the season when our kids were small.  We really have some of the best pumpkin painting ideas on here so please stick around!

What is the Best Way To Clean Up After Painting With Acrylic Paints?

Acrylic paint crafts can get pretty messy, especially if you are involving your kids in on the fun. I use a simple formula for removing paint from little hands that you should definitely try.

Whether you are dying eggs for the Easter season or painting pumpkins for Halloween, this formula is a great one to keep in your back pocket.

The best way to remove acrylic paint from your hands is to squirt a small amount of whitening toothpaste, add a squirt of facial exfoliant (or body exfoliant), and a squirt of baby oil.  Just rub this combination on your hands until you have removed all the paint. 

The best part is that you will have baby soft hands after you are done! 

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a commission if you make a purchase through our links.

Love this project? Check out these additional craft projects!

dollar store thumbtack pumpkins

autumn burlap wreath

slow cooker pumpkin spice candles

diy game day bar cart

no-sew blanket scarves

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations and contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint from MomAdvice.com

 

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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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Take a Reading Challenge for a Better Reading Year

November 18th, 2022
Take a Reading Challenge for a Better Reading Year

Improve your reading habits by committing to reading in your first reading challenge this year. Book Girls’ Guide share what they’ve learned from creating their challenge prompts and what advice they would give if you want to DIY a challenge of your own.

Today we discuss their book lists and how they can help you have a more diverse reading experience. These great challenges can not only teach you about the world, but also help you read more books a week.

Get their reader’s favorite books for reading around the world and through the decades.

Book lovers, let’s read more books this year with these reading lists and advice from Melissa and Angela.

Take a Reading Challenge for a Better Reading Year

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Book Gang on Facebook

November Book Discussion

Intelligent Change Journal

Okay Fine, I’m Grateful Journal

The Book Girls’ Guide

The Book Girls’ Guide Facebook Group

Email Sign Up

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming

The Secret Life of Albert Enwhistle by Matt Cain

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki

The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Connect With Us:

Amy’s Website- MomAdvice.com

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

The Book Girls’ Guide

The Book Girls’ Guide Facebook Group

Email Sign Up

Book Gang T-Shirts and Merchandise

Join the Book Gang Patreon

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

The Nonfiction November Challenge You Need

November 4th, 2022
The Nonfiction November Challenge You Need

Learn how to participate in Nonfiction November with the ultimate tour guide. Olive Fellows started Nonfiction November on her BookTube channel, A Book Olive. Discover four fun reading prompts and ideas for some great nonfiction books to start your journey.

Do you ever wonder how reading trends got their start? Nonfiction November is something many of us do, but few of us probably wondered how that trend began. 

Lucky for you, I have that answer on today’s show which is full of fantastic nonfiction selections for your reading month! 

Olive Fellows has had a lifelong passion for nonfiction in her reading life and wanted to bring other readers along on this journey. She started this catchy reading prompt to encourage readers to embrace a little nonfiction in their reading life. It expanded into a community initiative that you can use to enrich your reading life. 

Learn more about how to participate and how Olive has grown her BookTube community into thousands of readers. Discover some unique ways to interact with Olive’s books to read and get her reading list for this year’s challenge prompts.

The Nonfiction November Challenge You Need

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Sad Books for When You Want to Ugly Cry Podcast Episode

November Book Club Chat

MomAdvice on Patreon

Amy’s Favorite Apricot Scrub

Bethany Frankel on TikTok

Believe Beauty Cosmetics

Dandy Lions Cosmetics

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman

The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile

Nonfiction November on Instagram

Nonfic November on Twitter

Nonfiction November on TikTok

Threadable App

Fable

How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt

A Furious Sky by Eric Jay Dolin

Hudson Bay Bound by Natalie Warren

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Amy’s Interview with Torre DeRoche

The Secret Lives of Bats by Merlin Tuttle

Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

Dopesick

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

Connect With Us:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Olive’s YouTube Channel- A Book Olive

Olive on Instagram

Olive on Twitter

Book Gang T-Shirts and Merchandise

Join the Book Gang Patreon

Love this episode? Check out these nonfiction book recommendations!

The Best Memoirs to Read for Nonfiction November

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

The Best Memoirs to Read for Nonfiction November

November 1st, 2022

Nonfiction November is here, and we want to arm you with the BEST memoir recommendations for fast page-turners that are just as compelling as fiction. 

This week’s podcast guest, Olive Fellows from the BookTube Channel “A Book Olive,” will join the show to share her Nonfiction November challenge that encourages readers to embrace nonfiction books through beautifully assigned prompts.  Listen to the episode below or here.

Listen to the show:

In the spirit of this month’s challenge, I wanted to share a few of my favorite memoir discoveries.

Although I have included a couple of great celebrity memoirs, today’s focus is also on a few under-the-radar gems that will fascinate, surprise, and inspire you. 

These people have all lived extraordinary lives and I found these to be difficult to put down.

The Best Memoirs to Read for Nonfiction November

Rough Draft by Katy Tur

I can say with great confidence that this book will be on the best books of the year list.

Katy Tur is an MSNBC anchor who became more notable during her coverage of the Trump presidency as she followed and documented his campaign trail.

This book is NOT about that time, though, and offers no particular lens on the campaign other than some general reflections on our distrust in journalism and the growing challenges of this polarizing season.

This is Tur’s coming-of-age story growing up as the child of pioneering helicopter journalist parents. 

To clarify, I’m not talking about helicopter parenting with parents who hover too much over their children.

Instead, I am talking about commercial pilots that captured some of the most significant moments in history, like the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the white Bronco footage when O.J. Simpson was on the run.

When she was just a toddler, she would ride in her parents’ helicopter as they reported on these stories as they were happening. 

As you can imagine, being bold enough to take on this task came with significant risks and rewards. Her father never shied away from these opportunities but embraced them, leading them to fame and fortune of their own. 

Unfortunately, this ambition came with a price, including death threats to their family and a chaotic existence for every family member. His temper proved to be the perfect stomping ground for what she would later deal with in her journalism career covering the presidential campaign of 2016. 

