10 Author Events Coming to Greater Boston

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!


1. Tuesday 10/22 at 6:30pm – Blue Bunny Books, Dedham

Megan McDonald & Peter H. Reynolds, Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz



2. Tuesday 10/22 at 7pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light



3. Wednesday 10/23 at 7pm – Belmont Books

Elizabeth Ames, The Others’ Gold



4. Tuesday 10/29 at 6:30pm – Belmont Books

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time #2: The Burning Queen



5. Wednesday 10/30 at 6pm – Brookline Booksmith

Heather Morris, Cilka’s Journey (ticketed event)



6. Saturday 11/2 at 11am – Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Matt Tavares, Dasher



7. Sunday 11/3 at 11am – Brookline Booksmith/Coolidge Corner Theater

Kate DiCamillo, Beverly Right Here (ticketed event)


8. Monday 11/18 at 7:30pm – Brookline Booksmith/Chevalier Theater

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer (ticketed event)


9. Tuesday 11/19 at 7pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Holly Black, The Queen of Nothing



Ten New Books I Can’t Wait To Read

There are so many amazing new and forthcoming books this fall. My list of library holds is a mile long and I bet yours will be too.

Here are 10 new books for adults (plus a few young adult titles) I can’t wait to read.

1. The Testaments

by Margaret Atwood

“In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood”

2. Red At The Bone

by Jacqueline Woodson

“An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson’s extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.”

3. The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“In his boldly imagined first novel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families.
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.”

4. The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

“Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go.

“‘Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’ I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer.”

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.”

5. Royal Holiday

by Jasmine Guillory

“From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling new novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.”

6. Toil & Trouble

by Augusten Burroughs

“From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching…and just a little spooky.

For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn’t have known. He manifested things that shouldn’t have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared – until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that’s a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift. From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man’s journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all.”

7. Butterfly Yellow

by Thanhhà Lai

“Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and Erika L. Sanchez, this gorgeously written and deeply moving own voices novel is the YA debut from the award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again.

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.”

8. Look Both Ways

by Jason Reynolds

(*coming 10/8/19)

“From National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all they different directions a walk home can take.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.”


Get Started With Bluprint at mybluprint.com

9. The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

(*coming 10/8/19)

“Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their unforgettable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium 

When Alice Wright agrees to marry handsome American Bennett Van Cleve and leave behind her stifling life in England for a new adventure in Kentucky, she’s soon disenchanted by her newlywed status and overbearing father-in-law, owner of the local coal mine. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, the smart-talking, self-sufficient daughter of a notorious local criminal, a woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. Alice finds Margery as bracing and courageous as anyone she’s ever met–and comes to rely on her, especially as her marriage starts to fail.

They will be joined by three diverse women and become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.”

**I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Giver of Stars. This book is going on my list of 2019 favorites for sure. As a librarian in particular, I was moved by the portrayal of the power of reading to shape a community and change women’s lives. Highly recommended.**


10. Olive Again

by Elizabeth Strout

(*coming 10/15/19)

“#1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions of readers.

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.”

What new books are topping your TBR list this fall? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

If you’re enjoying the blog, be sure to tell a friend and subscribe to make sure you’ll never miss a new post.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 40: Jeffrey S. Cramer, Author of Solid Seasons

This week I’m chatting with Jeffrey S. Cramer, who will share insights about two local literary figures–Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Jeffrey S. Cramer is the editor of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition and The Quotable Thoreau. He is also the curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library and lives in Maynard, Massachusetts. His new book is called Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.


You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Solid Seasons

Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition

The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau : A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

What I Stand On: The Collected Essays of Wendell Berry 1969-2017


To learn more about Jeffrey S. Cramer you can visit his website http://www.jeffreyscramer.com.

To find out more about the Walden Woods Project visit https://www.walden.org.


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Five Audiobooks That Made Me Enjoy Sitting in Traffic and Doing the Dishes

This week I’m sharing a post from last fall that’s chock full of great audiobook recommendations. Enjoy!


Are you on the hunt for an audiobook so good you won’t be able to press pause? Look no further.

