How’s everyone hanging in out there? I hope you’re all able to stay close to home as much as possible, and if you’re in the medical field or your work is essential and takes you out of the house, a big thank you and stay as safe as you can.

If you’re like me and finding yourself with a lot of time on your hands to fill, you’ll probably be doing a lot more reading than usual. Reading is also a nice distraction for me with everything that’s going on, so I’m very grateful for the books that I have access to – both physical ones in my house as well as ebooks on the Libby and Kindle apps. I use Libby through my library so I’m able to borrow both ebooks and audiobooks. It’s worth checking to see if your library is connected to it too. I use it a ton.

Today I thought I’d share some books that I’ve enjoyed reading lately. I’ve categorized them into different sections so that it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Historical fiction

Meet Me in Monaco – I really loved reading this book. It was the perfect combination of history with the characters of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier and the fictional characters of Sophie Duval and James Henderson. Meet Me in Monaco (affiliate link) is set during the 1950’s in Monaco. It covers the royal wedding of Grace and Prince Rainier.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

The Pillars of the Earth – If you like big, epic books like I do then this is the perfect book to get lost in. The Pillars of the Earth (affiliate link) follows the building of a new cathedral in medieval England. While it’s not my favorite time period for historical fiction, Ken Follett is an amazing author and really brings the characters to life.

Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

Light, fun reads

No Judgments – I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s adult books. I’ve read quite a few of them, and when I needed an easy read a few weeks ago No Judgments (affiliate link) fit the bill.

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

Beautiful Day – I bought this book a few months ago because I had heard so many good things about Elin Hilderbrand on Instagram. I’m so glad I took a chance on a new to me author because I ended up really liking it. I’d describe it as a beach read – it was easy to read and it didn’t take me too long to finish it. Since finishing Beautiful Day (affiliate link) I’ve put a few more of her books on hold at the library. I can’t wait to start reading them.

Here’s what Goodreads has to say about it:

The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride s late mother, who left behind the notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter s future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event but in reality, things are far from perfect. While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken and healed. Elin Hilderbrand takes readers on a touching journey in “Beautiful Day” into the heart of marriage, what it means to be faithful, and how we choose to honor our commitments.

Good in Bed – Jennifer Weiner is an author that I keep coming back to again and again. I really enjoy her books and I was wasn’t disappointed with Good in Bed (affiliate link).

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

Thrillers

The Silent Patient – This is the last book I finished and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. I didn’t see the ending coming at all so it was a fun and exciting read right to the very end. The Silent Patient (affiliate link) is perfect if you’re looking for a book to be drawn in right from the beginning.

Here’s the description:

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

The Banker’s Wife – I really enjoyed this book, partly because it’s so different from books that I would typically read. It was recommended to me and that’s why I read it – not because I thought the description of it sounded interesting. I’m so glad that I gave The Banker’s Wife (affiliate link) a chance though because I ended up really enjoying it.

Below is the synopsis from Goodreads:

On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Werner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident, and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies.

Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she’s engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including a few who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search–if Marina chooses to publish it.

The Mother-In-Law – This was one of the last books I read of 2019. I ended it on a high note because I really liked reading this one. I wasn’t able to figure out the ending of this one. I had a few theories but none of them were right! The Mother-In-Law (affiliate link) was the first book by Sally Hepworth that I read, though I have put another books by her on hold at the library because I liked this one so much.

Below is the description of The Mother-In-Law:

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

Are you reading now that social distancing is being encouraged? What have you read lately that you really liked? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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Books to Read While Social Distancing

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