I get such pleasure from reading that it baffles me to think that most people don’t pick up a book after they finish school.  Reading will touch your heart and open your mind.

Here are 5 of the most recent books I’ve finished.  You can click on the cover picture to be taken to the Amazon page.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George


Every once in a while, you finish a book and know that you will never be the same.  I’m not a huge lover of fiction, but this novel really touched my heart.  Jean Perdu is a Frenchman who owns a bookstore, and who still carries a torch for a long-lost love.  He goes on a quest to find her, and in the process, finds himself.  A beautiful story of loss and discovery.  A must read.  The author has a second book out now that’s still in hardcover.  I want to read it when it comes out in paperback.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero


Honestly, I didn’t love this one.  If you’re looking for a book that says “rah, rah, yay you!” then it’s for you.  But if you have deeper issues of anxiety and depression, you may not find it helpful.  To me, much of her advice has the flavor of “If you’re lonely, get out and meet people!” or “If you’re sad, look at how happy people act, and act like them!”  There *were* some useful ideas about where our attitudes and mindsets come from, such as growing up in an environment where relationships are difficult, or money is scarce.  But overall, I found that the advice did not account for the complexities of human emotions.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes

I really enjoyed this memoir by the creator of such TV shows as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.  Shonda Rhimes is a busy woman with an overbooked schedule, so she got into the habit of saying “no” to a lot of opportunities and engagements.  One Thanksgiving, as she was preparing dinner with her sister, her sister said “You never say yes to anything.”  This prompted Shonda to engage in deep self-reflection.  She committed to finding ways to say “yes” more in the coming year.  As she came to learn, saying “yes” sometimes means saying “yes” to your own well-being, instead of other people’s requests.  A great book for introverts and those who love them.

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker


It was ok.  Kind of a memoir, advice, slice-of-life book about women coping with all of the busy-ness of life.  I had a hard time relating to a lot of it, because it was told from a point of view I don’t share: a lot of the anecdotes were about raising kids, co-parenting with husbands, etc.  It seemed to be addressed to young moms living in residential neighborhoods, the “soccer mom” crowd, of which I am not a member.  Now, the book is funny and the author seems very down-to-earth and loving, so I liked it on that level.  I might recommend it if you are part of her demographic.  I just didn’t groove with it.

Lady Fortescue Steps Out by M.C. Beaton

Lady Fortescue

This is light and fun – a bit of page-turning fluff for those who like historical romances.  It is the first book in the “Poor Relation” series, in which there are six books total.  The premise of the story is that Lady Fortescue, being a “poor relation,” has a pedigree but no money.  One day in the park, she meets a Colonel Sandhurst, who is in similar circumstances.  They befriend four others, one by one, and the six of them decide to pool their resources and live together.  They turn Lady Fortescue’s large home into a hotel they call “The Poor Relation,” and rebuild their lives as entrepreneurs who live on the edges of London high society.  Each of the subsequent books centers around a different member of the group.  It’s a quick read, and amusing – if you like such things, you’ll find it lots of fun.

That’s it for now … until I finish some more books!  I’m short on time for pleasure reading these days, but I try to steal a moment when I can.