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Do You Need a Way to Escape? Try These 6 Books

By Pam Lamp April 21, 2023 Lifestyle

Thank goodness for books.

It’s been a difficult past few weeks in my city. An armed woman stormed into a school, killing innocent children and teachers. Our community continues to cry, grieve, and rage for the lives of families and schoolkids changed forever.

Although they can’t possibly alter the horrific circumstances, books can help. When we transport ourselves to coastal Australia or rural Colorado or 1880s’ New York, we escape into another world. And, for just a while, we forget our troubles and the news of the day…

I hope a book or two on this list offers you a fun escape!

The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley

Calling all fans of intergenerational stories!

Tanner, a 21-year-old college soccer player, injured herself leaving a party. She lost her full scholarship to Northwestern, and she doesn’t have the money to continue. Tanner needs a job, somewhere to sleep, and a place to wallow in self-pity.

Louise, a spunky octogenarian, is certain she is capable of taking care of herself and does NOT need a caregiver. But her children insist.

When Tanner moves in with Louise, the new roommates set boundaries and agree to ignore each other. But Tanner can’t overlook her housemate’s odd behavior. What has this older woman done?

The two women set off on a wild and twisty road trip, and readers will enjoy coming along on the fun adventure.

The Nurse’s Secret by Amanda Skenandore

“She folded up her regret alongside her unease and stowed them both away.”

I’m a big fan of Amanda Skenandore’s historical fiction novels and will read anything this infection prevention nurse writes. With her beautiful, descriptive writing and medical knowledge, her books always introduce me to a subject I know nothing about.

In 1880s’ New York, nursing was largely a profession for the untrained and illiterate. And then Bellevue Hospital, a free public institution, started the first nurse-training program.

Since age eleven, Una had survived on the streets with petty crime. When she’s fingered for a murder she didn’t commit, Una enrolls in the nursing program. She figures it is easiest to “hide in plain sight.”

Another favorite by this author – The Second Life of Mirielle West.

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

“Family didn’t mean hiding the hard stuff from each other. It meant facing it together.”

A charming, joyful ride of a book! This one has been on my “books to read” list for a long while, and I wish I’d gotten to it sooner.

After a drunk driving accident in California, Sunday Brennan moves back home to heal – mentally, emotionally, and physically. She’d left for the west coast five years ago, leaving a family and fiancée without explanations. And her tight-knit Boston Irish Catholic family wants answers.

And they get the answers they seek, many in the form of long-buried secrets. Like me, readers will adore the Brennans – and the ex-fiancée too – and root for them on every page of this book.

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth does it again! The beloved Australian author delivers her eighth fast-paced, gripping novel about family, relationships, and our (often) odd behavior.

Pippa, Gabe, and their two young daughters move to a small coastal town in Australia. Their dream home sits at the edge of a cliff, where people sometimes choose to end their lives. Gabe has a reputation for convincing folks NOT to jump. Until one day, his encouraging words don’t work…

Was the death a suicide, an accident, or something else?

Those around us might observe our life situations with clarity and discernment. But, as we muddle through our days, we often don’t see what we aren’t prepared to handle.

I raced through Hepworth’s latest domestic suspense novel. Fans may also want to check out The Younger Wife and The Mother-in-Law.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Maybe it’s a lie that you have to keep doing what you have always done.”

There’s lots of hype surrounding this book by fan-favorite Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’m glad I read it, I enjoyed it, but the main character’s attitude left me unsettled. But then, I have no idea what’s happening inside a professional athlete’s head.

Prepare for LOTS of tennis. Carrie grew up playing tennis. Her father coached her and pushed her to be the best in the world. And she was. Now, Carrie wants to come out of retirement and, under her father’s tutelage, retake her crown.

If only Carrie had taken the time to appreciate what she had instead of wallowing in the muddy waters of what didn’t go her way.

Go as a River by Shelley Read

“Just as a single rainstorm can erode the banks and change the course of a river, so can a single circumstance of a girl’s life erase who she was before.”

Inspired by actual events surrounding the destruction of Iola, Colorado in the 1960s, this lyrical and poignant novel captured me right away.

Seventeen-year-old Victoria is the only surviving female in a family of troublemaking, frightening men. She runs the household on a peach farm in Iola, Colorado.

A chance encounter with drifter Wilson Moon leads to heartache, decisions, and new-found strength. When the government plans to flood Iola, situated along the Gunnison River, Victoria leaves her past behind and creates a new life for herself. And another encounter changes her path yet again.

A beautiful, moving story.

I hope you find a book on this list to escape into for a while. Happy reading, and I’d love to know what you think.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is a favorite book you’ve read lately? Have you read every book by a particular author? (Me? Fiona Davis) Any book with rave reviews that wasn’t your cup of tea? What type of books do you like to escape into?

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Oregon Miss

I’m currently enjoying “The Music of Bees”, A multi generational story of loveable misfits and fascinating info about honey bees.

” The Lincoln Highway” is also one of my favorite recently read books by the great author Amour Towles.

Thank you for posting your list. I’m looking forward to exploring it and discovering the new authors.

Pam Lamp

Two other books I enjoyed that had interesting bee info – Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and The Last Beekeeper by Julie Carrick Dalton.

Stephanie Bryant

Harry’s Trees. Sad but uplifting story.

Pam Lamp

Thank you!

Shaggy Maggie

Favorite literary escape of late….

Oddly, a book from 1938: Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.
A dark tale that is TOUGH to get into, but blooms into a page turner.

Can’t resist a good story that starts off in a Monte Carlo hotel.
And then there are two movies, one a 1940 Hitchcock.
And a 2020 remake.

Pam Lamp

Thank you!


I appreciate recommended books and often find them satisfying. I recently chose to read books set in American cities that I love,New York and Chicago. The books are historical fiction with glimpses of the cities throughout. They are:
The Cloisters by Katy Hays
Your Table is Ready by Michael Cecchi
Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara
Perhaps others will enjoy them. Thank you.

Pam Lamp

I love historical fiction and will look into these. Thank you!


Great sounding books..I will read them.

Pam Lamp

I hope you enjoy them!


The Author

It’s never too late to learn something new. At Who I Met Today – a blog and podcast – Pam Lamp interviews people from all walks of life. Through conversations about health, hobbies, books, food, and travel, she invites you to join her, explore new territory, and expand your horizons.

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