January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

January 31, 2021

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up (collage of book covers)

How was your January reading?

January was an eleven book reading month: I had zero five-star reads, seven four-star reads, three three-star reads, and one two-star read. I also had one DNF. Find all my January 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. One-star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is the Great Escape From Woodslands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell (contemporary fiction) closely followed by The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck (WW11 histfic).

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked
.


The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell (cover) Image: a tree, a bench, and a dog....black text on white background

The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell

4.5  Stars. (ARC). Heartfelt contemporary fiction. Quirky, mature characters.
Review of The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home here.


The Invisible Woman (ARC) by Erika Robuck

4.5 Stars. (ARC)  Histfic WW11. Pub Date: 2/9/2021. Review of Invisible Woman here.


Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

4.5 Stars  Contemporary YA fiction. A gentler The Hate U Give with similar themes. Review coming soon.


Inside Out & Back Again y Thannha Lai (cover) ....a girl holding onto a tree trunk with one hand on a breezy day

Inside Out & Back Again by Thannha Lai

4.5-5 Stars. Middle-Grade histfic (Vietnamese refugees). This is a reread and I enjoyed it as much as the first time. My brief review of Inside Out & Back Again can be found in this post.


The Answer Is…Reflections On My Life by Alex Trebek

4 Stars. (NF) Memoir. Candid reflections on his life by beloved game show host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek. Review of The Answer Is… here.


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December 2020 Reading Wrap Up

December 28, 2020

December 2020 Reading Wrap Up

December 2020 Reading Wrap Up (collage of book covers)

How was your December reading?

December was a twelve book reading month, but it weighed in heavily on the “meh” side with only one five-star read, four four-star reads, six three-star reads, and one two-star read. Find all my December 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. One-star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (histfic).

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked
.


The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (cover) Image: a young woman stands next to a bicycle in a field overlooking a small village as airplanes fly overhead

The Girl From the Channel Islands (ARC) by Jenny Lecoat

5 Stars. (ARC). Compelling and memorable WW11 histfic.
Pub Date: 2/2/2021 Review coming soon.


The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner (cover) Image: blue-toned picture of a woman and young girl holding hands and walking down railroad tracks with backs to camerai

The Nature of Fragile Things (ARC) by Susan Meissner

4.5 Stars. (ARC.)  Histfic (San Francisco Earthquake)/Suspense/Mystery/Family Drama mashup. Pub Date: 2/2/2021. Review coming soon.


The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (cover) Image: a woman sits on a wall with her back to the camera overlooking the Eiffel Tower in the distance

The Paris Library (ARC) by Janet Skeslien Charles

4 Stars (ARC). WW11 histfic featuring the American Library of Paris. A book about books. Pub Date: 2/9/2021. Review coming soon.


the Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little (cover) Image: a tight shot of a woman's downcast face wear red lipstick, a white beaded bracelet and white feather trimmed hat....the Eiffel Tower in the background

The Chanel Sisters (ARC) by Judithe Little

4 Stars (ARC). Interesting imagined story of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel from her sister’s perspective. Pub Date: 12/29/2020. Review coming soon.


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November 2020 Reading Wrap Up

November 30, 2020

November 2020 Reading Wrap Up

November 2020 Reading Wrap Up (Image: a collage of book titles)

How was your November reading?

November was a nine book reading month. I am happy to report two five-star reads, four four-star reads, two three-star reads, and one two-star read. Find all my November 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. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is an unputdownable Memoir: The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (Holocaust survivor).

My favorite fiction title is The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin.

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked
.


The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (cover) Image: black text on a white background and a black stemmed reddish flower is placed on the entire left margin

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

5 Stars. A compelling, inspirational, and heartfelt memoir.
My review of The Choice here.


The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands looking at a book with her back to a wall of bookshelves

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

5 Stars. (ARC) Memorable WW11 histfic (London). Pub Date: 4/6/2021. Review coming soon.


a woman and a cat sit on a pink wooden bench surrounded by flowers, birds, and the countryside

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

4 Stars (ARC). Light women’s fiction and #2 in the Hedgehog Hollow series. Pub Date: 1/7/2021. My review coming soon.


Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith (cover) Image: a row of New York style apartments

Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith

4 Stars (ARC). A republished classic by the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. My review of Tomorrow will Be Better coming soon.


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October 2020 Reading Wrap Up

October 31, 2020

October 2020 Reading Wrap Up

October Reading Wrap Up 2020 (collage of book covers)

How was your October reading?

October was a thirteen book reading month with one DNF. I am happy to report three five-star reads, six four-star reads, three three-star reads, and one two-star reads. 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. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is a tie between two middle-grade books: Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero and The War I Finally Won.

My favorite adult title is The Sunflower Sisters.

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked
.


Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist

5 (MG) Stars. Compelling, engaging, and heartfelt middle-grade fiction.
My review of Isaiah Dunn here.


The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradly

5 (MG) Stars. (second book in The War That Saved My Life series) Heartfelt middle-grade fiction with a “found family” theme. (This is a reread and I loved it as much as the first time!) My brief Goodreads review of The War I Finally Won here.


Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

4.5 rounded up to 5 Stars. (ARC) Number three in the Lilac Girls series. Well-researched, compelling, and engaging historical fiction (Civil War). My review coming soon.


Lemons by Melissa Savage

4 (MG) Stars. Sweet and heartfelt “found family” read. My review of Lemons here.


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September 2020 Reading Wrap Up

September 30, 2020

September 2020 Reading Wrap Up

September 2020 Reading Wrap Up (a collage of book covers))

How was your September reading?

September was a fourteen book reading month with zero DNFs. I am happy to report five five-star reads, two four-star reads, four three-star reads, and three two-star reads. 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. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell simply because it made the greatest emotional impact.

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked
.


Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

4.5-5 Stars. Compelling, engaging, and emotional literary fiction.
My review of Hamnet here.


Transcendent Kingdom

4.5-5 Stars. An engaging and poignant family drama that reads like a memoir. My review of Transcendent Kingdom here.


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

4.5-5 Stars. A mash up of light mystery, comedy, and drama in true Backman style. My review of Anxious People here.


The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

4.5-5 Stars. Multi-generational heartfelt women’s fiction with likable characters and an inspiring theme. My review of The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett here.


The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

4.5-5 (MG) Stars. A reread of one of my very favorite middle grade historical fiction books (now I need to reread the sequel). Not yet reviewed.

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August 2020 Reading Wrap Up

August 31, 2020

August 2020 Reading Wrap Up

August 2020 Reading Wrap Up: A collage of titles

How was your August reading?

August was a fourteen book reading month even though I had two DNFs. I am happy to report four five-star reads, six four-star reads, and four three-star reads. Find all my August 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. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is a back-list title, Ordinary Grace.

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked
.


Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

5 Stars. Compelling, engaging, and thought-provoking literary fiction. (You may have read Krueger’s This Tender Land this year.) My review of Ordinary Grace here.


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

5 Stars. An engaging and poignant book about books. A reread which I enjoyed, even more, the second time! My review of A.J. Fikry here.


The Next Great Jane by K.L. Going

5 (MG) Stars. For daughters of Jane Austin fans and their moms. Innocent, engaging, science and writing themes. Not yet reviewed.


Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradly

5 (MG) Stars. CAUTION: because of heavy content involving child abuse and self-harm, I’m encouraging parents to read this FIRST. Not yet reviewed.


All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

4.5 Stars. (ARC) #16 in the series (please read series in order!) In addition to the mystery to be solved, this story includes poignant family and father/son themes. My full review of All the Devils Are Here.

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July 2020 Reading Wrap Up

July 31, 2020

July 2020 Reading Wrap Up

July Reading Wrap Up (a collage of covers)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What Was Your Favorite July Read?

From a numerical standpoint, July was the best reading month I’ve had in a while. I read 15 books (17 if I count the last two I squeaked in at month’s end after I had already written this post…I’ll count them for August). I ended up with two five-star reads (4.5 rounded up) and three four-star reads, nine three-star reads, and one two-star read. I did not have a DNF although I admit to skim-reading my two-star read.

Reading in July looked a bit different for me in that I read quite a few light women’s fiction selections. For some reason, my Pandemic brain craved lighter reads, and then I inadvertently read #4 in a series and I always read series in order, so I needed to go back and read books 1-3! #bookproblems

My favorite fiction read of the month is a tie between The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai and The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel for their page-turning storylines and inspirational characters.

Find all my July 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.

Did we read any of the same books?

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

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Titles are Amazon links and available reviews are linked.


The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5). Historical Fiction, Multigenerational Family Drama. Vietnamese. My full review of The Mountains Sing.


The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

4.5 Stars (Rounded to 5). Historical Fiction. WW11. Engaging and page-turning. My full review of The Book of Lost Names.


Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce

4 Stars. (ARC: Pub Date: 11/24/2020) Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Adventure mashup. Quite a unique read! Review coming soon.


Wish by Barbara O’Connor

4 Stars. (Middle Grade) Heartwarming. Finding a home. Not reviewed.

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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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