I know, I know, I’ve got so many posts to write! But going self-employed can really take it out of you, apparently, who knew! So I’m going to do my darndest to catch you all up with books, lists and recipes just as soon as I can so be prepared for mass posting! But to kick us off, I thought I would share my April TBR – seen as I picked up a massive haul at the library yesterday. As in, I maxed out the number of books borrowed. That’s NEVER happened to me before, but all the books were talking to me. I even had to put two back because I didn’t have room – but I’ll be going back for them!
In my April goals, I mentioned reading at least 2 romance novels that I hadn’t read before. Well…it’s only 5th April and I’ve already read 4. So I’d say I’ve smashed that goal. But it’s kind of got me into a romance novel mood, so lots of this month’s books fall into that genre. Here goes…
An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn—author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books—Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town—and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England’s monarchy.
When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either.
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.
In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…
Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.
Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive. Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show. When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?
A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It is the story of Paul Kagame, a refugee who, after a generation of exile, found his way home. Learn about President Kagame, who strives to make Rwanda the first middle-income country in Africa, in a single generation. In this adventurous tale, learn about Kagame’s early fascination with Che Guevara and James Bond, his years as an intelligence agent, his training in Cuba and the United States, the way he built his secret rebel army, his bloody rebellion, and his outsized ambitions for Rwanda.
Mary Larkin was hard at work as the office manager at the Green Mountain Country Store when Cameron Murphy brought her dad, Patrick, in to visit. That fateful first meeting, which took place in You’ll Be Mine, sets the stage for Mary and Patrick’s long-awaited romance in Can’t Buy Me Love!
Mary enjoys her predictable, satisfying life in Butler. If it’s a little lacking in excitement, well, that’s okay with her. But after meeting Patrick and getting to know him better at his daughter’s wedding, Mary is intrigued by the well-known, sexy billionaire businessman. Patrick is equally intrigued. For the first time since he suddenly lost his wife thirty years ago, he has met a woman who makes him feel less lonely, and all he wants is more of his Sweet Mary from Vermont. Flirty phone calls become a weekend away together that takes his relationship with Mary to the next level.
But with six hours and two vastly different lives standing between them, can Mary and Patrick find happily ever after together? And after telling her father to keep his hands and everything else off Mary, will Cameron approve of her father’s new romance?
When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago… But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely. Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…
Ripley Todd just wants to live a quiet, peaceful kind of life. Her job as a sheriff’s deputy keeps her busy and happy, and she has no trouble finding men when she wants them – which, lately, isn’t all that often. She’s perfectly content, except for one thing: she has special powers that both frighten and confuse her, and though she tries hard to hide them, she can’t get them under control. Distraction soon arrives in the handsome form of Mac Allister Booke – a researcher who’s come to investigate the rumours of witchcraft that haunt Three Sisters Island. Right from the start, he knows there’s something extraordinary about Ripley Todd. It’s not just her blazing green eyes and her sultry smile. There’s something else. Something he can detect, but she’ll never admit. Fascinated by her struggle with her amazing abilities, he becomes determined to help her accept who she is – and find the courage to open her heart. But before Ripley and Mac can dream of what lies in the future, they must confront the pain of the past. For the island shelters centuries of secrets – and a legacy of danger that plagues them still.
Haunted by painful memories, pediatric surgeon Sage Anderson gives up medicine and moves to Eternity Springs. There she finds a place to call home, but even her newfound success as a gifted artist isn’t enough to keep her nightmares at bay. Colt Rafferty is about to change all that.
Eternity Springs is a refuge for Colt, a place to ground himself when the stress of investigating tragedies takes its toll. He has come here for a little R & R, but instead of relaxing, he finds himself fascinated by the mysterious redhead whose secrets beg to be discovered—a beauty running from her past, a heartsick woman in desperate need of the sweet sanctuary of a devoted man’s embrace. And he is just the man to show her the true path to peace—by offering her the healing power of love.
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).
In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).
Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.
I can’t wait to dig into each and every one of these…now I just need to figure out where to start! What’s on your April TBR list?