This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

I read and review many wonderful books, but it’s not often that I want each and every one of you to read one book in particular. What’s this stunning, eye-opening novel that I think everyone should read? This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel!

Before I dive into why I think this book is so important, I’ll share an overview of the story. Rosie and Penn live in the Midwest with their five lively, adorably chaotic and curious boys. Meet Claude, the youngest son who loves to bake and listen to fairytales. When he grows up he wants to be a girl. Claude’s parents and siblings are supportive and want him to be happy. However they’re not sure how to support him in a world that doesn’t seem to understand. To protect their family, a secret unfolds and grows until it becomes so large that it threatens to suffocate them all.

One of the most important impacts of reading (besides enjoying the stories) is how it fosters empathy. This book makes that very clear. In a heartwarming tone, This Is How It Always Is discusses a topic that a lot of people aren’t familiar with in a very eye-opening and relatable way. I wholeheartedly recommend this book and would love to hear your thoughts if any of you have read it!

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

to-capture-what-we-cannot-keep-by-beatrice-colinThe year is 1886 and Caitriona Wallace, a young Scottish widow, has come to Paris as the chaperone of the young and naïve Alice and Jamie. While on a hot air balloon ride, Cait meets Émile Nouguier, one of the engineers working on the Eiffel Tower, and an instant connection sparks between them. To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin is a patient love story crossing social classes and countries.

In contrast to Cait’s calm and composed demeanor, Alice and Jamie are both slightly obnoxious and unaware, although they aren’t malicious about it. During 1886, women don’t have many rights and acting as a chaperone is the best option Cait can find to secure an income.

An ongoing focus of the story is the construction of the Eiffel Tower and how controversial it was at the time. I had no idea how negatively people felt towards the tower, especially because it’s become a world-famous landmark. This was one of my favorite aspects of the book.

to-capture-what-we-cannot-keepReading To Capture What We Cannot Keep felt like a trip through time to the beautiful streets of Paris. I definitely recommend this one!

Here are a few quotes that I marked:

“Possession in the beat of the blood, but not in the heart.”

“…The city had been constructed for one class at the expense of another.” 

“And he wanted to capture what he couldn’t keep, the fleeting, the transient.”

“And the memory of her spun through him like a wheel on an axle, around and around without any sign of slowing.”

“She looked at him directly when he spoke, as if seeking him out, as if trying to read everything he had ever been and ever would be.”

Book of the Month Club

Book of the month clubCheers to the weekend everyone! It’s been a busy week and nothing makes me happier than finding book mail on my doorstep after a long day. Today I’m sharing a book subscription service that has quickly become a favorite program of mine!  Book of the Month Club is a great online community to engage with and has fun themes each month (hint: they sent wine coozies for August) and above all else, the book selections are fantastic.

August picks are here and they are GOOD! I’ve read Circling The Sun and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (and enjoyed both!) and a few of the others are on my TBR list. If you want to join the club, you can use the code DREAMBYDAY to get your first month of subscription for $5! If that’s not a fantastic deal for a hardcover book I don’t know what is. August selections include:
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  • Circling The Sun – Paula McLain
  • The Woman In Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
  • Dark Matter – Blake Crouch
  • All The Ugly And Wonderful Things – Bryn Greenwood
  • Siracusa – Delia Ephron
If you have any questions, definitely feel free to reach out! Click here to sign up (or learn more)!

Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer

Untethered by Julie Lawson TimmerAre families made up of the people we’re related to by blood or the people that we choose to be with? Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer shines a light on this issue by highlighting both “first families” and “blended families” along with the unspoken rules that come with being a guardian, but not a biological parent.

When Charlotte’s husband dies, she quickly realizes that she doesn’t have custody of her beloved stepdaughter, Allie. Charlotte and Allie have always had a good relationship, but it’s thrown for a loop without the connecting link of Bradley. As they grieve, they must face the emergence of Allie’s flaky biological mother and Allie begins to act out for the first time in her life. The only person keeping Allie balanced is Morgan, the young girl she tutors. When Morgan faces trouble, Charlotte and Allie are brought together to help her on a wild journey.

UntetheredWhile reading I noticed that there are long stretches of monologue, especially from Charlotte, which was a bit unusual compared to other books I’ve read lately. Although the story was both touching and thought provoking, I would have liked to feel a stronger sense of urgency. Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoyed this book.

Overall, Untethered is a well-written story about the family we’re born into and the family we choose.

Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly

Sunday's on the phone to monday“An extrovert, friends with everybody and nobody at the same time.”

This is one of the lines that I marked with a post-it while reading Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly. In a book that has been described as a family love story, we are taken on a journey with the Simone family through the ups and downs of life and we see how loved ones move apart and come together during tough times.

Claudio and Mathilde find each other in New York City as newly minted adults and quickly discover that they each are just what the other one needs. The story follows them as they grow into a family of five with three daughters, Natasha, Lucy, and Carly. Soon they face mental and physical illnesses along with money troubles and I was touched by the gestures of familial love.

“…Mathilde had probably seen his face more times in his life than he had. Wasn’t that something?”

Sundays on the phone to mondayI almost felt like I was reading a series of poems. This was a very unique writing style, which at times felt quirky, but also felt choppy during others. Although the style is different from books I typically read, it was a nice change of pace.

Must-reads for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend readsWhether you’re heading out for a beach getaway this Memorial Day or enjoying a stay-cation buried under the covers, I’ve got a list of great reads for the holiday weekend!

Eligible

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld is a modern remaking of the classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, with a play on the hit reality TV show The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. A bit cheesy and slightly raunchy, the comical tone of this book is completely entertaining and I was amused by the outlandish characters and their bizarre behavior. Filled with delightful surprises, this is a definitely a fun read!

I Let You Go

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is one of the rare mystery novels that I want to re-read because the plot twist is absolutely fantastic and I really connected with the characters. The story begins on a rainy afternoon when a woman is walking her young son home from school. When he runs ahead to get out of the cold, a car hits him out of nowhere. The child dies on impact and the car speeds off without a trace. Right from the start, with this dark and eerie prologue, this book consumed me and I can tell you that that the plot twist is EXCELLENT.

A Hundred Summers

I’m a huge fan of Beatriz Williams and am constantly recommending her books to friends and family. This is a book that I recommend to both my bookworm friends and self-proclaimed non-reader friends and they have all loved it! A Hundred Summers begins when Lily Dane leaves New York City and comes face to face with her ex-best friend, Budgie, and ex-fiancé Nick in Seaview, Rhode Island. The story switches between 1938 and 1931 as we try to discover how Lily’s world turned upside down. I adored these characters and I hope you do too!

Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty writes wonderful stories that combine the lightness of a beach read with the twists and turns of a gripping story. Her novel, Big Little Lies, follows three women whose children attend the same school. As readers we learn from interview clips that something bad happened at a school event and I couldn’t put the book down until I found out what it was. Catch up on this one before the new HBO series based on the book airs staring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Alexander Skarsgård!

The One That Got Away

I just started this debut novel by Leigh Himes and I’m totally hooked by the fast pace and engaging characters. With a similar tone as Freaky Friday (anyone else a fan of the Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis movie?), the story is one of a switched identity. When Abbey wakes up from a fall down the Nordstrom escalator, she finds that she is married to a man who isn’t her husband. Abbey is overworked and underappreciated as she juggles parenting her children, managing their house budget, and handling her job. In this alternative world, Abbey is the wife of a successful congressional candidate, a man who she had met and turned down years before, and now she realizes the life she may have had if she had chosen differently….

Happy reading! xoxo

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Dream by Day book review of Don't You Cry by Mary KubicaToday I’m sharing my review of Don’t You Cry, the newest psychological mystery novel by Mary Kubica, the bestselling author of The Good Girl. I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Mary about her books and writing practices, which you can see here!

Don’t You Cry begins when Quinn realizes that her roommate, Esther Vaughn, has disappeared from their apartment in Chicago one night. With no word from Esther, Quinn scrambles to find a trace of her. Instead of finding Esther, Quinn rifles through her room and finds many clues that indicate that she may not know best friend as well as she thought she had…

In a small town outside of the city, a mysterious woman appears who strongly resembles Esther. Alex Gallo, an intelligent and lonely guy, lives in the town and quickly becomes infatuated by the woman. The more obsessed he gets, the more he realizes that she may be more dangerous that he could have imagined.

Dream by Day book review of Don't You Cry by Mary KubicaThroughout the story, each character’s perspective is quite straightforward as though they are writing in a journal or talking directly to the reader. There was a lot of transparency in their thoughts so we really got a sense of how they were feeling.

Don’t You Cry really picked up for me in the last 50 pages and had me staying up late into the night. Happy reading!