I’m running a little behind with this month’s book post but wanted to share some of what’s been on my nightstand lately. It can be totally overwhelming to pick a new book, and when reading time is limited I want to make sure that my choices are going to be well worth it. About once a month, I share my reading list in the hopes that it makes your reading list a bit easier to navigate and, more importantly, helps you discover books you really love. After all, life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy!
I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share my reading list this month.
On My Nightstand This Month
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The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron
Alternating between three different narrators who are spread across several centuries, the author tells the story of a French castle, long forgotten and lying in ruins. The rich historical details and dreamy French countryside setting made this a fairly enjoyable read but I’m not sure if I will continue with the series. The writing was a little fluffy sometimes and the plot is fairly predictable but it was a quick read and I enjoyed the woven storyline between different time periods. The mystery of the castle is also a compelling plot devise and pushed me past some of the slower parts. For fans of WWII fiction or the French revolution.
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
My book club pick for July. I first heard about this in one of the fantastic book lists from Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence. This is the true story of how a tiny rural town on the far eastern edge of Canada that became home to over 30,000 airline passengers forced to land, when US air traffic was grounded on September 11th, 2001. Overnight the population of Gander more than quadrupled and the citizens of this remote Canadian province found themselves hosting an international gathering of unprecedented proportions. Unlike most other 9/11 stories, this one is hopeful and charming and a delight to read. A wonderfully bright story about a tragic day in American history.
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slate
This is was my top book this month and I’m recommending it to just about everyone. The 57 Bus is based on the true story of two teens from Oakland California who happen to ride the same city bus home from school. They hardly notice each other until one heartbreaking day when one teen makes a life-changing mistake and another is badly burned. Suddenly both of their lives are shattered and it’s so much more complex than the headlines want to make it. This is a story about the failings of our criminal justice system, gender identity and fluidity, hate crimes, juvenile incarceration, and so much more. It would be a great classroom or teen/parent book club pick and I highly recommend it for fans of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
The First Husband by Laura Dave
I’ve read a couple of other books by Laura Dave and enjoy them as fun but not overly-sappy reads. When Annie Adams’ longtime boyfriend decides he “needs some space”, she finds herself at a bar in a chance encounter with Griffin, a chef who seems to understand her in a way no one else has. Within a few months, Griffin and Annie are married and moving back to his east coast hometown to start a new life. But of course there are hiccups and Annie must decide if old love or new love is right for her. I didn’t love this one as much as Eight Hundred Grapes but it was another easy read and reminded me a bit of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe in Another Life.
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
This was another repeat author for me. I read Rhys Bowen’s book, In Farleigh Field, last year and was intrigued by her newest novel. Joanna, a daughter dealing with her own trauma, travels to Italy upon the death of her father, after finding a note that connects him to a woman in Tuscany during WWII. Joanna tries to figure out what happened in the tiny village of San Salvatore when her RAF father parachuted out over Germany territory in 1944. The main character is a bit dramatic and I found some of the plot a little forced but overall it was still an fun WWII novel with a great setting and interesting to learn about the small villages that resisted, even under the most difficult circumstances.
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What was your favorite read this month? Have you read any of these books before? I’d love to hear what’s on your nightstand so leave a comment below!
PS. As always, you can find all my book recommendations here.
Added two more books to my TBR list! Thanks for the recommendations!
Have you read any Kate Morton books? The Lost Castle reminded me a little of Kate Morton’s novels – multiple narrators, spans multiple time periods, strong female lead characters, mysteries to solve, and always in a beautiful setting. I highly recommend her books to everyone I meet.
I’ve read a couple of her’s and I totally see the connection!
Angie S. says
I’ve had The 57 Bus sitting on my shelf for months now – you’ve inspired me to pick it up! Thanks to a beach trip I got a lot of reading in during July. I really loved What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. So excited for the movie!
Loved both of those – can’t wait for the movie either! Have you started the next two books in the series yet?