“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx 😂😂 May is a busy time with the kids’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, and my mother-in-law visiting so I’ve pared down this month’s TBR to what I think is a manageable stack. I’ve got some romance, some literary fiction, a mystery and the first middle grade novel by a beloved YA author. If you’ve read any of these, or see any you like, please let me know!
Dear Sweet Pea is Julie Murphy’s first book for the 8 to 12 set, and my introduction to her too. (The shame! The shame! That said I just ordered Ramona Blue to read after this one so I’ll try to redeem myself.)
Seventh grader Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco lives in Valentine, Texas. Even though her parents are going through a divorce, they don’t want to disrupt her life, so they decide to live on the same street, with only one house between them. In that house lives their eccentric neighbour, Miss Flora Mae, the famed local columnist of “Miss Flora, Mae I?”
When Flora leaves for a trip and asks Sweet Pea to forward her readers’ letters, Sweet Pea recognizes the handwriting on one of the envelopes. What she decides to do with the letter sets off a chain of events that will forever change the life of Sweet Pea DiMarco, her family, and the readers of “Miss Flora, Mae I?” in Valentine, Texas. . . .
HarperCollins Canada was kind enough to send me the ARC and they’ve got another for one of you, so keep an eye out for a chance to win in a few weeks when I post my review. Dear Sweet Pea‘s out October 1.
This next one I picked up after Becca Freeman RAVED about it on the Bad on Paper podcast. (It took her co-host Grace a few weeks to finally read it but when she did, she loved it too.) It’s The Idea of You by Robinne Lee, and it sounds SPICY 🔥🔥🔥:
Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s eager to closer to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. But he is all of twenty years old.
A series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. Solène and Hayes’s journey spans continents as they navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’s romance becomes a viral sensation and both she and her daughter become targets of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.
At school, Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, a star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers — one they are determined to conceal.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, straying towards other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly sparse prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love and complex entanglements of family and friendship.
And The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick is the book in the first Book Lovers Box from Sweet Reads Box, which I’ll be talking about here this week. It sounds like an emotional rollercoaster (totally my kind of book). #giftedproduct
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people — though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed noteboook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.
All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend — her grandmother Zelda — who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.
Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.
What’s in your TBR stack this month? Have you read any in mine or any other books by the authors? If so, what did you think?