Later, in adulthood,  Katy’s father makes a surprising transition to a woman. Katy shares these passages with honesty and vulnerability, along with the mourning process she goes through.

However, the more significant issues she grapples with are less rooted in this gender decision and more in their complicated past.

We also follow Tur’s journalism career as she becomes a mother through this challenging season as a journalist and the pandemic. 

I can’t think of a memoir that deserves to be turned into a film more than this.

It is larger than life while still feeling so grounded that I could not stop listening.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

Ruth is the 39th child in her polygamist family of 42 children. Ruth’s father is brutally murdered by his brother, and Ruth’s mother later marries another polygamist who cares little for these children or provides for his family.

He is the epitome of a deadbeat dad with little to offer to his family.

This is also a true survivor story as Ruth becomes sexually abused, and the people who should love and believe in her the most are not there for her in her life. It is about what it is like to grow up in poverty, the challenges of being just one of many wives, the challenges of disability, and how Ruth has had to learn to stand up for herself.

Well-written and hard to put down, the tragedy that unfolds left me stunned and in awe of Wariner’s strength and resilience.

Formation by Ryan Leigh Dostie

This was one of the first memoirs we had the opportunity to read together in the MomAdvice Book Club and a memorable and compelling story from Ryan Leigh Dostie.  

Ryan’s journey begins when she strikes up a conversation with an Army recruiter (who visits her high school), that leads her to sign up to join the troops.

It’s an opportunity for her to grow her own wings as she has grown up in a sheltered Christian community.

For her role, Ryan is hired as a linguist and finds the environment challenging as a woman and as someone who has been sheltered so lovingly by her family. 

One awful night Ryan is raped by a fellow soldier, and this story, HER story, is about the aftermath of reporting the soldier and how this begins to impact her career and reputation.

While the story of the assault is just a couple of pages, it is powerful, raw, and honest.

What makes this one more compelling is the journey Ryan takes as she learns to love herself again and find peace within her body.

It’s such a journey too and I’m thankful she shared it in such an honest way.

I also learned SO MUCH about what it would be like to serve in the Army as a woman.  There are so many aspects to this complicated role that I never knew about.

I, truly, have even more respect for our women soldiers and the obstacles they face daily. 

We asked Ryan to join us for a book club chat and it was a powerful evening of reflection and frustration on how far we still need to go on believing women.

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

One night, as an adolescent, Adrienne is awakened by her mother confessing that she has kissed another man.

The husband (and his wife) are their oldest friends, and she needs a confidant to spill her secrets to and assist with coordinating her secret rendezvous.

Adrienne loves having her mother’s attention and tirelessly lends her ear to hear the stories of her mother’s infidelity. She also becomes the decoy for many of their secret meetings. Adrienne loves feel chosen to be part of her mother’s other world.

The affair goes on for years and what was once exciting starts to cause strain on Adrienne. She is forced to lie constantly and her guilt starts to infiltrate her daily life.

When Adrienne begans confiding in others, she realizes how inappropriate her involvement is and how this secret then begins to threaten her relationships.

I could not put this one down and be captivated from page one.
If you have a challenging relationship with your mother, this might be difficult 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.

Rabbit by Patricia Williams

This memoir shares the story of Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) and her life growing up in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic.

Williams is one of five children and witnessed how her mother was able to work the system to help her family survive and how her children were used just for these purposes.

Patricia becomes a mom of two children at fifteen and must learn strategies for her family to survive when she is only a child too. She becomes a master at hustling and dealing crack to keep her family fed.

This book is unflinching in its honesty about how quickly Patricia had to grow up and the unbelievably difficult situations she survived, from being sexually abused to even being shot.

She survived it all, though, and shared her story with equal parts heart and humor, even in the face of her adversities.

Leaving the Witness by Amber Scorah

Moving to Shanghai and being newly married, Amber finds herself thrown into a new world.

A third-generation Jehovah’s Witness, Amber has devoted her entire life to the ministry.

Although she had freedom in the states to share about God, in Shanghai, she finds herself in a secret society where her preaching is illegal and punishable.

There is nothing like moving away to help you discover yourself, is there?

This is a coming-of-age story to realize that there were so many ways to see the world and its people. A blossoming friendship with someone outside the faith leads her to an awareness of how many different ways one can find God.

The decision to explore this comes with severe consequences, including being shunned by her church community, the one place where she finds her identity.

I learned so much about China’s customs and culture, and could not put this down. Amber’s story of finding herself was gorgeous and forced me to reflect on my time growing up in church in a completely different way.

Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Do you love a good meet cute story?

This sweeping love story was a MomAdvice Book Club selection that will give you the chance to travel the world with the most unlikely tour guide.

City girl, Torre DeRoche, isn’t looking for love, but a chance encounter in a San Francisco bar sparks an instant connection with a soulful Argentinean man who unexpectedly sweeps her off her feet.

The problem?

He’s about to cast the dock lines and voyage around the world on his small sailboat, and Torre is terrified of deep water. However, lovesick Torre determines that to keep the man of her dreams, she must embark on the voyage of her nightmares, so she waves goodbye to dry land and braces for a life-changing journey that’s as exhilarating as it is terrifying.


It is hilarious, harrowing, and a true story of what it would be like to sail around the world.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

In this heartwarming coming-of-age story, Zauner returns home to care for her mother as she battles an arduous journey with cancer.


As with all mother-and-daughter relationships, this relationship has much complexity, and Zauner struggles with not meeting her mother’s expectations.


It becomes quite the role reversal when Michelle must care for her mother’s basic needs, including feeding her.


To bring comfort to her mother, she longs to recreate all of the Korean dishes she grew up with to comfort her mother (and herself) through this time.


Zauner brings much humor to the beginning of this book as she shares her childhood memories of her mother’s younger days.


Later in the book, she writes of her grief with raw and heartbreaking honesty that left a lump in my throat.

Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett 

This haunting memoir that delivers on gorgeous narration and bits of music within the audiobook.

Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults and lived a life thick with poverty, abuse, and so unpredictable that it is pretty stunning that he survived.

