August 2020 Reading Wrap Up

August 31, 2020

August 2020 Reading Wrap Up

August 2020 Reading Wrap Up: A collage of titles

How was your August reading?

August was a fourteen book reading month even though I had two DNFs. I am happy to report four five-star reads, six four-star reads, and four three-star reads. Find all my August 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 a back-list title, Ordinary Grace.

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

5 Stars. Compelling, engaging, and thought-provoking literary fiction. (You may have read Krueger’s This Tender Land this year.) My review of Ordinary Grace here.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

5 Stars. An engaging and poignant book about books. A reread which I enjoyed, even more, the second time! My review of A.J. Fikry here.

The Next Great Jane by K.L. Going

5 (MG) Stars. For daughters of Jane Austin fans and their moms. Innocent, engaging, science and writing themes. Not yet reviewed.

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradly

5 (MG) Stars. CAUTION: because of heavy content involving child abuse and self-harm, I’m encouraging parents to read this FIRST. Not yet reviewed.

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

4.5 Stars. (ARC) #16 in the series (please read series in order!) In addition to the mystery to be solved, this story includes poignant family and father/son themes. My full review of All the Devils Are Here.


Blog Audit Challenge 2020: August #blogauditchallenge2020

August 30, 2020

August’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020 (picture of a woman's hands on the keyboard of a laptop)Blogging Friends,

This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!

 I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is opening up for business and recreation with social distancing precautions. Our county is off the state’s watch list due to a decrease in COVOD-19 cases. Hoping we can stay that way! Stay safe, book buddies!

August’s Challenge Focus: Content Gap

Over the last few months, the challenges have allowed me to improve content.

We’ve looked at quality content and now August’s challenge will focus on the gap of information that might need to be filled. Do visitors find the information they expect to find when they land on your blog? Have you thought about your content gaps?

1. Analyze your current content and look for content gaps.

  • I have always enjoyed looking at “Insights” and noticing under “Search Terms”  how visitors have landed on my page. Many search terms already match my content: visitors are looking for summaries, reviews, and certain book titles.
  • One search always draws my attention, and that is the search relating to book clubs: book club suggestions or book club questions.
  • I’ve addressed one part of this search by creating a Book Club Recommendations menu tab. Visitors can find my recommendations organized loosely by genre and star ratings.
  • One content gap I can work on is adding a paragraph to my review that directly addresses book clubs or offers one or more discussion topics for book clubs. I have already done that in a couple of reviews like Deal of a Lifetime for example. For the rest of the year, I want to work on including specific content for bookclubs in each of my reviews. Is this something you would find interesting?

2. Visit other blogs to see what they offer that I don’t.


Ordinary Grace [Book Review]

August 28, 2020

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (cover) Image: a wooden railroad trellis over a river underneath a partially cloudy sky

Genre/Categories: Adult Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Faith

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


The summer of 1961 should have been another ordinary summer for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum, but it was a summer of hardships, tragedy, grief, adult problems, and questions of faith. Told from Frank’s perspective forty years later, Ordinary Grace is a poignant coming-of-age story with elements of mystery and suspense.

My Thoughts:


Eden [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

August 27, 2020

Eden by Jeanne Blasberg

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

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of Eden by Jeanne Blasberg, an engaging and heartfelt multi-generational family story

Eden Review

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

…multi-generational family…

My Summary:

“Generations of Becca Meister’s family have traditionally spent memorable summers at the family’s estate affectionately known as “Eden” in Long Harbor, Rhode Island (fictionalized setting). This year as the family gathers for the 4th of July holiday, Becca (the family’s 70-year-old matriarch) plans to admit to the family that she can no longer afford the upkeep on the estate because her late husband mismanaged their retirement funds. Suddenly, the family is faced with the reality that this might be their last summer at Eden. Because of other personal events happening in Becca’s life, she also concludes that this is the time she must reveal a family secret. In addition to the present-day timeline, the story introduces readers to Becca’s childhood and family, we learn the history of Eden (including the hurricane of ’38), and readers come to appreciate what Eden means to the family.”

Continue here for my review of Eden

QOTD: Have you read Eden or is it on your TBR?

A Week In the Life of the Block Editor and Me #WordPress #BlockEditor

August 25, 2020

A Week in the Life of the WordPress Block Editor and Me:

Dear Blogging Friends,

A week ago I began my adventure with the new Block Editor, and this is my seven-day journal of that experience. I held my breath and dove into the deep end without any preparation. You might laugh at me or feel sorry for me, but I hope that sharing my experience will also be a benefit!

WordPress Woes: A Journal

Have you seen my “Growth Mindset”?

August 19, 2020

It’s time to bite the bullet and put in some practice time with the Block Editor. For a while I’ve been avoiding it entirely by using a “work around”; i.e. copying an existing Classic Editor post and rewriting it. I’m still doing that, but I also created this practice post to build up my Block Editor skills.

OK…..first major frustration! I reread my first paragraph and found something I wanted to edit. I COULD NOT get my cursor to work within the block. I tried for five minutes before I copied and pasted the text into a new block which I was able to edit and then I deleted the old one. (***Edit to add that I have since noticed an “edit” option above a paragraph that will activate it again.) This is the type of shenanigans I don’t have time for!!! I need to know that I can easily return to edit my writing.

Something else that I’m noticing is that when I try to edit, my cursor doesn’t always follow and will sometimes select an odd place to land so that if I’m not careful, my edits end up in the middle of some random line. We will need to watch this carefully! Is anyone else experiencing this?

Thankfully, adding an image (my main post image at the top) seems to be fairly straightforward. I clicked on the + icon and selected an Image block. Then I added the image like I did with Classic Editor using the Media Library. When the image is placed in the post and it’s selected, you can use the edit bar above it to choose alignment and you will use the side bar to add Alt Text, adjust the size, etc.

The next task I attempt is to add color to text. In the classic editor, the color option was clearly visible on the editing bar. After some investigation, I did find out how to add color to the text (on the editing bar it’s under the “v” pulldown menu)….but the available colors are limited compared to what is available in the Classic Editor. I’m color-coding blue anything for which I need to find an answer. It’s slightly annoying that I need to use a pulldown menu to access text color….I need it to be always on the edit bar by default!

While I looked for text color, it also occurred to me that I need to look for how to add special characters (especially accents). I can’t find a special characters menu. Anyone???

A major element I will attempt today is a GIF. (Keep in mine….I BARELY know how to use a GIF in the Classic Editor) First, I choose my Gif and copy the link. Now, I start having difficulty. I click on the + but I don’t know which type of block to choose. I try using the standard paragraph block and paste the link into the “link” tool from the edit bar….NO. I delete the paragraph block and click on the + to try another type of block. I try an image block….NO. I select “browse all” and try video….NO. I don’t see one that says GIF. So finally because I’m out of options, I type GIF into the search bar and a GIF box pops up. I paste my URL into the correct place and click enter. It works!!! (see GIF at the top of this post)

TL;DR: I can use a GIF block to embed a GIF. It seems simple, but I didn’t see it until I did a search. I know now that options for text color are under the “v” pulldown menu in the edit bar. I can insert an image using the Image block. Time spent: one hour. I’m done for the day.

August 20, 2020

I should be able to handle this!

Yesterday left me a bit intimidated though. Is the entire blog post going to be this time consuming? I should be able to handle this (yet I continue to resist embracing my growth mindset).

Where is my “growth mindset” when I need it?! One more pesky annoyance is that in EACH paragraph, I need to reselect the last color I used. (In Classic, the last color I used stayed in the editing bar until I changed colors.) I’m a COLOR person, so this simple detail will cause considerable frustration!

I’ve hit another snag! I want to make a bulleted list here and I can’t find the bullet feature! Ah HA! I just found it under the paragraph formatting option! So here we go…

  • I have an associates degree in Graphics Technology (in addition to other degrees).
  • I spent years as a graphic designer.
  • I’m proficient in programs such as Pagemaker, Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
  • I have used Microsoft Office for years and can create documents, PowerPoints, and a simple Excel Spreadsheet.
  • As a teacher, I mastered SmartBoard technology (Promethean Board) and other programs such as Accelerated Reader, electronic report cards, and generated many reports.

So, why is this intimidating?

This new Block Editor should not be a major obstacle to blogging for me, but it is. I tried the Block Editor once last year and spent one entire afternoon attempting to create a post before I reverted back to Classic. I think I just don’t want to invest the time in another learning curve when I’d rather be reading and creating content! I understand that some bloggers may need the advanced features, but for my simple book review format, I’d prefer to stick with Classic.

Have I listened to or watched a tutorial? NO. I think because of my above experience, I hope I can just figure it out! What I have found to be generally true for me is that if I fiddle with it first, tutorials tend to make a lot more sense. So I’m sure a tutorial is in my future!

TL;DR: Well…so far…so good. Just entering plain text (hitting the return key automatically brings up a new paragraph block). I didn’t try anything extra fancy except those bullets! Applying color to text requires extra steps. (reminder; if you create a custom color, write down the code somewhere in case you use it again!) Selecting heading size is fairly straight forward and in the same place as before. I still can’t find a special characters menu…..and I am wondering if Block Editor automatically saves my draft because I had to do a manual save just now. Time spent: one hour.

All for today!

August 21, 2020

(I want to insert a picture right here so my text will wrap it) OK…I’ve hit a major problem and I might need to contact my blogging phone-a-friends! I CANNOT figure out how to drop an image into a block so that the text wraps the image. Grrrrr….. For now, I’m leaving it above the text, but it’s not how I have always done it in Classic. I inserted an image into this paragraph block and you’ll see what I mean when it ends up above the paragraph with no wrapping. SOS! Anyone?

(I’m interrupting here to report that my post is automatically saving my draft….an answer to my question from yesterday.)

Another aspect I experimented with today is setting publishing details (social media sharing, categories, tags, excerpt, etc) Here’s what I found: first select the black settings wheel icon (next to the publishing option in the top right). It will default to “block,” so select “post.” Here you can schedule your post to publish (by clicking on “immediately” to set a date and time) or just leave the immediately setting. Farther down you can select categories and tags, featured image, and write an excerpt. Hummmm…..where do I find the twitter social media sharing? Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog to the rescue! (she had to contact support to find out) It’s going to take a village! So to edit your twitter message, select the small circular green (jetpack) icon at the top next to the settings option….this will bring up a new window where you can set up social media sharing and customize the message. I only have twitter connected, but I assume all the social media options are available here. Clicking on the green icon again will toggle off this window. To continue with settings, select the black wheel (settings) and “post” again. This was all in one place in Classic Editor…now it’s in two windows. I feel thrilled to navigate all these settings without accidentally hitting “publish”! I’ll take the win!

TL; DR: I managed settings OK today (with help from Davida); “Inserting an image” and wrapping text, however was a FAIL. Time spent: two hours.

I’ve had enough for today!

August 22, 2020

OK…..last night I thought about how to insert text and make it wrap and I remembered that Karen @ Booker Talk published a post on the Block Editor but it was during the time I had my head in the sand! I went back to read her post and found out that I need to look for a block called Media and Text to make a text wrap. Thanks Karen!

Help! I have no idea where or how to find a Media and Text block! But I do remember under settings that I have the option of Block settings or Post settings. So, I’ll start there. ….oops! Not there! Now, I remember that + icon that shows up under the paragraph when you start your next paragraph. So I click on that and Voila! I see different types of blocks! But I don’t see Media and Text, so I click “browse all” and it brings up another window on the left with all the possibilities. When I scroll down, I’m able to locate Media and Text. Whew! OK…now I’m ready to see how this works. Below you can see how the block looks when I add an image and text.

OK?!?!??!!? This two column format is not exactly what I am looking for…..the image on the left defaults to the center of the column and I can change that to the top….but then the text starts below it. I still can’t get it to wrap around the bottom….unless I cut some text and make another block underneath??? This seems way too laborious! I’m going to ask Karen and try it again later! I’ll leave it like this and create it again with an explanation if I can make it work! Grrrrr….

Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and has lived in the UK for over eighteen years. She studied law at the University of Wolverhampton and has an MSc in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Girl with the Louding Voice won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. Abi lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters, who inspired her to write her debut novel.

TL;DR: Image wrapped by text FAIL (two days now!). Time spent: one and one half hours.

August 23, 2020

OK…. Tina @ Reading Between the Pages came up with a alternative solution to my image wrapping problem!

First, use the Image block (click on the + and select image from the pull down menu).

Next, create a paragraph block underneath it and write or paste your text.

Finally, click on the image and select left (or right) and the text below should wrap like this! YAY! This will work!

Author Abi Daré

Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and has lived in the UK for over eighteen years. She studied law at the University of Wolverhampton and has an MSc in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Girl with the Louding Voice won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. Abi lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters, who inspired her to write her debut novel.

Incidentally, Karen replied back to me and also suggested the same option as Tina.

I think I’ll end on a high note today!

TL;DR: Text-wrapped image success! Time spent: One hour.

