… in a Bookshop. This is the latest title I listened to from the library set in the English Cotswolds. Julius Nightingale is the owner of the local bookshop. He is a man everyone seems to adore. Especially his only child, daughter Emilia. When Julius passes away, Emilia grieves her father and struggles to take over the family bookshop. After returning home for her father’s funeral, Emilia begins to discover how cherished her father was by various members of the village. She decides to try to keep the beloved bookshop open despite learning that her father had barely been making a living from it. As she transitions into the life of the village, we meet Thomasina, a lonely local chef; Jackson, a confused single father; Sarah, owner of the town’s family estate and Dylan, her gardener; Bea, a new mother recently relocated from London who steals a book; Marlo, a musician from her father’s quartet; June, Julius’ dear friend who is willing to step in and help Emilia save the shop. Through the connections of the different characters, we get to know Julius and see how the power of Nightingale Books makes a difference in everyone who visits.
Recently it has been hard for me to focus long enough to read an entire book. I am FIVE books behind schedule on my reading challenge (follow me on goodreads!) and I am no longer breezing through two books in a week like I used to.
I have found a new solution to this issue and that is poetry. A poem is not long. You can put the book down after every single one. You don’t need to skip ahead to see how many pages are left in this chapter to get through.
Here is an amazing book of poems written by a local teenager who gained fame through her Instagram page (I loved these poems so much!):
“The Silent Sister” somehow came across my path recently and I listened to the audio edition. Told in the alternating voices of Riley and Lisa/Jade, we learn that Riley’s father recently passed away and she is in the process of returning home to get ready to sell her childhood home. As long as Riley can remember, it’s been her and her older brother, Danny. When she was 2, her older sister, Lisa, died and she doesn’t remember her. Riley has always been told that she was a violin prodigy that drowned in an accident. As Riley begins digging through her father’s belongings and talking to neighbors, she discovers that the story she grew up with may only be a story. As Riley searches for the truth, we are introduced to Lisa at age 17- the year she “died.” She was accused of murdering her violin teacher and was about to stand trial when she drowned. The story builds tension and the characters are engaging, though flawed. Recommended.
Frances Bloom is a carpool mom for her neighborhood, since she is the only one who doesn’t work outside the home. This novel is heavy on characterization, since the carpool involves four families and seven children. In fact, the story opens with a “cast of characters” so readers can keep kids and parents straight. One morning Frances promises her six year old neighbor Kate that she will retrieve the toilet paper tubes she forgot to bring to school, but doesn’t realize when she pops in the house that the mom is canoodling with a guy who isn’t her husband. This starts “the big secret” that sets up a chain reaction somehow managing to involve all the families. Each has their own issues, but struggle to resolve them, and Waxman sprinkles in lots of humor, as parents attempt to understand their kids of all ages. It’s a light read, perfect for the beach.
The Takedown by Corrie Wang is the perfect contemporary fiction book for Teens in the digital age. The book takes place in a not-so-distant future where facial recognition software results in your every move being tracked online for everyone to see.
Kyla Cheng is one of the most popular girls in school – which is a feat considering that they live
in a world where there is essentially no privacy and there is no such thing as keeping secrets. A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla “doing it” with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school’s website. It instantly goes viral, but here’s the thing: it’s not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible—take something off the internet—all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint.