Wednesday, June 21, 2017

And The Next Big Design Fad Is: Shower Plants?

Are Shower Plants the Next Big Design Trend? | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Almost Makes Perfect

I am a huge supporter of house plants, but the newest trend according to Pinterest's spring report on the top trending home solutions (published in a Pinterest board, no less) is taking the house plant to a whole new level: the shower. As of the report, searches on Pinterest for terms like "shower plant" had increased by a jaw-dropping 302%, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's been an increase since as more and more interior designers and bloggers embrace the trend.

The most obvious bright side to this arrangement (besides making for pretty photos) is that you'll never have to remember to water your plants. Green thumb or not, you can rest assured knowing that your shower will kill two birds with one stone each time. If you're really into the idea of turning your shower into your own personal tropical oasis, then a plant or two in your shower will help to create the perfect atmosphere to unwind in at the end of a long day.

Are Shower Plants the Next Big Design Trend? | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Design Sponge

Placing plants in your shower may also have some pretty remarkable health and wellness benefits. In addition to having an emotional calming effect that is sure to alleviate stress, certain plants are also beneficial for air purification, moisture absorption, and bacteria reduction. According to USA today, house plants have even been prescribed to certain patients with severe allergies to improve indoor air quality.

Are Shower Plants the Next Big Design Trend? | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Domino

In order to find a plant that will thrive in your own space you must first consider the layout and design of your bathroom as your ideal plant match will depend on how much light the room receives and how humid the room gets. The bathroom in my apartment, for example, has no windows so a plant that doesn't need much natural light will be ideal (although you may still find it necessary to occasionally rotate the plant into a more sunny spot in your home). Varietals like peace lilies, spider plants, dracaena, lucky bamboo, snake plants, ZZ plants, and English Ivy (NASA's top pick for air purification) don't really need frequent waterings and are fine in low-to-medium light, so they should feel right at home. Boston ferns and aloe vera are also popular choices but will definitely need a higher amount of indirect light.

Are Shower Plants the Next Big Design Trend? | Kayla Lynn
Photo: The Design Chaser

In terms of positioning, there are a lot of options available like sitting a smaller plant on one of the shelves or on a windowsill but the one that seems to make the most sense is to hang the plant in some sort of planter and hang it from the ceiling or from the shower head itself if you don't want to install any hooks. Hanging your plant in the shower helps to keep it up and out of the way so as to avoid getting covered in soap that may harm your plant. If you're the DIY type, there are a couple adorable hanging planter DIYs that you can check out here.

Are Shower Plants the Next Big Design Trend? | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Pinterest

So what do you say, yay or nay on showering with your house plants? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Outfit Your Home With Amazon

Hello all! It's become very clear to me that my favorite thing to do is item roundups. It's so much fun to window shop around and pull together a curated visual list of awesome products out there, and it's so incredibly satisfying to look at the finished product. That is, until I realize that I'm a.) a barista, and b.) broke, but it's fun while it lasts.

I've done some Target roundups in the past (see here and here), but today I'm doing a roundup of some darling items for sale on Amazon. I was actually able to find a few really unique home decor pieces, including this gold reef centerpiece that I didn't actually have room for on my finished art board. If you enjoy mood boards and roundups as much as I do, then this post is definitely for you.

Quick note: I think it's lame that I even have to say this (it's all thanks to the fact that blog = business nowadays), but I'm not at all affiliated with Amazon. I'm just a fan of their store and am sharing some of my favorite items.

Kay, now that that's behind us, shall we move on?
Outfit Your Home With Amazon | Kayla Lynn

Ceramic Vintage Style French Country Water Pitcher // Cinnamon Spice Soy Candle // Rose Gold Non-Ticking Silent Wall Clock // Geometric Hanging Planter Vase // Matte Brass Prisma Accessory Organizer // Muse Votive Candle Holder // Large Ceramic Planter with Wood Stand // Brass Plant Mister

What are some of your favorite home finds on Amazon?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Weekend Sale: Nordstrom Home

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday weekend! Warm weather finally decided to present itself here in Washington just in time, and even though I'm bummed that our car doesn't have AC I'm still thankful for the sunshine. Memorial Day weekend is usually the inaugural weekend around here for getting outdoors, whether to go camping, boating, hiking, or to just have a picnic at the park. It's also a weekend for some serious sales, and if your plans don't take you too far out into the wilderness then you can spend some of the cool evening hours after sundown perusing some of the deals. Nordstrom's half yearly sale is going on right now, and it's definitely worth a look! 

Nordstrom isn't typically my go-to for home decor, but they still provide some pretty accent and entertaining pieces from time to time. Below I've rounded up a couple of my favorite sale items. 

By the way, if you've been at all interested in picking up a new cookbook then I highly recommend considering Julia Turshen's Small Victories: Recipes, Advice & Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs. In a time of Pinterest recipes and cooking blogs, getting back into a good old cookbook like what my mother used to cook from when I was growing up is a creature comfort for me. It's a really good deal right now at $23.45, down from $35! 

Memorial Day Weekend Sale: Nordstrom Home | Kayla Lynn

Painted Diamond Cotton Napkins // Gold Ombre Decanter // 'Santa Fe' Tassel Pillow // 'Nails' Handmade Ceramic Vase // Tassel Throw // 'Small Victories' book

If you're looking for more sales to shop this weekend, the Glitter Guide has also put together a really great guide to all the best Memorial Day sales that you can check out right here.

Know of any other great sales happening this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Almost Makes Perfect

When it comes to decorating a gender neutral nursery, there are a lot of different ways that you can go about it. By choosing to incorporate more modern elements like vintage textiles and furniture, mixing a variety of hard and soft textures, and resisting the urge to go all-out on just one color you can create a space that is appropriately neutral and comfortable for both baby and mamma. Scroll through for some tips on designing the perfect gender neutral baby nursery.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Not My Circus

When all else fails, just use white

When it comes to choosing a color for a gender-neutral room, white is pretty much as neutral as it's possible to get (why pick a color at all?). You can add in subtle accent colors with the textiles, art, and toys to avoid a completely white-washed look. Just beware of those terrible two's when your toddler suddenly discovers markers and crayons.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Inspired By This

Add some metallics to the mix

Adding some metallic accents like copper or gold is a great way to add balance and warmth to a room, especially when paired with a cooler color like blue. Metallic colors themselves aren't gender specific at all, and when mixed with different colors and textures they're great for adding some interest and style to your baby's nursery (no matter if your bundle of joy is a boy or a girl).

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: The Animal Print Shop

Scandinavian design is always a good idea

You really can't go wrong with light wood tones and minimal furnishings, and when paired with other more neutral colors like beige, gray, and white you end up with the perfect color palette without having to decide on more traditional colors like green, yellow, pink or blue. "Wood" is a color, right? Just add a Swedish rocking horse and your child is set.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: The Animal Print Shop

Consider Gender-Neutral Toys

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to completely ditch the dolls or the trucks, but while your toddlers are still little they'll play with just about anything. There's no need to bring out the frilly fancy things just yet. Wooden blocks, stuffed and plastic animals, musical instruments, and books are all great items to stock your baby's shelves with, especially if you're starting the nursery design before you're 100% sure of what the baby's gender will be. Capitalize on this time when your child will be easily entertained because you'll miss those days once they get old enough to ask for iPhones and Playstations!

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Sarah Sherman Samuel

Add a little vintage

I for one am a huge fan of adding vintage accents throughout the entire house, and the nursery is no exception. Vintage artwork like landscapes and even paint-by-number style portraits of animals are a really unique touch that you can add no matter if your child is a boy or a girl. Vintage rugs and furniture pieces also add a touch of style while providing you and your baby with a comfy space to hang out in. A soft sheepskin rug also provides a soft spot for you baby to roll and totter around on.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Pinterest

Employ a moon & stars nighttime theme

Everyone likes sleep (even if your baby doesn't seem to like sleep at first), and adding these calming nighttime vibes to the nursery can be done really easily with some wallpaper like this one from Murals Wallpaper. If you don't feel like springing for wallpaper, some paint and star stamps or glow in the dark star stickers will also do the trick (I had glow in the dark stickers on my ceiling when I was a kid and they were AWESOME). The nice thing about this theme is that it also contains a very neutral color palette; dark navy, yellow, gray, beige, white, even gold. It also helps that shapes like stars and crescent moons are also pretty gender neutral.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Style Me Pretty

Mix different colors and patterns

Nowhere does it say you need to pick one or even two colors. You can use a broad color palette in your nursery, such as orange, blue, green, turquoise, yellow, purple, you name it. Striped patterns and geometric patterns are also very popular in modern nurseries, and you can incorporate a lot of fun patterns in your selection of rugs, pillows, baskets, art, sheets, and even toys. This makes for a fun and colorful space that any child would love to spend time in.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: My Domaine

Eclectic design is fair game

A Persian rug? A Moroccan pouf? Turkish textiles? Why not? Here is another example of how you can use different colors, patterns, and textures to create a visually interesting room without declaring the gender of your baby. This well-traveled look adds a sense of sophistication well beyond your baby's years, which may not appeal to folks that want a youthful and whimsical space for their growing toddler. Personally I love the storied, globe-trotting feel of the room, and it can eventually serve as a great channel for exposing your child to other cultures and instilling in them a curiosity about the world.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Akin Design Studio

Pick neutral and classic art

Using works of art that are both classic and timeless is a great move not only because you can shop for it before you know the gender of the baby, but also because these pieces can still be used in the room as your baby grows (and can even be moved around to different places in the house once it's purpose in the nursery has been served). You get the most bang for your buck this way, and you don't have to worry about your child outgrowing the pink ballerina prints. Nature and plants are a great subject matter (more on that later) as well as animals, abstract/patterned art, and even photography prints.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Paige Jones

Use the color green

Green really is a great color to use in a gender neutral room. I'm not talking about the light pastel green that you're likely to get lots of onesies in if you're hosting a gender neutral baby shower, but a dark forest green like the dresser above or a pretty emerald green. Colors that evoke nature and the outdoors are perfect for both guys and gals, and even lighter green tones like Pantone's Greenery will get the job done. I especially love how darker green tones pair with gold, beige, and natural wood tones, making it a perfect addition to any neutral color palette. 

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Paige Jones

Nature is the new neutral

Adding leafy plants or wreaths to your nursery as a great way to add a little life as well as a pop of color to the room without being too overwhelming. Low-maintanence plants are a must since you will be spending the majority of your free time tending to baby. Faux plants and wreaths work as well, just make sure that they don't gather any dust.

How to Decorate a Gender Neutral Baby Nursery | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Hudson and Co.

Use gold as a neutral

I've already mentioned mixing in metallic elements to your nursery design, but gold is one color that can make a really great main color all on it's own. Gold is actually a wonderful neutral because it's so close to other light wood tones, browns, and beiges. It's incredibly versatile, and can be incorporated in a lot of different ways.

No matter your reasoning for designing a gender neutral nursery, whether you want to be surprised when the baby comes, or if you don't want to adhere to the old standby gender specific colors, there are a lot of different ways to approach a nursery without sacrificing personality or style. What is your favorite gender neutral design trick?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Where to Buy Art on Etsy: A Guide

If you read my post from a couple months ago about the myths of buying art, then you know that buying and appreciating art is often thought of as a pastime that is a) expensive and b) exclusive. But online marketplaces like Etsy are quickly changing the way that art is bought and sold by giving small local artists more control over their businesses and giving them more opportunities to connect with potential buyers, taking a lot of the stress and hassle out of both buying and selling. If you made it a New Year's resolution this year to buy some artwork for your home, then stick around because this guide that I've put together for you guys will get you off to a good start in your art search (and will keep those New Year's goals going strong!). 

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn

Maren Devine Art

When I look at Maren Devine's artwork on Etsy, the first two words that come to my mind are colorful and abstract. Devine uses color liberally, from bubblegum pink and dusty blue tones to lime green and ruby red. The artist's body of work is so expansive that it can't be contained in just one Etsy store. Devine maintains a second online storefront, DevinePaintings, and between the two a large range of subjects are covered including abstract portraits (most notably her "Warrior Girl" series), landscapes, still life, landscape, and figural work. Nothing is off limits. The shops contain a good mix of prints and original paintings, with prints averaging about $20 and paintings running from $150-$600. If you have time to comb through both shops you have a really good chance of finding something you love.

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Dina Holland

Kim Hovell Art

If art that makes you think of the ocean breeze and rocky beaches is more your thing, than this shop will be right up your alley. Offering primarily prints, Kim Hovell's art shows signs of inspiration from the water and especially the East Coast. The works are abstract with bursts of color that come together in a really stunning way. On top of images of shellfish (mainly oyster shells), Hovell also has a body of work depicting floral arrangements. Prints from this shop will set you back about $40-$60 and are each individually signed by the artist.

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Kim Hovell

Joanne Mehl Studio

I love finding awesome makers and creatives from my local Pacific Northwest, so finding this Etsy shop based out of nearby Portland was a huge score for me. If artwork that nods to the masters of Impressionism and plein air painting is more your style, then this artist's work is for you. You'll find beautifully-rendered Oregon landscapes and equestrian scenes that just might make you crave a visit to our neck of the woods over here. All the pieces in this shop are original oil and gouache paintings sold mostly unframed and ranging from $125-$1,200 (although there is a good selection of work available for under $300).

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn

Clare Elsaesser

Clare Elsaesser's work might be some of the most well-known on this list. Prints of her paintings have been offered through large retailers like Anthropologie and her painting style is completely unique. While her paintings have the watery and inky characteristics of watercolors (indeed, most of these works are done on watercolor paper), they are actually done in acrylic and ink in such a way that simply mimics the characteristics of watercolors. It's pretty fantastic. She has many figural works, all faceless beauties, as well as some abstracts and still life's. I'm in love with her work, and there are a TON of affordable prints available if you don't have $500-$800 to shell out on an original. But if you do, I highly recommend keeping an eye on the "Originals" category of her shop.

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Framebridge

Kiki and Polly

 This Portland-based Etsy store offers prints of works by artist Lisa Golightly (originals are available on her website). At first I found her artwork kind of creepy, and her faceless figures reminded me a lot of those from a dark indie video game I played not that long ago called Inside (a game that I haven't actually finished because I'm scared of the man-eating dogs). That association aside, any artwork that has graced the shelves of design maven Emily Henderson is an artist I'm on board with (I may be a little bit biased). Her work is incredibly minimal and simple, yet does a lot to convey the innocence and whimsy of youth. With almost 10,000 sales to-date, I think it's safe to say that a lot of other folks love her work too. If you are more of a minimalist at hear, this shop may be one that you'll want to peruse. Most prints start at $22 and go up from there depending on the size (large-scale 34" prints are available).

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Emily Henderson
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: sfgirlbybay

kai samuels davis

Stopping by this shop just might be one of the best things you do all day. The way artist Kai Samuels-Davis unsympathetically deconstructs his figures but leaves just enough behind for you to recognize something familiar amongst the myriad of colors and shapes is nothing short of a feat of artistic wizardry. The more you stare at one of his compositions the more interesting it becomes, leading to countless hours of contemplation which in my opinion justifies the investment. 
KSD's shop consists of a mix of giclee prints and original oil paintings, both of which will cost you a little more money than some other shops. Prints will run you anywhere from $50-$300 depending on the size while the original works range from $550-$6000. But don't let the sticker shock get to you! This shop is still a must-see.

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Framebridge
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Chris Loves Julia

Vivian Caits

I love the work of abstract artist Vivian Caits. Based out of Washington, DC, Caits's studio produces original giclee prints in a variety of sizes to fit your needs. Her art is soft and light, with beautiful pastel hues and neutral tones as well a few a few bolder color combinations thrown into the mix. Her works provides a really great accent for any room in your home and feels very contemporary and at times minimal. If this sounds like your kind of art then definitely give her work a look! While her Etsy shop offers primarily prints at the moment, I believe that once her new official website launches original offerings might be made available there so keep an eye out and sign up for her mailing list if you're interested in staying up-to-date.

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Vivian Caits

Elizabeth Mayville

Elizabeth Mayville's claim to fame is her collection of female portraits in hind view, highlighting fabulous messy buns, braids, and pony tails. If you look up #elizabethmayville on Instagram you'll find many such pieces displayed in lots of different homes (and even some fun lookalikes). Partial portraits aren't all this studio is known for, however, and Mayville paints a whole variety of subjects from still life portraits to animals to landscapes. If you're an Obama or Biden fan there's even some cute prints of them available. Offerings on this site come primarily in the form of prints but a small number of gouache and oil originals are typically available in the Etsy shop at any given time (someone please buy this adorable seagull painting). The prints are nice because there's a wide range of sizes and prices, making finding the perfect piece of art for your walls easier. 

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Etsy

Ready to get shopping? Below I've tagged some of my favorite pieces of art that are on my own wish list.

Where To Buy Art On Etsy | Kayla Lynn


Monday, May 1, 2017

Style Trend: Embroidered Jeans

Style Trend: Embroidered Jeans | Kayla Lynn
Photo: The Girl From Panama

A few months ago when I first noticed that embroidery was coming back in style I won't lie, I was not exactly enthusiastic about the development. I'm pretty sure I actually issued an audible groan. Tacky floral appliqués on denim might have been cool when I was a little kid, but surely the cool kids and trendsetters of 2017 aren't actually going to let the trend come BACK right? Wrong.

Initial reservations aside, I have to say that the style has actually grown on me. Embellished jeans being produced by most major retailers right now nod back to the youth and whimsy of a couple decades ago, and it's really not a look that I expected to gain so much momentum. Clearly it seems that embroidered denim is here to stay, at least for a little bit. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em right? If you feel so inclined to jump aboard the retro bandwagon heading back to the whimsy and color of the 80s and 90s, then this is the place to be.

Style Trend: Embroidered Jeans | Kayla Lynn
Photo: A Fashion Fix
Photo: Camila Coelho
I've rounded up some of the best embroidered jeans for sale right now (without springing for Gucci because who actually has money for that? Not me, that's who), and you KNOW I have my eyes on these awesome jeans. They're available at multiple online boutiques with prices spanning from $30-$88, so if they're sold out at one store be sure to check the others (links are below). That being said, there are a lot of pretty jeans to choose from, from flashy and colorful to more subtle and muted. Check out my picks below.

Style Trend: Embroidered Jeans | Kayla Lynn
Clad & Cloth Embroidered Distressed Jeans (also available at a lower price here & here) // Zara Mid-Rise Jeans w/ Floral Embroidery // GRLFRND for FWRD Helena High-Rise Straight Jeans // Topshop MOTO Flower Embroidered Mom Jeans // Clad & Cloth Embroidered Girlfriend Jean  by Free People // Miss Selfridge Floral Embroidered Mom Jeans // Boohoo Embroidered Jeans w/ Distressing // Topshop Petite Cross Stitch Jamie Jeans

What do you think, are you on board with the floral embroidery trend or do you think it's time for us to ditch the stitching and move on? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring 2017 Reading List

Spring 2017 Reading List | Kayla Lynn
Ever since reading The Couple Next Door back in February, I have been itching for more one-off mystery books to read (something that's NOT part of a huge mystery series like the Alex Cross books). I don't really have the attention span to commit to a series, and The Couple Next Door was SO GOOD you guys. I finished it in three days, I didn't want to put it down. I'm currently almost done with The Woman In Cabin 10, which in my opinion had the potential to be much better, but that means I'm on the hunt for new books to read. I'm also in need of a bookcase so that Ryan and I'd books can stop sitting in piles on the ground by our living room, but that's a separate matter entirely.

On my reading list this time around I've rounded up a couple more mystery books as well as some short story collections, feels good stories, and even a futuristic dystopian novel (because you need to mix things up every now and then, right?).

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Buy Now

2. The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy
When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.
Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules—about work, about love, and about womanhood.
In this “deeply human and deeply moving” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being, in her own words, “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed—and of what is eternal.

Buy Now

3. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Buy Now

4. A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

Buy Now

5. Bear Town by Frederik Backman
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

Buy Now

6. American War by Omar El Akkad
An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.
Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.

Buy Now

7. Moonglow by Michael Chabon
In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.
From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of the “American Century,” the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most moving and inventive.
Buy Now

8. What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah
A dazzlingly accomplished debut collection explores the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home. 
In “Who Will Greet You at Home,” a National Magazine Award finalist for The New Yorker, A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In “Wild,” a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground. In "The Future Looks Good," three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war, while in "Light," a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves. And in the title story, in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to "fix the equation of a person" - with rippling, unforeseen repercussions. 

Buy Now

9. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Her perfect life is a perfect lie.
As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.
But Ani has a secret.
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.
With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.
The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

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That's all folks! Comment below to let me know what's on your reading list this spring.