Great Reads for Moms: October ’11 Edition

It is time for another round-up of great reads for my favorite readers!  With life still buzzing along at a frantic pace, I am having a hard time finding pockets of time to read like I used to. As the weather cools down though, there is nothing more that I look forward to than snuggling up in my flannel sheets with a great book in the evenings. I am hoping I can tackle quite a few books in my book pile this month so I can share more with you in November. I am definitely behind on my big reading goals, but I am still proud that with all that is going on in our life that I am still trying to make reading a priority!

If you are looking for a little inspiration this new year, be sure to check our MomAdvice fan page for a weekly check-in on what everyone is reading each week on our Facebook Fan Page. I hope you will swing by on Fridays and share about the books you are working on or request recommendations with one another. So far it is a huge success and I have gotten a few new ideas for my own stack!

Just as a reminder, I read many more books than are just featured here, but try to feature the ones that are my absolute best picks of the month here. If you want to read more, please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! My username is momadvice and I am always happy to connect with people there too! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

“What Alice Forgot,” opens with Alice sprawled on the floor of the gym after she has fallen and hit her head after passing out in a spinning class. Alice is certainly perplexed by this because she has never gone to the gym and certainly would never do a spinning class. Her main concern is for her unborn baby when she wakes up and she is anxious for her husband to meet her at the hospital to help calm her down. Everyone seems to know her and everyone looks so different to her, that she is beginning to wonder what is going on. When Alice’s sister, Elizabeth, arrives at the hospital, she has to break it to Alice that she is not pregnant, she is not 29, she has three children, and she is in the middle of a custody battle and divorce with her husband.

Alice has, in fact, lost her memory over the last ten years and what faces her is heartbreaking and unpleasant.  People don’t even seem to like her. Friendships she thought she had do not exist. Neighbors avoid her. She can’t remember ever having any children. And the one person she thought loved her the most can’t stand to even speak to her.

As Alice comes to terms with the person she can’t remember becoming she is faced with many terrible truths about herself as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.  Will it be too late to repair the damage that has been done and if her memory returns, will she still long to be the woman she was ten years ago.

I absolutely loved this book as I love all books that explore the what-if’s in life.  This one had me laughing and even a little teary-eyed as Alice goes through the journey of discovering who she has become and how to capture the innocence of a girl in her twenties and in love.

If you liked this book you might like: The One That I Want, Skipping a Beat, and Last Night at Chateau Marmont.

(MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars)

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens is quickly becoming one of my favorite thriller writers. If you read her last book, “Still Missing,” and loved it, then you will understand Chevy’s approach with the story told in a psychologist’s chair as the narrator discusses the horror and terror going on in their life. While I wish she would have taken a different approach with this novel, the story was so solid that I was able to overlook that it had the same story formula as her first book.

Sara Gallagher has always wondered who her birth mother is, especially since she didn’t have the most ideal childhood and has always felt so different from her two siblings and parents. She decides to pursue finding her birth mother, but is disheartened when her birth mother is so unhappy to be found.

With the help of a private investigator, she finds out why her birth mother is so unhappy to see her. The truth is that her birth mother was the only living victim of a serial killer and Sarah is their daughter.

When the media becomes aware of this story, word gets back to her serial killer father who finds Sarah and wants to speak with her. When the police want to use Sarah  to pursue an investigation against her father and find where his victim’s bodies are, Sarah becomes part of a complex game of cat and mouse that will leave the reader on the edge of their seat.

A fast-paced and delicious read, this is definitely a great one to add to your book piles!

If you liked this book you might like: Still Missing, Room, and I’d Know You Anywhere.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Lisa See is one of my favorite all-time authors and, “Shanghai Girls,” was one of my favorite books by her. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend reading it and then following it with this fantastic sequel.  I wish I would have waited to have read the first one so it was all still fresh in my mind because I had a hard time jumping into the second one after having read so many books in between. Once I got into this one, I couldn’t put it down, although I must warn you that See brings with it a lot of heartbreaking honesty about the lives that were lost and the difficulties that were faced during China’s Great Leap Forward.

In Shanghai Girls, Joy finds out that May is her true mother, despite believing that Pearl had been her mother her whole life. Joy is very angry at both her mother and her aunt and decides to head to China to find her birth father and pursue a new life in China.

When Joy finds her birth father, it is a dream come true. He is an artist and seems very influential in the community. What she doesn’t know is that her father, Z.G., is actually falling out favor with the government and is sent to the country to help with Mao’s Great Leap Forward and to teach painting classes. Joy blindly follows her father, unaware of the danger she may be in, and finds herself falling in love with one of these boys… a mistake that is riddled with many consequences of which it appears she may never recover.

Her aunt, who she had always believe was her mother, is determined to get Joy back to safety and sacrifices everything in her life to try to get to China to save her. A woman who has went from modeling to cleaning the streets, has sacrificed everything for her daughter. What Pearl doesn’t know is that Joy is in grave danger.

The book is a heart-wrenching rollercoaster, particularly the letters that Joy is so desperately trying to send to Pearl to let her know the famine and demise that is happening where she is.  Death and heartbreak are everywhere and the book will leave you hanging and praying that these two will be reunited.

If you liked this book you might like: Shanghai Girls, Honolulu,  and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

Long Gone by Alafair Burke

Alice Humphrey has been unemployed is down on her luck, but that all seems to change when she meets Drew Campbell at an art opening and he is looking for a manager for a brand new art gallery opening in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

Drew informs her that the owner is a bit eccentric, as is his bizarre art, and that he prefers to keep a low profile. She is to help handle fulfilling the orders and keeping the gallery up and running. Anxious to create her own identity away from her famous filmmaker father, Alice decides that this is just the break she needs.

When Drew asks to meet her early at the gallery, Alice arrives to find the windows covered in paper, the gallery stripped bare of all of its art, and Drew lying dead in a pool of blood on the floor.

Unfortunately, Alice is a woman who doesn’t know a lot of information about her employer or the owner and artist. With no answers and all signs pointing to her, Alice becomes the prime suspect in the case. Alice is forced to figure out who has set her up and prove her own innocence for herself.

This is a fantastic thriller that incorporates such great 21st century elements in it from using Facebook to frame her as the killer to the art containing hidden images in jump drives that gave it a great technological twist to a fabulous murder mystery.

I can’t wait to read more from this author and I bet you won’t be able to either!

If you liked this book you might like: Before I Go to Sleep, Still Missing, and  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

Not enough great reads for you? Check out our Books section of our site for monthly recommendations and ideas for making reading a priority again in your busy mom life!

Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the books quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me a latte instead.  Then we both would be really happy and we could have our own little book club together! Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely? Happy Reading!

What has been in your book stack this month? Feel free to share your book recommendations or feedback on any of the books that have been mentioned above! I love getting new suggestions for my book pile!

Published October 04, 2011 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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