It's that time of year when the weather ruins outdoor plans, and you find a great alternative is cuddling up in a comfy chair with a blanket and a good book....and I have three recommendations for you!

Must Read

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

When Louisa Clark loses her job, she must find something quickly to help support her struggling family.  She takes a short-term care giver contract with a local wealthy family whose son was in an accident and is now a quadriplegic.  Will Traynor was a very successful and very active man, who was also very popular with London's beautiful women, until a motorcycle accident took it all away.  Struggling to win him over and lift his spirits, Louisa finally understands why her contract is only 6 months long when she overhears Will's mom and sister talking about the arrangement Will made with them - when the 6 months expires, he wants to end his life.  Louisa makes it her mission to change his mind and show him that life is worth living.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Often when one book is fantastic by an author, there's a good chance that additional books he or she has written will be good.  In this case, it was better than I imagined, with a story line that was  far removed from the tragedy of Me Before You.  Well, there was still a hint of tragedy, but my thoughts were more like "how can this get any worse for her" and "should I be worried that I'm not going to get a happy ending" and "wow, I didn't expect that, but I love it!"  Thankfully, no kleenex was required. This book is a love story, multiple love stories actually, as only Jojo Moyes can write.  I won't go into details for fear of revealing too much of the plot, so you'll have to trust me.  I have to say that I also appreciated the author's subtle commentary on modern day materialism and the loss of human connection - it makes you stop and think for a bit.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I was a little worried about the story in the beginning, a flashback told from a 7 year old's perspective, but once the mysterious events started to occur and you're introduced to the three women living on a neighboring farm, you get sucked in.  I felt like this is the first time since the Harry Potter series, where I have been able to suspend belief and journey to an imaginative and thrilling world of mystique.  At around 200 pages, it's not a big commitment for such a great entertainment return.

Skip This

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Unlike my experience with Jojo Moyes, reading this book was a huge disappointment after first reading Green's incredibly moving The Fault in Our Stars.  I can't even describe the point of the book except a road trip with two friends to help one of the boys get over a recent breakup.  The plot was predictable and dragged on too long.