Is a Balanced Reading Life Important? #NationalBookMonth #LetsDiscuss2021

October 15, 2021

Is a Balanced Reading Life Important?

Is a Balanced Reading Life Important? (white text over a picture of a hand balancing a miniature book on an index finger)

Image Source: Pixabay

October is National Book Month

National Book Month

All through the year there are many occasions to celebrate books and reading!

National Book Month is held each October.
The month-long celebration focuses on the importance of reading, writing and literature.

To celebrate, I’m asking a bookish question… or two….

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

I’m linking up with Discussion Challenge 2021.

Let’s Discuss!

  • Do you have a balanced reading life?
  • Do you think a reader needs a balanced reading life?
  • What is a balanced reading life?
  • Is a balanced reading life important?
  • What are the benefits of a balanced reading life?
  • What do you do to balance your reading life?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

10 Reasons For a Balanced Reading Life:

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The Things We Cannot Say [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 14, 2021

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
#throwbackthursday

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

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 heartfelt and poignant story, The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My 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.”

Engaging…memorable…page-turning…and emotional!

Continue here for my full review of The Things We Cannot Say…



QOTD:

Have you read The Things We Cannot Say or is it on your TBR?

Ten Favorite Book Settings #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

October 12, 2021

Ten Favorite Book Settings

10 Favorite Book Settings (white text over a field of wild flowers)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for TTT: Ten Favorite Book Settings …

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

…and I’m also linking up with the 2021 Discussion Challenge for October.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Do you have a favorite book setting?

Do you love a strong sense of place?

My VERY FAVORITE setting is ANYWHERE a MEMORABLE story takes place!

In the following memorable and unforgettable stories, I can immediately and vividly recall the setting (the time and place) of the story. The setting becomes as important as the story.


Setting: A Bookshop

Many of my favorite stories take place in bookshops! A recent favorite is The Last Bookshop in London.



Setting: An Unusual Location

The Woman With the Blue Star takes place in the sewer system of Warsaw, Poland.


Setting: A Beach

Castle of Water takes place on a beach as two plane crash survivors attempt to survive and desperately hope for rescue.


Setting: Atmospheric or Strong Sense of Place

The swamp setting in Where the Crawdads Sing comes to mind when I think of atmospheric settings. Also, unforgettably atmospheric is the dust bowl setting in Out of the Dust.


Setting: Long, Long Ago

The time and place when Shakespeare and his family lived are vividly described in Hamnet.


Setting: Small Village or Small Town

I love the small town community in The Printed Letter Bookshop (also a bookshop setting)

and Gander, Newfoundland is an amazing small community in The Day the World Came to Town (NF)


Setting: the Site of a Disaster

The Nature of Fragile Things (earthquake)

Surviving Savannah (shipwreck)

A Fall of Marigolds (New York City)

The Only Plane in the Sky (NF; New York City)


Setting: Local (or somewhere I’ve been)

Other settings that are so fun are settings that I know well in real life. Two examples are The Beautiful Strangers (Coronado, the Hotel Del Coronado) and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (prairies of South Dakota).


Setting: Rural

I love a rural setting and one that’s especially memorable is the rural mountains of Kentucky found in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.


Setting: A Diverse Setting

One more setting I enjoy is one that is culturally different from my own. Some examples include The Firekeeper’s Daughter (Ojibwe reservation), The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters (India), Clap When You Land (Dominican Republic), Born a Crime (South Africa), The Girl With the Louding Voice (Nigeria), The Girl With Seven Names (North Korea/China/South Korea), The Island of Sea Women (Korean Island of Jeju), Amal Unbound (Pakistan), The Hate U Give (streets of L.A.), and The Peal That Broke Its Shell (Afghanistan).



QOTD:

What is your favorite setting?
Please share your favorite setting 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



Let’s Get Social!

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

© ReadingLadies.com

Why You Need to Fail [Book Excerpt]

October 8, 2021

Why You Need to Fail by Jake Kneeland

Why You Need to Fail by Jake Kneeland (cover) Image: black and white text over a background of steep mountain peaks

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Self-help

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Amazon Summary:

“Do you feel like you are coasting through life? Are you struggling to find meaning after countless mistakes and the circumstances they put you in? Do you feel completely lost? Everything changes the moment we discover why we went through the turbulent times. How exactly do we find the answer? Join author Jake Kneeland as he guides you through Why You Need To Fail – a roadmap to rediscovering your purpose, energy, and vibrancy for life. Inside you will find moments of transformation, step by step techniques, and the momentum you’ve unleashed by removing previously held self-limiting beliefs. Are you ready? Grab a journal and pen and begin. A better understanding is at your fingertips. There’s no time to waste!”

***Full disclosure: Jake Kneeland is a member of my extended family. I’m choosing to highlight his self-published book today because I’ve observed his journey and know that this book is an authentic reflection of his personal experience and that he has important insights to share. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Jake!

Excerpts:

(provided by the author)

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The Water Dancer [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 7, 2021

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
#throwbackthursday

The Water Dancer review

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

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 thought provoking and compelling story, The Water Dancer by Na-Hehisi Coates.

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 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.”

A powerful story with page-turning action…

Continue here for my full review of The Water Dancer…



QOTD:

Have you read The Water Dancer or is it on your TBR?

Ten Bookish Pet Peeves #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

October 5, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Bookish Pet Peeves

10 Bookish Pet Peeves

Background Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves!

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

I’m also linking up with the October 2021 Discussion Challenge.


Yes. I do have bookish pet peeves!
They do affect my reading experiences!

Do you have bookish pet peeves? Do we share any pet peeves?

I realize that these are only my personal preferences and opinions and you may or may not agree. That’s OK. Reading is a personal experience.

*Reviews are linked as available (and may contain Amazon affiliate links).

Bookish Pet Peeves

(in the general order of their annoyance factor)

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The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady [Book Review] #BlogTour

October 4, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragón

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon Mondragon (cover) a ball of yarn and two silver knitting needles

Genre/Categories: Christian Comtemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Friendship, Prayer, Ministry

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Out of your comfort zone and into the mall!

Thanks #NetGalley @KregelBooks and the I Read With Audra Blog Tour for a complimentary eARC of #TheUnlikelyYarnOfTheDragonLady upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry consists of four women (Controlling Margaret, Positive Rose, Hurting Jane, and Lonely Fran) who meet weekly in the lovely and quiet Prayer Chapel of their church to knit shawls for the prayer shawls ministry. When the pastor announces that the prayer chapel is being painted and they will need to find another place to sit and knit, he suggests they knit out in public somewhere like the local mall. Grumpy and difficult-to-love Margaret vehemently resists the idea of knitting in the mall with all its distractions. However, the others are open to the idea. After they get kicked out of the bookstore cafe (for never ordering anything), they find a satisfactory place to knit using the comfortable seating display in front of Macy’s department store. And, yes, there are distractions and encounters with the people they meet taking them out of their comfort zones in many ways.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

Crying in H Mart [Book Review]

October 1, 2021

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (cover) black and white text on a red backbround

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Korean-American, Grief, Mothers/Daughters, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Michelle Zauner shares about her Korean-American family, her childhood and young adult years, bonding over food, her relationship with her mother, and the grief of losing her mother to cancer.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Women of the Copper Country [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 30, 2021

The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
#throwbackthursday

The women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Biographical Historical Fiction, Michigan, Mining, Activism, Union

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 compelling story of the labor movement, The Women of Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell.

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 July of 1913, twenty-five-year-cold Annie Clements has seen enough of the unfair working conditions in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan and decides it’s time to fight for a change. The men who work in the copper mines endure long hours, dangerous conditions, and low wages. Annie organizes and encourages the women to support a strike, but she also faces possible imprisonment, her husband’s anger, and personal threats. The Women of the Copper Country is a fictionalized account of the courageous efforts of women to organize a strike in the early history of the labor movement.”

“There’s no progress in the world if we all just keep our heads down and only do what’s good and proper in our tiny corner of it.”

“We plant the seeds of justice, and justice will rise out of this muck someday.”

Annie Clements is called “America’s Joan of Arc”

Continue here for my full review of The Women of the Copper Country…



QOTD:

Have you read The Women of the Copper Country or is it on your TBR?

 

September 2021 Reading Wrap Up

September 29, 2021

September 2021 Reading Wrap Up

September Reading Wrap Up (collage of covers)

How was your September reading?

September was an OK reading month for me. One long book affected my total book count (average month is 8-10). Why can’t these long books be worth three?!
Out of seven books, I had one 5-star reads (if I round the 4.5 up), three 4-star reads, three 3-star reads (and no 2 or 1 star reads or DNFs for the win!).
I’ve now read 86 books towards my year end goal of 100. Do you set a year-end goal?

My favorite reads of the month are Cloud Cuckoo Land (for its ambitious, creative, and complex story telling) and The Day the World Came to Town (for its memorable and inspirational content).


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)


Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

4.5 Stars (can easily be rounded up to 5). (ARC) Historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary fiction, myth mashup. Ambitious and complex storytelling. My review of Cloud Cuckoo Land here.


The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede (cover) Image: a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) stand with their back to the camera watching a jetliner land

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede

4 Stars. Narrative nonfiction. Inspirational and poignant. Review coming in November.


Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith (cover) Image: a bblack and white image of a young man and woman sitting on steps reading books

Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith

4 Stars. Historical fiction. Inspiring optimism. My favorite Smith is still A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Not reviewed.


Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies (cover) Image: a woman stands with her back to the camera in a field with trees and a house on a hill in the distance

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical fiction. Compelling story of three sisters living and surviving during WW11. Review coming on November 16.


The House Swap by Jo Lovett

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary women’s fiction, rom-com. Quick, easy, and enjoyable. My review of House Swap here.


The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny (cover) Image: a darkened pine tree with burst of colors radiating outward from behind it

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

3 Stars. Detective, mystery, police procedural, crime fiction. #17 in the Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series. A good story but I’ve enjoyed others in the series more. Great cover though! My review of Madness of Crowds here.


Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (cover) Image: black and white text on a rd background

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

3 Stars. Nonfiction, memoir. Mother/daughter relationship and cancer content is too sad for me. Ended up skimming. Not reviewed.



QOTD:

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



ICYMI:

September Blog Posts:

Ten Books that Live Up To Their Hype
Cloud Cuckoo Land
The House Swap
The Medallion
Top 5 Stand Alone Books of Summer 2021
Fall 2021 TBR
Do Hype, Book Buzz, and High Expectations Affect Your Readng Experience?
The Dearly Beloved
The Madness of Crowds
The Only Plane in the Sky
Other Words For Home
If you Want to Make God Laugh
10 Books to Put a Smile On Your Face
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
The Vanished Bride
Bloomsbury Girls Cover Reveal



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



Let’s Get Social!

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 covers are credited to Amazon.

© http://www.ReadingLadies.com