Showing posts with label If You Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label If You Love. Show all posts

Friday, June 30, 2023

If You Love Southern Beach Reads....

For me, some of the best beach reads are those that take place down South, where it's always warm, there's palm trees, crystal blue waters, and a cold ice tea. I'm sharing my updated list of Southern beach reads today, including the ones on my overflowing TBR list.


Adult Fiction: 

Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck  (Key West, Florida)
Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Georgia)
The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White (Georgia)
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews - (North Carolina)
The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank (Charleston, South Carolina)
All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank (Charleston, South Carolina)
Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa LaFaye (Key West, Florida)

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams (Cocoa Beach, Florida)
On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe (Charleston, South Carolina) 
Summer at Hideaway Key by Barbara Davis (Florida) 
The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Georgia)
Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Georgia)
Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey (North Carolina)
Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews (Florida)
The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton (Florida)
Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews (Florida)
Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey (North Carolina)
The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis (South Carolina)
Dreams of Falling by Karen White  (South Carolina) 
The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews (Outside Savannah, Georgia) 
The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe (Charleston, South Carolina)
The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews (Florida)
Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras (Key West, Florida)
Flight Patterns by Karen White (Coastal Florida) 
A Lakeside Reunion by C.Chilove (Florida)
Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe (Isle of Palms, South Carolina)

On The TBR List:

 The Summer House by Jenny Hale (Outer Banks, North Carolina)
My Magnolia Summer by Victoria Benton Frank (Sullivan's Island, South Carolina)
The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey (North Carolina)
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe (Sullivan's Island, South Carolina) 

YA Fiction:

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (Colby, North Carolina)
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (Colby, North Carolina)
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm (Key West, Florida)
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Southern beach town)
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols (Alabama)
Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton (Georgia)

So, these are just a few of the southern beach reads I've read over the years. Did any of your favorites make my list? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Friday, March 17, 2023

If You Like the Kennedys


It's no secret that I love the Kennedy family. It has been a few years since I've updated my list with some new recommendations and of course, some new books to add to the overflowing TBR list. Here are the latest books and audio books that I've enjoyed; plus, some other books that are about the famous Kennedy clan, both non-fiction and historical fiction.  


Non-Fiction Books About the Kennedys:


Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews - I listened this this audio book and was really impressed with Matthews's insight into this former president.  While I knew a lot of the information regarding JFK's childhood and a lot of the drama surrounding his marriage, I learned a lot about his politics through this book. It was really fascinating to dive deeper into what he accomplished at the White House.


Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews - After listening to Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, I decided to listen to this audio book which focuses on Bobby Kennedy. The narrator is the author, Chris Matthews, which was a nice touch. You can tell that Matthews really knows his stuff about the Kennedy family. He provided a lot of insight into Bobby's childhood and his transformation from being the wimpy Kennedy brother who goes to church with his mother to a collegiate athlete and a powerful person. 

The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy by Jean Kennedy Smith  -  This was an interesting glimpse into what it was like to grow up as a Kennedy.  Jean takes readers into the life of the Kennedys, everything from how they celebrated holidays, what they talked about at dinner, to what their parents told them regarding life advice.


The Kennedy Wives by Amber Hunt and David Batcher - This non-fiction book focuses on the lives of each Kennedy wife and it read like a tell-all; it was definitely captivating as all of the women's lives weren't easy.

The House of Kennedy by James Patterson and Cynthia Fagen - This is one of my favorite non-ficiton books of the year. It was a bit soapy at times, so if you want more insider information and less information about politics, this will be sure to captivate. It had me thinking long about the infamous Kennedy curse long after I finished the book.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life by Donald Spoto  - I loved this biography about Jackie. It was my first glimpse into her sometimes sad, but always amazing life.

Fictional Books Featuring the Kennedys: 


The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher - This one focuses on Kick Kennedy's interesting, but all too short life. 



And They Called it Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton -  This book brings Jackie to life during her time at the White House and the events afterwards. 

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable - This summer read features Jack before Jackie and other members of the Kennedy clan at Hyannisport.



Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard - It's a glimpse of Jack and Jackie's relationship as told through Lem Billings, Jack's best friend. 



Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah - Not many novels focus on Jackie's time living abroad in Paris during college. This was a fascinating glimpse into that time and it really showed how this shaped her.



On the TBR List:


Jackie and Maria by Paul Gill

The First Kennedys by Neal Thompson

Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch by Barbara A. Perry

These Few Precious Days by Christopher Andersen

After Camelot by J. Randy Taraborrelli

Jackie, Janet & Lee by J. Randy Taraborrelli


So, have you read any of these books? Do you have some recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments.


Friday, February 3, 2023

If You Love Historical Fiction Based on Real Women


It's been a few years since I updated this list and I've included some great new additions. You guys know that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but I especially love historical fiction based on real women from the past who lived extraordinary lives.  Here are some of my favorite novels inspired by real women. I linked the titles to my reviews when possible. 


1.  That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron - This novel focuses on Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's unconventional American mother.  

2.  A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler - This novel features Ava Vanderbilt, who was so much more than a wealthy woman. 


3.  The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher - I really enjoyed learning more about Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the younger sister of John F. Kennedy. She led an amazing, but heartbreaking life.

4.  My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - Most historians and storytellers focus on Alexander Hamilton, but this book features his just-as-interesting wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.


5.  Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory - This novel features three important woman from the Tudor court: Katherine of Aragon, Margaret (Henry VIII's sister) and Margaret's younger sister, Mary. All three led important and fascinating lives. 

6.  The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick - This novel is all about Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the most compelling and powerful queens of all-time.  

7.  Victoria by Daisy Goodwin - This book is the perfect introduction to Queen Victoria's life, especially if you are a fan of the PBS show.

8.  The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki - This novel is a fascinating glimpse into the Hapsburg Empire as well as Empress Sisi's life.


9.  America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - I had no prior knowledge of Martha "Patsy" Jefferson (the eldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson) before reading this novel, but was pleasantly surprised by her interesting life. 

10.  Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey - Who isn't fascinated by Marie Antoinette's life?


11.  The Invention of Wings by Susan Monk Kidd - I loved learning more about the Grimke Sisters, who are famous abolitionists and suffragists. 

12.  Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory - Women were just as important in the War of the Roses as men were and Gregory highlights some prominent female women from the time period, such as Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort.  

14. Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah - This was such a fun frolic through Paris when Jacqueline Bouvier was studying abroad. 

15. Innocent Traitor by Allison Weir - A heartbreaking, yet compelling story about Lady Jane Grey, infamously referred to as the Nine Days' Queen.



15. The Other Windsor Girl by Georgia Blalock - Princess Margaret, known as the Royal rebel, lived an entertaining (and sometimes sad! )life, that is for sure.

16. The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher - I love all things Grace Kelly, so this book was especially entertaining. 



17. And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton - I love reading about the Kennedys and this one did not disappoint. 

18. Jackie and Me by Louis Bayard - This book focuses on Jackie before her marriage to Jack and her friendship with Lem Billings.

19. The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Alison Pataki - Who knew that the heir to the Post fortune would be so fascinating? This was one of my favorite books of 2022.  

20. The Glorious Guinness Girls by Emily Hourican - This book focuses on the heirs to the Guinness fortune and their interesting lives. 



21. Before the Crown by Flora Harding - I loved learning more about Queen Elizabeth II and the time period before she ascended to the throne.

22. The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck - This focuses on a lesser known women who lived a remarkable life, Virginia Hall.

23. The People's Princess by Flora Harding - Who doesn't love a good Princess Diana book? 

24. The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable - Nancy Mitford's life was most definitely an entertaining one, especially during WWII.



25. The Last White Rose by Alison Weir - You can always count on Weir to bring to life interesting lives from the past and this one focuses on Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII's mother. 

26. The Social Graces by Renee Rosen - The Vanderbilts and the Astors in Gilded Age New York City....yes, please!



27. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain - This focuses on Hadley Richardson, one of Hemingway's wives, and their adventures in Jazz Age Paris.

28. Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck - A novel focusing on the eccentric Zelda Fitzgerald, Scott Fitzgerald's wife. 



29.  Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly - This one is also based on real life heroines of WWII.

30. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff - This is based on a real-life ring of female spies. 



31. The Collector's Daughter by Gill Paul - Most people know about the Earl of Carnarvon, but not his daughter, Lady Evelyn Hebert, the woman who took the first steps into the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun

32. The Woman Before Wallis  by Bryn Turnbull - This focuses on Thelma Morgan, the American woman involved with Prince Edward before his famous marriage to Wallis Simpson. 



33. The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton - This novel brings to life the story of Evangelina Cisneros. 

34. In Royal Service to the Queen by Tessa Arlen - This historical novel focuses on the life of the governess Marian Crawford, who took care of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. 

35. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell - This book focuses on a lesser known woman in history, Duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici and her sad fate. 

36. A Dress of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen - This historical novel highlights a fashion icon, Lady Duff Gordon.

Books on My TBR List:

1. The Queen's Secret by Karen Harper (Elizabeth, The Queen Mother)

2. American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton (Alice Roosevelt)

3. Her Lost Words by Stephanie Thornton (Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft)


4. The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher (Sylvia Beach)

5. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Belle de Costa Greene) 

6. Starring Adele Astaire by Eliza Knight (Adele Astaire, Fred Astaire's sister)


7. Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen (Estee Lauder)

8. The Empress by Gigi Griffis (Sisi of Austria)

9. Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (Joy Davidman, C.S. Lewis's wife)


10. Strangers in the Night by Heather Webb (Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner) 

11. The Woman with a Cure by Lynn Cullen (Dr. Dorothy Hortsmann)

What are some of your favorite historical novels based on real-life women? Have you read any of these novels? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and if you have any recommendations for me.

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