Summer 2021 TBR #toptentuesday

June 15, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer 2021 TBR

Summer TBR #TopTenTuesday

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer 2020 TBR.

With all the books that are on my radar on a given day, it’s nice to pick out a few for an official TBR. Ten still leaves room for library holds that come in, occasional ARCs, or some mood reading.

One question you may ask is “Are these beach reads?” Many readers have differing opinions of what comprises a beach read: some want light and fluffy, some look for thrillers/suspense/mysteries, some seek out escapist reads, while others like to tackle large tomes or serious content during the summer when they have more time. It’s my opinion that any book you read at the beach is a beach read (just like a body at the beach is a beach body). For my summer reads, I look for the types of books I look for all year: memorable, thought-provoking, and unputdownable.

Keep in mind that I’m not yet recommending the books on this list…..check back often though because I will provide updates and links to reviews as I read them. For now, these are the reads that are on my summer 2021 reading radar.

I hope this summer is enabling you to reclaim your normal lives and that lockdowns are easing and COVID numbers are decreasing. Here in California, life is gradually getting back to normal….I’m cautiously optimistic.

Because I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), I’ve already read a couple of books that I had on my brainstorming TBR list…..including Project Hail Mary. If you haven’t read it yet, put it (the audio version if at all possible!) on your TBR before the movie comes out! Review coming soon.

And….Happy Winter reading to my friends and followers in the Southern Hemisphere!

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

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Very Sincerely Yours [Book Review]

June 11, 2021

 Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey (cover) a graphic image of a young man and young soman sitting on either side of a large red typewriter

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Friendship, Chick-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #VerySincerelyYours upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A new release from the author of Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey. Thirty-something Teddy Phillips works at a vintage toy store. She has just been unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend and her guilty pleasures are Taco Bell takeout, Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffle scented candles, couch pillows, and watching a children’s (muppet) TV show hosted by Everett St. James, a hot and irresistible Mr. Rogers. Everett often reads letters from children who write to him with questions, so one day Teddy decides to email  Everett with her own questions. Everett is charmed by her emails and Teddy appreciates his sensible and wise advice. They develop a lovely online friendship, and Everett suggests they meet. Before they can arrange it, their worlds accidentally collide (meet-cute gone wrong). Of course only one of them knows the truth. As this story is inspired by You’ve Got Mail, we can predict that their identities will be fully revealed and then they will need to navigate a new IRL relationship.

Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffles scented 3 wick candle

My Thoughts:

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Ask Again, Yes [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

June 10, 2021

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
#throwbackthursday

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane (cover) white text over the top view of a neighborhood of homes

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Complicated Family Drama, Friendship

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of a complicated family drama, Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Beautifully written, Ask Again, Yes introduces us to two families who live next door to each other. Behind closed doors, the families deal with complicated issues. Meanwhile, two of their children, born six months apart, grow up as each other’s constant and best playmate and develop a deep friendship as they hang out after school. Just as Kate and Peter grow old enough to discover they might be attracted to each other, a tragic event happens that changes everything for the two families. One family moves away and the children’s friendship is torn apart.

The remainder of the story involves the children, who are now grown, coming to terms with what happened and figuring out what this means for their relationship, their families, and their future.”

Big themes of regret, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, second chances, growth, and redemption…..

Continue here for my full review of Ask Again, Yes …

(including Content Warnings)



QOTD:

Have you read Ask Again, Yes or is it on your TBR?

More Books Like These Please! #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

June 8, 2021

More Books Like These 5 Star Reads Please!

More Books Like These Please (a tall stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Which books or tropes do you wish there were more of?
Do we share any favorites?
Which book would top your own list?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: More Books Like These. and the 2021 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

For this post, I had to go with my first 10 or I could be here listing books forever! The following titles are representative of books that give me book hangovers and I think about for years to come! All of them are 5 Star reads! (in no particular order) Which book of yours would top your own list?



More like these please:



Smart, thoughtful, beautifully crafted, and complex contemporary fiction…

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a man and woman stand against a railing with backs to the camera


Poignant, relatable, and memorable complicated family drama

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


Unputdownable Histfic With Compelling Issues and Memorable Characters

Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

invention of wings


Honoring brave girls around the world

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)


Complicated Marriages and Friendships

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

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Haven Point [Book Review]

June 3, 2021

Haven Point by Virginia Hume

Haven Point by Virginia Hume (cover) Image: a large home sits on a point of land overlooking the ocean

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction (1944 to present day), Multi-generational Family Drama, Family Life, Maine

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks to #NetGalley @StMartinsPress for a complimentary eARC and @Macmillanaudio for a listening copy of #HavenPoint upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Originally from Minnesota, Maren works as a cadet nurse at Walter Reed Medical Center. The story begins in 1944 as she meets a handsome doctor who sweeps her off her feet. Oliver is from a prominent family who has a summer residence in a small, exclusive community on the coast of Maine. As a newlywed, Maren feels insecure as she tries to fit in with the tight-knit crowd of Haven Point residents. But Haven Point becomes part of their summer life and their children grow up for part of the year in Haven Point. In 1970, their oldest daughter Anne falls for a young man who doesn’t meet with the approval of Maren and Oliver. A tragedy occurs. In the present day (2008), Anne’s daughter Skye has a close relationship with her grandmother, Maren. In the end, Maren shares the whole truth with Skye about what happened in the summer of 1970.

My Thoughts:

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The Gown [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

June 3, 2021

The Gown by Jennifer Robson
#throwbackthursday

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (cover) Image: top view of the bride with her long train walking down the aisle

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Royal Wedding, 1940s England

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of the fascinating story of the making of Princess Elizabeth’s royal wedding gown: The Gown by Jennifer Robson.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The Gown is, in part, a behind-the-scenes story of the making of Princess (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding gown. As the people of England endure a harsh winter and post war shortages and rationing, news of a Royal wedding brightens the country’s spirit. Told from two perspectives, we hear the imagined story of two young women who work for the famous fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Although the girls are accustomed to working on exclusive gowns for high profile clients and the Royal family, the newest assignment of a wedding gown for Princess (Queen) Elizabeth brings extraordinary pressure and excitement. A third perspective and modern timeline follows one of their granddaughters who travels to London a half century later to unravel her grandmother’s mysterious and secret past. There’s more to the story than the dress as the author gives us an idea of what life was like in 1940s London, and explores themes of friendship, family, and love.”

a wedding gown and so much more….

Continue here for my full review of The Gown

 



QOTD:

Have you read The Gown or is it on your TBR?

10 Books Set In Or Near New York City #TopTenTuesday

June 1, 2021

10 Books Set In Or Near New York City #TopTenTuesday

Books Set in New York City (Image: black text over a background of New York City)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book you read set in New York City?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: June Freebie. When I recently read Social Graces, it occurred to me that I’ve read a few books set in New York City. When I saw the TTT “freebie” option, I decided this was my chance to make a list of books set in New York City. Do you appreciate a good book list?! Can you help me add to this list?

I have read all of the books on this list and can recommend them. Most are new releases with a couple of classics sprinkled in (links to my reviews provided if available).

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
**Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.


The Social Graces by Renée Rosen

Historical Fiction (late 1800s), New York High Society

The Social Graces by Renee Rosen (cover) Image: four women in old fashioned dresses and large brimmed hats stand with their backs to the came looking at an arch in the distance


The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio

Historical Fiction (early 1900s), Penn Station

the way of beauty


The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Historical Fiction (1913), New York City Public Library

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis (cover) Image: a woman in a yellow dress stands with an open book inside a large museum type room


A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Historical Fiction, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (1911) and the Twin Towers

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Neissner (cover) White test on a blue background vordered on three corners with marigolds


Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Young Adult contemporary fiction, free verse, Harlem, slam poet

The Poet X

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May 2021 Reading Wrap Up

May 31, 2021

May 2021 Reading Wrap Up

May 2021 Reading Wrap Up (collage of book covers over a floral background)

How was your May reading?

Overall, May reading falls into the “mixed bag” category.
I had three DNFs, two 5-star reads, one 4.5-star read, and four 3-star reads, and one 2.5 Star read.

My favorite fiction read of the month was tied between The Invisible Husband of Frick Island and The Forest of Vanishing Stars….two very different reads.


Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links or my linked reviews
.
ARC=Advanced Readers Copy (complimentary copy for review)


Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) Image: coral and blue text....individual waves wrap randomly around the text

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (ARC)

5 Stars. (ARC) Quirky contemporary fiction. My review of Frick Island here.


The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel (cover) Image: the back view of a woman wearing a red coat overlooking a landscape with planes flying overhead

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel (ARC)

5 Stars. (ARC) Compelling Historical Fiction (WW11). Author of The Book of Lost Names. Review coming on July 6, 2021.


Gold and Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (cover) Image: white text against a dark blue background

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

4.5 Stars. Historical Fiction (Afghanistan) Author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell. Review coming June 4, 2021.


Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce (cover) Image: 2 young women sit on a low wall reading one newspaper

Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce (ARC)

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Light Historical Fiction (WW11, London). Author of Dear Mrs. Bird. Review coming August 10, 2021.


The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (cover) Image: white text in the sky over a large house surrounded by green lawn and trees

The Penderwicks (#1) by Jeanne Birdsall

3.5 Stars  Light-hearted Middle Grade family drama. Not reviewed.


Haven Point by Virginia Hume (cover) Image: blue text over a background of a house on the point of a shoreline

Haven Point by Virginia Hume (ARC)

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Light-reading, character-driven family drama. Historical Fiction. My review of Haven Point here.


Beth & Amy by Virginia Kantra (cover) Image: pink lettering on a seafoam green background....graphic images of several young women (walking a dog, playing guitar, walking, etc)

Beth & Amy by Virginia Kantra (ARC)

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Light-reading contemporary family drama (sequel to Meg & Jo). Review of Beth & Amy here.


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The Warsaw Orphan [Book Review]

May 28, 2021

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Kimmer (cover) Image: two children walk along the railroad tracks away from the camera

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Poland, Jewish, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Welcome to my stop on the Summer 2021 Historical Fiction Blog Tour. Thank you for the invitation, Justine. Thanks #NetGalley @Harlequin @GraydonHouse for a complimentary eARC of #TheWarsawOrphan by Kelly Rimmer upon my request. All opinions are my own. Pub Date: 6/1/2021.

It’s 1942, and teenage Elzbieta lives in the middle of German-occupied Warsaw. She doesn’t like the Germans who patrol the streets, she resents the curfews, and she’s mostly uninformed about the hardships endured by her Jewish neighbors. On the other hand, she has heard about German brutality and is keeping a secret about her own true identity. Elzbieta makes two friends: her neighbor Sara who involves her in a dangerous world of smuggling children out of the Ghetto and Roman whose family lives in the Ghetto and is in great danger. This is a story of war, family, survival, and love.

My Thoughts:

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A Fall of Marigolds [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

May 27, 2021

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
#throwbackthursday

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner (cover) Image: white text on a blue backbround...marigolds peek into the edges of three corners

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Tragic Events, New York City

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of the poignant and compelling A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner, a favorite title by this author.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“A beautiful scarf with a marigold design connects two women who experience traumatic and personally devastating events almost one hundred years apart. Clara witnesses the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 in Manhattan while Taryn witnesses the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Both young women suffer loss and experience the effects of PTSD. This is a story of their healing journey and their decision to risk love again.

“Love comes from Heaven. It is given to us not to hold on to or hide from, but to give away.
Love is the only true constant in a fragile world.
Don’t despair. Be happy. Choose hope.
The freedom to love and be loved, though it shook you to your core, made life exquisite.”

Continue here for my full review of A Fall of Marigolds …

 



QOTD:

Have you read A Fall of Marigolds or is it on your TBR?