My favorite activity when on vacation, besides fabulous meals, enjoying tropical splendors, (no not booze!...although maybe a little...) being with friends and family... is reading.  I try to catch up on the books I haven't read and usually finish about 8-10 depending on the length of the trip. I tend not to read on the plane as I hate flying and zone out..... Always a smooth trip......

So here's two books I recommend so far and one not so much..

FAITHFUL by Alice Hoffman

A lovely book especially for Alice Hoffman fans. It's a wonderful portrait of loss and rebirth....deeply moving and engaging.

THE RED CAR by Marcy Dermansky

A definite road trip...witty, adventurous and bold. Written with humor in a sparse powerful style. Loved it.

HOME by Harlan Coben

Skip this ...So disappointing...I've read all Coben's books and this is not up to his normal fare. 
Very slow moving and predictable. 

THE WONDER by Emma Donoghue

The thriller "Room" made Donoghue famous but I loved this new gripping tale. It  possesses many of the alluring qualities of  "Room"  but with lots of history and a riveting storyline.


As 2017 approaches it's worth noting that many familiar authors left their mark on the 2016 fiction lists. Ian McEwan, Richard Russo, Elizabeth Strout, Don DeLilo, are some of my favorites...along with several bold debuts by new authors. Imbolo Mbue's BEHOLD THE DREAMERS is an example of a debut novel that illuminates the Immigrant experience in America written with warmth, confidence and empathy...a must-read.(Scroll down to earlier post)

I'm anticipating many more exciting releases for 2017 which I'll happily share with you. In the meantime I'm off to sunny climes with a kindle full of 'to be read' books!

Have a great holiday season!


Coming early January critics call this book "a lush and emotionally wrenching novel." It's described as an ambitious, character-driven novel that ends as it should. Well that's an intriguing description...downloading for sure!

Lucky Boy

Crossing borders
Kavya and Soli’s lives converge in this novel from Shanthi Sekaran. Soli has immigrated to the United Streets from Mexico, and dreams of making a better life for herself. Kavya lives in Berkeley, California, where she is very aware of being a disappointment to her family. Kavya is unable to get pregnant, and Soli discovers she is pregnant after arriving in the U.S. Soon, the two women’s lives will touch, and neither one will ever be the same again. Soli’s son, Ignacio (nicknamed Nacho), will also be deeply affected. This book delves into the question of illegal immigration, and readers just might emerge from its pages seeing the issue a little differently than before.


Get ready for a fun read! This biography of Joan Rivers is also a story of the trials and tribulations of women for decades ....a riveting and heart wrenching tale of the woman behind the "Schtick." It's all here and fans of well written biographies will enjoy this funny, revealing, inspiring book. I still miss her.....

Hardcover: November 15, 2016
Joan Rivers was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014. Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities. But Rivers' career was also hugely significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for her gender and pushing the boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life. LAST GIRL BEFORE FREEWAY delves into the inner workings of a woman who both reflected and redefined the world around her.


The holiday season has arrived but I don’t think chaos has to come with it. Choosing a book for someone you hold near and dear based on his or her interests is one of the most thoughtful and rewarding gifts you can give. 

I recently finished first time author, Imbolo Mbue's masterful debut novel titled BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, a swiftly paced story that takes on immigration, family, and class. It's a timely tale that needs to be told...BEHOLD THE DREAMERS Is a sad indictment of the American dream and a great testament to enduring family bonds.

Well written, this is a fearless morality tale mixed with humor, pathos and love....the perfect gift for an adventurous reader.


Recently Blog follower B A wrote the following review on
I felt compelled to not only include it on my blog but quickly downloaded the book....sounds like a great read!
A National Book Award Finalist, critics and many readers labeled it smart, devastating and unforgettable. It's out in paperback too get it post haste!

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Coincide. Concuss. Confound. Confuse. Co-opt. Conflate. Repeat.
I knew absolutely nothing about this compelling, heart-breaking novel until I saw it on the Goodreads List of the Best Novels for 2016. If you love All Things India, move one step closer to your book seller's shelf.
If you want to examine the slow, and ultimately inevitable, conversion from victim to terrorist, take one more step.
 If you want absolutely gorgeous prose, take a giant step. If the idea that humans don't know what the hell they want terrifies you, run like the dickens.

HE'S BACK (NOVEMBER 2016) is my "go to" site for the latest, greatest, and sometimes not so greatest. Their recent comments about John Grisham's new book are right on target. Yes, he's back again with another thriller...and reviewers seem to love it.

I'm also a loyal Alice Hoffman fan and can't wait to read her latest. She never disappoints ...even though she can border on weird...I'm always there to support her.

Thankyou for the following reviews...

THE WHISTLER by John Grisham (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Cassandra Campbell
What happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and a corruption case crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business as Greg Myers; he claims to know of a judge who was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. Greg’s only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Lacy immediately suspects this case could be dangerous --- but it also could turn out to be deadly. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.


Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. She has to fight her way back to her own future and finds a circle of lost and found souls --- including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.


I've read all of Zadie Smith's books and cannot wait for her latest. As of 2016 she's published five novels, all receiving substantial praise. Thankyou BuzzFeed Books for choosing this book as one of the best Fall books to get excited about! Check out for their other recommendations.

 Swing Time by Zadie Smith – 15 November

Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Photo by Hamish Hamilton,Via



Jodi Picoult


Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is a thought provoking examination of racism in America today. What a timely topic! Readers say it's a compelling, can't put it down drama with a trademark twist...

It's on the stands now and should be a great read...especially if you're a Picoult fan, and there are many! ( I'm not, but may give this one a try ...) 


Labor and delivery nurse Ruth Jefferson has found herself on trial for hesitating to perform CPR on a baby in cardiac arrest — a baby whose white supremacist parents requested Ruth (who is black) stay away from their child. Now, she must work with Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender who insists she doesn’t bring up race in court. But as the case becomes a national media sensation, both Ruth and Kennedy find themselves reexamining everything they’ve come to understand about justice, compassion, race, and privilege.  


I just finished Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney, infamous author of Bright Lights Big City. 
It reminded me of Sex and the City ...only focusing on married couples.
 I hadn't read his previous novels that tracked the lives of these aforementioned couples and as a result I didn't feel Invested nor did I care. It was an uneven read, often slow moving and in all fairness, maybe one needs to read the two preceding novels (Brightness Falls and The Good Life).... but that's not going to happen.

Nutshell by Ian McEwan is my next read and it looks like it's going to be smart, funny and oh do I love his prose!!!!! Stay tuned.

Here's some new releases for October....
THE WANGS VS. THE WORLD by Jade Chang(Fiction)
Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he’s just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral lands --- and his pride.

I'm posting the following book for football fans, since it's the season and a timely topic! Let me know if it lives up to the hype.. I won't be reading it....

BELICHICK & BRADY: Two Men, the Patriots, and How They Revolutionized Football by Michael Holley (Sports)
Featuring interviews from New England Patriots players and coaches, Michael Holley presents a fascinating portrait of the partnership between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Chockful of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, this is required reading for any Patriots fan and students of the game of football.

Thankyou for your reviews.


Room by Emma Donoghue was a fabulous read. Even the movie was excellent! Now Emma Donoghue has a new novel, titled The Wonder and some critics are calling it 'a masterpiece'...It's at the top of my list.

Ian McEwan is known as one of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945. His awards are too numerous to mention and I'm a huge fan and devotee. Nutshell, his latest novel sounds like a weird little novel but surprise there. I can't wait to read this book narrated by a fetus!! You heard me, a fetus....let the weirdness begin!

The Wonder
Release Date: September 20

In Emma Donoghue's latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months.   

NUTSHELL by Ian McEwan (Psychological Thriller)
Trudy has betrayed her husband, John; she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb.


I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the two books listed below. I'm a fan of both authors and according to and other sources, I won't be disappointed. I hate to see Summer winding down but the consolation is many great Fall reads to anticipate....

Release Date: September 13
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion ...more

The Wonder

Also debuting ....See earlier post.


Amor Towles is one of my favorite authors. His last book RULES OF CIVILITY was a great read and I've been anxiously awaiting his latest release. I've pre-ordered and hope it lives up to its predecessor!

RULES OF CIVILITY was published by Viking/Penguin in July 2011 and reached the bestseller lists of The New York Times, the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times. The book was rated by The Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best works of fiction in 2011.

Viking/Penguin will be publishing Towles’s new novel, A Gentleman in Moscowon September 6, 2016.
Below read a summary from

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles (Historical Fiction)
When, in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

The following books will be released in September and are highly recommended by critics and readers. There's something for everyone incuding some humerous essays by Dave surprise there!

HERE I AM by Jonathan Safran Foer (Fiction)
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., HERE I AM is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As they are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East.

APPRENTICE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb (Thriller)
The shots came quickly, silently and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice-skating rink. The victims were a talented young skater, a doctor and a teacher. Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this.

BEST. STATE. EVER.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland by Dave Barry(Humor/Essays)
Join loyal Floridian Dave Barry as he celebrates Florida from Key West at the bottom to whatever it is that’s at the top, from the Sunshine State’s earliest history to the fun-fair of weirdness that it is today.


Whether you choose to spend these final days of summer sprawled out by the pool or lounging out on the porch, you'll need a good book by your side. Luckily, there are still plenty of fiction releases....Below are two new releases by well known authors. Some blog readers recommended these books along with the editors of Be sure to let me know what you are reading so I can pass it on to other blog readers. The best recommendations are from you!

Heroes of the Frontier

Heroes of the Frontier
By Dave Eggers
 Eggers traces the contemporary journey of a 30-something Ohio dentist, Josie, who sets off for Alaska with her two young children when her life and practice fall apart. This unlikely road trip delivers just what readers have come to expect from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author—fresh insights, imaginative writing and unforgettable characters.

American Heiress cover

American Heiress
By Jeffrey Toobin
We can only imagine what today's 24-hour news cycle would do with a case like the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst. The teenage daughter of a billionaire media magnate—snatched out of her apartment by almost comically inept revolutionaries—would switch sides and take up arms with her tormentors before the whole sordid saga ended. CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin, who was surprised to learn that little had been written about Hearst in recent years, gathers all the evidence in this fascinating chronicle of what really happened behind the scenes.


I finally found two books that I thoroughly enjoyed. A friend recommended the first, A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman, a Swedish blogger turned author.

Ove is a curmudgeon - he has strong principles, strict routines and a really short fuse...Behind the cranky exterior is a story and a sadness...and a character you won't forget. Perfect writing and extraordinary characters...

VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler is my other recommdation. It's a screwball comedy of manners ...a contemporary retelling of the Taming of the Shrew.  It has all the requisite Tyler trademarks including flawed characters, and fabulous prose. ( See a letter from Anne Tyler in an earlier post)


I love both these authors...and as much as I admire author Annie Proulx, do I really want to read about the destruction of forests? The Shipping News was one of my favorites...not sure if I'm attempting this new one.

Delia Ephron is a bestselling American author, screenwriter, and playwright. In Siracusa she takes a skeptical look at the institution of marriage. What could be bad about that?! It's on my TBR list.

Siracusa cover

Vacationing in a sun-drenched Sicilian village may sound idyllic, but in the hands of screenwriter and novelist Ephron, this trip is anything but. Two wealthy American couples, with a 10-year-old daughter in tow, have secrets to unearth and scores to settle during their stay in Siracusa.
 Ephron expertly builds the layers of suspense as conflict and deception push these fractured families toward a painful epiphany.

Barkskins cover

The first novel in more than a decade from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Shipping News is a cause for celebration among literary fiction fans. This epic novel (Proulx’s longest by far) holds rich rewards for the reader as it traces the destruction of the world's forests, from late 17th-century Canada to 19th-century New Zealand and beyond. 
Proulx's talents shine brightest in her vividly real and tragically flawed characters, who cling to the misguided belief that the bounty of the forest will endure forever.


Below are some notable books releasing the week of July 5th....
Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend.

Suggestions from

BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye (Biography)
Robert F. Kennedy is remembered as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But his liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s, as Larry Tye illustrates in his portrait of Kennedy.

BUSH by Jean Edward Smith (Biography)
George W. Bush almost singlehandedly decided to invade Iraq, taking personal control of foreign policy, as Jean Edward Smith demonstrates in this comprehensive evaluation of the Bush presidency that will surely surprise many readers.

JONATHAN UNLEASHED by Meg Rosoff (Humor/Romance)
Could a border collie and a cocker spaniel hold the key to life? That’s the question Jonathan Trefoil poses to himself when his brother asks him to look after his dogs, and his confusing, chaotic life and world view begin to shift.

JULIAN FELLOWES’S BELGRAVIA by Julian Fellowes (Historical Fiction)
Set in the 1840s but opening at the Duchess of Richmond’s now-legendary ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, JULIAN FELLOWES’S BELGRAVIA is the story of a secret --- and how one family’s life will change forever.


My favorite author has a new book...She said she was 'done with writing' but then came VINEGAR GIRL, a look at The taming of the Shrew, her unique take on this classic....And she dropped me a note too.... (See below)

Vinegar Girl

Dear Joyce,

I have to say that I've always been appalled by The Taming of the Shrew.

For one thing, it's laughably misogynistic. But beyond that, it's illogical. A man and woman meet and instantly start quarreling—in the woman's case, so fiercely that you wonder if she has some sort of serious mental problem. But the man, for his own utilitarian reasons, proposes marriage. And she says yes! (What?) Then he arrives late to the wedding, in rags, and insults everyone present. But she goes ahead with the ceremony anyhow, after which he takes her home, where he treats her miserably. As a result (again: what?), she becomes meek and loving, and the final scene shows them at a banquet where her sister scolds her for acting like a doormat, and her answer is that women should be happy to defer to their husbands.

Apparently, even the Elizabethans found this a bit much to take.

Not to mention me.

But you know how it is when someone tells you a story that doesn't add up. She'll say all her friends have turned against her, or her boyfriend has been acting strange, and you'll think, "Hmm. Maybe there's another side to this."

That's what Vinegar Girl is—my attempt to figure out the other side. I hope and trust that it makes more sense than The Taming of the Shrew.

After all, it could hardly make less sense.

Anne Tyler


On Sale June 21st 


Beach reads or not, these books are on my TBR LIST...I hope to get to them eventually as Sunday Times reviews were glowing..if you can believe that....So take a chance...both authors are moderately famous...Leave a comment...

BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Robert Petkoff
On a foggy summer night, 11 people --- 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter --- depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs --- the painter --- and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Jen Tullock
Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch to their own offspring. Now nearing 50, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn. The summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose can never be reclaimed. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.


 I think you'll notice I'm not posting as much...lots of summer distractions!! Reading is still a big part of my life so I'll be blogging, just not as frequently. Be sure to check out Joyce's Choices/Book Blog on Facebook for additional book news and bookish info....

However, I just heard from a blog reader and want to share her recent review on Goodreads...(so much for not posting as much....)

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A novel of shattering poignancy, this story of a family's attempts to heal itself would be unimaginably sad, were it not for the fact that Michael—he who would be saved—has the very best lines. In four or five set pieces, each a tour de force, author Adam Haslett gives Michael the pen, and what follows are wickedly brilliant reports from the front: family interventions; convolutions on white privilege; a personal history of psychotropics; a supposedly disastrous ocean crossing; and a truly horrific historical one. And, from Margaret, the mother, the wife, a simply gorgeous last line.


I always read on my Kindle or IPad ....I haven't picked up a "real" book in years. Summer is coming and I like to have a few current paperbacks available for friends who may visit for a weekend. They can take them home after the weekend if they're midstream....a good way to eliminate a longer stay!! is my "go to" site for what's new in paperback. Check out the new releases.

May's New in Paperback Roundups

May's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes Harper Lee's second novel, GO SET A WATCHMAN, which is set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain, which brings to life Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir OUT OF AFRICA; and DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY, a magnificently powerful story from Bill Clegg about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED, Tom Brokaw's informative and deeply human memoir of a year of dramatic change --- a year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy and lucky life; THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough, the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly; and Bernard Cornwell's first work of nonfiction, WATERLOO, the definitive, illustrated history of one of the greatest battles ever fought --- a riveting chronicle published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s last stand.