Miracle Creek: A Review

July 12, 2019

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Miracle Creek Review

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Murder Mystery, Crime Fiction, Courtroom Drama, Korean American

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Miracle Creek takes place in a small town in Virginia of the same name. In this town, there is a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions. As the story begins, the chamber explodes and two people die. Is this an accident or sabotage or insurance fraud? Through multiple perspectives, we become acquainted with the owners and surviving patients and learn about their secrets, their anguish, their frustrations, their best intentions, their misconceptions, and their rivalries. The story is rich in vivid details about the trial, parenting a special needs child, and the immigrant experience.

My Thoughts:

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1st Line/1st Paragraph: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

 June 25, 2019

1st Line/1st Paragraph: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

I’m linking up this week with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter/First Paragraph of the book you are currently reading.

First Paragraph

I’m pleased to share the first line and first paragraph of What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon. If you love historical fiction, a love story, and time travel, this may be a good read for you.

From Amazon:  Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

What The Wind Knows

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Love Story, Time Travel

1st Line/1st Few Paragraphs:

“Grandfather, tell me about your mother.” He was silent as he smoothed my hair, and for a long moment, I thought he hadn’t heard me.

“She was beautiful. Her hair was dark, her eyes green, just like yours are.”

“Do you miss her?” Tears leaked out the sides of my eyes and made his shoulder wet beneath my cheek. I missed my mother desperately.

“Not anymore,” my grandfather soothed.

“Why?” I was suddenly angry with him. How could he betray her that way? It was his duty to miss her.

“Because she is still with me.”

This made me cry harder.

“Hush now, Annie. Be still. Be still. If you are crying, you won’t be able to hear.”

“Hear what?” I gulped, slightly distracted from my anguish.

“The wind. It’s singing.”

I perked up, lifting my head slightly, listening for what my grandfather could hear. “I don’t hear a song,” I contended.

“Listen closer. Maybe it’s singing for you.” It howled and hurried, pressing against my bedroom window.

“I hear the wind,” I confessed, allowing the sound to lull me. “But it isn’t singing a very pretty song. It sounds more like it’s shouting.”

“Maybe the wind is trying to get your attention. Maybe it has something very important to say,” he murmured. 

After reading From Sand and Ash last year, I declared Amy Harmon a favorite author. I’m eager to dive into her new title after reading a few glowing reviews. I’m not that enamored with time travel but I do love a good love story, so we’ll see how this goes!



QOTD:

Have you read From Sand and Ash?

Do you love time travel stories?



 Looking Ahead:

Coming next week! A special collaboration post with twelve other bloggers as we each give our recommendation for ONE great summer book!

One Great Summer Read



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Favorite Quirky Literary Characters

June 9, 2019

My Favorite Quirky Literary Characters

Aren’t we all just a bit quirky?!

Favorite Quirky Characters

Quirky Defined

Definition of quirky: having many quirks : unusual in especially an interesting or appealing way (a quirky sense of humor, quirky ideas/behavior, a quirky and creative artist)

My personal definition also includes the word endearing. My favorite quirky characters have a story behind their quirkiness and often quirky is a survival strategy. Their quirkiness is understandable when a reader sees the entire picture and their quirkiness becomes endearing in light of the challenges they are bravely overcoming.

top ten tuesdayI’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Character Freebie.

Although I love characters of all types, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the recent abundance of stories with quirky characters. I love to hear their stories and celebrate their determination to live their best lives in spite of the circumstances. Even though my star ratings vary on the following books, I’ve loved all the quirky characters. My favorites are brave Eleanor and grumpy Ove. Do you love quirky? Who are your favorite quirky characters?

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links. Listed in order of Star ratings. And, yes, I realize I have eleven and not ten! I couldn’t leave any of them out! 



Quirky Favorites



Eleanor from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

5 Stars. My Brief Review.

Eleanor Oliphant


Ove from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

5 Stars. No Written Review.

man called ove


Frank from The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

5 Stars. My Review.

music shop


Loveday from The Lost For Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

5 Stars. My Review.

The Lost for Words Bookshop

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Mid Year Reading Check In: Best Reads

June 5, 2019

Mid Year Reading Check In: Best Reads

I’m taking a break from my reading to reflect on my best reads so far in 2019.

According to my Goodreads Challenge, I’ve read 59/100 books so far this year. In this post I’m listing a few favorites. Some of these will make my final Best of 2019 list at year’s end. Ask Again, Yes is my favorite from this list because of the “wow” and “book hangover” factors. It also has a memorable redemption/reconciliation theme.

