🅰️Have you read the classic, ‘The Scarlet Letter’, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850? Did you read it on your own or as a school assignment? I read it several yrs ago & I can honestly say, ‘Hester’—released earlier this month & a BOTM pick—is SO much better!
📖‘Hester’ by Laurie Lico Albanese is a stunning, poignant, masterfully created work of art! It’s a reimagining of the tragic heroine that inspired ‘The Scarlet Letter’ & from her point of view. I absolutely loved it! It’s very well narrated on audiobook as well! Thank you to St Martins Press for my autographed gift copy of the book along with the handkerchief seen in the photo.
🅰️Who is the real Hester Pryne? Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s w/ her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Glasgow for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they’ve arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless & alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.
🅰️When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass & Edward’s safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel & Isobel grow closer & closer. Together, they are a muse & a dark storyteller; the enchanter & the enchanted. But which is which?
🅰️In this sensuous & hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples w/ our country’s complicated past, & learns that America’s ideas of freedom & liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven w/ Isobel & Nathaniel’s story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a “real” American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, & atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of “unusual” women being accused of witchcraft.
💁🏼♀️Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Laurie Lico Albanese’s ‘Hester’ is a timeless tale of art, ambition, & desire that examines the roots of female creative power & the men who try to shut it down.
Click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give it a LIKE❤️ (please & thank you!).
Click HERE to add ‘Hester’ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to find ‘Hester’ at a local or online independent bookstore using BookStoreLink
☀️Happy Sunday readers! I’m excited to tell you about one of my most anticipated books of 2022, coming to bookstore shelves this Tues, 5/3!
🥰I read & completely fell in love with ‘The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek’ last year. Not only did it become one of my top 20 reads of all time, but it’s a book I recommend often to other readers looking to branch out of their usual bookish comfort zone or who love a well-written historical-fiction novel.
🎧If you’re like me & have a hard time getting into historical fiction in physical book format, I implore you to try it on audiobook. It can make all the difference when it comes to bringing the pages alive with atmosphere, especially when it’s read by a great narrator. I listen to audiobooks nearly every single day while going about my usual mundane chores, while driving, exercising, grocery shopping, cooking, & even showering.
✒️Bestselling author Kim Michele Richardson is back w/ the perfect book club read, ‘The Book Woman’s Daughter’ (5/3). The story is about Honey Mary Angeline Lovett, the daughter of the beloved Troublesome Creek book woman, who must fight for her own independence w/ the help of the women who guide her & the books that set her free.
📖In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey & her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother & father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.
📖Picking up her mother’s old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. She’s looking to prove that she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to survive, but the route can be treacherous, & some folks aren’t as keen to let a woman pave her own way. If Honey wants to bring the freedom that books provide to the families who need it most, she’s going to have to fight for her place, & along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills & hollers can make all the difference in the world.
💕Stunning & profound, ‘The Book Woman’s Daughter’ is a story about women with raw courage, fierce strength, & who are true heroines of the Appalachian Trail. Highly recommend both books! Thank you SourceBooks Landmark for my gift copy!
➡️Click any of the highlighted titles above to add them to your Goodreads lists. Also, visit my Instagram page post HERE & show the author (& me!) your support by giving it some LIKE love!🥰
✒️About the Author: The NEW YORK TIMES, LOS ANGELES TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author, Kim Michele Richardson is an multiple-award winning author & has written four works of historical fiction, & a bestselling memoir. Her latest critically acclaimed novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek has earned a 2020 PBS Readers Choice, 2019 LibraryReads Best Book, Indie Next, SIBA, Forbes Best Historical Novel, Book-A-Million Best Fiction, & is an Oprah’s Buzziest Books pick & a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Reads selection. It was inspired by the real life, remarkable “blue people” of Kentucky, & the fierce, brave Packhorse Librarians who used the power of literacy to overcome bigotry & fear during the Great Depression. The novel is taught widely in high schools & college classrooms. Her forthcoming fifth novel, ‘The Book Woman’s Daughter’ is both a stand-alone & sequel to ‘The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek’ & will be published May 3, 2022. Born in Kentucky, Kim Michele lives with her family there & is the founder of Shy Rabbit.
GIVEAWAY time! (I actually meant to post this to my blog a couple days ago, but then I ended up sick & forgot. So better late than never & you have until the end of the day to enter. Sorry, US residents only per the publisher.)
Thank you to @grandcentralpub for my gift copy of ‘This Close to Okay‘ by Leesa Cross-Smith!
Q: What did you read this weekend? I started & finished ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ & really liked it, & I am this close to finishing the book I am featuring today.
A cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist & the man she prevents from ending his life,
‘This Close to Okay‘ is a vibrant, powerful story of two strangers brought together by wild chance at the moment they needed each other most.
This book was a Dec BOTM choice & my first book by the author, although ‘So We Can Glow’ is on my TBR list. There is some heavy subject matter covered in this beautiful book: mental illness, racism, grief, & suicide; but don’t let that sway you from reading it. (Just maybe have a rom-com or comedy as a follow-up read if those subjects weigh on your emotions; ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ would make a great follow-up, just saying.)
‘This Close to Okay‘ is so well written, emotional, heartfelt, intimately honest & raw, & the characters are richly drawn, complex, & unforgettable. I highly recommend this book & would love to send a copy to (2) of you! (**The following is for information purposes only. You must enter the giveaway on Instagram & you can go to the post HERE.)
To enter to win one: 1- Must be following @mom_loves_reading 2- LIKE this post. (SHARE it in your stories or feed for 5 bonus entries & TAG me.) 3- Tag some bookish pals. (Unlimited entries, up to 3 tags per comm). Giveaway runs 2/6-2/8/21, is not affiliated w/ Instagram, & is open to US residents only. Please don’t UNfollow after giveaway or you will be ineligible for all future MLR giveaways & there are a LOT.
From the award-winning Southern writer who Roxane Gay calls “a consummate storyteller” comes a cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist and the man she prevents from ending his life.
On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.
Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets.
Alternating between Tallie and Emmett’s perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge’s edge — as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with in her own life — This Close to Okay is a vibrant, powerful story of two strangers brought together by wild chance at the moment they needed each other most.
Click HERE to add ‘This Close to Okay’ to your Goodreads lists. Click HERE to check out my Instagram post & enter the giveaway. Click HERE to visit Leesa Cross-Smith’s website. Click HERE to find this book & any others at a local or online indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.com. Click HERE to join Book of the Month & get your first months book selection at a discount. (*’This Close to Okay’ was a Dec 2020 BOTM pick & is still available. You don’t have to get this one, however, in order to get the discount.) Click HERE to get this book (or any others) on audio from Libro.fm & support indie bookstores that way. You can also get a BOGO using my code MOMLOVESREADING.
Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of SO WE CAN GLOW, WHISKEY & RIBBONS, EVERY KISS A WAR, and the forthcoming novels THIS CLOSE TO OKAY and HALF-BLOWN ROSE from Grand Central Publishing. She is longlisted for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize. SO WE CAN GLOW was listed as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020. WHISKEY & RIBBONS won the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) Gold Medal in Literary Fiction, was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was one of O Magazine’s 2018 Top Books of Summer. EVERY KISS A WAR was nominated for the PEN Open Book Award (2014) and was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). Find more @ LeesaCrossSmith.com
(Click on any of the highlighted titles under book pics to read more about them & add them to your Goodreads lists.)
📚As a long time member & fan of BOTM, I get so excited to see what books they have selected for us each month because many of their picks end up being some of my all-time favorites! They also have some fan fave, older books available as add-on’s such as ‘The Secret History’, ‘Gone Girl’, all of Riley Sager’s books & so much more!
📚If you have been on the fence about joining BOTM, I encourage you to do it now! Many of the books each month are Early Releases, meaning you can get books a month or more before the gen public! Four of them this month! You get a special intro price for your first BOTM & then you’ll be on your way to being a BOTM BFF like me.
📚Once you’ve rcvd 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREEBOTM tote bag, a FREEBOTM add-on during your bday month & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome! Full-sz hardback books for nearly HALF of what you’d pay elsewhere & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per mo) & you can skip any mo. you like. You can also sign another member of your household up & have two accts so you can get all of the BOTM’s each month. Many club members do this! So act now & click HERE to join & get a discount offer!
So current members, what are you choosing this month? Or are you skipping? I think I am going with the thriller pick, ‘Pretty Little Wife’ & ‘Goodnight Beautiful’ as an add-on. I was gifted an audio copy of ‘Goodnight Beautiful’ since I am a Libro.fm influencer, but I haven’t heard many good things about the audio version. Mainly that it’s hard to follow & some other auditory issues, but I was really interested in the book in general, so I’m happy to pick it as an add-on.
Be sure to go give my Instagram post some LIKE love by clicking HERE & while you’re there, enter my current giveaway (US only due to shipping costs) that includes SIX books that are thriller/suspense/mystery themed AND they all have orange spines for Halloween! Click HERE to go to that post!
📚The October BOTM’s are up!! (Click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love!)
📚It’s that time of the month that all of Book of the Month book club members look forward to! Constantly refreshing our browser every so often on those last couple days of the month, when BOTM generally releases the 5 new books & a few new add-on selections.
📚A long time member & fan of Book of the Month club, I get so excited to see what books they have selected for us each month. I skipped the last 2 mos because I already had the books that I wanted from the Aug/Sep selections from the publishers. So I was extra stoked to see what would be available for me to choose for October.
Once again, they are some goodies! The books are:
‘Magic Lessons‘: Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.
When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.
‘Leave the World Behind’: Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older Black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?
‘The Girl in the Mirror’: Twin sisters Iris & Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical & insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam. Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer. Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, w/ her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the 100-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir. Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream & paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth? And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht? Only Iris knows…
‘Ties That Tether’: At 12 yrs old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man & preserve her culture even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—forcing—her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company & later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, & white. When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her growing feelings for Rafael & the compulsive need to please her mother who will never accept a relationship that threatens to dilute Azere’s Nigerian heritage. Azere can’t help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be w/ him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious & fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.
‘The Invisible Life of Addie Larue’: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, & a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries & continents, across history & art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore & he remembers her name.
📚If you have been on the fence about joining BOTM, I encourage you to do it now! There are some GREAT books to choose from & w/ some excellent fall releases coming, you will be able to get in on that readerly action before your non-BOTM friends. You get a special intro price for your first BOTM & then you’ll be on your way to being a BOTM BFF like me! (**Please be advised, BOTM is currently only available for shipping within the 50 United States.)
📚Once you’ve rcvd 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE BOTM add-on during your bday month & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome!
📚Many of the books each mo. are Early Releases, meaning you can get books a mo. or more before the gen public! Full-sz hardback books for nearly HALF of what you’d pay elsewhere & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per mo) & you can skip any month you choose to. Click HERE for my referral offer & get your first book for only $9.99!