MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

December 16th, 2019

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

I consider this one of my superpowers.

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

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

MomAdvice Free Online Book Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MomAdvice Book Club Chats

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?  

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

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

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

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

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

How fun is that?

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

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

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

What is an affiliate link? 

Great question!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MomAdvice Reading Retreat

How Do I Meet People from the MomAdvice Book Club?

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

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

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

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

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

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

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

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

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

Dominicana by Angie Cruz May- Dominicana by Angie Cruz

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

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

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

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

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

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

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

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

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

 

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

Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads

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

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

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The 2019 MomAdvice Summer Reads Guide

June 1st, 2019

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

Well, not today, Satan!

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

Within this 15 page guide you will find:

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

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

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

Happy reading, bookworms! xo

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

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

November 26th, 2018

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

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

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

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

The best part?

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

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

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

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

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

How fun is that?

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

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

January- A Ladder to the Sky

February- My Sister the Serial Killer

March- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

April- Little

May- The Friend

June- The Editor

July- In Sight of Stars

August- There Will Be No Miracles Here

September- No One Can Pronounce My Name

October- The Lying Woods

November- The Library Book

December- Virgil Wander

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

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

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

January 1st, 2018

"MomAdvice

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

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

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

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

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

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

How fun is that?

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

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do You Get Out Of It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood January- Alias Grace

Lucky Boy February- Lucky Boy

American Fire March- American Fire

Lilli De Jong April- Lilli De Jong

The Music Shop May- The Music Shop

Everything Here is Beautiful June- Everything Here is Beautiful

Salt Houses July- Salt Houses

Little Broken Things August- Little Broken Things

Far From the Tree September- Far From the Tree

The Hunger by Alma Katsu October- The Hunger

Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy November- Steal the Stars

Girls Burn Brighter December-Girls Burn Brighter

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

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

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

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Book Gang Podcast Episode 4: What Makes a Great Book Club Book

September 17th, 2021

Happy Friday, friends!

Today’s episode is a peek behind the scenes at how I select our book club books each year. Whether you are running a book club of your own and looking for suggestions or if you join in monthly to read with me, I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the years about book selection and building meaningful conversations around books.

Haven’t joined the book club yet? Here are the details on the 2021 Book Club together. I’d love to have you!

Book Gang Podcast Episode 4: What Makes a Great Book Club Book

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform! 

Books Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

MomAdvice Book Club

The Paris Architect

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

The Orphans of Race Point

When No One is Watching

The Book of Lost Names

The Midnight Library

Also Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

MomAdvice Book Club

Full Interview with Charles Belfoure (The Paris Architect)

Full Interview with Anthony Marr (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)

Full Interview with Patry Francis (The Orphans of Race Point)2020 

GoodReads Choice Awards

Love this episode and want more behind-the-scenes info on book club selections? 

In this week’s Patreon Bonus Expand the Stack, I’m sharing:

  • The newspaper article that reminded me how very human I am being right now
  • The books that ended in a fizzle instead of being the potential book club contenders that I thought they were
  • The consequences of picking buzz books instead of screening books for you
  • Three super solid recommendations for a killer book club discussion if you are tasked with the selecting for your own clubs

For just $5 a month, you get to join me after every episode to Expand the Stack together. This is where we get a bit more personal about those big bookish feelings, dissect what I learned each week, and give you suggestions for books based on our topics. To top it off, our members receive a monthly bookish digital download, a themed Spotify playlist, and a printable newsletter with the latest book news and reviews. I promise to give you way more than a $5 experience for your support. Join the Book Gang

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.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 3: Bring on the Romance

September 10th, 2021

The MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast is a new weekly podcast dedicated to the world’s literary tastemakers. As your tour guide, I hope to offer lots of fresh perspectives on books you may have already read and new book recommendations with a particular focus on debuts, under-the-radar book choices and helping you expand your book stack with backlist selections.

Today is all about ROMANCE, and I have invited a special guest to join me in this episode.

My guest today, Angela Pingel, has been a romance book reader for many years. She has discovered her love for series reading through the Kindle Unlimited format and shares her picks for the best books to pick up. Her most-loved romance genre was new to me and incredibly intriguing for a newbie to the romance world.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 3: Bring on the Romance

Listen to the Show:

Books Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Winston Brothers Series

Knitting in the City Series

Christina Lauren Books

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

The Kiss Quotient

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Bromance Book Club Series

The Veil Diaries Series

The Stardust Series

Also Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

MomAdvice Book Club

Angela Pingel (website)

Angela Pingel (instagram)

Angela’s Book (A Quilter’s Mixology)

Book Nerd Quilt

Curious Dream Fabric (inspired by Alice in Wonderland)

Bridgerton The Musical

Try a 30-Day Kindle Unlimited Membership For Free

A Beginner’s Guide to Reverse Harem Books

Love this episode and want more romance books in your life? 

In this week’s Patreon Bonus Expand the Stack,  I’m sharing:
 
  • What I’ve learned about traditional publishing versus the self-publishing book model (and what I got wrong about it)
  • What authors gain by making those books accessible to you through Kindle-exclusive contracts
  • The surprising romance genre that came up in our interview and what I learned
  • Five steamy romances that topped my list
This episode is jam-packed, and I am so excited for you to listen today. Patreon-access costs only $5 a month and includes all the bonus episodes, a monthly bookish digital download, a monthly themed playlist of music, and a newsletter filled with all the latest books I’m reading and exciting publishing news. Join the Book Gang

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.

Just a reminder, Angela selected books that are accessible through Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, I can only offer those through Amazon.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 2: Reading Rituals and Comforting Reads

September 3rd, 2021

If I have learned anything in business, it’s essential to show up with a clear idea of what you want to do with your space and let your people know too.

The MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast is a new weekly podcast dedicated to the literary tastemakers of the world and I couldn’t be MORE excited to share it with you.

https://www.patreon.com/momadvice

As your tour guide, I hope to offer lots of fresh perspectives on books you may have already read and new book recommendations with a particular focus on debuts, under-the-radar book choices and helping you expand your book stack with backlist selections.

I’m avoiding the well-known hyped books because (for me) the thrill is in the discovery of new talent that we need to share more of.

Episodes will drop every Friday morning, and I promise this should be listed on every platform this week! If you prefer to upload it directly, here is the RSS feed to add it to your favorite podcast player.

 

Book Gang Podcast Episode 2: Reading Rituals and Comforting Reads

Listen to the Show


Today, I am inviting you to peek into my reading rituals and how I set the reading mood at the beginning and end of my day.

With a commitment to read 100 books each year, these practices help me prioritize my reading time and have taught me to treat this as a sacred ritual for keeping my reading goals.

Discover this and four enjoyable reads to add to your stack this month, all in today’s episode.

Books Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

The Power of Ritual

Bridgerton Series

The Serpent King

The Power of Habit

Nine One, One Dress

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

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. 

Also Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Bonus Patreon Episode: 9 Books I Read in August 

MomAdvice Book Club

Episode 1: Spooky Book Season

Bridgerton The Musical

Full Interview with Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King)

Fabulous App

My Happy Light

Grove Orange Essential Oil 

My Favorite Reading Pillow

The Words Are Only in My Books Playlist

My Weighted Blanket

Bulk Epsom Salts (this is how we purchase them)

Full Body Bath Pillow

Expand the Stack (Join the Patreon Community)

Following each episode is an Expand the Stack episode that will build out bonus content with even more book recommendations plus digital downloads to supplement the episodes. 

