Perfect Poolside Reading

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Recently released, these books will inspire, educate and entertain you on your next trip to Barton Springs Pool.

By Silvana Di Ravenna

Romanov imageThe Romanov Sisters, Helen Rappaport

The Romanov sisters, the daughters of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, and his seemingly aloof wife, Alexandra, were the predecessors of modern celebrities.  Constantly sought after due to their looks, clothes and lavish lifestyle, the sisters felt firsthand the downside of constant admiration by the public.

Until now, and because historians have concentrated mostly on their infamous parents, little was known about the personal lives of Olga, Tatiana, Maria and the often misportrayed in the media Anastasia.

Acclaimed biographer Helen Rappaport, author of Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of The Romanovs, recounts their fascinating lives in her captivating new book, The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, based on exclusive and previously unpublished letters, journals and photographs of the sisters.

The book, set against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, focuses on the joys and insecurities of the young girls, including revealing details of their secretive lives.

The Romanov Sisters will surely bring a new light to Nicholas’ and Alexandra’s mysterious lives and surprise any Romanov enthusiast.

The Break Up Doctor ImageThe Breakup Doctor, Phoebe Fox

Brook Ogden, a mental-health counselor, never thought that a wrecking ball would not only destroy her office practice, but would also collapse her career as a thriving therapist.

Always known as an incidental relationship expert among her friends, Brook is encouraged by her bestie, Sasha, to profit from her innate talent and rise from the ashes as a breakup doctor, on call to help clients shape up after an ugly break up.

But things take an ugly turn after her own boyfriend unexpectedly dumps her via text message, leaving her as vulnerable and as lost as any of her clients. Quickly, she learns that everything she knew about relationships was flawed, and in horror, observes how her behavior defies every one of the relationship rules she swore by.

Ultimately she realizes that there is no way to handle a breakup nicely, and that one can never start again before falling completely apart.

Written by Austin author Phoebe Fox, The Breakup Doctor is a charming and funny novel that you won’t be able to put down this summer.

Messy, Beautiful Love, ImageMessy Beautiful Love, Darlene Schact

The cynical world says marriage doesn’t last, but God knows better. That’s the premise of Darlene Schacht’s book, Messy Beautiful Love, to be released Sept. 16 by Harper Collins.

Schacht, who is the founder of Christian Women Online Magazine and writer of the popular blog Time-Warp Wife, offers a Christian and cheerful perspective to the modern dilemma of short-lived marriages.

In a time when divorce rates keep going up, Schacht sends a message of hope for women who are going through the messy side of partnerships, often tainted with the realities of financial problems, sickness or plain unhappiness.

Schacht, who’s been married for more than 25 years, proves that there’s salvation for marriages on the verge of dissolution by candidly sharing her own personal journey of infidelity and ultimate redemption through the grace of God.

Messy Beautiful Love is a genuine invitation to clean up the inevitable messes of couple life.

cover photo for Stories of hope and humor

Stories of Hope and Humor, Donia Caspersen Crouch

If you are in dire need of a good laugh, chances are Donia Caspersen Crouch’s Stories of Hope and Humor will definitely put a smile on your face, and then some.

Released in late January, the book includes 65 hilarious short stories about family life, offering important life lessons such as, “Everyone gets a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.’’

Despite the humorous tone of the stories, the book, based on the author’s own personal experiences as a member of a large Catholic family, offers help in almost every aspect of family life.

Stories of Hope and Humor is precisely that, an optimistic book that hopes to inspire and motivate you to create peace and happiness in your own family environment.

Donia Caspersen Crouch, a native Texan, has written for several Texas newspapers and publications, including The Austin Chronicle. She is also the author of Texas Twosomes: Married for Life, available on Amazon.


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