riviera maya: the books

August 16, 2012

Just a reminder that you have a few more days to enter my Chobani giveaway! Don’t miss it!

One of the most exciting parts of beach vacations for me is the opportunity to read non-stop for an entire week. Call me lame, but I love nothing more than to lay around and read all day long. Can I be a professional reader? Is that a job? I want it to be one.I read a lot on our vacation to Mexico, and I packed away two Kindles to bring with me (my moms and my own).

Coming Home

When my mom told me there was a new book out by one of my favorite authors, Karen Kingsbury, I knew I had to dive into this book right away. If you’re not familiar with Kingsbury, you can’t read this book… yet. First you have to get caught up with The Baxter Family, who Kingsbury has written a number of books about in her Redemption Series. Kingsbury has this ability to make you feel like you are family with her characters — you laugh with them, you cry with them, and at the end of the book you can’t wait for the next one. This novel is exactly that — on the plane to Mexico, I was sitting with my head down and covering my face so others couldn’t see the tears rolling down my face. How I have become so invested in Kingsbury’s characters is beyond me, but her way of writing makes you feel the same emotions the characters are feeling. This is a must read — but catch up on her series first!

One Breath Away

One Breath Away follow numerous characters when an intruder enters a small town school armed and ready. No one is aware of what this man’s motive is, and no one is quite sure exactly who this man is. One of the main character’s children are currently living with her parents in this small town while she is recovering from an accident that occured months previously. You will feel as helpless as she does when she receives a call from her 13 year old daughter that there is a man with a gun in her school, he locked her in the closet, and her little brother is still in the classroom with him. This book moves fast, and I couldn’t put it down. A page turner for sure!

Angel Sister

This novel took me a little bit longer to get invested in, but once I was, I couldn’t stop reading. This novel takes place in rural Kentucky in the 1930’s. A town that is basically run by the decision of the local preacher is turned upside down when 14 year old Kate Merritt finds a little girl named Lorena Birdsong on the porch steps of the church one morning. The town begins to fight over the well being of this young child and weaves through family secrets and troubles.

One Summer

Now this — this was a book I could not put down the second I picked it up. The novel starts with Jack, a father of three and a husband to his devoted wife Lizzie, dying of a rare and terminal illness. Tragedy strikes and Lizzie is killed in a car accident one winter night. The family is torn apart between different family members, and Jack is left to die on his own. Miraculously, Jack finds the will to live and his illness takes a turn for the better. In just one summer, this family is torn apart and fights to be put back together. This novel made me laugh and cry, and I could totally see feel the suffering these characters were going through.

Wonderland Creek

Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE Lynn Austin. All of her novels that I have read, I have absolutely fallen in love with the characters from the start. This one took me a long time to get into. Set in the 1930’s, this main character, Alice, lives in books. Her life as a librarian in Blue Island, Illinois revolves around them. After going through a difficult period in her life, Alice decides to head to the mountains of Kentucky to volunteer at a library in need. Alice ends up finding herself kept in Acorn against her own will and living out an adventure she would only find in one of her beloved books. Once I did get into this book though, I really couldn’t put it down!

This post should be in my “books” tab at the top of my blog — I have a lot of book reviews up there, so if you’re looking for a good book to read, check it out!

Question: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries August 16, 2012 at 6:40 am

I read two books while we were in Mexico (Gone Girl & Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – both were so good) and thought I was hot stuff – but you read four?! You SHOULD be a professional reader :)

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

::cough cough:: five ::cough cough::

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Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries August 16, 2012 at 8:06 am

Have I ever mentioned that I’m bad at math? Counting. It’s the worst.

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

hahaha I was dying, and then I kind of felt like a B for being such a B. I hope you still love me. Lol!!

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Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries August 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Don’t worry, I felt like a douche for not being able to count. LOL!

Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries August 16, 2012 at 6:41 am

PS – I ended up talking to this girl (who was our age) while we were sitting in the pool, and she said she didn’t bring a book on vacation. Like, not one. Is it weird that I felt my skin crawl? How could you NOT bring a book on vacation?

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:04 am

That is weird. The Husband doesn’t read and didn’t bring any books either. I find that to be so odd!!!

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Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries August 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

Yeah – Cory just brought some gadget/tech magazines with him. He doesn’t do books. Very odd!

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Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily August 16, 2012 at 10:49 am

Have to chime in here, we are on vacation until Sunday, I only brought 4 books, I’m scared I’m going to finish before we leave. I can’t believe people don’t bring books on vacation. That’s the best part!!!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

That would be so sad!!! Savor them!!!