August 24, 2020

Today, I played around a bit with Reusable Blocks for content that routinely appears at the end of my blog posts. In the classic editor, I copied and pasted this information from a previous post. I decided to experiment with reusable blocks to see if it might save me some time! To create a reusable block, click on the 3 small dots at the end of the editing bar and find “add to reusable blocks” in the pulldown menu. You can group paragraphs to make one savable block and name it. I created a few reusable blocks and labeled them.

Eventually, my goal is to make a book review template using the new Block Editor and reusable paragraphs.

TL;DR: I spent time investigating reusuable blocks. Time spent: one hour.

August 25, 2020

I’m experiencing some frustrations using the reusable blocks I created yesterday. I saved them as ONE group block and now I can’t add color to the subheadings. I’m going to delete the combined reusable block and make separate blocks that I know how to edit. ……. I’m taking time to do that now…..Grrrr…. I feel like I wasted my time yesterday.

Tina @ Reading Between the Lines sent me this article on how to create and use Reusable Blocks. Thanks Tina! From a quick look at the article, I realize that if you edit a reusable block (for example the subheading color), that it changes the block everywhere you have used it in the past. This is not good. A workaround is the option to change the block back to a regular block before editing….then it will only change the block you are working on and not in any other posts. I think I will not use reusable blocks as much as I first thought I would because I almost always change colors for each post. It’s back to copying and pasting for me I think!

FINDS OF THE DAY: (1) I found a horizontal LINE Block (separator) !!! Click on the + and then do a search for blocks using the word “line”….you will find a small line separator and a paragraph length line! I’ve been looking for this all week to use between my standard end-of-post paragraphs ! I’m doing a “happy dance” right now! (2) I also found that I can close a gap or increase a gap between paragraphs by using the up or down arrows next to the paragraph symbol. (I had deleted a paragraph and thought I was stuck with a big gap.)

What I still need to know:

***One thing I’m still uncertain about is manually running the entire post through Grammarly before I publish. I do see the Grammarly icon below each paragraph block. For the first few paragraphs, I was able to edit the paragraphs in Grammarly one block at a time. Unfortunately, this only lasted for a few paragraphs and then my clicks started producing blank screens. So much for using Grammarly.

With Classic, even though I was prompted with spelling edits, I always put the entire post through a Grammarly check before hitting “publish.” I can’t find out how to do that with the Bock Editor and editing with Grammarly at the end of each block refuses to work consistently. Anyone???

In fact, I just paused to do a Google search and it seems like there are many complaints about the Grammarly and Block Editor interface. Lots of frustration and finger-pointing that seem to be directed at Grammarly. (I guess I’m pleading *not responsible for errors* in this post!)

***I never found the special characters menu. Anyone???

***Assigning text color is the most annoying of tasks! In the classic editor, once you assign a color, it remains an option in the entire post (until you change the color). But with Block Editor, the color needs to be chosen again for EVERY block! (and if you’ve used a custom color, the code has to be entered each time) So if each block has a subheading, you will be hassling with color frequently. I couldn’t figure out how to change the color of the subheadings in the reusable blocks when they were grouped together. So, that was super annoying until I converted them to regular blocks! In fact, after writing this post, I realize that the element I’m having the most difficulty with is color which seems ridiculous to me.

TIP: If you’re switching to Block Editor, now is the time to connect with your blogging community to ask questions and offer support!

TL;DR: I gained new knowledge about using Reusable Blocks. I WILL be watching a tutorial soon and specifically looking for answers to my blue-coded questions. Time spent today: two hours.

Time spent for a FINAL edit (Where are you Grammarly?!): one hour.

TOTAL time spent on post: ten and one half hours. Significantly more time than I would have spent creating this in the Classic Editor.

For my simple book review format, I can see NO advantage for using the Block Editor. I imagine I will become more efficient over time, but still….the Block Editor seems like a lot of fuss for minimal gain and an intimidating learning curve.

I hope my musings haven’t confused you! Producing this journal entry post allowed me to practice while at the same time giving you a peek into my process. I can confidently say that I “got my feet wet!”

NEXT STEPS: In the next few days, I want to work on creating a book review template in the Block Editor. This saved me a great deal of time in the Classic Editor, so I’m hoping it will work the same with the new platform.

Thank you surrounded by a floral wreath

A special shout out and thanks to Karen @ Booker Talk and Tina @ Reading Between the Pages and Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for helping me navigate my first week with the Block Editor! You are the wind beneath my wings!



Have you started using the new Block Editor? What has been your experience? Do you have tips or questions for me? I’m always happy to share if you need help or encouragement or feel a rant coming on!


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


Let’s Get Social!

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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 photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


The Book of CarolSue [Book Review]

August 24, 2020

The Book of CarolSue by Lynne Hugo

the Book of CarolSue by Lynne Hugo (cover) Image: an idyllic farm house surrounded by grass and trees and flowers

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Siblings

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Thanks, #netgalley @kensingtonbooks for a complimentary e ARC of #TheBookofCarolSue  All opinions in this review are entirely my own.

CarolSue and her sister, Louisa, are in their 60s and are both widows. After CarolSue loses her husband suddenly and unexpectedly, Louisa swoops in with a master plan for CarolSue to move back to the farm and live with her. The sisters are very different people: CarolSue loves her life in Atlanta playing bridge and getting pedicures while Louisa loves canning vegetables and feeding her chickens on the farm. CarolSue has difficulty speaking up for herself and lets her sister make all the arrangements. A cast of colorful characters, an abandoned baby, a troubled reverend, and a young, desperate immigrant provide the complications.

My Thoughts:


The Amish Newcomer [Book Review]

August 20, 2020

The Amish Newcomer by Patrice Lewis

The Amish Newcomer by Parice Lewis (cover) Image: a young womens kneels in a fielf to pick carrots and potatoes from a garden putting them in a brown wicker basket

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Amish/Mennonite, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Thanks #netgalley @harlequinbooks for a complimentary e ARC of #theamishnewcomer upon my request. All opinions in this review are my own.

Because of dire circumstances, an English city girl finds herself living in an Amish community with an Amish family. A former television reporter whose career is suddenly jeopardized when she inadvertently witnesses a murder, Leah is living in witness protection without a phone (and its access to 24 hour news) and adjusting to a different culture. Even though Leah is an outsider and is lonely for her friends, routines, and lifestyle, she is warmly welcomed in the Amish community. As she begins to adapt and feel useful, she also develops a friendship and fondness for an Amish bachelor, Isaac.

My Thoughts:


We Were the Lucky Ones [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

August 20, 2020

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

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

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, an engaging and heartfelt story about family and faith

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (cover) Image: a black and white photo of a man and woman sitting in metal garden chairs with backs to the camera

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, Jewish

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

…family and faith…

My Summary:

“In the spring of 1939, the extended Kurc family is living a modest and happy life in Radom, Poland. In the midst of joyful family celebrations, however, there is increased talk of the mistreatment of Jews. Soon the entire close-knit Kurc family faces separation, makes attempts to flee, and desperately focuses on safety and survival. Family members share a will to survive and seeing one another again is their greatest goal. Through cleverness, determination, faith, hope, and hardship they endure.”

Continue here for my review of We Were the Lucky Ones

QOTD: Have you read We Were the Lucky Ones or is it on your TBR?

The Switch [Book Review]

August 18, 2020

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

The Switch by Beth O'Leary (cover) Image: two scenes of a young woman walking a dog in the country and another of an older woman standing in front of a building

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Would you switch places with your grandmother?


Grandmother Eileen and granddaughter Leena, both dissatisfied with their lives for different reasons, impulsively decide to swap places for two months. Seventy-nine-year-old Eileen moves into Leena’s London flat and twenty-something Leena escapes to her grandmother’s small home in a tiny rural Yorkshire village. They even switch phones! Eileen experiments with online dating and easily makes friends with Leena’s young flatmates. Leena tries to fulfill her grandmother’s responsibilities on various committees and attempts to gain credibility with the community.

My Thoughts:


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry [Book Review] #flashbackfriday #fridayfavorite

August 14, 2020

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (cover) Image: right shot of a bookstore's painted red door and window display

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Love Story, Found Family, Family Life

Welcome to Friday Favorite! Today in lieu of reviewing a new release, I  am choosing to revisit an old favorite which I read years before starting this blog. (thanks for the inspiration Sandy’s Book a Day blog!)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


A.J. Fikry lives on a fictional island (Alice Island) off the coast of Massachusetts. The isolated island reflects Fikry’s own mental state as he lives with consuming grief over the loss of his wife to a tragic accident. He’s lonely, drinks to excess, is grumpy and opinionated, and struggles with low book sales in the bookstore that he and his wife bought when they moved to the island. Complicating this already dire situation, Fikry’s most prized and valuable book is stolen, he is rude to a book publisher’s representative, and a baby is abandoned in his bookshop. How will Fikry pull his life together?

My Thoughts: