Did You Like the Ending? #toptentuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

July 13, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Did You Like the Ending?

Did You Like the Ending? white text over a background stack of hardback books on a blue wooden table

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl. The prompt for today is “Book Titles That Ask Questions.” Hummmm…..I looked through my list and I’ve got nothing! Since I don’t enjoy creating posts with randomly chosen covers or titles, I’m SPINNING this topic into my own question: “Did You Like the Ending?” (Jumping off a previous discussion post: What is a Good Ending?)

I’m also taking this opportunity to link up with the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

Do you love or loathe ambiguous endings?
Which books have you read that leave you wanting more?

I’m Ok with open-ended stories as long as the author leaves some breadcrumbs or inferences upon which I can draw my own conclusion. I loved ALL the following stories, but I wanted more from the endings in each case.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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10 Reasons Why I Love Reading #toptentuesday

July 6, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading (Image: white text over a tall stack on hard back book on a blue painted table)

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading.

Why do YOU love to read?

The most simple reason I love reading is that I’m a lifelong reader and have always loved the world of words. I’m the kid who read the cereal box with my breakfast in the morning.

People who love reading and are lifelong readers, usually love it for several of the same reasons. I suppose that many readers could make a similar list. I’m joining in with other TTT list makers today to celebrate the love of reading. Which reason would top your list? Do you have other reasons why you love reading?

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Wondering Wednesday: 6 Tips For Writing Book Reviews

June 30, 2021

Do you have tips for writing a great book review?

6 Tips For Writing Blog Reviews (white and bright pink lettering over an open laptop/cup of coffee/pot of pink flowers background

Wondering Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jessica Baker @ A Bakers Perspective. I came across this meme for the first time on Davida’s blog, so I think I’ll give it a try and join in with bookish topics! I’m also linking up this post with #LetsDiscuss2021 challenge.

Wondering Wednesdays meme (white cursive lettering on a blue background)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

6 Elements I Look For in a Book Review

Most of the tips I’ve accumulated about writing a book review have come from studying other book reviews. I try to emulate what I love. Whether you love a short one paragraph review or a long form thorough analysis, I hope you’ll join our conversation and perhaps find something useful! When I read a review here are six elements I look for:

1.

I look For a Brief Summary

Challenge yourself to write the briefest summary possible. Ideally, no more than a few sentences. I’m aware that some reviewers do not include a summary at all; however, it’s my opinion that a few sentences provide context for a review. If you send visitors off to find the summary on some other site like Goodreads or Amazon, you run the risk of not getting them back. Of course, it’s important to avoid spoilers in your summary. As an example, here’s my four sentence summary for The Kitchen Front. One of my pet peeves is to read a review that is all summary with a couple of reflection sentences tacked onto the end…..this is NOT a review (IMHO)! In addition, if the summary is too long, it will most likely contain spoilers. Reviewers that substitute summaries for reviews won’t find me hanging around for long.

2.

I Look for How You FEEL About Your Reading Experience…How Do You Connect With the Story?

Rather than a long summary, I want to know if you love the story. How did you connect? How was your reading experience? Describe your reading experience. Was it page-turning? Engaging? Unputdownable? Thought-provoking? Informative? Entertaining? If it was meh, give some examples of what didn’t work for you. I find that the more I love a book, the more difficult it is to find the right words for a review! Sometimes I resort to a list like in this post of Project Hail Mary. Sometimes it’s helpful to me when you compare the book you’re reviewing to another well-known book or movie. I love reviews where I can hear the reviewer’s “voice” and feel the reviewer’s emotion and enthusiasm because that will entice me to pick up the book more than a bland summary.

3.

I Look For Thoughtful Themes and TWs

Please mention themes! Certain themes always attract my attention: forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, complicated family drama, hope, friendship, women supporting women, and second chances are all winners in my experience! I also appreciate trigger warnings…..although these often contain spoilers and you need to warn readers before you include a TW. I wrote a post on TWs here. If you don’t believe in including trigger warnings, I understand. But I (and many others) do appreciate them because they help me choose books I know will fit my reading tastes and help prevent an unexpected and unpleasant reading experience. Knowing is power.

4.

I Look For Honesty (and Kindness)

There are kind ways of reviewing books truthfully. I don’t mind the sandwich method: your honest opinion (what didn’t work for you) can be “sandwiched” between a couple of positives. If the book wasn’t to your taste, who do you think would enjoy reading the book? I think it’s kind to acknowledge what another reader might find enjoyable. No two people ever read the same book. Also, when I’m reading a negative review, I look for specific examples not rants. For instance, knowing that the characters are stereotypical or not well developed is more helpful than expressing a general statement of hatred for the characters. When you tell me in your review that the characters are stereotypical, I can interpret that as negative but it is stated kindly. I like to study and learn from reviewers who can make negative comments in kind ways. (And, please note, reviewing etiquette requires that authors are never tagged in negative reviews). As a side note, I only post 3, 4, and 5 star reviews on my blog, so you are not likely to find a 1 or 2 star review on the blog. For all my reviews and DNFs visit me on Goodreads which is where I rate it all.

5.

I Look For Readability

Don’t want me to read your review? If you don’t want me to read your review, post ONE LONG BLOCK of text with no breaks or subheadings. But wait….isn’t “content king”? I do appreciate great content and I will slog through reading your review if I’m especially curious about the book you’re reviewing; however, if I have to make myself read it, you’ve probably lost many other visitors. I’ve even read reviews where the summary runs together with the review in one long block. Honestly it takes very little effort to hit the enter/return key to start a new paragraph! Separating your thoughts into paragraphs and adding a bold word or two or a subheading for each paragraph greatly enhances readability!

Need more convincing? If you’ve heard about SEO and think you might want to start “somewhere,” heading and subheadings are basic components of best SEO strategies. SEO enhances readability.

6.

I Look For a Star Rating

I realize that some reviewers no longer give star ratings in blog reviews, but I still look for them and appreciate the time and effort it takes to analyze and nail that down.

twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

 *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Related: How I Write a Fiction Book Review; 10 Elements of a 5 Star Read; Do I Write Honest Reviews?

What is the most important element of a book review for you?



QOTD: Let’s Discuss

What do you look for in a review?



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



Let’s Get Social!

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

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

More Books Like These Please! #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

June 8, 2021

More Books Like These 5 Star Reads Please!

More Books Like These Please (a tall stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Which books or tropes do you wish there were more of?
Do we share any favorites?
Which book would top your own list?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: More Books Like These. and the 2021 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

For this post, I had to go with my first 10 or I could be here listing books forever! The following titles are representative of books that give me book hangovers and I think about for years to come! All of them are 5 Star reads! (in no particular order) Which book of yours would top your own list?



More like these please:



Smart, thoughtful, beautifully crafted, and complex contemporary fiction…

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a man and woman stand against a railing with backs to the camera


Poignant, relatable, and memorable complicated family drama

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


Unputdownable Histfic With Compelling Issues and Memorable Characters

Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

invention of wings


Honoring brave girls around the world

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)


Complicated Marriages and Friendships

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

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Never Have I Ever [Book Tag]

May 21, 2021

Never Have I Ever Book Tag

Sometimes I love a distraction from my usual review posts. When a twitter friend, Lili, tagged me, I immediately thought “Talking about the reading life is some good Friday fun!”

I hope you enjoy this Never Have I Ever book tag! You are welcome to join in, too!

Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator! (Madame Writer)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you! (thanks Lili @Blissful Pages)
  • Answer all prompts.
  • Add one more prompt of your own.
  • Tag at least five people.
  • Don’t lie.
  • Have fun!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Prompts:

Never have I Ever.. read a later book in a series – before reading the first book.

I’m a strict “read in order” reader! However, I remember one time when I accidentally read out of order. I was intrigued by a review of Beachside Beginnings by Sheila Roberts. I was in between reads and jumped right into this not realizing that it was #4 in the Moonlight Harbor series! It was fine to read as a stand-alone (in fact, it’s my fav in the series), but I spent the next weekend binge-reading #1-3 in the series! I find it unsettling to read out of order. Do you read out of order or in order?

