The Best of Us

Title: The Best of Us

Author: Sarah Pekkanen. She is the author of several previous novels including The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat and These Girls.

Genre: Commercial Fiction, Chick Lit

Readers: Nonprofit director Kimberly, librarian Erin, lawyer Abby R. and stay-at-home moms Sarah L. and Katie.

Summary: Following a once-in-a-lifetime invitation, a group of old college friends leap at the chance to bring their husbands for a week’s vacation at a private villa in Jamaica to celebrate a former classmates’ thirty-fifth birthday.

All four women are desperate for a break and this seems like a perfect opportunity. Tina is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie needs to escape from the shattering news about an illness that runs in her family. Savannah is carrying the secret of her husband’s infidelity. And, finally, there’s Pauline, who spares no expense to throw her husband an unforgettable birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks that have already formed in their new marriage.

The week begins idyllically, filled with languorous days and late nights of drinking and laughter. But as a hurricane approaches the island, turmoil builds, forcing each woman to re-evaluate everything she’s known about the others—and herself.

Continue reading

What Happens in Scotland

Title: What Happens in Scotland

Author: Jennifer McQuiston

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction

Readers: Non-profit director Kimberly, day care teacher EMarie, teacher Julie S, retiree Nancy and blogger From Grind to Whine Stacey.

Summary: Lady Georgette Thorold has always been wary of marriage, so when she wakes up next to an attractive Scotsman with a wedding ring on her finger, it’s easy to understand why she panics and flees. Convinced that Georgette is a thief, her may-be husband, James McKenzie, searches for her. As both try to recall what happened that fateful night, they begin to realize that their attraction and desire for each other is undeniable. But is it enough?

Continue reading

An Affair to Dismember

Book: An Affair to Dismember

Author: Elise Sax. She spent several years as a journalist before working as a private investigator. This is her first novel and it begins her Matchmaker series. She also writes for The Huffington Post.

Genre: Mystery, Chick Lit

Readers: Non-profit director Kimberly, social worker A Military Mommy and stay-at-home moms Sarah L. and Megan V.

Summary: Three months has been Gladie Burger’s limit when it comes to staying in one place: She’s always been a temp agency kind of girl, ever ready to move on. That’s why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. Gladie is also highly unqualified: Her beloved grandmother’s business is matchmaking, and Gladie has a terrible track record with romance. Still, despite evidence to the contrary, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has “the gift.” But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.

When Zelda’s neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family’s drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor’s death was murder. It’s not too long before she’s in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she’s unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?

Continue reading

Lucky Bunny

Book: Lucky Bunny

Author: Jill Dawson, author of six novels. She has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize. She has also edited anthologies of poetry and short stories.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewers: Nonprofit director Kimberly, event coordinator Kathy, homemaker Suze, lawyer Cait and teacher Julie S.

Publisher Summary: Daring, clever, and alluring, Queenie Dove has spent a lifetime developing the skills of an accomplished thief. Born into a criminal family in London’s East End during the Great Depression, and trained by a group of women shoplifters during the Blitz, Queenie soon graduates from petty street crime to far more lucrative heists and the seedy glamour of the city’s underworld. But giving birth to a daughter will make Queenie finally try to go straight . . . until the opportunity to take part in one last, audacious robbery tempts her back to the life of danger and excitement she once lived to the fullest.

Continue reading

The End of Your Life Book Club

Book: The End of Your Life Book Club

Author: Will Schwalbe. This is his first memoir. He has worked in journalism and publishing and is the founder of cookstr.com

Genre: Memoir

Reviewers: Non-Profit Director Kimberly, stay-at-home Mom Krysta, blogger From Grind to Whine Stacey and production coordinator Joanna.

Publisher Summary:

“What are you reading?”

That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.

Continue reading