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THE HUSBANDS by Holly Gramazio

I love books with Sliding Doors/alternative endings formats, and boy did Holly Gramazio deliver with her new novel, The Husbands. Lauren lives outside London, and after a night of partying, wakes up to find her husband climbing down the attic stairs. The only catch – Lauren doesn’t have a husband. What follows for the next year and a half is a parade of husbands coming from and returning to the attic, some staying for a month or two, and some only for a few minutes, until Lauren deems them unacceptable and sends them back up. Yes, this is a crazy

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THE HUSBANDS by Holly Gramazio

I love books with Sliding Doors/alternative endings formats, and boy did Holly Gramazio deliver with her new novel, The Husbands. Lauren lives outside London, and after a night of partying, wakes up to find her husband climbing down the attic stairs. The only catch – Lauren doesn’t have a husband. What follows for the next year and a half is a parade of husbands coming from and returning to the attic, some staying for a

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TROUBLED by Rob Henderson

Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family, and Social Class by Rob Henderson opens with the assertion that the one thing that can create the foundation for a successful life isn’t education or wealth, but a stable family life. Henderson grew up in a chaos, with a mother who abandoned him at a very young age, a string of foster homes, and an adoptive family that splintered early. Despite his achievements later in life, including

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GENERATIONS by Jean Twenge

Generations by Jean Twenge is a meticulous, detailed exploration of the six living generations – Silent, Boomer, X, Millennial, Z and Polars – and how and why they differ from each other. Using exhaustive data from a range of sources, Twenge explores how each generation approaches things like race, politics, sexuality, mental health, work, marriage, money, and more, and how those attitudes developed. I highly recommend Generations to pretty much anyone – there is so

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LEAVING by Roxana Robinson

Leaving by Roxana Robinson is a wrenching novel about a couple in their 60s who reconnect after having been involved in college. Sarah and Warren, who dated in their early 20s, broke up over what was basically a misunderstanding. They each married and had families, and decades passed. Forty years later, they cross paths at the opera and discover that they still have a connection. Leaving is about the rekindling of that connection and the

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AFTER ANNIE by Anna Quindlen

After Annie by Anna Quindlen tracks the first year after the sudden death of Annie, a married mother of four, through the eyes of her adolescent daughter Ali, her best friend Annemarie and her husband Bill. Through their thoughts and memories, Quindlen fills in a portrait of Annie as a wife, mother and friend, and explores the pain and timelines of grief. Why I picked it up: I’ve never read any Anna Quindlen novels before,

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PIGLET by Lottie Hazell

Lottie Hazell’s debut novel Piglet is about one British woman’s appetites – for acceptance, for respectability, and yes, for food. Piglet, christened with a terrible nickname by her family, is so close to rising above her working-class roots. She’s engaged to a wealthy man, Kit, and they live in a lovely house in which they entertain and show off their enviable life. But a few weeks before their wedding, Kit admits to have betrayed Piglet,

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GOOD MATERIAL by Dolly Alderton

Good Material by Dolly Alderton flips the usual sad breakup story by telling it from the guy’s perspective. Andy, a mid-thirties stand-up comedian, has just been broken up with by Jen, his girlfriend of three years, and he’s devastated. With his career stalling, his friends all married off and the love of his life gone, Andy is at loose ends. Good Material tracks the months after the breakup, as Andy tries to put his life

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REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES by Shelby Van Pelt

My book club’s pick for this month was Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, a book whose bright cover has been ubiquitous this year. I picked this one up on a recent trip to Parnassus Bookstore, based on the buzz about the book. (Also, I think octopuses are pretty cool.) It’s about Marcellus, an elderly octopus living in an aquarium in Washington state; Tova, an older woman who cleans the aquarium; and Cameron, a

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SAM by Allegra Goodman

Remember me? I used to blog about books here. Sheesh. It’s been a while. To make up for the lack of posts, here’s a review of a book I really liked. Probably a 4.5 or 5 star read. It’s Sam, my first book by Allegra Goodman, and it came out last year. Sam is a character-driven coming-of-age story about a girl navigating childhood and adolescence. That’s pretty much it – not a lot of drama.

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THE BERRY PICKERS by Amanda Peters

The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters is a novel about an indigenous Mi’kmaq family in Nova Scotia who travels to Maine every summer to pick blueberries as migrant workers. One summer, 4 year-old Ruthie, the youngest of the family’s five children, disappears while they are working out in the field. Her disappearance is the first in a series of devastating losses suffered by the family, and is a loss felt especially hard by her brother

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THE ART THIEF by Michael Finkel

One advantage to listening to a book vs reading it is that you can be truly surprised. With reading, your eyes sometimes jump ahead and sort of absorb the words even before you mean them to, which can blunt the impact of shocking words. But with audio, you really have no idea what is coming. That works to the great advantage of the audiobook of The Art Thief by Michael Finkel, non-fiction about prolific (understatement)

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THE LAST LOVE NOTE by Emma Grey

Of all of the various literary genre mashups, grief/romance might seem one of the more incongruous. But Emma Grey pulls it off in her novel The Last Love Note, the story of one young widow’s resistance to the idea of getting involved again with a new – albeit familiar – man. While the pendulum swing between very sad story of loss and standard trope romance was occasionally jarring, both halves of the book were equally

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ABSOLUTION by Alice McDermott

On the surface, Alice McDermott’s Absolution – historical fiction that takes place in Vietnam in the 1960s , seems like a straightforward story. It’s about expat white wives who have followed their husbands overseas, and their lives of serving as “helpmeets” for their partners. Patricia, a young, naive newlywed, is befriended by another wife named Charlene soon after arriving in Saigon. Charlene is domineering, quixotic and alluring, quickly drawing Patricia into her circle and embroiling

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THE WOMAN IN ME by Britney Spears

I picked up The Woman In Me expecting a celebrity memoir. I didn’t realize I was going to be getting dystopian horror as well. Wow. Why I picked it up: I can’t resist a celebrity memoir. This book may be one-sided, but it’s clear that Spears was treated terribly by her family and the men in her life. Not only did they profit greatly from her success, but they held her captive in her own

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2024 EDIWTB Reading Challenge

Happy 2024 everyone!! I am celebrating the new year with a relatively mild case of covid. Hopefully that’s a good sign for the rest of the year – get it out of the way early, right? I am a little late announcing the 2024 EDIWTB Reading Challenge, but here we go. As always, my goal is to provide a reading challenge that is 1) manageable; 2) enjoyable; and 3) helps you find and read books

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