I have a new favorite author.

I cannot thank you enough for all the comments from January’s book post. If you are looking for additional book recommendations other than the ones I share here, be sure and check out the comments from this post.

I read all the comments and there were so many great suggestions that I checked out. Isn’t there something so amazing about reading? It fills you up and makes you happy and increases your vocabulary and has you dropping five-syllable words into every conversation.

And guess what?

Y’all are the BEST READERS.

So in case you are a reader like me?

Here are two books from my new favorite author and the number one favorite from last month’s post.

Let’s GO.

1. Winter Garden

This was the number-one bestseller from January–Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah.


This is the one that so many of you clicked on (although there was a little controversy and some people said it wasn’t their favorite. LOL.)

I love this book. I took this book on the cruise and read it in two days.

It’s so beautiful and poignant and heartbreaking that I could not put it down.

The story is about two sisters and their relationship with their mother who is a survivor of World War II and Leningrad. The way Kristen Hannah writes you feel like you are there and the story unfolds in a way that you don’t expect.

My second favorite of all the Kristen Hannah books that I’ve read (see number one below).

You can see it here.

2. This Place of Wonder

And here’s my new favorite author, Barbara O’Neal. The way she writes is amazing. It’s as if someone is reading you a story aloud.

Maybe I think that because I downloaded this book on Audible. LOL.

It’s about four women all connected together by a tragedy.

And how they deal with it and come together and the choices that they make—it’s so powerful. Meadow is my favorite in the book and she’s such an amazing character.

You can see the book here.

3. How to Bake a Perfect Life

And here’s our second entry from my new favorite author, Barbara O’Neal.

It’s about the relationships between mothers and daughters.

Since I am both a mother and a daughter it really spoke to me. Sometimes we say things that we don’t mean and it’s so important to listen closely to hear the true voice that’s trying to speak.

Her writing and this story are so beautiful.

You can see it here.

4. So Close To Amazing

Did you know I’m an author? I’ve written six books (with my seventh one coming out in September).

And I always forget to include myself in these lists.

This is my very first book that I published six years ago. It’s a memoir with stories sprinkled with a honesty and extra joy about waking up every day and trying to be the very best you that you could ever be.

And sometimes when I try? I succeed beyond my wildest dreams.

And sometimes? I’m SO CLOSE to amazing.

You can see my best-selling memoir here.

5. Angel Falls

This is an older Kristen Hannah book that you might not have heard of. It was written in 2005 and it is a TEARJERKER.

But in the best kind of way.

It’s about a beloved wife and mother who falls into a coma and her husband is desperate to save her. He leaves no stone unturned and discovers that she used to be married to a movie star (a marriage he didn’t know about) and he has to enlist his help.

It’s a beautiful, wonderful story as only Kristen Hannah can tell them.

You can see it here.

6. The Librarian Spy

This is another book from my favorite era, Word War II.

It’s about Ava who works as a librarian at the Library of Congress and Elaine who works at a printing press as part of the Resistance. Together they are so brave and they help the Resistance with coded messages and sharing hope when it looks like hope doesn’t exist anymore.

Such a good page-turner.

You can see it here.

7. The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

This is such an example of a life well-lived.

Marjorie Post’s father was WC Post and she was one of the wealthiest women in America. But she wasn’t just a wealthy socialite. She was so much more than that. She was selfless and giving and generous and left an amazing legacy.

You can see it here.

8. The Wedding Veil

I just finished this book by Kristy Woodsen Harvey and if you like stories that go back in time and then combine the story with the present? You will love this book.

It’s about generations of women who wear a wedding veil that’s supposed to bring them all amazing luck and incredible marriages.

And how one woman makes a choice that changes her life.

Spoiler alert. The Vanderbilts and Biltmore estate are all involved in the story, too.

You can see it here.

9. Her Heart For a Compass

My husband got me this for Valentine’s Day.

He thought I would like it because I’m all about the Royals and this book is written by Fergie.

I haven’t read it yet, but the plot looks good. A daughter of a duke leaves her groom at the altar and becomes an outcast in society. She goes on a journey to Ireland and America and changes her destiny.

You can see it here.

10. Atomic Habits

Have you read this book yet?


My husband got it for me for my birthday. We already are on James Clear’s email list and we share quotes and thoughts with each other each week. This book is SUCH a good read, starting with James Clear’s story at the very beginning.