Anne August 16, 2012 at 6:51 am

I’m weird in a few ways:

1. I’m the only 23 year old I know who used their lunch break yesterday to go to the library.

2. I’m not a fan of books most girls like (Twilight make me want to puke). I love historical fiction like Sharon Kay Penman’s books about early midieval Europe. (And of course running books!)

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I’ll still be your friend! ;)

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Tina @ Best Body Fitness August 16, 2012 at 7:13 am

Just added a few of these to my GoodReads to-read list. Always love your book recs!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

:) That is all.

Except for….I think I counted wrong last week because we only have 51 days left!!!

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kim@hungryhealthygirl August 16, 2012 at 7:14 am

Wow, girl! You did do some reading. I want to check out Karen Kingsbury books. I love getting involved in series type books; where you really get to know the characters. One Summer sounds really good to. Usually, I try to avoid sad books because I can really become emotional and I just don’t want to cry, darnit! ;)

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I know, it didn’t help that I was VERY hormonal that week!!!

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Erica @ For the Sake of Cake August 16, 2012 at 7:34 am

I can’t believe you read all of those books in one week! That’s really impressive!!!

I just finished the second book in The Hunger Games series (I read the first one last summer) & I just started reading Gone Girl since I heard so many good things about it!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

You’re going to LOVE Gone Girl!!!

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Kendra August 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

Those books all sound fantastic; I will have to search my local library for them:) I am a complete bookworm as well, and a professional reader sounds like an awesome career to me:D Some of my favorite books that I have read in the past few months have been War and Peace, The American Way of Eating, Anna Karenina (though I am not quite finished with it yet!), The Perfect Gentleman, and a few others.

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I’ve tried to get into Anna Karenina in the past and haven’t been able to!You’re into a lot of classics lately!

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Bethany August 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

The Secret Lives of Dresses was amazing – the perfect Summer read. Reading on vacation makes it all the more of an escape from the “real world”.

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots August 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

Just read Gone Girl, such a good read however I was so mad with the ending!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Oh I LOVED the ending. Mainly because it showed how truly manipulative that character was. I thought that although she was INSANE, she sure was a genius – in a not so good way of course.

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kaitlin @4loveofcarrots August 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

I do agree with you but I thought it made him seem really weak. Also do u think the baby us really his?? I don’t…

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Andrea @ Vegvacious August 16, 2012 at 9:00 am

Well my must-read list just got a little longer. I love authors that write several books about the same characters — I get so invested in them! I just finished reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, so I need to get the third book in that series to read next. When I’m on vacation, I tend to go for light, easy reads by authors like Janet Evanovich. I just breeze through them as I sip my margaritas ;-)

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I could not get into that series for some reason! I did go see that first movie,which I liked though!

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Angie @ Pint of Goals August 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

I also love reading on vacation…and in the summer, and during the school year. Thank goodness I am an English teacher! Good books I’ve read recently: The 19th Wife, I am Legend, Little Bee, The Birth of Venus, and Midwives. I am now reading a YA book by Lauire Halse Andersen called Fever 1793.

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

The 19th Wife is on my list! Was it good? And I heard Fever 1793 was awesome – I’ve had a couple of students read it!

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Rachel August 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’ve been reading Insurgent, and trying to find Gone Girl– been hearing great things about that book! I also need to finish The Hunger Games series haha

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm

You’re reading a lot of great ones!!!

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Alexandra August 16, 2012 at 9:17 am

Reading on vacation is the absolute best! I cannot wait until my family and I go to Maine at the end of August so that I can make reading a daily priority again. I just started War and Peace in preparation for studying abroad in Moscow this fall. I really enjoy long books; Anna Karenina and Gone with the Wind are two of my all-time favorites. If you haven’t read Gone with the Wind, I would highly recommend it! For a book so long and notorious, it is surprisingly addicting and readable. The characters are great!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I actually haven’t read it! I’ll have to borrow it from my mom, I know she has a copy!

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Brandi August 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

These all sound like great books! Especiall One Summer. **note to self, go get this book!**

The last book that I read was, Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I have tried to pick up another book, but can’t seem to find the time. :/

Have a great day!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I used to LOVE Sparks books!

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Katie August 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hi Chelsey! I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a while now. While I love reading your posts, this is one of my favorites! I read One Summer in about a day. I couldn’t put it down. LOVE IT! If you love Karen Kingsbury – I intend to find this series on my Kindle when I get home, I would suggest Kathleen Morgan’s Brides of Culdee Creek series. I’m on book two of four right now, and have really enjoyed it. A friend of mine also suggested Francine Davis. While I haven’t read any of her books, they have come with HIGH recommendations. Thanks for your posts! I look forward to more!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

:) Thanks Katie! I will have to look into Kathleen Morgan and Francine Davis! Thanks for the recommendations!

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Beks August 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

I’ve been devouring a lot of free Indie books on Kindle (I’m broke. What can I say?), and I’m also hoping that if I read their books, they somehow find mine and read my book(s). I read this book “Here, have a Husband” by Heather Gean, which was awesome. It’s about a government where if you want to get married, you have to submit a dating application, and they match you to one person, and the heroine gets stuck with a businessman in the public eye, and falls for his black sheep friend (Review on my blog), and I’m currently reading “Our Husband” by Stephanie Bond, which is pretty good. It’s about the death of one man and how his wives find out about each other. Is it murder? Did one of the wives kill him? I’m liking it.
I was telling Julie at PBFingers this morning that I was pretty obsessed with “Jenny Pox” by JL Bryan, but based on the books you list in your reviews, it’s probably not for you. It’s a horror tale and pretty gory, but just so darn engrossing! I would forego my usual TV watching just to keep reading. I need to finish the series.
I also love the High Heels and Hollywood Scandals books by Gemma Halliday. So funny! Perfect vacation reads!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

If you don’t want to spend any money, a lot of local libraries now have an online database of e-books! I have been borrowing from them lately!

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Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily August 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

I love books!! I just added some of these to my Goodreads list. I brought Stolen Innocence, Imaginary Girls, Winter’s Bone and Those Who Save Us with me, I’m hoping I have enough to read until Sunday when we go home ;) It’s a rainy day today which means blog and book reading. Love it!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I’ve read Those Who Save Us and it was SO good! I can’t remember everything that happened but I do remember loving it. And I have heard Stolen Innocence was really good!

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Kelley August 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I love to read also! I will have to check some of these out. I’ve been reading mostly self-help books lately. Apparently I need more help than I originally thought!

Do I have to pick just one favorite Chobani?! Ok…pineapple. No, mango! And I haven’t even tried the vanilla chocolate chunk yet! I also posted to my Facebook!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Did you put in your entries on the post with the giveaway? Make sure you do that if you haven’t already

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Sarah August 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I swear I am not a serial killer, but I prefer Stephen King, Stieg Larsson, nonfiction, and the occasional classic. This is coming from the same girl who just finished The Monster of Florence and is working on Pride and Prejudice. Go figure.

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

That’s hilarious!

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Juice Plus+ MD August 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE CHOBANI!!! It’s my all time favorite yogurt! I do not eat any other kind. I am lactose intolerant but the Chobani greek yogurt doesn’t even bother me! (I know, how weird is that??) Glad you had a great time in Mexico Chelsey! I want to WIN that Chobani!!!! Can’t wait for the vanilla chocolte chunk – can you say YUMMO???
xxoo

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Did you enter on the giveaway post? Make sure you do that so you don’t miss out!

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Lauren August 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm

First I want to say I am a newcomer :) I read your whole website yesterday and was instantly hooked!
Secondly, I was just in Mexico for my honeymoon in the beginning of July. We stayed at the Excellence in Playa Mujeres, it was amazing! I too am an avid reader and had gotten a great book on my kindle and on the 2nd day, I dropped it in the water :( It was completely fried to the point that I heard it sizzling. Luckily our luxurious hotel had a library, so I borrowed a couple. I just finished one that I took (I mean borrowed), Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. It is a series and they are quite funny. Happy Reading!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

:) I love newbies!!!

I’m glad you were still able to get your hands on some books, but I would have cried if my Kindle got fried in the water!

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RBee August 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I just wanted to let you know, you are so not lame! My vision of paradise on earth is laying around on the beach reading my life away! IMHO, it’s a better hobby than most, because in addition to having fun, you can learn a lot, and it’s super cheap :) A number of my friends are Kingsbury fans; I guess I should check her out!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I’m glad we both think alike!

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Danica @ It's Progression August 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I love when you do these posts! They always give me books to add onto my to-read list…I have to say though, you read crazy fast, girl! All of those in a week is really impressive!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I’ve always been a super fast reader! My entire life!

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I love Karen Kingsbury books! I started that series last summer but I never finished it…I need to get on that. I can’t even remember which one I’m on :/. I’m reading “Sisterhood Everlasting” right now, and I want to read Emily Giffin’s new book next!

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cleaneatingchelsey August 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

LOVED that book! And I’m waiting for my bestie to be finished with the new Giffin book!

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Sarah@studiofood August 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I absolutely loved ‘The Accidental Tourist’ by Anne Tyler (?) – I just returned it to my library. It’s great, highly recommend.

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