Sold On a Monday: A Review

March 15, 2019

Sold On a Monday by Kristina McMorris

Sold On a Monday Review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, the Depression, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

‘2 Children For Sale’ is the sign that captures a rookie newspaper reporter’s interest in 1931. The picture that he snaps of the sign and the children on a dilapidated farmhouse porch leads to his big break and a promotion. The publication of the picture has unintended consequences, and the reporter and a colleague set out to right the wrong and reunite the family. This is an imagined story of a real photograph that appeared in a newspaper during The Depression.

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books That Need A Sequel

March 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday:
10 Books That Need a Sequel

Books That Need a Sequel.png

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books That Need a Sequel. *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Have you read a book and thought “I wish there had been a little bit more closure?” Then do you think about the book and the ending for a few days as you mull over various ways it could have ended or do the characters linger in your mind for days and you worry about them? It’s not that you were unhappy with the ending, but you were simply left wanting more. I have listed a few books below that made me wish for a sequel. Do you agree with any of my picks? What books would you put on your list?

(listed in no particular order…..titles are Amazon affiliate links)


Books That Need a Sequel


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

What were the three words?!
(not reviewed because it was read before I was active on Goodreads and before my blog)
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Women’s History Month: 10 Inspirational Reads

March 10, 2019

Women’s History Month: 10 Inspirational Reads

Women's History Month

Image Source: Canva

Inspired by Women’s History Month, which was established to amplify women’s voices and value their contributions to history, I searched through my reading lists to find stories about inspirational women whom we can celebrate during Women’s History Month. Titles are Amazon links and my available reviews are linked.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

In no particular order….

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

my dear hamilton

This fictionalized biographical narrative of Eliza Hamilton, reveals her vital contributions to U. S. History in her role as Mrs. Alexander Hamilton. Review

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Special Feature: Delia Owens Discussion & Book Signing

March 9, 2019

Recently as I looked back over my blog post stats, I realized that the post that has received the most views day after day, week after week, and month after month is the review I wrote of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This title is also the most used search term that leads readers to my blog. When my bookish blogger buddy Amanda at thelexingtonbookie.com posted about an author event with Delia Owens I knew I wanted to share it with you (with her permission). If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit http://www.thelexingtonbookie.com for thoughtful reflections and terrific book reviews! If you’ve read Where the Crawdads Sing, I hope you enjoy this Q & A with Delia Owens as reported by Amanda. If you haven’t read the book, you can find my review of it by searching the A-Z index or clicking on the link above.
Happy reading book worms!

Carol, Reading Ladies Book Club

The Lexington Bookie

Hi everyone!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I got to meet and listen to Delia Owens discuss her debut fiction novel Where the Crawdads Sing. I reviewed it a few months ago and absolutely adored the novel, so I was PUMPED to meet her and hear what she would reveal about the novel. When introduced, I learned that Owens has written quite a few nonfiction books about wildlife, and she spent many years studying wildlife (like elephants, hyenas, and primates) in Africa (Botswana and Zambia). Also, she grew up in Georgia on a farm (she was a horse girl too!) and she got the title of the book from her mother, who used to tell her to go outside and play where the crawdads sing. Fun fact though- crawdads DON’T sing, haha.

To start things off, one of the audience members asked the burning…

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We Hope For Better Things: A Review

March 8, 2019

We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels

We Hope for Better Things Review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Civil War, Detroit Race Riots, Interracial Relationships, Prejudice, Racism, Domestic Life

Thanks to #NetGalley #Revell for my free copy of #WeHopeForBetterThings by @erinbartelswrites @ErinLBartels in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Readers of We Hope For Better Things are treated to three distinct stories about three white women who live at different times on the same farm in Michigan. The three women are from three different generations and experience war, civil unrest, and prejudice in their respective stories (Civil War/Underground Railroad, 1960s Detroit Riots, and present day). This engaging and multi layered story includes family drama, secrets, old pictures, a 150 year old farm house, locked rooms, a mysterious trunk, and interracial relationships.

My Thoughts:

Engaging. I like stories that capture my interest from page one, and I enjoyed the easy to follow and fast pace of this multi layered story told from three perspectives. I think the story lines from the past (Underground Railroad especially) were the most intriguing and offer the most opportunity for discussion.

Themes. In addition, I like how the themes were interwoven and connected the stories. Important themes include family conflict, tragic choices, racism, family history, resilience, and faith. We can certainly see that overt prejudice has shown improvement over time….and “we hope for better things” in our present day and future.

Plot. Even though the plot is fast paced and engaging and I liked how the stories intersected, I felt occasionally that the events might be a bit contrived to promote certain themes or move the story line along. This is a minor concern and falls under personal preference.

