10 Awesome Books I’m Reading This Spring

10 Awesome Books to Read this Spring

10 awesome books I’m looking forward to reading this spring.

1.    THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT | Chris Bohjalian: A powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night. A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man and no idea what happened.

2.    I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK | Michelle McNamara: For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed sexual assault and murders of dozens of victims. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, spent many years trying to solve the case of California serial killer and rapist she’d dubbed ‘The Golden State Killer’. Her investigation is detailed in her book.

3.    THE KREMLIN CONSPIRACY | Joel C. Rosenberg: New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg’s latest novel is a political thriller. The plot is about a rising Russian czar hungry for power and plotting military action. It reminds me of the current political narrative in Russia.

4.    LADY RED AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF NANCY REAGAN | Sheila Tate: As the First Lady’s press secretary, Tate was at Mrs. Reagan’s side during some of the most tumultuous and controversial moments of President Reagan’s first term in office, including his attempted assassination. Tate, who considered herself a close confidant of Mrs. Reagan up until her passing in 2016, draws on her relationship with Mrs. Reagan as well as interviews with many friends and political figures to reveal stories that have never been told before and showcase a more complete and surprising picture of the former First Lady.

5.    THE LIGHT WITHIN ME | Ainsley Earhardt:  Ainsley Earhardt is the co-host of Fox and Friends. Her new memoir is an uplifting look at her life and her spiritual journey, reflecting on her family, her faith, and her successful career. I wanted to be a news reporter so I’m looking forward to reading about Ainsley’s path to success as well as her spiritual journey.

6.    THE PATH BETWEEN US | Suzanne Stabile: Suzanne Stabile’s new book on the nine Enneagram types and how they behave and experience relationships will guide readers into deeper insight about themselves, their types, and others’ personalities so that they can have healthier, more life-giving relationships.

Most of us have no idea that others don’t see us as we see ourselves nor do they process their experience in the same way we do. Whether with intimate relationships, friends, or co-workers, a person whose go-to stance in life relies on feeling and another whose orientation is toward thinking or acting will respond completely differently to everything from simple request in an email to a life crisis. Understanding the motivations and dynamics of these different personality types can be the key that unlocks sometimes mystifying behavior in others, and in ourselves.

You can take the Enneagram test here.

Suzanne also hosts a podcast about the Enneagram Journey.

7.    BACHELOR NATION | Amy Kaufman: Kaufman is a Los Angeles Times reporter and a fan of The Bachelor. For her book, she interviewed dozens of contestants and producers. If you are a fan of Bachelor nation, it’s a juicy read.

8.    LOVE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN HURTJentezen Franklin: A helpful book to deal with different situations involving conflict. It’s challenging to get along with people who reject us, cause us pain, attack our views or cause other hurts. This book is about reconciliation and establishing healthy boundaries. It is also not an invitation to not be used as a doormat. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Check out this podcast episode featuring Jentezen Franklin.

9.    THE WIFE BETWEEN US | Greer Hendricks: Vanessa, recently divorced from Richard, learns he is engaged again and envies the new woman, Nellie. Richard is a hedge-fund manager and may be deceiving one or both women. Read this is you like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

10.  THE GRAVE TENDER | Eliza Maxwell: Haunting, disturbing, yet beautifully written The Grave Tender is a shocking tale of deception and betrayal and one woman’s attempt to reconcile the truth about her family and the secrets that they keep.

Looking for more good books, check out all my recommendations here.


Have you read anything good or memorable lately?

Tell me in the comments!

Summer Reading List

summer reading list

It’s time for summer vacations and beach days which means more time to read. Here are a few suggestions that I’m sure you’ll want to add to your summer reading list.

1.     The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid | In this epic novel full of old Hollywood glamour, a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love.

2.    Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan | From the bestselling author of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “China Rich Girlfriend” comes this fun, frothy take on the lives of the Singapore super-elites. The stakes are high, as the entire Shang-Young clan rushes to the deathbed of their matriarch, Su Yi. A battle ensues over the family fortune and who stands to inherit it all.

3.    My Glory Was I Had So Friends by Amy Silverstein | If you want inspiration, this is a book that won’t fail you. This memoir is about what friendship and living life as a transplant recipient meant to one woman. Amy Silverstein lived with a donor’s heart for 26 years that she was told would last only ten. When her heart started to fail, her only chance for survival including uprooting her life in New York and moving to California to await a transplant. Nine of her friends help her by flying to California and helping take care of Amy while she awaits news on a transplant and a new heart.

