In no particular order....
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - I love when an ending totally surprises me... and that happened with this book. Switching back and forth between WWII England, to the '60s and to modern day, this story is from the point of view of Laurel. A 16 year old in the English countryside in the 60's, and a famous actress living in London in modern day, she is trying to come to terms with what she saw during a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside when she was 16. Her mother is about to turn 90 and Laurel is determined to find out about her mother's past before it's too late.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Yes, I shed a tear or two while reading this one. Will is paralyzed after a motorcycle accident and feels like he has nothing to live for. Lou is trying to find her way and happens upon a job caring for Will. When their world collides it's a bumpy ride, but the impact they have on each other is life changing. Definitely a tear jerker and a must-read.
Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West - Living in the DC area and having family connections to the Secret Service, I've always been fascinated by life in the White House. J.B. West spent 28 years as assistant usher, then chief usher... basically the right hand man to the first ladies. Through this book he shares an inside look at the Roosevelts, the Trumans, the Eisenhowers, the Kennedys, the Johnsons and the Nixons. Learning about life behind the White House walls the was so interesting and prompted me to read Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly , which I also recommend (and not just because he's a Marist College alumni too).
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl - I love to cook (and eat), so of course I love reading about food. Delicious! is a world renowned food magazine based in NYC, so it's a sad day when the publication has to shut down. Especially for Billie, who just moved from California to take a job here. Although the rest of the staff are let go, Billie is asked to stay on to handle the complaints/inquiry hotline, otherwise known as the "Delicious Guarantee". The adventures that ensue made me want to dive into the culinary world of New York, learn more about the history of food and hug Billie all at the same time.
Incendiary by Chris Cleave - By chance I grabbed this off the library shelves and was so happy I did. Chris Cleave paints a picture of a London woman who has terrorism destroy her family and rip apart her life, so the story is told through her letter to Osama bin Laden. The grief, fear and madness made me feel like I was reading a true story, rather than a work of fiction.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple - This was my office book club favorite. The story takes place in Seattle, where my brother lives, so naturally I was drawn to it. Teenage Bee lives in the Pacific Northwest with her Microsoft employed father and her opinionated and brilliant stay at home mom, Bernadette. After a series of crazy events, Bernadette goes missing and Bee uses her own wits to figure out what exactly happened and where she could be. Quirky, humorous and touching, this book was a really fun read.
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb - Have you ever finished a book and continued to think about the main character for months to come? Well this was the case for me with Dolores Price. After a tough childhood, Dolores reaches 257 pounds in her teens and life only gets more difficult. Wally Lamb's writing broke my heart and made me laugh all at the same time.
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín - My mom's side of the family are Irish New Yorkers through and through, so I always love to read about post WWII in the city. I bought this book last year for my 91 year old grandmother and she loved it, so I knew I had to read it too. Eilis comes from a small town in Ireland to Brooklyn, attempting to make a new life for herself (and to help support her mother and sister back in the homeland). Her story and Tóibín's beautiful writing left me not wanting the book to end.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - I liked The Husband's Secret, so was hoping for another page turner from Moriarty... and I was not disappointed. When the story starts, you may think you're just reading about the day-to-day of some school moms in Australia, but Moriarty always has some dark twists and turns. And, of course, the ending totally took me by surprise, which I always love.