August Wrap Up

August 31, 2018

August Wrap Up

August Wrap Up

Zero books were rated 5 star reads this month, but The Map of Salt and Stars came close and I consider it my best read of the month.

These Wrap Up posts are published with some trepidation because I’m concerned you might think that I’m recommending all these books. Please carefully notice my Star Ratings. Generally, I can confidently recommend 4 or 5 star reads, and I usually consider 3 star reads OK.

I’ve listed my August reads in order by my Star Ranking and my level of enjoyment. Titles are Amazon affiliate links and review links (blog or Goodreads) are also provided.

As always it’s OK to disagree! You might see a favorite that I’ve awarded 2 Stars or I might have rated a book high that you disliked…..Reading is a personal experience and each book makes a unique connection with the reader. Take my star ratings as simply one opinion.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhader
4.5 Stars
(best read of the month)
Full Review Here


The Boat People by Sharon Bala
4 Stars
Full Review Here


Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
4 Stars
Full Review Here


I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
3.5 Stars
Full Review Here


Lucy’s Little Village Book Club by Emma Davies
3 Stars
Brief Goodreads Review Here


The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
3 Stars
(not reviewed)


What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
2.5 Stars
Goodreads Review Here


The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
2.5 Stars
Brief Goodreads Review Here



summer

Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



summer reading

My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read a good portion of the list (crossing off one more next week), some I’ve been more thrilled with than others, and I’ve only abandoned one)



Looking Ahead:

Next Friday, I hope to bring you a review of Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance.

clock dance

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss

What were your best reads of the month?

Are you looking ahead to fall reading? I have compiled a fall TBR list that I’m eager to share with you in September!



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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.

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July Wrap Up

July 31, 2018

july wrap up

July Wrap Up

Out of the ten books I read in July, I can generally recommend the first five and wholeheartedly recommend the first three (indicated by 4 & 5 star ratings).

As well as making some progress on my Summer TBR, I also read one that I’ve declared my favorite of the year so far. My reads are listed below in the order of my Star Rating and enjoyment. Titles are affiliate Amazon links, and links to blog or Goodreads reviews are included when available.

As a reminder, here are my Star Rating category descriptions

5 Stars=loved it for all the reasons, highly recommendable to everyone, considered one of my best reads of the year

4 Stars=a great read, recommendable, and memorable

3 Stars=an OK read, I liked it overall but it also has some areas of weakness or it didn’t appeal to me (but others may have liked it)

2 Stars=it wasn’t to my taste for several reasons (but I did finish it) and I’m hesitant to recommend it… lack of appeal could be a genre or subject matter or writing style preference

1 Star=I abandoned it (DNF), not recommendable

Star ratings are extremely subjective and a book that I rate as 1 Star could be rated 5 Stars by someone else. Always check several reviews before making your reading choice, and please don’t be offended if we disagree on preferences.

What I Read

A Place For Us (Fiction) by Fatima Farheen Mirza
5+ Stars
(Full Review Here)
***MY FAVORITE of the year so far!***


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Fiction) by Rachel Joyce (author of The Music Shop)
4.5 Stars 
(Full Review Here)


An American Marriage (Fiction) by Tayari Jones
4.5 Stars
(Full Review Coming Soon)


Jefferson’s Sons (MG) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley [author of the delightful The War That Saved My Life (MG) and The War I Finally Won (MG)]
4 Stars
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


Sisters First  (Memoir) by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
4 Stars

(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


The Ensemble (Fiction) by Aja Gabel
3.5 Stars
(Full Review Here)


All We Ever Wanted (Fiction) by Emily Giffin
3 Stars (writing=2 Stars & relevant content=3 stars)
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


The Sweetness of Forgetting (light historical fiction) by Kristin Harmel
3 Stars
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


Still Me (Fiction) by Jojo Moyes (sequel to Me Before You and After You)
2.5 Stars
(no review: if you’ve read the first two in the series and are a Jojo Moyes fan, you may enjoy this easy reading chick lit title)


Warlight (Historical Fiction) by Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient)
2 Stars
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



Give Away!

a place for us 2

There’s still time to enter my giveaway for A Place For Us. This link will take you to the Blogiversary Give Away post.



My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read more than half of the list, some I’ve been more thrilled with than others, and I’ve only abandoned one)



Looking Ahead:

 I finished An American Marriage this week and I am eager to bring you a review on Friday.

An American Marriage

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss

How’s your summer reading progressing? Are you finding some entertaining beach/pool/plane reads?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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 website.

June Wrap Up

June 30, 2018

June Wrap Up!

June Wrap Up

Brief Recap:

June was a less than awesome reading month in that I have no 5 star reads to report, and I did abandon two (I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and What I Saw and How I Lied). My 4 star reads are ok ….they are listed by my order of enjoyment. Us Against You was my most anticipated read….even though I’m a devoted Backman fan and am glad I read the sequel, Beartown is still my favorite of the two.

(ranked in order of star ratings and enjoyment….titles are Amazon links and my reviews are linked if available)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
4.5 Stars (Full Review Here)
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
4 Stars (Brief Goodreads Review Here)
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (MG)
4 Stars (Brief Goodreads Review Here)
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton
3 Stars (Very Brief Goodreads Review Here)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
3 Stars (Very Brief Goodreads Review Here)
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (MG)
3 Stars (Goodreads Review Here)
Antie Poldi by Mario Giordano
3 Stars (Goodreads Review Here)


Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read a handful, and I’ve only abandoned one)



Links I Love:

Are you looking for a fun family or community project this summer? Check out this post about the Kindness Rock Painting Project!

If you’re looking for fiction recommendations from a Christian perspective, check out this post by The Caffeinated Bibliophile here.

SAVE THE DATE: Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie is releasing on Netflix August 10!!!



Looking Ahead:

 I’ll be reviewing The Ensemble next week. My library hold finally came in today. The Ensemble has received mixed reviews so I’m eager to see what I think.

ensemble.

***Cover Love***

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

What did you read in June? What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

What are you reading this week?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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 website.

 

May Wrap Up

May 31, 2018

May Wrap Up

May Wrap Up

My intention with this blog is to bring you the BEST of what I’m reading and to use Goodreads for the total of what I’m reading. I’m committed to offering 4 & 5 star reviews for reading recommendations on the blog. My greatest fear is that you’ll see a cover in a book store (or Target!) and think “Oh, I saw that book on Reading Ladies!” and not remember that it was a book that I rated less than 4 or 5 stars and be disappointed with the read. So for me, it feels risky to post the entirety of my reading on the blog.

That being said….I’m following in the footsteps of other bloggers at month’s end and presenting all of my month’s reading along with my star ratings. Two of the seven titles I’ve reviewed on the blog and I’ll provide those links for you. There’s at least one more title that will receive a full feature review soon. (I actually read 8 books this month, but I’m not listing one because I can’t recommend it in any way even though I gave it 3 stars.)

Keep in mind that my 3 star reads have been rated higher by other readers, so check out the Amazon or Goodreads reviews.

The reading experience is subjective and I share my ratings knowing that if you’ve read the same selections, our opinions will vary greatly.

*Books listed in order by my star rating



Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
(full review coming soon)
Genre: Fiction (categories: music, inspirational, a touch of fantasy/folktale)
My Rating: 5 Stars
My Brief Thoughts: I loved the life story of Frankie and his musical talent told from Music’s perspective (including a touch of fantasy and folk tale)….thanks for the recommendation Patti Iverson! Look for my full review on the blog soon!
Recommended for music fans, for Mitch Albom fans, and for readers looking for a creative, well written, unique read.



the music shop

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (previously reviewed here)
Genre: Fiction (categories: music, memorable characters)
My Rating: 5 Stars

My Brief Thoughts: In the spirit of A Man Called Ove, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Britt-Marie Was Here, this is a poignant and heartfelt story of a quirky and lovable music shop owner who is dedicated to the preservation of vinyl and finds love and healing through music. (there is a playlist on Spotify to accompany the book) See my full review here.
Recommended for music lovers and for readers who appreciate quirky characters who struggle to create a better life for themselves.
*Language Alert



the way of beauty

The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio (previously reviewed here)
Genre: Historical Fiction (categories: family, romance, New York City, Penn Station, Suffragettes)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
My Brief Thoughts: Set in New York City around historic Penn Station, this is a thoughtful and memorable story of family and romance told from two perspectives (mother and daughter). See my full review here.
Recommended for readers who appreciate multi-generational stories, for readers who love New York City, for those who love stories about strong independent women, and for those who like themes involving sacrifice, persistence, determination, romance, symbolic architecture, and the Suffragette Movement.



beneath a scarlet sky

Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan
Genre: Historical Fiction (categories: WW11, Spain)
My Rating: 4 Stars (3 for writing quality, 5 for engaging)
My Brief Thoughts: This is an unputdownable story that explores WW11 from Spain’s perspective; the main character is compelling and brave and can cleverly think or maneuver his way out of any difficult situation.
Recommended for readers who like fast paced, page turners and who are looking for a compelling historical fiction read.



the vines we planted

The Vines We Planted by (debut author) Joanell Serra
Genre: Fiction (categories: family, romance, wine country)
My Brief Thoughts: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and all opinions are my own (my full review can be found on Goodreads). This fast paced story set in California’s wine country is packed with well drawn characters and many story lines and themes.
Recommended for readers who want an engaging read from the first paragraph, for those who appreciate a California wine country setting, and for fans of romance and family sagas.
*Language Alert



last train to istanbul

Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin
Genre: Historical Fiction (categories: WW11, Jewish, Turkey, France)
My Rating: 3 Stars
My Brief Thoughts: I often give 3 stars to reads that are OK but could have been better in some ways (3 stars are usually a mixed bag for me). Because I enjoy historical fiction, I appreciate the historical perspective of Turkey working earnestly to spirit its Jewish citizens out of France and away from the Gestapo; however, I have a few concerns. I felt like too many characters were introduced, too many story lines were left dangling, and it could have been better written (or perhaps better translated).
Recommended for readers who appreciate diverse reads by authors from another country and for fans of WW11 historical fiction and its various perspectives.



I am I am I am

I Am, I Am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell
Genre: Nonfiction (category: Memoir)
My Rating: 3 Stars
My Brief Thoughts: Three stars reads are a mixed bag for me. They are usually OK reads but could have been better for me in some ways. Even though I enjoy memoirs and Maggie O’Farrell is a gifted writer, I struggled with this read and skimmed many chapters. I probably attempted to plow through too much of the book in one sitting. I think it would have been better for me to read one chapter and then set it aside for the day.  Some of the chapters were more interesting to me than others, and some of the content caused me to ponder my own fears. Although I appreciate her creative structure and unique approach to a memoir, the chapters are not in chronological order and this began to bother me after a while because I lost track of what had happened before or after. My final take is that the content of this memoir was too heavy or discouraging for me and I started to feel anxious. If she had written something lighter or humorous in between the traumatic experiences, I think it would have been an easier read.
Recommended for readers who are fans of Maggie O’Farrell.



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



PBS: The Great American Read

How many books have you read of the hundred on the list? Which ones will you vote for? Were you surprised by any on the list? Do you plan to vote on your favorite reads? I’ve already voted once for Gone With the Wind!



Looking Ahead:

Come back tomorrow (Friday) when I’ll be discussing summer reading opportunities for children and families.

I started Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordana today. (It’s received mixed reviews so far.)

I’ll soon be reading Backman’s new release Us Against You……sequel to Beartown….. releasing 6/5).



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear about your May reading in the comments.

Also, I’d love to hear your choices for The Great American Read sponsored by PBS.



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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 website.

 

 

 

April Wrap Up

April 30, 2018

April Wrap Up

April wrap up

My intention with this blog is to bring you the BEST of what I’m reading and to use Goodreads for the total of what I’m reading. I’m committed to offering 4 & 5 star reviews for reading recommendations on the blog. My greatest fear is that you’ll see a cover in a book store (or Target!) and think “Oh, I saw that book on Reading Ladies!” and not remember that it was a book that I rated less than 4 or 5 stars and be disappointed with the read. So for me, it feels risky to post the entirety of my reading on the blog.

That being said….I’m trying something new (for me) and following in the footsteps of other bloggers at month’s end and presenting all of my April reading along with my star ratings. Seven of the ten I’ve reviewed on the blog and I’ll provide that link for you. Keep in mind that my 2 & 3 star reads have been rated higher by other readers, so check out the Amazon or Goodreads reviews!

The reading experience is subjective and I share my ratings knowing that if you’ve read the same selections, our opinions will vary greatly.

(in order of my star ratings)

My Dear Hamilton (histfic) by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoi5+ stars

From Sand and Ash (histfic) by Amy Harmon  5 stars

Eden (family saga) by Jeanne Blasberg  4 stars 

Crenshaw (middle grade) by Katherine Applegat 4 stars

Rash (memoir) by Lisa Kusel  4 stars

White Rose, Black Forest (histfic) by Eoin Dempsey    3.5 stars

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi Ever After (memoir) by Heather Harpham   3 stars

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel (histfic)  3 stars

Cafe By the Sea (chick lit) by Jenny Colgan  2.5  stars

Love Walked In (chick lit) by Maria de los Santos  2.5 stars

***The last two books are written by highly rated chick lit authors and have been enjoyed by many readers; however, it’s not my favorite genre (for Goodreads I did round them up to 3 stars).



Please share your April reads in the comments!



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



Looking Ahead:

Friday, I’ll be highlighting a few suggestions for Mother’s Day gifts.



Sharing is Caring

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear all about what you’ve read in April!