Sunday, November 10, 2013

GOT HOLIDAYS? by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

For the next cycle here at GBC, we'll be mostly talking about gift-giving suggestions for the holidays and that always means one thing: books! My own household is a two-holiday one, meaning we celebrate both Hanukah and Christmas. This makes for a lot of shopping. This year, as some of you may be aware, Hanukah begins the night before Thanksgiving. (I'm aware there's a word going around to describe this rare holiday convergence but I refuse to use it.) So here are a few suggestions, for those like me who need to shop early, to get you started:

A Few Girlfriends:
SAFE HARBOR by Judith Arnold. Kip and Shelley spend their summers together on Block Island. A tragedy in Shelley's life ends their friendship. A tragedy in Kip's brings them back together. Can the magic of the island teach them how to trust and how to love? A finalist for Romance Writers of America's prestigious Rita ® Award.

As a college student, Mia Wells meets Flynn, an enigmatic stranger who pushes every boundary she knows. Their relationship is intense, passionate and, for Mia, life-changing, making it all the more painful when he vanishes. Twelve years later, Flynn mysteriously resurfaces, gravely injured.  Mia is terrified that he will die, awestruck at the prospect of his survival.  Flynn’s return ignites an achingly powerful tale, a story filled with sweetness and suspense.

RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE by Brenda Janowitz.
It's about three generations of women with a culture all their own.  When Hannah finds herself spending the summer with her glamorous grandmother, a widow six times over, at her sprawling beach-front Hamptons estate, she learns that there’s more than one recipe for happiness. 

THE WRONG GIRL by Hank Phillippi Ryan. A reporter on the trail of an adoption agency that may be reuniting birth parents with the wrong children—and a Boston detective tracing down the killer of a young foster mother. There’s an empty crib in the mother’s back bedroom—where is the infant who should be sleeping there?

FIXER UPPER by Malena Lott. So this is what the last straw looks like. Macy Baxter hightails it to the heartland to heal her broken heart and search for the answers to fixing her life and saving her family’s vineyard, Dust Bowl Winery. With the hot pink tool belt her daddy gave her for her 35th birthday, Macy starts turning her life around, one makeover project at a time. Thanks to the presence other high school boyfriend-turned-carpenter and the computer nerd-turned-millionaire who hires her to turn the abandoned Art Deco hospital into a modern home, Macy finds it’s not too late for romance or a career of her own. But will her absence make her husband’s heart grow fonder? Will she cast a vote for the posh life or the pastures?

An Honorary Girlfriend:
DOLLFACE by Renee Rosen. America in the 1920s was alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies and a new kind of woman - the flapper. Library Journal starred review.
Not a Girlfriend At All:

We all have them: that person on our list who, no matter what, won't read something written by a girl. Here's an ebook for that person: TONY PARTLY CLOUDY by Nick Rollins. A "literary equivalent of My Cousin Vinny," Tony Partly Cloudy is a fish-out-of-water comedic novel with a distinct Sopranos vibe to it. The guy's got a degree in meteorology. And he can predict the weather with a level of accuracy that's downright freakish. Still, Tony Bartolicotti - or, as his "connected" friends in Brooklyn call him, Tony Partly Cloudy - can't even get an audition to be a TV weatherman. The problem? He comes across like a Mafia goon: a hulking brute who dresses like a Blues Brother and freely uses "bada bing" as both a noun and an adverb. Not exactly the image most news stations are looking for. But all that changes when a distantly related mob boss steps in on Tony's behalf. Soon Tony's career starts to take off, as America falls in love with the only weather anchor on TV who would predict "a whole lotta freakin' snow." Then the mob decides to call in the favors they've done for Tony. That's when things get stormy...

And...that's all I've got for now! I hope you find some shopping joy here. As for me, I'm off to think about what to do about that rare holiday convergence - the one with the new name I refuse to use - so if you've got any shopping suggestions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments.

 Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of 32 books for adults, teens and children. Check out her website at or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBaratzL



  1. Thanks so much, Lauren. I love, love, love to read this time of year. Takes away a lot of stress from the holidays, too.

  2. Oh, thank you! This is so wonderful of you! THE WRONG GIRL is already a Boston Globe Best-seller...and Library Journal calls it Stellar! Fans of Lisa Scottoline and Tess Gerritsen will connect...and I am very grateful!