January Book Picks

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Our book reviewers share three novels today that are perfect when you want to cozy up with a good book. Highly recommended is The Engineer’s Wife, a Novel of the Brooklyn Bridge is a fascinating historical fiction. Francene Katzen says the Red Hot Living: Becoming a Joyful Badass Sager was the inspiring book she read last year. And Joan Pagano says After You’d Gone is thought-provoking and will leave a lasting impression.

The Woman who Built the Brooklyn Bridge Who Most of Us Don’t Know About

One of my favorite series is Julian Fellowes, the Gilded Age (HBO Max) that focuses on the boom years of the 1880s in New York City. This season included the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and the woman behind it. I didn’t know story, and a friend recommended this historical fiction The Engineer’s Wife: A Novel of the Brooklyn Bridge, about Emily Roebling, the woman who built the monument for all time. Then she was lost in its shadow. In the book, an international bestseller, we discover the fascinating woman who helped design and construct the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s on my winter must read list. Get the Book.

~ Cheryl Benton, aka, The Head Tomato

The Most Inspiring Book I Read Last Year

I want to start off 2024 by telling you about the most inspiring book I read in 2023.  At first, I thought it was a book about recovery.  Red Hot Living: Becoming a Joyful Badass Sager by Lynn Young was much more than just about recovery.  It is a book you cannot put down. It is both empowering and motivational, it will encourage the reader to live a joyful life and embrace your inner bad ass self.   I quickly said to myself reading this book “I will have what she is having”.  I could not wait to read every detail about how she is and has lived her life.

The story covers Youngs life for over forty years.  It begins in the eighties when she begins to realize she is an alcoholic.  She has her dream job and is happily married, but is still asking herself the question “Where is the Joy?”  Once she comes to terms with being an alcoholic, that was a turning point for Lynn in her life.  She has not had a drink since April 6, 1982.

Her book has eleven chapters, telling lots of personal stories.  Each chapter talks about different ways to find joy each day.  She does give us steps to do to put finding joy into our own personal lives.  She is a believer in affirmations as well as thinking about your thoughts so they will come true.

Young’s book shows us how to live life with passion and find joy every single day.  She believes joy is in our lives even in those dark and difficult days.  She acknowledges we all have tough times in our lives, it is called life and we must preserve.  She will show you how to get through those dark days.   I cannot recommend this book enough. I loved it and have read it twice.  Reading it twice for me says a lot since I am not one to read a book a second time.  This is a five star read. GET THE BOOK.

~Francene Katzen, Richmond, Virginia, advocate for parents who have children with drug addictions.

A Thought-Provoking Novel That Leaves a Lasting Impression

After You’d Gone” by Maggie O’Farrell is a poignant and emotionally charged novel that delves into the complexities of love, loss, and the impact of decisions on one’s life.

The author’s prose is beautifully crafted, evoking a range of emotions as readers are taken on a journey through time and relationships. O’Farrell’s exploration of grief is particularly powerful, capturing the rawness and vulnerability of the human experience. The novel also explores themes of family dynamics, identity, and the profound impact of seemingly insignificant moments.

The narrative follows the life of Alice Raikes, who, in the aftermath of a tragic accident, finds herself confronting her past and reflecting on the choices she has made. O’Farrell weaves a compelling tale through a non-linear narrative, skillfully exploring the interconnected lives of the characters.

Character development is a strong feature of the novel, with each character carrying their own burdens and secrets. The intricate relationships portrayed add depth to the story, and O’Farrell’s ability to create a sense of intimacy with the characters allows readers to empathize with their struggles and victories.

“After You’d Gone” is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant novel that leaves a lasting impression. Maggie O’Farrell’s masterful storytelling and profound exploration of human emotions make this book a compelling read for those who appreciate intricately woven narratives and deeply felt characters. GET THE BOOK.

~Joan Pagano, NYC, Joan Pagano Fitness


The Three Tomatoes Book Shelf
If you love books you've come to the right place. Here's where you'll find great books that our Tomato reviewers have read and think other tomatoes will love too. Enjoy.

Book Review

The Three Tomatoes Book Shelf If you love books you've come to the right place. Here's where you'll find great books that our Tomato reviewers have read and think other tomatoes will love too. Enjoy.

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