Delia Owens has written and lovely story that captivated me as soon as I started reading. Her language is lyrical as is her "Marsh Girl" Kya. To imagine what life could be like living in nature without societal encumbrances was a fascinating experience and provoked a yearning for a simpler life. Ah, the joys of nature! Thoroughly enjoyable!
The middle grade book I just finished is Kate DiCamillo’s wonderful novel, “Louisiana”, about a young girl on a journey filled with interesting twists and surprising events. It is both strong in characterization and plot. Best of all, it comes out mid-November, in time for Christmas! Also, I am at the end of Scott Westerfeld’s new dystopian book, Imposters, a thoughtful tale that keeps me up at night turning pages! It is in the store now and I’m excited there will be more coming in this series.
Coming to Fairhope and landing a job at the Page and Palette was like hitting the jackpot and winning all these wonderful books from every brilliant author. There is no denying the state of Mississippi and Alabama have an enormous amount of talented writers and artists right at our own back door. I am extremely proud to boast about them at the Page and Palette. I have read every Rick Bragg, Winston Groom, Mike McCaffrey, Sonny Brewer, Watt Key and John Hart book available and the list goes on. And I get to see and speak to many of them often. Our very own Ron Mezzaros, Judith Richards, Suzanne Hudson and Joe Formicella, along with Mike McCaffrey come in to have their coffee and ice tea at the Latte Da and sit around talking with other local writers and staff. And that is just to name a few. They are the kindest, wittiest, and the most generous bunch of storytellers I have ever met and they encourage all of us to write our own story and share it with the world. Just recently a great writer John Eldredge wrote a book titled "Epic" that directs us to do that very thing. My favorites are many, but if you have not read it yet, please read any and all by Winston Groom. He keeps us in touch with our historical past reminding us to take it with us into our future. You must read Rick Bragg's "The Best Cook In the World" and Richard Grant's "Dispatches From Pluto". And for Pete's sake, read Leslie Anne Tarabella's "The Majorettes Are Back In Town". And I can't forget our very own Andy Andrew's "The Heart Mender"; a real classic to the Page and Palette.
Currently I’m reading Our Prince of Scribes, which is edited by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, and is a collection stories by notable authors remembering Pat Conroy. For any fan of Pat Conroy (and who isn’t?), this book is a must!! As a bonus, our own Rick Bragg and Sonny Brewer are included, and Sonny’s story takes place right here in Page and Palette and Latte Da!
I read "The Masterpiece" by Fiona Davis and loved it so much that I had to read her other books as well - "The Dollhouse" and "The Address". I have enjoyed all of them. They are historical fiction with great storylines that also inform me of places I've only heard about but not visited. All are set in New York City with historical buildings that have influenced the City. The books transport you to another era not only with the locations but also with the characters. A slice of insight into history. They have all made me want to do more research on each location and some of the characters.
I am reading Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper. I read "regionally", so I am currently taking a tour of Newfoundland, where my mother is from and one of the most stunning landscapes. This regional tour includes The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede and The Great Halifax Explosion by John U. Bacon. That took me across the North Atlantic to Ireland for Jess Kidd's Himself and Mr. Flood's Last Resort, so then I hopped over to England to enjoy Anthony Horowitz‘s, The Word is Murder. Back in the USA, I jumped to the Northwest coast and read Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Sherman Alexie ‘s memoir, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, then on to literary fiction with Louise Erdrich's Future Home of the Living God and down the coast to Oakland, CA for Tommy Orange's There, There. It's been a trip!
I just completed Natasha Solomons' Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English. I loved it! It is a delightful story of a Jewish German couple who move to London after WWII. They both have extremely different wishes for their new lives. Their divisiveness is comical, endearing, and it is beautifully written. I am so looking forward to her new release in October and her visit to the bookstore in November!
I just finished reading the "Paris Seamstress" by Natasha Lester, coming out in September; historical fiction set in World War II and the present. This book has a little bit of everything….World War II- hardships/ heartache; a jigsaw puzzle of lives, past and present, that fit together by the end of the book; mystery, spies, and intrigue; love and redemption, and more. it was a great read! yes…it's historical fiction, but I always learn new pieces of history when I read them!
Another favorite right now is "Super Pooper and Whiz Kid---Potty Power" by Eugene Moyle and Sabrina Moyle. now you might ask WHY?? this has got to be THE best book on potty training I have ever read….and has been instrumental in success for my 3-year-old grandson. plus it's just so fun to read! :)
Two of my favorite reads are "The School of Essential Ingredients" and "The Lost Art of Mixing" by Erica Bauermeister. Read them!!!!
'The Four Loves,' by C.S. Lewis! It's so thought-provoking and beautiful. I love a thinking book. Also, 'The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid,' by Colin Meloy. There are very few things I love more than a thrilling adventure story!
My favorite drink doesn't necessarily have a name but it is a vanilla ice rage made with almond milk, caramel flavoring, and Highlander Grogg Toddy. I think people will love it because it's sweet yet it also has the perfect amount of coffee flavor, along with a little caffeine kick.
my favorite drink is freesias garden tea sweetened with one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of raw sugar. the herbal tea is made with fruit pieces and orange peel. the naturally caffeine free tea is very flavorful and delicious
I have to say my favorite coffee drink is an Iced Highlander Grogg Toddy with Irish Cream and a little half & half. The Irish Cream compliments the flavor of Highlander Grogg greatly, and the perfect amount of sweet. A great way to start the morning with a morning jolt!
My favorite drink is an iced spiced chai latte because to me it tastes like Christmas in a cup, and I feel like customers would always love to have just that little bit of spirit of Christmas year-round.
My favorite drink is a Highlander Grogg Toddy with a splash of half & half and a pump of Irish cream syrup. It will definitely start your day out right with a kick of energy and lots of love from our Baristas.
My favorite drink is the Turtle Mocha Ice Rage! It's perfect for these hot days that I am walking between college campus and work or running errands. I like to make mine guilt-free, so I twist my recipe around a bit. It has sugar free mocha mix, almond milk, sugar free caramel, and sugar free hazelnut. And for those days when I'm dragging a bit, I like to add a shot of espresso or cold brew!
Margarita because it's refreshing and reminds me of relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Mexico.
A martini! Its what I drink when I'm out and about so naturally, I got really good at making them. Plus who can resist a perfect martini!
"An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones
This novel is written about true life. The experiences so many of us feel - dealing with in-laws, choices of having children and when, lost romance, sadness and devastation. I did not want to stop reading. So heartfelt and sincere. A must read!
"The High Tide Club" by Mark Kay Andrews
I have read all of Mary Kay Andrews books and they never disappoint. This is her newest, to be released in May 2018, and it is a great beach read. This book shows how friendships are forged and continue on through life even if we don't see each other. A very enjoyable read with romance, mystery, justice, etc. all included in it's pages.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly may well be my favorite WW II historical novel. Like Women in the Castle, also a favorite, Lilac Girls explores the lives of three women in war torn Europe. It is based on a real-life story of Caroline Ferriday, a New York socialite, who supported the French Resistance and exposed the atrocities of Ravensbruck, the women's concentration camp. Weaving the story of three very different women, including a German female doctor whose job was to perform experimental surgery on the "rabbits"( women prisoners), Kelly is able to evoke every manner of emotion while exposing the very real horror of Hitler's campaign. Kelly's research is impressive; I couldn't put the book down!
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
This is great historical fiction about the first wife of Albert Einstein, Mitza Maric, who was a brilliant physicist in her own right. Her relationship with Albert and their marriage reveal the difficulty for women during the early 20th century to have a career. Her own contributions to the field of developing science helped promote Albert’s career but as his career began to rise, she was diminished and her scientific endeavors stifled. Benedict reveals Mitza’s struggles and disappointments with sensitivity and insight. A fascinating woman! This is a must read! Loved it!
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
An absolutely riveting story of women who spied for France and England during WWI and made huge contributions to the war effort. Quinn crafts a heart-wrenching historical fiction of three young women, Lilli, Violette and Margarite who put their lives in danger and suffered horrendous consequences for God and country. And then there is Charlie St. Claire, a young woman who shows up after the war, searching for her cousin whom she believes is still alive. She collides with Margarite in the search for revenge and truth. This is a fabulous story and once I began could not put it down until I finished!! Loved it!
Absolutely loved this historical fiction book! Could not stop reading it! It tells the story of female spies during World War I & II. The plot & pace of the book is riveting! A must read.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The lifetime story of an "old Hollywood" legend. She is telling "it all" with numerous plot twists. Very enjoyable read! Makes you wonder if any of this fiction could be true?
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
Emotional novel set in the South told as only Joshilyn can write it! Family secrets, family dynamics and small town mentality. Good read!
If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
The Appalachian voice is very much alive in this debut novel. Weiss’s beautiful writing transported me to another place, Baine Creek, a poor community in the heart of Appalachia. Sadie Blue is one of many memorable characters that grab your attention and won’t let you go. Although life is difficult, Sadie and her friends are fighters and survive adversity to become stronger people valuing their friendship with each other. Weiss demonstrates in this wonderful novel the old adage, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Underneath some very odd behaviors lies love and compassion. A great story and as southern as you can get! Loved it!
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
This book is just perfect. As we saw in A Man Called Ove, Backman is a masterful storyteller - his characters are so raw and endearing they feel as though they are part of your family. Beartown is about a town - more importantly, a hockey town. It is a town with high hope, big dreams, all resting on the shoulders of a team of teenage boys. But make no mistake, Beartown is about so much more than hockey...it is about what it means to be a family, what it takes to create and sustain a community, and what can tear it apart. It is about those we love fiercely. It is about honor, loyalty and standing up for what is right. It is about mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and best friends... the kind of friends who know you better than you know yourself. It is about everything we hold dear. I absolutely loved it!
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
This is the most compelling and powerful book I’ve read this year! Given what we know about radioactivity and its danger to humans, it is hard to believe that a mere century ago, radium was considered a miracle mineral and good for you. People drank it for nutritional benefit, put it on their skin and it was used to make things glow in airplane dials and in watches. Moore paints the gut-wrenching story of the young women who painted radium on watch dials unaware of the danger and constantly reminded by their employers that it was very safe. Not until they started getting sick and dying did anyone take notice. It was left up to the sick girls to file law suits and go to court seeking justice. Up until that time there were no safety rules in the workplace. This story relates their struggle. It is a heartbreaking story but also one filled with courage and purpose. I was totally captivated and even after finishing the book the experiences of these women lingers.
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Good gracious what a riveting read! I love everything Gin writes and she has outdone herself with Fierce Kingdom. It is a literary thriller about an unforgettable mother and son whose simple trip to the zoo turns into three hours of terror after gunshots ring out. If you have ever visited the Birmingham Zoo it will hit VERY close to home! A suspenseful, pitch perfect novel that I could not put down.
The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer
This is a wonderful historical fiction which allows us to travel to Siena, Italy during the time of the plague in the 14th century. We are also privy to the work of fresco artist, Gabriele Accorsi. Winnower has woven a fascinating tale of mystery, romance and time travel and I was captivated by her narrative. Delicious read.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Horowitz tricked me! Just when I thought I was going to find out who killed Mary Blakeston and Sir Magnus, I discovered the manuscript was missing and I was off on another mystery of the missing pages! Darn! What a teaser! But this is what a great mystery is all about and eventually I found out the truth in the end! Riveting! A must read!
The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
Wow! What a ride! Jane Hawk is one tough FBI agent in a world of trouble! Her husband commits suicide and she knows something isn’t right. Her search for answers puts herself and those she loves in serious danger, but she risks everything to find the truth! Intense and riveting! I couldn’t put it down.
Edgar and Lucy By Victor Lodato
What a tender, remarkable story. This book took me completely by surprise, gradually exerting a grip on me as I raced to the end. It is an intriguing story weaving together the lives of Edgar, a small albino boy in peril, with nothing but his wide-eyed innocence to save him, and Lucy, his flawed but loving mother who is simply overwhelmed with life. Adding to the cast of fascinating character are Edgar’s stable, adoring grandmother, his psychologically impaired father, the heartbroken man whose chance encounter alters everything. The complexity of Edgar & Lucy’s relationship and those who come into their life takes the novel in a wholly unexpected direction. This book will both fill you with joy and break your heart.
The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
What an absolute joy to read.Funny, tender, honest and insightful. Anyone who says they do not enjoy this book or see elements of their own insecurities and family dysfunction is lying. Fans of Jonathan Tropper will enjoy. Perfect beach read that will make you laugh out loud.
Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz
Melissa de la Cruz brings to life an enchanting and delightful romance in ALEX & ELIZA. Based on the imagined courtship of two Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, the story seamlessly weaves together fact with fiction, resulting in a tale that is interesting and engaging, sparking curiosity about the lives of these historical figures, It is a captivating, thoroughly enjoyable, good old fashioned love story. If you have listened to the Hamilton soundtrack, I dare you not to sing while you read!