Little Fires Everywhere [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 31, 2022

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
#throwbackthursday

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (cover) I/mage: birdseye view of a pristine upper class neighborhood

Genre/Categories: contemporary fiction, family life, mothers and children, complicated family drama, transracial adoption

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing a complicated family drama, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, strives to be a perfect planned community. In the words of the author, there is a “propensity to overachieve and a deep intolerance for flaws…a utopia.” Every winding road is thoughtfully laid out, the list of house colors is a strict guideline, trash pickup is conducted in the alleys and all trash cans are out of sight, and tradition is revered and informs the future. Generations of Elena Richardson’s family have lived in Shaker Heights, and she ensures that her family follows the rules and lives up to expectations. All through her life, she has followed the rules and this is wholeheartedly embraced as her highest value. Part of her personal code of following the rules is giving back to those that are less fortunate whenever she can, and she’s the type who keeps a mental list of her good deeds. Elena especially wants to use her inherited rental property near her home to benefit others. She earnestly seeks out renters that could gain from the advantage of living in her perfect neighborhood in Shaker Heights. Mia Warren, a free-spirited artistic non-rule follower, and her teenage daughter, Pearl, are the most recent beneficiaries of Mrs. Richardson’s benevolence. Although when Mia is less than grateful for Mrs. Richardson’s offer to buy one of Mia’s photographs, Elena Richardson makes a mental note and this slight continues to bother her and becomes a motivation for her future relationship with Mia. As the story unfolds, the two families become more involved with each other rather than simply remaining tenant and landlord. It becomes complicated.

A rule follower and a free spirit…

Continue here for my full review of Little Fires Everywhere..



QOTD:

Have you read Little Fires Everywhere or is it on your TBR?
Have you seen the mini series adaptation?

 

March 2022 Reading Wrap Up

March 30, 2022

 March 2022 Reading Wrap Up

March 2022 Reading Wrap Up

How was your February reading?

March reading was challenging because my moods were all over the place! The War Against Ukraine and a 6 week old granddaughter in the hospital (she’s fine now!) caused me to be unfocused in my reading life. I read 3 light chick-lit books in 3 days at the end of the month, to jumpstart my reading mojo!
Out of 8 books completed, I had zero 5-star reads, five 4-star reads, and three 3-star read.

The most memorable and enjoyable fiction read of the month is The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan.


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 before pub date)


The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan

 

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle bbby Jennifer Ryan (cover) four women working on (hand) sewing projects

4 Stars. (ARC) Uplifting (WW11) historical fiction/women’s fiction. My review of Wedding Dress Sewing Circle will be published 5/31/2022.


Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris

 

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris (cover) Image: a colorful assortment of various graphic shapes

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction, Sarajevo. My review of Black Butterflies will be published 5/5/2022.


The Bookseller’s Promise by Beth Wiseman

 

The Bookseller's Promise by Beth Wiseman (cover) Image: a young Amish couple look adoringly at each other...the woman holds a book

4 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Amish Fiction. Romance. Christian. My review of The Bookseller’s Promise will be published 4/19/2022.


The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

 

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center (cover) Image: graphic picture of a young man and young woman standing with arms crossed backs to each other

4 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Fiction. Romcom. My review of The Bodyguard will be published 7/19/2022.


Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer

 

Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer (cover) Image: ttitle and text below a pink and purple landscape

4 Stars. Nonfiction, Self Help. Not reviewed.


Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

 

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan (cover) Image: a graphic image of a young woman holding a coffee cup....a novel lies nearby.....she looks out over a large green lawn with a small house in the distance

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Romance. My review of Nora Goes Off Script will be published 6/7/2022.


Flying Solo by Linda Holmes

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes (cover) Image: a graphic image of a pond with ducks and a boat and steps leading up to a small house

 

3 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Romance. My review of Flying Solo will be published 6/14/2022.


Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

 

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (cover) Image: text plus a collage of5 pictures (girl reading, a suitcase, a pic of an egg, a museum, paint brushes in a jar)

2.5-3 Stars. Middle Grade Fiction. Difficult to feel connected with the story (probably my mood). Not Reviewed.


DNF (23%): The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

Middle Grade Fiction from my Newbery Project. Underwhelmed.



QOTD:

What was your favorite March read?
Did we read any of the same books?
Which of these books is on your TBR?



ICYMI:

March Blog Posts:

Little Fires Everywhere
The Honeybee Emeralds
Ghost (and Middle Grade March)
Where the Lost Wander
Meet the Blogger (Book Tag)
I Must Betray You (and fav YA titles)
Code Name Helene
TTT: Spring 2022 TBR
These Precious Days
Castle of Water
TTT: 10 Women Authors and Their Debuts
The Book of Lost Friends
Sisters of Night and Fog



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



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***Blog 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 covers and photos are credited to Amazon or publisher websites.

© http://www.ReadingLadies.com

 

The Honeybee Emeralds [Book Review]

March 29, 2022

The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector

The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector (cover) Image: gold instricate pattern over a teal background

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Friendship, Paris

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks Turner Publishing Company @TurnerPub for a complimentary e ARC of #TheHoneybeeEmeralds upon my request. All opinions are my own.

An historical fiction/mystery mashup, The Honeybee Emeralds is the compelling and well-written story of a mysterious and valuable emerald necklace. Alice Ahmadi, an intelligent and shy intern at a struggling Parisian magazine, discovers the necklace in the pocket of an elegant, green coat in the building’s musty and dark basement the day the heat goes out and she enlists the help of the kind (and hunky) perfumer next door to find the fuse box. Alice ( the intern), Lily (the magazine editor), Daphne (a friend of Lily’s), Alexander (the guy next door), Luc (the magazine owner), and Jacob (a writer) join forces to solve the mystery of the beautiful necklace in hopes that the discovery and the story will help solve the magazine’s financial shortfall. The group calls themselves “The Fellowship of the Necklace” (a nod to another group of disparate adventurers trying to complete a mission in The Fellowship of the Ring).

My Thoughts:

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Ghost [Book Review] #MiddleGradeMarch

March 25, 2022

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Bonus: 10+ Favorite Middle Grade Reads!

(top view) picture of a middle grade child reading on a recliner covered with a reddiish knitted afghan

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds (cover) Black text on a yellow background....a young African American boy is running off the page

Genre/Categories: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Reads (African-American), Sports (Track and Field)

My Summary:

Castle Cranshaw, aka “Ghost,” loves to run. One day, he challenges an elite sprinter to a race and wins which gains the attention of a track and field coach. Believing Ghost has natural talent, coach invites him to join his track team. Although Ghost can run, he also has a lot of anger, is often in trouble at school, and has a complicated family life. Can he become part of the team or will his behavior choices hold him back?

Silver running shoes

My Thoughts:

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Where the Lost Wander [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 24, 2022

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
#throwbackthursday

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon (cover) Image: Two covered wagons crossing a prairie

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Western Love Story, Westward Movement, Oregon Trail (U.S.History)

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing a page-turning historical fiction with a strong sense of place, Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

In 1853, newly widowed Naomi May sets out for the West with her family.  On the Oregon Trail which is filled with hardship, danger, and loss, she meets John Lowry. As the journey progresses and becomes more harrowing, they grow closer but their relationship is tested in intense and emotional ways.

 

Images Source: Wikipedia

A western love story that features a pioneer theme, feisty characters, and a strong sense of place…

Continue here for my full review of Where the Lost Wander..



QOTD:

Have you read Where the Lost Wander or is it on your TBR?

 

Meet the Blogger [Book Tag]

March 22, 2022

Meet the Blogger Book Tag

a graphic picture of a blond girl holding an open blue book

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Between the dire and heartbreaking news from Ukraine and concerns about my 6 week old granddaughter who is in the hospital with RSV (she’s doing better today!), my reading/reviewing/posting mojo has suffered. So, I think a change-of-pace book tag might be needed!

A huge thank you to Esther @ Cozy With Books for tagging me in this!
Shoutout to Bibliomavens as the creator behind the Meet The Blogger Book Tag!

If you enjoy this tag, feel free to join in and definitely check out Esther’s blog too

Rules

  • Nominated bloggers can nominate ten other bloggers.
  • Use the same questions from the tag.
  • Tag the original creator (Bibliomavens) and the blogger who tagged you (Thanks, Esther!)

Who is your all-time favorite book character?

The first book characters I remember loving include Jo from Little Women, Scarlett from Gone With the Wind, and Nancy from Nancy Drew.

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I Must Betray You [Book Review] #YoungAdult #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

March 18, 2022

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Are You Young at Heart?
Do You Have YA Fiction on Your Bookshelf?

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (cover) Image: in a muted blue toned picture, a person walks alone under turbulent skies toward a palace with a flag

Today for the March #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge I’m focusing on “Young Adult” fiction as I bring you a review of I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys.

Every year, I commit to reading a few YA fiction titles. One of my favorite YA histfic authors is Ruta Sepetys….and I’m proud to declare myself a Sepetys completist! You may be familiar with her back list: Salt to the Sea, Between Shades of Gray, The Fountains of Silence, and Out of the Easy.

Following today’s review, I’ll list a few of my favorite YA titles.

Do you have a favorite YA author or recomendation?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Genre/Categories/Setting: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Romania, Communism, Freedom

My Summary:

In 1989, Romania is ruled by dictator, Nicalae Ceausescu. Seventeen-year-old Cristian along with other citizens of Romania deal with intimidation, isolation, fear, repression, hunger, blackmail, informants, and having no voice. Cristian is forced into the impossible situation of betraying friends and family. He hears rumors of revolution and yearns to join it. But what can a young man do? How can he make a difference? How will he make his voice heard?

My Thoughts:

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Code Name Helene [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 17, 2022

Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon
#throwbackthursday

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhom (coveer)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Biographical Historical Fiction, World War 11, French Resistance Movement, France

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing suspenseful, page-turning historical fiction, Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Told in multiple timelines, Code Name Hélène is the thrilling and intense story of real-life socialite spy, Nancy Wake. Helene is only one of her four code names. When Nancy Wake first meets the love of her life, wealthy Henri Fiocca, in 1936, she is a freelance reporter and an Australian ex-pat living in Paris. As the Germans invade France, she begins her spy career by using her socialite status to smuggle documents and people across borders. Eventually, she is forced to escape France and leave Henri behind. At this time she is trained for Special Operations by the British and returns to France to work in the French Resistance Movement. Known for her innovative thinking and leadership, profanity, and red lipstick, she secures weapons from the allied forces for the French Resistance fighters. This is complicated because she is also a hunted woman with a bounty on her head.”

Real-life socialite spy, Nancy Wake….

Nancy Wake in 1945

Image Source: Wikipedia

Fast-paced, suspenseful, and gritty historical fiction…

Continue here for my full review of Code Name Hélène..



QOTD:

Have you read Code Name Hélène or is it on your TBR?

 

Spring 2022 TBR #TopTenTuesday

March 15, 2022

Spring Reading Season TBR (2022)

Spring Reading TBR

Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For spring, these are the ten books prioritized at the top of my TBR Mountain. I finished seven books from my Winter TBR and didn’t get to three: 2 are going back on my general TBR….they’ve been on and off my priority TBR a couple of times and I am not feeling the urgency (#moodreader) and one will be put on next winter’s TBR because it’s a Christmas romance.

For this Spring TBR, there are a mix of genres, and I’m hoping for some winners here. Have you read any of these or is one on your TBR? ***Note: four are ARC (advanced reader copy) commitments and publication dates are noted. 

I never plan more than ten titles for my quarterly TBR lists because I need to leave time for mood reading and review commitments. These ten books (in no particular order) are a priority on a much longer general TBR.

What is your most anticipated read this spring?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2022 To Be Read List.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)


Spring 2022 TBR


The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson (cover) Image: a young woman in a white blouse and red skirt sits on a cabinet top surrounded by books and bookshelves

Genre: Historical Fiction
I’m waiting for this to be abailable on kindle because I no longer buy physical copies.
***Thanks for the rec Joanne @ Portobello book blog

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These Precious Days [Book Review]

March 11, 2022

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (cover) Image: a watercolor picture of a small dog lying on top of a soft chair or sofa

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essay Collection, Reflection

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

These Precious Days is a collection of personal essays and reflections from popular author, Ann Patchett. These essays explore home, family and fathers, marriage, friendships, meaning and purpose, love and death, life decisions, and writing.

“…find joy…and make good use of the days we have”

My Thoughts:

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