Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anchored by Brigitte Quinn

This year, we’re so excited to be traveling with you all summer long as we challenge you to read some phenomenal books. Break the news from NYC during week fifteen of the Summer Reading Challenge in Anchored by Brigitte Quinn.


Anchored OFFICIAL COVER copyWeek of August 10: Anchored by Brigitte Quinn 
Barbara King’s dream is to become the next Barbara Walters.  She has long had one foot out the door of her current job–as an early morning news anchor at the fledgling cable news channel, The Pheonix.  Her plan is to do her time at The Phoenix and move on to something bigger, better, and more Barbara-Walters-like.  But when The Phoenix’s ratings unexpectedly skyrocket after its controversial, no-holds-barred coverage of a major news event, Barbara’s star is poised to rise along with it. But is she willing to trade her journalistic ethics—and her dream—for fame?

 My Thoughts:
Anchored wasn't a bad book but it wans't my favorite. So I don't know how I didn't come to love the book like I did many in the books sparks challenge. I was expecting a little bit more than I bargained for. Yes it did have a great plot but I didn't feel much of a connection with this book as much I wanted it to. Quinn's character was a bit annoying at time and I couldn't really understand her or even relate to her. Yes the plot was okay, but it's not my cup of tea. It was well written and had a lot of hard work dedicated throught the pages but this book was not my liking but the ending made me like the book even more as the story went along and ended. 
The Author: 
BrigitteGouchoe- 18262Final (1)Brigitte Quinn has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years, and was a television anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC.  She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University.  She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children, and is currently anchoring mornings at 1010 WINS radio in New York City.  You can visit her website at

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

This year, we’re so excited to be traveling with you all summer long as we challenge you to read some phenomenal books. Bundle up in the windy city during week fourteen of the Summer Reading Challenge in Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica.


pretty babyWeek of August 3: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

 My Thoughts: 
So this is might not be a shocker that I love this books. yes this book has been raved about so much and what can I say but this book is totally me. I first saw the book on Shelf Awareness and I was happy that they also had it for the Summer Reading Challenge. This book by Mary was soo good. Heidi was a good character but at times she did annoy be but the power of the writing style shunned away the bad or negativity. This book was also a bit sad and had me to tear up. It's hard to survive along with taking care of yourself and a child. I have never been homeless but have seen people around me that struggle with it when money isn't there. Mary also mad the story realistic but not having a good outcome when you read the book because life isn't sunshines and happy endings but you do have to go threw some things in order to make you a stronger person and overcome the biggest or smallest things life has to throw at you. 
The Author: 

Mary Kubica is the author of two novels, including PRETTY BABY (2015) and THE GOOD GIRL (2014), which is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature, and lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children.  Mary enjoys photography, gardening, and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

Satisfaction by Andee Reilly

This year, we’re so excited to be traveling with you all summer long as we challenge you to read some phenomenal books. Road trip from L.A. to OK during week sixteen of the Summer Reading Challenge in Satisfaction by Andee Reilly.


SATISFACTION3-2Week of August 17: Satisfaction by Andee Reilly
When 22-year-old Ginny Martin discovers her husband has been cheating on her, she strikes back with the couple’s credit card. Purchasing tickets to every concert on the Rolling Stones North American tour, this devastated suburban housewife packs up the car and takes to the road.  Following the Rolling Stones from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, Ginny experiences freedom for the first time, while coping with the insecurities and limiting beliefs that had kept this small town girl’s life far too small.
 My Thoughts: 
Can I just say hands down one of my favorite books that caught me eye from the "Summer Reading Challenge". Oh my gosh where do I begin with this book. There is so much twist so much turns I cannot even cover all of they keys details of what makes this book so good. Firstly it was sad to read that her husband had cheated on her but from that point on it just started getting better and better and this was a great book to end off the hot summer and feel a little chill coming along the way. I was also impressed that the author incorporated music in this book which if you know me music has always been a fun and motivating part of my life that I knew me and this book we clearly meant to be. Andee can really captivate an audience with her witty writing style that had me completely falling head over heels for her book. 
The Author:
Andee_ReillyAndee Reilly was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside and teaches literature and writing at California State University, Channel Islands. When not teaching or writing, she can be found surfing the beaches of Southern California and Maui. She fell in love with the Rolling Stones as a teenager, and their music has long served as an inspiration to her writing. Satisfaction is her debut novel.

Star Craving Mad by Elise A. Miller

Week of August 31: Star Craving Madby Elise A. Miller
Maddy Braverman, thirty and single, has taught first grade at an elite private school in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for the past six years. Angry at herself for not moving on, Maddy is distracted from her pity party with a new student—Lola Magdalena, daughter of A- list celebrities Nic and Shelby Seabolt—a last-minute addition to her class roster.
When Lola breaks her arm on the playground, Maddy has the chance to meet with Nic in his TriBeCa apartment. Maddy’s celebrity fantasies turn to reality—make out sessions, sex and even a Hamptons holiday bash that leave Maddy yearning for Nic’s love.
My Thoughts 

So for some odd reasons I didn't love the book but more so like it. It was a quick book to read and I finished it the same day I got it in the mail. I wanted to love the book some more but the connection wasn't there for me. Yes the plot was good and it did have me reading it straight through but when I finished the book and I was left saying "that's it".I  was expecting a bit more for what I bargained for but this wasn't a terrible book to get lost in the pages. Elise is a good writer but I think it was more so the characters that I really didn't enjoy much but the plot was original and I have never read a book like that before. 

The Author: 

elise miller picA former actress and private school teacher, Elise hosted and curated New York City’s East Side Oral (the reading series your mother warned you about), which showcased the talents of Jonathan Ames, Ned Vizzini, Amy Sohn, Darin Strauss, and many more. Her work appears in the anthology Because I Love Her, on and Fresh Chapters from her forthcoming novel have been published on Northern Liberties Review, Elephant Journal, and in Wild River Review. Elise is currently an SFG kettlebell instructor and fitness trainer, as well as creative writing coach. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, two dogs and a rotating cast of ants and dust bunnies

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave


About The Book:

Week of June 1: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Georgia Ford learned some important secrets while growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard. She knows everything from the number of grapes that it takes to make a bottle of wine to the secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna. But, one week before her wedding, Georgia learns that her fiancé is keeping a life-changing secret. Georgia returns home to the vineyard for comfort only to discover that her fiancé was not the only one keeping a secret.

My Thoughts:

Eight Hundreds Grapes caught me by surprise. Holy cow this was a good book and pretty too. Laura Dave will captivate all readers from start to finish with the book. Oh boy where do I begin. The whole book was so dramatic and one thing I like about drama is family drama. So when I got to the good stuff I finished it the same day. Georgia's family was a lot like mine so I knew that this book would have me raving for more. Secrets can be very deceptive and cunning that when you figure them out or even told about it it will catch you by surprise if you don't know what might be coming your way. This contemporary book was like no other to me because I never really witness any dry moments much for me it 99.9% accurate for me and in my taste. All I have to say without spoiling to much was some parts of the book will catch you by surprise if you don't pay attention to the kein details being presented. 

About The Author:

Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorce Party, London Is The Best City In America, and the forthcoming Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.
Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered.  Cosmopolitan Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”
Three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen with Dave adapting Eight Hundred Grapes for Fox2000.

Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

worthyWorthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Virginia has always wanted the chance at a relationship with Aaron, a widower with a young son. She finally gets the opportunity, but their date is cut short when tragedy strikes, ending their hopes of a relationship. Years later, Virginia is engaged, but when she discovers that her fiancé intentionally let her dog loose, she calls off the wedding. She finds her dog with a shy young man, whom Virginia soon realizes is connected to her past in ways that she could never have imagined. 

My Thoughts:

Worthy like the title said is worthy of a four star review. This book was just so good. there was to much drama which is not that great because I thought I would get distracted and couldn't keep up , BUT boy was I wrong. Virginia is one of the most loveable characters that I have read. she has been through a lot with her relationships which I could relate to because no relationship is person and I am glad that the author incorporated that into the book and have it based of real life situations that could happen. If your looking for a romantic contemporary book to read in the fall or next summer enjoy the hot sun and get ready to fall in love. In the beginning it started of to slow but I had to keep reminding myself that the plot sounds really good and you cannot give up so fast. Another thing that I liked that it wasn't to mushy that I could see right threw the whole plot and predict what might have happened next. For me many things caught me by surprise.

About The Author:

Catherine Ryan HydeCatherine Ryan Hyde is the bestselling author of twenty-seven published and forthcoming books. Some of her recent books include The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me with You, Where We Belong, and Don’t Let Me Go. Her short stories have been published in Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun. She has received numerous awards, including the Rainbow Award and the British Book Award. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture and translated into twenty-three languages. Hyde is the founder of the Pay It Forward Foundation

Pieces by Maria Kostaki

PIECES.FINALWeek of June 15: Pieces by Maria Kostaki
At an early age, Sasha is abandoned by her mother in Moscow and forced to move between living with her three grandparents. Five years later, her mother, Anna, comes back promising Sasha a better life in Athens, Greece. Sasha goes with her mother, but finds that she is far from rescued. Trapped between a hostile stepfather and a psychologically harmful mother, Sasha is left looking for affection in her affectionless life.

My Thoughts:

So this was another great book that Booksparks had me intreged to read. The main storyline was about Sasha. I loved that Sasha's character was believable and she came to life. Its always nice to read books that's I can love because no one is perfect and everyone goes through something in life. The book also had me in tears by how much she had to undergo. Being in uncomfortable positions never feel good. When I went into the book I was not expecting it to like the book so much and thought it was going to be another book that I would give 3 stars by being okay but kind of captivating at some points. This book was actually shared with some of my book club members and they were also heartbroken at what she went through. Some where surprised that Maria was able to hold up all the suspense and never once made it dull and she had them begging for more and wanted to explore more of what she has written. Everything in my eyes was perfect and hit all the bullets for me which a lot of books have been for me.

The Author:

MariaKostakiMaria Kostaki is a native of Moscow, Russia, but has spent most of her adult life on a plane from Athens, Greece to New York City and back. She holds a master’s in journalism from New York University, where she was a recipient of a grant from the Knight Foundation. She has worked as an editor and staff writer for Odyssey magazine in Athens and New York, and her nonfiction has appeared in publications including Elle Décor andInsider Magazine. Her fiction has appeared inFlashquake and Mediterranean Poetry.

The Year My Mother Came Back: A Memoir by Alice Eve Cohen

For the first time in decades I’m remembering Mom, all of her--the wonderful and terrible things about her that I’ve cast out of my thoughts for so long. I’m still struggling to prevent these memories from erupting from their subterranean depths. Trying to hold back the flood. I can’t, not today. The levees break.

Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most.

Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice approaches it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Understanding and forgiving her mother’s parenting transgressions leads her to accept her own and to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good mother.



Alice Eve Cohen caught my attention in the beginning of the book. I really liked the memoir she wrote and the title really got me to read more. It was very entertaining to see where the book would go and I'm glad I kept reading. For me I was hooked by the couple of pages. Can I just add how small and convenient this book was for me to take with me anywhere in my purse. For me I believed everything that Alice wrote and I felt a connection to her stories. I believe that the deceased is never dead and they can come back by signs we have in life. This book was very realistic in my eyes and it didn't feel fake or unrelatable that even if I didn't go threw the same thing as her I could feel a little of what she fe2lt and how she dealt with that in the period of time. Alice's writing style was just an awe to read. It came together so beautifully that I had to stop and breathe and really get back into it. After reading this book I was motivated enough to reread the books which made my TBR slow down but I didn't mind. I stayed up nights after another just to finish again and remember why I fell in love with this book. 


Alice Eve Cohen is a writer and solo theatre artist. Her new memoir, THE YEAR MY MOTHER CAME BACK, is published by Algonquin Books, March 31, 2015. Winner of Elle's Magazine Grand Prize for Nonfiction, Oprah Magazine’s 25 Best Books of Summer, and Salon's Best Books of the Year for her memoir, "What I Thought I Knew" (Penguin). She has written for Nickelodeon, CTW, and CBS, and has toured her solo shows nationally and internationally. Alice has received fellowships and grants from the NYS Council on the Arts and the NEA. She graduated from Princeton University and got her MFA from The New School. Alice teaches at The New School and lives with her family in New York City. She is currently working on a novel.