The Air You Breathe

Thank you to the lovely people at Riverhead Books and WME Books for my copy of The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles.  All thoughts and images are my own.


Title: The Air You Breate
Author: Frances de Pontes Peebles
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pub date: August 21, 2018
Read if you like: Bel Canto, The Queen of the Night, stories of female friendship. Continue reading

June 2018

Each of the books I read in June, organized by mood.  I’ve linked my more in-depth reviews wherever possible!

  • For the memoir that will make you cry: I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell
  • For the one to keep you up at night: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
  • For the whirlwind summer romance: When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
  • For the hauntingly beautiful short stories: Florida by Lauren Groff
  • For the worldwide adventure: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  • For the chance to snoop through someone else’s inbox: Hey Ladies! by Caroline Moss & Michelle Markowitz
  • For when you want to indulge your inner romantic: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • For the rollercoaster read: The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
  • For a reminder of what it was like to fall in love for the first time: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
  • For the frustration of “why can’t they just work it out:” This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen

Continue reading


Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)

Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister Keiko’s sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago. Continue reading

The Great Alone

Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man.  When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family.  She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers.  In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women.  The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture.  Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within.  In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: They are on their own.  In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

Morgan’s thoughts:

This is a powerful read about the strength of a young girl when every force in her world is working against her.  No part of Leni’s life has been made easy for her.  She doesn’t remember the so called “happy” years her family spent together before her father went off to war; by the time she was old enough to form memories, he was gone.  When he returns, he has changed – a dangerous part of his personality has been revealed.

They are in no way ready for life in Alaska.  The brutal weather and carnivorous animals push back against them any time they begin to make progress.  But the town takes them in.  This community of survivors, to which the Allbrights’ have no true claim, accepts them in a way that shows the true goodness inherent in their hearts.  Without this town, none of the Allbrights would have survived in the first place.

But despite the village’s best efforts, the biggest danger to Leni is in her own house.  This is a story of perseverance in spite of all of that and more.  It’s also a powerful story of kindness.  There are few things I love more than stories of people who are kind without reason.  

Hannah swept me away with this captivating story.  I could not pull my nose out of this book.  And yes, it made me cry, though not where I expected.  This book is a gem.  Go ahead and let yourself get lost in it.

Trigger warning: domestic violence, PTSD.

Interested in this book?  I got mine through Book of the Month Club!  I’ve been a member for over a year now and I love it.  Sign up today with this link and get a free book when you sign up (and I’ll get one for referring you)!


Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small-town roots.  Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.   Continue reading

Manhattan Beach

Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)

“We’re going to see the sea.”

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her family.  She is mesmerized by the seat beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men. Continue reading