Better late than never for this post, right? I will say, this month was mostly a disappoint in terms of reading. High expectations… but I did read what may be a top five book of all time now. A classic win some/lose some situation.

FAMILY FAMILY by Laurie Frankel

3/5 Stars

I have typically really enjoyed Laurie Frankel’s novels and I was looking forward to reading Family Family. I thought it started off super strong and then fell flat somewhere in the middle. This is becoming a personal preference at this point, but I don’t really like books written during the pandemic and I could just tell, this was a pandemic writing project. Even though I didn’t love it, I will say I think this could make a great book club book as it would lend itself to a great discussion. The book follows India’s life in two timelines– as a student and then as an adult. At its core, this book is about adoption and what makes a family a family.


3/5 Stars

I was seeing this book hyped up everywhere so I decided to give it a read. It was not for me. I do understand why it’s described as a “masterpiece,” though. It is certainly a book that feels like a book. There was just way too many characters to keep track of and then the plot was zipping around all over the place with repeats, too. It was probably just not the book to read immediately postpartum– my brain couldn’t handle it. (Honestly even now, I’m realizing I can’t even tell you what happened in the book besides the very high level plot points.)


5/5 Stars

Wow! Somehow I got through all of school without A Tree Grows in Brooklyn making any of my reading lists. And what a shame– it’s a quintessential coming of age novel (my favorite) where we get to watch the main character Francie grow up at the turn of the century in Brooklyn. I was immediately engrossed in the story and simply didn’t want it to come to an end. I rarely reread books, but I can totally see myself picking this back up in a few years to re-experience it. Beautifully written and captures, quite honestly, the worries and dreams and universal experiences of growing up. If you want to read a classic and feel intimidated by the choices out there, I highly recommend picking up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

THE WOMEN by Kristin Hannah

4.5/5 Stars

Let me preface this by saying that I love Kristin Hannah books. I really enjoyed this one and I couldn’t put it down. I found myself super interested in the main character’s journey as a nurse during the Vietnam War– it is such a unique, and important, story to be told. I gave it a pretty high rating immediately after reading it. I had some issues with the book (every kind of trauma happened, the pacing felt a little fast to me because so much time/plot needed to be covered, the main character was incredibly spoiled by her parents, some of the necessary plot points felt unbelievable), but I think I was judging it a little more harshly because I love Kristin Hannah’s books? This would also be a great book club choice– lots to discuss!


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Lisa Mari

Wanted to add „A Tree Grows In Brooklyn“ to my reading list and saw that the kindle version was only 0,74€ on Amazon Germany so I bought it immediately 😃 Thanks for the recommendation!
I also read “The Women” in March and felt the same about the pace but I also just couldn’t put it down! So good!


I totally agree with you about the Heaven and Earth Grocery Store. I read it because everyone seemed to be reading and talking about it, but I could not get into it! It felt like too many characters and not enough plot.


I also had the same feelings – I was so confused about why it was so highly rated. I found myself rolling my eyes mid-book and thinking STOP INTRODUCING NEW CHARACTERS when yet another was brought in. It was like it forgot that it was supposed to have a plot until the last 5% or so and then rushed to wrap it up – but I had long ago figured out who the body was and by then didn’t really care about how they died or who did it because it seemed like so many would have had motive. I think if the plot summaries hadn’t described it as a murder mystery and rather just as a vignette-type depiction of this community, it would have gotten a higher rating from me.


I felt the same way about The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store. I tried reading it in February (after giving birth in January) and couldn’t get past the second chapter. I was kind of like… this is what everyone’s raving about? But I need really fast paced, plot-based books right now. Waiting for The Women and can’t wait!


I TOTALLY agree about pandemic books. I’ve seen it done well a few times (Tom lake most especially) but by and large it doesnt work for me! I don’t know if it’s because covid was so stressful (so reading about it in a book especially unexpectedly is annoying) but I’m kind of over it with books! hoping books that are published over the next few years will have fewer pandemic plots


I’m so glad you loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I didn’t read it in school either and came to it later – it’s now one of my all-time favorites. I recommend it to people all the time, but they resist because it’s “old.” It’s a classic for a reason.