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FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For March 22nd – March 28th

This week, we are sharing our favorite thrillers, romances, historical fiction novels and more! 

Welcome, literature lovers, to the FIRST for Women weekly book club!

Here at FIRST for Women, when we’re not hard at work bringing you stories about health, nutrition, beauty and lifestyle, we like to kick back with a good book.

We know firsthand that reading provides relief from stress, improves brain health and ushers in more joy. So we rounded up our editors’ seven top picks for March 22nd – March 28th, 2024, from young adult, thrillers, historical fiction and more. Read on for our FIRST book club picks!

We’d also love to hear what books you’re reading this month and how they made you feel!

Young Adult: The Summer of Broken Rules

by K.L Walther

the summer of broken rules by k.l walther (FIRST Book Club)
Sourcebooks Fire

“After a long winter, I can’t wait to soak up the carefree bliss of spring,” says Julianne MacNeill, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “And this one was a sunny escape!” Meredith Fox shut the world out when she lost her sister, Claire, 18 months ago. But this summer, she vows to step out again. Her family’s annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard will be even more fun because of a family wedding. Another event on the calendar: the annual weeklong family game of “assassin.” While there, Meredith plays in honor of her sister and teams up with a cute groomsman. Will they win the game and each other’s hearts? Says Julianne, “Reading this made me even more excited for summer!” (Sourcebooks Fire, 2021)

Historical Fiction: Great Circle

By Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle By Maggie Shipstead (FIRST Book Club)

“When a friend recommended this book to me, she said the story was riveting,” says Carissa Mosness,, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “And it exceeded my expectations!” After being rescued off a sinking ship as infants in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are sent to live in Montana with their uncle. While there, Marian meets a pilot and falls in love with flying. At 14 years old, she sets off to follow her dream of circumnavigating the globe. A century later, actress Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film about her life. Told in a dual time line, Hadley and Marian face troubles, all in the hopes of achieving their dreams. “It’s an inspiring tale of women charting their own course in life,” says Carissa. (Knopf, 2021)

Thriller: The Villa

by Rachel Hawkins

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins (FIRST Book Club)

“As a police detective’s daughter, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good crime novel, and after being stuck inside due to rainy weather, this book set in gorgeous Italy made it even more enticing,” says Kathy Fitzpatrick, FIRST Features Director. Inseparable childhood friends Chess and Emily grew apart over the years. So when Chess suggests a girls’ trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect. Villa Aestas is a high-end holiday home now, but the house has a dark, sinister past. In 1974, it was the scene of a notorious rock star’s murder. As Emily digs into the house’s history, she thinks there might be more to his demise than sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll gone wrong. The closer she gets to uncovering the truth, the more tension she feels, and it looks like the villa might claim another victim before the summer ends. “Dual stories, decades apart, both oozing with deceit and betrayal, made for great reading,” raves Kathy, “and took this armchair traveler on a trip to remember!” (St. Martin’s, 2023)

Cozy Mystery : The Mystery Guest

by Nita Prose 

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose (FIRST Book Club)
Ballantine Books

“When recent plans fell through, I was looking for a fun distraction,” says Shay Trotter, FIRST Associate Editor. “And this whodunit was intriguing company!” Molly Gray, now head maid at the five-star Regency Grand Hotel, finds herself linked to a crime when mystery author J. D. Grimthorpe drops dead. Molly steps in to solve the mystery — but she must tap memories of her childhood interactions with the author to do so. “I had a ball piecing together this mystery,” says Shay. “And I forgot all about my previous plans!” (Ballantine, 2023)

Fiction : The Sicilian Inheritance

by Jo Piazza

The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza (FIRST Book club)

“At first, I was sucked in by this cover, but I stayed for the rich story and descriptions of Italy,” says Patty Bontekoe, FIRST Executive Editor. Sara Marsala’s career and marriage are falling apart, then her great-aunt dies, leaving Sara a deed to family land in Sicily. Intrigued, Sara makes the trip, where she learns more than she ever imagined about her own family — and herself. Says Patty, “As the story shifted between Sara’s point of view and her great-grandmother’s, I loved both women’s strength in the face of challenges.” (Dutton, 2024) Out 4/2. Preorder here.

Memoir: The Vanity Fair Diaries

by Tina Brown

The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown (FIRST Book Club)

“I was feeling uninspired after a small setback a few days ago,” says Anna Traver, FIRST Assistant Editor. “And this lively collection of diary entries from the former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair — during her tenure in the ’80s and ’90s — quickly made me feel like anything was possible!” In this memoir-style book, Tina Brown chronicles what it was like to revamp the iconic magazine when the publication was losing traction. “This was fascinating,” says Anna. “I felt more empowered the longer I read!” (Henry Holt & Co., 2017)

Romantic – Comedy: Fancy Meeting You Here

by Julie Tieu 

fancy meeting you here by julie tieu (First book club)

“I’ve always been a big fan of rom-coms, and as I read this book, it felt like I was watching a movie on the big screen,” says Kate Arcell, FIRST Associate Editor. All of Elise Ngo’s girlfriends are getting married within the same few months — and all of them asked her to be both bridesmaid and florist. Wanting the events to be a success, Elise enlists the help of a caterer who turns out to be Ben Yu — one of her friend’s elusive younger brothers. Can the aloof yet handsome Ben help Elise in more ways than one? “This was a sweet love story!” says Kate. (Avon, 2023)

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For March 2024

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For February 2024

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For January 2024

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