WHAT ALICE FORGOT

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Oh boy, has it been awhile since I’ve read something this juicy!

Alice is a newlywed, 29, and pregnant. She has a loving, close relationship with her husband and the world at her fingertips. Except she doesn’t.

She wakes from a fall to find she’s 39 years old with three kids (who she doesn’t remember) and a soon-to-be ex-husband who can’t stand her. She’s lost a lot more than her memories from the past decade: somehow she’s managed to lose her marriage, relationships, and her self. Alice spends most of the book weeding through the shreds of what her life has become, and trying to figure out how she became someone she wouldn’t even like.

This book kept me up at night. I couldn’t put it down. At one point I was literally holding my eyes open just to finish.

It was. that. good.

Five stars all the way. *****

 

If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget – you can always check out my Book Reviews section. I have listed it all there to make it easy to find your next read. I’ve also filtered everything so you can search based on genre (romance, thriller, historical, non-fiction, ect.) Just go to the category box on the right side of your screen to search. 

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A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living

 

By Emily Ley

 

I love this girl. If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, go do that now. You won’t regret it. Her posts are filled with life and organizational tips, product recommendations, and adorable (yet real life) pics of her kids. It’s an overall aesthetically pleasing feed that’ll brighten and enlighten your day.

 

Then, get this book.

There are so many great ideas to make your life more simplified and less hectic. My favorite, and one I’ve recently put into action, is to donate your current towels (all those mis-matched, stained up ones) and order inexpensive all-white towel sets from Walmart or Target. I ordered these when they were on sale, and got two sets for $25 including shipping. I wash them twice a week and add either bleach or oxyclean to the load to keep them fresh and clean. The best part: I never have a 4-foot high mound of stinky towels to wash. Plus, my linen closet looks so much neater and more organized now.

 

My other favorite tip from the book: wash a small load of clothes daily, no matter what the colors. She recommends adding a ColorCatcher sheet to the load to prevent color bleeding. I have to admit, I was leery of this, but I gave it a try (even including reds in the loads) and I’ve had no problems. This is now part of my daily routine and has really made laundry a little less overwhelming for me.

Target 4.39

 

Trust me. You need this book in your life.

 

Not a big reader? Order the audible version. I listened to this book while cooking and cleaning and really enjoyed it. The narration is good and it allows you to accomplish other things at the same time. Win-win.

 

XOXO,

Erika

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Big Little Lies


 

“Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal…

A murder…a tragic accident…or just parents behaving badly?  

What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what?

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

 

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

If you are a fan of intrigue, subtle, and not-so-subtle hilarity, and just the right amount of serendipity, this book will not only speak to you, it will create an addiction that will keep you up at night, determined to find out what stunning revelation awaits you. The narrating voice of Madeline is genius in its execution and her coined phrase “Oh, calamity” becomes an exclamation point ending many a turbulent scene. What could easily become an annoying catchphrase, manages to make an already endearing character even more so.

BIG LITTLE LIES tackles huge societal issues, yet still manages to serve them to readers with surprising delicacy topped with an interesting drizzle of honey. Consider moving this to the top of your reading queue, and perhaps even abandoning your current read to delve into this one as soon as possible. BIG LITTLE LIES is the dessert of your reading menu, but trust me when I say you’ll want to eat it first.

XOXO,

Erika

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Crimes Against a Book Club

“Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy. Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.

If you’re in need of a good laugh, then CRIMES AGAINST A BOOK CLUB is your answer. A light read with lots of wit and charm, you’ll find yourself following eagerly along as the protagonists tackle real life problems with a creative and comical solution. Enjoyable and unconventional, CRIMES AGAINST A BOOK CLUB earns 3.5 stars. This is a fun read to pass an uneventful afternoon, but I knocked a star off for the absurdity of the storyline. While hilarious, I had a hard time seeing this play out in real life. I’d recommend downloading to your kindle or reading app for the next rainy day or long plane ride.

 

XOXO,

Erika

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When Breath Becomes Air

“At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.”

An emotional memoir of a young neurosurgeon’s battle with advanced lung cancer; this novel is an intricate view into life, death, and the grey area in between told by someone experiencing them all. The reader is taken along on a poignant journey that, in time, we all must face. WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR is raw, poetic and full of thoughtprovoking insights, such as: “There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.”

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR earns 5 out of 5 stars for it’s beautiful and profound impact on the reader. Tissues are a requirement, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing the force of this emotional testimony. Better yet, read it, and tell the author’s wife how thoroughly you enjoyed doing so on April 25th 2017. Details are listed below.

 

“Nothing is ours except time” – Seneca

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