This charming novel is the perfect cozy, Autumnal read. Set in a delightful bookshop outside of London, Emilia Nightingale, mourning the loss of her father, suddenly finds herself the owner of her father's store, and with it the woes of owning a decades old business adored by so many. Not to mention, the ever-present feeling that her life is not turning out as she thought it would have, Emilia has now been catapulted into the vivid and complex daily lives of the patrons of Nightingale Books, which was certainly a path she had never envisioned for herself.
Beautiful stories, of love, of loss, of real-life, cleverly woven together, in such a perfect way, all leading back to Nightingale Books. As someone who has worked in a bookshop, and library, books about books and buildings housing mass quantities of books, makes my heart so happy, and so swoony. And How to Find Love in a Bookshop is now in the top tier of that list!
I would love nothing more, than to see this turned in a Love Actually-esque movie! I rarely say this, but this novel is so rich and has so many layers, that I couldn't help thinking about how fantastic it would be on the big screen! I have a few actors in mind for some of the characters, Colin Firth is always my #1 ... so, if anyone knows of a Producer, Director, someone in Craft Services that knows of someone looking to adapt a novel? Reese Witherspoon?? Let me know!
If you have not already guessed, I gave this ★★★★★ on Goodreads! And while I am talking about Goodreads, are you on the Goodreads? Find ME!
Y'ALL! The day has finally arrived! Church of the Small Things, is a real, tangible book that you can go right now to your local Barnes&Noble and PURCHASE! I could also do this, oh wait, no I cannot as I live in what some call "the armpit of America", and by 'some' I mean me, and by 'armpit' I mean lacks a Barnes&Noble, Target, ETC.ETC. I am truly typing all of that with a smile on my face! I have grown to like this place I now call Home! But, would really like-like it, if it had one or both of the aforementioned stores...Please!?
Wow, already WAY off topic!
I have been so excited and nervous all day, and I wanted nothing more than to spring up this morning and rush to my laptop and tell you all of the wonderful and amazing things about this book, but alas, I do not "Spring" nor do I "Rush" before 9am...
So here are we are now! And it actually worked out so much better for YOU, my beloved reader, because I was able to listen to this brand sparkling new book on Audible, because I pre-ordered this bad boy on Audible before I found out I had been chosen for the Launch Team! So toBecause I love this woman! So, today, I was able to listen to these stories and to the words in her own voice, and it just made it that much more special! AND, I was finally able to read the Forward by Ree Drummond, yes! The Pioneer Woman herself, since my Advanced copy did not have it in there yet, and can we just talk about the praises for Melanie that she bestowed? And she is so right; when you read something of Melanie's, whether it be her blog, a book, or listening to her and Sophie's Podcast, you immediately feel as though you have found a friend!
Melanie Shankle has a true gift for storytelling and connecting memories to everyone and to everyday life in a visceral way! I know I have posted three blogs already telling you in every adjective imaginable about how funny, real, and talented Melanie is, but this book. This book, y'all. It is so important! It runs the gamut of a life Of those little moments that we look back on and think, "Wow, that shaped who I am!" This life we have is such a treasure, and should be lived in the present. We miss out on so much of the real, while we chase the "perfect", when if we slowed down and looked around, we would realize just how blessed we truly are. This world is so uncertain, and can be so scary, but when you plant your feet in Faith, and let God guide you and show you the wonder that is hidden in the mundane, it gives you hope and it gives you freedom from worries.
I have included the book trailer below, because it is SO GOOD, and it gets right the heart of this book! I have felt so blessed to have been on this Launch Team, and I am so excited that has taken me out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to talk so openly with y'all about an Author and Human Being, that has influenced and encouraged m, not only as a writer and blogger, but as a person and Christian. I am going to be doing a GIVEAWAY of this book later in the month, so please look for that, but in the meantime, go get you a copy right now, and if you are the winner, just pass it along! This is an absolute treasure!
I love y'all!
Happy October! I truly will never tire of saying that! How could you? Now, if only I lived somewhere that has been golden yellows, and vibrant oranges for weeks now, alas - that is the dream!
>>Nevertheless, go put on your furry slippers, your favorite grandpa cardi, make yourself a delicious and hot beverage in an adorable Autumnal mug, and get cozy with me as I get overly excited about NEW RELEASES for October! Okay, and one for November, because: STEVIE!
The Designer by Marius Gabriel - October 1st - Lake Union Publishing
Blurb: "In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she’s stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation.
Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure, middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior.
Realising his genius, Copper urges Dior to strike out on his own, helping to pull him away from his insecurities and towards stardom. With just a camera and a typewriter, she takes her own advice and ventures into the wild and colourful world of fashion journalism.
Soon Copper finds herself torn between two very different suitors, questioning who she is and what she truly wants. As the city rebuilds and opulence returns, can Copper make a new, love-filled life for herself?"
YESPLEASE! Historical Fiction centering around one of the greatest creatives the Fashion World has ever, will ever, know, as encouraged by a Woman who is inspired to be a better and complete version of herself. YES! YES!
And SURPRISE! If you are an Amazon Member, and read via Kindle (even the App!!) you can download this for FREE right now! BOOM! Enjoy! (Also, totally worth downloading the FREE Kindle App for, jus' sayin'!) I cannot wait to dive in, and be swept away!
Joni: The Anthology by Barney Hoskyns - October 3rd - Picador
Blurb:"Nine Grammys. More than ten million albums sold. Named one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time by Rolling Stone. Joni: The Anthology is an essential collection of writings on Joni Mitchell that charts every major moment of the famed troubadour's extraordinary career, as it happened.
From album reviews, incisive commentary, and candid conversations, Joni: The Anthology includes, among other things, a review of Mitchell's first-ever show at LA's Troubadour in June of 1968, a 1978 interview by musician Ben Sidran on jazz great Charles Mingus, a personal reminiscence by Ellen Sander, a confidant of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter community, and a long "director's cut" version of editor Barney Hoskyns' 1994 MOJO interview. A time capsule of an icon, the anthology spans the entirety of Joni's career between 1967-2007, as well as thoughtful commentary on her early years.
In collecting materials long unavailable, rare, or otherwise difficult to find, Joni: The Anthology illuminates the evolution of modern rock journalism while providing an invaluable and accessible guide to appreciating the highs--and the lows--of a twentieth century legend.
"Once I crossed the border, I began to write and my voice changed. I no longer was imitative of the folk style. My voice was then my real voice and with a slight folk influence, but from the first album it was no longer folk music. It was just a girl with a guitar that made it look that way."--Joni Mitchell, 1994"
This is the first of two books on Joni Mitchell that are coming out this October, and I had to include both, because I have read several books on Joni, and I personally can never get enough! I have always been an immense lover of music, and especially the poetry and song, of a singer/songwriter. The depths, the pains, the blood that runs through the veins of a lyric. It is everyday magic. It is alive. It is transforming and ethereal.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan - October 3rd - Scribner
Blurb:"Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.
Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life.
Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York, Egan’s first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America, and the world."
This sounds rich and intriguing! I am excited to read something else from her, as I read A Visit from the Goon Squad, and wasn't in the right head-space and just did not connect with it at the time. Perhaps if I enjoy this one, I will go back and reread it! Sometimes we need the right book at the right time, and when that does align we end up tossing away something that may just have been meant to be read in a different season of our lives!
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy and Erin Bennett - October 10th - Hachette Books
Blurb:"In the tradition of Hidden Figures and The Girls of Atomic City, Code Girls is the astonishing, untold story of the young American women who cracked key Axis codes, helping to secure Allied victory and revolutionizing the field of cryptanalysis.
Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment."
I LOVED Hidden Figures, and The Girls of Atomic City is on my TBR (To Be Read) list! I am so excited and utterly grateful that these stories of the heroics of Women are slowly being told! It gives me great hope! I cannot wait to share with my children what anyone and everyone can do when they are brave and bold!
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman - October 10th - Simon & Schuster
Blurb:"For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.
The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy."
YES, WITCHES!! Alice Hoffman is back to bring us all the history of our favorites Aunts, from one of our all-time favorite movies to revisit every Fall! Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman was written in 1995, and this is the perfect excuse to reread the novel that started it all!
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - October 10th - Dutton Books
Blurb:"Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship."
As soon as John Green announced he was releasing a new novel, I knew I was going to read it. His writing, and the voices he gives to his teenage characters are so complex and captivating. I love that he is giving young adults, and teens, a real voice. Voices that aren't perfect or cartoon-ish.
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe - October 17th - Sarah Crichton Books
Blurb:"An intimate new biography of Joni Mitchell, one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.
Joni Mitchell is a cultural touchstone for generations of Americans. In her heyday she released ten experimental, challenging, and revealing albums; her lyrics captivated people with the beauty of their language and the rawness of their emotions, both deeply personal to Mitchell and universally relatable to her audience. In this intimate biography, composed of dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell, David Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs—from her youth on the Canadian prairie, her pre-vaccine bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, up through the quintessential albums and love affairs, and all the way to the present—and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends.
Yaffe has had unprecedented access both to Mitchell and to those who know her, drawing on interviews with childhood friends and the cast of famous characters (Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen, David Crosby, and more) with whom she has crossed paths and influenced, as well as insightful analyses of her famous lyrics, their imagery and style, and what they say about the woman herself. Reckless Daughter tells the story of Mitchell and also of the fertile, exciting musical time of which she was an integral part, one that had a profound effect that can still be felt today on American music and the industry."
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks - October 17th - Knopf
Blurb:"A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.
A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!"
Can.Not.Wait. Just gonna say it now: The Perfect Christmas Gift ... Who doesn't love Tom Hanks!?
Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks - November 21st - St. Martin's Press
Blurb:"Stevie Nicks is a legend of rock, but her energy and magnetism sparked new interest in this icon. At 68, she's one of the most glamorous creatures rock has known, and the rare woman who's a real rock 'n' roller.
Gold Dust Woman gives "the gold standard of rock biographers" (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks' work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Davis delves deeply into each, unearthing fresh details from new, intimate interviews and interpreting them to present a rich new portrait of the star. Just as Nicks (and Lindsey Buckingham) gave Fleetwood Mac the "shot of adrenaline" they needed to become real rock stars--according to Christine McVie--Gold Dust Woman is vibrant with stories and with a life lived large and hard:
--How Nicks and Buckingham were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and how they turned the band into stars
--The affairs that informed Nicks' greatest songs
--Her relationships with the Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and with Fleetwood himself
--Why Nicks married her best friend's widower
--Her dependency on cocaine, drinking and pot, but how it was a decade-long addiction to Klonopin that almost killed her
-- Nicks' successful solo career that has her still performing in venues like Madison Square Garden
--The cult of Nicks and its extension to chart-toppers like Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks"
If ever there were a juicy Apple I am counting down the days to devour, this is it. The love I have for this woman: her words, her style, her soul. I am absolutely giddy with anticipation!
Isn't the future so bright!?
Happy Monday, Loves! One day down, four more to go...okay, that wasn't at as encouraging as I was going for! Sorry! BUT! The good news? Melanie Shankle's newest book Church of the Small Things comes out TOMORROW! >>TOMORROW!<<
I have had such a great time bringing to you these mini-reviews of Melanie's first three books, and here we are; at the last one (soon to be second-to-last!), and this one, for me, is the most important! I read this book at the exact right time, and it will forever be a road-map for me to look back on when I get off course. Not only will it absolutely boost your spirits, and give you so many belly laughs, but it offers so much real-talk wisdom, you will be busting out your highlighter and sticky-notes!
In Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship, Melanie takes us on her journey of meeting her first best friend, those awkward and hysterical slumber parties and those first glimpses into real-life situations on the perfect cul-de-sac, to equally awkward junior high and high school antics with your ride or die right beside you, to the friends you make while you are a young adult trying to figure out this thing called life with the additions of hubbies and babies, and houses and carpool, and the number one horror: BANGS! Dripping with Melanie's humor and wit, this the perfect final piece in this collection she has written on LIFE. It is basically required reading, y'all!
Melanie gives us story after story, as only she can tell, of how each person is placed into our lives for a reason, how God has used them to better us, and to teach us. And sometimes just to lift us up and make us feel like we are a part of a family when your family is so far away. *sniffle* I have been so blessed as an adult with the friendships that I now have and the people I am honored to call #MyPeople, and especially in moving to a new state, to have been taken into the heart of one particularly awesome sisterfrand, and a fabulous group of women who continue to amaze me and make me laugh until I am wearing my wine. Thank y'all for your support and especially for your love.
Before I leave you to go read these three fantastic, hilarious, incredible books, seriously your new guide to LIFE!, you will not be disappointed... I want to leave you with this: Women need Women. We need someone to vent to, someone to laugh with, and someone to be a cheerleader for and have a cheerleader in. Be a cheerleader, be a sounding board, be a comforter, go the extra mile, and try and always do everything in love. The world needs more girlfriends!
A friend loves at all times - Psalms 17:17
See you tomorrow!
Happy Sunday, and HAPPY OCTOBER! More on October later, let me first share with you the second book in my three-part spotlight series on Melanie Shankle, prior to her new release on October 3rd - Church of the Small Things!
Second-up is: The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life. If you are not familiar with Melanie, please visit my first post in this series. on her first collection of stories on Motherhood here: Sparkly Green Earrings!
The Antelope in the Living Room, is a memoir on Marriage. The gritty, the awkward, the hilarious, the heartaches, the triumphs. And for anyone reading this who is a wifey, you know those can all happen within the span of a day! Life is so weird y'all... And then you get Married! #Bless
Melanie starts with spilling the beans that her original title was "Dadgum, Y'all! Marriage is Hard!" Which also is truer than true! From this uproarious Prologue through the dating, the wedding, the baby, the life, to the very last word, you will be wanting more: more of her solid wisdom, more stories that sound so much like your own marriage that it's a tad bit scary, more connection to someone who just gets it, and of course: More humor in the small things that we tend to pass over or sweat so much that we lose the true moral and understanding of the lesson God was trying to teach us in that season, or moment, of our Marriage!
Also, the story about the book's Cover, the Antelope in particular, that if you are married to a Hunter, a Hunter yourself (You Go Girl! #YouAreMyPeople), or grew up in a Hunting Family, will have you HOWLING in laughter and side-splitting pain!
Marriage is hard, y'all! But through Prayer, Hard Work, and Compromise, it doesn't have to be! Melanie shares the good, bad, and the ugly, and throw in a baby and some neurotic dogs, and it is even more comical and entertaining that you ever imaged!
I love that Melanie takes the everyday, the sometimes very mundane, and not only always finds the humor, but always finds the lesson! Her writing is just so perfect, and so snarky and real that I have reread her work many times over and it never ceases to delight, encourage, and teach!