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Betsy's Book Club

Welcome to my Book Club page! Reading is a great way to relax and destress and for those in retirement, you may find you have a lot more time to read. I love hearing about books and authors that I have not yet come across and I love sharing the ones that I have enjoyed as well.

I will pick a book each month that I personally have read and one a client has recommended. Please feel free to reach out to me at betsy@reedfinancial.net with your book ideas and thoughts! Remember, one lucky reader each quarter who sends in a book suggestion will be chosen randomly to receive a gift card to a local bookstore in your area!

Gift Card Winners

  • April - Carol A.
  • July - Nancy L.



August 2022

August 2022

For August I have chosen The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, which is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly.  But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family. I found it difficult to read at times, but overall it was fascinating.

Our client Ann recommends The Last Flight, a thriller by Julie White. Some people disappear every day, but very few of us actually understand how difficult it is to truly vanish. After a chance meeting at an airport, Claire and Eva are just desperate enough to take that risk. They switch tickets, leaving their troubled lives behind. But what happens if their new identity proves more deadly than their old one? This book is full of surprise twists and a great summer read!

June 2022

June 2022

For this month, I chose a book I just finished, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. This month's pick is a fictionalized biographical account of the Grimke sisters as they become trailblazers in the abolition movement and early leaders in the fight for women's rights. The story takes place in the pre Civil War era and begins on a plantation in Charleston. The story alternates being told by Sarah Grimke and Handful, the slave given to her on her 11th birthday. Kidd writes so beautifully about the relationship between Sarah and her family, Handful and her mother and how they are all interwoven. 

For our client's pick this month, Jess recommends The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It's a psychological thriller that tells the story of three women and how their lives intersect. Jess said it was a great book and she couldn't put it down!

July 2022

July 2022

I have to share Robert Dugoni's The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell  for July. Sam Hell is an inspiring tale about a boy born with ocular albinism, which makes his eyes appear red. His mother enrolls him in a Catholic school, where he quickly earns the nickname "Devil Boy." Sam faces bullies of all sizes and ages, and stands up to them with remarkable strength throughout his adult life. It's a spectacular book! I have also read The World Played Chess by Dugoni and really enjoyed that coming of age tale as well. 

Our client Carol suggests a great beach read by Karen White, The Attic on Queen Street. This is book #7 of the Tradd Street series and I look forward to giving this series a try! A malevolent ghost seems determined to stop Melanie from investigating the decades-old murder of a friend's sister, and this spirit will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—even from beyond the grave. Carol says it's pure escapism! 

May 2022

May 2022

Again, I had a lot of books to choose from this month! I decided to share Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It is a historical novel set in nineteenth-century China. An 80-year-old woman named Lily narrates the novel. From her present time in 1903, she recounts the story of her life. Lily’s story centers on her profound, but ultimately tragic relationship with a woman named Snow Flower. The two met as girls, when they were arranged as a laotong pair, which refers to a strong, sisterly bond meant to provide long-term emotional and spiritual fulfillment outside of marriage. Both women experienced a reverse of fortune over the course of their lives. Against a turbulent backdrop of personal suffering and historical violence, the women’s bond unravels. I found it to be an excellent read!

For our client recommendation, Palma suggested Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley which is young adult fiction.  The book is about a young indigenous woman who is part of the Ojibwe community in Michgan's Upper Penisula. The author is a member of the Chippewa tribe that reside in that area. The book centers around the life of an eighteen-year-old young woman who is trying to fit into the indigenous and non-indigenous world around her. There is mystery, relationships, crime solving, and a big glimpse into modern life for the Indian peoples both on and off the reservation. 


April 2022

April 2022

I had lots of books to choose from this month! I thoroughly enjoyed my first book by William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace. It's a of coming-of-age novel about a boy set in a small town in Minnesota during the summer of 1961. This book holds a mystery when one of the five deaths is a murder, but it also speaks of wisdom, secrets, forgiveness, the love of family, faith and miraclesI was really touched by this book and loved the simplicity of the 1960's. I also just finished reading This Tender Land  by the same author, which is a great story as well. He is such a wonderful storyteller!

Our client picks this month is from Elaine, who recommended so many books, one of which is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It's about a young woman named Kya, who's left to raise herself in the marshes of North Carolina when her family abandons her at a young age. There is so much to her story: romance, mystery, and a murder… and it takes place in the breathtaking backdrop of the South. I too have read this book and really loved it!

March 2022

March 2022

I picked a thriller this month by Mary Kubica called Local Woman Missing.  It was the first book I have read by Kubica and I really enjoyed all the twist and turns.  A woman disappears and then another woman and her six-year-old daughter vanish in the same community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold. Now, 11 years later, the young girl shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find..

For our client pick this month, Nancy recommends A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Nancy says it takes place in post Revolutionary Russia and centers on a former aristocrat who has been tried and found guilty of being on the side of the aristocracy. He is sentenced to life confined in a high class hotel in Moscow. Nancy found it to be very well written. 


February 2022

February 2022

This month was a toss up for me between two of Kristin Harmel's historical fiction books. The Book of Lost Names  is inspired by the true story of a young woman with a talent for forgery who helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis and The Forest of Vanishing Stars which is about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis. Both excellent reads about WWII.

This month our client Nancy picks The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett. Nancy says it takes place in the 1950's to 1960's and it's about identical twin sisters growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age 16. It tells the tale of how as adults their daily lives, families, communities and racial identities become different. 

January 2022

January 2022

My first recommendation for 2022 is a book I read last month, small great things and my first by Jodi Picoult. So impressed with her writing and I've since read The Storyteller and I'm almost done with Leaving Time!

small great things is a superb story of an African American labor and delivery nurse who cares for the newborn of a white supremacist couple. I really admired the main character Ruth's strength and I was surprised how Picoult portrayed Turk the white supremacist. 

For our client's choice of the month, I randomly picked Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill. Terri says, "Her writing style is a little wordy and it takes a while to get into it but when you do it is fascinating." This book is a tribute to the wife of Winston Churchill who was his closest confidant and shrewdest advisor.


December 2021

December 2021

This month I am highly recommending The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah which is historical fiction. It starts in 1974 and revolves around Vietnam POW veteran, his wife and 13-year-old daughter Leni as they move to Alaska to start a new life. Hannah creates many believable characters who capture your heart but please be warned that there are passages of domestic violence.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Hannah's work. Of note, the author and her family also have a connection to Alaska.