February Reading Wrap Up

February 28, 2019

February Reading Wrap Up

February Wrap Up

What did you read in February?

I finished seven books in February and started two more.

Listed in order of Star Ratings, see my seven February Reads below (links to reviews are included):

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links


Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Genre: Historical Fiction
5 Stars *favorite of the month*
ARC: Pub Date: April 9, 2019
Full Review Here.


In Pieces by Sally Field

Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir
5 Stars
Full Review Here.


Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Genre: Non Fiction, U.S. Presidents, Biographical
4 Stars
Full Review Here.


We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels

Genre: Historical Fiction
4 Stars
(ARC)
Goodreads Review Here.


Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
4 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.


The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
3.5 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.


The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Genre: Mystery, Family Drama
3 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.



Let’s Discuss!

Did we share any reads in February? Do you see any favorites? What was your best February read?



Looking Ahead:

Come back tomorrow (Friday) for a review of The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio.

The Beautiful Strangers



***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 (ARCS), 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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January Reading Wrap Up

January 31, 2019

January Reading Wrap Up

january reading wrap up

What is the best book you read this month?

*This post contains affiliate links.

In January, I finished eight books, abandoned two, and I started two that I will finish in February.

My January reads are listed below in order of my Star Rating (titles are Amazon affiliate links):


Learning to See by Elise Hooper

Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical
4.5 Stars
Full Review Here


The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction
4 Stars

Goodreads Review Here
ARC: Available March 5, 2019


Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Genre: Women’s Fiction
4 Stars

Full Review Here


Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction (#ownvoices)
3.5 Stars

Goodreads Review Here


Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller

Genre: Women’s Fiction
3.5 Stars

Brief Review Here


Glory Road by Lauren K Denton

Genre: Southern Women’s Fiction
3.5 Stars

Goodreads Review Here
ARC: Available March 19, 2019


Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

Genre: Historical Fiction
3.5 Stars

Goodreads Review Here


The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Genre: Classic, Women’s Fiction
3 Stars
Brief Review Here



Share your best January read in comments!


 

December Wrap Up

December 30, 2018

December Wrap Up

December Wrap Up

Because of December activities, I didn’t read my usual number of books. Plus, I abandoned two so that was discouraging. I did accomplish reading five books. Two of them were Middle Grade selections…..heartfelt and inspirational Middle Grade Literature is a perfect genre for busy seasons!

Listed in order of my Star Ratings (click titles for my blog or Goodreads reviews or affiliate Amazon link):

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

4.5 Stars
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

(ARC: Pub Date: March 19, 2019: thanks #NetGalley and #BerkleyPublishing for a free copy of #TheLastYearoftheWar in exchange for my honest opinion)
4.5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

(ARC: Pub Date: January 15, 2019: thanks #NetGalley and #RandomHouse for a free copy of #TheDreamers in exchange for my honest opinion)
4 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
(not my usual genre but an engaging and easy-to-read December selection)

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

4 Stars
Genre: Middle Grade (delightful and heartfelt family drama)

Dear Mrs. Bird by A J Pearce

3.5 Stars
Genre: Light Historical Fiction



compelling character

The Most Compelling Character from my December reading is brave and determined Amal from Amal Unbound. Please see my review here to find out more about her!



What did you read in December?



Come back tomorrow for my Best of the Year List!



Happy New Year Book Buddies!

2019Happy-New-Year-Images-2019

November Wrap Up

November 29, 2018

November Wrap Up

November Wrap Up

I read eight books this month, and there were some hits and misses. In these Wrap Up posts, it’s important to know that I’m not recommending all these books.

All titles are Amazon affiliate links and my reviews have been linked if available. My November reads are listed below in the order of my Star ratings:

* * * * * * * * * *

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (#14)
4.5 Stars
Review available on the blog tomorrow.
For fans of cozy mystery/detective stories with good character development.

* * * * * * * * * *

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg
(biography, my November Nonfiction read)
4 Stars
Full Review Here.
For fans of Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
ARC: Pub Date: 1/22/19
3 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
For fans of WW11 Historical Fiction.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Colors of All the Cattle (#19 in the #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series)
by Alexander McCall Smith

3 Stars
Full Review Here.
For long time fans and for readers looking for a gentle, character driven, diverse read.

* * * * * * * * * *

Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
3 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
For fans of contemporary fiction with a bit of magical realism.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Children Act by Ian McEwan
3 Stars
Not Reviewed.
For fans of a character driven story (you may know Ian McEwan for Atonement).

* * * * * * * * * *

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
2 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
I almost didn’t finish this….but pressed on to see how the plot resolved. (others have loved it, but it wasn’t the right book for me)

* * * * * * * * * *

Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak
2 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
This was close to a DNF for me. I ended up skimming a lot to see if it would get better and to give Zusak the benefit of the doubt. Not recommended. (too much profanity, obscure writing) Please read more reviews before making your reading choice.



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



Links I Love

If you’ve read My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie and provide a review on social media or Amazon, you can fill out this form to receive FREE bonus content!

Have you seen The Hate U Give movie? Here’s the THUG trailer. 
I’ve read positive reviews with some saying it could be one of the best movies of the year. Of course, the movie is never as good as the book so don’t miss this important read.



Looking Ahead:

Tomorrow I’ll be back with my regular Friday review. This week’s review will be Louise Penny’s new release, Kingdom of the Blind.

Kingdom of the Blind



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often! I have only one more book to read and review after tomorrow’s post, and my library hold of the book is due to come in any day. So I’ll be finished with my Fall TBR soon!



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.

Today’s post represents my 100th post! I’m grateful for all the support! Thank you so much!


 Let’s Discuss

What did you read in November?

See any favorites?



***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.

October Wrap Up

October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween to everyone celebrating!

pumpkins

 * Pumpkin images are from Pottery Barn*

 

october wrap up

October Wrap Up

I completed seven reads this month, abandoned one, and set one aside for further consideration. This month I also met my 2018 Goodreads Challenge of 100 books!

Below are my completed October reads listed in order of my Star ratings (4 & 5 Stars are highly recommended).

ceramic pumpkins

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
5 Romantic Stars
Full review coming Friday 11/2

ceramic pumpkins

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Genre: Historical Fiction, WW11, Holocaust
4.5 Brave Stars (5 Stars for compelling story and 3 stars for writing)
Full Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
Genre: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
4.5 Determined Stars
Full Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
4.5 Wiley Stars
Brief Review Included Here

ceramic pumpkins

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery
4 Atmospheric Stars
Full Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay
Genre: Fiction (some historical elements)
3 Reconciliation Stars
Goodreads Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
2.5  Family Stars
Goodreads Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

Abandoned: Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Set Aside For Further Consideration: Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak



Happy Reading Book Worms!

“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



THUG

Have you seen The Hate U Give movie? Here’s the THUG trailer. 
I’ve read positive reviews with some saying it could be one of the best movies of the year.



Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Books of 2018

If you have a Goodreads account, voting is open for the Goodreads Choice Awards for the Best Books of 2028.

There are three opportunities to vote before the winners are announced in December. Click the link to see the voting schedule.

If you do not have a Goodreads account, it’s fun to look at the categories to see what readers have nominated.



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
So far, I’ve read 8 out of the 12 titles listed on my Fall TBR.



Looking Ahead:

Friday I’ll review The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor (The Last Christmas in Paris). This is a milestone read because it’s my 100th read of the year!



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 favorite reads this month?


***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.

September Wrap Up

September 30, 2018

September Wrap Up

september wrap up

I read nine books this month (most of them 4 star reads!) and abandoned one.

 As always, I’m not recommending all these books. Please carefully notice my Star ratings. Generally 4 & 5 Stars are highly recommended.

Listed in order of my Star ratings:

where the crawdads sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Fiction/Family Life
5 Stars. Full Review Here.


virgil wander

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
(author of Peace Like a River)
Literary Fiction/Magical Realism
4.5 Stars. Review Here.


just mercy

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Nonfiction/Legal/Memoir/Biographical
4 Stars. Full Review Here.


the lost girls of paris

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
(author of The Orphan’s Tale)
WW11 Historical Fiction
4 Stars. GoodReads Review Here. Pub Date: 2/5/2019
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


lieutenant's nurse

The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman
(author of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers)
WW11 Historical Fiction
4 Stars. Review Here. Pub Date: 3/5/2019
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


hard cider

Hard Cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon
Women’s Fiction
4 Stars. Review Here.
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


dream daughter

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
Science Fiction/Historical Fiction/Suspense/Family Drama
4 Stars. GoodReads Review Here. Pub Date: 10/2/2018
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


clock dance

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Women’s Fiction
3.5 Stars. Full Review Here.


to the moon and back

To the Moon and Back by Karen Kingsbury
Christian Fiction/Family Life
2.5 Stars. Not Reviewed.



Happy Reading Book Worms!

“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 Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!



Looking Ahead:

I’m reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

tattooist of auschwitz



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 have you been reading 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.

 

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.

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.