Archive for the ‘Reads’ Category

Amazon First Reads For July (Get 2 Free Books)

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

Prime members shouldn’t miss access to this FREE Amazon First Reads program. Learn about this Kindle reading program and how this Prime perk works! 

I am starting a Amazon First Reads monthly post to help you as you make those reading selections each month. I thought it would be fun to take you on my journey on selection process.

What is Amazon First Reads?
read how this prime perk works for readers

If you aren’t familiar with how this program works, head to this post that shares everything you wanted to know about the Amazon First Reads program (formerly the Kindle First program).

This explains the benefits, how Amazon selects these books, and what you need to get started reading.

These posts share the names of each selection, what type of literature it is, where it was published, a small blurb, and the reviews on each book (so far).

I will also tell you which book I chose at the end!

What an Amazon First Reads Purchase Looks Like in Cart

Make sure that when you add these to your cart, it shows the BUY IT NOW FOR FREE! If it does not, you are not signed into your family’s Prime account.

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

This month, Amazon is offering TWO books for free with your Prime membership. Don’t miss this deal! Here is what you need to know for this month!

Amazon First Reads For July (Get 2 Free Books)

PICK TWO HERE OR ON THE LANDING PAGE

She's Up to No Good

She’s Up to No Good by Sara Goodman Confino

This Women’s Humorous Fiction pick was published by Lake Union Publishing.

Blurb:

“For two women generations apart, going home will change their lives in this funny, poignant, and life-affirming novel about family, secrets, and broken hearts by the author of For the Love of Friends.

Four years into her marriage, Jenna is blindsided when her husband asks for a divorce. With time on her hands and her life in flux, she agrees to accompany her eccentric grandmother Evelyn on a road trip to the seaside Massachusetts town where much of their family history was shaped.”

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.5 with 78 Reviews. One reviewer had read over 170 books and had only given a dozen books five stars. This book, she said, deserved all of them.

A Feather on the Water

A Feather on the Water by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

This historical fiction literary selection is from Lake Union Publishing.

Blurb:

“For three women in postwar Germany, 1945 is a time of hope—lost and found—in this powerful novel by the bestselling author of The Woman on the Orient Express.

Just weeks after World War II ends, three women from different corners of the world arrive in Germany to run a Displaced Persons camp. They long to help rebuild shattered lives—including their own…”

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.5 stars with 12 reviews. Although feedback is limited in this initial stage, one Vine reviewer shared that this story is full of hope & healing, characters that learn & grow. They also praised it for being a little different than the typical books from this era.

The Last Lie Told

The Last Lie Told by Debra Webb

This is first in a new private investigator mystery series from Thomas & Mercer. This is the Mystery selection for July.

Blurb:

“From USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb comes the thrilling first installment in the Finley O’Sullivan series, featuring a legal investigator haunted by her past and obsessed with the truth.

Legal investigator Finley O’Sullivan searches for evidence the police overlooked, wading through secrets, lies, and betrayal to find answers. With the unsolved murder of her husband still very much on her mind, Finley must confront her own personal trauma on a daily basis. Lies are part of her livelihood, but they’re also the reason she can’t get justice for the man she loved.”

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

5 stars with 21 Reviews. This has HIGH praise with reviewers raving about the smart twists that made it a true page-turner. If you love private investigation stories, this looks like a promising start in a new series.

Kismet by Amina Akhtar

This psychological thriller is from Thomas & Mercer. A notable detail on the cover is the blurb from Caroline Kepnes (a featured author on my site) who described it as “Wicked and smart…Read it Now.”

Blurb:

Lifelong New Yorker Ronnie Khan never thought she’d leave Queens. She’s not an “aim high, dream big” person—until she meets socialite wellness guru Marley Dewhurst.

Marley isn’t just a visionary; she’s a revelation. Seduced by the fever dream of finding her best self, Ronnie makes for the desert mountains of Sedona, Arizona.

Healing yoga, transcendent hikes, epic juice cleanses…Ronnie consumes her new bougie existence like a fine wine. But is it, really? Or is this whole self-care business a little sour?

When the glam gurus around town start turning up gruesomely murdered, Ronnie has her answer: all is not well in wellness town. As Marley’s blind ambition veers into madness, Ronnie fears for her life.

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.48 with 42 Reviews. Readers describe it as darkly funny, disturbing, and wickedly entertaining. Overall, lots of high praise for this one!

Signal Moon

Signal Moon by Kate Quinn

This short story is categorized under time travel fiction and is published by Amazon Orginal Stories. Kate Quinn is a big name in historical fiction so fans will be excited about this short story offering.

Blurb:

“Yorkshire, 1943. Lily Baines, a bright young debutante increasingly ground down by an endless war, has traded in her white gloves for a set of headphones. It’s her job to intercept enemy naval communications and send them to Bletchley Park for decryption.

One night, she picks up a transmission that isn’t code at all—it’s a cry for help.

An American ship is taking heavy fire in the North Atlantic—but no one else has reported an attack, and the information relayed by the young US officer, Matt Jackson, seems all wrong. The contact that Lily has made on the other end of the radio channel says it’s…2023.

Across an eighty-year gap, Lily and Matt must find a way to help each other: Matt to convince her that the war she’s fighting can still be won, and Lily to help him stave off the war to come. As their connection grows stronger, they both know there’s no telling when time will run out on their inexplicable link.”

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.55 with 106 Reviews. One reviewer said it was a solid short story that should take about 40 minutes to read. If you are short on a reading goal, this would be a great option.

All The Lies They Did Not Tell: The True Story of Satanic Panic in an Italian Community by Pablo Trincia

This translated memoir is officially cataloged under “biographies of hoaxes and deceptions” and published by Amazon Crossing.

Blurb:

In 1997 a six-year-old boy questioned by authorities relayed disturbing stories of abuse. The more he talked, the more people were implicated in his shocking revelations. And he was only the first child to come forward.

Within a year, fifteen more children with similar tales were transferred out of the Bassa region of Italy to protected locations. Their parents were accused of belonging to a satanic sect that performed sex rituals under the aegis of beloved local priest Don Giorgio Govoni. With each child’s confession, the network of monsters grew. Families were torn apart. Lives were forever destroyed—and some ended—as allegations of kidnapping, torture, sacrifice, and murder escalated beyond comprehension.

But what was really happening in the Bassa Modenese?

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.31 with 669 Reviews. This is the highest amount of feedback on the offerings this month because it is a translated work.

No Ordinary Thursday

No Ordinary Thursday by Anoop Judge

This book club cultural heritage fiction selection is published by Lake Union Publishing.

Blurb:

A family, broken by the shattering turns of a single day, will do anything to find their way back to one another.

Lena Sharma is a successful San Francisco restaurateur. An immigrant, she’s cultivated an image of conservatism and tradition in her close-knit Indian community. But when Lena’s carefully constructed world begins to crumble, her ties to her daughter, Maya, and son, Sameer—both raised in thoroughly modern California—slip further away.

Maya, divorced once, becomes engaged to a man twelve years her junior: Veer Kapoor, the son of Lena’s longtime friend. Immediately Maya feels her mother’s disgrace and the judgment of an insular society she was born into but never chose, while Lena’s cherished friendship frays. Meanwhile, Maya’s younger brother, Sameer, struggles with an addiction that reaches a devastating and very public turning point, upending his already tenuous future.

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

2 With Only 1 Rating. The author has two other books (with favorable reviews) and describes herself as a recovering litigator, former TV presenter, and blogger.

War and Me

War and Me by Faleeha Hassan

This is a translated work on Iraq History from Amazon Crossing. Kirkus Reviews gave this a starred rating stating this, “Hassan renders her harrowing experiences in an authentic, heartfelt manner, offering important testimony of personal and national courage. A beautifully wrought memoir from a pioneering Iraqi author.” ‘

Oprah also called her as “The Maya Angelou of Iraq!”

