5 Books To Read for Your Next Book Club {Volume 2}

About a year ago, I wrote a post called “5 Books for your Book Club” and I received such amazing feedback! You can read that original post HERE. Apparently lots of you found that post very helpful so I thought I would write a second edition! I still 100 percent stand by my original picks but here are a few more titles to add to your book club selections!

**I also still stand by my choice of not wanting to join a book club but I know that many of you love them! You can read why I’m personally anti-book club HERE. Although I have no desire to join a book club myself, I can absolutely see why other people feel differently. If you are in a book club, use these suggestions on books for your next meeting. If you are a solo reader like me, you can use these suggestions as books you can enjoy on your own 🙂 **

Each of the following books would be a perfect selection for your next book club. They are all VERY different but all are excellent, thought provoking, and would lead to such interesting discussions. Some I loved more than others but ALL would be perfect picks for interesting conversations.

5 Books To Read For Your Next Book Club:

Click the link below each book to read the synopsis and my (always spoiler free) review. Click the picture of each book cover to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}

Read the book synopsis and my review of Last Couple Standing HERE.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo {Taylor Jenkins Reid}

Why am I recommending that you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for your book club when I didn’t even finish reading it myself??? Read the book synopsis and my explanation of that HERE.

The Family Upstairs {Lisa Jewell}

Read the book synopsis and my review of The Family Upstairs HERE.

American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}

Read the book synopsis and my review of American Dirt HERE.

My Dark Vanessa {Kate Elizabeth Russell}

Read the book synopsis and my review of My Dark Vanessa HERE.

Everyday Mindfulness Book Giveaway Winner Video:

Thank you to everyone who entered! You can read more about this wonderful book and my review of it HERE.

Have you read any of my book club selections? What book(s) would you recommend for a book club? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

The Festive Christmas Book Tag

Book Coffee Happy was tagged in The Festive Christmas Book Tag by The Reading Addict. Thank you so much for the tag! Although I’m Jewish I ABSOLUTELY LOVE CHRISTMAS and actually have Christmas music playing as I type this 🙂 This was a fun tag to complete even if I didn’t quite understand one of the questions, lol…

The Festive Christmas Book Tag was originally created by ReadingGirl on YouTube, and you can check out her video here.

I feel like this post deserves a nice Christmasy picture inserted here but since I clearly don’t have one…here’s my menorah, lol:

The Festive Christmas Book Tag:

1) A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

The Quinns! Oh how I miss them this time each year. I loved Elin Hildrebrand’s Winter series so much (read more about this wonderful holiday themed series and my review of it HERE). If you haven’t yet read the Winter series, this is the very BEST time of the year to read them!

2) A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

My husband actually bought me the cutest bookish item last week! How awesome is this candle???

LOVE!

3) A fictional character you think would make a perfect Christmas elf?

Ok…Jewish girl here. Help! An elf like one who helps to make the toys? Or like the Elf on the Shelf who does naughty things? I don’t really get it. I’m over here picturing Will Ferrell? So clearly I’m not sure how to answer this question? Please someone educate this Jew…???

4) Match a book to its perfect Christmas song.

Hmmm. Well I would have to assume that Mallory and Jack from 28 Summers would agree that “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” would fit them perfectly. Read my review of 28 Summers HERE.

5) Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Truly one of the worst books I’ve ever read although somehow it WON The Goodreads Best Fiction Book of 2014?! Howwww?! I hated that book. I once wrote a blog post about it titled “One of the Worst Books I’ve Ever Read”. I got absolutely ripped apart on a Facebook book group for that post because it said such negative things and people got allll riled up saying that I shouldn’t have said them (insert eye roll here). I stand by my words…that was quite literally one of the very worst books I’ve ever read! Also, I will always give my honest opinion on the books that I read (and on everything else in life). You can read that (apparently) controversial blog post HERE.

6) A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserves to be put on the nice list?

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata! It’s such a quirky book but something about it totally sucked me in. I really loved that book! You can read it’s synopsis and my review HERE.

7) Red, Gold and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully christmasy feel to it.

How beautiful is this book cover???

I took this book from a Little Free Library last year and have yet to read it. Maybe this year? If you know me at all, you know that I could only read a book like this during the holiday season! If I don’t read this book this month…it will sit on my bookshelf until December 2021.

8) A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It’s so amazing! I LOVED IT. Everyone should read this book! Read it’s synopsis and my (glowing) review of it HERE. American Dirt was definitely included in my 12 Best Books I Read in 2020 list that I had posted earlier in the week. You can read that post and check out the other 11 books that I LOVED reading the most this year HERE.

I tag:

LaLa’s Book Reviews

A Little Book Problem

Cup of Tea With That Book, Please

Woman On The Edge Giveaway Winner Video:

Thank you all so much for entering this giveaway!

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

The 12 Best Books I Read in 2020

Today I give you my list of the 12 Best Books I Read in 2020. I read many AMAZING (and unfortunately many not so amazing) books this year but this list contains my absolute FAVORITES.

2020 has been quite the year. This year has taken away SO MUCH but luckily books has NOT been one of them. Reading has always been my favorite hobby and I’ve never been more thankful for it than I have in 2020. There is a lovely quote by Mason Cooley which states, “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” How TRUE is that…especially this year?!?

We drove through an AMAZING holiday light show last week! This 2020 sign was absolutely stunning in person!

Some of these books were released this year, some were released earlier. This list was not an easy one for me to narrow down and create! If you haven’t read any of these books, I very obviously highly recommend ALL OF THEM!

If you are a regular blog reader, you know that I always include my “bottom line” on the bottom of my reviews which is a quick way for me to recap my feelings. I thought it would be fun to list these books only by the bottom line that I gave to them in my reviews. Click these bottom lines to take you directly to my review of each book (including the synopsis for each book).

In no particular order, I present to you my absolute favorite books that I’ve read in 2020 (and I have read A LOT of books this year):

The 12 Best Books I Read in 2020:

Book #1’s Bottom Line:

Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read.  If you haven’t read this one yet…it’s a MUST.

Book #2’s Bottom Line:

READ THIS.

Book #3’s Bottom Line:

I absolutely loved this special book.  You will, too.

Book #4’s Bottom Line:

Please, please, please someone make this awesome book into a movie!

Book #5’s Bottom Line:

This book is both heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  A must read.

Book #6’s Bottom Line:

Read this  book.  Stat.

Book #7’s Bottom Line:

If you love YA, you will LOVE this book!

Book #8’s Bottom Line:

This book is absolutely brilliant.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Book #9’s Bottom Line:

This book is juicy, scandalous, and AWESOME.

Book #10’s Bottom Line:

Read this book. If you are married and a mother, read this book….and then hug your husband and children a little tighter. Omg.

Book #11’s Bottom Line:

Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read. These characters will stay in my heart for a VERY long time…

Book #12’s Bottom Line:

It feels weird to say that I loved this book because the subject is just so weird and dark…but…I loved this book.

What are the best books you have read this year? Have you read any of the books on my Top 12 list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Random Thoughts From a Book Blogger

Hiiiiiii! This post is filled with a whole bunch of super random thoughts from a book blogger…

I won an Instagram giveaway from Jennastopreading and I’m so excited! Look at these amazing books that she sent me! Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! I’m so excited to read 3 of them (I’ve actually already read Small Great Things so I am paying it forward and giving it to one of my besties to read…you can read my VERY unpopular thoughts on that book HERE).

A few weeks ago I was laying in bed reading a library copy of The Guest List by Lucy Foley (review coming soon!) and suddenly right at a VERY intense part…this object fell out from the pages and straight onto my chest. Scared the HELL out of me. A business card. From a FUNERAL HOME. Stuck smack in the pages of a very ominous murder mystery thriller. Rigggggght as I was reading a super intense part of the story so I was already on edge. OMG.

Yesterday I posted that I was currently reading this book:

Aaaaaaand I just couldn’t get into it and decided to call it quits last night. It has the potential to be great…but honestly I was just too bored to stick around and find out. Like I always say, too many amazing books out there to read one you aren’t loving! Moving on…

I’m currently reading:

I started reading it last night and will post a full review once I finish! I’ve heard it’s amazing.

