As an author, a perk of my job is reading. I know. Tough gig. But the good news is that I feel it’s my duty to share the book love with you, my friends. I usually wait until summer to hit you with a half-dozen brilliant books I’ve stumbled across—but I can’t hold it in any longer! I’m having a delightful reading year thus far and have some gems to pass on for your reading pleasure…
“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” Annie Dillard
Some of these are brand new, others fairly recent. I’ve included my little reviews on each of them, along with my Amazon affiliate links in case you want to grab a copy (full disclosure here) which means I get a tiny commission while you pay the regular price for any of the books. Here we go:
THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS by Pam Jenoff (Historical fiction)
Anything “Paris” piques my interest, and I adore WWII fiction—so this book was a no-brainer for me. After reading Jenoff’s The Orphan’s Tale, I knew her writing would keep me turning the pages, and I was not disappointed with The Lost Girls of Paris. In post-war New York, young widow Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase in Grand Central Terminal, which contains photographs of twelve women—secret agents sent from London to Occupied France. Her curiosity leads to the unraveling of a sinister mystery, complete with intrigue, romance, and terror. Inspired by true events, this immaculately researched story was a fantastic read!
THE NEXT RIGHT THING by Emily P. Freeman (Christian non-fiction)
As a fan of Emily’s podcast of the same name, I have been looking forward to this lovely little book! And as I intend to savour each chapter and read through the book deliberately and thoughtfully when my life slows down this summer, I decided to listen to the audiobook first, on a road trip with my husband. GOOD DECISION. The audiobook is a treat! As Emily reads the book with that gentle, pleasant voice of hers, she offers encouragement to readers/ listeners with insightful and practical wisdom in perfect, bite-sized chunks. If you suffer from chronic hesitation or decision fatigue—or if you are simply hankering after some whitespace in your life to think choices through, I thoroughly recommend your next decision be to read this book!
BECOMING MRS. LEWIS by Patti Callahan (historical fiction)
A brilliant novel depicting the love story between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. The layers of love are vast and varied between these two uniquely talented writers and unlikely partners. Patti Callahan brings to life the bold and brave woman we generally hear so little about in this fascinating biographical fiction. Charming and heartbreaking, hopeful and devastating—this is a story that moved me deeply. I thoroughly recommend this beautifully penned book.
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (Contemporary fiction)
This was a fascinating, heartbreaking read, and hit on so many topics for discussion! True loneliness is something most of us may struggle to relate to, and yet we are reminded of its reality by considering Eleanor’s life. A regular Monday to Friday 9-5 mundane office job with zero personal life is the norm for Eleanor. There can be days where she doesn’t speak to another human. Genuine love and friendship are not even on her radar after the harrowing childhood she endured. But life changes for her, and gradually the layers of her past are gently peeled away. A brilliant story.
LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb (historical fiction)
When WWI began, many hoped it would all be over by Christmas. For Evie Elliott, it would just be a matter of time before she would celebrate the festive season with her brother and best friends in the magical city of Paris. Of course, the brutal reality was very different, and in this fascinating read, we follow Evie’s evolving relationship with her childhood friend Thomas Harding as they communicate as penpals through the horrors of war. Friendship, devastation, romance, and hope are beautifully portrayed in a series of letters, creating the most compelling love story. I had the privilege of reading this book while actually in Paris, which added wonderfully to its charm and nostalgia. If you enjoyed The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society book, I think you will love this!
IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY by Lysa TerKeurst (Christian non-fiction)
“Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like.” As I read this book depicting Lysa’s recent life journey, there is no doubt that she has been through more in the past couple of years than many of us will in a lifetime. And yet as she candidly talks about her harrowing marriage and health trials, she never fails to encourage with grit and grace. As she draws ever closer to God, seeking Him even in her confusion and frustration, she shares a plethora of Scripture and wise words with her honesty, humour, and exemplary courage.
I hope some of these books catch your eye and inspire you to sit down with a cuppa for some soul-filling reading time. You can also sign up for my “20 FICTION FAVORITES” file HERE for more options. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of my suggestions—and if you have any recommendations for me, please share below!
“I have enough books, thank you,” said nobody. Ever.
P.S. I should also mention (in case you haven’t heard!) that my Christian romantic suspense book The Glass Bottom Boat came out in March, and will be closely followed by The Lighthouse Baby in May. I’d love you to check them out, too! 🙂
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: