10 Books To Put a Smile On Your Face #TopTenTuesday

September 7, 2021

10 Books To Put a Smile On Your Face #TopTenTuesday

10 Books That Made Me Smile (image: a woman seated with her hand at her chin looking up and laughing)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book that made you smile?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Put A Smile On Your Face.

It’s posts like these that cause me to realize that the majority of my reading is really intense! It challenges me to come up with lighter reads. I do love Quirky Characters, so mostly quirky characters provide the levity in my reading life.

I wrote a post similar to this in February of 2021 and in 2020, so I’m revising those lists today to add some new selections. I think that during the Pandemic, I definitely sought out some lighter reads. These are the first ten books that I came across in my Goodreads list that brought a smile to my face. While none are hilarious or laugh out loud funny, each one has some funny or heartwarming moments that make my reading heart light and happy. Obviously, my list is heavily quirky character-driven! (Looking at you Backman!)

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson

In spite of some thoughtful and heavy themes, this story has some humorous and light moments that will put a smile on your face! My review of Funny Thing About Norman Foreman here.

The Funny Thing Aboout Norman Foreman by ???? (cover) Image: a man wearing a red t shirt and brown pants stands at the beginning of a yellow path


The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

A quirky story with loveable characters and thoughtful themes. My review of Invisible Husband of Frick Island here.

Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) Image: coral and blue text....individual waves wrap randomly around the text


Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

If you have children in your life, Backman’s essays on parenthood will bring a smile to your face. My review of Things My Son Needs to Know here.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (cover)


Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Although not humorous, this story about two estranged sisters sent on a trip to Europe together by their grandmother to deliver messages on her behalf certainly brought a smile to my face on many occasions. Sister dynamics are always fun!  I’m fairly certain this heartfelt story will make my best of 2021 list! It reminded me of  The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters in some ways. My review of Three Words For Goodbye here.

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (cover) Image: two young women holding promotional materials and wearing hats stand next to a railing on an ocean liner

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Our Italian Summer [Book Review]

August 13, 2021

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst (cover) Image: a beautiful sunny Italian coast lined with villas

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Mothers/Daughters, Family Life, Italy

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Special thanks to Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den (@srbetler on Twitter and Bookstagram) for the giveaway win and a shout out to Gina @ Gina Rae Mitchell (@GinaRaeMitchell on Twitter and Bookstagram) for the recommendation!

With individual reasons for wanting or not wanting this trip, a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter travel to Italy for a month’s summer vacation. Sophia, the grandmother, feels that this might be her last chance to visit her homeland and also hopes it will be an opportunity for her daughter and granddaughter to heal their relationship; Francesca, her daughter, is a workaholic and a single mom (by choice) and is suddenly having difficulty with Allegra, her teenage daughter. It’s the trouble that Allegra gets into that finally convinces Francesca that a trip to Italy might be the best option for them even though it will be difficult to extract herself from work. Although Sophia and Allegra are close and share a love of cooking, tensions run high for both of them when Francesca is around. Will this trip to Italy be Sophia’s dream of a lifetime? Most important, will this trip help heal relationships?

My Thoughts:

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Wait For It [Book Review]

August 6, 2021

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay (coveer) Image: a young man and young woman float in a pool surrounded by desert landscape

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyBuddyReads #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen for a complimentary eARC of #WaitForIt upon my request. All opinions are my own. (Pub Date 8.10.2021)

Annabelle is looking for a fresh start after breaking up with her boyfriend and moves from Boston to Arizona to work as a creative director in a graphic design company that her best friend owns. She rents a guest house on a beautiful property from a quirky, rule-centered, and reclusive landlord, Nick. Annabelle has some surprises in store when she meets Nick and also faces challenges on the new job with a hostile, undermining, and jealous co-worker. Will this move to Arizona work out for her?

My Thoughts:

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A Place Like Home [Book Review]

July 26, 2021

A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (cover) white text on a dark blue background, a group of large light colored blossoms fill the center right

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Short Story Collection, Women’s Fiction, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @MacmillanAudio for a complimentary ALC (audio) of #APlaceLikeHome upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A Place Like Home is a collection of fifteen short stories by popular author, Rosamunde Pilcher (most likely your mother’s favorite author!). These stories were published in magazines and are now in book form for the first time. Each one explores different romantic stories (chaste) between couples that are married or courting or meeting for the first time (insta-love).  All are poignant and quietly told with Pilcher’s trademark skill for describing time and place.

My Thoughts:

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A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife [Book Review]

June 29, 2021

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett (cover) Image: a young woman stands on a bluff holding a bouquet of flowers and overlooking a small coastal village

Genre/Categories/Setting: Light contemporary women’s fiction, Romance, Small town/Cornish coast, Midwifery, Up-lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

#2 in the Cornish Midwives series. The highly anticipated wedding of Anna and Brae needs to be postponed due to a fire at the venue. However, close friends and community pull together to save the wedding.