It is evident that he is an incredibly gifted child and finds ways to weather narcissistic parenting and abuse in ways that most children would be unable to endure. 

However, despite it all, his path finds him on the way to Stanford. It then blossoms into working professionally as a musician and writer.

It might be challenging to read if you are feeling blue. Jollett’s sweetness and poetic writing, though, makes going on the journey with him worthwhile, even amid unbelievable heartache. 

The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine

Tessa Fontaine shares two death-defying stories…her own and the incredible story of her mother, who defied all predictions of death for many years after suffering a series of strokes.

Many of us dream of escaping it all, but Tessa does this and applies for a job working with the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow.

Bravely, she tries all sorts of incredible acts within this company, like sword swallowing, snake charming, and even performing as an electric woman!

Surrounding herself with some of the world’s most unusual people, she shares their stories with kindness and love for this misfit family and her time with them.

Layered between these captivating moments, she weaves in the parallel life of her mother and her death-defying act of traveling the world amid health struggles that should have killed her.

She reflects poetically on the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship and how we grow to understand our parents more and more as we age.

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

If you had told me that I would have found Jessica Simpson’s memoir to be one of the most compelling memoirs I’ve read, I would have chuckled.

While often thought of as a dumb blonde, Jessica now runs a successful billion-dollar global fashion brand that proves she has more brains than Hollywood had ever expected.

Originally slated to write a self-help book, she realized she could help people more by being open and honest about what she had to overcome to reach success and happiness. She wasn’t prepared to offer advice, but she could share the challenges within her own story.

Simpson’s title says it all because she unashamedly shares her story from the beginning of her career to her current successes.

Her life has not been all roses and sunshine, and this book is quite dishy.

The meat of this doesn’t lie in learning about her past marriage with Nick Lachey, though.

It lies within her internal struggles.

Within these pages is the power struggle with her parents, her family’s tragic death, the sexual abuse she endured, and her addiction issues.

She also candidly documents her struggles with healthy body acceptance and her continued body dysmorphic disorder after having kids.

I really enjoyed this one for its refreshing honesty and smartly layered truth bombs within its pages.

Memoirs are best savored in audiobook format, especially when their author reads them.

This memoir, in particular, lends itself well to this format because so much emotion is behind so many of these passages that allow you to connect with her writing.

The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey

If you have struggled to get answers to your chronic illness or had moments where you felt disbelieved by physicians, this one will hit some tender spots in your heart. 

As with many “secret lady clubs” she discovered that many other women had faced similar circumstances when sharing her story. So why was this such a common theme, and why do we have to work so hard to be believed?

Sarah is a powerhouse for many reasons, this book is just one of them.

Not only is she a gifted writer, but she’s a gifted musician and also was a part of the writing team for Obama’s campaign in 2008.

I had the chance to sit down with her for an afternoon and talk through her story, and I have to say that this is one of the most powerful interviews that I’ve ever got to be part of.

This conversation can be listened to in our Book Gang Patreon community.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Not only can you immerse yourself in this memoir, you can watch the HBO documentary series when you finish.

This memoir details the obsessive search for McNamara to uncover the identity of a serial rapist turned murderer. NcNamara’s tireless investigation to pinpoint the source of terror that haunted California for over a decade.

McNamara, tragically, passed away while researching this book, and those that worked on the case with her (her lead researcher and a close colleague) pieced together all of the incredible research that she did to try to solve this case.

Over ten years, a violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California and then headed South, only to achieve an additional ten sadistic murders.

He got away with the terror he caused by disappearing and eluded his capture despite the best detectives in the area being on the case.

Three decades later, Mcnamara (a true crime journalist) was determined to discover his identity and spent the last portion of her career searching for answers for these victims.

Her research is so expansive and McNamara leaves no stone unturned, becoming a trusted confidant of many lead investigators in this case.

McNamara remains grounded throughout her account while offering compassion and hope for justice for these victims.

She was a gifted writer that, sadly, died too soon.

Bookending this story is an intro by Gillian Flynn and a touching afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, completing this as a captivating read that will keep you up until the wee hours.

Glorious Rock Bottom by Bryony Gordon

Although Bryony was not someone I knew, she’s a respected journalist (working at The Telegraph), was a bestselling author, and launched an award-winning mental health campaign.

She’s so well-known that when I found her podcast, I discovered her first episode on mental health was with…wait for it… PRINCE HARRY. 


People did not know that secretly Bryon was battling a twenty-year addiction to drugs and alcohol that had spiraled out of control, threatening her own life, her marriage, and her motherhood journey.

This memoir documents her recovery process, and it is, honestly, the best memoir on recovery I have ever read.


Often our recovery stories end with just the rehabilitation process. This story documents some critical lessons from the challenges of sober holidays to replacing these addictions with different addictions (yes, even ones that feel healthy).

It expands beyond the scope of the traditional recovery program that make it compelling and hard to put down.

A Few Well-Known Memoirs You Could Also Read

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Maid by Stephanie Land

What memoir would you recommend for Nonfiction November? Please share your recommendations below!

Looking for more books to read? Check out these posts for more book recommendations!

The Best Psychological Thriller Books to Read

The Best Psychological Thrillers to Check Out

15 Books About Books, Bookstores, & Libraries

15 Books About Books, Bookstores, and Libraries

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

Join the MomAdvice Book Club (and read with me ALL YEAR!)

The Best Plus-Size Romance Characters to Love

October 28th, 2022

Today’s interview is with Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone as we discuss their new plus-size heroine in “A Merry Little Meet Cute.”

Learn why body positivity in our characters is so important and how the romance industry is changing to feel more inclusive.

This spicy romance discussion includes what they learned from forming this new “odd couple” writing partnership and how they rose to new creative challenges.

Julie and Sierra both have also worked as librarians and share five book recommendations with curvy characters we should add to our book stacks immediately.

ABOUT JULIE MURPHY & SIERRA SIMONE

Julie Murphy is a librarian turned #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels for all ages including Dumplin’ (now a Netflix original film), Dear Sweet Pea, and If the Shoe Fits. Julie lives in North Texas with her spouse, who loves her; her dog, who adores her; and her cats, who tolerate her.

