Bookish Vibes: Book Club & Author Visit with Beth Harbison

* Attention fellow readers and book lovers!* 

Are you an avid reader looking to discuss novels by popular and trending authors with other readers?  If so, our Bookish Vibes book club is for you! Bookish Vibes meets monthly at 7pm via Zoom and is all about “vibing” with a great read.  Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 16 at 7pm, where we will be discussing books by best selling author Beth Harbison.  The best part?  Beth Harbison will also be zooming into our discussion! 

If you have read books by Harbison before, join us and discuss what you have read.  If you haven’t read books by Harbison, a copy of her latest novel The Cookbook Club will be available for you to borrow from the Patron Services Desk. You can register for our upcoming Bookish Vibes meeting, here.  The day before the event an email with information on how to access the Zoom meeting will be sent to you. 

Interested in exploring Harbison’s other books?  Stop by the library and browse her novels in our print collection, or check out one of these titles from the Library’s Digital Collections!

The Cookbook Club ebook

From the Publisher: “MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert!

Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks.

Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time. Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother.

The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam. Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway? In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?”

Every Time You Go Away audiobook

From the Publisher: “Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief. Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market. When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back. To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son. Every Time You Go Away is a heartfelt, emotional story about healing a tragic loss, letting go, and coming together as a family.”

When in Doubt, Add Butter audiobook

From the Publisher: “From the New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Always Something There to Remind Me, When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison a delicious new novel about the search for true love and all the ingredients that go into it. As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full. There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an überwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to. For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and—oh yes—butter.”

If I Could Turn Back Time ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

 On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off… Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?”

Always Something There to Remind Me audiobook

From the Publisher: “Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it?

Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything—dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over.

Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her.

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.”

Driving with the Top Down audiobook

From the Publisher: “Three women, two weeks, one convertible: sometimes life doesn’t take you in the direction you expect. . . Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband’s first choice. When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive. Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen year old Tamara becomes her co-pilot. The daughter of Colleen’s brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that when people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she’s so much more. She just wishes her father could see it, too. The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen’s college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier. Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen. Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there’s more that Bitty isn’t sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida. So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast. It’s a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara’s poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty’s secrets reach a boiling point. With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but somehow, true friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for.”

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger ebook

From the Publisher: “Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her-the Best Man who at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. For a long time. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations-providing a wedding-and running for her life. She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank. That relationship didn’t work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank’s brother? Quinn opted for neither, and, instead, spends the next seventeen years working in her family’s Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown, where she subconsciously does penance for the disservice she did to marriage. But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it? Told with Beth Harbison’s flair for humor and heart, Chose the Wrong Guy will keep you guessing and make you believe in the possibilities of love.”

Secrets of a Shoe Addict audiobook

From the Publisher: “Loreen Murphy hadn’t meant to hire a male prostitute in Las Vegas. It was all just a big, stupid, expensive misunderstanding. Abbey Walsh never intended anyone to find out about the fact that she’s being blackmailed. As a minister’s wife, her sordid past was supposed to be a secret. Tiffany Vanderslice Dreyer never dreamed that she’d find herself up to her eyeballs in credit card debt from one mad moment of a shopping spree. She’s an upstanding wife and mother with the perfect marriage…right? Secrets of a Shoe Addict is the story of three women who bond together when they find themselves in more than one kind of trouble. It’s the story of how sometimes, you hide a secret side that can get you in–and out–of dire straits. It’s about romance, friendship, kids, revenge, affairs, and most of all a love of all the well-heeled things in life.”

Thin, Rich, Pretty audiobook

From the Publisher: “Twenty years ago, when they were teenagers, Holly and Nicola were the outsiders at summer camp. Holly was the plump one, a dreamer who longed to be an artist. Nicola was the shy, plain one who wanted nothing more than to be beautiful. Their cabin nemesis was Lexi. Rich, spoiled, evil Lexi. One night, Holly and Nicola team up to pull one, daring act of vengeance. But they never dream that this one act will have repercussions that will reach into the future, even twenty years later. And they never realize the secret pain that Lexi holds very close, and how their need for revenge costs Lexi a great deal. Today, Holly is a successful gallery owner, who has put her own artistic dreams on hold. She struggles with her weight and for approval from her constantly-criticizing boyfriend. Nicola, is an almost-famous actress who believes that one little plastic surgery fix is just what she needs to put her over the edge into fame. And Lexi…Lexi is down on her luck and totally broke. Holly will do anything to be thin. Lexi will do anything to be rich. And Nicola will do anything to be pretty. Thin, Rich, Pretty is the story of three women who believe that happiness is the next dress size down, the next dollar figure up, or the next appreciative glance from a stranger. But mostly it’s the story of how three women save each other, and show each other the path to true contentment. Told with Beth Harbison’s knack for thirty and forty-something nostalgia, and heartwarming humor, Thin, Rich, Pretty will strike a chord with any woman who has ever got on the scale, looked in the mirror, or the bank, and said, ‘if only…’”

Hope in a Jar audiobook

From the Publisher: “Twenty years ago, Allie Denty was the pretty one and her best friend Olivia Pelham was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable…until a vicious rumor about Olivia- a rumor too close to the truth-ended their friendship. Now, on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, Allie, a temp worker, finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, a cool and successful magazine beauty editor in New York, realizes she’s lonely, and is finally ready to face her demons. Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises. Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.” Hope in a Jar: we all need it.”

One Less Problem Without You audiobook

From the Publisher: “Meet Prinny, Chelsea and Diana. Prinny is the owner of Cosmos, a shop that sells crystals, potions, candles, and hope. It’s also a place where no one turns down a little extra-special cocktail that can work as a romance potion or heal a broken heart. But Prinny is in love with her married lawyer and she’ll need nothing short of magic to forget about him. Chelsea works as a living statue at tourist sites around Washington, DC. It’s a thankless job, but it helps pay the rent. That, and her part-time job at Cosmos. As her dream of becoming a successful actress starts to seem more remote and the possibility of being a permanently struggling one seems more realistic, Chelsea begins to wonder: at one point do you give up on your dreams? And will love ever be in the cards for her? Diana Tiesman is married to Leif, a charismatic man who isn’t faithful. But no matter how many times he lets her down, Diana just can’t let him go. She knows the only way she can truly breakaway is if she leaves and goes where he will never think to follow. So she ends up at Cosmos with Leif’s stepsister, where she makes her homemade teas and tinctures as she figures out whether she’d rather be lonely alone than lonely in love. In Beth Harbinson’s One Less Problem Without You, three women suddenly find themselves together at their own very different crossroads. It will take hope, love, strength and a little bit of magic for them to find their way together.”

We hope to see you at our Bookish Vibes meeting!

Happy Reading!

-Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Bookish Vibes Book Club & Author Visit with Diane Chamberlain

**Attention book lovers!**       `

Are you an avid reader looking to discuss books by popular authors with fellow book lovers?  If so, the Livingston Public Library’s Virtual Bookish Vibes Book Club is for you! Bookish Vibes is all about “vibing” with a great read.  Every month we will meet on Zoom at 7pm to discuss books by a chosen monthly author.  

If you have read books in the past by the selected monthly author but don’t have time to devote to an entire novel right now, come and discuss what you have read.  If you haven’t read anything by the author,  copies of a selected title will be available for you to borrow from the library at the Patron Services Desk. 

The next Bookish Vibes meeting will be held on Monday, January 11 at 7pm through Zoom, and we will be discussing books by Diane CHamberlain. The best part? Chamberlain will be also be joining our book club meeting! A copy of Chamberlain’s  latest novel Big Lies in a Small Town, a a gripping novel about the lives of two artists living over seventy years apart and a legacy of secrets that ties them together, will be available for you to borrow from the Patron Services Desk. Discussion will open with “Big Lies in a Small Town,” and then will branch off into Chamberlain’s other works as well as our own bookish thoughts about the novels and act of reading.  You can register for the January Bookish Vibes meeting here.

If you’re interested in reading Chamberlain’s other books, stop by the library to browse the collection, or check out one of these titles from the Livingston Public Library’s Digital Collections.

Big Lies in a Small Town Ebook |

From the Publisher: “North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will get her released from prison immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to be free, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940:Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and in great need of work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?”

The Dream Daughter Ebook | Audiobook

From the Publisher: “

When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.”

The Silent Sister ebook

From the Publisher: “In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.”

The Good Father ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there’s no going back.

Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.

But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble….

Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.

With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake.

Even if it means he might lose her.”

Pretending to Dance ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can’t have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly’s past and her family-the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before. The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison’s Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past weaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father’s death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants?”

Fire and Rain ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Into the drought-weary California town of Valle Rosa comes a stranger who promises he can make it rain. All he asks for is a place to stay and complete privacy. But he is too charismatic to maintain a low profile . . . and the adobe cottage he’s given to live in is owned by an investigative TV reporter struggling to revive her career. Fire and Rain is a love story filled with mystery and heart.”

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.

CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she knows what happened to her missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies.”

Summer’s Child ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Early on the morning of her eleventh birthday, on the beach beside her North Carolina home, Daria Cato receives an unbelievable gift from the sea, an abandoned newborn baby. When the infant’s identity cannot be uncovered, she is adopted by Daria’s loving family. But her silent secrets continue to haunt Daria. Now, twenty years later, Shelly has grown into an unusual, ethereal young woman whom Daria continues to protect. But when Rory Taylor, a friend from Daria’s childhood and now a television producer, returns at Shelly’s request to do a story about the circumstances surrounding her birth, something precarious shifts in the small town of Kill Devil Hills. The more questions Rory asks, the more unsettled the tiny community becomes, as closely guarded secrets and the sins of that long-ago summer begin to surface. Piece by piece, the mystery of summer’s child is being exposed, a mystery that no one involved, not Shelly, Daria, not even Rory, is prepared to face.”

The Shadow Wife ebook

From the Publisher: “Joelle D’Angelo’s best friend, Mara, is left with brain damage after she suffers an aneurysm giving birth to her son. Alone and grieving, Joelle turns to the only other person who understands her pain: her colleague-and Mara’s husband-Liam. What starts out as comfort between friends gradually becomes something more…something undeniable.

Torn by guilt and the impossibility of her feelings for Liam, Joelle sets out determined to find help for Mara, no matter how unconventional the source. Her search leads her to a mansion in Monterey, California, and into the life of a woman shrouded in mystery. Carlynn Kling Shire is a healer and, according to Joelle’s parents, saved Joelle’s life when she was an infant. As Joelle is guided down an unfamiliar path by a woman keeping her own shocking secrets, she discovers that while some love is doomed, some love is destined to survive anything.”

The Midwife’s Confession ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry… The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle-her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family-described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn’t know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives-and the life of a desperate stranger-with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit. Told with sensitivity and insight, The Midwife’s Confession will have you turning pages late into the night. From the bestselling author of The Lies We Told and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes comes a story of deception that asks: How much is too much to forgive?”

Breaking the Silence ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Laura Brandon’s promise to her dying father was simple: to visit an elderly woman she’d never heard of before. A woman who remembers nothing-except the distant past. Visiting Sarah Tolley seemed a small enough sacrifice to make. But Laura’s promise results in another death. Her husband’s. And after their five-year-old daughter, Emma, witnesses her father’s suicide, Emma refuses to talk about it…to talk at all. Frantic and guilt ridden, Laura contacts the only person who may be able to help. A man she’s met only once-six years before. A man who doesn’t know he’s Emma’s real father. Guided only by a child’s silence and an old woman’s fading memories, the two unravel a tale of love and despair, of bravery and unspeakable evil. A tale that’s shrouded in silence…and that unbelievably links them all.”

Before the Storm ebook | audiobook

From the Publisher: “Dive in to the emotional world created by bestselling author Diane Chamberlain in this story of a mother’s love and a town mystery.

Fifteen-year-old Andy Lockwood is special. Others notice the way he blurts out anything that comes into his mind, how he cannot foresee consequences, that he’s more child than teenager. But his mother sees a boy with a heart as open and wide as the ocean.

Laurel Lockwood lost her son once through neglect. She’s spent the rest of her life determined to make up for her mistakes, and she’s succeeded in becoming a committed, protective parent-maybe even overprotective. Still, she loosens her grip just enough to let Andy attend a local church social-a decision that terrifies her when the church is consumed by fire. But Andy survives…and remarkably, saves other children from the flames. Laurel watches as Andy basks in the role of unlikely hero and the world finally sees her Andy, the sweet boy she knows as well as her own heart.

But when the suspicion of arson is cast upon Andy, Laurel must ask herself how well she really knows her son…and how far she’ll go to keep her promise to protect him forever.”

More audiobooks available from Hoopla Digital: Brass Ring, The Lies We Told, Reflection, Keeper of the Light, Her Mother’s Shadow, The Escape Artist, Kiss River, Private Relations, Secret Lives, The Courage Tree, The Bay at Midnight, Secrets She Left Behind.

I hope you join us at our January Bookish Vibes meeting. I can’t wait to get bookish with you!

-Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian