Special Guest Post: Alicia Lewis Murray From Balancing Motherhood

Meet my daughter Alicia Lewis Murray.  Alicia writes the wildly  popular BALANCING MOTHERHOOD blog where she bakes up a storm, provides valuable parenting tips, and offers her readers titles of really, really good books.

Alicia Lewis Murray

 Alicia: This season has been difficult for so many people and there were times when I didn’t want to read at all. Then I’d stare at the big box of books my mother sent me at the beginning of the summer. I always read what  my mom tells me. She knows books. 

My friends often ask me what my mom is saying to read. They know her recommendations are gold. My mom is Maurice on Books.

These books helped me escape into other worlds and forget, even for a bit, about all that’s going on right now. 

Every single book was excellent. These are the four best books I’m now telling, begging, my friends to read.

The Girl With The Louding Voice

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

My family set a goal for the summer to each read a book by a black author. With my mother’s help, The Girl With the Louding Voice was my choice. I’m so grateful I didn’t miss this book. The Girl With the Louding Voice is my number one pick this year. 

Don’t let the cover dissuade you – it’s an excellent story voiced from a strong female character. Adunni, is a Nigerian teenage girl whose father sells her off to be married to an old man who already has two wives. The book takes you through her journey of doing everything she can to escape poverty and to help other girls do the same. 

Along the way, there’s terrible hardship and abuse, but it’s written in a way that there’s always hope. And, young Adunni meets other strong characters who help change her life forever. 

We all need to be the girl with the louding voice. This book is memorable and will stick with you long after you’ve finished reading it. It is an absolute must read. 

The Book of Lost Names

The Book of Lost Names

This is a WWII book like no other. Kristin Harmel is a brilliant writer that makes reading easy. The pages unfold with ease as you learn how the main character and her mother escape Paris during the Nazi regime. 

Eva, the young main character uses her artistic talents to become a document forger, helping children escape to safety. She creates a book with secret codes so the children can remember their true identities. The Book of Lost Names follows Eva’s life as an old woman in present day, back to when she was in Paris as a young woman trying to rescue her father and help those who need her special talents. 

There’s history, love, family, and mystery as her story unfolds. You won’t be able to put this book down. 

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

I thought this book would be a sleeper, but I read it in just 3 days. I couldn’t put it down. There is something magical about the story that makes you want to keep turning the page. 

If you read the jacket description it might not be enough to capture you, but trust me, this is worth reading. It’s about strong women, decisions, and family. 

Set in Brooklyn, the book quickly migrates to Italy and you feel as if you are there with the women. There are life lessons from old and young women who are all learning to be who they are meant to be. 

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

28 Summers

The cover of 28 Summers makes you want to pick it up and read it. It pulls you right into summer in Nantucket. This is a moving love story told over 28 summers, subtly based on the movie Same Time Next Year, but with a modern-day twist. 

Will the couple who spend every Labor Day weekend together for 28 years end up together? It’s what keeps you turning pages. 

If you need to escape to the beach and love romance, this book has your name written all over it. 


I wanted to show you how the power of great books can span generations. I am thrilled Alicia enjoyed these books as much as I did.  So happy! How fun has it been to share these books. And it’s great for you to hear her take on each one. I think you’ll also enjoy some of her recipes from BALANCING MOTHERHOOD. It’s officially fall and her recipe for iced pumpkin latte is out of this world. The photo alone will take your breath away. You just might want to go take a peek.

Thanks, Alicia, for sharing your thoughts on your favorite books!


4 thoughts on “Special Guest Post: Alicia Lewis Murray From Balancing Motherhood

  1.  Hi Jean,

    I loved this post. You must be so proud of your daughter for her incredible blog. Just as it is obvious how proud she is of you! We all need to know what you put in that annual box of books for your daughter!!

    I am working my way through your list. Just finished Akin, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Your daughter’s pumpkin latte recipe triggered an idea That I had been wracking my brain for. I am on the board of the college that I went to. To say the least, this is a stressful time for college presidents. Ours is pretty stressed, but doing an amazing job. I wanted to send her something to de stress. So, I am going to find a cute fall basket and fill it with all the ingredients for the pumpkin latte, plus the recipe from your daughter’s post. I think it will be a winner!

    Thanks for sharing your great blog!

    Maybe next spring the coast will be “clear enough” to reschedule our visit and lunch to your store.

    Sue Sorlien, (Vistas Book Club)

    • Susan, you are a peach. Thanks so much for your kind words. And I am so happy I shared. Yes, I am very proud of my daughter. She makes my heart sing. Hope to see you in the spring.

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