I’m always on the lookout for an audiobook that will draw me right in and allow for some successful bookish multitasking–reading while taking a walk or folding laundry. Here are five of my recent audiobook favorites:


1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Narrated by Julia Whelan

51eH5ngcYiL._SY346_From the bestselling author of The Nightingale, The Great Alone is hands down my favorite audiobook of the year. I found myself looking forward to rush hour Boston traffic just so I could hear one more scene. The novel opens in 1974 when 13-year-old Leni moves to Alaska with her parents. The family is woefully unprepared for the emotional and physical challenges of this harsh, beautiful landscape.  Leni must learn how to survive in her new surroundings–while navigating the complexities of her parents’ troubled relationship. Kirkus Reviews writes that Hannah “re-creates in magical detail the lives of Alaska’s homesteaders in both of the state’s seasons (they really only have two) and is just as specific and authentic in her depiction of the spiritual wounds of post-Vietnam America. A tour de force.” Hannah’s novel is a rare combination of exquisite writing, a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and characters that will stick with you. I highly recommend the audiobook version, Julia Whelan’s performance was exceptional.

Kristin Hannah discusses the real life inspiration behind The Great Alone in this video:

You can also listen to this interview with Kristin Hannah from WNYC:

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2. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Read by Guy Lockard


My one regret about Ghost by Jason Reynolds is that I didn’t pick it up sooner! This standout middle grade title is the first in Reynolds’ Track series and was a National Book Award finalist back in 2016, when the judges noted “In Ghost, Jason Reynolds flawlessly delivers eloquent moments of terror, anticipation and fun—clear to the finish line—without an extra word to spare. We are immersed in the backdrop of believable characters from the night Ghost Crenshaw runs for his life, to his struggle to silence the “scream inside him.” Ghost will stay with you.” I couldn’t agree more and the engaging audio narration had me hooked from chapter 1–and fittingly–adding serious mileage to my morning walk so I could listen longer. At various times the protagonist Ghost Crenshaw broke my heart and had me laughing out loud. I cannot wait to recommend this one to the kids and teens in my life and I’m sure this will be a top contender for this year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program here in my state. You can also vote for Ghost as part of PBS’s Great American Read.

An excerpt of the Ghost audiobook is available to preview:


You can watch Jason Reynolds discuss Ghost and the importance of reading on this Author Imprint video from PBS:

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3. Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam

Read by the author


Conversational, practical nonfiction books are my favorite audiobooks to listen to and Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done is exactly that. If you are a podcast listener looking to dip your toe into audiobooks, I would suggest this new title by time management expert Laura Vanderkam. (In fact, you may have heard of Vanderkam from her podcast Best of Both Worlds). In her latest book, the author of 168 Hours and I Know How She Does It turns her attention to spending our free time wisely. She wrote about her inspiration for her book on her blog, “I first got the idea for this book in July 2016 when I was running in Bar Harbor, Maine. I had no immediate obligations for the day, and so that phrase popped into my head. I was off the clock — just like when I punched out after a shift back in my teenage minimum wage days. I wanted to explore this concept of time freedom: what makes it possible? How do busy people who feel relaxed about time structure their lives?”. For Off the Clock, Vandarkam had 900 people track their time on one day, March 27th, 2017–then analyzed the relationship between how people spent their time and how they felt about their time. Vandarkam’s findings will inspire you to turn off the television, put down your phone and invest time in the relationships and experiences that lead to a more satisfying life.

You can hear an excerpt of Off the Clock read by Vandarkam herself:


You can also listen to Vandarkam discuss the book on her Best of Both Worlds podcast with cohost Sarah Hart-Unger:

Best of Both Worlds Podcast Episode 43: Off the Clock

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4. Wishree by Katherine Applegate

Narrated by Nancy Linari

61al+P+9JDL._SX365_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Katherine Applegate is the Newbery award-winning author of the The One and Only Ivan, one of my all-time favorite middle grade books. In Wishtree, Applegate turns her attention to a special talking tree and tackles issues of intolerance and immigration.  Red, a 216-year-old oak tree and our narrator, tries to intervene after a hateful message–aimed at a Muslim family new to the neighborhood–is carved into her trunk.  In a starred review Booklist calls Wishtree “Timely, necessary, and brimming with heart”. Wishtree would be an excellent choice for a classroom read aloud and the audiobook would be engaging listening for a family road trip. This one is sure to spark meaningful discussions with the kids in your life. Make sure to mention the connection to The One and Only Ivan to prospective young readers–Applegate’s earlier book is beloved.

You can listen to an excerpt of the Wishtree audiobook:


The trailer for Wishtree is extremely well done and has sparked so much enthusiasm for reading the book when I’ve shown it to 4th/5th grade classes:


5. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis


Listening to An American Marriage by Tayari Jones instead of reading the print book happened by chance. I often place library holds for the print book and audiobook and read whatever becomes available first. In this case, I am so happy the audiobook won out because it was incredibly well done. The book is narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis, who read the parts of newly married Roy and Celestial–two characters whose stories take abrupt turns when Roy is wrongfully committed of a crime and sentenced to twelve years in prison. As The Washington Post notes, the questions around Celestial and Roy’s ties and responsibilities toward one another (they have only been married eighteen months) are “spun with tender patience by Jones, who cradles each of these characters in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions.”


You can watch Oprah share this title as her book club pick and hear Tayari Jones discuss her inspiration for the book in this  clip from CBS This Morning:

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What audiobooks would you recommend? Let me know in the comments or on your favorite social media platform. I’m @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski





Ep. 38: Mary Giuliani, Author of Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites

This week Mary Giuliani joins me to discuss her new book, Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites.

Mary Giuliani is an author, party and lifestyle expert and founder and CEO of Mary Giuliani Catering and Events. Mary has appeared on The Barefoot Contessa, The Today Show, Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show. Her new book is called Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites.

Ina Garten praised the book saying, “No one tells a story like Mary, and she does it with great recipes too! To read her deeply personal memoir is to feel that you’ve connected with a dear friend who’s thoughtful, funny, and truly unique. I love this book!”


You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Watch healthy eating classes at myBluprint.com

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites

The Cocktail Party

All That You Leave Behind


To learn more about Mary Giuliani you can visit her website marygiuliani.com. You can also follow her on Instagram @Mary_Giuliani and on Twitter @MaryGiuliani.


Cozi, the #1 family organizing app


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!


Watch This? Read That!

Are you looking to read more this summer? This week I’m throwing it back to a post from last year, using your taste in movies and television to choose your next read. Enjoy!


Looking for the next book to add to your TBR list?

Check out these suggestions for fans of The Crown, This Is Us, Big Little Lies, and more.


Watch Gilmore Girls?

Read The Late Bloomers’ Club 

If you’re experiencing Stars Hollow withdrawal, this heartwarming novel set in the equally charming small town of Guthrie, Vermont is for you. Nora runs the Miss Guthrie diner (think Luke’s). Life takes a surprising turn when she mysteriously inherits a local farmhouse and her free-spirit younger sister comes back to town. (Stay tuned for an interview with author Louise Miller coming up soon on the new A Bookish Home podcast!)


Watch Grey’s Anatomy?

Read The Queen of Hearts

If the tight-knit, complicated relationships between doctors on Grey’s Anatomy has had you hooked for years, try The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist and Emma, a trauma surgeon have been best friends since their medical school days. When a former colleague resurfaces, they are forced to reexamine decisions from the past and a secret threatens to destroy their friendship.


Watch The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society?

Read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 

Did you recently watch the delightful adaptation of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society and wish it wasn’t over? Of course, if you haven’t read the book yet, head straight to your local library or bookstore to pick up a copy. Otherwise, I recommend another small-town story where books change the lives of the inhabitants. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is full of heart and will have you alternately laughing out loud and tearing up.


Watch Mozart in the Jungle?

Read The Ensemble

Do you want to go behind the scenes in the world of professional musicians? Check out The Ensemble by Aja Gabel. Henry, Jana, Brit, and Daniel  begin playing in a string quartet together in their twenties. Told from alternating points of view, the novel takes us into their lives as ambitious musicians and traces the evolution of their complex relationships with one another over the course of twenty years.


Watch This Is Us?

Read A Place For Us

If you love the way This Is Us weaves together the present and the past and the perspectives of parents and siblings to form the picture of a family, this new novel is for you.  A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is another carefully woven deep dive into the inner workings of a family and shows how the small everyday choices parents and children make strengthen or weaken familial connections and change the course of lives.


Watch A Chef’s Life?

Read The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

If you are eagerly awaiting a new season of A Chef’s Life, read The City Baker’s Guide to Country LivingFollow another talented (pastry) chef, who leaves the prestigious, big city restaurants she has been working in and comes to deeply appreciate life in a tight-knit, rural community. The descriptions of food in this novel are stunning and the characters will quickly find their way into your heart. (Again, stay tuned for an interview with author Louise Miller coming up soon on the new A Bookish Home podcast!)


Watch The Man in the High Castle?

Read American War

If envisioning an alternate, frightening course of history for America in The Man in the High Castle has kept you clicking “Next Episode”, read American War, a novel by Omar El Akkad. In this enthralling and dark, dystopian read we meet Sara Chestnut, who is six years old when the Second American Civil War begins in 2074. As the years go on Sara ends up in a refugee camp in Mississippi and eventually becomes swept up in a resistance movement.


Watch The Crown?

Read The Royal We

Can’t get enough of the royal family in The Crown? For a lighter fictional take try The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. This novel is loosely based on the courtship of Kate Middleton and Prince William. A pure joy to read and impossible to put down.


Watch Big Little Lies?

Read What Alice Forgot

Are you a fan of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and the series adaptation on HBO? Check out What Alice Forgot, one of Moriarty’s other books–and my favorite of hers. After an accident in spin class, 39-year-old Alice wakes up with an entire decade erased from her mind. In her last memory, she is 29, pregnant with her first child and happily married. Now she must figure out how to suddenly navigate her life as a separated mother of three and face the choices she has made.

Watch Downton Abbey?

Read The Summer Before the War and 

The War I Finally Won

If you are missing the wonderful Downton Abbey (and awaiting the movie in the works!) here are two books for you. My adult pick is The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Set in 1914, the story of Beatrice Nash and her arrival in the small village of Rye in England has the heart, wit, and class struggles of Downton. For the kids in your life and for middle-grade fans, read The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. In this sequel to the stunning, Newbery Honor title The War That Saved My Life, Ada is back and must share her small home with Lady Thornton (think Lady Grantham).


Do you have a read-alike for a favorite show? Share it in the comments or on Twitter @ABookishHome. And don’t forget to subscribe to A Bookish Home, to never miss a post. Happy reading!

Ep. 36: Mary Kay Andrews, Author of Sunset Beach

This week I’m delighted to welcome New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Kay Andrews to A Bookish Home to discuss her new book, Sunset Beach.

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including The Weekenders, Beach Town, Ladies’ Night, and Summer Rental and has been dubbed “The Queen of Beach Reads”. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she received a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia and was a newspaper reporter for 14 years.

Booklist says of Sunset Beach, “ Andrews’ latest annual big beach read combines mystery, family secrets, a hint of romance, and a little bit of home renovation…” and  Book Trib said, “Sunset Beach delivers the perfect beach read you’ve been scouting for.” I couldn’t agree more!


You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Sunset Beach

Hissy Fit

The High Tide Club

The Gown

Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Where The Crawdads Sing

To learn more about Mary Kay Andrews you can visit her website marykayandrews.com.com. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook @MaryKayAndrews.

Start your 7-Day Free Bluprint Trial at myBluprint.com now!

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!


What I’ve Been Reading…

Summer reading is in full swing…

This is such a wonderful time of year to be a bookworm. There’s nothing better than relaxing outside with a good read!

Here are a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately…

Lost Roses

by Martha Hall Kelly

I have been waiting with much excitement for the sequel to Lilac Girls. (I was so absorbed in that book I kept reading it when I was in labor with my daughter!). This time with  Lost Roses I was sneaking pages in at a Red Sox game. I’m fascinated by the lives of everyday women in history and Martha Hall Kelly succeeds again in bringing the past to life through the eyes of three women in very different circumstances during the Russian revolution and World War I.

“It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.”

The Perfect Couple

by Elin Hilderbrand

I brought this book on vacation in Charleston and it was perfect for keeping me turning the pages on the plane, at my hotel, and of course on the beach. Set on Nantucket, Hildebrand delivers with a love triangle, murder mystery, and wedding–this is the kind of beach read I gobble up.

“It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair, The Perfect Couple proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.”

The Whole-Brain Child

by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

This book has been on my TBR list for years. After hearing it recommended from yet another parent, I decided to give it a try. This book is really eye opening in terms of what is going in in young children’s brains, particularly during tantrums or difficult moments. There is also a follow-up book called No Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.

“In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.

Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.”


Far Away

by Lisa Graff

I am always excited to read a new Lisa Graff book. I can still picture the shelf of Lisa Graff books in my elementary school library. Kids would read a book like Absolutely Almost or Umbrella Summer then keep coming back, checking out every book on the shelf. In her latest book, she once again offers a funny yet moving and heartfelt story, this time following a young girl on a mission to find a way to stay connected to her mother.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with author Lisa Graff.

“CJ’s Aunt Nic is a psychic medium who tours the country speaking to spirits from Far Away, passing on messages from the dearly departed. And CJ knows firsthand how comforting those messages can be — Aunt Nic’s Gift is the only way CJ can talk to her mom, who died just hours after she was born.

So when CJ learns that she won’t be able to speak to her mother anymore, even with Aunt Nic’s help, she’s determined to find a work-around. She sets off on road trip with her new friend Jax to locate the one object that she believes will tether her mother’s spirit back to Earth . . . but what she finds along the way challenges every truth she’s ever known. Ultimately, CJ has to sort out the reality from the lies.


Hide and Seek

by Polly Noakes

It’s always fun to check out books from the library based on what your little one is interested in at the moment. We are currently playing lots of hide and seek in our house and my toddler is also loving seek-and-find books. We spotted this new picture book on display at the library recently and it’s been such a fun book to share together.

“A group of friends wanders out into the meadow to play a game of hide-and-seek on a beautiful summer’s afternoon. Children will delight in spotting the hidden creatures on each page as the little girl tries to find them. But it’s not always clear who is hunting whom, or who is actually playing. A charming, richly illustrated book, with a gentle hint of suspense and a satisfying twist at the end.”


Press Here

by Hervé Tullet


This books is in heavy rotation in our bedtime read alouds. My toddler loves how interactive this one is and has fun seeing what “magic” happens when she presses the dots, tilts the book, shakes the dots, and more.

“Press the yellow dot on the cover of this interactive children’s book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising touch book instructs the reader to push the button, shake it up, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique interactive picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!”

What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Have you subscribed to A Bookish Home yet? Sign up to receive an email every time there is a new post or podcast episode.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski



Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Ep. 34: Summer Reading Preview With Bookseller Paul Swydan

This week Paul Swydan returns to the podcast. Paul is the owner of Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, Massachusetts. We chatted about some of the books he is looking forward to recommending in the store this summer. Get your TBR lists ready!


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You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Get Started With Bluprint at mybluprint.com

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Iver and Ellis

The Bride Test

The Kiss Quotient

The Proposal

The Wedding Date

The Wedding Party

The Stationary Shop

The Nickel Boys

Shatter The Sky

Three Women

How to Be An Anti-Racist

City of Girls

Mrs. Everything

The Poet X

With the Fire On High

Let Me Hear a Rhyme

Sorcery of Thorns

Midsummer’s Mayhem

The Next Great Paulie Fink

Chesire Crossing

Dog Man

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School

Lena’s Slippers

A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches

If you’re in the Boston area, I hope you go stop by Silver Unicorn Books in Acton. You can also follow the store on Instagram and Facebook @silverunicornbooks and on Twitter @SilUnicornActon.



If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Four Books I Can’t Stop Thinking About

Today I’m sharing a favorite post from last summer about books with staying power. Enjoy!



Some books stick with you long after you’ve put them down. Here are four books I’ve read this month that continue to keep me thinking about the characters I met or mulling over ideas from the author:

You Go FirstYou Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

You Go First is the new book by Erin Entrada Kelly, who won the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello UniverseI really enjoyed Hello Universe and even selected it for a 4th and 5th grade book club, but You Go First is her best book yet.  I started reading this during my daughter’s afternoon nap last Saturday and ended up staying up late that same night because I had to finish it. Yet, at the same time, I was savoring every page and so did not want it to end–reader problems! This is one of those books where my husband kept giving me the side eye, as I alternated between laughing out loud to myself, tearing up, and practically hugging the book. (For fans of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin it felt like that!).