Sierra Simone is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling former librarian. Her notable works include Priest, American Queen, and Misadventures of a Curvy Girl, and her books have been featured in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. She lives with her spouse and family in Kansas City.

The Best Plus-Size Romance Characters to Love: An Interview with Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone (Podcast)

Listen to the Show

Book Gang Podcast Episode 45:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Vault of Ambience YouTube Channel

Samsung Frame TV (that we all own now- hahaha!)

Tazo Tea Turmeric Bliss

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

Priest by Sierra Simone

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade

After Hours on Milagro Street by Angelina M. Lopez

Fat Chance Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

Xeni: A Marriage of Inconvenience by Rebekah Weatherpoon

Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson

Connect With Us:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Follow Sierra on email at [email protected] & TheSierraSimone.com & Sierra’s Newsletter & Sierra’s Instagram

Follow Julie on Instagram & Julie on Twitter & Julie on TikTok & Julie’s website & Julie’s Newsletter

Julie + Sierra’s Website

Julie & Sierra’s Newsletter

Book Gang T-Shirts and Merchandise

Join the Book Gang Patreon

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my  MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores.

This post contains affiliate links.

THIS MONTH’S PATREON BONUSES

20 NEW RELEASE BOOK REVIEWS (LISTEN TO THE PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD THE 37-PAGE READING GUIDE)

Advent Calendars for Teens That They Will Love

October 26th, 2022
Advent Calendars for Teens They Will Love

These advent calendars for teens and tweens are just what you need to make your holiday special. Shop this guide for fun ways to countdown to Christmas fun!

One of my favorite gifts to give my teen is their advent calendar as a Christmas gift each year. This year, we wanted to offer this year’s best calendar ideas for your kiddos in this age category, as well as those college-age kiddos that deserve a fun way to celebrate the season.

We have you covered with a few of our favorite ways to countdown Christmas in 2022. 

To keep it economical, be sure to read our suggestions for ways to reuse keepsake boxes or diy advent calendars for the season with our smart ideas for saving.

DON’T FORGET TO ACTIVATE YOUR RAKUTEN WHEN SHOPPING. HERE IS $40 back on your first purchase.

If you aren’t familiar with the program, this is my beginner’s tutorial on how to use Rakuten (and some sneaky ways I get cashback on stuff we buy all the time).

Let’s celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with these fun ideas for the season.

Interactive Teen Advent Calendars

Exit Advent Calendar Game

Exit Advent Calendar Game (The Mystery of the Ice Cave)

Trying to squeeze in some family time over the advent season? We think this advent idea is the perfect option.

Here’s the setup for this one.

Your pre-Christmas ski trip hasn’t gone as planned: Just as you are taking a break and enjoying the crystal-clear mountain air, you hear a noise and see a terrifying avalanche crashing down the mountain towards you.

This advent calendar is both an EXIT game and an adventure story: in order to free yourself from this predicament, you must open a door of the calendar each day.

Behind each door, you will find a new and exciting riddle, the solution that will bring you closer and closer to escaping the cave! Will you solve the mystery of the ice cave and find the exit?

This one has rave reviews, with people sharing how fun and interactive this was for the holidays.

I also zeroed in on one comment that shared it was a great one for “their middle-school boy.”

Don’t love the setup for the location of this game? Check out these this other option (The Hunt for the Golden Book) that the company offers.

Family Movie Advent Calendar

Christmas Movie Marathon Advent

Love Christmas movies?

This personalized box would be a fun way to celebrate.

Each box contains 24 Christmas films to watch along with a bit of interesting trivia on each movie. Reviewers praise the quality on this one and this is a perfect option for a budget-friendly option.

Fishing Tackle Advent Calendar

Fishing Tackle Advent Calendar

If you have a fishing enthusiast, this company makes creative tackle boxes to countdown the season.

Inside you will find a beautiful, compact, water resistant case under door #1. The 23 compartments to follow reveal all sorts of fantastic high quality fishing gear to fill that box up. There’s a gift everyday to help count down until Christmas.

They also make fun advent boxes for fly fishing.

Christmas Countdown Candle

Christmas Countdown Candle (Pair With a Favorite Treat)

This Christmas-scented candle offers an interactive way to countdown to Christmas. Give this with bags of their favorite candies to countdown the season. Scent options include Christmas Memories, Christmas Tree, Elf Sweat, Hot Cocoa, Mrs. Claus Cookies, Reindeer Poo, Snow Angels, and Wintery Candy Apple.

This would be fun to pair with bath bombs or fun chocolate treats for each day that they can grab out of a big jar!

NASA Socks Christmas Advent Countdown

NASA Sock Countdown

Your teen and tween has everything…but do they have SPACE SOCKS?

Our team loved these NASA-inspired advent sock collections that include cute designs like Never Forget Pluto & Occupy Mars. We also love the price point on this set at just $16.

Advent Embroidery Project

Advent Embroidery Project

Reviewers ADORE this fun embroidery project that celebrates the season with a daily interactive stitch. Honestly, this is the one that I plan my crafty teen this year.

This is designed to be a Christmas Advent project for the month of December. Each day the shop outlines a stitching lesson starting on December 1st all the way through December 24th.

Watercolor Advent Countdown

Watercolor Advent Countdown (With Classes)

Looking for an affordable advent option? This one-page digital download is a perfect option. Print out this download on watercolor paper and pair it with a watercolor paint set and follow the YouTube class to learn how to watercolor each day as a countdown to Christmas.

The content creator has created a lesson for each day and a holiday playlist to go along with these lessons. This is perfect for a beginner painter who is looking for a quiet way to celebrate the season.

Adventure Challenge Countdown

The Adventure Challenge Advent

This advent challenge is a scratch-off keepsake brimming with unique adventures that help you explore outside your comfort zone, dive deeper into your relationships, and make meaningful memories.

