Synopsis: “Rachel takes the same
commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track,
flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal
that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their
deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,”
she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the
life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking.
It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now
everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what
she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what
happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done
more harm than good?”
Synopsis: “Landon Brinkley is
making her dreams come true. After years of poring over glossy photos of
celebrity parties in People and US Weekly, she’s landed her Holy Grail:
an internship with the fabulous Selah Smith, event planner to the
Hollywood elite. Moving from small town Texas to Los Angeles, Landon
finds herself in a world in which spending a million dollars on an event
– even for kids’ birthdays – is de rigueur. The thrill of working on
A-list parties and celeb weddings is enough to get her through the
75-hour workweeks, the nightmare of a multi-day film festival, and abuse
at the hands of a mercurial boss. But confronted with the seamy
realities of the business, she is forced to make a choice: do whatever
it takes to get ahead, or stay true to herself.
A roman a clef
in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada, PARTY GIRL draws on the author’s
real life experience for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the
celebrity-obsessed world of event planning. From the party habits of
America’s favorite underage singer to the worst Bridezilla of all (the
kind that graces the cover of your favorite magazine), PARTY GIRL
reveals the ugly side of Hollywood’s prettiest parties.”
Synopsis: “Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she
remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi
new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their
daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is
this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter
seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This.
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the
world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who
wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are
starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and
queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price,
and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her
for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts
about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under
their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her
inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies
is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and
daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell
ourselves just to survive.”
Synopsis: “Meet Don Tillman.
Don is getting married.
He just doesn’t know who to yet.
But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman.
One thing he already knows, though, is that it’s not Rosie.
Absolutely, completely, definitely not.
Tillman is a socially challenged genetics professor who’s decided the
time has come to find a wife. His questionnaire is intended to weed out
anyone who’s unsuitable. The trouble is, Don has rather high standards
and doesn’t really do flexible so, despite lots of takers, he’s not
having much success in identifying The One.
When Rosie Jarman
comes to his office, Don assumes it’s to apply for the Wife Project –
and duly discounts her on the grounds she smokes, drinks, doesn’t eat
meat, and is incapable of punctuality. However, Rosie has no interest in
becoming Mrs Tillman and is actually there to enlist Don’s assistance
in a professional capacity: to help her find her biological father.
Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you…”
Synopsis: “It started as an
assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student
somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like
France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of–so she chose it.
was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten
letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he
got the first one.
That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.
this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became
best friends –and better people–through letters. Their story will
inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the
world at large and their place in it.”
6. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider – I adore “Young Adult” fiction. Call me young at heart. Or whatever. This is one of two picks from this genre that I’ve included [on this list].
Synopsis: “Golden boy Ezra Faulkner
believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter
after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular
tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular
night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and
his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King,
Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl
Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly
effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on
her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies,
new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books,
are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy
has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what
happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything
is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it
is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem
from abrupt and tragic endings.”
7. Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer –
Synopsis: “An account executive in
a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced,
she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed
dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to
figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important
new client, she discovers a self-help book—Be the Heroine, Find Your
Hero—that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most
unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the
Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign—and meet
the author who has inspired her to take control of her life—she’ll win
For Anna, taking control means taking chances,
including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the
project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a
dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the
conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense
connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy
they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that
her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her
success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control.
To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be
accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be—she has to put
herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and
finally be the heroine of her own story.”
8. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – All I had to read when checking out the reviews for this book was, “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park“. Say what?! I’m pretty sure I am going to love this book!
Synopsis: “Theodore Finch
is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill
himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can
escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the
bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up
on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both
Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet
that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not
such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget
to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world
grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
9. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – This looks like pure entertainment. Perfect Summer read, amiright?
Synopsis: “When it comes to
relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when
it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped.
Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this
anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his
pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge
Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun – but no Katherines. Colin is on a
mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability,
which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge
Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.”
10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This is a 2014 GoodReads Choice winner, and the deepest pick I’ve included. This is a particular subject matter that interests me and it’s received very good reviews.
Synopsis: “Marie-Laure lives with
her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works
as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure
goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their
neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home.
When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and
daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s
reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they
carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger
sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert
at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins
him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special
assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human
cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war
and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s