It’s summertime, and I know I will be sitting poolside with a book (or magazine) as much as possible! (Hey, I’m not lazy – I’m actually writing this post while on the treadmill!)

Here are my latest book recommendations:

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

The publisher describes this one better than I can:

A sparkling talent makes her fiction debut with this infectious novel that combines the charming pluck ofEloise, the poignant psychological quirks of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the page-turning spirit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.
When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.
As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.
Full of heart and countless “only-in-Hollywood” moments, Be Frank with Me is a captivating and unconventional story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This one was on a lot of must-read lists, and it didn’t absolutely blow me away (it can be hard for books to live up to hype), but was still a worthy read.

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

I’ve recommended her books in the past, and her latest did not disappoint.

The Other Widow by Susan Crawford

She also wrote The Pocket Wife and is an expert at keeping readers guessing in her psychological thrillers.


And if you’re interested in a movie, based on a book:

Me Before You

When I first saw the trailer for this film, it began with “based on the best-selling book”, and I thought to myself, “I should read this”! A little farther in to the preview I realized I had read the book…and it was excellent! While I don’t always say this, the movie really lived up to the book for me, and I found it very powerful. That said, I just want to be clear that enjoying a book/movie with a particular theme is not the same as endorsing it in real life. If you don’t know what I mean, don’t worry about it!

Plus a random item which I am adoring:

My teacher toolbox! I was coveting these custom-labelled boxes on Pinterest, and learned that the base storage containers were sold at Lowe’s. Since we don’t have one locally, I figured I would have to wait…but then my parents went on a road trip and dropped in on their way home to surprise me with two toolboxes (the second being for my ECE partner…who is as much a keener about organization as I am – yay!)

They also picked up the spray paint, and I designed my labels using these free templates from Classroom Decor and More on Teachers Pay Teachers. Don’t you just love the final product?

That’s all for this month! I’d love to know if you’ve read or seen anything good, so please contact me if you have a recommendation to share!

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