The remainder of the titles are enjoyable reads but may be bumped if something more exceptional comes along. Plus, it takes sitting with titles for a bit to see if they have staying power. Whether or not these titles make my end of the year list, they are all books I recommend without hesitation. Have you read any of them?

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links and review links are also provided.

(in no particular order)

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Review here

Ask Again, Yes


Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

Review here

Paper Hearts


Lost For Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

Review here

The Lost for Words Bookshop


A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Review here

A Fall of Marigolds


The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

Review here

Beantown Girls


The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Review here

The Scent Keeper


The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Review here.

The Gown


Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Review here

Lost Roses


Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Review here

meet me at the museum


The River by Peter Heller

Review here

The River


Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Review here

Resistance Women


The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

Review here

The Secret of Clouds



QOTD!

What is your best read so far this year?

Have you read any of these titles?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Looking Ahead:

Coming soon….twelve bloggers each share their ONE must-read of the summer!

One Great Summer Read



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

U. S. Independence Day: Fourth of July

JULY 4, 2019

 Happy U. S. Fourth of July!

 

 

In honor of U.S. Independence Day (July 4th), here are some book recommendations for books about our Presidents and the “Founding” from my Goodreads shelf.

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
(My review here)

America's First Daughter

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
(My review here)

my dear hamilton

Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams by Lynne Withey

Dearest Friend

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

team of rivals

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
(My review here)

leadership in turbulent times

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Middle Grade)

Jefferson's Sons



QOTD!

If you are in the U.S., how do you celebrate the 4th?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

1st Line/1st Paragraph: Searching For Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok

 June 25, 2019

1st Line/1st Paragraph: Searching For Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok

I’m linking up this week with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter/First Paragraph of the book you are currently reading.

First Paragraph

I’m pleased to share the first line and first paragraph of Searching For Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok. If you appreciate family dynamics, diverse reads, and mystery, this may be a good read for you.

From Amazon:  A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears. A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.

Searching For Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Searching For Sylvie Lee

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Asian American, Family Life, Mystery

1st Line/1st (2) Paragraphs:

I am standing by the window of our small apartment in Queens, watching as Ma and Pa leave for their jobs. Half-hidden by the worn curtains Ma sewed herself, I see them walk side by side to the subway station down the street. At the entrance, they pause and look at each other for a moment. Here, I always hold my breath, waiting for Pa to touch Ma’s cheek, or for Ma to burst into tears, or for either of them to give some small sign of the truth of their relationship. Instead, Ma raises her hand in an awkward wave, the drape of her black shawl exposing her slender forearm, and Pa shuffles into the open mouth of the station as the morning traffic roars down our busy street. Then Ma ducks her head and continues her walk to the local dry cleaners where she works.

I sigh and step away from the window. I should be doing something more productive. Why am I still spying on my parents? Because I’m an adult living at home and have nothing better to do. If I don’t watch out, I’m going to turn into Ma. Timid, dutiful, toiling at a job that pays nothing. And yet, I’ve caught glimpses of another Ma and Pa over the years. The passion that flickers over her face as she reads Chinese romane novels in the night, the ones Pa scorns. The way Pa reaches for her elbow when he walks behind her, catches himself, and pulls back his hand. I pass by my closet of a bedroom, and the poster that hangs on the wall catches my eye–barely visible behind the teetering piles of papers and laundry. It’s a quote I’ve always loved from Willa Cather: “The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.” I’m not sure I believe the sentiment but her words never fail to unsettle me.

Searching For Sylvie Lee finally reached the top of my library hold list. Not only is it on my 2019 Summer TBR, but Jenna (from The Today Show Book Club) selected it for the June read. Here’s a clip of Jenna and author Jean Kwok.

So far I’ve read five chapters and can report that it’s easy reading and quietly engaging as everyone begins to realize that Sylvie is missing. Have you read Searching For Sylvie Lee?



QOTD:

Do you enjoy reading hyped books or do you avoid them until the buzz dies down?

Most of the time I want to read them (so I can offer you reviews of recent releases), but there have been times when I ignore the buzz and later find out that the buzz was short lived and I decide to pass on it…..or as time passes, more honest reviews are published and I decide it’s not for me after all.



 Looking Ahead:

Friday, I’m publishing my list of favorite books so far this year.

Coming soon! A special collaboration post with twelve other bloggers as we each give our recommendation for ONE great summer book!

One Great Summer Read



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

 

 

Summer Reading Update

July 1, 2019

A Quick Summer Reading Update

MMD Reading Guide

The graphic above is the 2019 Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide. A majority of my summer TBR is chosen from this guide, so I thought it would be fun to share the guide and my progress. I’ve read thirteen titles so far and I have The Unlikely Adventures of the Shirgill Sisters, Searching for Sylvie Lee, the Huntress, and Recursion on hold at the library. There are also a few I’ve crossed off and decided not to read based on reviews or descriptions or my tastes.

Have you read any of these titles?



Happy Summer Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

June Reading Wrap Up

June 30, 2019

June Reading Wrap Up

June Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

June was a productive reading month and I am especially excited to report one five star reads and four four-star reads. Find all my June reads listed below in order of Star Rating. Keep in mind that I normally recommend five- and four-star reads on the blog; three-star reads receive mixed reviews from me for various reasons; and two-star reads are books that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is Resistance Women.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


One More Day by Mitch Albom

5 Stars. Poignant, reflective, and heartfelt contemporary fiction. I love Mitch Albom! Not yet reviewed.


Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

4.5 Stars. (wavered between 4 and 5 stars on this one) Ordinary women choose to risk their lives in support of the resistance (WW11). Full review here.


The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

4 Stars. This was a slow start for me….after 60% I settled in and started enjoying the read.  Full review here.


Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

4 Stars. A lovely story from the author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Goodreads review here.


The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

4 Stars For the love of teaching, middle-grade literature, and poignant stories. (By the author of The Lost Wife) Full review here.

(more…)

Resistance Women: A Review

June 28, 2019

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Resistance Women Review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Pre WW11, WW11, Jewish, German

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Mildred Fish, an American College graduate, meets the love of her life, Arvid Harnack. After they fall in love, they marry and make their home in Arvid’s homeland of Germany. Mildred and Arvid thrive there, forming new friendships, and enjoying the intellectual and artistic offerings of 1930s Berlin. As Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party become more popular and powerful, Mildred and Arvid and their friends are compelled to resist. For years, Mildred and Arvid and their cohorts risk their lives to gather intelligence to bring down the Third Reich from within. Sadly, their sincere efforts don’t result in the help they desired or envisioned. This is a story of ordinary people who, while they should be enjoying their carefree youth, give their best efforts to fighting evil and saving their country.

My Thoughts:

Jennifer Chiaverini puts history back into historical fiction!

(more…)

1st Line/1st Paragraph: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

June 25, 2019

1st Line/1st Paragraph: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

I’m linking up this week with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter/First Paragraph of the book you are currently reading.

First Paragraph

I’m pleased to share the first line and first paragraph of Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. If you appreciate family dynamics and courtroom drama, this may be a good read for you.

From Amazon:  How far will we go to protect our families―and our deepest secrets? Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Miracle Creek

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Courtroom Drama, Family Dynamics

1st Line/1st Paragraph:

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first. It was such a small thing, what he wanted. The police had just released the protesters, and while he stepped out to make sure they weren’t coming back, I was to sit in his chair. Cover for him, the way coworkers do as a matter of course, the way we ourselved used to at the gracery store, while I ate or he smoked. But as I took his seat, I bumped against the desk, and the certificate above it went slightly crooked as if to remind me that this wasn’t a regular business, that there was a reason he’d never left me in charge before.

My library hold on Miracle Creek just came in, and it’s timely because it’s on my 2019 Summer TBR.  Although this is not my usual genre, I’m looking forward to the read because I see it frequently promoted and reviewed and FOMO is real. So far, I’ve read the first chapter and the story is engaging from page one. Have you read it?



QOTD:

Do you enjoy reading hyped books or do you avoid them until the buzz dies down?

Most of the time I want to read them (so I can offer you reviews of recent releases), but there have been times when I ignore the buzz and later find out that the buzz was short lived and I decide to pass on it…..or as time passes, more honest reviews are published and I decide it’s not for me after all.



 Looking Ahead:

Friday, I’m publishing my review for Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini.

Resistance Women

Sunday, I’ll publish my June Wrap Up and I’m also working on a post which will highlight my favorite reads for the first half of 2019.

Coming soon! A special collaboration post with twelve other bloggers as we each give our recommendation for ONE great summer book!

One Great Summer Read



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.