Never have I Ever.. burned a book.

I can honestly say I’ve never burned a book! LOL I have returned a few kindle books to Amazon after starting them! (benefits of digital reading!) I’ve also deleted a couple that I did finish from my Amazon account and kindle device because I just don’t want to see them. I have thrown a couple in the trash (usually when moving) when I decided there was no redeeming value in keeping them or gifting them. I don’t think I’d discard a book I really hated in a Little Free Library because I don’t receive joy in passing around bad books. I might put books I don’t like in a yard sale because it would be someone’s choice (and possibly their treasure!) to pick it up. I do realize that a book I hated might be a book someone else loves. Bottom line, if I really dislike a book, I want it out of my sight. But, no, I’ve never burned one! How do you feel about keeping books you don’t like?

Never have I Ever.. read a book I knew I would hate.

As a person who reads a lot, I know what I like and don’t like. So I’m not likely to read a book I know I’ll hate. This is difficult because I also suffer from FOMO and love the buzz of reading new releases. One time, I remember reading a book out of my usual genre and having doubts about liking it and ended up loving it and binge reading the 3 installment series in one week. If you’re curious, it was The Hunger Games! This was a case of being leery (not hating), and I’m glad I gave it a chance. If I know I’m going to hate it, I probably would not read it. Life’s too short to read bad books. Have you ever read a book you knew you’d hate?

Never have I Ever.. written a fanfiction about my favorite books.

I’ve never thought about writing fan fiction, and it’s not a category I enjoy reading. So I feel good about my answer. Do you enjoy fan fiction?

Never have I Ever.. loved a book when I was young, yet hated it when I got older.

I’m always leery of reading books I’ve loved in childhood for fear that I can’t capture the magic of that first read. I don’t want to destroy any precious memories. Thus, I’ve never reread Gone With the Wind! (my first histfic book hangover!) Have you reread a beloved childhood book? What was your experience?

Never have I Ever.. dressed up as one of my favorite literary characters.

Because I was an elementary school teacher, literary characters were favorite Halloween costumes among the teachers! One year I was Miss Nelson from Miss Nelson is Missing. Have you ever dressed up as a literary character? Which one?

Never have I Ever.. hated a book by an author I love.

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Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

May 14, 2021

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing text over a photo background of a woman reading next to water

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Is Summer the Super Bowl of Your Reading Life?

Do you read more in the summer?

Do you have a preferred genre for summer reading?

Do you have a favorite reading season?

Do you like to read

By the Pool?

At the beach?

On your porch swing?

Snuggled on a cozy couch?

Hunkered down in the AC?

On a park bench?

Gif: Summer Reading is here! a large cat holds a book with a shining sun over its shoulder

When my children were young, I could only read late at night (and paid for it the next day). When I was earning my degrees, I didn’t read for pleasure at all. When I taught, summer was definitely my reading season. During the school year, I was preoccupied with lesson plans and grading papers and I was afraid to start a book because I’d get lost in the book and neglect my other responsibilities.

Now that I’m retired, I read every day….I read late at night….I read in bed in the morning. Summer is no longer my main reading season because every day is summer for me now!

An online book club I’m a member of puts out a Summer Reading Guide and it’s a big deal as members seriously plan their summer reading. (a shout out to MMD book club members who are reading this!)

Do you plan your summer reading? Do you consider summer your main reading season or are you more of a winter reader? Or do you read evenly all year and perhaps a bit more on vacation? Or maybe you only read while on vacation?

If you’re a summer reader, what type of books do you like to read in the summer? Do you continue reading your preferred genres or are you looking for something different for summer? Do you pack more books than clothes for a summer vacation? Oh, just me?!

beach reads cartoon

In the summer I continue reading what I usually read for the most part. However, I think that when I take a book to the pool or beach, I like to take a lighter read. That way if I’m interrupted by children or conversation or people watching, I’m able to look up and easily take a break. In other words I probably wouldn’t grab my next intense and heavy histfic. I’m looking for light (but thoughtful) women’s fiction, light memoirs, or essay collections.

With the qualification that ANY book you read at the beach is a BEACH read, here are 20 LIGHTER titles that I’ve read and would recommend for beach (or vacation or backyard) reading this summer. I hope some of these newer and older titles might appeal to you (titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links):

I could go on! I hope you found an idea here!

Happy Summer Reading Book Friends!

smiling stick figure girl holding an open book (caption: Summer Reading)



QOTD:

Is Summer a big reading season for you?



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



Let’s Get Social!

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

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

5 Fav Histfic Recs For Mothers

May 7, 2021

Happy U.S. Mother’s Day

To everyone who is celebrating this weekend!

5 Fav Histfic For You, Mom (text block surrounded by a collage of 4 pink floral pictures

Are you looking for a book gift for Mom or Grandma or a woman who’s been like a mother to you? Or to treat yourself?

Many readers who read a LOT, read historical fiction. So, if the woman you’re buying a gift for is an avid reader, chances are that she will like histfic.

Here are 5 of my recent favorite histfic reads!
All recent releases and 5 Star reads!

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Titles are links to my reviews.

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner

San Francisco Earthquake: A side of thriller and mystery in this one!

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 Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

Also a book about books and falling in love with reading. (WW11)

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands near shelf lined books next to a window holding an open book

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

History of Cuban revolution, New York City newspaper feuds, and inspirational women.

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton (cover) Image: a young woman in a long white dress stands next to a railing looking out over the ocean

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Code breaking, mystery, and intrigue in this one! (set in London, WW11)

a woman dressed in a rose dress stands with her back to the camera overlooking a balcony and a gold wall

The Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

Slavery and nursing in the Civil War.

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly (cover) Image: a young woman in a long blue dress and bonnet walks down a country road with a handful of large sunflowers


If you need more recs, please ask in comments. Also, I’d love to hear your recs!


Paperwhite ereader electronic device

Mom might also like a paperwhite ereader!


mom and me mother's day

Mom and three-year-old me!

Happy Mother's Day (Image: a heard made of roses)

If your mother is in Heaven or if you’ve lost a child, I pray that your memories will comfort you.

candle for mom

 

thinking of you on mother's day

Be good to yourself today, Friends.

 

National Independent Bookstore Day

April 23, 2021

National Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Book Store Day (April 24, 2021) Image: a young woman stands before a wall of bookshelves choosing one to buy

Image Source: Canva

Are you looking for a book about books?

Do you have a favorite Indie Bookstore?

The last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day in the United States, and indie book stores around the country are planning special events (either virtually or in person). Have you checked out your local indie book store?

To observe this day, I’ve collected a few stories set in bookstores. I’ve read them all and my top favorites (and highly recommended) are How to Find Love in a Bookshop, The Last Bookshop in London, The Printed Letter Bookshop, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I could reread these over and over again! Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (cover)


The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands near shelf lined books next to a window holding an open book


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs (cover) Image: text plus 4 hardcover books


The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

etterThe Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)

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What Makes You Pick Up A Book? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2021

April 16, 2021

What makes you pick up a book?

What Makes You Pick Up A Book (white text over a background of a tall stack of hardbback books)

Image Source: Canva

One of the most pressing questions in the reading life is “What Should I Read Next?”

How do you decide what to read next? What makes you pick up a book?

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. One of my blogging goals in 2021 is to participate in more discussion link-ups. Do you enjoy discussion posts?

As I answer the questions, think about how you would answer them for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also an entry for the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What makes me pick up a certain book?

  • Reviews (I have a few reviewers I trust and who I consider my book twins!)
  • Known Author
  • Genre (hitfic FTW!)
  • Diverse Voices
  • Catchy Title

***Tip: I like to have a few books already in my queue so that I am not left adrift after finishing a book. It’s helpful in preventing decision fatigue to have something to hop right into. I enjoy a seamless reading experience. What makes you pick up a certain book?