You also receive the monthly reviews in audio format early each month (these will include those hyped-up books with honest opinions). It is $5 a month to join, and you will get a ton out of it for $5, I promise. My goal is that you feel like I give you too much These memberships keep the podcast ad-free (my personal goal) and help offset the costs necessary to run a podcast (which are more than I had expected).

This week’s episode will offers two more comforting reads and three of my favorite evening drinks to sip on while you are reading. 

Join my Patreon over here to access the bonus episode and show notes. Today’s show also includes a digital download for journaling your favorite books.

I love and appreciate each of you very much. This transition is necessary for my health since typing has become a challenge.

The unexpected joy from learning something new is a giant bonus, and I’m so excited to learn and grow with you.

This post contains affiliate links.

September 2021 Must-Reads

August 31st, 2021

Are you ready for Fall reading? Here are nine incredible books to read in September. Be sure to pin today’s post for your next library day.

I do believe I have something for everyone in this month’s stack, including a riveting nonfiction selection, a great science fiction escape, a campy horror novel, and some contemporary fiction picks that I can’t stop thinking about. 

If you are intrigued, definitely scroll down for another great stack of books. I’m proud of most this month to discover a few under-the-radar reads that deserve your attention. 

I also launched my Book Gang Podcast this month, and I can’t wait to share it with you. The first episode is all about Spooky (Not Scary) Books that I think you should check out for Fall. You can listen to this episode for FREE today. 

Patreon subscribers receive my monthly reviews ten days early, and I’m now offering them ad-free in audio format, just for you. I am so thankful that over one hundred of you have decided to join me on this platform. 

A Book Gang membership is just $5 a month and gives you access to all the bonus material after each episode and what I’m reading in real-time. To top it off, our members receive a monthly bookish digital download, a themed Spotify playlist, and a printable newsletter with the latest book news and reviews.

https://www.patreon.com/momadvice

Click here to Support My Patreon Community

(you can listen to today’s reviews ad-free!!)

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

snag this month’s incredible book club book

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

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

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

So many incredible books steals this week- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

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

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

Get a FREE Book Just for Being a Prime Member

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

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

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR September over here. (please note: this will load tomorrow for you!)

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the September Book of the Month Club Selections:

The Sweetest Remedy by Jane Igharo

Beautiful Country by  Qian Julie Wang

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller

 

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

September 2021 Must-Reads

The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas

5 Out of 5 Stars

There are two themes that I can always get on board with: time travel and alternate lives.

This novel explores nine variations of one woman’s life, and it all is spurred by the fact that Rose Napolitano does not want to have children. She’s an academic who loves her career, but her husband’s one request is that she give that up to pursue having a child with him.

The reader then goes on different paths with Rose to explore what a motherhood journey might look like or what the course might look like if she declines.

I devoured this in one satisfying gulp and thought it would make a phenomenal feminist book club selection that would give you plenty to talk about.

I appreciated how all of Rose’s lives seem to lead her to the same unexpected path that I think any reader would understand.

I will count this book among my favorites for 2021 and recommend you run out and grab a copy for yourself.

Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

5 Out of 5 Stars

This nonfiction book explores the opioid crisis in a new way by getting to the roots of Purdue Pharma and the owner’s role in the OxyContin epidemic.

Keefe approaches his story through three sections, outlining the motives of three generations in the Sackler family. It showcases how the reasons and greed switch through the generations and how the ad campaigns and distribution get slicker and slicker over time.

What may see as well-intentioned in the beginning becomes quickly burred as Keefe shares internal emails and financial motives that caused people to abuse the system and then the pill.

I have watched documentaries and big-think pieces on the scandal. That said, none have covered this as well as this riveting read.

This could have been a dense and dry read, but Steele keeps it moving through shifting viewpoints and explanations on the drug industry that had me flipping the pages quickly.

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

4 Out of 5 Stars

The author of “My Lovely Wife” is back again with a new thriller and it’s a good one.

Set in an elite private school, Teddy is someone who appreciates the teaching accolades he’s received but is continually annoyed by the students and staff he is forced to work with. That’s why it isn’t so distressing when his coworkers start to fall ill and even die.

He’s got enough on his plate dealing with the entitled kids…oh, and slowly poisoning the staff.

Teddy ends each day victorious with a big glass of milk and absorbing the day’s headlines with the havoc he’s unleashed on his school community.

When other deaths start to happen, though, Teddy has to face the fact that he’s made a few enemies on the way and that someone else might be wreaking a little havoc of their own.

Dark, biting, satirical, and a few laugh-out-loud moments are peppered throughout this thriller, making it a fun and fast read.

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

I love a meta reading experience, and that’s what you will find in this book of comfort food literature, perfect for escaping the pandemic craziness.

A local library has a reading list that can be found tucked in books that encourage readers to read certain books if they need them. Within the list are several modern-day classics (Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Time Traveler’s Wife) and older classics (Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird) that are sure to bring so much to the reader’s life.

One librarian has struggled with reading until she discovers this list, and now she’s got the perfect reading recommendations for a frequent patron of the library.

Widower Mukesh remembers how much his wife loved reading, although he can’t remember what she read. Aleisha, the librarian, uses this list to make her recommendations and beautiful friendship blossoms between the two.

The mystery is, who has made this list that brings so much joy and vibrance to the library community?

If you love hearing about other people experiencing the books you love, you will adore this story.

There is something so comforting about how books bring us together, and I think this book really showcases the magic of that experience in a memorable way.

Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax

3 Out of 5 Stars

I didn’t know very much about Annie Oakley before reading this historical fiction book, but I was on quite the fact-finding mission after this one. This is one of the reasons I adore historical fiction so much.

Ruth McClintock has been researching Annie Oakley’s life for a decade. In particular, she is convinced that a traumatic childhood event may have been why Annie was on a mission to arm every woman in America.

In fact, Ruth’s obsession with Annie has cost her a doctorate, a book deal, and a marriage that could have been.

Ruth ends up getting a lead on a journal that may validate her research, and it’s through quite the unlikely research companion- a local tech-savvy high schoolboy.

As Ruth takes down Annie’s demons, she must confront her own. It’s here with the genre-bending really happens, and Romano-Lax leans more into science fiction than historical fiction.

Overall, I was hoping for more meat to Annie’s story that would have grounded it more for me, but I still found the premise unique, and it yielded a day of fun on Google that gave me a newfound appreciation for Annie Oakley’s life.

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

4 Out of 5 Stars

The book of the summer, for sure, seems to be this one! I listened to this story on audiobook and appreciated the beautiful narration on this brutal book journey.

Ike never expected to hear the news that his son has been murdered, along with his son’s husband. Ike never accepted his son’s sexuality, but the grief he is experiencing is undeniable.

Ike and Buddy Lee are two grieving dads that also happen to be ex-cons. They have little in common except for this loss, but vengeance can really bring people together, can’t it?

This book is very graphic, gory, and brutal.

