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five new books to welcome spring!

five books

Yes, after a horrible dry spell, I am reading again. Yay! Here are a  handful of really great books I just finished. What are you reading now? 

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS by Jennifer Coburn

Since losing her father when she was only 19, Jennifer Coburn has always believed she would suffer the same fate and die young. To ensure that her daughter would have amazing memories of their time together – just in case – she decides to take her on month-long European adventures starting at age 8. This poignant and very funny memoir chronicles their summers in cities like Paris, London, Barcelona and Amsterdam, where they overcome fears and challenges, journey off the beaten path and make mother-daughter memories that will last a lifetime – however long or short that may be.


I was excited to receive this title from Gallic Books, publisher of the wonderful The President’s Hat. They publish English translations of French writing, and this one is an absolute delight! I know that seems like a weird way to describe a story about death but it’s so original and, surprisingly, pulses with life. It takes place sometime in the future, when the Tuvache family proudly runs a store catering to those who are looking for a dignified and surefire way out of the mess humanity has made of the world. They take their jobs very seriously and are convinced that every glass is at least half empty. Their youngest son, however, is a glass-half-full kind of child and, as he gets older, his happy-go-lucky attitude threatens their livelihood. This is a quirky black comedy with a pretty profound message.


As members of the sandwich generation, this powerful memoir will hit home and reassure you you’re not alone if you’re having trouble balancing the dynamics between your children and your parents. The widowed mother of a teenage daughter, Hafner invites her own mom to live with them, and the arrangement quickly brings out all the issues that have been unresolved along with a torrent of emotion. Hafner’s writing is simple yet beautiful, and she tells her story as though she is talking to a friend. She’s real, funny and painfully honest. The book is an ode to family in all its messy imperfections.

SAFE WITH ME by Amy Hatvany

You know I read every Amy Hatvany book as soon as it comes out, and this is one of her best. Dealing with timely and important issues like domestic violence and organ donation, I zipped through it, and couldn’t help thinking I was reading a Jodi Picoult novel. (I mean this as a compliment because Picoult has written stories that continue to haunt me.) Safe with Me begins with the tragic death of Maggie’s 15-year-old daughter and the devastating decision of whether or not to donate her organs. One year later, still griefstricken, she shockingly meets the girl whose life she ended up saving. As she gets to know the family better, she discovers their violent secrets and can’t help trying to protect them. This is a real page-turner and would make a great book club selection.

WOMEN IN BED by Jessica Keener

Jessica Keener words are often achingly beautiful. I loved her first novel, Night Swim, and have been savoring these nine short stories like chocolates, eaten slowly, one by one, from the deluxe box, to stretch out their enjoyment. Keener writes about love in all its incarnations and she packs an impressive depth and richness into each of these tales. Her characters yearn and seek and hurt and heal. The language is quietly eloquent, and although the stories may be short, they will stay with you for a very long time.


  1. Looks like some good reading! …adding more books to my list!

  2. You’re going to be busy this summer!! A couple of those sound like great reads, so I might add them to my list, too 😉

  3. Looks like some good reading! Enjoy! Love your elephant picture! So sweet!

  4. They sound like good reads. I love to sit by the pool and read when the weather gets warm. I will keep these in mind for this summers reading material!

  5. I’ve been looking for something to read and I’ve always liked the books you recommend. These sound great – thanks.

  6. Love your recommendations, Lois! Will add these to my longggg list!! 🙂

  7. Thank you for the suggestions!! Looking forward to some fun reads!

  8. Great lineup of books, I haven’t read any of them yet. Will have to check them out.

  9. Thank you for more great books to add to my list!

  10. I need some for the summer – thank you for sharing.

  11. Sounds Like A Great Bunch Of Books Especially The Suicide Shop! Thank You!

  12. This sounds like a great selection of books! Thanks for letting us know about them.

  13. Great recos, thanks! Just in time….I’ve run out of good books and was just wondering what I would dip into next.

  14. I am always looking for new books to add to my list. These look like a lot of fun!

  15. Looks like you have your hands full!
    I haven’t picked up a new book in a few weeks.
    Will have to pick up one of your picks!

  16. Thanks… now I just need to find some time to read…lol

  17. These all sound really good! I am definitely pinning this to my summer reading board! Thanks!

  18. sounds like great reads, so wish I had the time to read!

  19. Awesome list! I can’t wait to get back into the habit of reading.

  20. Spring is a great time to launch a new reading goal. I think I’m definitely going to try to turn some pages this season.

  21. Some great selections, Lois! I am always looking to add to my TBR list!

  22. Lois, I don’t know how you read all these books, but Kudos for doing so. Some of these look really interesting. Thanks!

  23. These look like some wonderful reading choices. It’s been so incredibly long since I’ve read anything just for the sake of diving into another world for awhile…

  24. Cool books! I really like the sound of The Suicide Shop! Will have to hunt that one down 🙂

  25. What an awesome list of books. Will be adding a couple to my list.

  26. These look like amazing books with amazing plots!

  27. always looking for new books to read!! I read in the tub every night. its my me time

  28. Thanks for all three suggestions. More to add to my list!

  29. Life has been kicking my arse lately so I haven’t been able to read my current book, “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat-Moon. Need to pick that back up soon. I miss reading and I am way behind on my reading goals.

  30. I miss those days when I would go on reading sprees so care free!

  31. It is nice that you have returned to reading and found a nice variety of books to get back into words

  32. Looks like some good reading! Love your pictures!

  33. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    As I always say, so many books, so little time. Still, I love getting recommendations from a bookie like you. They all sound wonderful.

  34. Looks like you’ll be a little bit busy. Sounds like a good collection. About 2 from here I’d probably love to get into. Thanks for the summaries.

  35. Great list of authors I have never heard before. We’ll Always Have Paris and The Suicide sound like they are both up my alley – in different ways.

  36. Awesome! I get free books on Pixel of Ink everyday but I need a good list to take to the library. I am going to check these out!

  37. Adding these to my list! Thanks Lois.

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