In Love

Title: In Love  (This is a re-issue of the novel, which was first published in 1953.)

Author: Alfred Hayes. Hayes wrote screenplays, novels and poetry from the 40’s to the 70’s.

Genre: Literary fiction

Readers: Retiree Sulyn, publishing professional Gigi, professor Michal, stay-at-home mom Megan V. and communications director Barbara.

Summary: New York in the 1950s. A man on a barstool is telling a story about a woman he met in a bar, early married and soon divorced, her child farmed out to her parents, good-looking, if a little past her prime. They’d gone out, they’d grown close, but as far as he was concerned it didn’t add up to much. He was a busy man. Then one day, out dancing, she runs into a rich awkward lovelorn businessman. He’ll pay for her to be his, pay her a lot. And now the narrator discovers that he is as much in love with her as she is with him, perhaps more, though it will take him a while to realize just how utterly lost he is.

Our Take: Like a lot of literary fiction, there were people who loved it passionately and those who didn’t connect to it. Take a look at what they have to say to get an idea of where you may fit in.

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Finding Colin Firth

Title: Finding Colin Firth

Author: Mia March. This is her second novel after last year’s The Meryl Streep Movie Club.

Genre: Chick Lit

Readers: Production coordinator Joanna, writer Nan and stay-at-home moms Sarah L. and Megan V.

Summary: From the author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club, a “heart-warming,  spirit-lifting read just in time for beach season” (Kirkus Reviews), comes a new novel about three women, connected in secret and surprising ways, who are  in for a life-changing summer when rumor has it that actor Colin Firth  is coming to their Maine town to film a movie.

After losing her job and leaving her beloved husband, journalist Gemma Hendricks is sure that scoring an interview with Colin Firth will save her career and marriage. Yet a heart-tugging local story about women, family ties, love, and loss captures her heart— and changes everything. The story concerns Bea Crane, a floundering twenty-two-year-old who learns in a deathbed confession letter that she was adopted at birth. Bea is in Boothbay Harbor to surreptitiously observe her biological mother, Veronica Russo—something of a legend in town—who Bea might not be ready to meet after all. Veronica, a thirty-eight-year-old diner waitress famous for her “healing” pies, has come home to Maine to face her past. But when she’s hired as an extra on the bustling movie set, she wonders if she is hiding from the truth . . . and perhaps the opportunity of a real-life Mr. Darcy.

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Parenting Without Borders

Title: Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us

Author: Christine Gross-Loh. She is a freelance writer and the author of 2 previous books for parents.

Genre: Nonfiction

Readers: Writer Nan, stay-at-home parents Megan V. and Sarah L., attorney (and dad) Maratai and accountant (and mom) Gina aka Slappy.

Summary: Research reveals American kids today lag well behind the rest of the world in terms of academic achievement, happiness, and wellness. Meanwhile the battle over whether parents are to blame for fostering a generation of helpless kids rages on. Christine Gross-Loh (who raised her young children in Japan for five years) exposes the hidden, culturally-determined norms we have about “good parenting,” and asks, are there parenting strategies that other countries are getting right that we are not? This book takes us from Finland, and Sweden to Germany, France, Japan, China, Italy, and more, and examines how parents successfully foster resilience, creativity, independence and academic excellence in their children. Revealing the surprising ways in which culture shapes our parenting, Gross-Loh also offers objective, research-based insight into what strategies are best for children and why.

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The Comfort of Lies

Title: The Comfort of Lies

Author: Randy Susan Meyers. She is the author of a previous novel, The Murderer’s Daughters.

Genre: Commercial Fiction, Chick Lit (but more on the serious side)

Readers: Prosecutor Rochelle, consultant Alila, project manager Andrea,  and stay-at-home Mom Megan V.

Summary: Five years ago, Tia fell into obsessive love with a man she could never have. Married, and the father of two boys, Nathan was unavailable in every way. When she became pregnant, he disappeared, and she gave up her baby for adoption.

Five years ago, Caroline, a dedicated pathologist, reluctantly adopted a baby to please her husband. She prayed her misgivings would disappear; instead, she’s questioning whether she’s cut out for the role of wife and mother.

Five years ago, Juliette considered her life ideal: she had a solid marriage, two beautiful young sons, and a thriving business. Then she discovered Nathan’s affair. He promised he’d never stray again, and she trusted him.

Riveting and arresting, The Comfort of Lies explores the collateral damage of infidelity and the dark, private struggles many of us experience but rarely reveal.

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Eighty Days

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Eighty Days Book

Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman

Title: Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World

Author: Matthew Goodman

Genre: Nonfiction

Readers: Consultant Alila, publishing professional Gigi, stay-at-home mom Megan V. and homemaker-slash-writer Nan.

Summary: On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day—and heading in the opposite direction by train—was a young journalist from The Cosmopolitan magazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days. The dramatic race that ensued would span twenty-eight thousand miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors’ lives forever.

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