Blurb:

An intimate memoir about coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars.

Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost.

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

5 stars With Only 1 rating, but the praise is SO HIGH with notable reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Oprah, and Publishers Weekly. I am going to go with my gut and say that this will be a memorable selection.

Embers on the Wind

Embers on the Wind by Lisa Williams Rosenberg

This Literary Fiction pick is categorized under Occult Horror and published by Little A.

Blurb:

The past and the present converge in this enthralling, serpentine tale of women connected by motherhood, slavery’s legacy, and histories that span centuries.

In 1850 in Massachusetts, Whittaker House stood as a stop on the Underground Railroad. It’s where two freedom seekers, Little Annie and Clementine, hid and perished. Whittaker House still stands, and Little Annie and Clementine still linger, their dreams of freedom unfulfilled.

Now a fashionably distressed vacation rental in the Berkshires, Whittaker House draws seekers of another kind: Black women who only appear to be free. Among them are Dominique, a single mother following her grand-mère’s stories to Whittaker House in search of an ancestor; Michelle, Dominique’s lover, who has journeyed to the Berkshire Mountains to heal her own traumas; and Kaye, Michelle’s sister, a seer whose visions reveal the past and future secrets of the former safehouse—along with her own.

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.29 With 7 Reviews. Reviewers praised it as cinematic in scope, hanting, and read like interconnected short stories.

Mother of All Secrets

Mother of All Secrets by Kathellen M Willett

This is categorized under mystery, thriller, & suspense literary fiction and was published by Lake Union Publishing.

Amanda Eyre Ward offered this notable review- “Mother of All Secrets is a thrilling page-turner and a fierce manifesto about motherhood, powerful women, and what we must be willing to do to protect our children. The plot twists are breathtaking and I loved staying up late reading this fabulous novel.”

Blurb:

Her freedom, her sanity, her life. How much will a young mother sacrifice to protect her secrets?

Sleep deprived and overwhelmed, first-time mom Jenn is struggling to adapt to her new role. Frustrated with her loving but preoccupied husband and still grieving the death of her own mother, she feels isolated and depressed. It’s only when she joins a new-moms’ group that she starts to think she’s finally getting back on track.

Until Isabel, the group’s leader, suddenly disappears.

Now Jenn’s baby isn’t the only reason she can’t sleep. Consumed with worry over Isabel, Jenn is teetering on the edge of obsession. Concern turns to paranoia when Jenn finds clues that force her to look at herself, her marriage, and the women in her support group, who have more in common than Jenn realized. Much more.

GoodReads Rating (So Far):

4.06 with 78 Reviews. Readers described it as compulsively readable, engrossing, and a rollercoaster of emotions that reminded them of those early days with their infants.

VERDICT: WHAT I PICKED

This month was SO HARD because they all sounded so interesting this month. Ultimately, I settled on Kismet because I love dark nods to wellness culture.

I also selected War and Me because of the incredible praise it got. I need to learn more about Iraq and this memoir sounds phenomenal.

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

READ BETTER THIS YEAR WITH THESE ARTICLES

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com
the best app for audiobooks is scribd- read my tutorial on this reading option
How to Use Storygraph For a Better Reading Life
how to use the storygraph app for a better reading life
how to check out library books on your kindle for free

Amazon First Reads: The Prime Reading Perk I Love For My Reading Life

Saturday, July 2nd, 2022
Amazon First Reads: The Prime Reading Perk I Love For My Reading Life

Prime members shouldn’t miss access to this FREE Amazon First Reads program. Learn about this Kindle reading program and how this Prime perk works! 

Do you love to read advanced readers of books? You may not know that Amazon offers a sneak peek at early release books, and it is included with your current Prime membership. 

Today I want to explain this benefit and how to get your free books every month. So scroll down for instructions. I also have a new landing page to the books and this month’s offering of the best books. (updated monthly)!

