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The Next Thing on My List

by Jill Smolinski

Meet June Parker. Until the day she offered Marissa, a young woman she had just met, a lift home she thought her life was okay. She had a horrible boss, was battling to lose a few pounds and, sure, finding that special someone was tough, so things weren't exactly fabulous, but she was happy enough. She didn't know that Marissa was going to die and it would be her fault. As she washes away the blood from Marissa's handbag so she can return her belongings to her family, June discovers a list - '20 things to do by my 25th birthday. ' The guilt weighs heavily until a chance meeting six months after Marissa's death finds June committing to finish the list. Some of the tasks aren't too difficult ('Run a 5K') but others are near-impossible ('Change someone's life'). As June races to achieve each goal before the deadline, she learns a great deal more about herself and her own life than she ever bargained for. Funny, engaging, and ultimately poignant, THE NEXT THING ON MY LIST features a likeable, relatable heroine and a story with plenty of humour and heart.

Objects of My Affection

by Jill Smolinski

In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of The Next Thing on My List, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she's hung on to for decades. Lucy Bloom is broke, freshly dumped by her boyfriend, and forced to sell her house to send her nineteen-year-old son to drug rehab. Although she's lost it all, she's determined to start over. So when she's offered a high-paying gig helping clear the clutter from the home of reclusive and eccentric painter Marva Meier Rios, Lucy grabs it. Armed with the organizing expertise she gained while writing her book, Things Are Not People, and fueled by a burning desire to get her life back on track, Lucy rolls up her sleeves to take on the mess that fills every room of Marva's huge home. Lucy soon learns that the real challenge may be taking on Marva, who seems to love the objects in her home too much to let go of any of them. While trying to stay on course toward a strict deadline--and with an ex-boyfriend back in the picture, a new romance on the scene, and her son's rehab not going as planned--Lucy discovers that Marva isn't just hoarding, she is also hiding a big secret. The two form an unlikely bond, as each learns from the other that there are those things in life we keep, those we need to let go--but it's not always easy to know the difference.

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