4.    Fly Me by Daniel Riley | It’s 1972, and Suzy Whitman has no use for her degree from Vassar. Instead, she’s joined the hedonism of the Los Angeles beach scene and become a stewardess for Grand Pacific Airlines. Amid all the debauchery and fun, though, Suzy becomes involved in a drug-trafficking scheme.

5.    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman | Eleanor Elephant is about the importance of friendship and human connection. Eleanor is an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger.

6.     Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs | An accomplished photographer, widow, and mother, Camille Palmer is content with the blessings she’s enjoyed. When her ageing father asks her to go with him to his native France, she has no idea that she’s embarking on an adventure that will utterly transform her. Returning to the place of his youth sparks unexpected memories that will lead Camilla’s family back to the dark, terrifying days of the Second World War, where they uncover their family’s surprising history. While Provence answers questions about her family’s past, Camille meets a handsome American historian who stirs a passion with her, and who may hold the key to her future. Sometimes the best journey of your life is the one that takes you home.

7.    Out of Line: A Life of Playing With Fire by  Barbara Lynch | In this funny, fierce, and poignant memoir, world-renowned chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch recounts her rise from a hard-knocks South Boston childhood to culinary stardom. Barbara appeared as a guest judge on season 12 of Top Chef, which took place in Boston in 2014. She oversees seven critically acclaimed restaurants in Boston including No. 9 ParkMenton, and B&G Oysters.

8.     The Alice Network by Kate Quinn | An exciting faced paced novel about a pregnant American socialite who teams up with a female ex-spy and a hot-tempered young soldier in the aftermath of World War II. A story of courage and redemption.

9.     Sugar by Kimberly Stuart | Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.

10.   One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprey | One Summer Day in Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself.

What are you excited to read this summer?

P.S. You May Have Missed:

Summer Reading List 2016

Summer Reading List 2015

Beach Reads 2015









Fall Reading List

Fall Book Club 2016

Looking for a good book to read? I’m sharing 10 must-read books to add to your fall reading list. Books to inspire, encourage, and keep you up way past your bedtime.

1.    UNINVITED: LIVING LOVED WHEN YOU FEEL LESS THAN, LEFT OUT, AND LONELY | BY LYSA TERKERUST: In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences of rejection including the painful childhood abandonment by her father. She examines the roots of rejection, as well as rejection’s ability to poison relationships from the inside out, including our relationship with God. I have read several of Lysa’s books before and they never disappoint.

2.    THE CHEMIST | BY STEPHANIE MEYER: Stephanie Meyer is the author of the best-selling Twilight Series. She will publish her first thriller, “The Chemist” on Nov. 15. “The Chemist” introduces a former secret agent forced to go on the run, hiding from members of the government who fear she knows too much.

3.    UNSHAKEN | BY TIM TEBOW: In Unshaken, Tebow talks about his Christian faith within the context of a football career that hasn’t gone the way he hoped. The entire first chapter is about being cut from the New England Patriots and what it’s like to be told you’re not enough. He explains why neither the highs nor the lows of his life can define him, and he reveals how you, too, can find confidence in your identity and know who you are.

4.    THE MAGNOLIA STORY | BY CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES: HGTV reality stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, who have created their own real estate, home renovation and media empire in Waco, Texas, are releasing a new book about their successes, failures and most importantly their faith.

5.    DEEP RUN ROOTS: STORIES AND RECIPES FROM MY CORNER OF THE SOUTH | BY VIVIAN HOWARD: Chef Vivian Howard is the star of the PBS hit series, “A Chef’s Life.” She also operates “Chef and the Farmer” and “The Boiler Room” in tiny Kinston, North Carolina. Her new cookbook includes over 200 recipes paying homage to her North Carolina roots.

To celebrate the release of her new book, Vivian is embarking on a Food Truck Tour. You can meet Vivian and get a signed copy of her cookbook plus enjoy a fabulous meal prepared by Vivian and her team.

6.    UNKNOWN CALLER | BY DEBRA SPARKS: Beginning with an aggravating phone call, a strange request, and the sudden disappearance of a mother and her daughter, Unknown Caller is filled with page-turning suspense. The novel moves backward in time and across several continents to tell a funny, moving, and surprising story about families, misunderstandings, secrets, falls from grace, and chances for redemption.

7.    THE POWER OF WHEN | BY MICHAEL BREUS: Dr. Michael Breus’s new book, The Power of When, explains the four distinct sleep types.

Dolphins are light-sleeping insomniacs who sometimes wake up unsure whether they actually slept or not. They tend to be highly intelligent Type As and can’t seem to turn off their brains at bedtime.

Lions are optimistic morning people, early to rise but early to crash. They tend to be the high-achieving type, getting more stuff done by 9am than most people get done all day.

Bears prefer a solar-based sleep schedule. They like to take naps and tend to be fun-loving and outgoing. Current sleep recommendations are based on this type.

Wolves are the creative introverts who get in bed at midnight and lie there for hours. They don’t hit their stride until late afternoon when everyone else is running on fumes.

Take this quiz to find out your chronotype HERE. After you’ve taken Dr. Breus’s comprehensive Bio-Time Quiz to figure out your chronotype, the book explains the best time to do over 50 different activities.

8.    THE BROKEN WAY | BY ANN VOSCAMP: Ann is the author the best-selling book One Thousand Gifts. Her new release is about dealing with brokenness. Ann Voskamp writes about her own unspoken brokenness and asks: What if you really want to live abundantly before it’s too late? What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness? A study guide is also available.

9.    THE SPRINKLES BAKING BOOK | BY CANDACE NELSON: Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes. Sprinkles is the original cupcake bakery that started the cupcake craze. Candace is also a judge on the popular Food Network show, Cupcake WarsThe Sprinkles Baking Book includes over fifty of the famous bakeries best-kept secret cupcake recipes as well as Candace’s all-time favorite dessert recipes for cakes, pies, quick breads, cookies and bars plus recipes from Sprinkles friends Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Michael Strahan and Jessica Alba.

10.  THE TRUTH ABOUT CANCER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CANCER’S HISTORY, TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION | BY TY BOLLINGER: This book is the culmination of all the author’s research, interviews, and interactions with doctors and survivors all over the globe. If you’re concerned about preventing, beating, healing from and treating cancer  this book is an absolute must-read.

See my other book recommendations HERE.

What’s on your fall reading list? Tell me in the comments!

P.S. You May Have Missed:

Link Love: How to Email + World’s Best Chili Recipe + What Facebook Knows About You + Travel Hacks + Are Men Intimidated By Smart Women + More Good Reads!

10 Books to Read this Winter

10 Books to Read This Winter

Looking for a good book to read? I’m sharing 10 must-read books to add to your Winter reading list. Books to inspire, encourage, and keep you up way past your bedtime.

1.    THE ONLY STREET IN PARIS | Elaine Sciolino: The former Paris bureau chief of the New York Times shares her love for her adopted working-class neighborhood in this delicious and detailed look at the rue des Martyrs. If you like food, architecture, history, art or simply human stories, you will not be disappointed

2.    BRONNER: A JOURNEY TO UNDERSTANDSherri Burgess: Sherri Burgess and husband, Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show had a perfect life: careers they loved, five beautiful kids, and a barn in the country. They were happy, until Sherri found their two-and-a-half-year-old son, Bronner, in the pool dead. Since losing Bronner, Sherri has experienced a powerful faith transformation, and she tells the story of their eight-year journey in her new book, Bronner: A Journey to Understand.

3.    IN A DIFFERENT KEY: THE STORY OF AUTISM | John Donvan and Caren Zucker:  ABC News correspondents John Donvan and Caren Zucker  have teamed up to tell the story of Mary Triplett, a mother whose efforts to diagnose her son Donald’s condition, eventually identified as autism, not only helped him but also opened doors for millions of children who followed.

4.    THE LISTENING LIFE | Adam S. McHugh: Listening is an essential skill for healthy relationships, but it seems like everyone wants to talk, but no one wants to listen. The chapter on listening to people in pain is very insightful. Adams writes, “When we try to help someone in pain, we often end up saying or doing things, subconsciously, to assuage our own anxiety. Let’s be honest: we often want others to be okay so we can feel okay. We want them to feel better and move on so our lives can return to normal. We try to control the conversation as a way of compensating for our anxiety. Our approach to people in pain can amount to self-therapy.”

This book is such a good reminder of both why listening is important, and how we can better listen to God, those around us, and ourselves.

