Join the Living Book Club this season as we take on our summer reading list. Up next: Colm Toibin's "Nora Webster."
Credit: Bryan Gardner

Books about strong, steadfast women overcoming challenges are always a great read (think: "Wild" and "I Am Malala"). And even though "Nora Webster" by Colm Toibin is about a fictional widow who has to start her life over, you can't help but be touched and inspired after reading this during a long weekend away this summer.

With the backdrop of Ireland in the tumultuous '60s and '70s, "Nora Webster" transports you into another woman's troubled life after the death of her husband, and we were hooked by Toibin's captivating voice from beginning to end. We're positive you won't be able to put this one down -- or stop talking about it.


Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Toibin's magnificent seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at 40, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be sucked back into it. Wounded, selfish, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning insight and empathy, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven -- herself.

Have you read any books lately about women who have inspired you? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to know what else we are reading this summer?

Now out in paperback, Dan Barber's "The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food" takes a critical look at the food sustainability movement while entertaining the reader with Barber's captivating narrative. We can't wait to take a bite out of this thought-provoking nonfiction work. Who said you couldn't learn something new during summer?!

Summer definitely is the season of rest and relaxation, but that doesn't mean your summer reading list can't pack a punch with a thought-provoking, unforgettable novel. Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison's "God Help the Child" transports us into the life of a beautiful woman named Bride.

For our historical fiction fanatics, "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr is the perfect beach read this summer. Set in France during World War II, this fascinating novel tells the story of how a blind French girl and a German boy's paths cross while battling the destruction of the war.


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