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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

July is a Great Month to Read... by Fran Joyce


I’ve included a couple of books of poetry this month along with some great beach reads, a couple of award winning novels, a classic work by Ernest Hemingway and an outstanding mystery series by Pennsylvania author Annette Dashofy. Summer is a great time to expand your reading horizons,  try new authors and explore different writing genres. Enjoy!

Euphoria by f.s. Yousaf is his first collection of poetry. Yousaf is a New Jersey based writer and photographer. After receiving in B.A. in history, Yousaf is currently working toward a B.A. in education in hopes of becoming a teacher who writes poetry and books. He has a fresh perspective on topics such as family issues, mental illness, depression, religion, and relationships. You can follow his blog,

Bring your quiet nights by Nadia K. Grant is her first collection of poetry. Grant’s poems deal with being in love and having your heart broken. Her book is divided into three stages. Stage one includes the things about love no one warns you about. Stage two replaces the myth “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” with the realization “whatever doesn’t kill you still makes you feel like dying,” but stage three acknowledges that there will be light again and once you find it never look back. Having been there, I appreciate her honesty and hopefulness.

A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway is my idea of the ultimate staycation book. Hemingway writes about his years as a struggling expatriate journalist and writer in Paris in the 1920’s. He includes the addresses of the places he and his first wife, Hadley Richardson stayed, the bars and restaurants they frequented and the veritable who’s who of the literary community they encountered. I’ve never been to Paris, but thanks to Hemingway, I can visit these establishments and walk the streets of the City of Lights.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Moneyman is a New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture. Read it before it’s changed for the big screen. Eleanor is an excellent office worker, but she lacks the social skills necessary to move up in her job and move on with her life. She relies on frozen pizza, vodka and weekly chats with “mummy” to fill the void and ignore an unimaginable tragedy.  Eleanor’s carefully crafted existence cracks wide open when she meets two other misfits who will help her begin to heal. Filled with humor and raw emotion, you’ll be rooting for Eleanor and her new friends.

The Summer List: A Novel  by Amy Mason Dolan. Named a Best Book of Summer 2018 by PopSugar, Coastal Living, Family Circle and the Globe & Mail. A tale of best friends and carefree summer days gone somehow wrong. Seventeen years later, Laura and Casey get the chance to forget the past and reclaim their friendship, but will a scavenger hunt reveal more truths than they can handle? For every person who had a best friend growing up this book is sure to bring back memories.

Nano Man by Dean C. Moore is science fiction at its best. Bioengineer Jane Macelvey must place her life in the hands of the human guinea pig she has transformed into the nano man. When the potential profits are this high, the competition must be eliminated and no one is safe in the race to market the first prototype. The quest for human perfection reveals human failings like never before. Action packed fun for a rainy afternoon or a lazy day in the sun.

Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories by Michael Chabon. Ok, I admit it, I have a major reader/writer’s crush on Michael Chabon. He is an exceptional writer whose prose reminds me why I love to read. This collection of short stories is just too good to pass up. If you are looking for a great read any time of the year, you can’t go wrong with a book by Michael Chabon.

A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman is a New York Times bestseller about ‘the bitter neighbor from Hell.” Ove is a 59 year old curmudgeon who insists people follow the rules – rules he has established to help keep people at arm’s length. Still reeling after the death of his wife four years earlier, Ove makes plans to join her until a chatty new family moves in next door and a stray cat insinuates itself into his life – a life that still has much to look forward to it seems.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel. A Minnesota teen is thrust into  a world of betrayal and deceit and 40 years later must come to terms with the damages done to his life that fateful summer.

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Zoe Chambers Mystery Series by USA Today bestselling author, Annette Dashofy. So far there are 7 books in this award winning series. Start with Circle of Influence and read your way to Uneasy Prey, Dashofy’s latest offering about Zoe Chambers, a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania. Cry Wolf will be out in September 2018.



The July Quiz: It's Time to Hit the Beach

Author Page: Where to Find Your Next Great Read