Fall Book Recommendations

Hi, readers!

September is really flying by! What with tomorrow being the first day of fall, I thought I’d recommend some great books to read during the next few months. While there’s never a bad time for reading, the weather has cooled off enough in the fall to make for pleasant outdoor reading. I really enjoyed all five of the books I’m sharing below, and highly suggest them to everyone!

I recommend…

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s first novel—published posthumously in 1818—tells the story of Catherine Morland and her dangerously sweet nature, innocence, and sometime self-delusion. Though Austen’s fallible heroine is repeatedly drawn into scrapes while vacationing at Bath and during her subsequent visit to Northanger Abbey, Catherine eventually triumphs, blossoming into a discerning woman who learns truths about love, life, and the heady power of literature. The satirical novel pokes fun at the gothic novel while earnestly emphasizing caution to the female sex.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Favorite Books Turned to Movies/Series

Hi, readers!

I love watching movies and TV shows almost as much as I love reading! Today I’m sharing five books I’ve loved that were adapted into movies or TV series. While I’m always skeptical of film adaptations, I find it helps when the source material is great. All of the books featured here are either on the big or small screen.

I loved reading…

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (read my review here!)

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends–and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island–boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie (read my review here!)

Accused of bludgeoning his mother to death with a poker, Jacko Argyle had maintained his innocence throughout his trial, claiming he was hitchhiking on the night of the murder and had been picked up by a middle-aged man in a dark car. The police were never able to locate this mystery man—until he shows up a year later. But Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives too late to substantiate Jacko’s alibi. For after serving just six months of his life sentence, Jacko dies behind bars following a bout of pneumonia.

Feeling a sense of duty to the Argyles, Calgary is surprised when his revelations reopen old wounds in the family, leaving him to wonder if one of them is the real murderer….  

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a classic tale of love and values that unfolds in the class-conscious England of the late eighteenth century. The five Bennet sisters—including strong-willed Elizabeth and young Lydia—have all been raised by their mother to have one purpose in life: finding a husband. When a wealthy bachelor takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. Among the man’s sophisticated circle of friends, surely there will be no shortage of suitors for the Bennet sisters. But when Elizabeth meets up with the handsome and—it would seem—snobbish Mr. Darcy, the battle of the sexes is joined.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (read my review here!)

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart

Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg

Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle

As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims–a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (read my review here!)

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Have you read any of these? What’s your favorite book that’s now on the big or small screen?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Young Adult Recommendations

Hi, readers!

How was your reading this weekend? I’m finally making some serious progress on two books I’ve been reading for weeks now and am greatly enjoying them. I am also actively picking up books by authors of color. Right now, I’m alternating between a book by a white author and a book by an author of color. We’ll see how long I keep this up!

Also, are you following along with the Reading Women’s June reading challenge? Be sure to check out their website for all the details, including giveaways! I’m joining their Mrs. Dalloway read along. Be sure to check them out and find great book recommendations by women!

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite Young Adult books. I think summer is a great time to read YA. The stories are sometimes a little shorter, and the plots often move along quickly. There are also so many great YA series, making it easy to find your next read!

I recommend…

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

This is a beautiful story about a young man grieving after the death of his best friend and ex-boyfriend. I previously mentioned History in this post in which I shared three books about mental health. I was blown away with how honestly Silvera depicts grief and how respectfully he presented the relationships in this story.

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

This is a coming of age story, that is really about a feminist awakening. Juliet travels to Portland for an internship with a prominent feminist writer. While there, she learns more about her mind, her body, and her feminism. Rivera makes you cheer for Juliet while also teaching the reader plenty of feminist and queer studies terminology.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

You’ve likely heard of this story because it was recently turned into a movie called Love, Simon. This is a very cute story about a high schooler’s budding anonymous email relationship with a fellow classmate and his coming out story. Both the book and the movie have received a lot of attention, and for good reason. LGBTQ romances are often only told when they end in sadness. Simon’s story has a happy ending, which is always good to see.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Spoiler alert: this book will have you sobbing by the end! This is Yoon’s second novel and it’s a wonderfully written story about fate and the ripple effect of human interactions. It’s a bit hard to describe this book without giving anything away. Suffice to say, you’ll have to read this for yourself.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This is a fantastic retelling of 1001 Nights. You will devour this story because it has everything: romance, fantasy, a hero, a villain, danger, and sacrifice. Ahdieh has a great explanation for why events unfold the way they do. Can’t recommend this one enough!