My Thoughts:

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Very Sincerely Yours [Book Review]

June 11, 2021

 Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey (cover) a graphic image of a young man and young soman sitting on either side of a large red typewriter

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Friendship, Chick-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #VerySincerelyYours upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A new release from the author of Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey. Thirty-something Teddy Phillips works at a vintage toy store. She has just been unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend and her guilty pleasures are Taco Bell takeout, Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffle scented candles, couch pillows, and watching a children’s (muppet) TV show hosted by Everett St. James, a hot and irresistible Mr. Rogers. Everett often reads letters from children who write to him with questions, so one day Teddy decides to email  Everett with her own questions. Everett is charmed by her emails and Teddy appreciates his sensible and wise advice. They develop a lovely online friendship, and Everett suggests they meet. Before they can arrange it, their worlds accidentally collide (meet-cute gone wrong). Of course only one of them knows the truth. As this story is inspired by You’ve Got Mail, we can predict that their identities will be fully revealed and then they will need to navigate a new IRL relationship.

Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffles scented 3 wick candle

My Thoughts:

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The Invisible Husband of Frick Island [Book Review]

May 18, 2021

Are you looking for an engaging and lighthearted summer read?

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) coral and blue text.....random blue waves wrap around the text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Quirky Characters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

On a tiny remote (fictional) island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, Piper Parrish is grieving the loss of her husband in the most unusual of ways. She appears to think he’s invisible and goes about her daily routine of walking to the docks to meet him and Friday night dinner dates. The townsfolk love her so much that they go along with it and understand that people grieve in many ways. One day, Anders, a young ambitious journalist, comes to town and stumbles upon this story. Anders befriends Piper and spends more and more time with her. Even though he’s a “Come Here” and not a “From Here,” he makes some friends and begins to enjoy the small community…..until everyone finds out about the secret he’s been keeping.

My Thoughts:

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Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

May 14, 2021

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing text over a photo background of a woman reading next to water

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Is Summer the Super Bowl of Your Reading Life?

Do you read more in the summer?

Do you have a preferred genre for summer reading?

Do you have a favorite reading season?

Do you like to read

By the Pool?

At the beach?

On your porch swing?

Snuggled on a cozy couch?

Hunkered down in the AC?

On a park bench?

Gif: Summer Reading is here! a large cat holds a book with a shining sun over its shoulder

When my children were young, I could only read late at night (and paid for it the next day). When I was earning my degrees, I didn’t read for pleasure at all. When I taught, summer was definitely my reading season. During the school year, I was preoccupied with lesson plans and grading papers and I was afraid to start a book because I’d get lost in the book and neglect my other responsibilities.

Now that I’m retired, I read every day….I read late at night….I read in bed in the morning. Summer is no longer my main reading season because every day is summer for me now!

An online book club I’m a member of puts out a Summer Reading Guide and it’s a big deal as members seriously plan their summer reading. (a shout out to MMD book club members who are reading this!)

Do you plan your summer reading? Do you consider summer your main reading season or are you more of a winter reader? Or do you read evenly all year and perhaps a bit more on vacation? Or maybe you only read while on vacation?

If you’re a summer reader, what type of books do you like to read in the summer? Do you continue reading your preferred genres or are you looking for something different for summer? Do you pack more books than clothes for a summer vacation? Oh, just me?!

beach reads cartoon

In the summer I continue reading what I usually read for the most part. However, I think that when I take a book to the pool or beach, I like to take a lighter read. That way if I’m interrupted by children or conversation or people watching, I’m able to look up and easily take a break. In other words I probably wouldn’t grab my next intense and heavy histfic. I’m looking for light (but thoughtful) women’s fiction, light memoirs, or essay collections.

With the qualification that ANY book you read at the beach is a BEACH read, here are 20 LIGHTER titles that I’ve read and would recommend for beach (or vacation or backyard) reading this summer. I hope some of these newer and older titles might appeal to you (titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links):

I could go on! I hope you found an idea here!

Happy Summer Reading Book Friends!

smiling stick figure girl holding an open book (caption: Summer Reading)



QOTD:

Is Summer a big reading season for you?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

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People We Meet On Vacation [Book Review]

May 11, 2021

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (cover) Image: graphic of a man and woman relaxing on chaise lounges against an orange background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, RomCom, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #PeopleWeMeetOnVacation upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex? Would you take an annual vacation with this best friend? Would you include spouses in the relationship?

Thirty something and opposite in almost every way, Poppy and Alex have been best friends since college when they shared a ride home from college for summer break. They decided then that they should vacation together every summer. Even though they don’t live in the same town, this annual vacation has been a tradition and a highlight of the last decade. Until the year that something happened and now they have missed their vacation for two years. Poppy is miserable without her best friend fix and realizes that these times with Alex have been her happiest memories, so she decides to plan a vacation this year to fix what’s broken between them. He agrees to the vacation but Poppy is desperate and nervous that they won’t be able to restore their friendship.

My Thoughts:

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Sunset On Moonlight Beach [Book Review]

April 27, 2021

Sunset on Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts

Sunset On Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts (cover) Image: two red striiped canvas beach chairs  sit ion the sand facing the beach....a side table with 2 glasses of champagne between them

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Family Drama, Small Town Community, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

small-town community…romance…family…grief

Thanks to #Netgalley @HarlequinBooks for a complimentary eARC of #SunsetOnMoonlightBeach upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Sunset on Moonlight Beach is #5 in the Moonlight Harbor series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. As we catch up on familiar characters, the focus in this story is on Jenna, her career as owner of Driftwood Inn. a tragic event in their family, and finally choosing between two men.

My Thoughts:

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