10 Books I Recently Read and Loved

Hi friends and fellow bookworms! I’m coming at you today with my latest roundup of recommended reads. Back in the beginning of 2019, I began sharing roundups of books I recently read and loved on the blog as a way to highlight some of my favorite recent reads in one place.

Here are my past book recommendations posts if you’d like to check them out:

While I regularly share books I’m reading in my day-in-the-life posts and my Things I’m Loving Friday roundup of weekly favorites, I know it’s easy to lose track of my latest book recommendations. I hope that periodically highlighting a handful of the books I recently read and enjoyed in one place will make it easier for you to find a decent book to read the next time you’re on the lookout. Plus, I always love chatting about books with you guys and receive some of my best book recommendations from your comments so please share some of your favorite recent reads with me below!

Also, just a friendly reminder that I try to keep my Peanut Butter Fingers Amazon Store constantly updated with my favorite finds and you may find all of these books and my past favorites in the Books section!

10 Books I Recently Read and Loved

After flying through multiple suspense books, I was ready for a break from that particular genre and when The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms popped up as a recommended read for me through Amazon, I was immediately intrigued since I’ve enjoyed other books by the same author. She has a gift for writing books that, on the surface seem lighthearted and funny, but have more depth than expected. The Bright Side of Going Dark is a creative book that felt very current and intrigued me as one of the main characters is a social media influencer on the fictitious platform Pictey, which is very similar to Instagram.

Mia Bell is a popular influencer who lives a covet-worthy life thanks to her sponsored and her adoring fans. Behind the scenes, her life is far from perfect and when her fiancé calls off their wedding, she’s left in a bind, as she has contracts and agreements that hinge on her pending nuptials. She decides to fake her wedding to appease her clients and then decides to go off the grid completely, hurling her phone off a cliff. Her followers notice her absence and when tech-savvy Paige Miller figures out a way to hack into her account, she begins impersonating Mia as a means to get close to her sister, one of Mia’s most adoring fans who is going through something horrible. The façade lasts for a while but when Paige is caught, everything could change… and not necessarily for the better.

If you’re in the mood for a page-turning suspense novel, The Lying Game is a winner! My Aunt Laurie recommended this one to me and I immediately recognized the author, as I previously enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware as well. The Lying Game was created by four friends, Fatima, Thea, Isa and Kate, when they were a tight-knit group of young girls living at a boarding school in the seaside village of Salten and thought it was fun to try to pull a fast one on teachers, classmates and villagers… right up until their lies proved to have life-changing consequences they never could have anticipated. Fast forward and the foursome are all grown women who haven’t seen each other since they left school but that’s about to change when Kate sends a text with three simple words, “I need you.” The four come together in Salten and quickly realize the biggest lies they told may be coming back to haunt them after the remains of a body are found on the beach, bringing back questions from years ago that still remain unanswered.

If you like a good “who done it” book that makes you second guess yourself and various characters in a novel, add The Girl From Widow Hills to your must-read list! I flew through this book in two days and was so bummed when it was over that I immediately downloaded another book by the same author (The Last House Guest) to begin reading. The Girl From Widow Hills follows the now grown-up girl known for surviving a flash flood that swept her away when she was sleepwalking as a 6-year-old in Widow Hills. Arden Maynor somehow survived the horrifying ordeal but when she became famous for her survival, fans, creepy letters, money and hate mail followed and it all became too much. Arden made the decision to legally change her name before college and is now living as Olivia in a small town where no one knows about her past… and she’s hoping to keep it that way. When Olivia begins sleepwalking again and awakes to find a body at her feet — the body of a man she knows from her previous life in Widow Hills — her plans for anonymity seem to rapidly slip away and questions begin to surface that Olivia is determined to find the answers to, even if some of the questions she has are about herself.

Last fall, I read American Royals by Katharine McGee and loved it but was super annoyed when I finished because it ended on a cliff-hanger and I didn’t realize the sequel was not yet published. You better believe I instantly downloaded the sequel to my Kindle and began reading it once I saw it was released! Majesty was similar to American Royals in that it gave me Gossip Girl vibes but with a little more depth and creativity. Both books follow the royal family of America and two women close to the royal family, Nina Gonzalez, the ex-girlfriend of the prince and best friend of his twin sister, and Daphne Deighton, the prince’s on-again-off-again girlfriend who is determined to become a princess at whatever cost. Majesty picks up right where American Royals left off — I don’t want to give too much away because it would be really easy to spoil the first book if I share too much — and is a great book to read if you’re looking for a novel that feels like you’re sitting down on the couch to watch a favorite high school drama television show that isn’t a total cheese-fest. Very entertaining!

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Having recently read and loved The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda, I quickly began reading The Last House Guest by the same author and am happy to say it was another winner.  The Last House Guest is a mystery that surrounds the death of Sadie Loman, a young woman from the prominent Loman family, well-known in the small town of Littlesport, Maine. Avery, Sadie’s best friend, is shocked when Sadie’s death is ruled a suicide and when evidence begins to surface a year later that suggests Sadie’s death may not have been what everyone initially believed, Avery sets out to figure out what really happened. When all of the evidence begins to point to Avery, she finds herself increasingly motivated to learn what happened to her best friend while also ensuring the blame doesn’t fall on her shoulders.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue was a blog reader recommendation and it was a great read! I don’t think I’ve read anything by Fiona Davis in the past but that is going to change after flying through The Lions of Fifth Avenue because I enjoyed her writing style and the premise of this novel. The book follows the lives of two women, Laura Lyons, an aspiring journalist married to the superintendent of the New York Public Library in 1913 , and Sadie Donovan, a curator at the New York Public Library determined to get to the bottom of the books, manuscripts and notes that continue to disappear from the library in 1993.

Laura lives in the library’s apartment with her husband and two children and embarks on a journey of self-discovery after she is accepted into the journalism school at Columbia University and attends a club meeting led by radical feminists who openly discuss topics ranging from birth control to women’s rights. Her journey may lead her to living a life of truth but is that worth risking everything she’s ever known and loved?

Fast forward 80 years and Sadie is tasked with her dream job as curator of the library’s famous Berg Collection but quickly finds herself in the middle of a mystery as valuable and irreplaceable books and manuscripts begin to disappear from the collection. She begins working with a private detective to try to solve the mystery but soon discovers her personal connection to the famous essayist Laura Lyons may not be a positive thing after all, as her grandmother may have been linked to the disappearance of books from the library 80 years prior… as well as one of the biggest tragedies ever to take place within the famous library’s walls.

It’s been a hot second since I read a WWII historical fiction novel which is kind of surprising since books in this genre tend to be novels I gravitate toward reading over and over again. They also remind me of Ryan’s grandmother because she shared my love for historical fiction from this time period. I always miss Bubbee a little more when I finish reading a good WWII historical fiction novel because I know she would’ve read it the second I recommended it and we would’ve enjoyed talking about the twists and turns in this one together. For those of you who enjoy WWII historical fiction like me and Bubbee, add The Winemaker’s Wife to your “must read” list! This book came highly recommended to me by my friend Kaitlyn and blog reader Maureen and did not disappoint!

Set in Champagne, France in 1940, the book follows the lives of two women, Inès, a young woman recently married to the owner of a prominent champagne house, Maison Chauveau, and Céline, the half-Jewish wife of Chaveau’s head winemaker. When Inès married Michel, she never could’ve envisioned what would come: The German occupation and with it a life filled with fear, deceit, secrets and, ultimately, decisions that will impact the lives of those she loves forever.

Fast forward to 2019, Liv is a woman in the midst of recovering from a heart-breaking divorce when Grandma Edith shows up and insists she join her on a trip to Champagne. Their whirlwind travels take Liv to Maison Chauveau and reveal secrets about her grandmother’s past that begin to bring about more questions than answers.

This book was filled with twists and turns, heartbreak and hope and I highly recommend it!

Phewyyy this book was a whirlwind! I flew through The Last Flight and thought it was a great read from start to finish. The book follows the life of two women, Claire, the wife of a man from a prominent political family “second only to the Kennedys,”  and Eva, a young woman with a litany of secrets to hide and a past she desperately wants to leave behind. Eva’s desire to escape her past resonates with Claire who wants to leave her abusive marriage but fears repercussions from her husband and his entourage.

When the two women happen to cross paths in the airport, a last-minute decision to swap plane tickets changes their lives forever. When the flight to Puerto Rico that Claire was supposed to be on unexpectedly crashes, Claire is presumed dead and she wonders if she somehow got the clean break from her marriage and her former life she desperately desired… until hiding from her past proves more challenging than she ever could have imagined.

From the first chapter, I was hooked and I absolutely love the formatting of the book as it’s told from the perspective of various guests of Jules and Will’s wedding. With the bride a prominent magazine publisher and her groom an up-and-coming television star, the couples’ luxurious wedding takes place on a small island off the coast of Ireland that lends an exclusive and eerie feel to the whole affair. As the story unfolds, dark pasts are revealed and a body turns up on the night of the wedding. Who isn’t all that they seem? Who is dead? And, the biggest mystery of all… Is there a murderer among the guests?

A Happy Catastrophe is the sweet follow up novel to Maddie Dawson’s Matchmaking for Beginners, another novel I’d highly recommend! The book picks up a few years after the point where Matchmaking for Beginners left off and follows the improbable relationship of Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney. Still together years later, Marnie is as excited about love as ever while Patrick continues to struggle with his tragic past. Then, one day, an exuberant little girl named Fritzie shows up at their house, a surprise from Patrick’s past he never knew about until she came careening into their lives. Marnie quickly falls in love with Fritzie while Patrick finds himself falling deeper into darkness as he worries about opening his heart up further and subjecting himself to the potential for loss again. How will Marnie and Patrick navigate this unexpected surprise… and all of the other obstacles that seem to pop up in their lives on repeat?

Question of the Day

What are some great books you’ve recently read? I’m currently loving lighthearted reads (with a little depth!) and suspenseful mysteries and welcome any recommendations! 

Source: Peanut Butter Fingers, Author: Julie

What do you think?

Written by Peek Jar


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