Just like the bright flowers that are beginning to emerge from the ground, our bookshelf is in full bloom this spring. Here are some of our favorite titles of the bunch.
MISS AUSTEN, GILL HORNBY Flatiron Books
As the sister of best-selling author Nick Hornby, this writer knows a thing or two about having a literary sibling.
In the 1840s in England, a 60-something Cassandra Austen is working to preserve the legacy of her sister, Jane Austen. When she discovers a cache of Jane’s letters, Cassandra finds they are full of secrets not only about Jane, but also about herself. Does she reveal to the public these most sacred details of the Austens’ private lives? Gill Hornby’s novel is a wonderful story about the other Austen daughter and the relationship she had with her famous author sibling.
PERFECT TUNES, EMILY GOULD Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster
This book captures the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and reflects on whether lost dreams can be reclaimed.
In the early 2000s, budding songwriter Laura moves to the East Village with big musical dreams. She might just achieve them, now that she and her best friend are starting to book gigs together. Then, Laura falls for another musician, with whom she has a short but rocky relationship. When her lover leaves, Laura is left with a souvenir: her daughter, Marie. Cut to 15 years later: The best friend is a famous musician fueled by Laura’s lyrics. And a teenage Marie wants answers about her father who disappeared long ago. Laura’s life is not the way she envisioned it, but it is stable. Does she want to upend it in order to explore what could have been?
LAST COUPLE STANDING, MATTHEW NORMAN Ballantine Books
This hilarious novel puts the “fun” in a dysfunctional relationship.
Jessica and Mitch Butler are one-fourth of the Core Four—a quartet of couples who met in college, got married, had kids, and are now getting divorced. Well, at least the Butlers aren’t getting divorced—yet. They’re still clinging to their union. It seems that sex (or lack thereof ) was what detonated their friends’ marriages, so Jessica and Mitch attempt a rather unorthodox experiment to save their relationship. Is it a brilliant move, or will it put them on the brink of disaster? They will soon find out.
THE QUEEN’S FORTUNE, ALLISON PATAKI Ballantine Book
This engaging novel tells the back-story of the woman who would become the Queen of Sweden.
We love a good historical novel and are thrilled that Allison Pataki is back with a new one about the other woman in Napoleon’s life. This is the tale of Desiree Clary, whose secret engagement to the man who would be Emperor of France is derailed by the entrance of Josephine de Beaurharnais. Heartbroken, Desiree moves on and marries Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who later becomes Napoleon’s righthand man. As tensions rise against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Desiree must decide whether to stand by her man or stand by her country and the Emperor.
HOLISTIC WEALTH: 32 LIFE LESSONS TO HELP YOU FIND PURPOSE, PROSPERITY, AND HAPPINESS, KEISHA BLAIR Keisha Blair
Want to live a more meaningful life? Read this book.
Keisha Blair lost her husband at age 34. After wading through her grief, she wrote a viral article sharing the lessons she learned from her tragic loss. This book explores those lessons further to help you imagine and attain a happy and prosperous life. Using clear, action-driven steps guided by the advice of experts in many different fields, this book is a roadmap to living a more purposeful life. Whether you strive to be financially independent, inspire others, get healthy, or simply live the best life you possibly can, you will learn how to push past challenges and become a stronger version of yourself.
Indie Author Spotlight
PRESS PAUSE, MAUREEN SPATARO Inspired Girl Book
Maureen Spataro is a survivor. The horror began at age 6, when she became a victim of pedophilia, rape, and other atrocities. She went on to build what she calls a “perfect life,” but at age 49, Maureen had a breakdown that put her into an outpatient program for three months of intensive therapy. It forced her to press the pause button on her life. In her book, Maureen shares her inspiring story of how she was then able to reset her life and move forward.
Opening Up To Close Old Wounds
Writing is its own form of therapy. Just ask Maureen Spataro. She documents her struggle to overcome a traumatic past as a victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence in her memoir, “Press Pause.”“I wanted people to actually see the journey, not just the results,” she says. She would like there to be “open conversation, not judgment” regarding her story and those of so many others.“We celebrate survivors of breast cancer. Why can’t we do the same for victims of violence?” Maureen asks. “They’ve survived these terrible moments and are willing to heal the right way and be happy.”
TROUBLE Is Coming To TV
We’re excited to see that one of our favorite books from last summer, “Fleishman Is in Trouble,” is coming to FX as a limited series. Even cooler? The author, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, has signed on as a writer and executive producer of the series. No word on a cast yet, but with FX’s record of great shows (“Fosse/Verdon,” for one), we’re certain it’s going to be a talented one.
By: Barbara Bellesi Zito
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