June 2020 Reading Wrap Up

June 30, 2020

June 2020 Reading Wrap Up

June Reading Wrap Up (image: a collage of book covers listed in this post)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What Was Your Favorite June Read?

June was a mostly great reading month with one five-star (4.5) and seven four-star reads, one three-star read, and one two-star read. I did have one DNF. I read a total of ten books (52 for the year) which puts me right on pace to meet my year-end challenge of 100 books.

Find all my June 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 I may or may not have finished but they were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF or perhaps quickly scanned.

Under COVID-19 conditions, I hope that you’re all doing well and staying safe!

My favorite fiction read of the month is The Last Train to Key West for its page-turning story line and interesting characters. It feels like a vacation, escapist, or summer read.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

4.5 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction. Part women’s fiction, part histfic, part suspense. My Last Train to Key West review.


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

4 Stars. Historical Fiction. Themes of passing as white, sexual identity, and family drama. Review to come.


Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles

4 Stars. Historical Fiction. For fans of News of the World. My Simon the Fiddler review.


Liturgy of the Ordinary by Rish Harrison Warren

4 Stars.  Nonfiction, inspirational, Christian. Not yet reviewed.

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May 2020 Reading Wrap Up

May 31, 2020

May 2020 Reading Wrap Up

May Reading Wrap Up (collage of book covers)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What Was Your Favorite May Read?

May was a better reading month than March and April with six four-star reads, and four three-star reads. No DNFs for the win! I read a total of ten books (41 for the year) which puts me right on pace to meet my year-end challenge of 100 books.

Find all my May reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 I may or may not have finished but they were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF or perhaps quickly scanned.

Under COVID-19 conditions, I hope that you’re all doing well and staying safe!

My favorite fiction read of the month is Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo for its poignant themes and beautiful writing.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

4.5 Stars. Contemporary YA Fiction. Poignant themes of found family, loss of a parent, grief, and siblings. My full review here.


The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction. 1945 post WW11 England. My full review here.


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

4 Stars. Contemporary YA Fiction. Innocent and sweet romance and a twitter war in this “You’ve Got Mail meets Tell Me Three Things meets With the Fire on High” story. My full review here.


Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman

4 Stars. (ARC) WW11 Historical Fiction with a generous side of “cowboy romance.” My full review here.

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April 2020 Reading Wrap Up

April 30, 2020

April 2020 Reading Wrap Up

Collage of titles for April Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What Was Your Best April Read?

April was a meh reading month with zero five-star reads, two four-star reads, and four three-star reads. In addition, I had two DNFs. I read a total of six books which puts me two behind the pace to meet my year-end challenge of 100 books.

Find all my April reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 I may or may not have finished but they were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF or perhaps quickly scanned.

Because of COVID-19, I find that I don’t have the desire to keep up my usual pace or exert my usual effort. Are you under orders to stay home where you live? I am, and my reading has suffered greatly. I have difficulty focusing, especially with my heavier content reads or reads that are not quite right for me. Picking up a Middle Grade read with its light subject matter and snappy writing immediately jump-started my reading!

My favorite fiction read of the month is Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon (even though it was heavier and grittier than anticipated)

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon

4.5 Stars. Historical Fiction (WW11). An inspiring and memorable main character who worked with the French Resistance. My full review here.


And They Called it Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton

4 Stars. Biographical Historical Fiction (U.S. History). Fascinating. Not Yet Reviewed.


Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

3 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Troubled relationships, suspense, and survival. My full review here.


A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe

3 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction (with a generous side of psychological thriller). Goodreads review here.

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March 2020 Reading Wrap Up

March 31, 2020

March 2020 Reading Wrap Up

March Reading Wrap Up (collage of book covers on a background of three leaf clovers)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What Was Your Best March Read?

Did March feel like the loooongest March on record to you?

March was a mixed results reading month with one five-star read and several three and four-star reads. I read a total of seven books. Find all my March reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 I finished but that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF or perhaps quickly scanned.

I’m guessing that most of us can relate to the reasons why March was a challenging reading month thanks to COVID-19. (On the subject, I found this video clip very helpful, reassuring, and comforting!) I thought at one point that we’d never reach the “reading wrap up” part of the month! Are you under orders to stay home where you live? I am, and the first week my reading suffered greatly. I had difficulty focusing, especially with my heavier content reads and ended up setting several aside. I finally picked up This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán and its light subject matter and snappy writing immediately engaged me! I read it in one day and it jump-started my reading!

My favorite fiction read of the month is The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton. (which I’m glad I read early in the month before my brain was preoccupied with COVID-19)

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

5 Stars. Historical Fiction (WW11). An inspiring and memorable main character who worked with the Kindertransport that rescued children from Nazi-controlled Europe during WW11. My full review here.


The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction (post Civil War South). I especially loved the present-day teacher timeline. My full review here.


This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

4 Stars. Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Quirky character + snappy writing = one great escapist read! My full review here.


What You Wish For by Katherine Center

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Women’s Fiction (chick lit end of the spectrum) A school librarian main character for the win and a few poignant themes. Brief Goodreads review here. Blog review is scheduled for July 14, 2020 (pub date).

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February 2020 Reading Wrap Up

February 29, 2020

February 2020 Reading Wrap Up

February 2020 Reading Wrap Up (a collage of nine book covers talked about in the post)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What Was Your Best February Read?

February was a mixed result reading month with one five-star read and several four-star reads. Three of my reads this month count toward my long term goal of reading more diversely. I read a total of nine books, and I had one DNF (which is always a frustrating use of time). Find all my February reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 fiction read of the month is The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. Favorite nonfiction read of the month is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

5+ Stars. Contemporary Fiction (diverse read). An inspiring and memorable main character. A favorite read of the year thus far. My full review here.


The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

4.5 Stars. Contemporary Women’s Fiction. My new favorite book about books. My full review here.


Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

4.5 Stars. Historical fiction and multilayered family drama. Exposes the controversial Eugenics Program of the 1960s. (not yet reviewed)


Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

4 Stars. Nonfiction, Memoir. (diverse read) Growing up half black/half white in Apartheid South Africa. Full review here.

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January 2020 Reading Wrap Up

January 31, 2020

January 2020 Reading Wrap Up

January Reading Wrap Up (2020)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

January was a great reading month with three five-star reads and several four-star reads. I read a total of ten books, and I DNF one (which is always a frustrating use of time). Find all my January reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 fiction read of the month is Big Lies in a Small Town. My favorite nonfiction read is The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

5 Stars (4.5 rounded up). Historical Fiction/Mystery/Hint of Romance. A compelling story of secrets, prejudice, and making peace with your past. My full review here.


The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11

5 Stars. Nonfiction. Tragic and compelling. My full review here.


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

5 Stars. Nonfiction. Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships. My full review here.


Lovely War by Julie Berry

4 Stars. YA Histfic. Heartfelt, heartbreaking, and charming. Full review here.

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December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

December 30, 2019

December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

December was a busy and fun month but also a slim reading month. I read a total of five books, and I DNF two (which is always a frustrating use of time). Find all my December reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 The Beekeeper of Aleppo. This is closely followed by The Girl With Seven Names.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

5 Stars (4.5 rounded up). Historical Fiction. A compelling story of love, loss, hope, and compassion. My full review here.


The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee

4 Stars (4.5 rounded to 4 on Goodreads). Memoir. Page-turning and compelling. My full review here.


More to the Story by Hena Khan

4 Stars. Middle Grade. The heartwarming and wholesome retelling of Little Women (diverse read). My brief Goodreads review here.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

4 Stars. YA Free Verse. For fans of On the Come Up. Not yet reviewed.

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November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

November 30, 2019

November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

November was another mostly satisfying reading month. I read a total of seven books, and one of them was 500+ pages which I think should count for two! Find all my November reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 Finding Chika by Mitch Albom (for its emotional impact). This is closely followed by The Stationery Shop and Ribbons of Scarlet.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 Finding Chika by Mitch Albom

5 Stars. Memoir. Tenderhearted, poignant, heartbreaking, and memorable. My full review here.


The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 on Goodreads). Romantic Historical Fiction. Page-turning and compelling. My full review here.


Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn et al.
(this was also my 100th read of the year!)

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 on Goodreads). Well written and researched historical fiction. My full review here.


The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

3.5 Stars. Love and recommend the narration by Tom Hanks! My full review here.

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October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

October 31, 2019

October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

October Reading Wrap Up 2019

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

October was a satisfying reading month. I read a total of nine books, and I am happy to report that several were memorable. Find all my October reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. 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 The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (even though I gave This Tender Land a full five stars).

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

5 Stars. Well written (literary fiction quality), poignant, heartbreaking, and memorable. My full review here.


The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

4.5 Stars. Emotional and heartwarming. My full review here.


Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

4.5 Stars. Well written YA historical fiction. My full review here.


The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

4 Stars. (ARC) The feelings and experiences of a heart transplant patient. My full review here.

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September Reading Wrap Up

September 30, 2019

September Reading Wrap Up

\September Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

September was a mixed result reading month. Three DNFs had me spinning my wheels and took time away from the number of books I wanted to read. I read a total of six books, and I am happy to report that one of those was a five-star read. Find all my September 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 (this month brought me one of these). One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is The Dearly Beloved; in fact, it will likely be my best read of the year.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

5+ Stars. Thought-provoking and memorable complicated family drama. My full review here.


Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

5 Stars. Page-turning historical fiction. My full review here.


The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

4.5 Stars. A harrowing, heartfelt, and inspirational WW11 tale of survival, courage, loss, hope, and faith. Goodreads review here.


If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

4.5 Stars. For fans of Hum if You Don’t Know the Words. My full review here.

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