Amazon First Reads: The Prime Reading Perk I Love For My Reading Life

The Amazon First Reads program is a free Kindle reading program that grants Prime members early access to editors’ picks. 

Each month Amazon releases a list of books that members can choose a free early release copy (or sometimes two). This program was formerly known as the Kindle First program. 

These free Kindle books are released a month before their release date, giving you a first look and the opportunity to build buzz on their official selections. 

This deal doesn’t extend just to their digital version. Amazon also offers select print hardback editions for $9.99 or less in participating months. 

Amazon First Reads: The Prime Reading Perk I Love For My Reading Life

Can I Still Get This Deal If I’m Not a Prime Member?

You can still access Amazon First Reads for $1.99 per month if you’re not an Amazon Prime member. 

As a bonus, Kindle Unlimited members can read most of the previous First Reads picks for free. A Kindle Unlimited membership is NOT REQUIRED to have access to this freebie. 

What Types of Books Are Offered? 

Selections for this program touch on each genre- mystery, historical fiction, psychological thriller, women’s fiction, short story, true crime, book club fiction, memoir, literary fiction, suspense, and children’s books. 

How Are Books Selected?

On the Book Gang podcast, I had the opportunity to speak with Kathleen Carter in our “A Day in the Life of a Book Publicist” episode, whose selections often appear in the program. I had to imagine that this gives an author a great kickstart, especially if they are a debut novelist.

You can listen to this episode here:

I asked if she could tell us a little about the selection process for the Kindle First Reads program and if she had any hand in selecting the authors she’d been representing.

It’s a great question. But, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for how they choose them. It’s something that they do internally and not something that I have the scoop on, but sometimes the decision has been made before I’ve been brought onto a campaign.

It’s exciting to see, especially when it’s an author who isn’t as well-known; maybe it’s their debut. It’s so cool to see all the reviews come in, especially when they’re positive and, you know, see thousands of reviews for a debut writer and their book. It’s just like so gratifying. It’s a very cool promotion, but it’s not something that I’m responsible for in any way. I’m fortunate to work on several books that are part of that program.

I replied, “It’s kind of like Book of the Month then? Nobody really knows how it happens. And then when it happens, it’s like magic for the author.”

Kathleen shared, “Exactly.”

This support often turns into bestsellers on Amazon.

If I can find more trade secrets in the selection, I’ll share them with you. If you are curious about topics like this, subscribe to my podcast.  

What Does the Program Cost? 

This program is included with your Prime membership. Therefore, there are no additional costs to participate.

If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, this link should give you a free 30-day trial! The company offers free 1-day delivery on most items. You can also access their entertainment options- tv, movies, and books. 

Can I Read These If I Don’t Own a Kindle? 

You can read these Kindle books by downloading the free Kindle reading app, or you can read them on your Kindle device (Paperwhite, Oasis, or Fire) 

Where Can I Find the List of Current Selections? 

I have added a monthly post; you can find the books listed here. You can also find it in my Kindle Daily Deals List or subscribe to our newsletter.

READ BETTER THIS YEAR WITH THESE ARTICLES

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com
the best app for audiobooks is scribd- read my tutorial on this reading option
How to Use Storygraph For a Better Reading Life
how to use the storygraph app for a better reading life
how to check out library books on your kindle for free

Do you have any questions about how to access these benefits? Please leave them here!

Book Gang Podcast Episode 36: Break Up with your Reading Slump

Friday, June 24th, 2022
Book Gang Podcast: Break Up With Your Reading Slump

What could be more frustrating than a reading slump? Sasha (@pathologically.literate) wants to break up her reading slump and I plan to guide her with my arsenal of advice and my top recommendations to get her reading life back on track.

Sasha asked me for some guidance on choosing her next book and shared some of her all-time favorites that give me a good starting point for recommendations.

