Mrs. Twist Reads This: Best Day Ever

Our bookclub is coming up the week after Thanksgiving and I wanted to share what we’re reading this month, and if you have time during the holiday, some ideas on other books to read over the week.

In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.

Want to join in and read it with us?  Join the Mrs. Twist Reads This book club through BookMovement. It’s free and even if you don’t live local to our monthly meetings, you can still join our club!  It’s a great way to create accountability to spend more time reading and less time using technology.

Here’s a fun link I found for “Eleven Books You Can Read Over Thanksgiving.”  I hope to maybe checkout one or two of these books after I’ve finished all my cooking.

The Saturday Breeze: Week of July 24

This week…I found a new dip recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, and hosted our July Mrs. Twist Reads This book club. July’s book was Camino Island by John Grisham.  In keeping with the seaside theme in which the book takes place…we enjoyed everyone’s favorite cookie — Milano’s in Key Lime and Sea Salt Caramel.  Who can resist the little ruffled paper trays they come in?

And this Herb Dip from Ina Garten.  It’s from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home.

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Pulse in a food processor and serve at room temperature.  I served it with cucumber spears and parmesan garlic pretzel chips.

After we reviewed Camino Island, everyone got to vote on the book for August.  I covered the books with brown craft paper and marked each one A. or B. Without revealing the title, I read the description of each and the majority won.

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvin.  “They say life can change in an instant… After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.”

Want to read along with us?  You can sign up here for free through BookMovement — a terrific site that helps connect people across the world to a community who love to read.  Even if you can’t join us, we can be the motivation to help you read more and disconnect from technology. At least that was my reason for forming our book club and so far I’ve read three books this summer.  Once you sign up you can find out what book we will be reading, when we will meet, see possible selections for the future, and receive email reminders.

Have a super Saturday!

Mrs. Twist Reads This Summer Book Club: The Book of Polly

We finished Into the Water by Paula Hawkins as our May book selection. It was so interesting to hear everyone’s opinions on the characters and the ending (which if you have not read it, stick with it until the very last page!).

We are switching gears entirely to The Book of Polly by Kathy Hipenstall. I knew this was the book for me the first page in when she pleads with her mother “Please don’t take the falcon to the parent/teacher conference!”

Here’s the description:

Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to chase varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors—and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she’s here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow’s father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It’s just her and bigger-than-life Polly. 

Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly’s life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?

The Book of Polly has a great blend of humor and sadness, pathos and hilarity. This is a bittersweet novel about the grip of love in a truly quirky family and you’ll come to know one of the most unforgettable mother-daughter duos you’ve ever met.

Want to follow along and read it with us?  Visit our Mrs. Twist Reads This bookclub page on BookMovement and sign up for a free membership.  You can see what books are coming up as possible selections for the summer, when our club meetings will be held to RSVP, and post discussion questions, review and comments.  This site is how I also send you emails of our upcoming meetings.  You can invite friends to join our group, too. Don’t worry if you are not local, you can read along with us regardless of where you live in the world.

I have already enjoyed the first few chapters (so has Hazel). It’s the perfect light, pool-side read. As I shared with our members on Wednesday, I want to be a reader, but I allow technology to keep me from setting aside the undisturbed time to read.  Once, I’m into a book I really enjoy it. Being in a book club helps me stay accountable and I have appreciated that.  Plus, I get to spend time with my friends — old and new!

Happy reading!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Summer BookClub

Every summer, my mother would have me write down my “Summer Bucket List” — a list of things I wanted to do that, to me, screamed summer.  Among things like go to the pool, travel to Red River, New Mexico, and Galveston beach, checking out books at the library was always on the list.  I love the smell of libraries and how quiet they are.

Summer is the perfect time to pick out those “beach reads” — you know the book you just can’t put down?  Years ago, for me, that was the DaVinci Code.  I took it with me when we traveled to England to visit Mr. Bee’s family. I couldn’t put it down.  It was the perfect airplane read.

Today, announces the release of Into the Water the newest book from New York Times best selling author Paula Hawkins  From the same author that brought us The Girl on the Train, Ms. Hawkins returns with more psycho-fun!

Here’s the description:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
 
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Order your copy today, read it along with me during the month of May, and then join me for a “Books and Bites” party on May 31, at 7 p.m. (location details to come). You can sign up to read it along with me through BookMovement here. All you have to do is set up a free account on their site and it will take you directly to our club page.  If you sign up and join me for the party in May, I’ll have a special book tote as your party favor!

I’ll be posting discussion questions along the way both on the blog and on our Mrs. Twist Reads This bookclub site at BookMovement, a cool source I stumbled upon. Founded by Pauline Hubert, when she was just 25 years old, so that book clubs could have an online curated recommendation network. 43,000 book clubs have joined their site since their launch in 2004.  It has fun features like discussion boards, 20,000 reading guides, top book club recommendations, a direct link to Amazon for ordering new books, email reminders of our upcoming gatherings, and it allows me to put books in my queue for the future.

And, don’t worry if you miss this month’s book — I’ll be offering a new book every month from May through August.  Even if you are not local, I would love to have you be a part of our club!