My criticism is that I was hoping for more evolution with Ike & Buddy’s characters as they understand more about their sons and their community.

They seemed to fail to evolve, although I appreciated the unlikely nature of the duo and their shared mission.

Overall, this was really solid, and I can’t wait to read the author’s first book now.

The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

10 Out of 5 Stars

There is storytelling, and then there is STORYTELLING.

This novel is so exquisite, the characters are perfectly broken, and the setting is just so rich that I could not put it down.

I am moving this book up into my all-time favorites, and I just can’t believe that I haven’t heard more people talking about it.

Don’t you love those under-the-radar books that end up being your favorite in the stack?

This multigenerational story wrecked me, left me holding my breath in sections, and had me rereading passage after passage. But I really didn’t want my time with these characters to end, and I think you will too.

The three main characters in this story all are facing their own enormous battles. The father struggles with alcoholism, the daughter with the new role of motherhood, and the grandmother faces a terminal illness diagnosis that she’s kept from her family. Set in New Mexico, the author builds a fictional town that the reader can see unfold on each page.

It is hard to do this review justice to the writing, but how these characters evolve and grow makes this a journey experience for the reader.

I can’t say enough good things about this writer’s descriptive nature to make every ordinary moment feel extraordinary.

So many sections left me on the verge of tears because there was so much honesty in every word.

I discovered later that this novel was a short story that the writer expanded, so I will definitely have to go back and read what had inspired this original idea.

You don’t need to read this, though, to appreciate the beauty of this book.

Don’t let this book pass you by- it’s incredible.

We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker

4 Out of 5 Stars

When the real world starts to become too much, I love to escape with a good science fiction novel, and this one delivered.

The Pilot is the latest tech craze, and who wouldn’t want one? This device allows your brain to process more and multi-task with ease improving both work performance and school grades.

Although little is really understood about this device, David’s parents reluctantly allow their son to get one to help him fit in at school. Their daughter, Sophie though is unable to get one because of a seizure disorder.

However, David’s device doesn’t seem to be operating the way it should, and instead of streamlining his life, it ends up causing him chaos and noise inside of his head. Unable to cope, he decides to enlist instead of attending college.

Unfortunately, he’s successful enough that the company that manufactures the device wants to use his image in their ads.

His sister, however, is helping to lead the Anti-Pilot movement and is working tirelessly to try to destroy the Pilot company.

This book explores big themes like our dependence on technology, our need to multi-task to succeed, and what happens when access to tech creates societal hurdles.

Pinsker really makes some beautiful plot twists that add a lot of depth to these characters, and I always love a fresh exploration on tech gone bad.

Teen Killers Club by Lily Sparks

5 Out of 5 Stars

This YA thriller is the kind of read you schedule a day out on your calendar because you won’t want to put it down once you start it.

Class A felons are the ones that have the most dangerous and manipulative criminal profiles.

That is why these teen killers are recruited for a unique secret program to learn to become trained assassins.

First, they are removed from the prison population and are relocated to a sleep-away camp to prepare for their designated mission.

Our main character was accused of murdering her best friend, but she does not recall what happened that night. However, she knows she was framed for this murder, and one of her friends at the teen killers club believes her and wants to help her uncover who the real killer is. 

The reader gets to go on this fun journey as Signal Deere uncovers the real murderer, and, boy, does this have some clever twists.

As a seasoned thriller reader, it’s hard to pull a fast one on me, but I had NO idea where this story was going, and it was so much fun.

This has all the necessary ingredients for a great YA read- a misfit cast of characters that bond together, a great romance, a fun mystery, and (for me) lots of outstanding horror movie elements.

I can see this one becoming a movie or series because it was just so fun.

The author has written pilots for MTV, FX & Amazon, and CW’s Reign and Paramount’s Heathers. I think her background really adds a cinematic quality to this book that is guaranteed to pull you out of any book slump.

If you have a reluctant teen reader, this would also be a great one to share with them! I can’t wait to read what Sparks writes next!

Book Gang Podcast Episode 1: Spooky Book Season

August 26th, 2021

Friends, I am so excited to share with you my brand new podcast, Book Gang.

I have to admit that I’ve been so intimidated to start this process and know that I’m learning as I go.

As our Facebook Book Club grew, I separated out a member space on Patreon that has challenged me in the best ways this year. This has been my digital playground to learn how to create printables and digital offerings that I didn’t think I could ever do I needed the creative push especially with the pandemic slump that I’ve been in. I decided to test the waters with a bonus podcast episode and fell in love with this format.

Who knew the little shed that we made over would end making the perfect space for starting a new endeavor.

Today I’m sharing my Episode 1 and it is all about Spooky Book Season. For some, that might look like October, but for me, spooky book season lasts ALL FALL. Of course, my favorite movies are horror films, and many of my most beloved books are also filled with creepy themes, especially as I head into the Halloween season. So today, I wanted to arm you with a stack of books that make my all-time list of riveting, scary reads.

Please have patience with me as we find a home for these episodes to live and as I get the podcast listed with all of the different formats. 

Book Gang Podcast Episode 1: Spooky Book Season

Listen to the Show Below:

Books Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

The Haunting of Hill House

The Woman in Black

Bird Box

The Girl With All the Gifts

In a Dark, Dark Wood

American Predator

Night Film

The Kingdom

Also Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Bonus Patreon Episode: 9 Books I Read in August 

MomAdvice Book Club

How to Host a Reading Retreat

Full Interview with Josh Mallerman (Bird Box)

Full Interview with M.R. Carey (The Girl With All the Gifts)

Full Interview with Ruth Ware (In a Dark, Dark Wood)

19 Thrillers to Keep You Up All Night

I can’t wait to hear from you today about what you thought about today’s episode. Please tell me which book from today’s list piqued your interest this week? Happy reading, book gang!

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen

August 12th, 2021

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen

Looking for a fast way to cook frozen chicken? Today I’m sharing my foolproof recipe to bake chicken—no need to thaw chicken for this recipe. Learn how to safely oven-bake chicken, cook frozen chicken in your slow cooker, and get tips for cooking frozen chicken in your pressure cooker. Try these foolproof methods on your next meal plan.

If I had to point the finger at where I began to realize the beauty in make-ahead meals, it would be at this bag of frozen chicken that I cook each week for our family. 

This easy cooking tutorial is just what you need for your sandwiches and wraps. The best part is that you can prepare chicken in bulk for your week right from its frozen state with my easy technique.

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen For our family of four, I prepare three pounds of chicken each week (one frozen bag of chicken breasts from ALDI, to be exact!), and we usually plow through these three pounds by Wednesday or Thursday of the week.

I can attest to the fact that we never have leftovers with this recipe.

I started making a habit of baking this chicken, on grocery day, as I put the rest of the food away.

For five minutes of prep work, it has saved us at least a hundred bucks a month. Just think how much I am saving by eating at home instead of a Panera visit!

Before we begin, here are a few commonly asked questions about cooking frozen chicken!

What are the guidelines for safely cooking frozen chicken?

It is essential to follow the USDA guidelines when preparing poultry. For example, the USDA states explicitly, “Do not cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker or the microwave; thaw it before cooking.”

Chicken can be cooked though from the frozen state in the oven or on the stove. Expect your cooking time to be about 50% longer if you do not thaw your chicken first.

Can you put frozen chicken in your crockpot?

The USDA advises NOT to put frozen chicken in your slow cooker because the internal temperature does not rise fast enough to meet food safety standards.

How long is frozen chicken good for?

A bag of frozen chicken from your supermarket should last approximately nine months, according to the USDA.

The prepared, cooked chicken, though, should be used within three months of freezing.

What is the safe internal temperature of chicken?

A safe internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius) is recommended by the USDA. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken breast is always your best guide. This is my favorite meat thermometer.

How Can I Adjust this Cooking Technique for a Large Family or Gathering?

The best investment that I’ve made is buying two of these jumbo baking sheets! They fit perfectly in a standard oven! With these baking sheets, you can easily double this recipe.

How long can you keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator?

Properly stored, cooked chicken will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Glass containers with airtight lids are my favorite for storing. When taking to potlucks, I rely on these inexpensive plastic containers for transporting.

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen

Here are 3 techniques to cook frozen chicken breasts!

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen Frozen Chicken in the Oven Baked Frozen Chicken Baked Frozen Chicken

How to Bake Frozen Chicken

I have had people ask me at potlucks and gatherings how I bake my frozen chicken. After testing different temperatures of cooking frozen chicken and spice combinations, I am thrilled to share my favorite recipe.

This is the recipe I rely upon for topping salads, making chicken wraps, or as an accompaniment to a brown rice bowl.

Spread your frozen chicken breasts on two cookie sheets.

Don’t love the clean-up?

Consider lining the baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick heavy-duty aluminum foil.

I love these parchment squares because they make the whole clean-up process a little easier.

Brush or drizzle your chicken breasts with olive oil, salt generously, and finish with your favorite seasoning.

My secret ingredient (and this is no endorsement- just a HUGE fan!) is this Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning mix.

I found this seasoning mix in the spice aisle, and it makes such a fantastic dry rub on the chicken that it tastes as good as anything you would get in a restaurant.

Since it is salt-free, I layer on the salt just the way I like, which helps enhance the chicken’s flavor.

Baking frozen chicken is safe, according to the USDA.

Frozen Chicken Breast Baked and Sliced My secret ingredient (and this is no endorsement- just a HUGE fan!) is this Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning mix.

I found this seasoning mix in the spice aisle, and it makes such a fantastic dry rub on the chicken that it tastes as good as anything you would get in a restaurant.

Since it is salt-free, I layer on the salt just the way I like, which helps enhance the chicken’s flavor.

Baking frozen chicken is safe, according to the USDA.

How to Boil Frozen Chicken

Boiling chicken is another safe and effective way to prepare shredded chicken for your recipes. Add a cup of chicken stock (or broth) and 4-5 frozen chicken breasts in a large pot.

Bring this all to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until you have reached 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius).

Remember, if you are unsure if your chicken is done, a meat thermometer is a cook’s best friend. First, make sure the internal temperature of your chicken is 165 degrees.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

 

How to Pressure Cook Frozen Chicken

You may recall my tutorial for preparing frozen chicken in your pressure cooker. My Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe is one of our most popular and is my favorite meal prep technique.

You can read a full tutorial on pressure cooking frozen chicken (or fresh chicken) in this post.

This recipe calls for 1 cup chicken broth on the bottom and resting seasoned frozen chicken on top.

Once again, the cooking time on frozen chicken varies based on the size of the breast.

If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of cooking time at high pressure works great.

Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. That means, in less than 30 minutes of effort, you will have chicken for a week’s worth of meals.

Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

click on pictures or click here for tutorial

Be sure to visit the entire tutorial to learn more.

Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your pressure cooker turns off (and doesn’t start the, “keep warm,” setting. Allow it to release naturally for ten minutes.

Once the ten minutes of pressure release are done, you can open the pot and shred your chicken.

I like to pour a bit of the chicken broth (or stock) on top to help the meat retain its moisture.


Bake Chicken Breasts From Frozen
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
An easy way to prepare frozen chicken in bulk for salads, wraps, and as the main attraction for your family's week.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds frozen boneless chicken breasts
  • Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Seasoning
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven for 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the frozen chicken breasts out over one or two cookie sheets.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken breasts and then sprinkle liberally with the seasoning mix, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest ten to fifteen minutes (to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat). Dice or shred for your recipes for the week.

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for recipes that use shredded chicken? Check out these ideas!

Use shredded chicken for enchiladas use shredded chicken in enchiladas

chicken pesto frittata use shredded chicken in a chicken pesto frittata

chicken caesar pasta salad use roasted or shredded chicken in a chicken caesar pasta salad

Happy cooking!

How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen

August 2021 Must-Reads

August 2nd, 2021

If you need a 5-star read, I’ve got four this month! Get ten new recommendations for your book stack and try our book club Patreon community for FREE this month! Pin this post for your next library day! 

Are you ready for another fun stack of books? I am so excited to share ten excellent books that I read this month and guarantee that there is something for everyone in this stack.

Did I mention that I’m also giving you a chance to try out the MomAdvice Book Gang membership for free?

This month I’m offering all my Patreon subscriber bonuses FOR FREE for you to get to experience what I offer each month to my incredible community.

When the pandemic hit, I lost a substantial amount of income. I knew that I would have to think creatively, strategically, and (most importantly) authentically about how I grew my business during this time.

So I decided to start a Patreon community, and it costs just $5 a month to expand your reading experience with me. Each month I create an ad-free newsletter with all of my book recommendations plus all the book news you need for your month. In addition, you get the reviews in a vlog that you can watch/to listen to, a bookish digital download, and a themed playlist of music for your month. I am so, so proud of this pivot and want to share it with you.

I wanted to offer our readers a special treat this month, in addition to our reviews, and this month you can sample my Patreon community for FREE. 

https://www.patreon.com/momadvice

Click here to try our Patreon Community for FREE this month

 

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

snag this month’s incredible book club book

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

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

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

So many incredible books steals this week- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

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

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

Get a FREE Book Just for Being a Prime Member

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

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

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR August over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the August Book of the Month Club Selections:

Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena
Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

 

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

August 2021 Must-Reads

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

5 Out of 5 Stars

This laugh-out-loud novel is just the escape you need right now.

Not only is it the first in a new series, but it is also coming to Netflix.

When Meddelin ends up accidentally killing her blind date, she enlists her mother and aunties to help her cover up the crime and dispose of the body.

However, disposing of the body ends up being more complicated than they could ever imagine.

The hilarity intensifies as they attempt to do the dirty working of ridding the body at a wedding they are also scheduled to work.

The twists and turns just keep on coming, and the rivalry between these aunties shines in their adorable banter and love for one another.

Add in a great little love story, and you have all the ingredients you need for the perfect summer read. Fans of “Finlay Donavan is Killing It” will absolutely love this fun read. 

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

3 Out of 5 Stars

I haven’t met a book by Choi that I haven’t liked, and Yolk is another solid YA story from this author.

Of course, it only helps that the book’s exterior is beautiful, including one of the most creative uses on the edge of pages that I’ve seen.

But, seriously, try to read this one in hardback format, if you can. 