One reviewer left this meaningful feedback on this one- “I love my family but sometimes we really struggle coming up with things to do, especially at Christmas when we’re together for days in a row. This holiday advent calendar totally alleviates that stress. The activities are fun and creative. 10/10 would recommend.”

If you are looking for a new way to connect with your teen or tween over the holidays, this looks like a winner and costs just $25 for the whole family.

Hanukkah Scratch-Off Advent Calendar

Hanukkah Scratch-Off Advent Calendar

If you have a music lover on your hands, this is such a fun one to do together. Hidden inside this festive menorah design is your new Hanukkah soundtrack.

You’ll scratch off a flame each day to reveal a QR code. Scan the code, and your phone will download a classic song played by an emerging artist.

Click here for a Christmas version of the same scratch-off calendar filled with Christmas carols!

Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar

Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar

Do we ever outgrow LEGOS? I hope not! Our team loves this one (and own it) because these can be reused year after year.

The kit includes C-3PO and R2-D2 in festive outfits, Darth Vader in a summer outfit, plus Luke Skywalker, a Clone Trooper Commander, Snowtrooper, Battle Droid and a Gonk Droid and 10 vehicles.

Friends Advent Calendar

Friends: The Official Advent Calendar

Could this *BE* any cuter for the teen that’s discovered how great Friends is?

The One With All the Surprises (Volume 1) ended up being such a big bestseller that decided to issue a second version.

The first volume is packed with 25 days of surprises and over 40 keepsakes, ornaments, and booklets. There’s something for everyone in this set full of fun, nostalgia, and even a Holiday Armadillo!

The sequel version contains twenty-five days of surprises and brand-new unique keepsakes and trinkets ranging from fun paper ornaments to classic Friends-inspired recipe cards and more.

If you have two teens in your house, this might be a fun pair-up for the holidays!

Food Advent Calendar Ideas

I can always get behind food gifts because it isn’t something you have store year after year.

Make this evening magical by pairing it with our favorite holiday tv sitcom recommendations. These bite-sized treats and bite-sized show are a perfect pairing for teens or tweens.

Food Advent Calendars from Williams Sonoma

Williams and Sonoma Food Advent Calendars

No one does it better than Williams and Sonoma. Here are a few of our favorite options for this year!

Christmas Popcorn Advent– Over the course of 24 days, follow the poem on the back and collect all the elements to create a popcorn party you can enjoy on Christmas Eve. Behind each door, you’ll discover top-quality popping corn and seasonings from family-owned Wabash Valley Farms.

Harry Potter Advent Calendar– Starting December 1, discover everything from Lemon Sherbets and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans to gummy candies shaped like owls, cars and lightning bolts. The confection-filled calendar makes a great gift for Harry Potter fans of all ages.

Peppermint Bark Advent Calendar– Open one of the 24 doors every day to reveal a snowman, toy soldier, Christmas tree or Santa. Each crunchy treat is made of rich semisweet chocolate and creamy white chocolate with crushed peppermint candy. 

Holly Dolly Advent Calendar– Have a Dolly Parton fan on your hands? This adorable advent calendar is made for them! Every day from the first of December until the night before Christmas, you’ll discover a different treat hidden behind one of the windows. The colorful, individually wrapped candies are some of Dolly’s favorites, including chocolates, caramels, gummies and mints.

Drink Advent Calendar Ideas

Tea Advent Calendar

Tea Advent Calendar

I have a teen who loves to unwind with a cup of tea and this advent calendar option couldn’t be more perfect for her.

The Brew Company (a small business selling on Etsy) offers this gorgeously packaged bestseller option with these flavors inside: Nordic Berries and Chai, Good Morning Quince, Green Refreshment, Black Tea Chai, Lovely Liquorish, Tasty Berry, Raspberry and Fruit Basket, Japanese Sencha, Fruity Figs and Pineapple, Sweet Chamomile, Blueberry-Mint, Cool Mint, Earl Grey, Cranberries and Grenadine, Red Berry Dream, Ginger Lemon, Sweet Sea Buckthorn, Pink Grapefruit, Detox Tea, Fruity Passion, Revitalizing Treat, Rooibos Blood Orange, Mulled Wine, and Spicy Turmeric.

If these tea flavors don’t work for you, check out this landing page for loads of varieties of tea brews to celebrate the season. Not only will your teen love it, you also get the chance to support a small business.

Beauty Advent Calendar Ideas

The best way to reuse these calendars year after year is to hang on to those keepsake boxes.

Consider making this a diy advent calendar by refilling it with travel size items from your favorite budget-friendly beauty shop spot!

Bath Bomb Advent Calendar

The Bomb Advent Calendar

Did someone say TWENTY-FOUR BATHS to count down the season? This affordable advent option has 24 days of scented bath soaps & bath bombs to countdown to Christmas.

Reviewers praised the fast shipping with this company and the great value for the experience on these. It would be fun to pair with a bath pillow or bath tray for a month of self-care. 

Barber Pro Advent Calendar

Barber Pro 12 Days of Grooming

This gathering of skincare essentials includes eye and face masks for extra pampering through this busy season.

This set includes 16 sheet masks designed to hydrate, soften, soothe and brighten all skin types.

Benefit Cosmetics Sincerely Yours 12 Day Calendar

Benefit Cosmetics: Sincerely Yours 12 Day Calendar

If your child loves a good makeup fix, this advent calendar offers 12 of Benefit Cosmetics bestsellers in a travel-size. It features fun-sized versions of their brow top-sellers, mascaras, pore primers & face powders.

DIY Teen Advent Calendar Ideas

Christmas Vacation Advent Bags

Christmas Vacation Advent Bags

You serious, Clark?

This movie never gets old, does it?

These advent bags have 24 unique images inspired from the classic holiday movie Christmas Vacation. 

Keep it budget-friendly by heading to the local wholesale club to fill it with treats to pair with your favorite Christmas movies. You could also add fun beauty items for a self-care advent spin.

Advent Pocket Calendar

Personalize an Advent Pocket Calendar

A pocket calendar like this one can allow you to personalize it with your own treat ideas. Consider filling this with fun (and useful) items like lottery cards, gas station gift cards, coffee shop gift cards, bookstore gift cards, iTunes gift cards, beauty masks, mini nail polishes, favorite treats, and MALL MONEY.

