The Book of Lost Friends: A Review

March 27, 2020

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (cover)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Post Civil War South, Women’s Fiction

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Searching for family…

“Lost Friends” advertisements appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War as freed slaves desperately tried to find loved ones who had been sold off. In 1875, three young girls from Louisiana set off on a perilous journey to Texas. Two of the girls are financially desperate and in search of their inheritance and the third is looking for her long lost family and helping others do the same. The present-day timeline takes place in Lousiana in 1987 as a young and inexperienced teacher lands her first job in a poor, rural community. Over the course of the year, she discovers the story of the three girls from 1875 and their connection to her current students.

My Thoughts:

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#throwbackthursday Glass Houses Review and Inspector Gamache Series Overview

March 26, 2020

Glass Houses Review and Inspector Gamache Series Overview
#throwbackthursday

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 Glass Houses and an Inspector Gamache Series overview. Enjoy!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Glass Houses by Louise Penny (cover)

Genre/Categories: fiction, mystery, detective, suspense, Canadian

My Summary:

A mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day. Even though Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are curious at first, they soon become wary. The figure stands unmoving through the fog, sleet, rain, and cold, staring straight ahead. Chief Inspector Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the mysterious figure has a unique history and a dark purpose. However, Gamache’s hands are tied because the figure hasn’t committed a crime, so he watches and waits. The villagers are tense hoping that Gamache will do something. The figure’s costume is historically tied to someone who acts as a “conscience” and comes to put pressure on an individual to pay a debt. Naturally, people in the village, including Gamache, start to examine their own consciences and wonder if the figure has come for them. Suddenly, the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, and the investigation commences. This story is told in two timelines: the November timeline when the murder took place and later in July as the trial for the accused begins. In typical Penny style, more is happening on a larger scale than just the trial. Gamache wrestles with his own conscience, the decisions he has made, and the personal consequences he will pay.

Click here to continue reading my review of Glass Houses and a series overview….

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

10 Favorite “Books About Books” #toptentuesday

March 24, 2020

10 Favorite Books About Books for Top Ten Tuesday (Image: a tall stack of books on a blue table)

Top Ten Favorite “Books About Books”

Before we get to the book talk, I’m curious if you are in isolation at home due to Covid 19 or are you an essential worker? Most of my family and I are at home. We do have three essential workers in our family that we cover in prayer. God Bless the medical staff and grocery store workers!

Honestly, it’s been a little difficult to read with an anxious mind. Have you been finding it difficult to focus on reading? How are you practicing self-care? I discovered that I need lighter reads right now which will likely play havoc with my Spring TBR. This Top Ten topic involving a favorite genre is timely because most of the titles in this post could be considered lighter reads.

A Favorite Genre

Do you love the “book about books” sub-genre? If you are a bookworm like me, one of your favorite genres might be “books about books.” Here are a few of my favorites! Do we share any favorites?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for TTT: Favorite Genre.

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my reviews are linked.

(listed in order of favorites)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)

Genre: Histfic (Kentucky) 5 Stars
What I Love: the fearless, feisty, determined, compassionate main character

Full Review Here

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The Ride of a Lifetime: A Review

March 20, 2020

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

Welcome Guest Reviewer: Abby

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Abby and GoofyHello from Seattle, Washington! My name is Abby, and I’m a cousin of Carol’s! Actually, my dad is Carol’s cousin, so I guess that makes us 1st cousins once removed. I posted on Instagram that I had just finished a book when Carol asked me to do a bit of a review for her blog.

I wish I could say I’m an avid reader, I’m not, but I’m trying to do better. My goal for 2020 is simple: to read one book a month. Thankfully, my husband heard that goal prior to January and stocked me up at Christmas with some of the books that were on my wish list!

I tend to gravitate to biographies, leadership books and inspirational reads with an occasional fiction thrown in the mix. As a life-long Disney fanatic and Disneyland Park enthusiast it’s no surprise that The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger was at the top of my “to read” list for 2020.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger (cover)

Background Image Source:  Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Organizational Leadership, Business Biography

Summary:

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger weaves his philosophical bits and pieces of wisdom by telling the stories of how he began at ABC Network and made his way up the food chain to become the CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 2005.

Abby’s Thoughts:

Abby seated (arms thrown in the air) with Cinderella's Castle in the backgroundIger’s story, The Ride of a Lifetime, is meaningful for us Disney fanatics – in my opinion – he will go down in history as the CEO that saved our beloved Disney brand after Michael Eisner’s leadership lacked that Disney magic. Eisner lead Disney as a corporation instead of the magical creative universe that it is, and that lead to movies that completely flopped, and the launch of Disney California Adventure, which was also a bit of a miss.

Eisner also landed himself in some hot water with the board of directors becoming enemies with Roy Disney and other board members that had been running Disney for quite some time. The Ride of a Lifetime highlights why some fans became disenchanted with Disney and why park attendance, design, and movies surged under Iger’s leadership.

Upon his appointment to the CEO Chair, Iger’s top three priorities were:

  1. To increase the amount of high-quality branded content created
  2. To advance technology both in the ability to create more compelling products and to deliver those products to consumers
  3. To grow globally

Abby standing (arms thrown in air) in front of the Disney Railroad StationThe Ride of a Lifetime then walks us through Iger’s acquisition strategies, and how he befriends Steve Jobs who, at the time, owned Pixar Animation Studios. Iger’s dream was for Pixar to rejuvenate Disney Animation Studios. Disney needed the creative jolt that Pixar brought and after the acquisition, you saw a huge jump in quality of product from Disney Animation.

Also of note is the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, the Star Wars Universe and Lucas Film and last, but not least, 21st Century Fox.

These acquisitions are probably the largest ear marks of Iger’s career, but the rejuvenation of Disney California Adventure, Hong Kong Disney, and the opening of Shanghai Disney will be notable as well since it brought that much-needed magic back to the parks!

Abby with her Mickey Mouse hat (and a backpack) stand on Main Street, Disney

 

Recommended: Overall, I think The Ride of a Lifetime is a solid read. If you like reading about leaders and what they do to make their world go around, it’s worthwhile to pick it up. As a Disney fanatic I digested the facts as quickly as I could, and couldn’t put it down, but everyone might not be as hungry for this information as I am.

 

 

Robert Iger’s 10 Leadership nuggets are quoted in this Forbes review in December of 2019. I think you’ll find the quotes thoughtful and they definitely highlight the take-a ways from Iger’s book.

Thanks for the review, Abby!

 

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger (cover) Image: Iger seated in a chair, hands casually crossed

The Ride of a Lifetime Information Here

Meet the Author, Robert Iger

 

Robert Iger is chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and he previously served as president and CEO beginning in October 2005 and president and COO from 2000 to 2005. Iger began his career at ABC in 1974, and as chairman of the ABC Group, he oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and guided the merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. Iger officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999 was given the additional responsibility of president, Walt Disney International. In that role, Iger expanded Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the company’s international growth today.



QOTD!

Are you a Disney fanatic like Abby?

Do you enjoy books about interesting and innovative leaders?



ICYMI

Spring 2020 TBR



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:
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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.

© ReadingLadies.com

Before We Were Yours: A Review #throwbackthursday

March 19, 2020

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
#throwbackthursday

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 Before We Were Yours. Enjoy!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (cover) Image: 2 young girls sitting (backs to the camera) on an old fashioned brown suitcase

Genre/Categories: fiction, family

My Summary:

Two timelines reveal this sad and heartfelt story that is based on one of America’s most tragic real-life scandals in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped, mistreated, and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.

Click here to continue reading my review ….

QOTD: Have you read Before We Were Yours or is it on your TBR?

Spring 2020 TBR

March 17, 2020

Spring Reading Season TBR (2020)

Open book with a spray of lilacs as a bookmark; Words: Spring TBR

Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For spring, these are the ten books prioritized on my TBR Mountain. They are a mix of genres, include three ARCs (advance reader copies), and most have been reviewed highly by others. I’m hoping for some winners here. Have you read any of these or is one on your TBR?

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 2020 To Be Read List.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)


Spring 2019 TBR


The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (cover)

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

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The Last Train to London: A Review

March 13, 2020

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton (cover)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, Jewish, Nazi-Occupied Europe

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Rescuing children, her life’s work…

The Last Train to London shares the story of real-life hero Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance who risked her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany. (She was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. )

The mission known as Kindertransport carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe. In addition to hearing about Tante Truus as she was known, the author imagines the lives of children such as Stephan (budding playwright), his younger brother. and Zofie-Helene (mathematics protegee).

Auntie Truus (headshot)

Tante Truus: Image Source: Wikipedia

 

Auntie Truus statue in Amsterdam

Tante Truus statue in Amsterdam: Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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Reading Memories and a Review: One-In-A-Million Boy #throwbackthursday

March 12, 2020

One-In-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
#throwbackthursday

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 short review of One-In-a-Million Boy and personal reading memories. Enjoy!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood (cover)

Genre/Categories: fiction, family

My Summary:

A unique 11-year-old boy is sent to help 104-year-old Ona every Saturday morning as part of a community service project. As he refills the bird feeders and helps with other odd jobs, he and Ona share cookies and milk and Ona tells him about her long life. He records her responses as part of a school interview project.

One Saturday, the boy doesn’t show up. Ona starts to think he’s not so special after all, but then his father arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son’s good deed….

Click here to continue reading my review and I also share a few reading memories….

QOTD: Have you read One-In-a-Million Boy or is it on your TBR?

1st Line/1st Paragraph: American Dirt

 March 10, 2020

1st Line/1st Paragraph

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.

Open book on the sand with a blurred out ocean background: words: First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros

I’m pleased to share the first paragraph of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Is this on your TBR or have you read it?

Amazon Summary:

“Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy―two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia―trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?


American Dirt

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (author)

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Migrants, Hispanic

1st Line/1st Paragraph From Chapter One:

“One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing. He doesn’t immediately understand that it’s a bullet at all, and it’s only luck that it doesn’t stike him between the eyes. Luca hardly registers the mild noise it makes as it flies past and lodges into the tiled wall behind him. But the wash of bullets that follows is loud, booming and thudding, clack-clacking with helicopter speed. There is a raft of screams, too, but that noise is shortlived, soon exterminated by the gunfire. Before Luca can zip his pants, lower the lid, climb up to look out, before he has time to verify the source of that terrible clamor, the bathroom door swings open and Mami is there.”

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding American Dirt because it wasn’t written by an “own voices” author. Some reviewers support a boycott and others encourage reading it and have given it excellent reviews. Well aware of the controversy, my IRL book club elected to read it. In case you’re interested, here are two links that discuss the controversy from different perspectives:

American Dirt Controversy Explained

To Read or Not to Read



QOTD:

Is American Dirt on your TBR?



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

10 Inspirational Reads For Middle Grade March

March 9, 2020

10 Inspirational Reads For Middle Grade March

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

Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

To participate in #middlegrademarch, I’ve compiled a list of ten (plus!) 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? 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 (or buddy reads). As a bonus, most Middle-Grade stories have heartfelt themes without the angst and/or objectionable language of YA. Reading builds understanding and compassion.

What theme do you think Middle Grade books have in common?

For adults, Middle-Grade books make the perfect palate cleanser or fit the description of books that can be read in a day. If I’m feeling in a reading “funk,” I often seek out a recommended Middle Grade read to stimulate my reading life once again. I love that Middle-Grade books almost always end on a hopeful note. This theme of hopefulness is one of the main reasons I love reading in the Middle-Grade genre. 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.

Middle-Grade Literature

(in no particular order)

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