This story is about two sisters (Jayne & June) that have a very complicated and challenging relationship.

The two do not want anything to do with each other until June gets a cancer diagnosis and finds herself at the mercy of her sister because of her lack of health insurance. Using her sister’s identification, she can get the care she needs, but her reliance complicates their dynamic, especially as Jayne battles her own issues with an eating disorder. 

Emergency Contact” still remains my favorite by Choi and is one that I would highly recommend.

For me, this one lagged a bit in the second half, and it may have been too bogged down by trying to weave in so many big themes.

If you struggle with disordered eating, I would avoid this one because it is filled with triggers.

I remain committed to reading anything this author writes and look forward to more of her books in the future. 

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

4 Out of 5 Stars

This romance could be read as a standalone, or you can consider it the first in a series as it branches out into the love stories of other characters. 

A disastrous first blind date should have ended the relationship, but Elle pretends that it went well to get her brother off her back about dating someone. The date is such an epic disaster, in fact, that Darcy couldn’t be more stunned that Elle’s brother tells her just how thrilled he is to hear that Elle is completely smitten with her. 

It’s why the two conspire to pretend that their relationship really IS a success so that they can survive the many upcoming family and friend gatherings that they have coming up.

The two set an end date for the fake relationship, but sparks between these opposites start bringing into question just how much they might be falling for one another. 

This was a satisfyingly sweet romance with lots of steamy love scenes. I always love the opposites attract dynamic, and Bellefleur really makes it work with these two characters.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Guncle by Stephen Rowley

5 Out of 5 Stars

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

I could gush about my love for Stephen Rowley all day, and his latest novel continues to embrace the sweet themes of love and family that I’ve grown to love about his work. 

Gay Uncle Patrick loves his niece and nephew, but he has never desired to be their caretaker.

When they lose their mother to cancer, Patrick’s brother is left in charge but unable to manage things due to his own health crisis.

He calls upon Patrick to step up while he is away at rehab and care for Maisie & Grant in his absence. 

Patrick’s single lifestyle is not conducive to children, and he is deeply overwhelmed with the commitment.  Rowley’s humor shines on every page in the hilarious miscommunications and dialogue between Patrick and these children.

The first half, in particular, offers big belly laughs, and then it evolves into the sweetest story as their relationship grows. 

The good news is that all three of Rowley’s beautiful books are being written for the screen, and this one should translate beautifully cinematically.

Definitely add this book to your summer bucket list, and now I’ll have to impatiently wait for my next Rowley fix.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

5 Out of 5 Stars

I have only read a handful of science fiction novels, but I attribute part of my openness to this genre to incredible writers like Andy Weir.

I was even lucky enough to get to interview him about his first novel “The Martian.”

His latest book, “Project Hail Mary,” is another epic space adventure that builds in a seemingly impossible mission to save Earth from certain destruction. 

Our unlikely hero that’s been tasked with this mission is a middle school science teacher, but he can’t remember that in the opening pages of our story.

The only thing he knows is that he is far from home and his two crewmates are now corpses.

As Ryland Grace pieces together what has to lead him to this moment, the reader gets to go back and forth through the beginning of this mission and witness Grace’s discoveries right along with him. 

What holds this all together is an unlikely bond and friendship Ryland could have never expected in this interstellar adventure.

It is this relationship that adds warmth and heart to a profoundly intense science fiction read. 

Weir’s genius shines as he crafts up so much science that it did slow my pace down a bit.

I was told by many that the first 200 pages might not grab me because the story was so rooted in these elements, but that it would be worth the wait. I completely agree with this statement and found myself enchanted, once again, by Weir’s storytelling.

Believe the hype on this one; it’s so worth the journey.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

3 Out of 5 Stars

Sally Thorne’s debut novel “The Hating Game” is one of my all-time favorite chick-lit books, and that’s why I couldn’t wait to dive into her latest book. 

Thorne’s story is set in a retirement community where Ruthie Midona has worked, at the front desk, for the last six years.

Ruthie keeps to a strict routine that includes caring for the wealthy residents, the rare tortoises that wander the property and keeping a tight ship in the office.

Although she’s thinking about dipping her toes back into dating, she enjoys her solitary life, including hanging out on a forum with friends that adore the same show.

Her predictable life is about to get really unpredictable when the owner’s son of the retirement villa comes to stay there.

When Teddy mistakes her for a “little old lady” resident, she exacts revenge on him and puts him in charge of the most challenging residents. 

The reader gets to watch each of these characters grow, just as their chemistry grows too.

This sweet little romance is a delightful little pick-me-up between your heavier reads.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

One Two Three Laurie Frankel

5 Out of 5 Stars

I always like to offer up one solid audiobook for your stack each month, and I cannot recommend enough “One, Two Three” as your choice for next month.  

(Curious to learn more about this author- check out my exclusive interview over here about her novel, “This is How It Always Is”).

Frankel decided to write this story after reading about the real-life consequences of a small town’s polluted water by a local factory. She wanted to explore this concept with a fictional city dealing with these health consequences decades later and tells this story through the eyes of three sisters. 

Triplets (Mirabel, Monday, and Mab) have faced numerous challenges due to the town’s water crisis.

Unfortunately, they are just three of many residents who have faced health and personal difficulties due to this tragedy.

Their town’s story, in fact, made national news when the water turned green, was declared unfit for use, and caused detrimental harm to the residents. 

That’s why it is so surprising when a moving truck arrives with a new family to take up residence there. The town’s residents discover that there is quite a history with this particular family and a shocking reason they have decided to return. Their presence could change everything and stirs up the past in significant ways that affect all three sisters. 

As an audiobook, this is a magnificent treat that really sucks you into the story.

The producer utilized three narrators to tell the story, and, notably, one of these sisters uses voice software that adds such a unique element to this story that I’ll be surprised if we don’t see this one winning an Audie this year.

In addition, Frankel has such strong writing chops that this would be an outstanding selection for any book club.

I can’t say enough good things about this story and know that it will be making my “best reads of 2021,” for sure! 

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

5 Out of 5 Stars

If you are looking for a heartwarming memoir to add to your stack, Michelle Zauner’s book is just what you need this year.

In this 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, it seems this relationship has a lot of 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 most 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.

I am so glad I read this one this month and would definitely add this to my list of all-time favorite memoirs.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Are We There Yet? by Kathleen West

4 Out of 5 Stars

West’s second novel will appeal to parents navigating the tween and teen years in the thick of the dumpster fire of social media.

This novel is told from alternate perspectives as the drama unfolds in a middle school. 

Alice Sullivan thought she had hit her pace with her career and family. That’s why it is so devastating to find out that her son has been bullying another boy at school.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, though, as she uncovers his fake Instagram account and his mean commentary to other students.

Her son’s behavior isn’t just destroying him and his classmates, though, because these difficulties begin to have a ripple effect on her own career and relationships.

Then, to top it off, her mom unleashes a bomb that changes Alice’s life forever. 

West does an excellent job sharing the trials and tribulations of parenting teens, especially the challenges of constant monitoring and the exhaustion that comes with protecting your children online.

I can honestly say that I loved this one just as much as her debut novel.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D.

5 Out of 5 Stars

If you are feeling lost navigating the perimenopause and/or menopause stage, you are not alone.