Diversity. I would like to read reviews of We Hope For Better Things from people of color and gain from your impressions and insights regarding the portrayals in this story (please leave your review link or thoughts in comments). I think I would have appreciated that one of the perspectives had been from a woman of color, but that’s probably difficult for a white author to write. As a reader, does it concern you that a white author writes about racism and prejudice from a white perspective? It might have been interesting for the author to have coauthored this with an author of color. The author candidly addresses the issue of writing this as a white author in her Author’s Note.

Recommended. I recommend We Hope For Better Things for readers who love historical fiction, for fans of family stories with likeable and strong main characters, and for those who desire to read more diversely to explore themes of prejudice and racism. This will make an excellent book club selection because of many discussion possibilities.

*possible trigger warning: still birth

My Rating: 4 Stars

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We Hope for Better Things

We Hope For Better Things

Meet the Author, Erin Bartels

Erin BartelsERIN BARTELS is a copywriter and freelance editor by day, a novelist by night, and a painter, seamstress, poet, and photographer in between. Her debut novel, WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS, released in January 2019 and will be followed in September 2019 with THE WORDS BETWEEN US, the manuscript of which was a finalist for the 2015 Rising Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. Her poems have been published by The Lyric and The East Lansing Poetry Attack. A member of the Capital City Writers Association and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, she is former features editor of WFWA’s Write On! magazine.

Erin lives in the beautiful, water-defined state of Michigan where she is never more than a ninety minute drive from one of the Great Lakes or six miles from an inland lake, river, or stream. She grew up in the Bay City area waiting for freighters and sailboats at drawbridges and watching the best 4th of July fireworks displays in the nation. She spent her college and young married years in Grand Rapids feeling decidedly not-Dutch. She currently lives with her husband and son in Lansing, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.

Find Erin Bartels on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor, on Twitter @ErinLBartels, or on Instagram @erinbartelswrites. She blogs semi-regularly at http://www.erinbartels.com and her podcast, Your Face Is Crooked, drops Monday mornings. Find it on iTunes or at http://www.erinbartels.podbean.com.



Let’s Discuss

Do you enjoy multiple perspective and/or multiple timeline stories?

If you are a person of color and have read or reviewed this, I would love to hear your thoughts or read your reviews (leave thoughts or links in comments)!



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:

Look for a post about 10 Books That Need a Sequel for next week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a post for Women’s History Month soon, and a review of Sold on a Monday next Friday.

Sold On a Monday



Winter TBR Update

I’ll be updating my Winter TBR as I read and review selections. I have three more quick reads to check off the list before spring! So check back often!



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for 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:
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***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.

10 Reads For Middle Grade March

March 6, 2019

10 Reads For Middle Grade March

Middle Grade March

Image Source: Canva

To participate in #middlegrademarch, I’ve compiled a list of ten great Middle Grade Reads! There are many wonderful middle grade books from which to choose and even though I haven’t read extensively in middle grade, these titles are stories that I’ve recently read and thought were exceptional because of their themes and/or diversity.

Often, children fall in love with reading in Middle Grade. Was this your experience? At last, children in Middle Grade have “learned to read” and they can fully immerse themselves in the world of words as they “read to learn” and “read for enjoyment.” They have more autonomy to choose their own reading material and can pursue individual interests. Many stories promote great family read aloud experiences. As a bonus, most Middle Grade stories have heartfelt themes without the angst and/or objectionable language of YA. Reading builds understanding and compassion.

For adults, Middle Grade books make the perfect palate cleanser or fit the description of books that can be read in a day. I strongly believe that great Middle Grade literature can be enjoyed by adults!

In addition to all the above reasons to read Middle Grade literature, I appreciate the authors who write diversely for Middle Grade readers and write on difficult themes or topics in an easy to read and understandable manner. If we buy and read more Middle Grade diverse literature, it will encourage publishers and writers to produce more. I think it’s important for children to see themselves in literature. (more…)

The Beautiful Strangers: A Review

March 1, 2019

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Miao

 

The Perfect Strangers Review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Romance

Thanks to #NetGalley #LakeUnionPublishing for a free copy of #TheBeautifulStrangers by @camilledimaio__author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

The legendary Hotel Del Coronado off the coast of San Diego, California is the picturesque and glamorous setting for this story of a ghost, movie stars, mystery, chasing a dream, and romance.

Hotel Del Coronado

Picture of Hotel Del Coronado from the website

In 1958, Kate Morton, a teenager living in San Francisco, seizes her chance to escape from the demands of working in her family’s struggling restaurant to impulsively travel alone to Coronado in response to her ailing grandfather’s plea to find “the beautiful stranger” and to also search for a job at the hotel which will enable her to dream of a new life. A few surprises await her: the true identify of the beautiful stranger, a family mystery, celebrity encounters, and romance.

My Thoughts:

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