This prescription for slump-busting books isn’t just for Sasha. This episode is for ANYONE who has struggled to find their way back to reading again.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 36: Break Up With Your Reading Slump

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

The Book Club

Book Gang Podcast: Improve Your Reading Memory and Focus

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris 

Barack Obama’s 2021 Book List

Michelle Obama’s Workout Playlist

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik  

Kindred by Octavia E Butler 

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Ron Rash 

Serena by Ron Rash 

The Cove by Ron Rash

Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood 

All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood 

Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Deconstructed by Liz Talley 

Amy’s Daily Deals Page

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano

In My Dreams I Hold A Knife by Ashley Winstead

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

Mean Baby by Selma Blair

A Star is Bored by Byron Lane

Sasha on Instagram

Pathologically Literate

Book Gang Patreon

Connect With Me:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

MomAdvice.com

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide.

I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

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; Break Up With Your Reading Slump

More Book Gang fun:

Book Gang Podcast Episode 35: Cozy Summer Reads

Thursday, June 16th, 2022
Book Gang Episode: Cozy Summer Reads

These page-turning cozy summer reads are just what you need for your beach bag. Try these summer books that embrace cozy love stories, small-town fun, and even light family drama. 

I know I am LIKELY not your go-to for COZY reading choices, so I thought I would bring on a guest who would be. 

When I read something that gives me warm fuzzies, you know it is a rare gem that deserves to be talked about. 

 We have the stack for you if you love a good happily ever after, beach house settings, magical realism, and stories about falling in love. 

Today’s books have fun twists and turn that will keep you turning the pages until past bedtime. These plotlines are light enough for beaching read while still delivering on stories that would be perfect for a summer book club. 

My guest today is Mary Carver! She is a regular contributor on MomAdvice and the host of The Couch With Mary Carver.

Her podcast is for you if you love TV, movies, music, and books.

You can even catch me on her show this month on her Books About Books episode!

In this discussion we share our mutual adoration for Emily Henry (a featured author in this year’s summer reading guide) and Steven Rowley.  We also embrace a few farfetched mysteries, food-themed literature, lighter family dysfunction, and bookish-themed tales.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 35: Cozy Summer Reads With Mary Carver

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned on this episode:

Limelight by Amy Poeppel

MomAdvice on Patreon

The Couch Podcast: Reading About Books & Reading with Amy Allen Clark

Book Gang: This Will Be Funny Later with Jenny Pentland

Veronica Mars

The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix 

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer movie

Book Gang: Cozy Up With These Winter Reads

Better Homes & Gardens Ventura Outdoor Rocking Chair

Fre Sparkling Rosé

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter

Thank You for Listening for Julia Whelan

The Kindred Spirts Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert

Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Love, Luck & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert

Women’s Paranormal Fiction on Amazon

The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

The Editor by Steven Rowley

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Freaky Friday

The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q Sutanto

Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich

Connect With Us:

Mary on Instagram

The Couch Podcast with Mary Carver

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

MomAdvice.com

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide. I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

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.

Sign Up For The MomAdvice Newsletter!

Book Gang Episode: Cozy Summer Reads

More Summer Fun:

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life 

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

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

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

You do not own the materials.

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Find and Add Books to Your Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s it!

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

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

The Best Hidden Scribd Features and Frequently Asked Questions

What Device Can I Read My Scribd Books Through?

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

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

Is it Unlimited? Sort of! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Download Content When I’m Traveling?

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

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

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

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

Do Authors Get Paid When You Read on Scribd?

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

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

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

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

What is the Difference Between Scribd and Kindle Unlimited?

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

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

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

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

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

What is the Difference Between Scribd and Audible?

The most significant difference between these two is the pricing.

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

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

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

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

What Are Some of My Favorite Hidden Features on Scribd?

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s start with your Member Perks! 

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

Check this page for the included perks for this month

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

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

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

Try Scribd for FREE for 60 Days with my Referral Code

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

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

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

How to Use Storygraph For a Better Reading Life
How to Use the Storygraph App for a Better Reading Life
How to Check Out Library Books for Free On Your Kindle
Pin It

Book Gang Podcast Episode 34: This Will Be Funny Later Interview With Jenny Pentland

Friday, June 10th, 2022
This Will Be Funny Later Interview With Jenny Pentland

Imagine your childhood becomes a sitcom. As the daughter of Roseanne Barr, Jenny Pentland knows a lot about this and documents her story in her riveting memoir, This Will Be Funny Later.

This coming-of-age memoir isn’t about Roseanne though.

Jenny shares her journey through her teen years from fat camps to wilderness boot camps to her stay in mental health facilities that brought to light the for-profit model of the troubled teen industry.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 34: This Will Be Funny Later (Interview With Jenny Pentland)

In today’s podcast, we discuss Pentland’s early family life in working-class Denver and the life that they could have never imagined unfolded.  We then follow her story as Roseanne finds success as a comedian and the family leaves behind the Rockies to head to Los Angeles.

What would it be like to watch the show of your own life? What if the number one question you got asked is “Are you Becky or Darlene?” 

We discuss the disturbing freedom that publications like the National Enquirer had to pursue and exploit their family for profit and what it would be like to be a child swept up in the frenzy of tabloid fodder. 

We also discuss the necessary work of memoir writing and how to learn to write your story objectively when it is so deeply personal. 

Jenny’s encouraging words are the ones you need to hear if you want to write a memoir. Her life story filled with obstacles reminds us that we all have a story to share and we shouldn’t let life’s daily obstacles stop us from sharing it.

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned on this episode:

This Will Be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland

Connect With Me:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

MomAdvice.com

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide. I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

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.

Sign Up For The MomAdvice Newsletter!

Book Gang Podcast Episode 34: This Will Be Funny Later With Jenny Pentland

More Book Fun:

Book Gang Podcast Episode 33: The Best Backlist Books You Missed (Part 2)

Friday, June 3rd, 2022

No need to wait for the latest summer releases when you have this list of best backlist books to check out.

This is the second part of our discussion today.

My well-read co-host, Larry Hoffer, is back to talk about our favorite older books and why these should be in your stack this year too.

Not familiar with the term backlist or frontlist books? The book industry groups published books into two types- frontlist (titles that have sold in the current year) and backlist (titles that are older than a year).

We have resurrected some of our top recommendations in this two-part series that can keep you company while you wait for your library holds to come in. Today we discuss our favorites that are two years or more older.

This list of older books have brought us great joy over our reading years and we can’t wait to tell you why these will make the perfect addition to your reading life too.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 33: The Best Backlist Books You Missed (Part 2)

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned on this episode:

Book Gang Podcast: Best Backlist Books You Missed Part 1

This Year’s Summer Reading Guide (The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack)

This Will Be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland

In My Dreams I Hold A Knife by Ashley Winstead

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta

The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers

Tobacco Wives Book Chat

Book Gang Podcast: Best Books of 2021 with Larry

Amy’s Email

Amy’s Instagram

House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Scribd

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Kate Manning’s Author Page

Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning

Christodora by Tim Murphy

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Philadelphia 

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Chemistry by Weike Wang

Joan is Okay by Weike Wang

Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Yolk by Mary HK Choi

Permanent Record by Mary HK Choi

The Two Family House by Linda Cohen Loigman 

The Wartime Sisters by Linda Cohen Loigman

Book Gang Podcast: A Day In the Life of a Book Publicist with Kathleen Carter

Brooklyn

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher

The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis

Amy’s Interview with Patry Francis

All the Children Are Home by Patry Francis

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

MomAdvice on Patreon

Connect With Us:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Larry on Instagram

Larry on Goodreads

MomAdvice.com

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide. I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

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.

Sign Up For The MomAdvice Newsletter!

