Woof, fellow readers and four-legged friends! It’s Seven here, your favorite canine politician, and I’m excited to howl about my mom’s top reads of 2023. Yep, the same mom who wrote “I’m Not Single, I Have a Dog: Dating Tales From The Bark Side.” Today, I’m turning the spotlight on her and her literary picks that captured her heart and mind this year.

1. “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert

My mom couldn’t stop barking about “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She said it whisked her away on an enchanting journey through history and the depths of the human spirit. The book’s core is a captivating tale of the Whittaker family during the 18th to 19th centuries.

Henry Whittaker, a brilliant and determined man, became a symbol of relentless ambition, which Mom found inspiring. His daughter, Alma, inherited not only her father’s wealth but also his intellect, diving into the world of botany and evolution.

But what really drew her in was the unlikely love story between Alma and Ambrose Pike, a scientist and an artist. Their shared quest for understanding the world, whether through science or art, spoke to her own curiosity. And as a reader, she journeyed across the globe, feeling like a fellow traveler with these unforgettable characters.

“The Signature of All Things” not only enriched Mom’s understanding of history and human nature but also helped her come to terms with her own struggles, particularly with the loss of her ex-partner to suicide. Alma’s journey resonated with her and provided comfort and insight.

Henry Whittaker, a brilliant and determined man, became a symbol of relentless ambition, which Mom found inspiring. His daughter, Alma, inherited not only her father’s wealth but also his intellect, diving into the world of botany and evolution.

But what really drew her in was the unlikely love story between Alma and Ambrose Pike, a scientist and an artist. Their shared quest for understanding the world, whether through science or art, spoke to her own curiosity. And as a reader, she journeyed across the globe, feeling like a fellow traveler with these unforgettable characters.

“The Signature of All Things” not only enriched Mom’s understanding of history and human nature but also helped her come to terms with her own struggles, particularly with the loss of her ex-partner to suicide. Alma’s journey resonated with her and provided comfort and insight.

But what really drew her in was the unlikely love story between Alma and Ambrose Pike, a scientist and an artist. Their shared quest for understanding the world, whether through science or art, spoke to her own curiosity. And as a reader, she journeyed across the globe, feeling like a fellow traveler with these unforgettable characters.

“The Signature of All Things” not only enriched Mom’s understanding of history and human nature but also helped her come to terms with her own struggles, particularly with the loss of her ex-partner to suicide. Alma’s journey resonated with her and provided comfort and insight.

2. “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My mom has always had a soft spot for the ’70s music scene, and “Daisy Jones & The Six” transported her back to that electrifying time. The heart of the story beats to the rhythm of rock ‘n’ roll, a genre that she deeply connects with.

The wild child of LA, Daisy Jones, embodied the spirit of rebellion and freedom, which captivated Mom from the very first page. She resonated with Daisy’s passion for music and her adventures in the music world. She said it reminded her of her own experiences in the world of music.

The story delves into the balance between responsibility and the allure of fame, something that she’s had to grapple with in her own life. The electric connection between Daisy and Billy Dunne added layers of intrigue to the captivating narrative.

The unique oral history format of the book gave the story a sense of authenticity, and Mom felt like she was eavesdropping on real conversations among the band members. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing captured the essence of a bygone era, making it a memorable read, reminding Mom of a rock and roll musician she fell in love with in the 1980s.

3. “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy

As a memoir lover and author herself, Mom was completely drawn into Jennette McCurdy’s brutally honest journey in “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” It’s a raw and unfiltered account of Jennette’s life as a former child actor and her complicated relationship with her mother.

At a young age, Jennette was thrust into the world of auditions and stardom, driven by her mother’s dream of making her a star. This story hit close to home for Mom as she had her own experiences in the entertainment industry. The book delves into the sacrifices and struggles Jennette faced, which Mom could relate to on a personal level.

But what sets this memoir apart is Jennette’s refreshing candor and dark humor. Mom said it reminded her of her own journey and struggles after losing her own mother, making it a deeply emotional read. She mentioned how it’s a celebration of the joy in the simplest acts of self-care, a reminder that there’s always hope for healing and self-discovery even in the darkest of times.

So, there you have it, my friends! These are the top reads of 2023 that my mom, author Susan Hartzler, can’t stop talking about. Whether it’s a historical journey, a trip to the ’70s music scene, or a memoir of resilience and self-discovery, these books made quite an impression on her, and I hope they inspire you to pick up a good read as well. Until next time, keep those tails wagging and your pages turning! 🐾📚