It will change the way you look at things and how you can make such a difference with small every day changes.

You can see it here.

And there you have it.

What I’ve read.

What I’m currently reading.

And what I’m about to read.

All coming to you from my winter reading nook at the top of the stairs.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you think or if you have a book I need to read.

I have a little bit of March left.

PS How do you read books? Do you order them online? Check them out from the library? Go to the bookstore? I do all of the above.

But lately, I’ve been using Audible. It’s really good if you go for a walk or are doing chores around the house. You can actually try it for FREE for 30 days. Here’s the sign-up if you are interested.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


    1. Image for Stephanie E Brown Stephanie E Brown

      Kristy's book The Wedding Veil is a different book from the tv series. Her book has the setting of the Biltmore. The veil series on Hallmark are based on Lori Wilde's book There Goes The Bride. I have both book on my list to read. I enjoy The Wedding Veil series on Hallmark too. Happy Reading of both books to you!

  1. Image for francis c moore francis c moore

    I like Kristin Hannah. I get my books from the local library. I am on a fixed income and can't really afford to buy books. I did buy in the past, but not today. I just put How To Bake A Perfect Life on hold; it sounds like a good read.

  2. Image for Elizabeth@pineconecandacorns Elizabeth@pineconecandacorns

    I buy books, get books from the thrifts store, and get lots of books from the library, especially if I am not too sure what I want to read. Then if I don't like them I simply return them. I read physical books and books on my iPad with the Libby app. Love and have read all of your suggestions. The Atomic Habbit is AMAZING!

  3. Image for laura laura

    Added all of these to our library Libby app. I love audible for the same reason-walking, walking the dogs, folding laundry, and making dinner. I even listen in the car, but occasionally miss my exit or street! Great list! I have your book! xo laura

  4. Image for Cindy Vojanec Cindy Vojanec

    I have loved reading since elementary school! As an Army brat, I always knew I had a friend nearby in my books whenever we were transferred to a new community. Now at 67 years of age, that feeling has not diminished. I am fortunate enough to have the most wonderful library system where I live in FL - they home deliver library books! Amazing, right? I reserve them on line and they miraculously appear on my front porch totally free of charge! It is like Christmas morning over and over again when I see those bright blue library envelopes on my porch. Thanks for the book list as I am always searching for new authors to read! Happy reading!

  5. Image for Janette Janette

    So glad to see your first book on this list. Anyone who hasn’t read it you really must. I laughed and had the odd tear. Wonderful read. Thankyou for sharing this list. I usually order all my books online so will be browsing. Xxx

  6. Image for Kathy Kathy

    As another avid reader, I love when you recommend books. I get my books at the library after browsing book synopsis and recommendations online. If you like WW II books I would recommend The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon. Also Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network and The Rose Code. Sometimes these books can be emotionally heavy so I spread them out with mysteries.

    1. Image for Deb Armstrong Deb Armstrong

      I also love to read. Kate Morton is a wonderful writer. She draws you into another time and weaves a dramatic tale. I thought her books were based on true events, sadly they are not. Worth a look.

  7. Image for Denise Fonda Denise Fonda

    KariAnne, I love to read and I also use Audible. However, I discovered Hoopla, which, is a free site with ebooks and audiobooks. I always check there before using an Audible credit. I have discovered older books from authors that I like. It is also works with my Bluetooth in the car, and since the newer cars don’t play CDs anymore (used to get them from the library). Thank you for your suggestions. Let me recommend Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale”. I read Winter Garden and this is also a page turner. Hope you enjoy!

  8. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I’m going to look for these on my Libby app! I like to read digital books best. I either check out from the library in Libby or buy from Amazon!!

  9. Image for Carol Carol

    Kari, when I last sent you a comment, I remarked that YOU should write a book with your humor and sensitivity. You didn't tell me that you are an author already! lol. I will definitely read yours since I am already a fan of your blog. I mentioned that I'm an author of children's books and two that I've written were brought about by the loss of my daughter...a powerful emotion for writing although the two picture books are written abut the zoo animals she took care of. The third book is for middle schoolers and is about a pilot who flies with a lion! So, I mention these because even though I'm an older adult, I still love picture books and have a 'future' collection of them for my grandchildren to come. Never hurts to be prepared. One other thing, next time try "The Indigo Girl" it is brilliantly written and takes place on a plantation in the south! I love Natasha Boyd's writing. This book has stuck with me for years. Thanks for your reading suggestions. Can't wait to read them.

