Let's Talk about Books

A New Reading Challenge for 2023

A fresh new year of reading goals are underway! I’m so excited for many books coming out this year and eager to make a dent in my every growing TBR book shelf. What started out as a few books has basically grown to take up an entire shelf. So many books, so little time!! So how to get to those books that have been sitting on the to be read shelf a little bit longer than they should. Well, I’m so glad that you asked…a reading challenge of course. While scrolling Instagram in late December I stumbled upon a suggestion to read a book title for every letter of the alphabet. I love a good challenge. That and I would love to clear out some of the books that had been sitting around longer than they should. This challenge will get me to read the books I might have been ignoring for new ones that have be released. Don’t worry, I’m still going to read plenty of new releases, but I’m going to try to read a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet along the way.

For the last two years I’ve struggled with the best way to share thoughts on the books that I have read. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give more in depth reviews, do a post each month with what I had read, then put it into a longer post for year. So here we are, I’m going to organize my books read alphabetically. I don’t think time is going to allow for more in depth reviews. But we shall see. Click on the letter below to be taken to that letter of the alphabet to see what book(s) I have read. Will you join me in trying to read a book for each letter of the alphabet?? You can also follow me over on Goodreads to see what is on my growing TBR list! Happy Reading!

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

28 Summers, by Elin Hilderbrand (June 15-June 17)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter A

All the Dangerous Things, Stacy Willingham (January 2- January 7)

A mystery, thriller gem from Stacy Willingham. She kept me on my toes with all of the different sub plots. Everything was woven together beautifully and tied up with a bow a the end. A great read!! Four ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Apples Never Fall, by Liane Moriarty (May 23-May 29)

Apples Never Fall was on my TBR list for well over a year. There were so many layers in this book. Family. Expectations. Giving up one’s dream. Family first. it’s a long read, but worth it. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A Little Ray of Sunshine, by Kristan Higgins (September 13-September 20)

This was my first book by higgins and definitely will not be my last. Think family secret, adoption, unrequited love and thinking the best of people. So much of life on the pages of this book. highly recommend. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

The Assignment, by Liza Wiemer (November 7-November 8)

I had the pleasure of meeting wiemer and discussing this book as part of book club at school. An important read not only on the topic of ANTISEMITISM, but also injustice. The importance in being vocal and speaking out about injustice. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter B

By a Thread, Lucy Score (March 16-March 19)

I dusted off my Kindle recently for a trip. And I took advantage of Kindle Unlimited to get this gem by Lucy Score. She has quickly become a favorite author. While her language is colorful and there are more than a few bedroom scenes in her books, i enjoy how she takes seemingly real people, like Ally and brings them to life. Thrown into the romance and managing life was the fact that Ally’s dad was suffering from dementia. Again, anyone who can make 500 plus pages fly by must be doing something right!! 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Bad Girl Reputation, by Elle Kennedy (August 21-August 26)

Back to reading on my kindle- taking advantage of the libby app and kindle unlimited. Again- this was good- not great, but kept me hooked enough to anticipate book three in the series. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Breakaway, by Jennifer Weiner (October 1-October 6)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Burnout, by Sophie Kinsella (November 16-November 19)

As you would imagine this is a book about a woman is completely burnt out! Amazing things can happen when two burnt out people connect at a RAMSHACKLE resort on the british seaside. taking a break to REEVALUATE life in a romantic comedy. great read. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Bright Lights, Big Christmas, by Mary Kay Andrews (November 25-November 25)

Andrews does it again. I’m a sucker for a holiday romantic comedy and this was another home run. I laughed and i cried and fell in love with the characters. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter C

Camp Zero, Michelle Min Sterling (April 10-April 16)

This was well outside my normal reads. It was also the April Read with Jenna selection. The best thing I can say about this book is i’m done reading it. 2 ⭐️ ⭐️

The Celebrants, by Steven Rowley (May 30-June 7)

A book about friendship, a pact, knowing who your people are and knowing you are loved. Also a read with Jenna selection. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Cassandra in Reverse, by Holly Smale (August 3-August 6)

I had high hopes for this book. It was Reese’s Book club Pick for June. I must admit, I thought it fell flat. it was redundant and UNNECESSARILY complicated. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle (July 3-August 14)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter D

The Dead Romantics, by Ashley Poston (August 9-August 14)

I laughed. I cried. I’m attached to florence and ben. Another do yourself a favor and read this book! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter E

Evidence of the Affair, Taylor Jenkins Reid (February 27-February 28)

As a huge fan of TJR it was time to read this story, a collection of letters between a wife who learns that her husband is cheating and the husband of the cheating wife. Another Amazing work by Reid, with a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming!! Do yourself a favor and read Evidence of the Affair. 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter F

Forever Never, by Lucy Score (May 10-May 17)

3 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Finlay Donovan is Killing It, Elle Coimano (February 7-February 12)

This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a very long time. It is book one of a three part series. The third book came out in the beginning of february. I love a good series and decided it was time to finally read this mystery. I really struggled with how I felt about this book as i was reading it. Finaly donovan has been getting great reviews, but i found the first half of the book slow and the best way to describe how i felt when i was reading is stressed. i plowed through more to just get it done than because i really cared about the outcome. while tempted to give the other books in the series a try- i’m more inclined to keep working through my tbr first. Three ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Five Star Weekend, by Elin Hilderbrand (June 19-June 24)

If you were going to invite five friends from a different stage in your life for a weekend together- who would you include? The Five Star Weekend is about just that…and some twists, turns and drama along the way. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni (July 24-July 25)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter G

Good Girl Complex, by Elle Kennedy (August 19-August 20)

This is the first book in the Avalon series by kennedy. I wouldn’t say I loved it- but i definitely enjoyed it enough and felt invested enough in the characters to read all three books. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Good Bad Girl, by Alice Feeney (October 27-November 1)

Buckle up this thriller will keep you on your toes. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter H

Happy Place, by Emily Henry (May 7-May 10)

I love Emily Henry’s books! Happy Place, is no exception. This was an easy and enjoyable read. I was invested in the characters and eager to find out what happens. I also enjoyed the Theme of doing what makes you happy. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Half Moon, by Mary Beth Keane (June 8-June 11)

This was my first book by Keane. I’m thankful to Book of the month for introducing me to new to me authors. A quick and enjoyable read with great character development. loss, love, infertility- Keane covered it all. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Hello Stranger, by Katherine Center (July 16-July 18)

Hello Stranger is a fun, quick read that will make you feel good and quite honestly return your faith in humanity! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter I

I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy (February 28-March 8)

When I was in NY in January I felt like this book was everywhere! So I picked up a copy at Strand Bookstore. When I finally had a chance to read it, I had to remove the book jacket since the boys kept asking why anyone would be glad their mom died. My response- it’s complicated. Jennette McCurdy masterfully shared about her complicated relationship with her mother and her body. Definitely different from my normal reads, but I found her book insightful and thought provoking. 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter J

Just My Type, by Falon Ballard (November 23-November 24)

Old flames reunite in the journalism world. one must look deep and EVALUATE there ability to function without being in a relationship, while the other must stop being a bachelor. Through a competition into the mix. a fun read, with well developed characters. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter K

Kiss Her Once for Me, by Alison Cochrun (November 19-November 22)

Another that had been on my TBR pile for quite some time. A delightful rom com with a twist. a combination of loveable, yet flawed characters will have you eager to keep reading. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter L

Love and Other Words, Christina Lauren (February 13-February 15)

I was invested in the characters of Love and Other Words from the first few pages of reading. unlike my last book that made me feel stressed while i was reading, i found myself smiling was i was reading this book! I’m sad the book is over. It was a quick and fun read With an unexpected twist. A Five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The London Seance Society, by Sarah Penner (March 19-March 26)

Mystery, murder, intrigue, Seances and love. lots packed into this gem of a book set in 1800s london. This was not my TRADITIONAL pick, but i loved it. 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Lonely Hearts Book Club, by Lucy Gilmore (October 13-October 21)

I LOVED this book! A librarian, a curmudgeon, life, death, love. All the things are on the pages of this absolute gem! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Lease on Love, by Falon Ballard (December 21-December 26)

Read one book by a new author that I love then I find their other books. After I read Just my Type moved Lease on love up on my TBR. Somewhat predictable mixed with twists and turns.⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter M

Maame, Jessica George (February 19-February 26)

This was another REad with Jenna pick and as a bonus it was also Book of the month. While fiction, this definitely read more like a memoir. I love stepping out of my normal genres and trying something news. A coming of age story that also explores grief, love and life. Give Maame a try if you are looking for a debut author and a book that will get you thinking!

My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Christina Lauren (February 26-February 27)

Christina Lauren is one of my go to authors when I am looking for a fun, light read that I can finish in one to two days. I stayed up way to late finishing My Favorite Half-Night Stand. I just needed a resolution for Millie and Reid.

Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hoover (April 16-April 19), Maybe Not, by Colleen Hoover (April 20-April 20), Maybe Now, by Colleen Hoover (April 20-April 23)

None of these books were life changing, however they were fun and quick reads with enjoyable characters and I would highly recommend reading them. Overall 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Meet Me at the Lake, by Carley Fortune (May 1-May 6)

This is another hit by Fortune. All the feels with this book and a quick read. highly recommend.⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Mad Honey, by Jodi Piccoult (July 20-July 24)

Powerful, Riveting, thought provoking. A dynamic book. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

The Many Lives of Mama Love: A memoir of Lying, Stealing, Writing and Healing, by Lara Love Hardin (August 30-September 1)

I tried to read one or two memoirs a year. Given my criminal justice background Hardin’s book attracted my interest. Major take aways are that we shouldn’t judge someone when they are at their worst. people can change for the better. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter N

Nora Goes Off Script, by Annabel Monaghan (August 7-August 8)

Reading Annabel Monaghan feels like catching up with an old friend. I laughed, I cried. I highly recommend this quick and enjoyable read.⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

None of This is True, by Lisa Jewell (September 2-September 3)

This was a gem of a thriller from jewell. jewell has you guessing until the end. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter O

One Fire Island, by Jane Rosen (June 13-June 15)

I laughed. I cried. I channeled my childhood visits to Fire Island. Hands down a must read. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

The Only One Left, by Riley Sager (October 21-October 27)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter P

Pineapple Street, by Jenny Jackson (March 26-March 31)

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting with this book. it is a book about the 1% and their trials and tribulations with rhe rest of the world. It was a quick and light read, but not overly thought provoking. 3.5 stars rounded up to ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Pack Up the Moon, by Kristan Higgins (November 5-November 11)

This book left me initially speechless. imagine you know that you are going to die and your write a letter to your spouse for every month after you are gone. a truly touching story about love, grief and moving on after loss. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter Q

The Queen’s Gambit, by Walter Tevis (December 26-December 30)

I was in search of a book that began with the letter Q to complete my 2023 reading challenge. the queen’s gambit came up more than once as a suggestion. i wasn’t sure i was going to like it. surprisingly i loved it. i enjoyed the development of the characters and even the exploration of the game of chess. a surprising win. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter R

The Reunion, Kayla Olson (January 22-January 30)

A popular show, think Dawson’s Creek has a reunion fourteen years after the last episode. A light, fun read yet with some emphasis on making hard life choices weher it relates to love and career. While this book started a little slow, the second half really picked up and I couldn’t put it down. A solid 3.5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ rounded to four ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Romantic Comedy, by Curtis Sittenfeld (April 24-April 30)

This took me a little bit to get into. Might have been that I was just overtired when I was trying to read. Ultimately, I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t your typical romantic comedy as there were some twists and turns along the way. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Resurrection Walk, by Michael Connelly (December 16-December 18)

Connelly is one of my must read authors. i especially love the Bosch/haller books. This was another winner as the dynamic duo work to uncover those who have been wrongly convicted. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter S

Sam, Allegra Goodman (January 20-January 21)

Sam, was the read with Jenna pick for the month of January. I was intrigued by the plot and since i’m trying to read new authors i was happy for the suggestion. I couldn’t put this book down. Allegra Goodman pulled me into the book and into the lives of the characters. The characters were so real that I was eager to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. A coming of age story for Sam with many twists and turns. I highly recommend Sam! Five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Same Time Next Summer, by Annabel Monaghan (June 12-June 13)

This was the perfect beach read. I loved this book from beginning to end. The fact that it takes place on Long Island was an added bonus. Love, lost love, finding yourself and doing what brings you joy. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Sixth Wedding, by Elin Hilderbrand (June 18-June 18)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Simply Lies, by David Baldacci (July 8-July 15)

This was a 400 plus page book that kept me on my toes. I almost felt like I needed a score card to keep everyone straight. Hoping this is a new series from Baldacci!!⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Someone Else’s Shoes, by Jodi Moyes (July 25-July 30)

This sat on my TBR shelf for quite a while, depite buying it as soon as it came out. It was good, not great. I am glad I read it- but honestly it was long and over 400 pages. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Summer Girl, by Elle Kennedy (September 20-October 1)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter T

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin (March 31-April 4)

I must admit that I held off on reading this book because of the gaming component. Ultimately it was one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a very long time. I was drawn to the characters. While the undercurrent of the book is about gaming; it is really a book about life. The people who come into our lives for a specific purpose. A very thought provoking read. 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Things We Never Got Over, Lucy Score (February 16-February 18)

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been holding onto this book. Again, the sequel is coming out in a few days so I knew it was time to finally read it. Oh my! How have I not read any of Lucy Score’s books before?? Although this book is nearly 600 pages I finished in just two days. I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up way too late to finish and was not disappointed. I’m sad I need to wait a few days for the next book in the series. Highly recommend this book if you aren’t afraid by some colorful language. a 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ read for me!

Things We Hide from the Light, Lucy Score (March 10-March 16)

I have very quickly become a lucy score fan!! Reading three of her books in just over a month. Not going to like there’s quite a bit of foul language and some graphic sex scenes but I truly love the way she develops her characters. I absolutely love Nash, Knox, Naomi, Lina and the gang of Knockemout, Virginia. Now I must anxiously await the thrird book in the series that comes out in September. Only Lucy Score could make 500 plus pages fly by! 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The True Love Experiment, by Christina Lauren (May 19-May 23)

Christina Lauren books are my go to when I want a quick and fun read. i was eager to keep reading The True Love Experiment to find out what happens to Connor and fizzy. There was some predictability, but still a great book. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Things We Left Behind, by Lucy Score (September 6-September 11)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Things You Save in a Fire, by Katherine Center (December 2-December 4)

After discovering katherine center i’m going back and reading some of her earlier books. her character development is great. i’m always eager to find out what is going to happen to the characters. there are usually tears, smiles and laughs along the way. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Troubles in Paradise, by Elin Hilderbrand (December 19-December 20)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter U

The Unsinkable Greta James, by Jennifer E. Smith (December 5-December 10)

after the loss of her mother Greta james finds herself on what would have been her parents anniversary alaska cruise with her father, with whom she has a strained relationship. an examination of grief, love, life choices and family. maybe i enjoyed this more than others becasue we cruise annual, but this was a winner for me. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter V

(The) Villa, Rachel Hawkins (January 15-January 18)

rachel hawkins has become one of my must read authors. i pre-ordered The Villa and I couldn’t wait to read it. I must be honest, I was underwhelmed. I had high expectations after reading Reckless Girls and her witchy romance books that she writes under a pen name. While The Villa was good, it felt rushed at the end as though Hawkins was in a hurry for it to be over. I did however enjoy the multiple perspectives and the back and forth from the 70s to the present day. So all in all a Good, not a great read. Three ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter W

Winter Stroll, Elin Hilderbrand (January 1-January 2)

Book 2 of the winter series. Winter Stroll offered so many emotions and left me eager for the next book. I’m so happy that I was late to the party so to speak on this series so that I could read them one after the other. SEt in Nantucket, like many of Hilderbrand’s other books I’ve added nantucket to our summer vacation list! I can’t wait to see what will happen next for the Quinn family. Five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Winter Storms, Elin Hilderbrand (January 8 – January 11)

Book 3 in the Winter Series: In Winter Storms, it’s clear that Hilderbrand is setting us up for a more series final book. While the quinns are trying to hold everything together you know more is about to come. Signs of a good series that you are eager to read the next book. Four ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Winter Solstice, Elin Hilderbrand (January 11- January 14)

Book 4 in the Winter Series: I was bracing myself for the series to come to an end and knew for certain I would shed tears. Hilderbrand did not disappoint with the final book in the winter series. My only disappointment is that the series is over and I will miss the Quinn family! Four ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

What Lies in the Woods, Kate Alice Marshall (January 31-February 6)

I haven’t read a truly unnerving thriller in quite a while. What lies in the Woods was intense to say the very least. Often I have a pretty good sense of the “who did it” as I am reading. I must admit, this one kept me on my toes, never quite sure who was friend and who was foe. Five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Wishing Game, by Meg Shaffer (July 2-July 8)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Winter in Paradise, by Elin Hilderbrand (November 11-November 16)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

What Happens in Paradise, Elin Hilderbrand (November 25-December 2)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A Winter in New York, by Josie Silver (December 20-December 21)

Last year, I read my first book by josie silver and she became a must read author. i love ny and what could be better than a winter in NY. an examination of family dynamics, love, lost love and so much more. you won’t be disappointed in this book.⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Books that begin with the letter X

XOXO, Cody: An Opinionated Homosexual’s Guide to Self Love, by Cody Rigsby (December 10-December 16)

a book of cody-isms. This was completely what i expected- a fun read with cody’s personality shining through. i enjoyed learning more of his back story along the way. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter Y

Yours Truly, Abby Jimenez (April 7-April 9)

As with Jimenez’s other books I just couldn’t put this book down. The characters felt real and had real life “stuff” happen to them. Jimemez tackls a lot of real life issues in an easy read. 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Books that begin with the letter Z

Zero Days, by Ruth Ware (June 24-July 2)

This was my first by Ware and won’t be my last. Jack is on the run as the primary suspect in her husband’s murder. She’s desperate to prove her innocence while finding the true killer. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️