Book gems - September 2019

september books rec.jpg

I haven’t read much this year. Not as much as I wanted to, unfortunately, but I’m happy to say that the books I did read stuck with me.

They are truly gems and I want to share them with you. One book in particular that stuck with me is Marian Keyes’ The Woman Who Stole My Life.

It was a big whopper of a book but it didn’t matter at all because it was so good! I was so happy that it was a long book so I could keep reading because the story was so beautifully written.

The woman who stole my life

Another Marian Keyes masterpiece!

It lingered with me for a long time after. I’ve been going back in my mind to that story repeatedly. It is a wonderfully uplifting story. Even though it’s a story about a woman who gets really sick and her family falls apart, and her family is not very nice about her being sick, it’s a really uplifting story. Marian Keyes has a way of taking tough subjects and infusing them with hope and love and inspiration. She has a great talent for painting life and the people in it as realistic but not bleak.

I really love that book but how could I not, I mean it’s a Marian Keyes book!

The protagonist, Stella, gets hospitalized. But actually, it’s the best thing that could ever have happened to her because she meets the love of her life or the second love of her life, perhaps. And even though I love that the ending had a realistic twist on it, it was a happy ever after ending. It made the story even more fantastic, not being too sugary and unrealistic.

It’s not a book that you can only read in summer, none of the books on this list are, but I’m so glad I spend my summer reading that particular book. There’s nothing like a big book to dive into, to make you unwind and relax and I needed that, this summer.


Stories of island life

Other books that I read that I’m recommending are Nancy Thayer’s Secrets in Summer and Heat Wave, which I’m currently finishing. I must admit that I found these two accidentally at the library and took them home with me as they were right up my research alley for the series I’m drafting right now. 

I’ve been reading books that take place on Nantucket and other islands as inspiration for my own novels that will take place on a fictitious Island called Hope Island.

Secrets in summer

transports you to Nantucket

These two books by Nancy Thayer are set in summer and are lovely stories of women navigating through life, love and family dramas.

Secrets In Summer was kind of a slow starter, but it grew on me and then I couldn’t put it down and I was sad it ended as I wanted more. I love when I get caught up in a book and can’t wait to dive back into that world. It really means that the author has painted a picture of characters and places that seem as real as real life. I almost feel like I’ve been to Nantucket now.


Reading in the garden…

Me and my trusted reading partner who loves when i pull out the blanket for us to sit on the grass, Bersi (seen here enjoying a chewy stick)


I also found this funny little gem, from the fifties at the library, Innside Nantucket by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. 

It’s a collection of stories from a real couple who moved to Nantucket, to start a bed-and-breakfast.


Innside Nantucket

found this book from the fifties at the library

Unfortunately, I had to return it to the library before finishing it. It was kind of fun to get the stories about Island life in another time, in another era. Tales of the island’s history with cannibalism (whoa! Glad not to have been a seaman in those days!) and the equally fun and hard life as an innkeeper. I will reserve it again to read the rest, for sure. I don’t know where it’s available as it’s a really old book, but maybe try the library if you find it appealing.


All you need is shade and a blanket…

Bersi loves it when I come outside to read :-)

 Non-fiction recommendation

The last book I’ll recommend is a nonfiction book. Kate Northrup’s book Do Less is here to stay on my shelf. I’m not a mother to anyone else than a lovely furry Icelandic Sheepdog. But I feel like every woman can use this book, mother or not. It’s about doing less of the things that stress you and drain you and don’t really serve you and about optimizing and doing the things that actually give your life energy and value. It’s done in a way where you tap into your own natural energy cycle and work with your biology and work with your own energy instead of against it.


Do Less

I just love everything about this book!

The old way of doing time management and getting things done is rigid and like a game where you try to fit into a box instead of making the box fit you. Sometimes it’s like trying to squeeze a round peg into a square hole, the human being the round peg and the time management system the square hole. But Kate’s way of managing energy instead of time is much more fluid and molds the management system around you, so it becomes the same shape as you, metaphorically. I love this book so much and recommend it to everyone. I used to be a member of her Origin membership site and I definitely recommend that to everyone.

Especially if you are a woman who wants to pave your own way as an author or an entrepreneur of any kind.


So there you have it, my book recommendations for now. I didn’t do much reading this summer, and I didn’t do much writing. I had a summer full of health issues, deaths in the family, and just the need to take out time and be still, and not do so much. Not even reading, but I’m definitely coming back to it this fall. I can’t wait to dive into my shelf of books with new gems. They’re just waiting for me to get stuck into them with a nice cup of tea and hiding under a blanket. I hope you have a wonderful month with lots of opportunities for reading great books.


Talk to you soon,

Anja Carolina