Before I get to a pile of amazing books, I have to say one of my favourite things is watching my daughters perform, and this video of 12-year-old Olivia and 10-year-old Eva singing Serena Ryder’s “What I Wouldn’t Do” was very popular on Facebook last month! Hope you enjoy it!
Click on titles for more info or to purchase – and yes, I’ve read every word of each book! I only recommend them if I like them!
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
Have a box of tissues handy. And if you haven’t read Genova’s Still Alice, add it to your list immediately as well.
From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.
An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.
Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.
He knows his left arm will go next.
Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.
When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.
Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.
Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam
As a woman who believes strongly in time management, I loved Vanderkam’s last book (I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time) and her latest offering did not disappoint!
Most of us feel constantly behind, unsure how to escape feeling oppressed by busyness. Laura Vanderkam, unlike other time-management gurus, believes that in order to get more done, we must first feel like we have all the time in the world. Think about it: why haven’t you trained for that 5K or read War and Peace? Probably because you feel beaten down by all the time you don’t seem to have.
In this book, Vanderkam reveals the seven counterintuitive principles the most time-free people have adopted. She teaches mindset shifts to help you feel calm on the busiest days and tools to help you get more done without feeling overwhelmed. You’ll meet people such as…
♦ An elementary school principal who figured out how to spend more time mentoring teachers, and less time supervising the cafeteria
♦ An executive who builds lots of meeting-free space into his calendar, despite managing teams across multiple continents
♦ A CEO who does focused work in a Waffle House early in the morning, so he can keep an open door and a relaxed mindset all day
♦ An artist who overcame a creative block, and reached new heights of productivity, by being more gentle with herself, rather than more demanding
The strategies in this book can help if your life feels out of control, but they can also help if you want to take your career, your relationships, and your personal happiness to the next level. Vanderkam has packed this book with insights from busy yet relaxed professionals, including “time makeovers” of people who are learning how to use these tools. Off the Clock can inspire the rest of us to create lives that are not only productive, but enjoyable in the moment.
Last Seen by Rick Mofina
Cal Hudson knows the world can be an ugly place. As a reporter for a big Chicago newspaper, Cal has journeyed into society’s darkest corners to expose the vilest crimes. But the world he and his devoted wife, Faith, share with their son is much nicer. They have made sure of it, creating a tranquil haven in suburban River Ridge to protect the person most precious to them.
Until the unthinkable happens, and nine-year-old Gage vanishes.
In a split second at a local carnival, the Hudsons’ storybook world begins unraveling. A frantic search starts to uncover splinters in their carefully crafted facade, revealing buried secrets that cast just as much suspicion on Cal and Faith as any ill-meaning stranger, and proving that the line between love and violence can disappear as suddenly as a child on a chaotic midway.
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin
Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station—and lives are changed forever.
Aimee En, once a darling of the ’80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help.
As Liam Miller’s life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?
The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?
Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past, If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets—and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.
This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.
All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.
What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom? What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?
I am excited to say I am now a reviewer for Simon & Schuster Canada, which means I get to request titles that I’m interested in so I can check them out and possibly share them with you! In the big package of books I was sent there was only one that I didn’t love. I read a few that won’t be out until next month so I’ll save them for my July Favourite Things, but here are a couple of great titles you can pick up now:
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Just try to read it without picturing Emily Blunt reprising her role as Emily Charlton!
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.
Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.
Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.
Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.
Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.
Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.
Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin (the former Chief Justice of Canada, FYI)
When everyone has something to hide, the truth is the only defense.
There’s nothing Jilly Truitt likes more than winning a case, especially against her former mentor, prosecutor Cy Kenge. Jilly has baggage, the residue of a dark time in a series of foster homes, but that’s in the past. Now she’s building her own criminal defense firm and making a name for herself as a tough-as-nails lawyer willing to take risks in the courtroom.
When the affluent and enigmatic Vincent Trussardi is accused of his wife Laura’s murder, Jilly agrees to defend him, despite predictions that the case is a sure loser and warnings from those close to her to stay away from the Trussardi family. Determined to prove everyone wrong, Jilly investigates Laura’s death, hoping to discover a shred of evidence that might give the jury a reasonable doubt. Instead, she is confronted by damning evidence and uncooperative witnesses at every turn. Someone isn’t telling the truth, but who?
With her reputation and Vincent’s life on the line, Jilly tries to unravel the web of secrets surrounding Laura’s murder. As she digs deeper, she uncovers a startling revelation that will change not only the case, but her life forever.
From the gritty streets of Vancouver to the fateful halls of justice, Full Disclosure is a razor-sharp thriller that pulses with authenticity and intrigue.