October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

October 31, 2019

October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

October Reading Wrap Up 2019

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

October was a satisfying reading month. I read a total of nine books, and I am happy to report that several were memorable. Find all my October reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (even though I gave This Tender Land a full five stars).

Did we read any of the same books?

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


 This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

5 Stars. Well written (literary fiction quality), poignant, heartbreaking, and memorable. My full review here.


The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

4.5 Stars. Emotional and heartwarming. My full review here.


Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

4.5 Stars. Well written YA historical fiction. My full review here.


The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

4 Stars. (ARC) The feelings and experiences of a heart transplant patient. My full review here.

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My Year in Nonfiction 2019: #NonficNov

October 30, 2019

My Year in Nonfiction 2019: #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction (today’s post)

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Year in Nonfiction (2019)

Non Fiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

While my eleven nonfiction reads falls below my year’s goal of twenty, it’s the quality and enjoyment and not the quantity that creates a successful and meaningful reading year! In one other way eleven seems like a low number to me: I read a majority of historical fiction, so I’m frequently immersed in history and spend time googling various events. Does anyone else feel like they’re reading nonfiction when reading histfic? This must count in some way, right?! It certainly feels like it does!

Please join me for Nonfiction November!


Grouped into general categories, here are my year’s nonfiction reads:

In Pieces by Sally Field (memoir)

Inheritance: A Memoir by Dani Shipiro (memoir)

I Miss You When I Blink by Laura Mary Philpott (memoir/essays)

Beyond Peace by President Richard Nixon (memoir)

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (memoir)

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff (memoir)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (MG: free verse/biographical/memoir)

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (humorous/personal and piognant essays/memoir)


For Everyone

For Every One by Jason Reynolds (YA: free verse/inspirational)


The Little Book of Hygge.jpg

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (culture)


leadership in turbulent times

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin (political/leadership analysis)


This week’s Non Fiction Prompt is hosted by Julz Reads and these are her questions:

  1. What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
    This is my most dreaded question! There are so many different reasons to love a book. I think one book I was the most curious to read and consequently ended up engaged with her every word was In Pieces by Sally Field. It was a difficult yet compelling read.
  2. What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
    I don’t think In Pieces is a book that everyone would enjoy, so I think my most recommended NF reads would be Inheritance by Dani Shipiro and Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman. My least recommended is I Miss You When I Blink.
  3. What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
    I don’t think I can ever read enough fascinating, thoughtful memoirs!
  4. What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
    I’m eager to read posts from other bloggers and add inspiring nonfiction titles to my 2020 TBR!


QOTD

I would love to hear all about your favorite nonfiction reads in comments! If you could recommend ONE NF title for me, what would you recommend?



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“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.

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae: A Review

October 29, 2019

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae Review

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Mother/Daughter, Medical (transplants), Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks, #netgalley #stmartinspress for a free egalley (ARC) of #thecuriousheartofailsarae by @stephaniebutlandauthor in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We meet Ailsa Rae and her new heart, Apple, while Ailsa is recovering from heart transplant surgery. As she gives her new heart a name, gains her strength, contemplates the relationship with her mother, and the loss of her best friend/boyfriend, her thoughts turn to her future. She’s always lived as a sick girl with the reality of early death, and making plans for a career and living on her own is suddenly daunting. Through flashbacks, we learn about Ailsa’s life while she was waiting for a transplant, her relationship with Lennox, and her complicated relationship with her mother. Ailsa is a blogger. and she often runs polls on her blog asking advice from her followers.

My Thoughts:

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World Stroke Day 2019: “My Eight Year Old Daughter Saved My Life”

October 29, 2019

world stroke day guest post

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links

World Stroke Day

I’m delighted to bring you this guest post in recognition of World Stroke Day.
Please meet my bookstagram friend @kdbwrites.

Guest Post: Kimberly Davis Basso

“My Eight Year Old Daughter Saved My Life: Stroke Awareness”
By Kimberly Davis Basso
Author of I’m a Little Brain Dead

I was forty-four years old, home alone with my young children, and I had a stroke. If that doesn’t give you pause, let me share this, I had no risk factors. None. Nothing in my health at the time, my family history, or even my genetics indicated any risk at all. So here’s the truth of it – if you have a brain it can break. Which is why I’ve asked Reading Ladies to let me share a bit about my story to help spread awareness. I’ve written a book about my absurd experience called I’m a Little Brain Dead (affiliate link), but today I want to share info from “Very Serious Appendix A” and “Very Serious Appendix B” because I assume you like your brain and want to be able to help it if it needs you. I sincerely hope you never, ever use this information – think of it like a fire drill, you prepare and then hope it’s all a waste of time and never gets put into action. Same thing here.

First, let me say that time is critical. I received life-changing care because I was in an ambulance within minutes of my symptoms appearing. My stroke treatments were time sensitive – meaning the clock was literally running on the window of opportunity for care. Get yourself into professional hands at the slightest suspicion of a stroke… still here? OK, we’ll move on.

Since you aren’t currently having a stroke, it’s a good idea to learn possible symptoms. The National Stroke Association has put together an easy to remember acronym – B.E. F.A.S.T. with each letter a different possible symptom. B-Balance, E–EyeSight, F–Face, A-Arm, S-Speech, and T–Time to Call. Here’s a great graphic from them to help you and the www.NationalStrokeAssociation.org has up to date info:

How-to-Spot-a-Stroke.jpg

For stroke, or any emergency, let me ask you – do your children know how to call 9-1-1? Have you ever practiced (without dialing of course)? My daughter saved my life because she role-played how to call 9-1-1 with her Girl Scout troop. She had this practice one month before my stroke. So she was able to stay calm, cool and collected and help me when I needed her. Not her job, but she got it done. So how do you practice?

There are links (below) to videos on my website for you to look at, but consider these basics:

  1. Does your child know how to use your cell phone (most of us don’t have land lines)?
  2. Role-play 9-1-1 calls with your kids – the adult is the dispatcher, the child makes the call. The “dispatcher” asks them questions – what happened? Where do you live? And most importantly, don’t hang up the phone. Use a generic situation like Suzy fell out of the tree, so there’s no potential fear for your child (I do not recommend using ‘just in case mommy’s brain stops working’ as an example).
  3. Is your medical information available in case you are unconscious? There’s a free form on my site you can download, which is a one-page family medical form. Keep it on the fridge (emergency personnel check there for elderly patients) and make sure your kids know where it is. We keep ours on the inside of the hall closet, down low where my son can reach it, simply because I don’t like having my medical history displayed. Which is odd given I wrote a book about it!
  4. Is your child old enough to do this? My daughter was in second grade, around
    7 or 8 years old. Her younger brother has heard this information from a much earlier age of course, because we review it with his sister. But consider how old your child is and if it’s not time, put it in your future plans.

We review this information with our kids twice a year; usually, we talk about our family fire drill and earthquake drill (we’re in California) at the same time. Here’s a link to a video where I discuss the family medical form and how we use it in our house: https://kdbassowrites.wixsite.com/kimberlydavisbasso/stroke-awareness (this link will take you to the form as well as the videos on practicing).

I want to thank Reading Ladies for letting me share this information with you – I invite you to explore the info on my website www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com or get in touch with me directly KDBassoWrites@gmail.com. Have a clot free day.

Kimberly Davis Basso is an author, playwright and stroke survivor. Her debut nonfiction book, I’m a Little Brain Dead, has been honored numerous times, including a nomination for INDIES Book of the Year for Humor by Foreword Reviews.

Youtube: Spot a Stroke With Kimberly

Kimberly Davis Basso was born just north of Boston. She has since lived and worked all over the United States, including San Francisco, Miami, and New York. She currently resides in good health in Los Angeles, where she is working on the prequel to I’m a Little Brain Dead. KDB is also a playwright and stage director and enjoys playing in the dirt when she’s not writing.

I'm a Little Brain Dead

I’m a Little Brain Dead Information (affiliate link)


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.

Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

October 25, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

New Baby!

Our extended family enjoyed a sweet celebration for our eagerly awaited and already treasured newest granddaughter!

baby shower cake.jpg

Baseball: U.S. World Series!

The Washington Nationals win the award for the most fun and positive dugout!!! Click to watch an example of one of their great team celebrations! Even if you don’t follow baseball, it’s entertaining and inspirational to watch their dugout shenanigans!

This is guaranteed to bring a smile!

 

World Series 2019

Dog of the Year!

My sister is a diabetic and she has worked hard to train her beloved German Sheppard to detect high and low blood sugars. He doesn’t leave her side and is always on alert. Such a good boy! Dogs are amazing companions!

Jax

Currently Reading!

Ah! It’s a treat to turn to the first page of a new and highly anticipated histfic release! Kate Quinn signed my copy of Ribbons of Scarlet!

Spiritual!

This is the day



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



The Things We Cannot Say: A Review

October 24, 2019

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

The Things We Cannot Say review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Poland, WW11, Love Story, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

From the age of nine, Alina has been in love with her best friend Tomasz. At fifteen and engaged to Tomasz, Alina and her neighbors discount the rumors of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, and she spends her time dreaming of her wedding. Tomasz is in college in Warsaw when the Nazis occupy Poland. While Alina and Tomasz briefly lose touch, Alina and her family’s efforts are focused on survival. In the present-day timeline, Alina is in a convalescent home in the U. S. recovering from a stroke and convincing her granddaughter that she must make a trip to Poland in her place and visit certain sites. The granddaughter, Alice, is leading a stressful life with two special needs children and an unsatisfactory marriage, but she feels compelled to honor her grandmother’s request. In dual timelines, Alice visits her grandmother, makes plans to visit Poland, and actually makes the trip, while the WW11 timeline involving Alina and Tomasz progresses. Readers find out what eventually happens to Alina and Tomasz as Alice meets the Polish family and unravels Alina’s most closely guarded secrets.

Amazon Rating: 4.8 Stars

My Thoughts:

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The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt: A Review

October 23, 2019

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea BobotisLast List of Miss Judith Kratt review

Genre/Categories: Southern Historical Fiction, Family Drama, Small Town/Rural, Racism

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Dark secrets and multilayered family drama….

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt takes place in the small southern town of Bound, South Carolina. We are introduced to elderly Miss Judith Kratt as she begins to take inventory of her important and cherished household items. As she generates the list, we are given the back story for each item. Through these flashbacks to 1929, complicated family drama and dark secrets are revealed.

My Thoughts:

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1st Line/1st Paragraph: Ribbons of Scarlet

 October 22, 2019

1st Line/1st Paragraphs

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 a passage from Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn (et al.). Six best selling authors collaborated to write this greatly anticipated work of historical fiction about the women of the French Revolution.

From Amazon:

A breathtaking, epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers—seven unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution.

Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.

In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them.”


Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Ribbons of Scarlet cover

Genre/Categories: Military Historical Fiction, French Revolution

1st Line/1st Paragraphs From Chapter One:

Sympathy is our most natural and moral sense. And its origin is pain. From our first wail of infancy, we’re creatures who suffer. Perhaps women most of all. From cradle to grave, we gather bruises, scrapes, and cuts. And all of us–from peasant to queen–stumble and fall.
What’s more, every injury hurts infinitely. First, when the bone breaks. Then in every remembrance of it, such that when we see another person in pain, we feel the echo in our own body.
That’s why, blinded by tears, I shuddered with every crack of the hammer over the scene of torture playing out before me in the majestic place de Greve, where a doomed prisoner screamed for mercy as the executioner shattered his bones.

Well….it appears that this might be a difficult read! I trust these authors completely, and I’m willing to dive in and learn about these incredible women of the French Revolution.



QOTD:

Do you enjoy historical fiction books?

Is Ribbons of Scarlet on your TBR?

Have you read any titles from these authors? I’ve read America’s First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton (Dray and Kamoie), Last Christmas in Paris (Webb), and The Nightingale and The Huntress (Quinn).



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.

Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

October 18, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

Positively Inspirational!

The #positivitypost this week is a spotlight on authors!

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of attending an awesome author event! It was a delightful day in the company of other readers and gifted authors! Every time I read an unforgettable book and am transported to different places and cultures and meet memorable characters, I ponder how thankful I am for authors and their talent!

authors spotlight

author panel 5

Fifteen authors were at the event sponsored by Adventures By the Book, Novel Network, and Friends of the Corona Library.

Author List:
Huda Al-Marashi
Jeanne Blasberg
Julie Clark
Matt Coyle
Amy Mason Doan
Loretta Ellsworth
Zohreh (Zoe) Ghahremani
Jan Moran
Kristin Rockaway
Ona Russell
Katrin Schumann
Stephanie Storey
Kate Quinn
Abbi Waxman
Gwendolyn Womack

author panel 1

Panel 4

author panel 2

Panel 1

author panel 4

Keynote Speaker: Kate Quinn

author panel 3

Panel 2

author panel 6

Panel 3

One more highlight is that four Southern California Bookstagrammers were able to meet up for the first time! Jeanne Blasberg (center) was kind to be in our group picture!

bookstagrammers

L to R: @beritaudiokilledthebookmark @booksnbikram@jeanneblasbergauthor @bookishinmidlife @readingladies_book_club

author event lunch

We enjoyed a scrumptious continental breakfast and a substantial lunch! The day was even more special when Kate Quinn joined our table!

Ribbons of Scarlet cover

Each person received a free book! Ribbons of Scarlet

signed copy of Ribbons of Scarlet

Signed by Kate Quinn!

rainer marie rilke



QOTD:

What are you feeling Positive about today?

Have you attended an author event?

Other posts about author events I’ve attended at the Corona Library are here and here.



The Water Dancer: A Review

October 17, 2019

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer review.jpg

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, African-American, Slavery, Underground Railroad

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

The Water Dancer tells the engaging and powerful story of Hiram Walker who is born into slavery and who has a mysterious and magical power. He is compelled to leave his home and adopted mother as he follows his rebellious spirit and searches for freedom. Hiram connects with the Underground Railroad, masters his mysterious power, and seeks to return home on his own terms to rescue his adopted mother and his love interest.

Amazon Rating: 4.4 Stars

My Thoughts:

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