3 Page-turners to Kick-Off-Summer 2014

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Today’s gift:  3 un-put-down-able books to kick-off summer.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer.  This year, I started my summer reading binge early with several books you will LOVE.

All three titles are vastly different but they have one shared characteristic — you will not be able to put these books down.

So whether you will be on a hammock, deck, boat, or rooftop terrace this weekend, toss one of these fabulous reads (or download all three on your kindle) and start your summer on the right page!

TEMPTING FATE by Jane Green (St. Martin’s Press)

Jane Green is the author of 14 (!) New York Times bestsellers.  Her books tell stories about real women and real life.  TEMPTING FATE is provocative, exciting, and the first book the author has set in her hometown of Westport, CT.  As a Fairfield (CT) native, I loved visiting the familiar spots via the pages of this colorful and sexy read.  You will too.

THE ACCIDENT by Chris Pavone (Crown)

Another New York Times bestseller, THE ACCIDENT grabs you from page one.  Stephen King says, “If you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year.” And Michael Connelly raves “Chris Pavone is the new best thing.”  Trust these two authors and all the others that are singing the praises of Pavone.  Set in the delicious world of NYC book publishing, the plot is at times surprising, explosive, and adrenalin inducing.  You will stay up late for this one!

YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Grand Central Publishing)

Fans of GONE GIRL will devour Jean Hanff Korelitz’s new novel.   The book is a thrilling thriller with a book-within-a-book literary device that will blow your mind (in the best way possible).  The reviews have been glowing — for the story, the writing, and the genius behind this elegant twisting tale.   You’ll think about the title long after you’ve closed the book.

Pack your bags and buy/borrow/order your books today for the long weekend and kick of my favorite season of books with 1, 2, or all 3 of my top picks!

Order links:




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PS:  I’m not the book publicist for any of these books.   Full disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of each title from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

You Can Do It, M

Monday, January 31st, 2011

I devoted some of this past weekend to cleaning my office: organizing work, home, and family files and materials.  Fans of My So-Called Sensory Life already know how much I adore Clutter Guru Peter Walsh (Read my Mr. Clean Post here) and after a marathon of his new OWN show, I was energized and ready to conquer the clutter.

I’m proud to say that I cleaned and cleared away most of my unnecessary files and dumped loads of dated paperwork.

I’m also thrilled to report I stumbled on a few treasures.

One of the treasures is today’s gift:  one of M’s favorite books You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest.

It seems like just yesterday I read this book to him over and over while he lay in his crib eyes riveted to the book.  My husband and I read this Sam book (and another one called Kiss Good Night) so many times that we could recite the lines anytime, anywhere.  Like magic words, they calmed M (and J) and became our nighttime lullaby.

My other memory is the very vivid one about M’s early attachment to books.  From the moment he could hold a book, M has loved every part of them.  Books offered a calming object to his sensitive nervous system and a favorite object to touch and hold.  Books were an early obsession for M.  This seemed great until he decided to explore the books by tearing the covers off, then pulling the pages out, and finally making piles of paper to roll around in and use as a non-book activity.  The first time I saw the ripped pages of a favorite book, I felt physical pain.   After that day, I listened intently every time M was alone with a book so that I could hear the second he started to tear a page.  We lost many beloved characters during M’s tearing phase, but happily he grew out of it and his book obsession eventually lead to his early reading prowess.

I’ll never forget Sam or Mama Bear — they were a real part of our early journey with M and J and Sensory Processing Disorder.  And now I have a new memory about the book:  when I showed it to M tonight, he held it with love, kindness and the gentle touch reserved for a beloved object. Deep down, I always knew M (and Sam) could do it.

Bookends: Finite Disappointment and Infinite Hope

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Here is how I envisioned today’s  post:  a funny entry about my absolutely wonderful reading experience in M’s class this afternoon for his school’s “Drop Everything & Read Week.”

Well, you remember my first post:  “You can’t always get what you want?”…

At 12:19pm today, armed with the books my twins selected after breakfast  for my guest readings today, I drove to school. I was more nervous than a first- time author appearing on Oprah.  First graders can be a tough audience.

Time:  12:21 p.m.

First stop: J’s class.

Book:  Tell Me A Scary Story…but Not Too Scary! by Carl Reiner (one of her fav’s)

Scene:  Happy, silly first graders surround me as I enter the classroom.  They quickly sit on the floor. I’m stuffed in a rocking chair with J sitting cozily on my lap.  We read and turn book pages together.  J is in heaven:  the class loves the story and the guest reader (me).  I receive a standing ovation.

One down, one to go…

Time: 12:40pm

Second Stop: M’s Class

Book:  This is New York by Miroslav Sasek (selected by M because of the cool vehicles)

Scene:  I peek into the classroom — the Teacher is finishing a math lesson. M sees me.  He immediately says “NO” very loudly.  The teacher comes to the door, we chat and he invites M into the hallway.  Before joining us, M decides to make a small scene, so now I’m sweating and feeling a little dizzy, not to mention there is a growing lump in my throat because I know where this is going.

I kneel down to M’s eye level. Calmly, I ask him if he wants Mommy to read to the class. He says a firm NO and then the Teacher reconfirms his decision.  M seems ok with his choice.   The Teacher signals for me to leave.  Quietly, I walk away, feeling deeply disappointed that we couldn’t share this experience.

When I get home, I need something to turn my disappointment around.  I find it in the words of  Martin Luther King Jr. ’s beautiful quote,  “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”  I remind myself there will be another opportunity to have a special experience with M and I’m able to move forward with my day.

Hours later, after M serenades the family (Pawpaw Patch), he quietly asks, “Mom, will you read the New York book to me now, since you did not read it in my class today?”

The couch becomes M’s classroom, the coffee table his fidgety friends, and the television his Teacher as we create an imaginary “Drop Everything & Read Week” event right there in our family room.   After we read the last page, M’s bursting with pride and I gratefully accept today’s gift.