The Stranger in the Lifeboat [Book Review]

December 3, 2021

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (cover) Image: white and red text on a dark blue background....small image of people in a red boat against a sinking white sun

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reflection, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

What if?

What if we called on God for help and God appeared?

What then?

After a catastrophic ship explosion, a desperate group of individuals struggle to survive on a lifeboat. One of them claims to be “the Lord.” Will he help them? Save them? How will the individuals in the group react? Will they believe him? One of the passengers, Benji, keeps a journal documenting each day, reflecting on his guilt over the accident, and expressing his love for his wife. This journal is found a year later on the abandoned and empty lifeboat. This journal affects the man who found it in profound ways.

My Thoughts:

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 2, 2021

The Beekeeper of Aleppo
#throwbackthursday

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (cover) Image: black text over a background of gold sketches of leaves, blossoms, and bees

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Family Life, Refugee Crisis, Syria

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 poignant refugee story, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife Afra, an artist, live happily with their son in beautiful Aleppo. They enjoy a quiet and peaceful life and value the friendship of close friends and extended family. Suddenly, their lives are turned upside down by war and, out of desperation, they make a decision to flee Syria. What Afra has experienced and seen causes her to go blind, complicating their journey through Turkey and Greece to get to Britain. On this risky and uncertain journey, they must learn to survive in unpredictable situations, to deal with their loss, to trust each other, to depend on the kindness and compassion of strangers, and to keep their hope alive.”

A compelling story of love, loss, hope, and compassion…

Continue here for my full review of The Beekeeper of Aleppo…



QOTD:

Have you read The Beekeeper of Aleppo or is it on your TBR?

 

The Postmistress of Paris [Book Review]

November 30, 2021

The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton (cover) Image: a dark silhouette of a woman standing at a gate overlooking the Eiffel Tower

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Reisistance Movement, France, Art

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @HarperCollins @HarperBooks for a complimentary eARC of #ThePostMistressOfParis upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Postmistress of Paris is the story of a young American heiress, Nanee (inspired by real life Mary Jayne Gold), who helps artists and intellectuals escape from Nazi-controlled Europe. Free-spirited Nanee lives in Paris when the war breaks out, but she soon relocates to Southern France and joins the Resistance Movement. Nanee works with American journalist Varian Fry and delivers information to those in hiding, helps to house the hunted, and occasionally participates in bringing them to safety.

My Thoughts:

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The Stationery Shop [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

November 18, 2021

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali 
#throwbackthursday

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (cover) Image: white text over a background of colorful pink and orange flowers)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Romantic Fiction, Romance, Family Life, Iran

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 bittersweet love story, The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali.

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 1953, two teenagers meet in Mr. Fakhri’s Stationery Shop in Tehran. Roya loves the fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and the thick, lovely writing paper while Bahman loves Rumi’s poetry and is an activist. They share a love of poetry and continue to meet in the Stationery Shop while their romance grows. Their happy life together is complicated by family tension and political unrest.”

Complicated families…..soul mates…..resilience…..

Continue here for my full review of The Stationery Shop…



QOTD:

Have you read The Stationery Shop or is it on your TBR?

 

Daughters of War [Book Review]

November 15, 2021

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

Daughters of War by Dinah Jiefferies (cover) Image: a woman in a long dress stands in a field of wild flowers

Genre/Categories/Setting: WW11 Historical Fiction, France, Sisters, Family Drama

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley #HarperCollins @HarperCollins360 @Harper360  for a complimentary eARC of #DaughtersOfWar upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In 1944, three sisters live together in an old cottage as they wait out the war. Their father died and their mother is living in England. The oldest, Helene, works as a nurse for a local doctor and takes responsibility for her younger sisters. The middle sister, Elise, operates a small cafe in the village and is committed to working with the Reisistance despite the danger. The youngest sister, Florence, prepares the meals, works in the garden, and is artistic. As the war comes to their doorstep, the sisters take more risks as they fight to survive in their own ways.

My Thoughts:

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Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

November 11, 2021

Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn et al.
#throwbackthursday

Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn et al. Image: a women dressed in red and carrying a red cloth walks off the right edge of the picture

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Historical Fiction, French Revolution, France

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 several women of the French Revolution, Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Six masterful storytellers collaborate to share the experiences of seven unforgettable women of The French Revolution. During the Revolution, these courageous and determined women felt compelled to speak up and exert their influence wherever they could. Even though these are six separate stories, passionate convictions and ideas connect them.”

Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!

Continue here for my full review of Ribbons of Scarlet…



QOTD:

Have you read Ribbons of Scarlet or is it on your TBR?

 

 

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings: #NonficNov 2021

November 8, 2021

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings #NonficNov 2021

Nonfiction November poster (text in white against a green background against colorful fall leaves)

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

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by What’s Nonfiction, Doing Dewey, The Thousand Book Project, Plucked from the Stacks, and OCBookgirl. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:
(Join us?)

Week 1: (November 1-5) – My Year in Nonfiction (with Rennie at What’s Nonfiction)

Week 2: (November 8-12) – Book Pairing with Katie at Doing Dewey

Week 3: (November 15-19) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert with Veronica at The Thousand Book Project

Week 4: (November 22-26) – Stranger Than Fiction with Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks

Week 5: (November 29-December 3) — New to My TBR with Jaymi at OCBookgirl

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Pairings

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, I have several fiction/nonfiction book pairings to share with you! Although I have read all the fiction titles on this list, I have not read all the nonfiction titles. Some of the NF my husband has read and others are on my TBR. Can you add some of your favorite fiction/nonfiction pairs to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Pairings

Background Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affilliate links.


S H A K E S P E A R E

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
paired with
Shakespeare: The Biography


9-11

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
paired with
The Only Place in the Sky by Garrett Graff or The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede


E S C A P E

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins or Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi
paired with
The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee


R E F U G E E S

Inside Out and Back Again by Thannhha Lai or Other Words For Home by Jasmine Wanga or Refugee by Alan Gratz or The Boat People by Sharon Bala or The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
paired with
Family in Six Tones by Lan Cao


W W 1 1  T E C H N O L O G Y

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn or Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman
paired with
Geniuses at War by David A. Price


L A F A Y E T T E

The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray
paired with
Lafayette by Harlow Giles Unger


O V E R C O M I N G

Never Broken by Jewel or The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls or Educated by Tara Westover
paired with
The Choice by Edith Eva Eger or Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand


A M E R I C A N 
H I S T O R Y

Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
paired with
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
(then watch Hamilton the Musical!)


C E L E B R I T Y

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
paired with
Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


E A R T H Q U A K E

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
paired with
1906 San Francisco Earthquake by Richard Hansen


A M E R I C A N 
H I S T O R Y

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
or Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (MG)
paired with
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham


W O R L D  W A R  1 1

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini
paired with
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas


T R U E  C R I M E

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
paired with
Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate or The Baby Thief by Barbara Bisantz Raymond


C O M P L I C A T E D  F A M I L Y 

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
paired with
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro


P H O T O G R A P H Y

Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange by Elise Hooper
paired with
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon


B I O G R A P H I C A L

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
paired with
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis


A B O L I T I O N  O F  S L A V E R Y

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
paired with
Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas


F B I and Indigenous People

The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
paired with
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann


A F G H A N I S T A N

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
paired with
The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg



QOTD

I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a fiction/nonfiction pair.

If you have a nonficnov post, please leave your link in comments.



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



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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.

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The Dutch House [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

November 4, 2021

The Dutch House by Ann Pachett
#throwbackthursday

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Literary Fiction, Complicated Family Drama, Siblings

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 character-driven story from a popular author, The Dutch House by Ann Pachett. I definitely recommend the audio performed by Tom Hanks for this one!

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Siblings Danny and Maeve are living in The Dutch House when their mother abandons the family. Their father remarries, but after he dies, their (wicked) stepmother kicks Danny and Maeve out of her life and out of the house. Suddenly, all Danny and Maeve have is each other. This story explores their complicated lives and relationships.”

A character-driven, complicated family drama….

Continue here for my full review of The Dutch House…



QOTD:

Have you read The Dutch House or is it on your TBR?
(Definitely recommending the audio for this one!)

 

Love and Lavender [Book Review] #BlogTour

November 2, 2021

Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack

Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack (cover) Image: a young woman in 1800s period dress stands alone in a field of lavender)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance/Love Story, Differently Abled, 1800s

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks Laurel Ann for the invitation to participate in the #BlogTour for #LoveAndLavender. Thank you #NetGalley @ShadowMountn @ProperRomance for a complimentary e-ARC of #LoveAndLavender upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Love and Lavender Blog Tour

My Summary:

Love and Lavender is a story of two people who face many challenges and obstacles and have limited choices. Hazel is independent and brilliant; however, she was born with a clubbed foot. As a child, her parents sent her away and now as a young woman, she has resigned herself to the unliklihood of marriage and has embraced a teaching career. Duncan is brilliant and has a neurodiverse mind. He is employed as an accountant and has carved out a predictable life for himself living alone with his beloved cat. The private school where Hazel teaches may be up for sale (which would jeopardize her job) and Duncan is unhappy with his employers and would love to own his own accounting firm. Neither of them have the finances to remedy their situations. Hazel and Duncan have the same uncle….one relationship is biological and the other is through guardianship. This uncle offers both Hazel and Duncan an inheritance with the condition that they must each be married. Duncan has the brilliant idea that they should marry each other which would technically fulfil the conditions, but the uncle is reluctant to be tricked into giving them their inheritances. After much convincing, the uncle agrees to their plan, but under the condition that they must live together for one year after the ceremony. This sets up a marriage of convenience. Will this arrangement lead to love and a true relationship? Or will they fullfil the agreement, gain their inheritance, and go their separate ways? Will they even survive the year?

a buncle of lavender

My Thoughts:

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Ever Rest [Book Review]

October 29, 2021

Ever Rest by Roz Morris

Ever Rest by Roz Morris (cover) Image: a CD with the image of a person standing alone on a block of ice....CD is resting on a torn piece of beige paper

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, UK, Mount Everest, Rock and Roll Band, Fame

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks (indie author) @Roz_Morris for a complimentary e-copy of #EverRest and the review request. All opinions are my own.

Hugo and Ash and friends formed the wildly popular and sensational rock band, Ashbirds. The day that Ash went missing and was presumed to have perished during an extreme mountain climbing expedition on Mt Everest, all their lives were changed forever. The current timeline begins twenty years after the accident as each member of the band and Ash’s girlfriend struggle to make a new life for themselves. A great deal of time is spent filling in the backstory of how Hugo and Ash and his girlfriend, Elza, first met, their journey to stardom, and the explanation of what really happened on the mountain.This is the story of grief, recovery, and moving on.

My Thoughts:

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