I happened to stumble upon this phenomenal book, and I wish I could recommend it to every woman I know who is on the struggle bus with all of this hormone nonsense.

Mosconi is the Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative and brings her incredible knowledge base to this book to teach women how to maximize their cognitive health and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the biggest threats to women’s health, and there is so much that we *can* do to minimize our risks, especially during these hormone rollercoaster years. 

Mosconi covers everything from brain fog, memory lapses, depression, stress, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, and your increased risk of dementia.

In addition, she crafts a livable diet and exercise plan that will help you reduce stress and return to restorative sleep, helping to manage these hormonal swings. 

I’ve started implementing many of the strategies she has outlined and am already seeing improved sleep and stress levels. This goes beyond blanket advice and is the guidebook we all need to navigate this difficult patch in life.

August 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

July 12th, 2021

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies from MomAdvice.com

No need to pay for a theatre ticket to see these romantic comedy movies, thanks to their television status.  Try one of these tv shows that are perfect for the rom-com lover with all the meet cute feels that you have been craving.

12 TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Do you love reading romance novels but have trouble concentrating on books right now?

Do you lament the lack of true rom coms these days (you know, the big-budget ones with Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan)?

Did you finish watching Sweet Magnolias or Virgin River or Bridgerton—and now you’re looking for another romantic comedy to fill the void?

I’m here to help!

I have a show for every kind of romantic comedy fan. 

If you love romantic comedies and want a new TV series to watch to scratch that rom-com itch, I have a dozen shows for you. (However, if you haven’t watched Sweet Magnolias or Virgin River yet, pause. Do not pass go. Watch those shows first. They’re both streaming on Netflix, and you will thank me.)

On to the rom-com shows!

 

12 TV Shows to Watch if You Like Romantic Comedies

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

 

If you love time travel…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

TIMELESS — Pictured: “Timeless” Key Art — (Photo by: NBCUniversal)

Timeless is an action-adventure about a team that travels through time to stop the bad guys from changing history.

But also?

It’s about a soldier and a professor on that team who seem like they might not get along, BUT THEN THEY DO.

Of course, you’ll see that coming from the first episode, but the story (like the history and the science in this show) isn’t relatively so straightforward.

It is, however, lovely—and is wrapped up with the prettiest bow at the end of its two seasons. Watch on Hulu.

 

If you love family drama…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Jane the Virgin is a show about a young woman who’s accidentally artificially inseminated.

That plot might hint at the show’s (and character’s) love of telenovelas and all their messy drama.

And this show is twisty and silly and way over the top with the drama!

But also?

What none of that tells you is how incredibly sweet and moving it is.

The characters in JTV grow and change and make you fall in love every single week.

Watch on Netflix.

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Chesapeake Shores is a Hallmark Channel family drama full of old flames and new loves, and plenty of family issues.

It’s like Parenthood, or This is Us, but less stressful.

Watch on Hallmark Movies Now.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The Baker & the Beauty is an adorable show perfect for anyone looking for a quick binge or anyone who loves the famous person who falls in love with an average person trope.

An international superstar meets a baker from Miami, and sparks fly.

Her friends and his family disapprove, but they’re forced to deal with everything that comes with a star-and-civilian romance anyway.

The supporting characters are just as lovely and loveable as the main two characters, and you can’t help rooting for every single one of them (even when they’re at odds with each other).

I still can’t believe this only aired for one season, but it’s still totally worth a watch. Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love young love…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Never Have I Ever is about a teenage girl who wants to be popular and lose her virginity.

At least, that’s how it starts.

But this show from Mindy Kaling is so much more.

It’s about tricky family dynamics, and it’s about a first-generation Indian American girl trying to navigate her family’s culture with American culture and her interests and values.

And it’s about teenagers and falling in love and friendship.

It’s fun, funny, and moving. (And season 2 comes out this summer!)

Watch on Netflix.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has too much punctuation. I know.

But despite the ridiculous name and silly-seeming premise (students at the school where the HSM movies were filmed put on the HSM musical), the show is darling!

Sure, it has plenty of meta, wink-wink-nod-nod references to the High School Musical franchise.

But it also has original characters and just…TRY not to fall in love with these kids!

I watched this with my kids, and we’re excited about the second season, too.

Watch on Disney+.

 

If you love shows about friend groups…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a series (also created by Mindy Kaling; I have a type) inspired by the Hugh Grant movie.

It is not a remake or a reboot, so don’t go in expecting that!

It’s about a group of college friends, some of whom have had or will have romantic relationships with each other.

It’s romantic and funny and, at times, heartbreaking.

I loved it, and I think you might too.

Watch on Hulu.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

New Girl is one of my all-time favorites, which you might have picked up on (since I’ve written about this show before).

But it fits here too!

If you love seeing friendships develop and grow and fracture and heal, this is for you.

If you love outrageous hijinks and hilarious inside jokes, this is for you.

If you love shipping characters you know are meant for each other or watching two unlikely lovers connect, this is for you.

Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love small towns…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Hart of Dixie is a funny, emotional show about a New York surgical resident forced to work in a one-doctor practice in small-town Alabama.

It’s about a love triangle—no, wait!

It’s about several love triangles!

It’s about falling in love with characters you thought you hated.

It’s Doc Hollywood as a TV series or the Gilmore Girls in the South. (It’s also about a Black man being mayor of a small town in the South, yet nobody ever mentions race. So head’s up on that.)

Watch on Prime.

 

If you love magic…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The Good Witch is another show from the Hallmark Channel, and it’s about a widow who moves to a small town to raise her daughter.

Is she a witch?

Or…not?

The town doesn’t know for sure, but the (handsome) local doctor doesn’t believe it.

And yet, he’s drawn to her anyway.

Of course!

Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love musicals…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is one of my very favorite shows, and for so many reasons!

It’s about a young woman who undergoes a medical test and suddenly can hear people’s emotions as if they are singing them.

It’s incredible.

The singing!

The dance numbers!

And don’t forget the friendships and family dynamics that are real and hard and lovely.

But for our purposes here today, I assure you: Zoey finds herself in a love triangle, and you will be hard-pressed to decide which guy to root for!

Rent season one on Prime; watch season two on Hulu.

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The soundtrack is exciting.

It doesn’t feature singing performances like Zoey’s does.

Instead, it has the characters lip-sync and dance to songs that kinda-sorta move the story forward.

That story is about how the lives of seemingly unconnected people in Los Angeles intersect over the years.

I loved the story, and some of those connections are undoubtedly romantic!

Watch on Netflix.

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

 

What’s your favorite romantic comedy on TV?

 

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TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies MomAdvice.com

 

 

Don’t miss these other great ideas:

 

 

 

Hilarious Comedies to Watch with your Spouse

 

 

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The Best Chicken Burgers Recipe

July 6th, 2021

Try this easy 3-ingredient chicken burger patties recipe for your next family cookout! These ground chicken burgers are easy to prep ahead and a perfect dish to grill out for a crowd. They are topped with fresh mozzarella, spinach, tomato, and a lightly toasted hamburger bun. You will want to make these chicken patties over and over again. 

 

Are you looking for a healthy alternative to hamburgers on the grill for your summer cookout?

Although I love a beef burger, we have been trying to eat more heart-healthy and rely a lot on chicken breast to get our protein fix without the fat and calories.

Few recipes get as much love in our house as this chicken burger recipe.

After many summers making these, I have discovered that these are great to prepare in make-ahead containers with the grocery store’s sale on whatever fruits and vegetables are in season. The burgers reheat like a dream and are fancy enough that they are perfect for entertaining. 

I never thought we would ever prefer a chicken burger recipe over a juicy Angus burger, but this is THE recipe that my family requests repeatedly. 

 The Best Chicken Burgers Recipe

This chicken pesto burger recipe has been a family favorite for years.

These burgers take just a few ingredients and avoid traditional chicken burger fillers (typically, a cup of bread crumbs or more!). The absence of fillers makes it a great gluten-free dish to share.

How to Grill These Chicken Burgers

Because these burgers do not contain filler ingredients, it makes a very delicate patty. I prepare these on a greased foil-lined baking sheet. Grilling them on a foil-lined grill (sprayed with a bit of nonstick cooking spray) over medium-high heat, uncovered, helps them keep their consistency and juiciness. 

You will want to make sure that they have a good five minutes on the grill before attempting to flip these, and using two spatulas (one to flip and one to assist) is the best way to help these patties hold their shape.

Add a side of roasted green beans for a fun side that you and the kids will love.

 

The Best Chicken Burgers Recipe from MomAdvice.com

How to Cook These Chicken Burgers on the Stovetop

 If you prefer, you can prepare these burgers indoors on a skillet over medium heat. I find that a cast iron skillet is a helpful tool in your kitchen arsenal, especially when preparing burgers and steaks at home. Make sure your skillet is oiled well with olive oil before you add these burgers. 

You can cook your chicken burgers for seven minutes on each side or until they are cooked throughout. Remember, this patty benefits from a flip with two spatulas since they are very delicate.

The Best Chicken Burgers Recipe from MomAdvice.com

What Toppings Do I Add to These Burgers?

Our favorite toppings are a dash of salt and pepper, pesto, spinach (or arugula), and tomatoes for these burgers. Please don’t feel like you have to be limited by my topping choices, though! You can top these burgers with ketchup, dijon mustard, cheddar cheese slices, provolone slices, green onions, romaine lettuce, or any other burger topping that your heart desires.

What Type of Pesto Do You Use For These Burgers?

If you are looking for an affordable jar of pesto, I would recommend the ALDI store brand for these burgers. Don’t feel limited by the traditional pesto flavoring profile though, you can also use a sundried tomato version for a fun twist on these traditional flavors.

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Chicken Burgers Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 burgers
 
Try this easy 3-ingredient chicken burger patties recipe for your next family cookout! These ground chicken burgers are easy to prep ahead and a perfect dish to grill out for a crowd.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound uncooked ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 4-6 tablespoons purchased basil pesto
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (optional for topping)
  • 8 small tomato slices
  • Ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine ground chicken, pesto, salt, and pepper. Shape into four ½-inch-thick oval patties (to fit bread).
  2. Line your grill with aluminum foil and spray the foil generously with nonstick cooking spray. Turn the grill on to medium-high heat.
  3. Grill, uncovered, 10 to 13 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (165 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.
  4. Top each patty with a mozzarella slice—cover grill; grill 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
  5. Add bread and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until toasted. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Place patty in your hamburger bun.
  6. Top with a drizzle of pesto and sliced tomatoes to finish. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper.

 

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Tips and Tricks for successful grilling plus our family's favorite grilled corn recipe!

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Grilled Tomato Bread with Prosciutto

 

 

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July 2021 Must-Reads

June 30th, 2021

I’ve got ten great books to share with you this month that include a legal thriller, a fun fantasy novel that our book club adored, loads of romance reads, and a couple of excellent thrillers that kept me up way past my bedtime. Let’s stay up way too late with good books. Bookmark this list for your next beach read stack! 

Can you believe it is already time to discuss our next book stack today? I have been working through so many advanced readers for you and have several just-released beach reads that I think will be perfect for adding to your tote this month.

A couple of these books kept me up way past my bedtime, and I am NOT complaining.

Is there anything better than a book that keeps you up too late?

I think not.

Get a BRAND NEW Summer Reading Guide from MomAdvice! Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for some fun surprises! This month, I offer a fun summer reading guide and the new “chilling by the blow-up pool” playlist. Don’t miss this month’s fun.

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

Why We Need Your Financial Support

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

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

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

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

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

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

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early! The newsletter allows you to print with no ads and no need to click on different pages to get everything you need.
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Sign up here to support my work.

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

snag this month’s incredible book club book

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

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

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

So many incredible books steals this week- don’t miss it!

Check Our Daily Book Deals List

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

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

Get a FREE Book Just for Being a Prime Member

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

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

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR June over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the June Book of the Month Club Selections:

Sisters in Arms

Razorblade Tears

The People We Keep

56 Days

We Are The Brennans

 

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

July 2021 Must-Reads

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz

4 Out of 5 Stars

This novel gives us a peek behind the curtains of a high-powered law firm and the story of one woman who will risk it all to move up the ranks in the boys’ club at her job.

Alex accepts a dream offer to work for a prestigious Manhattan law firm and can’t wait to make her mark on the company.

What she discovers, though, is that this job requires entertaining clients at all hours of the night, that workdays never really end, and that she is expected to be available at the drop of a hat for just about anything.

She doesn’t believe she will have to compromise anything to have it all, but she soon discovers that it isn’t that easy, and the speed required to keep pace also requires drugs, alcohol, and turning a blind eye to bad behavior.

The spiral is swift, but Alex realizes just how high the cost is when she uncovers a very darkly kept secret held by her firm that compromises women’s safety.

This story is a train wreck journey watching Alex spiral as she tries to keep her head above water, and it asks the reader to consider just how far they might go for their success and what they would do when faced with these cringe-worthy situations.

I found this book difficult to put down and a fascinating glimpse into this world.

It’s the kind of book that could lead to a great book club discussion as it explores the double standards of women and men working their way up that corporate ladder.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

5 Out of 5 Stars

I devoured Emily Henry’s “Beach Read” last summer and could not wait to dive into another summer read from this author.

This fun novel is about two best friends, ten summer trips together, and how their relationship evolves over these getaways.

Poppy and Alex are unlikely friends, and this banter and differences bring so much charm and laugh-out-loud humor to the story. The two live in different towns, but every summer, for a decade, they take a vacation together.

They vacationed together every year until about two years ago when they ruined everything and have not spoken since.

Poppy decides, though, that enough time has passed and that she wants to reach out to Alex to see if he will join her for one last trip where they can, hopefully, repair the damage that’s been done.

This novel is such a perfect summer read, and I loved the relationship that Henry built between these two.

I read many a passage aloud to my husband, who cracked up just as much as me.

I enjoyed seeing the evolution of this relationship and how Henry utilizes these flashback trips to help build deeper connections with these characters.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The House by the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

5 Out of 5 Stars

“The House by the Cerulean Sea” was selected as a MomAdvice Book Club pick, and I’m, once again, deeply grateful that our readers shared this selection with me.

If you are looking for an audiobook that you can enjoy as a whole family, I can’t recommend this one enough.

The audiobook narration was charming and had me completely swept away on the Cerulean Sea with these adorable characters.

This story follows Linus Baker, a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He is assigned an orphanage to determine whether these six magical children could be dangerous to society and if they could bring the end of the world.

The master of the orphanage, Arthur Parnassus, will do anything to ensure that he can keep these children safe, even if it means compromising his safety to make it happen.

Linus discovers that he never knew he was looking for a misfit family with which he feels an immediate connection.

The story explores big themes in beautiful ways like tolerance, acceptance, and finding love in unlikely places.

The messages in this one make it an impactful read that solidify it as a favorite book of 2021.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

Midwestern food, a blossoming romance, and a little magical realism are just a few of the great themes you will find in this fun summer novel that deserves a little space in your beach tote this year.

Sabrina is forced to move back home and struggles with the same anxieties we all have about returning to our hometowns.

The thing is, Sabrina’s fears are multiplied because of her family’s curse and the ability to see spirits who come to them to deal with their unfinished business.

Ray is a new local restaurateur that is determined to revive a retro supper club where he can perfect foods inspired by the flavors of Wisconsin and bring back the nostalgia of old-fashioned cocktails and bites. 

As soon as he meets Sabrina, there is an immediate attraction, and the two find their paths crossing repeatedly.

Sabrina’s paranoia about the spirits that follow her, though, could prevent her from a lifetime of happiness, and Ray might be the one to help her get to that place of joy.

This is the sweetest little read and requires the reader to indulge in a cheese tray and an old-fashioned while reading about all these delicious dishes and watch this blossoming romance unfold.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

4 Out of 5 Stars

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

Want to get swept away in the island life? Well, I have got the perfect book for you. 

You will love heading to the fictional Frick Island, a remote town nestled in the Chesapeake Bay that embraces living in the moment and not getting too wrapped up in technology.

The town is relatively unknown until Anders Caldwell is assigned the annual Cake Walk fundraiser to cover a journalism piece.

While there, he realizes a much bigger story that is just the material he needs to breakout success in the podcast world.

You see, the entire town has been pretending that a resident’s husband, who died at sea, is still alive and that they all can see him. 

Everyone deals with grief differently, and Piper has chosen to embrace not letting her husband go.

Anders becomes captivated by Piper and her story, but the town doesn’t know that his podcast has become about Piper. 

As the two begin to find deep companionship with one another, Anders must make a difficult decision- fame or love.

This is a sweetly satisfying read that does a great job making each townsperson its great standalone character that adds to the charm of Frick Island. 

I loved this unique concept for a story and found it to be just the kind of summer book you can escape with.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Other People’s Children by R.J. Hoffman

4 Out of 5 Stars

Anyone who has gone through infertility and miscarriage understands the excruciating and never-ending heartbreaks that come along the journey. 

Hoffman explores this theme through the story of three mothers and one baby that changes all of their lives.

After a series of miscarriages, Gail and Jon turn to adoption to try to expand their family.

Carli is a pregnant teenager who has decided to put her child up for adoption and chooses Gail and Jon to raise her baby.

The problem is that her mother, Marla, has very different plans for her grandbaby.

Honestly, what unfolds is entirely unexpected, and the desperation escalates to levels that I was not expecting as a reader. The plot went somewhere unexpected is a bit of an understatement and made the story much more compelling.

This is meaty enough for a book club chat, but I would not advise adding this to your stack if you face fertility struggles.

As someone who has been through my share of fertility struggles, Hoffman writes these chapters with such raw honesty that this, honestly, pulled at my heartstrings.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

4 Out of 5 Stars

I became a fan of Elyssa Friedland’s writing after reading “The Floating Feldmans” and couldn’t wait to dig into her latest summer novel.

With a setting like the Catskills and a giant dose of family dysfunction, this is just the kind of book I love to read.

In this novel, The Golden Hotel is a family-owned Catskills resort that hasn’t weathered well.

For more than sixty years, the Goldman and Weingold families- best friends and business partners- have entertained many guests and celebrities over their years.

When they receive an offer to purchase The Golden Hotel, they decide to bring the families together to determine whether they should revive the property or sell it off to be turned into a casino.

The grandchildren begin to scheme how they can revive the old hotel, and the more senior family members find themselves reflecting on all the nostalgia of the good old days at the hotel.

This difficult decision is why they have come together one last time, and it’s family dysfunction at its best.

This book is adorable, and I enjoyed this just as much as I enjoyed her first book.

If you can’t afford a trip to the Catskills, you can do it via this fun novel for the summer.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

4 Out of 5 Stars

I’m sure we can all agree that there is nothing better than a thriller that you can devour in a day, and “The Good Sister” is just that kind of story.

Rose is protective of her twin sister, Fern, especially because Fern struggles with things that might not bother other people. She must keep a consistent routine and avoid crowds, bright lights, and loud noises to create as much peace for herself as possible. 

Rose has always been her protector and helps maintain that environment because she knows how dangerous Rose can be if things don’t remain consistent.

When Rose finds out she can’t get pregnant; Fern realizes that she has the chance to finally pay back her sister because she can give Rose the baby she always wanted.

But, lucky for her, she finds a guy very quickly, and this “transaction” soon blossoms into a relationship that Fern didn’t bank on.

Not only that, but this new situation could disrupt the careful balance between these twin sisters in some shocking ways.

This was a solid mystery with some great twists and solidified Hepworth as a dependable go-to thriller writer when I need to add one to my stack.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo

4 Out of 5 Stars

Azere promised her dying father that she would marry a Nigerian man, even after their family has immigrated to Canada, to preserve their family’s culture.

Her mother has worked tirelessly as a matchmaker, but Azere has yet to meet the man that could capture her heart.

After another lousy date, Azere ends up in a bar and meets Rafael Castellano, and they share a drink…and then a bed.

She could never expect Rafael to be her new coworker and that their lives will be forever intertwined after one night together. 

Azere knows it will never work, though, because Rafael is white and someone her Nigerian mother will never accept.

This novel explores big themes of culture, identity, and family in some beautiful ways. 

This is a perfect little romance that offers some added depth with the explorations of compromise and culture in our modern ways of finding love.

July 2021 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

4 Out of 5 Stars

I want to begin with, every character in this thriller is morally bankrupt, so this was a guilty-pleasure read for my stack.

Sophie has left behind a stressful career to become a blogger learning to pursue the simple things in life and a slowed-down pace.

The problem is that this new lifestyle is leaving her quite bored.

When she meets Margot Banks, she is immediately attracted to her and her group of friends. It is why it is such an honor to be included on a group invite to one of their secret meetings of the “Hunting Wives.”

In this elite club, they do a little target practice shooting (while drunk) and then continue the party for their hunting portion to find men to flirt and hook up with.

As the evenings become more dangerous and more layered, Sophie finds that these meetings begin to destroy her life slowly, but she could never expect the lengths it will go to and what could be at stake, mainly when a local girl was shot to death.

Were these people terrible?

Yes.

Was I here for every minute of the awfulness?

You bet.

I finished this one in a day, and it fulfilled all the reality television cravings I needed, just in book format.