We ran out of half and half yesterday and I’m currently drinking my coffee with milk. Ugh. Gross.

The final round of the Goodreads Best Books of 2020 is posted and voting is open until 11/30! American Dirt without a doubt got my vote in the fiction category (I LOVED THAT BOOK! Read my review HERE). Which book did you vote for???

This is the most random blog post ever! Tell me something random going on with you!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Looking for a Page Turner? Oh Do I Have the Book for You!

This book is the very definition of page turner.  I COULD NOT put it down.  One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read.  Ever.  You need to read this book…EVERYONE needs to read this book!

I once wrote a list of my top book recommendations to bring on vacation. In that post (link HERE), I discuss a bit more of my qualifications for a book to be a perfect book to bring with you on a trip.  This book was PERFECT.

I brought this book with me on our recent trip to Michigan and every morning I went outside with my book to read with a view:

American Dirt Controversy:

This is easily the most controversial book I’ve ever reviewed on my blog.  I’ve done loads of research on the controversy and there are just so many facets as to why people feel the way that they do.  The author of this book has received death threats and as a result the book tour had to be canceled!  Here is a short video that I found online which sums up all of the controversy in an easy to understand, 5 minute clip.  I know the cover photo of these 3 men looks like it has nothing to do with this but I promise that it does!  This video does NOT contain spoilers, just an overall view of why this book is making so many people really, really upset. START WATCHING AT 2:35:

So now that you have a bit of background, let’s dive into my review…

Goodreads Synopsis of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

My Review of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

I absolutely loved it.  I devoured it.  I couldn’t put it down.  I cried.  My heart pounded.  I had to use my hand to cover entire paragraphs just so I wouldn’t be tempted to read ahead.

WHAT.  A.  STORY.

This story and these characters will stay with me for a very long time.

It’s a beautifully written, intensively involved story that had me sucked in from the very beginning allllllll the way until the very end.  I so very highly, highly recommend this book!

Pro Tip: If you are not fluent in Spanish, HAVE A PHONE NEXT TO YOU WHILE READING.  I simply CANNOT come to a word I do not understand and continue reading with an assumption of what that word means!  In American Dirt, there are LOTS of words and phrases written in Spanish.  I was actually quite impressed with how much I was able to channel my high school Spanish class (gracias, Senorita Dan!) to figure out the meanings but there were MANY words that I had to look up.  Many of these words weren’t relevant to the story (words such as “damn”, etc.) however many WERE actually relevant to the story!

For the love of God please do not send me a message telling me to get a Kindle so I can look up words as I am reading.  I don’t want one (read why HERE)!

I did an extensive amount of research on the topics in this book.  I watched videos of La Bestia.  I google imaged pictures of the places that they went.  I read countless articles about immigration and learned so much about so many different and important topics.  I LOVE WHEN BOOKS INSPIRE ME TO WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TOPICS I MAY NOT ALREADY HAVE AN EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT!  Oh I learned SO much from this book.  Interesting facts, heartbreaking facts, mind blowing facts.

As for my opinion of Jeanine Cummins writing this book without personally having lived through this herself…I’m not entirely sure that even matters.  This story is brilliant and IMPORTANT and needs to be shared.  Does it really matter WHO shares it?  Many people are saying that this isn’t “her story to tell” but truthfully, how many fiction writers are basing their stories solely on personal experience?  Jeanine Cummins is a brilliant storyteller and this book is an exceptional story which will make readers think, discuss, and analyze.  I cannot speak to the stereotypes in this book but what I CAN speak to is the fact that I will always support books which make readers THINK about topics outside of their comfort zone.  Any book which encourages people to talk about issues and brings awareness and understanding to hard to discuss topics deserves praise.  Jeanine Cummins did just that.

Bottom Line:

This book is absolutely brilliant.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Read, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #13) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW!  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Synopsis of Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}:

A couple determined not to end up like their divorced friends try a radical experiment—and get in way over their heads—in this hilarious, heartfelt novel from the author of We’re All Damaged.

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.

I’ll post my review as soon as I’m finished reading!