That’s it for today! What YA books would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

3 On A Theme: Mental Health

Hi, readers!

How’s your reading progress this month? I’ve been moving through books pretty slowly lately, and by that, I mean I don’t want to pick up any of the books I’m currently reading. My halting reading progress is due to the darker nature and content of the books I’m currently reading. I’m enjoying them, but none of them are happy, light, or easy to read. And these factors combined are making me stressed about reading. So instead I went to the library for some romance novels! I think they’re just what I need to break out of this rut and then I can do a better job of balancing the lighter reads with the heavier ones.

I bring this up today because, as you may or may not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The darker books I was reading were negatively affecting my moods and thoughts, making me feel bogged down in grief, drama, and isolation. It’s important to talk about mental health and how various items, events, interactions, etc. affect our moods. I do think that we should continue to talk about mental health outside of May in order to normalize and humanize many conditions. Talking about mental health decreases the stigma and shame often associated with mental health conditions. Today I’m sharing three books that prominently feature characters struggling with their mental health and, importantly, handle this issue with sensitivity, respect, and awareness.

The three books are…

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Griffin’s best friend, first love, and ex-boyfriend dies in a drowning accident. Reeling from this loss, Griffin turns to his ex-boyfriend’s new boyfriend, and leans on him for emotional support. This is a beautifully written YA novel about grief, love, and friendship.

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Annie is unhappy at home, at work, and is struggling under her incredible loss and grief. And then she meets Polly, who has terminal cancer. Together, the two women help each other to balance joy alongside their pain, to accept reality and plan for the future, and to make a difference in whatever way they can.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

This is a fun book about Bernadette, a former architect, who is agoraphobic and therefore housebound. That is, until she disappears. Where’d You Go is told through letters, emails, and memos and also follows Bernadette’s daughter as she searches for her mother and grieves for her loss.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What book(s) that address mental health would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Memoir Recommendations

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing five memoir recommendations. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but when I do, I prefer to read memoirs. Memoirs offer a fascinating glimpse into a different existence and set of problems. I really enjoy reading about someone else’s life, whether their life events are extraordinary or mundane. And the books featured here today certainly run the gamut of ordinary and not so ordinary. I’ve loved all the books mentioned below and I think you will, too!

Let’s get to those books!

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs

This is an emotional read about one woman’s terminal cancer diagnosis and how it impacted her life. I unashamedly cried while reading Riggs’s story as her journey is similar to those of the countless people dealing with cancer. The Bright Hour is beautifully written and offers stunning commentary on life, death, and living.

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham

Keeping with the theme of medical related memoirs, Happiness is the story of one family’s tumultuous experiences of living with a sick child. Harpham writes eloquently about fate, choice, and family. Happiness was the April pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and I previously reviewed this book. You can read my review here.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Hunger is a difficult book to describe and also a difficult book to read. Gay holds nothing back as she recounts stories from her childhood that influenced her interactions and feelings toward food and her own body, including a horrific gang rape. This is a short book and a very necessary read, as Gay’s writing will lead you to confront your own experiences surrounding your body.

Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

This is a uniquely written story about a woman who suffered a serious stroke in her 30s. By reflecting on her traumatic medical experiences, Hyung-Oak Lee comments on the fleeting nature of memory, moving on, and recovery. I previously reviewed this book and you can read my review post here.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Now this one is just plain fun! Wishful Drinking is the story of Fisher’s life. This book will make you laugh out loud and groan alongside Fisher as she recounts the bizarre, unfortunate, and purely outlandish events that happened in her life. It’s a super quick read that I highly recommend!

That’s it for today! Do you enjoy reading memoirs? What memoirs would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Book Recommendations for Graduates

Hi, readers!

It’s that time of year again: graduation season! There are two college graduations happening in my family this spring and I’ve been excitedly picking out the perfect books for their graduation gifts. Because I think we all know that books are a great present for any occasion! Today I’m sharing four books that would make great gifts for graduates. Some of these might seem surprising, but I promise, they’re on this list for good reason!

Let’s get to those books…

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (or your own favorite book)

I think there’s something to be said for gifting someone your own favorite book, along with a note explaining why it’s so special to you. The Bell Jar would make an excellent choice, though, as the protagonist is on the cusp of college and struggling with mental health and identity. The Bell Jar is one of my personal favorites and you can read about my other favorites in this post here.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

My first experience reading Brown was with this book last year. In Wilderness, Brown divulges what it takes to truly and authentically be yourself and how to interact with the world around you. And the answers are nothing like you’d expect. I found myself nodding along to every single page. I think this book should be a must read for everyone and would be an excellent choice for someone about to step onto a new path.

Make Trouble by John Waters

This one’s a little more fun, but it still packs a punch! Make Trouble contains words of wisdom from Waters’s speech to the Rhode Island School of Design. His speech went viral because it speaks to the reality of living life as a creative. But I think this book would be a great choice for a graduate regardless of their major or career path. Waters’s text is a call to action and a push towards changing the world.

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

Okay, hear me out on this one. Spinster is a great memoir of one woman’s journey to embrace the word ‘spinster’ by making and loving a life of her own choosing. This book profiles a few other famous women who never married and Bolick draws parallels between them and herself. I think this book is inspirational and challenges the reader to think about their own life and how much they’re enjoying it.

That’s it for today! What will you gift to a graduate?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Book Series I Love

Hi, readers!

Happy Friday! This week was pretty busy doing things with family, preparing for some upcoming life shifts, and reevaluating this blog. You may have noticed there was no blog post yesterday. This was a conscious choice as I’ve moved to posting three times a week instead of five. This change will allow me to focus on longer and more informative posts, which is important to me, and is also in anticipation of some upcoming life changes. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy this week there hasn’t been much time for reading! I’m hoping to read a lot this weekend to play catch up and get back in the swing of reading.

As for what I’ll be reading this weekend, I’m hoping to make some more progress on The Odyssey, as translated by Emily Wilson. I only have 139 pages left! I’ve been very slowly reading this book for the longest time now and am determined to finish it before the month is out. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it! I am really enjoying it but am finding it difficult to fall into the book, which has led to my picking it up in small segments. One book that is not difficult for me to read is The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. This is the first book in what will be a YA fantasy series (and is therefore relevant to today’s post) and I’m loving it so far! I’m about 180 pages in and I really appreciate all the world building that Clayton did, as well as all the luscious detail that really makes the story come alive.

And finally, today’s post is all about book series. By the way, in my opinion, for it to count as a series, there must be at least three major books. Smaller prequel and in between novels are excluded from this. I always love starting a new series. There’s something so exciting about knowing an entire world awaits you! However I sometimes forget to keep up with a series. I find it’s easiest for me to play catch up and read several books in a row, knowing that the next book I’ll need is ready to read. So there are a number of series of which I’ve read one or two books and stopped!

Today I’m recommending several book series, broken up in two groups. The first grouping are series of which I’ve read all the books and loved them. I may not necessarily have read each and every little mini book that accompanies the main books, but I’ve definitely read the main ones. The second grouping are series that I’ve started and loved but haven’t finished. Here’s hoping this post inspires me to revisit them!

And now, onto those books!

