We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
“A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
Recommend? I would recommend this as an easy beach read
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).”
Recommend? YES. I loved this book. It has everything a good novel should have – history, suspense, love and well defined characters that you can empathize with and find yourself relating to even though they live completely different lives in a completely different world than your own. Great read.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?
Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.
Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:
• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?
Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.
Recommend? Yes. I’m about 2/3 through this book and have been really enjoying it. I wouldn’t say this book is for everyone but if you’re intrigued by how to start, change or stop habits I would definitely recommend this book. Gretchen Rubin not only explains how habits shape our everyday lives but also gives strategies for how to change them.
House of Secrets by Lowell Cauffiel
A psychopathic mastermind whose reign of terror had no limits–even murder. . .
For years, Eddie Lee Sexton ruled his family with perverse domination. He enforced every cruelty imaginable, from vicious beatings to raping his daughters and fathering their children. Yet the sadistic father nearly escaped death row on a legal technicality.
Lowell Cauffiel’s unsparing non-fiction thriller reveals a house of horrors Eddie Lee Sexton thought no one would ever see. Now updated, it shows how Sexton’s sick genius ultimately dodged justice, and investigates the tragic aftermath of his victimized family.
Warning! Contains 16 pages of graphic photos.
Recommend? Depends. I started this book after listening to a podcast interview with the author about the case so I went in knowing how gruesome the story is. This book is extremely depressing and I would not recommend it to those who aren’t interested in true crime. However, if you enjoy true crime stories this one is very well written, reads like a novel and the author researched the case for three years prior to writing the book so it’s filled with all aspects of the case – the background of the family and detailed accounts of the crimes committed by Ed Sexton from his family and other witnesses. Please keep in mind the book contains graphic, disturbing photos.
Last One Home by Debbie Macomber
Debbie Macomber, author of the Blossom Street and Cedar Cove series, delivers an inspiring new stand-alone novel about the enduring bond between sisters, the power of forgiveness, and a second chance at love.
Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close—until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite—a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.
Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities—making amends with her sisters, finding love once more—she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.
A wonderful novel of perseverance and trust, and an exciting journey through life’s challenges and joys, Last One Home is Debbie Macomber at the height of her talents.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read…
My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…
Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.
What Alice Forgot by Liana Moriarty
Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…