Books I've Read Lately

May 2, 2024


Hello friends.  I seem to be reading fewer books this year.  I've only read eight books so far and I seem to be in a reading slump.  I like to read about romance, rom-coms, mysteries, and historical fiction books.

If you have any book recommendations, please let me know in the comments section.

Here is a list of the books I've read so far this year:

Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame - It's a romantic comedy and there are six books in the Imperfect series.  I liked this book but I didn't love it and I don't think I'll be reading any more of the books in this series.

Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of 20, she's amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her - people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her confuses and intrigues her, so when she's offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy's neighbor and the one person she finds appealing. Jensen's life is the stuff of campus legend: messy, emotional, and complicated. Basically, the perfect starting point for Lucy's study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what's more important: analyzing her passions...or giving in to them?

Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - This was a gift from my daughter.  This was sad to read about the way Joan Didion dealt with the death of her husband.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later—the night before New Year’s Eve—the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.

This powerful book is Didion’ s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness ... about marriage and children and memory ... about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself

When in Rome by Sarah Adams - This is a romance book based on the Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday.  I thought this was such a cute love story and I loved the banter between the two main characters.

Amelia Rose, known as Rae Rose to her adoring fans, is burned-out from years of maintaining her “princess of pop” image. Inspired by her favorite Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday, she drives off in the middle of the night for a break in Rome . . . Rome, Kentucky, that is. 

When Noah Walker finds Amelia on his front lawn in her broken-down car, he makes it clear he doesn’t have the time or patience for celebrity problems. He’s too busy running the pie shop his grandmother left him and reminding his nosy but lovable neighbors to mind their own damn business. Despite his better judgment, he lets her stay in his guest room—but only until her car is fixed—then she’s on her own. 

Then Noah starts to see a different side of Rae Rose—she’s Amelia: kindhearted and goofy, yet lonely from years in the public eye. He can’t help but get close to her. Soon she’ll have to return to her glamorous life on tour, but until then, Noah will show Amelia all the charming small-town experiences she’s been missing, and she’ll help him open his heart to more. 

Amelia can’t resist falling for the cozy town and her grumpy tour guide, but even Audrey had to leave Rome eventually.

The Spectacular by Fiona Davis - I love this author and have read many of her books.  I liked how this book revolved around Radio City Music Hall and the Rockettes.  I loved going to see the show when I was young and then taking my daughter to see the Christmas show when she was little.

New York City, 1956: Nineteen-year-old Marion Brooks knows she should be happy. Her high school sweetheart is about to propose and sweep her off to the life everyone has always expected they’d have together: a quiet house in the suburbs, Marion staying home to raise their future children. But instead, Marion finds herself feeling trapped. So when she comes across an opportunity to audition for the famous Radio City Rockettes—the glamorous precision-dancing troupe—she jumps at the chance to exchange her predictable future for the dazzling life of a performer. 
Meanwhile, the city is reeling from a string of bombings orchestrated by a person the press has nicknamed the “Big Apple Bomber,” who has been terrorizing the citizens of New York for sixteen years by planting bombs in popular, crowded spaces. With the public in an uproar over the lack of any real leads after a yearslong manhunt, the police turn in desperation to Peter Griggs, a young doctor at a local mental hospital who espouses a radical new technique: psychological profiling. 

As both Marion and Peter find themselves unexpectedly pulled in to the police search for the bomber, Marion realizes that as much as she’s been training herself to blend in—performing in perfect unison with all the other identical Rockettes—if she hopes to catch the bomber, she’ll need to stand out and take a terrifying risk. In doing so, she may be forced to sacrifice everything she’s worked for, as well as the people she loves the most.

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager - I enjoyed reading this murder/mystery and I couldn't put the book down.  It has a lot of plot twists and turns to the story. 

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is powerful; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces. 
Packed with sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy plot twists, Riley Sager’s 
The House Across the Lake is the ultimate escapist read . . . no lake house required.

The Cloisters by Katy Hays - This book is so interesting as it takes place at the Cloisters in New York City.  It follows a group of researchers uncovering a deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future.  After reading this book I would love to take a trip this summer to visit the Cloisters.  

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when she discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell- This is a fun read that is inspired by the Great British Bake Off but set in New England.  It's about a baking competition that has gone wrong and how someone turns up dead.  

Every summer for the past ten years, six awe-struck bakers have descended on the grounds of Grafton, the leafy and imposing Vermont estate that is not only the filming site for “Bake Week” but also the childhood home of the show’s famous host, celebrated baker Betsy Martin.

The author of numerous bestselling cookbooks and hailed as “America’s Grandmother,” Betsy Martin isn’t as warm off-screen as on, though no one needs to know that but her. She has always demanded perfection, and gotten it with a smile, but this year something is off. As the baking competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s merely sabotage—sugar replaced with salt, a burner turned to high—but when a body is discovered, everyone is a suspect.

A sharp and suspenseful thriller for mystery buffs and avid bakers alike, The Golden Spoon is a brilliant puzzle filled with shocking twists and turns that will keep you reading late into the night until you turn the very last page of this incredible debut. 

Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon -  I read this book a long time ago and I'm glad I read it again.  It covers many generations, first with Kate's father Jamie McGregor, Kate, her son, her granddaughters, and finally her great-grandson.  It's about Kate wanting power and how she will do anything to get it even if it means destroying the people she loves. 

She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she's a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth. Now, celebrating her ninetieth birthday, Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated, and loved: the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil -- her winnings in life. Is she the...MASTER OF THE GAME?

Most of the books I read are from the library and I use the Libby app to read my books from a Kindle or I use my Kindle app on my IPad.  On occasion, I will sometimes read a physical book. 
Have you read any good books lately?

I will be sharing this post at the new monthly book link-up party Share Your Shelf.  It will be held the first Thursday of each month.  It's run by these bloggers:

Click HERE to see the blog parties I will be linking up to.



  1. I enjoyed The Golden Spoon too! And I really liked the Spectacular as well. You are the second person today to mention Sarah Adams books and I must make it a point to look for her selections at my library. They look so cute! I've just started an adorable little rom com called Lucky Leap Day but I can't give you much of a review because I'm only 1/4 of the way though it so far...

  2. Good Morning Julie. These books all sound great for summer reads. Have a great week. Hugs. Kris

  3. A variety of books. I have to get back to my reading. Jain, my friend has turned me onto audio books. They are free to read through Libby, an app and a library card. Happy May.

  4. This the second recommendation for When in Rome and I love Fiona Davis. I'll have to check out Master of the Game, I know I read it a long time ago but would like to revisit it.

  5. I really enjoyed The Spectacular too. The Year of Magical Thinking sounds good, but also very depressing! Thanks so much for linking up with Share Your Shelf! Tanya -

  6. The only one of these I've read is When In Rome. I have a few of her books I need to read!

  7. I think you've read a lot! I'm trying to get back into reading again. I can't think of any great ones to recommend though. I'm listening to Tom Lake on audible (but also can get at the library) and it's read by Meryl Streep. I'm really enjoying that one.

  8. This a great list and I need to read some Sarah Adams books! Thanks for linking up with us!

  9. I'm definitely going to look for The Cloisters as I've been there and am intrigued by that setting. I enjoyed The Golden Spoon, it got a little bit strange , but overall an enjoyable read. I read Joan Didion's book years ago in a book club and remember it was a sad read, but I do like the way she writes. Have a nice weekend!

  10. I really liked The Golden Spoon. I also enjoyed the setting of The Cloisters!

    I have had the Riley Sager on my list for a bit - I need to get to it!

  11. I love to read and read mostly mysteries. But I see a couple on your list I would like to read. I get mine from the library as ebooks too. So easy to turn it back in if it's not any good! I just finished The It Girl and it was good. Hugs!

  12. That's quite a list! I have to confess that I've not read a book in a very, very long time. I enjoy reading so many blogs and articles online during the day that by the time I settle in at night, I just can't read another thing!! Maybe I'll try to pick one up again this summer!

  13. What a interesting list. I will be adding several of these to my reading list! Have a beautiful week!

  14. Oh some great reads here Julie-thanks for sharing- adding a few to my queue!

  15. My latest reads are The Last of the Moon Girls - B. Davis (got it from my daughter for Mother's day), and Keeping the Dead by T. Gerritsen. Thank you for sharing your reads!


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