Books Audra is taking to the beach……36 books on my “short list” plus a few giveaways!

by Audra H Anders for The Aha! Connection

I can not really pinpoint why, but I haven’t been reading much lately.   However, I think I’m getting a message from above to pick up my Kindle or even a real book.   I’m seeing so many emails, Facebook posts, app alerts and magazine articles about books to read.    I’ve been moving them all over into a folder and just read every single suggestion..   Now, I’ve written a list of every book that I may want to read on spring break.   Spring Break you ask?   I’m an empty-nester and am not bound by my children’s spring break schedules but alas….I’m declaring my own spring break the week AFTER DeKalb and am Santa Rosa Beach bound soon.   I will not be chaperoning ANYONE.   My toes will be in the sand and there will be a book in my hand….for TEN DAYS!   I wonder how many books I can read in 10 days!?   I’ll be sure and let you know!

Following is the list of books I’m going to be choosing from…I’m begging you to PLEASE leave a comment if you have a suggestion for me not found on this list!   I hope this will help many of you find a few good books to read whether you are taking an official spring break or not!   I’ll work on the formatting and re-do this next week but wanted to go ahead and get the list out to you since many are leaving today for Spring Break.   Meanwhile please notice you can also win 2 books and a bar of soap.   Comment by telling me which you’d like to win and we’ll choose winners next Friday!


  1. Noticed
  2. Life is too Short to be Anything but Happy and Healthy
  3.  A friend of Audra’s wrote this NY Post Article..How Winston Churchill became an accidental beauty now we are giving away a bar of Churchill’s fave soap! 
Click Title for Link to Amazon Author Note from Audra Quote
CODEBREAKER GIRLS: A Secret Life at Bletchley Park Jan Slimming Local Author Codebreaker Girls: A Secret Life at Bletchley Park tells the true story of Daisy Lawrence. Following extensive research, the author uses snippets of information, unpublished photographs and her own recollections to describe scenes from her mother’s poor, but happy, upbringing in London, and the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the Second World War to a young woman in the prime of her life.
Couch Time with Carolyn Katy Hart Smith Local Author, book set in Dunwoody Author went to Dunwoody High (graduated in 1982), and her name is Katy Hart Smith. She has written several books, and one of them, Couch Time with Carolyn, is a memoir about her relationship with her best friend’s mother (set here in Dunwoody). 
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Erik Larson  A friend of Audra’s wrote this NY Post Article….so now we are giving away a bar of Churchill’s fave soap!  Comment if you want to win! #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis
“One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”—Time • “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR
Girl Talk, Money Talk: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Money After College Lisa Brown Local Author Congratulations! This big world is now yours to explore and conquer. And it costs money. Together we’ll walk through some really big and important life-changing decisions you will soon face from paying off student loans, switching jobs, buying a house, getting married, comingling your finances, having a baby, giving up your career (or not) to be a full-time mom, and what to do if tragedy strikes. 
When Crickets Cry Charles Martin   From the author of The Mountain Between Us and the New York Times bestseller Where the River Ends.

“. . . charming characters and twists that keep the pages turning.” —Southern Living

A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.

The Water Keeper  Charles Martin A choice for Audra’s Meadowlake Book Club in 2021 A riveting story of heroism, heartache, and the power of love to heal all wounds.
Untamed Glennon Doyle A choice for Audra’s Meadowlake Book Club in 2021 #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Over two million copies sold! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

Noticed Jennifer Gibbs Local Author – copy to giveaway.  Comment if you want to win! When Cassidy Maxwell turns sixteen, she believes she is on the precipice of freedom, first love, and teenage escapades. Unbeknownst to the Maxwell family, a simmering inferno is beginning to boil, threatening the entire town of Franklin and all they hold dear.
The Rose Code Kate Quinn   The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.
The Warsaw Orphan Kelly Rimmer Not available until June 1, 2021 Inspired by the real-life heroine who saved thousands of Jewish children during WWII, The Warsaw Orphan is Kelly Rimmer’s most anticipated novel since her bestselling sensation, The Things We Cannot Say.
The Four Winds Kristin Hannah #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“The Four Winds seems eerily prescient in 2021 . . . Its message is galvanizing and hopeful: We are a nation of scrappy survivors. We’ve been in dire straits before; we will be again. Hold your people close.”―The New York Times

“Through one woman’s survival during the harsh and haunting Dust Bowl, master storyteller, Kristin Hannah, reminds us that the human heart and our Earth are as tough, yet as fragile, as a change in the wind.” ―Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing

Eternal Lisa Scottoline   #1 bestselling author Lisa Scottoline offers a sweeping and shattering epic of historical fiction fueled by shocking true events, the tale of a love triangle that unfolds in the heart of Rome…in the creeping shadow of fascism.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue  V.E. Schwab  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force. 
The Sweet Taste of Muscadines Pamela Terry   “A deeply moving work of Southern fiction that will appeal to fans of Where the Crawdads Sing . . . a story to remember long after the last page is turned.”—Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost and Found Bookshop 
The Woman with the Blue Star Pam Jenoff MJCCA Book Festival 5/6 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris comes a riveting tale of courage and unlikely friendship during World War II.
Sunflower Sisters Martha Hall Kelly Lilac Girls Trilogy Martha Hall Kelly’s million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced readers to Caroline Ferriday. Now, in Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of Ferriday’s ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse during the Civil War whose calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress whose husband enlists.
When We Believed in Mermaids Barbara O’Neal   An Amazon Charts, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller.

From the author of The Art of Inheriting Secrets comes an emotional new tale of two sisters, an ocean of lies, and a search for the truth.

The Shell Seekers  Rosamunde Pilcher One of Peggy’s all time faves! “A huge warm saga . . . A deeply satisfying story written with love and confidence.” –Maeve Binchy in The New York Times Book Review

“A knockout of a novel…we predict [Infinite Country] will be viewed as one of 2021’s best.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

News of the World Paulette Jiles 2020 Tom Hanks movie nominated for 4 Oscars In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
Lost Roses Martha Hall Kelly Lilac Girls Trilogy NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
Dear Wife Kimberly Belle Local Author From the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie comes a riveting new novel of suspense about a woman who must decide just how far she’ll go to escape the person she once loved
The Taster V. S. Alexander   Amid the turbulence of World War II, a young German woman finds a precarious haven closer to the source of danger than she ever imagined—one that will propel her through the extremes of privilege and terror under Hitler’s dictatorship . . .
The Kiss Quotient Helen Hoang   From the author of The Bride Test comes a romance novel hailed as one of The Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2018 and one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2018!

“This is such a fun read and it’s also quite original and sexy and sensitive.”—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author 

Atomic Love Jennie Fields   “A novel of science, love, espionage, beautiful writing, and a heroine who carves a strong path in the world of men. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing left to want.”–Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House


An achingly beautiful work of historical fiction that moves between Germany on the eve of World War II and present-day Wisconsin, unspooling a thread of love, longing, and the powerful bonds of family.

The Jetsetters Amanda Eyre Ward   NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick • Named One of the Best Beach Reads of 2020 by Parade, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Good Housekeeping
Mayflower Nathanial Philbrick   “Vivid and remarkably fresh…Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages.”–The New York Times Book Review

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History
New York Times Book Review Top Ten books of the Year

With a new preface marking the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower.

Mother May I Joshilyn Jackson   The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Never Have I Ever returns with an even more addictive novel of domestic suspense in which a mother must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her child and the life she loves—an unforgettable tale of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make, ones that transform our lives in unforeseen ways.
The Other Emily Dean Koontz   Number one New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz takes readers on a twisting journey of lost love, impossible second chances, and terrifying promises.
The Wife Upstairs Rachel Hawkins   Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

“Compulsively readable…a gothic thriller laced with arsenic.” ––EW

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021: CNN • Newsweek • Vulture • PopSugar • Parade • BuzzFeed • E!Online • TimeOut • Woman’s Day • Goodreads • She Reads • Good Housekeeping • CrimeReads • Frolic • Hello! • Mystery and Suspense 

Ghosts of Harvard Francesca Serritella   “Every time I thought I knew where Ghosts of Harvard was heading, I turned out to be wrong. Part mystery, part ghost story, part psychological thriller, this novel is all entertainment.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult
Every Vow You Break Peter Swanson   “Hitchcockian chills and thrills abound in Swanson’s latest mystery, a twisty tale of survival and deception. ” – O, the Oprah Magazine
Life is too Short to be Anything but Happy and Healthy D.L. Mitchell Local Author – copy to giveaway.  Comment if you want to win! Brilliantly researched and impassioned with real life experiences, Life Is Too Short to Be Anything but Happy and Healthy is filled with stories, remedies, and recipes that will touch your heart and your health. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly as Deanna shares her enjoyment of life over food and drinks with family and friends.
Dune Frank Herbert Major motion picture to be released October, 2021.  Starring Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem….. Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.
The Fountains of Silence Ruta Sepetys   From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

7 thoughts on “Books Audra is taking to the beach……36 books on my “short list” plus a few giveaways!

  1. Would love to hear the story from local author Jennifer Gibbs. ‘Noticed’ sounds like it would be a great read to start Springtime in Dunwoody. Thank you!

  2. Life is too short to be anything but happy and healthy
    I love the title to this book
    It sounds like the author has a passion for sharing life lessons for us all to be kinder to everyone we meet

  3. Audra
    Be sure to read the Silent patient ! Intriguing! I would love to read the wife upstairs or life is too short!

  4. This tender land or winemakers wife. I would love to read “life is too short…”. I’m recently retired and plan to be both

  5. Code breaker girls sounds heavenly. If you have ever read about Bletchley Park it’s amazing. The work people did, the Enigma machine, the secrecy and the people it took to make it work. Truly astounding.

  6. News of the World or Mother May I sound interesting – would be happy to win either title.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.