  10. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I am not much of a reader, or a pod cast listener. I seem to struggle sitting still to read, and if I do anything while I listen a pod cast, I dont remember what I heard while working. But here is my question of the year...How do you find time to read? I admire that.

  11. Image for Wendy Griffith Wendy Griffith

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read. Kristin Hannah is an amazing author; every one of her books is a winner. She never disappoints! I recently was gifted with a YA (Young Adult) book. (I work at a University and try to keep up w/ younger people's trends; try being the operative word!) The book is, Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O'Clover. This book is so engaging and entertaining. It has multiple, well-developed themes with a romance developing with each chapter. It also shows how technology and social media can impact our lives. I bet your daughters would love it! It's a fast read.

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    I'm a library and Libby app girl all the way. I have read books on my Libby app that I probably wouldn't have picked up in the library. I don't know if you have read any Young Adult fiction, but Ruta Sepetys is a favorite author of mine. She focuses on lesser-known aspects of history and weaves them into an engaging tale. I always finish her books feeling both sated and eager to learn more about what she has written. Salt to the Sea, Between Shades of Gray, and I Must Betray You are all excellent.

  13. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Thank you! I am enjoying your book lists/Reading life posts very much. I have added some to my list. I go to used bookstores/thrift to purchase/library/audible. Here is one (WWII- friendship/family/food sprinkled in) that I am reading now and cannot put down that my mother n law gave me: Eternal - Lisa Scottoline. Another great one is Secrets of A Charmed Life (London Blitz) - Susan Meissner

  14. Image for Sloane Sloane

    Hi kariAnne I have pretty much read all of your choices, so good! Can you give us a hint what YOUR new book, coming out in September,is about/ A sneak peek? Im ready to pre-order!!

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Of course!!!! It’s going to be about easy, simple 10-minute decorating ideas! You are so sweet to ask! Happy day! KariAnne

  15. Image for Carol Tucker Carol Tucker

    I didn't realize you had authored books!! I just ordered and can't wait to receive and read. Love your humorous style!!

  16. Image for PJ PJ

    Thanks, KariAnne! I am always looking for new titles to read, and there are a number here that I have not yet read. I will add them to my ever-growing "to read" list. Happy Reading!

  17. Image for Stephanie E Brown Stephanie E Brown

    I love the library and actually winning books on goodreads.com. This site has book giveaways often. I loved the Marjorie Post book as well as yours too Karianne. Kristin Hannah is amazing! I just read a neat book called The Echoes Of Old Books. Yes the title got me alone as well as the cover. I also love Viola Shipman. I have read The Heirloom Garden and The Secret of Snow by this author. I am currently reading The Good Son by the bestselling author of The Deeper End of the Ocean. which is one of my favorite books and the movie is pretty good too, Love seeing what all are reading. Blessings for sharing the love of reading.

  18. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    Thank you! I'm never without two books in progress (one fiction, one nonfiction), and I love book recommendations. I check the library first, then try to buy a used copy if the library doesn't have it. If buying new, I try to buy from locally owned bookshops. I especially enjoy historical fiction, so I'll be sure to check some of these out!

  19. Image for Laura F Laura F

    Thanks! I can't wait to add these to my current book queue ;)....I've been making more of an effort to take time in my day to read and relax, it brings me so much happiness

  20. Image for Holly Holly

    If you like historical fiction, you must try Fiona Davis' books. They are all wonderful and will transport you to another place and era with one heroine in the past, one in the present, and the way their stories tie together. Lots of fascinating info about NYC locations. Highly recommend!

  21. Image for Mildred Mildred

    Thank you for this list of books... keep them coming. I'm a reader, getting my books from the library. I used to buy books, but then they sat around gathering dust, so I started using the library. I liked what the gal above said about her library delivering books. I want to live where she lives. My library lets you reserve the books, pulls them from the shelves for you, but alas, you have to park your car and go in to pick them up. I've read Winter Garden. I didn't care for it at the beginning. I thought the sisters were terrible to each other and their mother. But when it got into the story about Leningrad, I was all in. Kristin Hannah doesn't write a bad book. Have you read The Great Alone? Awesome story, hard to read, but very, very good.

Comments are closed.