Skip to main content

Unexpectedly Good Reads

March 25, 2021

I like to be surprised by books. Not in the way of clowns jumping out of sewers at you. Nope. No thank you. No horror for me. By surprised I mean books that I enjoy way more than I expected. Then I want to tell everyone about them. That’s where you come in.

Hi. These are good books. You should read them.

I had no idea what to expect with this one. An octogenarian artist leaves behind a notebook with his story in it. He’s alone and trying to connect with someone. First the local cafe owner reads it and adds her story. Then a lost financial trader finds the book and decides to change his life. It kind of had a Love Actually vibe to it. (I love Love Actually, so this is a good thing.) I liked how all the characters in the book wove in and out of each others’ lives. I am giving it a one Kleenex warning, because there was a little bit of sad, but even that fit into the story well and wasn’t overwhelming. This was a good read that wasn’t too sappy or too maudlin.

In London, overachiever Leena has a breakdown at work. In Yorkshire, her grandma Eileen is dealing with the fact that her husband of 50+ years just left her for a younger woman. Since both of their lives are a bit bumpy, they decide to switch places. Leena moves back to Yorkshire and takes over her grandma’s duties: planning the May Day event, fixing her relationship with her mother (Eileen’s daughter), and trying to slow down. Eileen heads to London to have the adventure she’s always wanted. I thought this one might be too Freaky Friday for me, but it wasn’t. I liked all of these characters, and it was fun to see them grow. 

I came across this one on Twitter and had no idea what to expect. I just thought it sounded interesting because it is about a girl who loves to make Cuban food, and I enjoy eating Cuban food.

In Miami, Lila Reyes has been having a rough time. First her beloved Abuela passes away, then her stupid boyfriend dumps her right before the prom. Knowing that she’s struggling, her parents decide to send Lila to a cousin in a small town in England. Once there, she finds a group of people she never knew she needed and discovers more about herself. Lots of good characters here as well and I really wish it was more than just one book because it was so engrossing. It also makes me want to learn how to make Pan Cubano, but that’s a different issue. 

Ok friends. Your mission – should you choose to accept – is to read any/all of these and maybe fall in love a little. (It’s ok if it’s just with the Pan Cubano.)

I dare you.

Happy exploring…
:) Amanda

Panda cub avatar


Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

Genre / Topics

Age Groups