• hollyrutchik

OverBOOKed February 2020

Too busy to read? Studies show those who read live longer and are smarter! Carve out some time in your busy schedule for some SHELFcare. We’ve curated a list for those who don’t have time to pick a book!

Not Our Kind By Kitty Zeldis

If you’re in the mood for: Post-war era, character defining inner conflict, “different worlds” relationships, finding tolerance, forbidden love

A rainy street in 1947 New York City is the setting for a serendipitous encounter between Eleanor, a young Jewish woman, and Patricia, a wealthy Protestant mother. Eventually, their need for one another forces the two women (whom the world considers of different “kinds”) to examine themselves and their cultures. They navigate a bridge between their Jewish and Gentile worlds for a common goal: the wellbeing of Patricia’s young daughter, Margaux, as she recovers from polio. Zeldis immerses the reader in post-war New York—with its bustling neighborhoods, specialty shops, high fashion and society luxury. This tale of finding commonality (despite one’s “kind”) is a feel-good novel for any reader willing to examine their own prejudices.


The Last Mrs. Parish

By Liv Constantine

If you’re in the mood for: Characters you love to hate, phycological thriller, deception, twists, scrupulous scheming

Amber Patterson has nothing and wants it all. Down on her luck and of little importance, she sets her target (a wealthy and powerful man). He is her ticket to everything she wants: money, power, status and the life she deserves. Amber’s master plan? Infiltrate his family though his wife, Daphne, by becoming her friend, confidant and pet project. On its way to the final conclusion, this friendship will take many variations the reader won’t see coming.

This thriller from debut author Liv Constantine (the pen name of writing team sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine) had this OverBOOKed mom reading well past bedtime, on my lunch hour and in waiting rooms with an urgency for its next twisty scheme. If you’re a fan of unlikable or unreliable narrators like those of Gone Girl, this is your next read!


Dear Edward By Ann Napolitano

If you’re in the mood for: Warm and fuzzies (I promise!), perseverance, fate, life-affirming prose, moving on

Dear Edward invites the reader into the inner-workings and thoughts of travelers all flying to Los Angeles on the same plane, but on different life journeys. Twelve-year-old Edward Adler will be the sole survivor of this ill-fated flight. In this novel, author Ann Napolitano spins a tale of the burden and responsibility of survival. Readers need not shy away from the sad subject matter of this instant bestseller. As Edward grapples with finding himself after losing everything in the sky that day, the perspective of an adolescent boy unveils a roadmap to what can be found when one has absolutely nothing to lose. Uplifting and challenging, Dear Edward leaves readers searching for their own ways to move out of survival and into forward development.


Such a Fun Age By Kiley Reid

If you’re in the mood for: Race relations, good intentions, flawed characters, transactional relationships. Coming of age – for adults Debut author Kiley Reid offers readers a fresh approach on the conversation of privilege and race in Such a Fun Age.

Alix Chamberlain is a go-getter, and she has made a name for herself encouraging other women to do the same. One night, when the Chamberlain family experiences an emergency, they call on Emira, their 20-something babysitter, to get their young daughter out of the house. While the two pass time in the neighborhood’s high-end grocery store, a security guard is alarmed by the late-night sight of a young black woman dancing in the aisles with a white child. He accuses Emira of kidnapping. Reid uses the complex and flawed characters of Alix and Emira to examine what it truly means to make someone “a member of the family.” It begs the question of whether that can ever truly be done within a transactional relationship?

Such a Fun Age superbly examines the weight intention holds in “doing the right thing” if the decisions of those “helping” rob the recipient of their own power and dignity.

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