Series I’ve Finished

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

There are currently three books in this series, but many more are already planned. This is, quite possibly, my favorite fantasy series. I love that they’re inspired by Beauty and the Beast and are full of surprising twists and turns. My favorite book is the second in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury. But this is definitely a series you should start from the beginning.

Lady Sherlock by Sherry Thomas

This is a fun mystery series that reimagines Sherlock Holmes as an alias for a young woman cast out of society due to some unfortunate choices. I love the ways Thomas plays with the Sherlock Holmes stories. While only two books are published thus far, the third is coming out this fall. And I’m counting this series in this category because I’ve read the first two books!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

There are four major books in this series and a number of smaller in between books. The Lunar Chronicles is a fun YA sci-fi series that is inspired by fairy tales. We see updated versions of those original stories that are fun, clever, and more feminist in tone. These books do get progressively longer throughout the series but they’re all quick reads and very engaging.

Series I Haven’t Finished

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache by Louise Penny

It’s no secret that I’m in love with Louise Penny, Armand Gamache, and all that Three Pines has to offer. As of right now there are thirteen books in this series and I’ve only read three! While I definitely want to keep reading, I also want to savor these delightful mysteries. My very rough goal is to catch up with this series by the end of the year.

Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French

French crafted a fantastic mystery series with the Dublin Murder Squad. These books are dark, psychological thrillers that will keep you on the edge if your seat! French’s books can be read out of order as they follow the same detective squad, but the events within each book are not sequential in the larger series. I’ve only read two out of the six books in this series and am looking forward to reading the rest.

Miss Marple by Agatha Christie

I love Miss Marple! Actually, I love all things Agatha Christie and the Miss Marple books are always a delight. There are a whopping fifteen books in this series, of which I’ve read five. The Miss Marple mysteries are clever, funny, short, and sweet, so I highly recommend giving them a go. I always try to guess the solution but am always bested by this elderly detective!

That’s it for today! What series would you recommend? What will you be reading this weekend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Page Turning Recommendations

Hi, readers!

Happy Monday! Did you read anything fun this weekend? I made some great progress on Little Women and now only have about 100 pages to go! Today’s post is for anyone who loves to get lost in a good book. I especially love to settle in with an engaging read on the weekends, when the weather is bad, when the weather is nice and you can open a window…actually, pretty much anytime!

Today I’m sharing five books with you that I found incredibly difficult to put down. They’re so enticing, you’ll read them in just a few sittings and find yourself constantly thinking about the storyline and what the characters will do next. Let’s get right to these recommendations so you can choose your next great read for this weekend!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

If you haven’t read Big Little Lies by now, this should be your very next read. This book beautifully weaves several storylines following a group of women and mothers, the choices they must live with, and the lies they tell. Plus, there’s been a murder! I also highly recommend the HBO series, but please read the book first. And don’t be fooled by the long page count. You’ll read this in an afternoon.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is the first book in Meyer’s YA fantasy Lunar Chronicles series that is, broadly, a retelling of some classic fairy tales. Cinder is a fantastic start to this series and begins as a modern/futuristic retelling of Cinderella. This book is funny, smart, high energy, and enthralling. If you read this one, you’ll definitely want to continue with the series!

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

This is the first book in MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series. It’s a super quick read that will have you laughing, blushing, and practically inhaling the story and these characters. The characters in this book appear through the rest of the series, and I promise you’ll fall hard for this duo as they move from friends to lovers. I previously reviewed this book and you can read my review here.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

This book is a reimagining of what happened to the infamous Borden family. If you don’t know, Lizzie Borden was arrested, tried, and exonerated for the brutal axe murders of her father and stepmother. Talk about an unputdownable read! By shifting points of view, this book will have you on your toes and eager to learn more about this unsolved mystery. I previously reviewed this book and you can read my review here.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Last but not least, we have another mystery recommendation! This book came out earlier this year and has remained popular. Inspired by Hitchcock films, this story will devour you. Page after page will leave you wondering who to trust and questioning what’s actually going on. I read the whole thing in one day because I couldn’t put it down! I previously reviewed this book and you can read my review here.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What page turner would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

European Historical Fiction Recommendations

Hi, readers!

As you may have noticed, I love reading historical fiction. I enjoy reading about time periods other than my own, with different day to day tasks. I especially enjoy novels set either during or just after WWI and WWII. Give me a good period drama any day! And as I prepared today’s post of recommendations, I realized that many of my favorites are set in Europe. And so, without further ado, today I’m sharing eight historical fiction books set in either England or France.

Here we go!

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

You’ve likely seen my review of The Alice Network, as I’ve mentioned it a few times on the blog. This book was a little slow to start for me but quickly became one of my favorite books! It’s a beautiful drama following two women, one working as a British spy during WWI and the other searching for a long lost cousin in France after WWII.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

This is a great first novel of a mystery series following a young woman working as a private investigator after WWII in England. I really enjoyed this story and found Maisie to be a bit like Sherlock Holmes! You can read my review here.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Fasten your seatbelts, because this book is quite the ride! This is one of my favorite books ever. It follows two sisters living in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. Each woman makes her own choices in order to survive the war and must learn to live with her decisions. Be sure to have Kleenex ready!

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

I really enjoyed this book about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Elizabeth Hadley, and their time together in Paris in the 1920s. This is a fantastic introduction to this relationship and a great way to learn more about Hadley as a person.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

If you’re looking for a fun escape, look no further than the Pink Carnation! This book is great because it follows two timelines: one in present day England as a young woman works on her thesis project, and the other in 1800s England. It’s funny, charming, sexy, and very entertaining!

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

This is a beautiful story about two sisters searching for one another after WWI. Through a series of events, they are separated during the London bombings. I was really touched at the lengths to which they went to find one another and reunite.

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

You’ve likely heard of this excellent Sherlock Holmes retelling! In this first book of a new series, Sherlock Holmes is the detective alias of a young woman trying to support herself. This book is clever, funny, and delightful if you’re a fan of the Sherlock Holmes story.

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Gregory is well known for writing excellent historical fiction and this book is no exception! This story follows Elizabeth of York, her new marriage to Henry Tudor, and the missing heir to the throne. It’s exciting, fast paced, and enlightening!

That’s it for today! What historical fiction books would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Bookish Things To Do In Spring

Hi, readers!

It seems like across the country, more and more people are experiencing snow and winter weather than warmer spring temperatures. Although, to tie this in with my current read, Louise Penny’s The Cruelest Month, town favorite Ruth Zardo waxes poetic about spring:

“We all know what to expect in other seasons. But not spring. The worst flooding happens in spring. Forest fires, killing frosts, snowstorms and mud slides. Nature’s in turmoil. Anything can happen.”

The weather may not be pleasant, but there are still lots of ways to have fun! Today I’m sharing ten bookish things to do in spring. Because spring’s weather is oh so complicated, these activities can be completed outdoors and indoors. These indoor activities will have you loving books and reading all season long!

  1. Read a book set in spring. Need recommendations? Check mine out here.
  2. Visit a literary landmark in a city near you!
  3. Wait for a warm day and spend the afternoon reading outdoors.
  4. Spend a weekend purging your bookshelves. Return long lost library books, donate gently loved copies, and sell used copies to a local independent used bookstore.
  5. Make your own bookmarks. Perhaps a floral theme?
  6. Visit your local library and attend a class, presentation, or activity! My local library has lots of fun outdoor activities planned, including nature walks, beekeeping classes, and gardening tutorials.
  7. Read a book of poetry. Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I’m partial to Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, and Sylvia Plath.
  8. Swap favorite books with your best friend!
  9. Visit your local bookstore and ask a bookseller for a recommendation. Don’t be shy! That’s what we’re there for!
  10. Join the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon happening April 28!

That’s it for today! Which activity will you tackle first? What bookish things do you like to do in spring?