Store this calendar and use it year after year.

Don’t love this design? Head here to find one that fits your kiddo’s style perfectly.

DIY Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

Printable Christmas Advent Calendar

Looking for a free option that will give you new ways to connect over the holiday season?

Make Christmas unforgettable with this cute DIY Advent Calendar. Assemble it quickly with this free printable template and easy tutorial.

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

This Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar is a favorite family tradition!

Practice a small act of kindness with your family every day to bring some true meaning to your Christmas season.

Need a starter activity? Make these blessing bags for the homeless.

Christmas Trivia Advent Calendar (FREE PRINTABLE)

Do you buy a fresh wreath each holiday season? You can turn it into a fun Christmas Trivia Advent Calendar, perfect for a tween in your life.

We provide all the free printables and instructions for the world’s cutest diy advent wreath.

This free printable advent calendar includes fun Christmas themed trivia questions for the holiday season.

Christmas Advent Cookie Cookbook

Have a teen that loves to bake? This cookie cookbook is a fun way to diy the advent fun for the season. Select a few of the recipes to do together in your kitchen. Throw on your favorite holiday records or playlist.

Don’t forget the perfect apron to go with this fun culinary twist on the season.

Be sure to scroll down for our favorite teen and tween gift guides and fun teen stocking stuffer ideas. We have updated all of our gift guides this year to make shopping this season a breeze!

Pet Advent Calendars (For Teens to Open)

Advent Calendar for Your Cat

My daughter would love opening this up for our pet as much as she would enjoy receiving a calendar for herself.

These kitten playset contains a cat collar with bell, scat teaser wand, interactive feather toy, fluffy mouse, crinkle balls, and cat springs.

Perhaps with so much entertainment, the tree will lose its appeal! Haha!

Advent Calendar for Your Dog

Have a favorite furbaby that needs to be spoiled? This contains freshly baked dog treats that are hand-decorated and made with locally sourced human grade ingredients.

Each box comes with a variety of cookies that are big and small and are either frosting drizzled, enrobed, contain plain yogurt cups, etc. to satisfy all doggie sizes and taste buds.

This is the highest rated by reviewers and the highlight for many pets over the holiday season.

Priced accordingly, but I’ll close out with this easy diy option if you are on a budget!

Looking for more holiday inspiration? Check out these posts!

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love

100 unique and useful stocking stuffers (another great list to reference if you are making a diy advent calendar this year!)

Unique Gift Ideas for Tweens & Teens

unique gifts for teens and tweens (this is a popular gift guide)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, FRIENDS!

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Advent Calendars for Teens They Will Love

The Best Fall Books We Can’t Wait to Read

October 14th, 2022
Book Gang Podcast: The Best Fall Books We Can't Wait to Read

Our favorite bookseller is back to share their best fall book recommendations for your fall reading list.

Fables Books shares their most anticipated books for readers with a sneak peek at what’s coming to your store shelves. We discuss the books we’ve already previewed and our most anticipated for the autumn reading season.

Whether you are craving a cozy mystery, a slow-burn romance, a love story, a serial killer drama, or magical realism, we have you covered with this podcast.

So break out the cozy sweaters and catch some fall vibes with this fall book preview from my favorite book shop.

The Fall Books We Can’t Wait to Read: (Podcast)

Listen to the Show

Book Gang Podcast Episode 44:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

In The Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova 

Fables Reading Challenge

Seoulmates by Susan Lee 

The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West 

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West 

Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt 

The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman 

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin 

Indian Matchmaking on Netflix

Angelika Frankenstein Makes her Match by Sally Thorne 

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy 

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy 

Priest by Sierra Simone 

American Queen by Sierra Simone 

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree 

Ice Planet Barbarian Series by Ruby Dixon

Dark Olympus Series by Katee Robert 

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd 

Himself by Jess Kidd 

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V E Schwab 

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse 

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse 

Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica 

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Amy’s Interview with Mary Kubica

Mary Kuibca on The Book Gang Podcast

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

The Push by Ashley Audrain thr

fablesbooks.com

Fables Books on Facebook

Fables Books on Instagram

Fables Books on Twitter

Fables Books on TikTok

Connect With Us:

Fables Books on Facebook

Fables Books on Instagram

Fables Books on TikTok

Connect with Amy on Instagram

Join the MomAdvice Book Club

Shop Our Bookish Shirts to support the show

Join the Book Gang Patreon (for our exclusive FULLY BOOKED  book review show & more!

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above Fables Books links or shop through my  MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores.

Looking for more FALL FUN? Here are two other posts you will love:

Check out this FREE Fall Reading Guide

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows To Cozy Up With Right Now

Get 22 Fall TV & Movie Recommendations

Sad Books to Read When You Want to Ugly Cry

September 30th, 2022

This podcast is for you if you love sad books and a good cry. Today we discuss our top book recommendations for heart-wrenching stories that can pull at every heartstring.

My guest, @passions_and_prologues joins us with his top recommendations for thought-provoking and beautifully written stories that allow us to fully immerse ourselves in our seasonal depression and embrace those sad endings.

Adam Sokol the host of the Passions and Prologues podcast, has a passion for just these kinds of recommendations and discusses his new literary podcast today. This show gives readers new authors to love, and a peek at some of their most beloved passions beyond the bookish world.

He has spent over a decade in the literary world interviewing authors and promoting books. He will read anything that is written well but is especially drawn to small, heartfelt stories with big emotions, literary and speculative fiction, and stories with a touch of magic and nostalgia.

I am happy to be a loyal listener of his show and have loved listening to his guests discuss everything from strategic packing for trips to their love for weightlifting.

We discuss how Adam leads these unique conversations and how his job at Overdrive for eleven years has helped him land such amazing guests.

Get out your tissues for today’s episode!!

Sad Books for When You Want to Ugly Cry

Listen to the Show

Book Gang Podcast Episode 43:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Show Notes:

The Book of Harlan Book Chat

Passions and Prologues Podcast

Libby App

Professional Book Nerds Podcast

Reading Glasses Podcast

Full Circle by Andrea Barber

Brad Meltzer

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijikamp

Listening Still by Anne Griffin

When All is Said by Anne Griffin

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu – ss

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

MomAdvice Online Book Club

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

Empower Her Network

The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg

Connect With Us:

Passions & Prologues on Instagram

Passions & Prologues on TikTok

Connect with Amy on Instagram

Join the MomAdvice Book Club 

Shop Our Bookish Shirts to support the show

Join the Book Gang Patreon (for our exclusive FULLY BOOKED  book review show & more!

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You’ll Fall In Love With

September 20th, 2022
Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You'll Fall in Love With

Spend a cozy night in with these jigsaw puzzles that are great gifts for adults AND kids. Trade in a board game night for these fun-themed puzzles that embrace bookish themes and more in their puzzle designs.

As soon as the weather turns crisp, we designate a table in our home as the puzzle table for the season. I love to have a puzzle that we can work on in those early morning hours with coffee or at the end of the day with a cup of tea.

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite puzzles we’ve done at our house and some that made my wish list this this year. We have had the best time compiling this new guide for you.

Make sure to bookmark this list for gift-giving this year. Puzzles make incredibly unique hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and holiday gifts.

DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

try this tutorial for a diy jigsaw puzzle mat

Before we dive into the puzzles, I do want to mention a few ways that we have saved A LOT of money over the years on our puzzle collection.

Three Easy Ways to Save on Jigsaw Puzzles

Find Out if Your Local Library Lends Puzzles- I can’t tell you all of the ways we have saved money over the years with our local library.

Contact your local library to see if they offer any jigsaw puzzle exchanges or if you can check out puzzles with your library card.

Start a Puzzle Swap With Friends- One of the best ways we have saved is offering a puzzle swap with our friends.

When we have coffee together, we just bring our puzzles we have finished and trade them for a fresh puzzle.

Check Deals Sites For Deep Discounts On Puzzles- I don’t think a lot of people realize that puzzle savings can be found in some unlikely places. One of the best spots to check for puzzles is Zulily for 30% or more off their puzzle collections.

If you want to buy puzzles at a brick and mortar spot, our used bookstores offer huge savings too on used puzzles as well as new.

No matter where you shop make sure that you are signed up with Rakuten and that you activate your savings before any shopping!

If you are new to the Rakuten app, this discount code should give you $30 on your first puzzle purchase! I also wrote a tutorial on how to use the app on items you regularly buy that will give you cashback rewards.

Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You’ll Fall In Love With

Best Jigsaw Puzzles For Adults With Literary Themes

The World of Agatha Christie Puzzle

The World of Agatha Christie Puzzle

Oh, Agatha Christie fans, this puzzle is such a treat!

In this puzzle you can spot famous characters, find crime-solving clues, and historical locations as you build the puzzle.

This has 90 clues within the puzzle including some of her most memorable characters, from Poirot and Miss Marple to Tommy & Tuppence and Parker Pyne, as well as real moments from Agatha Christie’s life!

This puzzle also includes a fold-out poster bonus featuring fun facts about the Queen of Crime and her creations.

Great American Novels Puzzle

Great American Novels Puzzle

This 1,000-piece book-themed puzzle features 24 literary classics.

It would make the perfect pairing with an audiobook of one of these classic books!

Comic Book Heaven Puzzle

Comic Book Heaven Puzzle

We have done a lot of fun comic book puzzles in our house, and they are always a hit.

I love this 1,000-piece puzzle that captures all the comic book magic when browsing those shelves.

Reviewers also shared that the puzzle pieces were fun to work with just like this gorgeous image.

The New Yorker The Strand Jigsaw Puzzle

The New Yorker Puzzle Company Collection

There are so many gorgeous puzzles to collect with the New Yorker covers. This artistic puzzle capture of The Strand is my favorite.

A few of my other favorites are this Paint by Pixels and this Leaf Peepers puzzle are two more of our favorites.

Nancy Drew Puzzle

Nancy Drew Puzzle (on sale!)

I shared this fun puzzle in my newsletter this is our family puzzle that we are working on this week.

I feel so nostalgic about my Nancy Drew mystery days so I couldn’t wait to add this to our family’s puzzle collection.

This one is a 1,000-piece puzzle recommended for ages 13 and over.

It also happens to be on sale on Zulily this week and a third of the price that I paid for it. If the offer is no longer active check here to grab it at the regular price.

Famous Authors Postage-Stamps Puzzle

Famous Authors Postage-Stamps Puzzle

I couldn’t adore this collection of author stamps more.

I love that this puzzle has William Shakespeare, Harper Lee, and Stephen King on one puzzle.

Pick a book from one of these famous authors to listen to on audiobook while you are puzzling.

Murder Most Puzzling Jigsaw Puzzle

Murder Most Puzzling Jigsaw Puzzle

I love a good gift puzzle and this is my new go-to.

In this puzzle, it is up to you to solve the crime, piece by piece.

You begin by reading the story of the incident.

Then, guided by the narrative rather than a visual reference, complete the jigsaw.

The finished image provides all the clues you need to decipher whodunit.

Pair this with a magnifying glass for a fun gift.

Other Fun Jigsaw Puzzles For Your Collection

Stranger Things Puzzle

Stranger Things Puzzle

Trying to lure a teen or tween into doing a puzzle with you? This 1,000 piece Stranger Things puzzle would be such a fun one to do together.

What a fun family night this would be with some Eggo waffles for brinner and some Kate Bush tunes.

Jonathan Adler Shelfie Puzzle

Jonathan Adler Shelfie Puzzle

Design-lovers will fall in love with this shelfie puzzle.

This 1,000 Piece Puzzle colorfully highlights the living room shelf of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Shelter Island living room bookcase for a chic and challenging puzzling experience.

Janet Hill Puzzle Collection

Janet Hill Puzzle Collection (link to the whole puzzle collection- pick your favorite)

We collect Janet Hill prints and my 40th birthday gift was an ORIGINAL Janet Hill.

To say we are obsessed with this artist is an understatement.

I love that the New York Puzzle Company is offering her whimsical paintings in different puzzle sizes. This Cat Countess puzzle is on my wish list this year.

You can also find many of her art prints have been made into these fun 1,000-piece puzzles too!

If you love Janet Hill’s work, be sure to visit her studio shop to get some beautiful art for your walls.

National Parks Puzzle

National Parks Puzzle

This puzzle is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts that are craving their next adventure or want to reminisce on those camping memories.

Enjoy these national park destinations from the comforts of home with this 1,000-piece puzzle.

Challenging Puzzles For the Real Puzzle Enthusiast

Impossible Acrylic Puzzle

Impossible Acrylic Puzzle

As someone who relies on context clues from the image on the box, this clear acrylic puzzle would be an impossible one for me.

Reviewers love this clear design and say that they never get bored doing this one over and over again. It also would be a great interactive detail on any coffee table.

Geode Puzzle

Geode Puzzle

This geode puzzle is such a unique brain teaser.

The artists were inspired by how a geode’s crystalline structure is created in nature and uses a special simulation program that develops the puzzle’s image by layering color that radiates from the puzzle’s edge.

This wooden puzzle is made from birch plywood.

The New Yorker Advent Calendar Puzzle

The New Yorker Advent Calendar (24 mini jigsaw puzzles)

Can you imagine how much a puzzle-enthusiast would love this New Yorker advent calendar?

This gift set features 24 mini holiday-themed puzzles to count down the days until Christmas.

Each puzzle is a 100-piece puzzle, but doing this daily would definitely give your brain a nice workout during the holiday season.

At this price point, it would make a very special and memorable gift.

Looking for more fall activities to try? Check out these fun additions to your puzzle routine!

watch these fall shows & movies while doing your new puzzle

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

download an audiobook from scribd while puzzling

What has been your favorite puzzle to do with your family?

19 New Books to Read This Fall (PRINTABLE GUIDE)

September 16th, 2022

Looking for your next great book to read? We share our favorite new-release books for fall (and a few backlist faves). Print this fall reading guide for your next library day! 

Hey, book lovers!

Today we are giving YOU a sneak peek at the FULLY BOOKED Patreon podcast series you might be missing behind the paywall.

This is our Season 2 kickoff episode of the new Book Gang podcast.

The Book Gang podcast celebrates debuts, backlist, and under-the-radar book selections. Expand your book stack with my recommendations and look at the book industry behind the scenes.

On each epsiode I share the microphone with my favorite writers and bookstagrammers to help you have your best reading year ever.

This project is completely crowd-funded through our patrons through Patreon. A membership costs only FIVE DOLLARS a month!

As a thank you, we offer offer loads of reader perks including this monthly podcast with the latest book reviews, book news, and what hits your bookstore shelves every month.

Fully Booked is available as a podcast and we share a printable newsletter so you can read, screenshot, or print what you need for your next library day.

Patrons also get access to the spreadsheet of every book that is mentioned on our show so you can plan your best reading month.

This show is hosted with Larry Hoffer, one of my favorite people in the world and trusted book reviewer.

For those just tuning in, Larry was featured in a past episode to learn how he became one of the world’s top reviewers on GoodReads.

He reads HUNDREDS of books and then tells our patrons his favorites from his stack.

He is my best friend forever, and I’m honored to share his voice.

This month’s stack highlights two 2023 book club selections, stories that catch those fall vibes, small-town love stories,  and the magical realism book that ended up being a surprise hit. 

We also have lots of romance spice to pair with your pumpkin spice this year! 

Due to the length of our show, this has been uploaded as a two-part podcast today. 

The player is embedded or you can subscribe to Book Gang wherever you get podcasts!

19 New Books to Read This Fall (PRINTABLE GUIDE)

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO DOWNLOAD THE FALL READING GUIDE

Listen to the Show

Book Gang Podcast Episode 42 (PART 1)

Book Gang Podcast Episode 42 (PART 2)

Show Notes:

MomAdvice on Patreon

MomAdvice Book Club

The Book of Harlan by Bernice McFadden

Book Club Online The Book of Harlan Chat

*** September Patreon Newsletter ***

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens

Carolina by Taylor Swift

Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie McLemore

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Canter

Girls with Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman

My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books Podcast

Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey

Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky

One’s Company by Ashley Hutson

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Magic Season: A Son’s Story by Wade Rouse

Kathleen Carter’s Podcast Episode – A Day in the Life of a Book Publicist

Mean Baby by Selma Blair

The Last White Man by Moshin Hamid

Exit West by Moshin Hamid

The Reluctant Fundamentalist  by Moshin Hamid

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki

Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Smells Like Tween Spirit by Laurie Gelman

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

Yoga Pant Nation by Laurie Gelman

A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella

Ethan Joella’s podcast episode – Lessons for Writing Your First Book

Archie Bunker’s Place

When We Were Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff

American Fever by Dur e Aziz Amna

PART 2

Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Keya Das’s Second Act by Sopan Dev

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Trees by Percival Everett

Less is Lost by Andrew Sean Grier

A Very Typical Family by Sierra Godfrey

Always the First to Die by RJ Jacobs

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz

I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers

I Walk Between the Raindrops by TC Boyle

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien

Lucy on the Wild Side by  Kerry Rea

Like a Rolling Stone by Jann Wenner

Dinners with Ruth by Nina Totenberg

The House Party by Rita Cameron

The Make-Up Test by Jenny L Howe

The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck

Typecast by Andrea J Stein

Bliss Montage: Stories – Ling Ma

The Epic Story of Every Living Thing by Deb Caletti

Forsaken Country by Allen Eskens

Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory

Something in the Heir by Suzanne Enoch

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks

The Old Place by Bobby Finker

The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Winners by Fredrik Backman

Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss

Connect With Us:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram
Larry H. on goodreads.com
Larry H. on Instagram

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS GUIDE (for free on Patreon)

Looking for great books to add to your stack? Check out these posts!

What books have you been loving lately?