What to Read: Book Reviews

Welcome to What to Read by Elementary Connections. I’m Samantha Goodman, a former bookseller with a passion for helping people find the perfect way to unwind. I’ve teamed up with my friends at Elementary Connections to give you some respite from the craziness of life under quarantine. Each week, we’ll recommend books with suggested drink pairings for each title.

The Highlights: fiction; 1930s Kentucky; women defying convention and societal expectations; Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick; soon to be a major motion picture

Drink Pairing: mint julep or straight Kentucky bourbon

Kid's Activity: draw your own constellations/paint or draw rainbows in support of first responders

UPDATE 9/11/20: After reading this book, i have since loaned it to several friends, imploring them to read it, also. Such a wonderfully written story and a fascinating time in our country’s history. I have loved Jojo Moyes since the early days of my career as a bookseller, before…

The Highlights: historical fiction based on the real life affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and one of his married clients

Drink Pairing: whiskey

UPDATE 9/11/20: I was looking at photos from a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water” in Western PA and it inspired me to read this wonderful book and I loved it. Prepare to be captivated and heartbroken by the story of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah…

The Highlights: World War I drama that follows Lucius, a young medical student in Austria, who dreams of helping soldiers in field hospitals.

Drink Pairing: Hot toddy

Books set during wartimes always seem to appeal to readers across a broad spectrum of genres, whether non-fiction, sci-fi, mystery, etc. You get the idea. A lot of the wartime fiction that’s come out over the last decade or so has really been focused on WW2, though I’m not…

The Highlights: Paris is a historical novel by Edward Rutherfurd which charts the history of Paris from 1261 to 1968 and follows six core families set in locales such as Montmartre, Notre Dame and Boulevard Saint-Germain. 

Drink Pairing: The St. Germain

Even with the warmer weather and the ability to be outside more, it’s hard to forget that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. We can’t exactly go anywhere and the cabin fever has been raging for 3 months with no signs of breaking anytime soon. Travel for…