More Backlist Books For Your Stack:

Part One of the Best Backlist Books You Missed

Book Gang Podcast: Backlist Book Challenge
Book Gang Podcast: Backlist Book Challenge
Backlist Summer Beach Read

Book Gang Podcast Episode 33: The Best Backlist Books You Missed (Part 1)

Friday, May 20th, 2022
Book Gang Podcast: The Best Backlist Books You Missed

No need to wait for the latest summer releases when you have this list of best backlist books to check out.

My well-read co-host, Larry Hoffer, is back to talk about our favorite older books and why these should be in your stack this year too.

Not familiar with the term backlist or frontlist books? The book industry groups published books into two types- frontlist (titles that have sold in the current year) and backlist (titles that are older than a year).

We have resurrected some of our top recommendations in this two-part series that can keep you company while you wait for your library holds to come in. Today we discuss our favorites that are two years or more older.

This list of older books have brought us great joy over our reading years and we can’t wait to tell you why these will make the perfect addition to your reading life too.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 33: The Best Backlist Books You Missed (Part 1)

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned on this episode:

This Will Be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland

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

Bookclub Event

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

Larry’s Best Of List

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Book Gang Podcast: A Reader’s Backlist Book Challenge

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes

My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams

Inventing Anna

The Thing About Pam

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Fatima Mirza and Riz Ahmed on the Oscars Red Carpet

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt

Amy’s Interview with Caroline Leavitt

With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Did I Say You Could Go by Melanie Gideon

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Time and Again by Jack Finney

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

MomAdvice on Patreon

Connect With Us:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Larry on Instagram

MomAdvice.com

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide. I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

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.

Sign Up For The MomAdvice Newsletter!

Book Gang Podcast: The Best Backlist Books You Missed

More Backlist Books For Your Stack:

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer

The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta

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


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

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

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


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


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


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

Cover Story

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is worth the read for the ending alone.

Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deconstructed

Deconstructed by Liz Talley

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the Fireflies Knew

What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleopatra and Frankenstein

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Lovers

Book Lovers Emily Henry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Will Be Funny Later

This Will Be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Kaiju Preservation Society

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

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

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

THANK GOD!

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

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

AND pay him far better too.

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

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

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

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

Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Truth About Ben And June

The Truth About Ben and June by Alex Kiester

Thank you to the publishing house for the complimentary copy. 

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

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

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

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

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

CW: suicide ideation

The Best Psychological Thriller Books to Read

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

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

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

Book Gang Podcast Episode 32: Improve Your Reading Memory and Focus

Friday, May 13th, 2022

Do you struggle with reading focus and retention? Paula Engebretson is a Certified Life Coach that specializes in helping adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) live their best life.

Who better to lead us on reading strategies and reading comprehension than her?

At 31 years old, Paula was diagnosed with ADHD and had to learn how to create systems and routines that made sense with how her brain works.

We discuss the symptoms of adult ADHD and how to begin the process of diagnosis and treatment.

Today’s goal is to give you real strategies for reading more and how you can begin working with your learning disability instead of against it.

You don’t need ADHD to benefit from today’s episode. In these distracted times, all of us could benefit from this life coach’s advice!

Book Gang Podcast Episode 32: Improve Your Reading Memory and Focus

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned on this episode:

Amy on A Slob Comes Clean Podcast

Amy on The Mom Hour

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Amy’s Guide)

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

Online Bookclub Chat

I’m Busy Being Awesome

Paula on Instagram

Book Gang Podcast Episode: Use These Cleaning Hacks for a Better Reading Life

Dr. Russell Barkley

ADDitude

CHADD

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink

brain.fm

Book Gang Podcast Episode: Booker of the Month

Rise App

Loona App

Fidgetland

Worry Stones

We’re Busy Being Awesome Small Groups

I’m Busy Being Awesome Podcast

I’m Busy Being Awesome on Facebook

Connect With Me:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide. I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

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.

Sign Up For The MomAdvice Newsletter!

Book Gang Podcast: Improve Your Reading Memory & Focus

More Life Hacks: