Thoughs for Thursday: What's on my Book Shelf?

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday!  First off I would like to say a big Hi and Thank You to all the new faces who have joined our link up!! Annie and I are trying our best to stop by and visit everyone who has linked up, so again thank you so much for joining our little link up and feel free to leave us a comment letting us know you're new. 

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Thoughts for Thursday

As promised I am back with some books I've read lately, and by lately I mean the last seven months.  I don't read as much or as fast as I used to but I always love hearing what other people think of books before I pick them up so I wanted to share my recent reads with you.  Nothing too crazy or complex, just some easy reads I can get through when I'm up with an infant or sleep deprived :)  I'm hoping to start reading more and do this post every other month instead of every seven months but we'll see.  You can read my last book review post here

Amazon synopsis: 48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others - like her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her daughter, Agnes, who is clearly engaged to the wrong man - call it meddlesome, but there's no arguing with her results: With 42 happy couples to her credit and all of them still together, Dabney has never been wrong about romance. 
Never, that is, except in the case of herself and Clendenin Hughes, the green-eyed boy who took her heart with him long ago when he left the island to pursue his dream of becoming a journalist. Now, after spending 27 years on the other side of the world, Clen is back on Nantucket, and Dabney has never felt so confused, or so alive. 
But when tragedy threatens her own second chance, Dabney must face the choices she's made and share painful secrets with her family. Determined to make use of her gift before it's too late, she sets out to find perfect matches for those she loves most. The Matchmaker is a heartbreaking story about losing and finding love, even as you're running out of time.
After her last book being a huge disappointment for me I had high hopes for this one.  It started off a little slow but eventually picked up and was really good.  It was a bit heavier than she ususally writes and was tough on my pregnancy hormones (cue the tears) but I enjoyed the story line a lot.  Highly recommend this author and I love how all her books take place on Nantucket.

Amazon Synopsis: When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.
For some reason I continue to read Nicholas Sparks books even though they annoy the shit out of me.  Anyone else??  My main problem with him is that everyone falls into a deep soulmate kind of love after knowing each other for 5 minutes.  I don't know why I don't just come to expect that in his books but it drives me nuts and I should probably learn my lesson.  Anyway... Safe Haven was good, not great.  I enjoyed the book more than the movie but there was one little twist to (that I don't want to give away) that I thought was stupid. 

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
Amazon Synopsis Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction…
Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia--whose caustic wit covers up her wounds--has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs.
This was my first book by Mary Kay Andrews and I really enjoyed it!  I would call it an easy beach read but the characters were all likeable and the plot line was fun and kept me interested.   I already have another one of her books on my kindle to read soon.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  by Mindy Kaling
 Amazon Synopsis: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
 Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
 In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
First off I LOVE Mindy Kaling.  I loved her in the office and I love The Mindy Project.  That being said I didn't love her book.  I wanted to love it because I love her so much but it just didn't pull it off.  The first half was awesome.  She talked about her childhood, then college, and getting into writing and acting.  The second half was all over the place with lots of random facts or stories.  I felt like it had a purpose and then just went totally off course.  That might not bother some people but it did me.  

Amazon SynopsisMadeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.  
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Loved, loved, loved!  I think this might be my favorite Liane Moriarty book so far.  It was one of those books that I could not put down and I totally did not see the ending coming and was so surprised.  I love the way she writes, I enjoy her characters, and I think she does a great job pulling off the twists and surprises at the end.  If you haven't read any of her stuff yet I highly suggest this one, What Alice Forgot and The Husband's Secret. 
Amazon Synopsis: Brooke loved reading the dishy celebrity gossip rag Last Night. That is, until her marriage became a weekly headline. Brooke was drawn to the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter the very first time she heard him perform “Hallelujah” at a dark East Village dive bar.
Now five years married, Brooke balances two jobs—as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital and as a consultant to an Upper East Side girls’ school, where privilege gone wrong and disordered eating run rampant—in order to help support her husband’s dream of making it in the music world. 

Things are looking up when after years of playing Manhattan clubs and toiling as an A&R intern, Julian finally gets signed by Sony. Although no one’s promising that the album will ever hit the airwaves, Julian is still dedicated to logging in long hours at the recording studio. All that changes after Julian is asked to perform on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno—and is catapulted to stardom, literally overnight. Amazing opportunities begin popping up almost daily—a new designer wardrobe, a tour with Maroon 5, even a Grammy performance.
At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn’t want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or visit the set of one of television’s hottest shows? Yet it seems that Brooke’s sweet husband—the man who can’t handle hot showers and wears socks to bed—is increasingly absent, even on those rare nights they’re home together. When rumors about Brooke and Julian swirl in the tabloid magazines, she begins to question the truth of her marriage and is forced to finally come to terms with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs

Ehhh not her best work.  I loved Devil Wears Prada and Chasing Harry Winston but this one just didn't do it for me.  I didn't really like either of the main characters and the plot line just got really annoying after awhile.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Amazon Synopsis Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy's one-liners?
If your answer to these questions is "Yes Please!" then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All" Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.
I love me some Amy Poehler and I'm so depressed that Park and Recs is over. Anyone else?!  I really enjoyed this book. I think she did a good job of sharing her story of growing up and how she got into comedy and onto SNL etc. I also like that she shared bits and pieces of her real life with kids and through a divorce. 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Amazon SynopsisRachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
I felt like I didn't do a good job sharing my thoughts this book on Tuesday but I did love it!  I don't think it's the next Gone Girl but I thought it was really good and I finished it in 48 hours which is always a good sign that I loved it.  I read a lot of mystery novels (they're my favorite type) and I just happened to figure out the twist before the end.  I wasn't 100% but I was 90% for the last quarter of the book.  I don't know why but I just had a feeling on it and once I figured it out it all made sense.  Highly suggest this one! 

I would love to hear what you've read, are reading, or planning to read this year! I am always on the lookout for new books.  

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  1. I've read a couple of Nicholas Sparks' books, not as many as my best friend though. I'm pretty sure she's read all of them! Safe Haven sounds goods! Mindy Kaling's sounds hilarious, and Big Little Lies seems interesting too!

  2. I need to get back on the reading train ASAP. I normally love Elin Hilderbrand, good and easy reads. I definitely plan to pick up Girl on The Train this weekend! Hope you have a good rest of the week!

  3. I really need to get back to reading. It's been way too long. What a great list of books! Thanks for sharing!

  4. i liked mindy's book more than amy's but overall i wasnt that impressed with either! i guess it doesnt help i had really high expectations. i did love Big Little Lies tho and I cant wait to start reading The Girl on the Train! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  5. I've read and loved several of these too so it looks like we have very similar tastes! I'm embarrassed to say I've never read and Elin Hilderbrand book - I have no idea why! They always look great. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I'm totally with you on trying to read more and just started the girl on the train!! I've had Last Night at Chateau Marmont on my list for forever now - I'm going to download it so that I can read it on our vacay!! It's the perfect beach read!! Thanks for reminding me lol! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  7. hahaha i know exactly what you mean about safe haven. i'm with you though - i do this with sparks too. have you read the best of me? that one was pretty good.

  8. I've only read Big Little Lies and loved it so much that I just picked up The Husbands Secret!! Adding the rest of these to my 'must read' list - I think The Girl on the Train will be next!

  9. I put a hold on Big Little Lies and The Girl on the Train, hoping to get them soon! Will have to check out the others, thanks for the recs! :)

  10. Loved Big Little Lies but just could not follow along with who was saying what/narrating from paragraph to paragraph in What Alice Forgot so I just quit reading it after like 3 chapters :( Girl on the Train is definitely next thanks to such great reviews!

  11. I loved Big Little Lies and Mindy's book, and can't wait to read The Girl on the Train!

  12. Ok, so we have kind of different tastes in books. Give me a historical fiction any day of the week! I am on board with Mindy, Amy and the Girl on the Train! They are on my list. That lies one does look interesting...may have to pick that up!

  13. I need to get Big Little Lies! I just finished The Husband's Secret and I loved it!! I'm in love with Emily Giffin and she is filling the void until Emily releases a new book! I've already mowed through all of hers!

  14. Loved Little Big Lies and Elin Hildebrand is always my go-to beach read author! Hoping to read The Girl on the Train next weekend in Florida!

  15. These sound so good. I've never Loved reading books. I should try now that I'm older, I may appreciate it more.

  16. I've downloaded Big LIttle LIes and I'm excited to start reading it. I've heard a lot about The Girl On the Train so I will probably get that one too.

  17. I love Mary Kay Andrews' books. Such easy, fun reads! I just finished Big Little Lies and am now hooked on LM books. I like to listen to audiobooks while I am driving, doing dishes, getting ready in the morning etc. I have listened to Tina Fey's book and Mindy Kaling's and they do the reading themselves. It makes it so much fun to listen to!

  18. I am so trying to be a bigger reader....I enjoy reading but just don't make time for it. I finished the Husbands Secret last week while on vacation and after also loving What Alice Forgot I am going to move Big Little Lies up on my list. Also added Yes, Please and The Girl on the Train...thanks for sharing!!

  19. I think we have super similar taste in books! I'm reading The Girl On the Train and have a Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me) on deck. Now I want to read Liane Moriarty because of your post. Mary Kay Andrews is my all time favorite - I've read all of hers. You may like Dorothea Benton Frank if you like MKA too!

  20. I think we have super similar taste in books! I'm reading The Girl On the Train and have a Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me) on deck. Now I want to read Liane Moriarty because of your post. Mary Kay Andrews is my all time favorite - I've read all of hers. You may like Dorothea Benton Frank if you like MKA too!

  21. Big Little Lies and Yes Please were awesome books. I have some of the others on my wish list as well. Great list!!

  22. I loved Mindy's book and give it as a gift often! Some great books to add to my list!!

  23. I loved this recap and will be reading a few of your suggestions over the next few months! Xo, Stephanie


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