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Deruta, Italy

Deruta is a medieval hill town in the Province of Perugia, located in the Umbria region of Italy. Deruta is known for majolica, the specific type of pottery produced there. Majolica, which is thought to have originated in Majorca, Spain, is distinguished by its white opaque tin-glazed surface.

Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer

Unwinding Anxiety was one of the more insightful resources I’ve come across on the subject of anxiety. I can sometimes get bogged down by listening to scientific explanations, but Brewer’s explanations of how our brains function were clear, easy to follow, and gave me a better understanding of how anxiety works. 

Music in the Mirrors by Greg Kuznetsov

★★★☆☆ Music in the Mirrors takes place in a  colorful fantasy kingdom of snow globes and mirrors – one that features a blowfish, 5,857 worlds, and intoxicating purple lemonade. The language is heavily metaphorical. There were times I read and enjoyed the observational, almost lyrical flow of this collection of connecting acts and short stories.

Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson

★★★☆☆ I read Run Rose Run solely because of my love for the smart, savvy, Country music queen and philanthropist. I was thrilled that from the first pages, I could immediately detect Dolly’s influences in the book.

What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall

★★★★☆ When she was eleven, Naomi Shaw survived a brutal murder attempt that occurred one summer night when she and her childhood best friends, Olivia and Cassidy, were playing a made-up game in the woods. The trio banded together and, with Naomi’s brave eyewitness testimony, they helped bring a serial killer to justice for stabbing…

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

★★★★★ In Mad Honey, beekeeper Olivia McAfee is raising her son, Asher, in her small hometown after leaving the big city and an abusive marriage behind. Their quiet life is disrupted when Asher, a star athlete and well-liked student in high school, is accused of murdering his girlfriend Lily, who has secrets of her own. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

★★★★★ The Fault in Our Stars is a beautifully told story of the love that develops between two teenagers who meet during a cancer support group. The story, which is both funny and sad, is told from the point of view of Hazel Grace Lancaster.

The Maid by Nita Prose

★★★★☆ In this cozy mystery, twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray is a hardworking maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, where she delights in coming to work, tidying dirty rooms, and being a model employee.  Disdainfully called “Molly the Maid” by her coworkers, Molly isn’t as adept at navigating relationships as she is at organizing her housekeeping cart…

The Paris Apartment

★★★★☆ In Lucy Foley’s latest thriller, Jess is looking to start over after she is forced to leave her job. With nowhere else to go, she contacts her half-brother Ben, who lives in a swanky apartment in Paris, and asks to stay with him. He reluctantly says yes, but is nowhere to be found when…

Puppy Love

From the time she could speak, my daughter wanted a dog. I was absolutely, positively, dead set against the idea. My husband, a 20-year cat owner, backed me up 1,000 percent. We were not, under any circumstances, getting a dog.

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