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Friday, August 14, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mama Bear Moxie: Sharing the best in quest to read more

By Kristina Phelan For The Spokesman-Review

We’re a month past the halfway mark for the year, and I’m a little behind on my reading goal. I still plan on reaching my goal of 30 books read by the end of 2019, but, so far, I have logged only 15.

For those of you who are wanting to read more, I thought I would share some of my top picks so far for 2019. I’ve gotten lots of reading ideas from celebrity book clubs. I am pretty partial to Reese Witherspoon’s book club, called Hello Sunshine, and have read many books that she has picked. Jimmy Fallon has a “Tonight Show” book club, and I wrote down some of the books that he recommended, as well.

If you want to read more, but are struggling to find books that you like, here are a few that I enjoyed so far this year:

‘Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine’

By Gail Honeyman

This quirky story is a bit unusual, but in the same way very entertaining. It is the debut novel by Gail Honeyman, which makes me excited to read more of her books in the future. Eleanor is the main character in this story who is socially awkward with a past history of extensive trauma. Her relationship with her mother is strained, and there is a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. My favorite quote from the book is, “When the silence and the aloneness press down and around me, crushing me, carving through me like ice, I need to speak aloud sometimes, if only for proof of life.”

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’

By Delia Owens

This book is so good that I am reading it a second time with my summer book club! It features a young girl named Kya who lives alone in the marshes of North Carolina. It is a beautiful book in the way that it describes the marsh, as well as the struggle to survive for a girl on her own. It is a story about loneliness and hope, with a twist at the end that leaves you breathless and wanting more. My favorite quote is, “Life had made her an expert at mashing feelings into a storable size.”


By Kristen Hensley and Jen Smedley

This mom duo wrote a book after having success with online videos about motherhood. Kristen and Jen are your typical moms who share their life and struggles. The book is a great one for those moms out there who want support in this journey of mothering, as well as real-life honesty mixed with plenty of giggles. I not only related to this book but also laughed out loud at their ability to put it all out there with the ultimate goal to show other moms that we are all in this crazy boat together. I had a ton of favorite quotes from this book, but these two are priceless: “We have ended our relationship with shoelaces,” and “It’s demoralizing when you cross the line into being a Mom, some people define you by that and that alone.”

‘Turtles All the Way Down’

By John Greene

I related a lot to this book in ways that I didn’t expect. Aza, the main character, is a 16-year-old girl who struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder. The story involves a high school romance and a mystery. The setting takes place in Indianapolis, which is only a few hours from where I live, making this a book that is close to home. My favorite quote from the book is, “I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.”

Is there a book that you think I should definitely read by the end of the year? Share your own book pick with me by emailing

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