5.    HOW NOT TO DIE | Dr. Michael Greger: Dr. Michael Greger is an internationally recognized lecturer, physician, and founder of the popular website, NutritionFacts.org. In his new book, Dr. Greger examines the fifteen top causes of death in America and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.

6.    CHOOSE JOY: FINDING HOPE AND PURPOSE WHEN LIFE HURTS | Sara Frankl and Mary Carver: Sara Frankl knew she had a terminal disease, but she didn’t let it stop her from living. In the face of immeasurable pain, Sara chose joy again and again. Her message of hope and purpose lives on, even after her death, in her words. Choose Joy is a compilation of the lessons Sara learned while she was dying, written in her words and sewn together by her close friend Mary Carver. It is a reminder to see the beauty in life, even when it looks nothing like you hoped or planned.  You can read Sara’s story on her blog. To assist in continuing Sara’s discipleship, visit ChooseJoyFoundation.com.

7.    THE ART OF WORK | Jeff Goins: The Art of Work is about discovering your true calling. If you’ve ever wondered what you were born to do or how to find meaning in your work, this book is what you need.

8.    WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR | Paul Kalanithi: When Dr. Paul Kalanithi is given his cancer diagnosis, he is forced to see this disease, and the process of being sick, from the human perspective as well as the scientific ones.  The neurosurgeon comes to discover what really matters in life. The book will capture you from page one and still have you thinking long after the final sentence.

9.    DISCIPLINE WITHOUT DAMAGE: HOW TO GET YOUR KIDS TO BEHAVE WITHOUT MESSING THEM UP | Dr. Vanessa Lapointe: An encouraging book about how to discipline and connect with children better using a few simple tips. Dr. Lapointe encourages parents to think “How do I be what my kid needs?” rather than “What do I do?” when approaching a situation where your child needs direction and discipline.

10.  THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED | Kerry Kletter: The First Time She Drowned is about a young woman trying to come to terms with a dark past and to reconcile her relationships with her family after being committed to a mental hospital for something she says she didn’t do. Most of the story takes place in college, just after she is released from the hospital and she is trying to adapt to her new life while struggling to deal with the buried secrets she is uncovering about her past. Though it is dark, it is also a very hopeful story about resilience, the power of love and friendship, and forging one’s own path.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends!

And I would love to know what books are you reading lately? Tell me in the comments!


LINK LOVE: WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK:  What to Say to Children That Are Anxious + Cleaning Secrets from Hotel Maids + 100 Healthy Recipes + Make Ahead Soups + Best Streaming Workouts + Clutter + Can You Spot A Liar + More!

And if you’re new, please consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter, “The Chic List.”  My newsletters feature exclusive content for subscribers only. I share valuable tips, hot spots, recipes, and articles delivered straight to your inbox once a month. [mc4wp_form]

Five Things: NYC

If I had to choose one layover as my all-time favorite, it would be NYC. I enjoy the food scene, shopping, and Broadway shows.

This weekend I had a long layover in Long Island. I hopped on board the Long Island Railroad. The train is a convenient way to travel to Manhattan from Long Island. The trains run once an hour, and the ride is 1 hour and 15 minutes from Central Islip to Penn Station. It costs $25 for a round trip ticket. Most hotels provide shuttle service to the train stations in Long Island. Uber is also available on Long Island.

Here are 5 things I enjoyed in NYC.

Senza Gluten

{Senza Gluten}

1.  SENZA GLUTEN: First on my agenda was an early dinner at Senza Gluten. Senza Gluten is a new 100% gluten-free restaurant in Greenwich Village. I ordered the Margherita pizza made with San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. San Marzano are the best tomatoes. It was as good as the gluten-free pizza in Italy. The restaurant has a lovely ambiance. I sat outside but took a peek inside and the interior seating has a rustic vibe. The service was excellent. The owner made a point to introduce herself to me and asked my thoughts on the meal. I recommend making a reservation due to the restaurant’s popularity. 

Continue reading “Five Things: NYC”

10 Hot Books to Read This Summer

Summer Reading List

Today I have 10 great books to read this summer to share with you. The books on this list are great for reading on the beach, while flying somewhere for a summer vacation, or just relaxing at home on a lazy summer day. I also include a fabulous smoothie recipe book that is perfect for a healthy treat on a hot summer day. I hope you find some inspiration for your summer reading.  Continue reading “10 Hot Books to Read This Summer”