READ: April's Book Club

Mother Nature has just caught on that it is actually spring and the sun has started to make daily appearances in between the welcomed April showers. I for one, enjoy the rainy days if only for the moments where I can settle in with a good book and this month's reading list has me begging for grey skies and raindrops hitting my windows!
(Don't forget to scroll to the bottom and enter this month's giveaway!)

I have been warned by many that this book would be a hard one to put down, the story of forbidden love in a time when black and white just didn't mix in the South and the trek back to that place for an elderly woman and her surprising choice of travelling companion. Add to that a slightly shocking ending that might have you re-reading the tail end of the book a few times over and you have one heck of a debut novel from author Julie Kibler.

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.
Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives. Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son's irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her. Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper--in a town where blacks weren't allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.
(via St. Martins Press)

My weekends are already overflowing with too much 'stuff to do' and not enough 'me' time but if 48 hours is all it takes to get my act together (as this book by New York Times best-selling authors Jill Martin and Dana Ravish promises), I am willing to give it the old college try!

"Every woman has at some point felt overwhelmed, overworked, and overtired. She knows she'd feel better if she could just organize her office, get her butt to a yoga class, or finally plan that vacation she's been desperate to take. However, the idea of taking an afternoon or even a few hours for herself seems selfish. Jill Martin and Dana Ravich argue that "me" time is essential to living a more balanced, stress-free life, and show readers how to do this without feeling guilty.
Packed with entertaining anecdotes and sprinkled with clever illustrations, Weekend Makeover offers a collection of life-altering makeovers for body, mind, and spirit that can be accomplished in just 48 hours, such as: The Relaxation Makeover, The Romance Makeover, The Clutter Makeover, and the Refrigerator Detox Makeover.
Each makeover tackles not only the nitty gritty details (like how to stock one's pantry with nutritious essential or the best ways to get rid of old paperwork), it also guides readers into the right mindset to make the changes stick so that all it takes is one weekend to make, execute, and apply a foolproof plan to get life on track by Monday morning."
(via Rodale Books)

To be completely honest, the first reason I picked this book was due to its enticing cover, the vintage image caught my eye right away (I have always been a sucker for a pretty picture!) but it was the story of two women, worlds apart in many ways and yet unexplainable entwined, that peeked my interest in this compelling tale of how love and grief mold our lives.

On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope"
(via W.W. Norton & Company)

There is nothing like stepping into a grandmother's kitchen (preferably your own), with all the familiar smells of comfort food and home but for many of us who no longer have that wonderful lady in our lives, who wouldn't dream of one more afternoon sitting at her table with homemade goodies and a dose of her 'grandma wisdom'?

What would you give for an afternoon in your grandmother's kitchen?
Leaning over the countertop, you watched as she added the flour―just a little at a time―to the bowl of her old, yellow Sunbeam stand mixer. To her, cooking may have been as second nature as setting the table. To you, it seemed almost like magic―the way she skillfully put things together to create the mouthwatering meals and one-of-a-kind desserts you enjoyed at her table. Likely, it's her culinary delights that have set the bar for everything you've eaten since. And let's face it, her pan fried pork chops and home-baked banana bread make anyone else's versions pale in comparison. If you find yourself wishing for just a little more time in your grandmother's kitchen―complete with her stories and the memories of the comforting favorites she lovingly made for you―you're sure to embrace this celebration of grandmother's cooking. She'd be proud!
(via Thomas Nelson)

I am usually a little hesitant when picking up books about missing children. It is something I hate to think about much less immerse myself in stories about this horrible reality but this tale of a not-so-young girl who just disappears one day before heading off to college and the dissection of her neighbourhood in the aftermath promises to be a captivating read!

"What happened to Linsey Hart? When the Cornell-bound teenager disappears into the steamy blue of a late-summer morning, her quiet neighborhood is left to pick apart the threads of their own lives and assumptions.
Linsey’s neighbors are just ordinary people—but even ordinary people can keep terrible secrets hidden close. There’s Linsey’s mother, Abigail, whose door-to-door searching makes her social-outcast status painfully obvious; Mr. Leonard, the quiet, retired piano teacher with insomnia, who saw Linsey leave; Reeva, the queen bee of a clique of mothers, now obsessed with a secret interest; Timmy, Linsey’s lovelorn ex-boyfriend; and George, an eleven-year-old loner who is determined to find out what happened to his missing neighbor.
As the days of Linsey’s absence tick by, dread and hope threaten to tear a community apart."
(via Gallery Books)

I have been a fan of all things Kate Spade for eons and now we get a chance to see what Kate Spade is a fan of in this tome dedicated to the essence of what is truly Kate Spade!

"People began visiting and chiming in with suggestions. now, the things we love have come to life in celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary. each of the book’s 20 chapters is filled with things we love—from the color red to a well-placed bow to a sense of humor and handwritten notes. part visual diary, part inspirational reference and sprinkled throughout with playful tips and practical advice, things we love is a beautiful compilation that visually represents the spirit of kate spade new york—a place where the colors are bold, smart design is key and fashion is fun."
(via Abrams)

Now onto our giveaway!
We will be giving away one book from this months reading list to a lucky winner.
Our winner will be randomly chosen from all the submitted entries and the winner will receive the book of their choice from the featured books on March's Reads (see above for reading list) 
*Please leave a comment for each entry*

How to enter:
1. Leave a comment below telling us what is on your reading list this month or which book you would pick from the April's Reads list.
2. Become a GFC follower of this blog and leave a comment for one entry. (Find Google Friend Connect in the right sidebar. If you are already a follower, mention it in your comment to be counted as an entry)
3. 'Like' us on Facebook and leave a comment for one entry (If you already 'like' us on Facebook, mention it in your comment to be counted as an entry).
4. 'Follow' us on Twitter and leave a comment for one entry (If you already follow us on Twitter, mention it in your comment to be counted as an entry).

Contest ends on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST and the winner will be announced on Thursday April 25, 2013.
Good luck!


  1. OMG! What a fabulous collection of books.
    My choice would definitely be the first book ´Calling Me Home'.
    What Am I reading this month?
    * Divine Alignment* by SQuire Rushnell
    *Be a Free Range Human'-Marianne Cantwell
    *The Ultimate pH solution'-Michelle Schoffro-Cook
    *Breaking the Habit of Yourself'-Dr Joe Dispenza

    Fingers crossed ;-)

  2. Forgot to say I follow already on Twitter x

  3. Oh, I've been dying to read "things we love"–what a wonderful collection for April!

  4. I would so love to read the Weekend Makeover.

  5. I will only read the weekend makeover if it tells me how to lose 10 pounds in that amount of time ;)

    These titles all sound amazing. And while I would gobble them all up The Obituary Writer would be my first pick!

    What am I reading right now?
    Your blog!
    And you know I follow you to the ends of the earth and back!

  6. I'm reading life after life kate Atkinson.would love Kate Spades book.I follow through email and this blog.

  7. I am reading Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper. It is a great one. Would love to win the Kate Spade book!

  8. Just followed on GFC, I'll have to follow on Twitter & FB once I get home (the office blocks a lot of "fun" websites!!!).
    I've been hearing great things about the Makeover book and am very interested to see what it's all about!
    Great giveway!!

  9. I am reading The Spies of Warsaw and would appreciate any of the books. I follow on Twitter - @readsalways

  10. I am currently reading "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain but would love to get my hands on the Kate Spade book for my next literary delight!

    I am a Facebook follower as well :)