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FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 5th – April 11th

This week we are sharing our favorite romance, historical fiction, magical realism, Christian nonfiction books 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’ top seven book picks — of new and old favorites — for April 5th –April 11th, 2024 from romance, historical fiction, magical realism, Christian nonfiction and more. Keep reading for all of the FIRST book club picks!

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

Christian Nonfiction: Field Notes for the Wilderness

by Sarah Bessey

Field Notes for the Wilderness by Sarah Bessey (FIRST Book Club)
Convergent Books

“After a personal disappointment, I was feeling a little frustrated and lost,” confesses Maggie Dillard, FIRST Senior Associate Editor. “When I saw the title of this book by one of my favorite Christian authors, I knew it would give me the dose of inspiration that I needed to bounce back.” Bestselling author Sarah Bessey’s new book guides readers through the “spiritual wilderness” of doubt with wise insights — like finding good spiritual teachers and practicing curiosity. Each page acts as a map toward healing, reconnecting to faith and finding hope. Says Maggie, “I gained perspective on my situation that helped me find peace and trust God’s plans!” (Convergent, 2024)

Thriller: First Lie Wins

by Ashley Elston

First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston (FIRST BOOK COVER)
Pamela Dorman Books

“Last Sunday, I watched Apples Never Fall, a miniseries on Peacock, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty,” says Beth Weissman, FIRST Senior Features Editor. “Afterward, I was in the mood for another heart-racing plot, and this one delivered!” When the story begins, Evie Porter seems to have a perfect life — a great boyfriend named Ryan, an impressive home and great friends. However, Evie Porter doesn’t really exist. She’s a con artist who works for Mr. Smith. Her job is to get intel from Ryan, but she soon starts falling for him. When her lies start catching up with her, can she get out or is she in too deep? “The cat and mouse story kept me on the edge of my seat,” says Beth. “Thriller fans will devour this one!” (Pamela Dorman, 2024)

Historical Fiction: The London Bookshop Affair

by Louise Fein

The London Bookshop Affair by Louise Fein (FIRST Book Club)
William Morrow

“My favorite way to unwind is to curl up with my dog and escape into a historical fiction novel,” shares Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “And this one kept me enthralled from the start.” Bestselling author Louise Fein’s new novel The London Bookshop Affair is inspired by true events and figures of the Cold War. In 1962 London, Celia Duchesne dreams of a career, but with no means, she spends her days working at the bookshop and worrying about the Cold War. One day, a handsome American walks into the shop. Just as romance sparks, a secret draws her into the world of espionage that forces her to learn about Anya Moreau. In 1942 France, Anya was captured during the war for sending messages home to London via a transmitter. As Celia learns more about Anya, she realizes that life isn’t always what it seems, but through love, all things are possible. Says Carissa, “This was such an engrossing story filled with secrets, love and rich, illuminating history.” (William Morrow, 2024)

Cozy Mystery: The Charity Shop Detective Agency

by Peter Boland

The Charity Shop Detective Agency by Peter Boland
Joffe Books

“I have a friend who loves cozy mysteries as much as I do — and she highly recommended this novel,” says Alexandria Brooks, FIRST Digital Editor. “It was great!” When Fiona, Sue and Daisy, three volunteers at a charity shop, discover their favorite customer has been murdered, they make it their mission to bring the killer to justice. To do this, they rely on a clue that links this case with other crimes committed by the culprit. Says Alexandria, “I felt like I was solving the case with them!” (Joffre, 2022)

Fiction: The Collected Regrets of Clover

by Mikki Brammer

The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer (FIRST Book Club)
St. Martin’s Press

“While looking for a read to break me out of a rut, I stumbled on this book — it was inspiring!” says Heather Liang, FIRST Senior Copy Editor. Clover Brooks is a death doula whose job is to help people pass away with dignity and comfort. But, ironically, she’s never really learned how to live. Then she meets a client who sets her on a quest that becomes a journey of self-discovery. Says Heather, “Seeing Clover turn into someone who celebrates life was just the jolt I needed!” (St. Martin’s, 2023)

Romance: The Layover

by Lacie Waldon

The Layover by Lacie Waldon (FIRST BOOK CLUB)
G.P. Putnam’s Sons

“I so often wish I could hop on a plane to a tropical island, and this beachy read was the perfect, fun alternative,” says Julianne MacNeill, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. After 10 years as a flight attendant, Ava is working her last flight shift. But her nemesis, former pilot Jack Stone, is on the flight with her. When their plane has mechanical problems, it lands in Belize for a layover. Before long, Ava realizes she may have had Jack wrong the whole time. Says Julianne, “Waldon’s prose made this enemies-to-lovers read an escape from my dreary day.” (Putnam, 2021)

Magical Realism: The Good Part

by Sophie Cousens

The Good Part by Sophie Cousens (FIRST BOOK CLUB)
G.P. Putnam’s Sons

“When I heard the concept of this book, I was all in,” says Patty Bontekoe, FIRST Executive Editor. Lucy Young is at the start of her career with no money or love life. So when she discovers a wishing machine, she wishes to skip to the good part of her life. Then she wakes up with a husband, two kids and her dream job. But she realizes by skipping to the “good part,” she missed out on some great stuff along the way. “I loved seeing Lucy figure out there’s value in struggle,” says Patty. “It made me appreciate the bumps in my own path.” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2023)

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for March 29th – April 4th

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

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

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