This book is told from the alternating perspectives of two middle schoolers, Charlotte and Ben, who have never met. They are online Scrabble competitors. They are not totally honest with each other at the beginning, but we as the reader know they actually have a whole lot in common. Erin Entrada Kelly paints such a realistic portrait of life at school and her writing is spot on. This is a book for anyone who has ever felt alone in the crowd. This is for kids trying to simultaneously wade through the waters of changing friendships and school while dealing with a family member’s illness, divorce, or another tough situation. You will root for these kindhearted, smart, interesting, relatable characters with all your heart. I cannot wait to put this into the hands of as many students and teachers as I can. Highly recommended for upper elementary. This is my favorite kidlit of the year.


Check out the wonderful Erin Estrada Kelly sharing a bit about the book and reading a chapter:



PiecingMeTogetherPiecing Me Together by Renée Watson

When I saw Piecing Me Together win both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award at the Oscars of children’s books (the ALA Youth Media Awards), I eagerly requested it from my public library. When this YA book finally became available a few weeks ago, I happily downloaded the library ebook on my Kindle and proceeded to completely lose myself in sixteen-year-old Jade’s story. (Ten Steps to Get the Most Out Of Your Local Library)

Jade has a scholarship to St. Francis, a prestigious prep school in Portland, Oregon. When she is pulled into her counselor’s office one day, Jade is sure it’s to find out she has been selected to go on the school’s study abroad trip to Costa Rica. To her dismay, her counselor actually wants her to participate in the “Woman to Woman” mentoring program–an opportunity she is eventually convinced to accept given that it promises full college scholarships to mentees. Jade’s observations about race and class in her experiences both in the program and floating between her neighborhood and St. Francis are sharp and compelling and Watson’s writing is stunning. Jade is a character you have to meet–a must read.

To hear more from author Renée Watson on why she wrote the book and how it relates to her own experiences check out this fantastic 5 minute interview:

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The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito and Julia Kuo


In the picture book The Sound of SilenceYoshio is off to school, walking through the streets of Tokyo taking in a “symphony” of sounds. When a musician he encounters shares that her favorite sound is silence, he begins to look for this elusive sound everywhere. Yoshio eventually finds silence by losing himself in a book–the whole world falls away around him. My students loved sharing which books gave them that wonderful reading experience, where you completely enter the world of the book and are taken out of your own life. (You Go First and Piecing Me Together certainly did that for me!). Perfect for a discussion about mindfulness or getting into a state of flow with a particular activity. The illustrations in this picture book are also so detailed and beautiful and Yoshio’s quest to seek out the moments of “ma” (silence), will inspire you to embrace the quiet in your own life. This would be a stellar addition to any picture book collection.



There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge) by Linda Åkeson McGurk

I shared that I had started There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather in Reads for the Moms in Your Life. I had really been enjoying it and predicted it would be great for fans of Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman. I’ve since finished and have to say it has stuck with me and really led to a mindset shift. I enjoy books that explore the ways in which what makes you a “good parent” in one culture, might make you a bit of an outlier in another. In this case, Linda Åkeson McGurk explores how in Scandinavia getting your children outside every day (in any weather) and giving them free reign to explore and play in nature is woven into cultural norms. This line about the structure of the day in preschool struck me in particular, “A survey of a hundred preschools in Stockholm showed that the average time spent outside was one and a half hours per day-on a bad-weather day in the winter. On a nice day in the summer, the average was nearly six hours”.  Holding a children’s birthday party outside in the snow, being encouraged by the government to have your baby nap outdoors, and bringing rain gear to school and playdates (because outdoor play happens rain or shine) are just a few examples McGurk mentions from her own children’s experiences during their 6 month return to her childhood home of Sweden. I don’t know if I will quite reach that level, but this book was good inspiration to provide our little ones with a bit more unstructured, outdoor play and exploration–both for the fun of it and for the benefits. For my toddler, that means the joy (and sensory experience) of digging in the dirt and touching the trees and working on her balance as she happily runs around the yard. I’m beginning to think that in our culture of a million and one activities, my providing of “enrichment” could simply include a library card and time outside.


What are the books you can’t stop thinking about right now?

Let me know in the comments or on your favorite social media platform @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski