Le Piccole Liberta’

  • AUTHOR: Lorenza Gentile
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I am still in double mind about this book by Lorenza Gentile. I loved the topics touched in the story and even though I read the book in the original language, it was often slow and hard to follow, with some missing links that I think could have been developed better. Never the less, it wasn’t a bad read.

Oliva is 30, about to get married, working in the marketing department of a multinational company on a temp contract, and with a secret addiction to Asian snacks. When her long-lost aunt sends her a package with a ticket to Paris with instructions to meet her there to discuss something vital, she finally decides to go. She finds herself in a famous library where a bohemian community welcomes her, gives her a place to stay, as long as she helps out and reads a book a day. Easy. What’s not easy is the way they think and live, and the fact that her aunt never shows. Every time she misses an appointment, Oliva misses her train and ends up on multiple adventures lead by Victor. And with this, Oliva starts to open up to life and possibilities. Torn between her new found freedom and the responsibilities waiting for her at home, Oliva still knows that she should wait, her aunt will come and explain everything. And when the truth is revealed, it finally all makes sense. And Oliva embarks on a journey written by her own hand, following her own rules, finally living life the way she wants to live it.

Stronze Si Nasce

  • AUTHOR: Felicia Kingsley
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My first book by @felicia_kingsley and don’t let the name fool you, but she is actually Italian, and reading the book in the original language was not only fun, it was great! I loved the banter of the book, the never-ending twists and funny moments, and this only means one thing: I am in trouble, because now I want to read anything she has ever written.

Allegra Hill has only one dream: write for Architectural Digest. But to get there, she needs to start somewhere and finally lands a job in a high-scale real estate firm in the center of London. Shock of her life when she realizes that her archnemesis from high-school, Sparkle, also works there and is already the appointed office-goddess. Memories of always being in second tier flood Allegra’s mind, but when their boss pairs them up as a team, something happens: apparently the Sparkliness is contagious and Allegra is suddenly “in”: Sparkle doesn’t go anywhere or does anything without Allegra. When she bumps into a stranger, Tristan, twice in a row, Allegra thinks she has finally found prince charming, only to realize that all along Sparkle has never changed and was eyeing Tristan for herself. Her doubts take further ground when the boss announces an impossible mission that could cost her job: Sparkle tricks her into taking the unsellable building stuck with the company since years. With the help of Duke, Tristan’s friend, she decides to stage an incredible party in the building, after personally refurbing the place, and it’s success! She becomes the official stager of the company and her new business model takes off. When Sparkle and Tristan announce their wedding, it’s game on: time for revenge. Duke is again at her rescue to help her in her mission, but it will take Allegra some time to realize that what she really needed and wanted all along, was not sparkles: but the person who was beside her and in front of her all along.

Hopeless Romantic

  • AUTHOR: Marina Adair
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My first novel by @authormarinaadair and loved it. I should have also realized that this was part 2 of a story, but it was ok as the story was standing on its own feet. There is a multitude of topics touched in this novel: family, friendship, finding your place in the world, asking for help, putting yourself first while taking care of others, dreams and hopes, hard work, charity, mental illness, trust, vulnerability. A rainbow of subjects that make the love story so much more than just that.
Beckett has no time for anything. No wonder, as not only she takes care of her autistic brother and father, but she also has her own business as a personal concierge and trains rescue animals to become support partners for those who need them. So, love and relationships are out of the question. It’s always family and business first. Levi, the owner of the town’s most popular restaurant, also has his life on hold: when his sister died leaving behind a grieving husband, mother and newborn child, he couldn’t take the sailing trip of his dream and stayed behind. Both taking on more than they can, they have an easy daily banter and connection that they have no choice but to develop when their best friends turn to them to organize their wedding. As feelings grow, Levi wants to help and Beckett is afraid to let go of control; Levi wants to be her rock, while Beckett is scared no one will ever accept her family situation. It will take a great shock in both of their lives to realize that they need each other to hold on to, and that trying to do everything alone is not always the solution to everything.

The Book of Lost Names

  • AUTHOR: Kristin Harmel
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My first book by @kristinharmel and I absolutely loved it. It is always heartbreaking to read stories based on WW2 and one of the worst chapters in human history: the Holocaust. But the beauty of this book is reminding us that there was still hope in between the tragedy. People came together to help, there was still love and humanity, there was an inner strength that some courageous displayed and saved countless lives. It was an absolutely amazing read, which I highly recommend.
Eva Traube is now an eighty-something librarian living in Florida, but there is more to her than her family knows. And when she finds a picture on a newspaper about a book she last saw sixty years ago, everything she witnessed and survived comes crashing back into memory, pushing her to go to Berlin and find it: The Book Of Lost Names. Going back in time, we live with Eva her tale of tragedy and survival. French born to polish immigrated Jews, when her father is taken away to prison, she follows her dad’s instructions and finds a way for herself and her mother to reach the free-zone in the French mountains. Having been artistic her whole life, she has a gift: forgery. Once settled into the new town thanks to the false documents she created, she finds herself in the middle of a resistance group that helps people to safety into Switzerland. And they need her help. Despite her mother’s grief and lack of understanding, she knows she needs to help, and she starts forging documents in the local church, where she meets Remy, who will work by her side and even help her to try and get her father back. When Eva realizes a lot of those they are helping are kids, she wants to ensure there is a trace somewhere of their real identity, and with Remy’s, they develop a secret code hidden in a book, giving life to the Book of Lost Names. While Eva and Remy start developing feelings for each other, Remy’s desire to help more takes him on dangerous adventures, leaving Eva behind continuing the work until their cell is discovered, leading to her mom’s arrest. Left alone, she makes a last trip with some kids to cross border into Switzerland, only to realize her travel companion is Remy. Despite their love, Eva’s inability to commit to marriage to Christian Remy pushed him away back to his duties, and Eva decides to go back and find her mother, only to discover she was executed because of her. Fast forward to after the war, Eva goes back to Paris, finds her father and goes to the agreed upon library step to wait for Remy. But he never shows. Upon the death of her father, she boards a ship to America with the man who will become her husband…but not all is lost…because she is not the only one who shows up sixty years later, looking for the Book of Names

One Thousand Stars and You

  • AUTHOR: Isabelle Broom
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My first book by isabelle_broom_author and loved it! It is for sure a romantic novel with a happy ending, but it is so much more than that! It’s about friendship and adventure, but above all, is about self-discovery and having the courage to decide what’s best for you, and find your own path in life, no matter what others think, free of the shackles of family and society. Your journey is your own, so it’s ok if people don’t understand: just be happy.
Alice is living a stable, yet boring life: a job she doesn’t love and a boyfriend since 10 years. But she is a free spirit at heart. Something she has hidden away for so long after an accident years before that left a scar, not only of her face, but on the hearts of those close to her. Decided not to make anyone worry about her ever again, she put her true self to rest. But this is soon going to change, as she embarks on a bucket-list adventure in Sri Lanka with her 2 best friends. The evening they arrive, they meet 2 friends, and it’s clear from the start that Max sees something in Alice he recognizes: adventure, honesty, fire, but also fear…just like him. They develop a strong connection, helped by the fact that also Max has been in a life changing accident where he lost one leg. It’s as if 2 souls recognize each other, but Alice cannot seem to let go, afraid of her commitment back home. But they both can’t deny that something special is happening. When Max opens himself to her, and not only about feelings, but also about the fear they both have to let people down and hurt them, Alice freezes. It’s only when Max is forced to leave Sri Lanka urgently due to an infection in his stump, that Alice realizes Max was right: she loves him and she needs to start living her own life, the way she wants to.

Until Next Weekend

  • AUTHOR: Rachel Marks
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

An amazing tale of fatherhood, love, divorce and redemption by @rachelmarksauthor It is not often that I read a book where the male character is the protagonist, where his fears, opinions, feelings and insecurities are the central part of the story…and this is probably the main reason I loved it.
Noah is a divorced teacher with 2 sons, and he is now the “weekend dad”. Struggling to cope with the loss of his family, he turns to drinking every single day, and to the occasional hookup. His ex wife Kate has already another partner, and he cannot cope with the idea of losing everything that once was his. On one evening when he was supposed to keep the kids, he drinks too much yet again, and decides to further drink his guilt into oblivion in a new pub, where he meets Mimi, an outspoken barmaid. As the days go by, they get into a closer friendship and Mimi decides to help Noah in his mission: prove to Kate that he is a changed man and win her back. The only problem: Kate is getting married in 6 weeks. Noah cleans himself up, spends more time with the kids, sometimes with Mimi as well, and does everything he can to be a better father and person. But when the mother of one of his troubled students attempts suicide, the truth of Noah’s past comes rushing into his life again, sending him back into a black hole. Especially as this student is Mimi’s nephew. It will take his whole family’s intervention and Mimi to get him back on his feet yet again, and complete his mission: declare his love to Kate. But when he does that on the day of her wedding, one thing becomes very clear: what he really loves and needs was standing in front of him all of this time. 

In The Time We Lost

  • AUTHOR: Carrie Hope Fletcher
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another gem by @carriehopefletcherFull of love and magic, but also a story of lost love, pain, and the courage to open up oneself again to the light of life and all that it entails. A tale of finding yourself again, discovering new parts on you, facing the inner fears, one step at a time.
Writer Luna is back in Ondingside, a small town out on an island in the middle of nowhere and with barely 400 habitants. And this time, she is going to stay for good. Because Luna has already been there…the day her fiancé left her before even getting onto the altar. But she only stayed one day last time, as an embarrassing moment at the local pub made her escape: she drank too much and made a fool of herself in front on Beau. Once back, it is difficult for her to fit in: she wants to be left alone but everyone in the village seems to be wanting to make conversation. And on her first day around town, she meets Beau again, who is now running the only decent coffee shop around and immediately recognizes her. Unable to let herself go into talking, she goes back to the inn. On waking up the following day, the village is completely covered in snow, despite it being the middle of July…and as she makes her way into town, she has a funny feeling on deja vu all along. The days pass, and the snow is getting thicker, and her round into town is exactly the same every day: the only difference? the way she starts to relate with the people she meets: more open, more willing to talk and to listen. And just when she starts developing feelings for Beau, a stranger from the mainland appears on the island with a shocking discovery: the snow is creating a time bubble and everyone on the island has been living the same day over and over for the past 5 days. Will Luna be able to move on into the future? You will have to read and find out!

Love Songs For Skeptics

  • AUTHOR: Christina Pishiris
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What a book! Cute, funny, entertaining…it has it all! It’s her first and only book so far, but I can’t wait to read her more! @christinapishiris thank you for this gem!
Zoë Frixos is the editor at a major music magazine in London. And still in love with her best friend Simon, since she was 13…though she never told him. When he appears 20 years later, and single, Zoë hopes this is the moment for a second chance. If it wasn’t for the fact that suddenly her magazine is under the threat of being shut down unless she comes up with the best interview of the century. Her favorite rock idol Marcie would do the job, but it’s not that easy: she hasn’t written a song in 10 years and never gave out an interview before. And the only way to her is through Nick, an arrogant publicist she already had crossed with, when she wrote a not-so-positive review on a famous boy band he also represents. 
To make matters more complicated, Simon briefly confesses to have feelings for her and kisses her, but soon lands in the arms of Jess, a lost and addict old friend who blames Marcie for the end of her career. While Zoë tries to make sense of it all, she is forced to take on a deal with Nick: a revised positive interview of the band in exchange for one with Marcie. As the 2 get closer working together on this arrangement, Zoë realizes that Nick is not as bad as he seems, and the conflictive feelings she feels for Simon, don’t allow her to open herself up to new possibilities. It will only be during her brother’s wedding preparations and day, that Zoë will see the light: Simon was never right for her, and Nick is the one! An unexpected secret at the end will make the end even more exciting!

Healing Is The New High

  • AUTHOR: Vex King
  • TOPIC: Self-Help

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I bought this second book by @vexking a while back, but only now I felt like I needed to read it. It is one of those books that you will be able to go back to, anytime you need it the most. I won’t lie: I didn’t to the meditation and exercises. But yes I needed a book to remind me that everything will be ok. And this is what this book does. It takes you on a journey to understand all the different layers that make you, you. And how to navigate through them, how to heal them, how to understand the, with one sole purpose: finding your true self, being compassionate and loving to yourself, allowing you to be free. It is interesting to read about concepts that I found in another similar topic books, because than it means it is all true: the power of energy, meditation, journaling, vibrations, and the connection of body and mind. And I also loved how it explained the possible root causes to certain traumas, that can go back as far as childhood, that affect the way you think, act, behave and have relationships with others. The long story short is: you have amazing possibilities ahead of you if you just believe and love yourself, no matter what happens around you. You can heal yourself. You can be happy. You can start over. You won’t forget, and that is ok because it makes you the person you are today…but you don’t have to let sadness, fear and insecurity define you.

The Tenth Muse

  • AUTHOR: Catherine Chung
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book, but my instinct was right: I loved it.My first read by Catherine Chung, it’s a multifaceted tale: of discovering one self and one’s past; of secrets and discoveries; of passion for what one loves; of surviving and thriving as a women in a world of men; of adoption and family; of love and friendship…the story of a woman trying to prove herself during her whole life: of trying to prove she is worth it.
Katherine struggles her whole life to fit in: she is of Asian descent and a woman, trying to make her way in a world dominated by man mathematicians. Struggling to prove that she has a place in that world, and that as a woman, she is worth it. The story is almost like an autobiography, from childhood till old age, during which time Kathrine tells us her life: from discovering that both her parents are not her natural ones; from fighting for her love of math when no one believes in her; from her love for a man that ended up using her to prove his superiority; to finding her own way and traveling to Germany, where she will track down her origins and the story of her birth parents…who just like her, didn’t fit in the world of their time ( one being chinese and the other one Jew ), but where math genius, just like her. On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she will end up finding herself.

The Promise

  • AUTHOR: Lucy Diamond
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another masterpiece by @lucydiamondwrites She never disappoints, and with this newest book she really surpassed herself. A story of family, marriage, infidelity, death, grief, brotherhood and disappointments, but also hope and love: the cure to everything. Be ready for unexpected twists and surprises. Just how I like it!
Patrick suddenly dies in mysterious circumstances, leaving behind his wife Zoe and 3 kids, and his brother Dan. Dan is suffering from his broken marriage and he feels guilty for his brother’s death: on the night he passed, they had an argument. Intended to put himself back on track, he decides to step in and help out, by taking over his brother’s responsibilities with work, but also helping our Zoe and the kids. This will be a life changing exercise for him, and what was born out of guilt and responsibilities, trying to earn good points for himself, becomes a pleasure. Things get complicated when Dan discovers a monthly transaction to someone called Lydia from his brother’s work account, and unable to resist, he starts investigating. What he will discover, will unearth incredible secrets: his brother was not the person everyone thought he was. Keeping this secret is hard, but he must protect Zoe. Faith comes in the way providing further proof: Patrick was unfaithful more than once. It will take time for Dan and Zoe to find peace again, also with each other, but luckily this is a book with a happy ending: Dan will find love again in the most unexpected person, Zoe will find peace again, while the truth of Patrick’s death is left as the last surprise for you to discover.

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