Posted in Books and Shows

October 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Happy Wednesday!

I fell back into my three book average this month. I finished a book on the way to the beach, read a book while at the beach, and then finished one more book this month.

Today, I’m sharing those three books with you.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Smells Like Tween Spirit:


Even with the cutthroat days of being Class Mom behind her, as a freshly minted mat mom of the Pioneer Middle School (PMS) wrestling team, Jen Dixon cannot catch a break.

This year, as her son joins the ranks of the PMS wrestlers, Jen faces mystifying new social dynamics with her trademark combination of reluctance and resigned acceptance. The sights and smells of her son’s wrestling matches are more than enough for her to deal with, but Jen also finds herself fully immersed in sports-mom competitiveness. These parents all seem perfectly unassuming until their kids start to wrestle, and then some become raging momsters.

Jen steels herself for the indignities of middle school life, but she cannot quite fathom the extents to which some kids (and moms) will go for the sweet taste of victory. Add to this some truly bizarre encounters with students from her spin class and deeper challenges managing her parents, and Jen has more gum than she can chew…and even her riotously funny one-liners might not get her through it this time.

Quick Thoughts:

I’ve read this entire series and really enjoy the books. The previous three books were relatable because the main character is Jen from KC…who is very sarcastic! {it could be me!} That being said, this book continued to be relatable because I am in the throes of tween life.

This book was so funny and Jen is so witty. Her relationship with other PMS Mat Moms, her work life/balance, and letters to the parents provide lots of humor and a good light-hearted read.



When twelve-year-olds Kat Steiner and Blake O’Neill meet at Camp Chickawah, they have an instant connection. But everything falls apart when they learn they’re not just best friends—they’re also half-sisters. Confused and betrayed, their friendship instantly crumbles.

Fifteen years later when their father dies suddenly, Kat and Blake discover he’s left them a joint inheritance: the family beach house in Destin, Florida. The two sisters are instantly at odds. Blake, who has recently been demoted from regular nanny to dog nanny, wants to sell the house, while social media influencer Kat is desperate to keep the place where she had so many happy childhood memories.

Kat and Blake reluctantly join forces to renovate the dilapidated house with the understanding that Kat will try to buy Blake out at the end of the summer. The women clash as Blake’s renovation plans conflict with Kat’s creative vision, and each sister finds herself drawn into a summer romance. As the weeks pass, the two women realize the most difficult project they face this summer will be coming to grips with their shared past, and learning how to become sisters.

Quick Thoughts:

Have I ever told you that my all time favorite movie is The Parent Trap? The Hayley Mills version, of course! I added this book to my Goodreads list at the end of the summer, and thought I’d save it for summer 2023. Then, I realized it would be the perfect read for our Fall Break beach vacay. I checked it out from the library before we left and waited to read it with my toes in the sand.

Even better…the beach house that was left to Kat and Blake was in Destin, and I was reading this book while in the Destin area!

This book was super cute with some nods to the Parent Trap plot but it was also a classic Chick Lit book. I definitely recommend it!



For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded—even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter—Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece—an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

Quick Thoughts:

My Gma suggested this author to me. Most of Davis’s books were available to download on my Kindle, so I chose The Masterpiece. I really enjoyed the plot as it moved back and forth between the 1920s and the 1970s. The two main characters, Clara and Virginia were very different, and both had their own struggles. The backdrop of Grand Central Station both as an art school and then as a landmark was interesting.

I really enjoyed this book and this author. Next, I’m going to read The Address when I can.


4.5 stars

What have you been reading lately? A couple of years ago, I only read Christmas/holiday books in December. Last year, I read one Christmas themed book in November to kickstart my holiday reading for December 2021, and I plan on doing the same thing this year.

I can’t believe next month when I share what I read, I will be the mom of two teenagers, Thanksgiving will be over, and we’ll be in full on Christmas mode. That’s just crazy talk!

Happy reading,