Is a pretty cover enough?

Absolutely not! I’m actually most tempted by a catchy title or an author or review. I admit to liking bright covers….especially bright floral designs! I confess that I am growing weary of the women on histfic covers who are walking or looking away and all we see are their backs. Also, I usually prefer the original cover to the movie adaptation cover. It’s always interesting to notice different covers on the UK versions of books. Because I read on kindle, I hardly ever notice the covers until I start writing my review! Do you like a pretty cover?

Do I check for good reviews?

I stalk all reviews! The good reviews and the bad reviews. If I’m going to invest hours in reading a book, I want to make sure it’s a good fit for me. I don’t like to go in “cold.” Because I don’t usually read thriller or suspense, I’m not that worried about coming across spoilers. I’m trusting that most reviewers will avoid spoilers or have them clearly labeled. When I read reviews, I’m also looking for trigger or content warnings. I know that I don’t want to read books about child predators, serial killers, or witchcraft. I find it’s helpful to check the 2-star reviews. I know every book isn’t for every reader but I like to see if the shortcomings are something I can live with. For instance, if the reviewer indicates that excessive profanity is an issue, I will probably steer clear of that book. I know that I often quit on books with a great deal of profanity. If the reviewer indicates that the story is heavily character-driven with minimal plot, I will think carefully about that book and read more reviews. Many times when I pick up a book it’s because #BookstagramMadeMeDoIt (many thanks to my bookstagram buddies!) Do you read reviews or do you like to go in “cold”?

Do I depend on recommendations from friends, librarians, or booksellers?

pulling a shelf of library books

Maybe you have a group of bookish friends or family members who always recommend books? Perhaps you ask your librarian or bookseller for a rec? If we were friends in real life, I would always have a recommendation for you (maybe a cart full)! My hairstylist is not a fast reader but she appreciates having a good story on hand for when she wants to read. I began the tradition of buying her a book for Christmas one year. It took her an entire year to read it but she loved it and was ready for the next one the following Christmas! I guess she would say that she doesn’t worry about what to read next because she reads what her customer brings her! I think getting a recommendation from a friend is great because your BFF really knows you and your reading tastes. I have one friend that I love to get a rec from because we tend to enjoy the same books. Have you found your book twin?

Is the synopsis important?

The synopsis isn’t as important as reviews in my opinion. A synopsis is a sales pitch and it can be misleading or contain spoilers. I find that most reviewers are more careful about spoilers. The Sea Wife is sold as a thriller and I thought it was more of a family drama with a little mystery (how did the husband die?). I know several readers who were disappointed in the read because they were expecting a more thrilling story based on the synopsis. It was actually fine with me because I don’t like thrillers! Two years ago, I read an installment of No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and while I was writing my review I checked the official synopsis and a couple of events that were mentioned in the synopsis NEVER happened in the story! Sometimes, it’s painfully obvious that the writer of the synopsis has not read the book! Is the synopsis important to you?

Do I look for diversity or #ownvoices?

Yes, I purposely look for diverse reads and #OwnVoices authors. I track my yearly stats in a spreadsheet and I always include this category! In my monthly reading wrapups, I like to see a nice variety of voices and perspectives. Do you purposely look for diversity in your reading life?

Does my last read influence my next read?

Definitely, yes. I recently read a very heavy WW11 histfic book, and I immediately picked up a sweet middle grade read. I do like to balance my genres a bit. Sometimes that fluffy chick-lit book is exactly the palate cleanser I need. Even though my followers must think I read nothing but histfic, that’s not the case. Sometimes I don’t write full blog reviews for my in between reads….but I do note them all on Goodreads. Often, a series will influence what I read next. I can’t pick up book #4 in a series and enjoy it without reading the three previous installments! I’m a binge reader when it comes to a good series. In fact, when I am immersed in a series, it’s the perfect antidote to worrying about what I’ll read next. Are you influenced by your last read?

Do l Iook for any checkboxes?

Absolutely! My biggest checkbox is probably histfic. That genre always intrigues me and deserves a look! I also love complicated family drama, found family, and friendship themes and enemies to lovers or friends to lovers tropes. What are your most important checkboxes?

Do I have autobuy authors?

For sure! Fredrick Backman, Kate Quinn, Louise Penny (although I’ve decided not to read the one she’s coauthoring with Hillary Clinton), and Stephanie Dray (especially coauthoring with Laura Kamoie) are four definite auto-buy authors. For chick-lit, I’m always curious about Katherine Center’s new releases. I love Sara Ackerman’s Pearl Harbor/Hawaii stories. I could go on and on listing authors whose work I’m always checking out! Do you have an auto-buy author?

Do I reread?

Usually I don’t reread. I keep a list of lifetime favorites and I’d be happy to read anything on that list should the mood arise. I suffer from FOMO and I’m distracted by the new and shiny, so the pleasure of rereading gets pushed to the back burner. I did reread The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society before the movie came out. And I impulsively reread The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry last summer. Honestly, I’m always fearful that I won’t love a book as much as the first time I read it. I’m addicted to the “Wow” experience in reading and second or third reads don’t offer the same thrill.  However, there are different reasons to reread a book including appreciating the prose and revisiting a poignant theme or memorable characters. I remember the time I read The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman two times in a row. The first time, I was gripped by the plot. As soon as I read the last word, I immediately started on page one to reread more carefully and appreciate the writing, character development, and themes. Fortunately, this is a short story that is easily read in an hour! What is the last book you reread?

Am I influenced by hype?

Yes and no. As I mentioned earlier, I have FOMO so I’m always influenced by hype…Except if the book doesn’t check my boxes. When that happens, I feel awful! I don’t like being out of the loop for new reads. But it happens and I live with it. My most recent experience involves The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I am familiar with her work (The Great Alone, The Nightingale, and The Winter Garden), but I know that she can make me ugly cry (especially her earlier titles). When I heard how sad The Four Winds was, I just knew I wasn’t in the right headspace. I’ve also read a review that gave me pause. I’ve decided not to read it, but I have to live with the hype! Are you influenced by hype?

Outside forces often dictate which book I read next.

At times my review calendar decides my next read for me. I have made commitments to publishers and blog tours that must be honored. Other times, library due dates dictate which book I read next! Occasionally, I pause my hold (easy to do if reading digitally on Overdrive or Libby!), but it’s always looming and I rarely totally give up my place on the holds list and start over. Instagram Buddy Reads and IRL Book Club also affect which book I read next. I need to be accountable to the group and ready for discussion! Do library holds or book club commitments influence what you read next?



I think that knowing yourself as a reader leads to a satisfactory and enriching reading life. (see this post about Your Reading Style)

QOTD: What makes you pick up a certain book?



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



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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Women’s History Month [Book Tag]

March 29, 2021

Women’s History Month Book Tag

Six young women standing on a bluff with itheir hands on the shoulders of the girl in front of her ... all facing sideways looking at the ocean

Image Source: Canva

Thanks Lisa @ Hopewell’s Public Library of Life Blog for the inspiration for today’s book tag!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post. Thanks for the inspiration Hopewell’s Public Library of Life!
  • Link to the creator’s blog in your post Thank you, Margaret at Weird Zeal!
  • Answer the questions below using only books written by women
  • Feel free to use the same graphics
  • Tag 8 others to take part in the tag

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Women’s history month is one of my favorite topical posts to create. I debated about using the same format I’ve used in the past, but then I came across Lisa’s tag post last week and “bingo!” I knew this was the direction for this year’s post celebrating women characters, women authors, and women’s achievement!

Book with an intelligent female character:

These are my favorite types of characters and I’ve met so many of them through the books I’ve read!

Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck

The Invisible Woman

Virginia is a complex and complicated character. She’s tough-minded, a demanding leader, cunning, and smart with her disguises, planning, and problem solving. (based on a real-life person)

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