What did you recently finish reading?

Synopsis of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

I have SO many thoughts on this book.  So. Many. Thoughts.  I’ll post my full review next week!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Synopsis of Lock Every Door {Riley Sager}

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

I’m in the mood for a great psychological thriller since the past few books I’ve read have belonged to such different genres.  EVERY book blogger seems to be reading this Riley Sager book right now!  I’m excited to see if it’s worth the hype!

BONUS QUESTION: Can you tell from the 3 above pictures which 2 were taken while on our amazing vacation and which one was taken once we returned back home, lol???

Have you read any of these 3 books?  What did you think (no spoilers)? What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

Our Amazing Getaway to Spring Lake, Michigan

As soon as the pandemic started, my husband immediately began researching lake houses that we could rent.  We wanted a place where we could safely socially distance from others and give our kids wonderful memories.  After months of searching online, he found us the perfect cottage located in Spring Lake, Michigan.  We booked it and immediately I started writing out my list of what to bring in my new Erin Condren planner.  I actually laughed and grabbed my phone to snap a picture when I realized what the very first items were that I had just written. These were clearly quite high on my priority list of items not to forget!  Eventually this entire page was filled with things to bring once I had those first 3 items written down, lol.

And somehow those 3 items morphed into this:

We stopped for lunch in one of our favorite towns…Saugatuck, Michigan.  (Although indoor seating was available at restaurants, we always chose to eat outside at the restaurants we went to).

We arrived at our cottage and the view from our new backyard literally took our breath away.  Perfection.

Catching frogs!

On our very first morning there, my daughter and I woke up before anyone else and snuck outside to read with a view.  I ended up doing this every single morning we were there and it was just as peaceful and blissful as it looks.

Eventually my son woke up and joined us.  American Dirt for me, Babysitters Club book #2 for my daughter, and dinosaur and Elmo books for my son.

So, so happy.

We drove past this hotel and I immediately thought of The Sun Down Hotel!  AHHHHHH!  THIS is EXACTLY how I pictured that hotel to look, even down to the sign.  Such a better image than the one on the cover of the book based upon the descriptions written.  The cover of that book is GORGEOUS but this is such a better representation of how I imagined that hotel to look as I was reading (you can read my review of The Sun Down Motel HERE).

My daughter and my husband fishing!  The view from our dining room window.  So amazing, right?!

Bike ride through a gorgeous forest…

Traveling during a global pandemic definitely was a strange experience.

Obsessed.

Cherry picking!

There was a swan family and a duck family who came to visit us each day.

After being in the lake all day, it felt great to take a shower and feel pretty 🙂

Fact: lobster rolls are in my top 5 favorite foods of all time.  If there is a lobster roll on a menu, I will never even consider ordering anything else.

I brought my laptop thinking that blogging by the lake would be such fun!  This picture would be the exact spot that my computer sat from the moment we arrived until the moment we left.  Never even opened the bag, lol.

Dirt road leading to our private oasis.

One afternoon we sat down to an outdoor restaurant and this was my view.  Ummm YES PLEASE.  As soon as the order was placed, my daughter and I literally JUMPED up to go and check it out!

Oh it was so lovely!  I didn’t take any pictures inside because I was trying not to touch my phone but I could have spent hours upon hours in there.  It was amazing.  We didn’t have nearly enough time but both her and I did manage to each find a treasure to buy.  I was excited to find a book by the same author as The Housekeeper which I really enjoyed (read my review HERE).  My daughter bought a present for my son which he loved!  I had such a nice conversation with the man working and I promised that I would come back!  If you are ever in the area, you need to check this place out…

Pontoonin’!  Always drinking hot coffee, even in 90 degree weather 🙂

So handsome.

I read 1 page on that boat.  Literally 1 page.

My husband took this video and I had no idea…

 

“I’m crushing this!!!” LOL

And now I present to you the most delicious meal of the trip.  Goat cheese, strawberries, walnuts, maple balsamic vinaigrette, and added grilled chicken breast.  OMG.  I loved it so much that I went back a few days later and ordered a second one to go to have for lunch the following day!  Here is a link to the restaurant if you are ever in the area.  DELICIOUS.

Lake lunch 🙂  Day 2 of THE SALAD.

Perfect magnet in a cute Grand Haven boutique.  #truth

Cutest coffee mug from one of our delicious breakfasts.

6 mile family bike ride.  Best bike ride of my life, it was so beautiful!

My family totally indulged me when I yelled “I SEE A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY!”  The 3 of them immediately pulled over to wait for me as I turned my bike around and headed straight back to this little gem:

None of the books caught my eye but for about 20 seconds I debated taking this bookmark ONLY because so many of you ALWAYS call me out for folding down the pages of books, lol.  BUT…then I remembered that I love folding those pages so I left the bookmark right where I found it to become a treasure for someone with better book manners than I 😉

After 6 miles we were SWEATY and desperately needed water.  We found a local farmer’s market and immediately asked where the water was.  The lady watched our 4 faces fall when she told us that there weren’t any vendors selling water!  We accepted our fate and started shopping for other things.  A few minutes later, she quietly told me that she had 3 bottles of water for her personal use but that I could buy them off of her!  DONE.  Wife and Mother of the year when I presented those bottles to my family!  As we were leaving the market sipping our delicious water, the farmer’s market organizer asked where we got them.  I answered “black market” 🙂

We left with fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries, honey sticks, a loaf of bread, and the most delicious water anyone has ever tasted.  Delightful.

And suddenly it was our last day of our perfect getaway.  As my husband and I sat on the beach watching our kids SO happily frolicking in the lake, he pulled out his phone and booked us a return trip for Labor Day weekend!  YESSSSSSSSS!  Best husband and father.  Countdown starts NOW!

And now…we are back home.  Breakfast on our first day back included farmer’s market blueberries and also a mug that I bought from one of my favorite restaurants that I have ever been to 🙂  If you are ever in the area, my whole family and I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant!  This beautiful mug with it’s beautiful memories will make me smile for many years to come.

Michigan cherries have been turned into Illinois muffins!  My husband and my kids say they are the best muffins they have ever had!  Mama for the WIN!  🙂 🙂 🙂

AND I have quite successfully recreated my new favorite salad down to the homemade salad dressing!  NAILED IT!

Thank you all so much for reading about our adventure!  We had the very best week filled with the very best memories.  Socially distanced perfection!

Thank you for allowing me to take a break from talking about books to share a bit of my personal life with you 🙂  As you can see I have been doing lots of reading…and I have 2 book reviews to write and publish for you ASAP!

I hope you all had a wonderful week filled with love and books!

You can read about our trip to Michigan that we took last fall (without our kids!) HERE.

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Read, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #12) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW!  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

(picture from my Instagram account)

Oh MAN has this book caused some major controversy.  I linked an article about this controversy in my last post and here is another one.  I started reading this book a few days ago, I’ll post my thoughts as soon as I finish reading…

Synopsis of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

What did you recently finish reading?

I. LOVED. IT.  Read my review HERE.

Synopsis of Fire on High {Elizabeth Acevedo}:

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This was one of the books I discussed on my 6 Books Being Released in 2020 post. I think it sounds scandalous…fingers crossed 😉

Synopsis of Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}:

A couple determined not to end up like their divorced friends try a radical experiment—and get in way over their heads—in this hilarious, heartfelt novel from the author of We’re All Damaged.

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.

Have you read any of these 3 books?  What did you think (no spoilers)? What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Finished Reading, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #11) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW!  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’ll post a full review once I finish reading!

What did you recently finish reading?

I. LOVED. IT.  Read the book synopsis and my full review HERE.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I FINALLY GOT MY HANDS ON A COPY.  I have been wanting to read this book loooong before it’s release.  The controversy it has caused has been INSANE and I can’t wait to read it for myself.  If you haven’t heard about this book or all of the controversy it has caused (including the author having to cancel her book tour due to receiving death threats) you can read more about it HERE. I’m not 100 percent sure if this will be the book I will read next but I’m thinking maybe?  Have any of you read it (NO SPOILERS if you have)???

Goodreads Synopsis of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE