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



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

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)

(more…)

In Support of #StandUpForAAPI

March 24, 2021

#StandUpForAAPI #StopTheHate

Stand Up For AAPI (collage of

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This post is in support of the Stand Up For AAIP community, authors, and stories.
Let’s stop the hate.

The following titles represent a few authors and their stories:

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (scroll down page)

Family in Six Tones by Lan Cao

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

The Island Of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (one of several reviews)

The Front Desk by Kelly Yang



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

The 20 Questions Book Tag

March 22, 2021

The 20 Questions Book Tag

20 Questions Book Tag (text over a background of a tall stack of books)

Image Source: Canva

Do you enjoy book tag posts or do you enjoy writing them? I always enjoy reading them and appreciate the tags, but I don’t have a stellar record in responding to them! Thanks Kimberly @ My Bookish Bliss for the tag!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Questions

1. How many books are too many books in a series?

I’m easily addicted to a series, so the more the merrier for me! I love returning to a familiar world and relaxing into the read because it’s a world and an author I know and trust. It also solves the dilemma of “what to read next.” Probably my most favorite series is the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache/Three Pines series by Louise Penny. I’ve read sixteen installments in which each one is creative and fresh and compelling. Another long series I’ve read is the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve read all twenty-one installments and some are stronger than others. What is your favorite series? Have you read a series with over ten installments?

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Hummmm…..I usually don’t like cliffhangers. Even in a series, I feel that each installment should be able to be read as a “stand-alone.” For example, Louise Penny’s most recent installment, All the Devils Are Here is a great read but I doubt if readers would want to read the previous fifteen installments before reading it! I appreciate the series because although there are overarching themes that carry through, each installment has a self-contained mystery to solve and a satisfactory conclusion. I recently read Ghost by Jason Reynolds (MG) and although I knew it was part of a four-part series, I thought I could read it as a stand alone. I was surprised at the end of the book to find a minor cliffhanger…..so onto book two! Same….onto book three. Same….finally I read all four books in the series because I just had to know what happened! The cliffhangers were actually cleverly done and I admire the author’s ability to gently encourage the reader to read the next book!

3. Hardback or paperback?

For a few years now, I’ve read exclusively on my kindle. However, when I bought physical books, I preferred hardbacks because they look nicer on a bookshelf. When traveling, of course, I preferred paperbacks….most of the time I would leave them behind in airports, restaurants, or hotel lobbies for other readers!

4. Favorite book?

This is like asking me to name my favorite child! An impossible question! First, I’d ask “Which Genre?” My favorite genre is historical fiction and the book that hooked me on histfic and gave me my first book hangover was Gone With the Wind! However, in recent years, the histfic book I recommend most often is Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. My favorite complicated family drama is A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. My favorite epistolary is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. My favorite mystery is the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. A couple of old favorites are Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I’m busy creating a lifetime favorites list in my mind which I’ll publish on the blog one of these days.

5. Least favorite book?

I don’t usually like to bring attention to books that are not my favorite because I feel like no two persons read the same book, and my favorite might be your least favorite and vice versa. I also don’t relish hurting an author’s feelings. To answer this question though, I’ll mention a few books that did not provide me with great reading experiences. I generally don’t appreciate heavily character-driven books where nothing happens! I remember the first time I realized this about myself I was reading Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. The Accidental Tourist also bored me. (sorry Anne Tyler fans!) The last book I was terribly disappointed in was Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak. I highly anticipated a great read because of the author, but the story was all sadness, too much offensive profanity, and too long. I also don’t like books that are too dark. Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever comes to mind. I was engaged with the mildly thrillerish aspect of the story until near the end when she included an icky child abuse scene that appeared to be included simply for shock value. I vowed to put her on my “authors I might want to avoid list” because her stories are a bit too dark for me. One book that I actually hated only because of the ending is Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. I was tempted to throw that book across the room because of the twist at the end where I felt “punked” by the author. The last book I’ll mention disliking is American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s fan fiction about Laura Bush (wife of President George Bush), and I thought it was crass and not reflective at all of the gracious and lovely person. I’m embarrassed for her that it was written. Yes. I do have strong opinions about books that never make it to the blog! I’m sure some of you are screaming at your screen right now because I have mentioned one or more of the books you’ve loved. All I can say is that reading is a personal experience, and no two persons ever read the same book.

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Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

February 12, 2021

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the political drama/pandemic updates on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Carla @Carla Loves to Read for your consistent inspiration!

I haven’t posted a Positivity Friday post since November of 2019! Yikes!

#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

 

Vaccinations!

I’m thrilled to report that I have received my first Covid-19 Vaccination and I am actually driving down this afternoon to receive my second dose! (a bit like the Hunger Games out there vying for an appointment though!) Honestly, I doubted we’d ever get to this point! It’s been a very long haul requiring heaps of patience, endurance, and hope. I often think of my beloved WW11 histfic characters and all they endured and remind myself that I may be under lock-down, but I have technology, wifi, zoom, blogging, books (digital), texting, drive-through fast food, grocery shopping online, and curbside pickup! As we all adjusted, built up our stash of toilet paper, obtained a supply of masks, worked from home, or home-schooled, it was doable….but I still miss gathering for family parties and celebrations, going to the movies, going to the stadium for baseball games, and dining inside restaurants. How is it going in your corner of the world? Have you had access to a vaccination? Are you under strict lock-down or are life activities getting back to normal?

COVID-19 Vaccine (image of a syringe and vial)

Blog Views and 500th Post!

In January, I enjoyed my best ever month for views (what a great surprise and boost!),  and I recently posted my 500th blog post! Thank you to each of you for your support, visits, comments, and shares! Reading people are the best people!

500th post (white text over a sunburst background)

Books to Movies!

Does the prospect of your favorite book coming to the big screen bring you joy?! Although I had to forgo the big screen experience because our theaters are closed, I recently purchased the News of the World release through ON DEMAND with my cable provider (trailer here). I think the DVD will be released in April. It’s always a thrill to see a book to film adaptation (although the book is always better!).

movie night

Book and Authors!

Reading is saving my life during the Pandemic! I’m extremely thankful for dear authors and their engaging stories! I read more books in 2020 than ever before (131!). For a few months my pandemic brain craved HEA and lighter fiction. Now I’m back to reading my usual genres. How about you? Has the pandemic affected your reading life?

More authors also participated in online events during the Pandemic! I was able to watch several events including this lovely interview with favorite author, Louise Penny.

a drawing a young woman reading while sitting on a stack of books among many stacks of books (when I've had enough of reality, I just open a book)

Inspirational!

The best thing about the Super Bowl was this performer signing the National Anthem! Enjoy!

Spiritual!

Since the beginning of the pandemic, these words comfort me.

Steadfast love of the lord



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



What is a Good Ending? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2021

January 30, 2021

What is a Good Ending?

What is a Good Ending? (text over a background of a stack of hardback books)

When my daughter took piano lessons and I nagged her about practicing, she told me, “If you practice the beginning of the song and the end of the song and know the beginning and the end really well, she (the teacher) will still give you a sticker!” Silly me to think that she would need to master the entire song!

Girl playing the piano

I feel this way about beginnings and endings to books! The author has about 50 pages to engage me, and she or he better nail the ending! I often change my star rating in the event of an extremely satisfactory ending or a beginning that immerses me immediately into the story.

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 discussion link-ups. Do you enjoy discussion posts?

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also my 1st 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.

If endings are important, what is a good ending?

Some endings are revealed in the first chapter of the book and the story unravels the events that precede it. For example, Little Fires Everywhere starts with the fire, and Everything I Never Told You starts with a death. Do you enjoy endings that are revealed at the beginning of the story?

Reading is a personal experience, and I think the type of ending you prefer is also personal. There are no right or wrong answers here…..just exploration!

Do you have a preference for a certain type of ending? Some different types of endings include:

1.

HEA (happily ever after)

We can expect HEA endings in the Romance or RomCom genres. No matter how much tension or conflict the middle of the story contains, we can be assured of the HEA. Although predictable, this leads to an enjoyable reading experience for many readers. In 2020, my pandemic reading brain seemed to crave these endings!

2.

Hopeful

Middle-Grade stories are known for their themes of hope, and a hopeful ending is an upspoken rule in middle-grade fiction. This is why I turn to MG when I feel myself going into a reading slump or need a break from more intense reads. Of course, adult fiction can also have hopeful endings. I enjoy a hopeful ending immensely! In adult literature, I think a hopeful ending pairs nicely with a second chances trope. Also, endings that involve reconciliation or redemption fall into the hopeful endings category for me. These are some of my favorite endings and Ask Again, Yes and All the Devils Are Here are two examples of endings I love because of reconciliation themes.

3.

Cliffhanger or Open-Ended

A book in a series will sometimes end with a cliffhanger. Even though I might enjoy the series, I don’t enjoy a cliffhanger ending. First, I don’t want to wait a year or more for the next installment. In addition, I think that even books in a series should be able to be read as stand alones. If you’ve just read a fabulous review for All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny and are excited to read it, do you really want to read the prior 15 installments first? Probably not. Fortunately, all of Louise Penny’s books can be read as stand alones because each case is self-contained in one book….although I don’t recommend it because of the character development and overarching themes that develop from book to book. In this series, reading the books in order create a richer reading experience for the reader. In each book. Louise creates a satisfactory ending. We may be curious about what happens next in the family, or to the friends, or in the village, but all conflict and problems are resolved. This is a very long response to say that while I don’t mind a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter, I don’t enjoy cliffhangers as story endings! In addition, I don’t honestly enjoy open-ended endings. After I’ve invested hours reading the book, I need some sort of conclusion!

4.

Satisfactory

I don’t necessarily need HEA endings, but I do enjoy a satisfactory ending. A Place For Us doesn’t exactly have a happy ending and it left me wondering what would happen next for the family relationships, but the ending was satisfactory in many ways (mainly because it was realistic). Several readers have complained about the ending in Little Fires Everywhere, but it was satisfactory for me because enough subtle hints were given for me to imagine what their future might be. In fact, I reread the last few pages several times to glean all the clues! I rate it satisfactory where many readers didn’t feel this way. News of the World by Paulette Jiles has an ending (epilogue) that I felt was extremely satisfying and I truly loved it because it addressed a thought-provoking theme of “doing things right or doing the right thing.”

5.

Sad

Confession: I didn’t read #3 in the Divergent Trilogy because I read in reviews that favorite characters die. If a character you love dies in the end, that’s a sad ending. I feel that some authors manipulate you to “ugly cry” and I don’t like those stories or endings. Sometimes, though, an ending is sad because the story follows the character to the end of his or her life. Stories that have these types of endings include The Book Thief, A Man Called Ove, Castle of Water, The Story of Arthur Truluv, and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett. I think of these endings as bittersweet rather than sad.

6.

Plot Twist

I can think of one book I vehemently disliked because of the plot twist at the end: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon I didn’t see it coming and I felt “punked” by the author. It ruined the entire story for me and I wanted to throw the book across the room! Others loved the story but the ending ruined it for me. Other stories like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman have a plot twist that really works! In reading Eleanor, I was surprised but not in a negative way….more in an ahhh haaaa way that caused me to want to reread the book from a new perspective

7.

Epilogue

Some stories include an epilogue. I usually enjoy epilogues because they help us understand what the future holds for our beloved characters. There are a few books that I feel needed an epilogue including Eleanor & Park (what were those three words?!)The Girl With the Louding Voice and Little Fires Everywhere. Epilogues are like a serving of dessert after a great meal!

8.

Ambiguous, Unresolved, Confusing, Falls Flat, Rushed, Abrupt

Ugh! These are my least favorite endings. After all the time I’ve invested, I don’t appreciate an ending that falls short: flat, ambiguous, unresolved, rushed, abrupt, or confusing. Authors, please give me a satisfactory ending! A few endings I have felt conflicted about include The Scent Keeper by Erica Braumiester (great story, beautifully written, but the ending fell flat for me) and The Mothers by Brit Bennett (engaging story and interesting characters, but I felt the ending fizzled). For the most part, The Great Alone is a story with a tense, slow build up….then BAM….the ending is rushed and frantically paced. I realize these opinions fall under personal preference!

9.

Bittersweet

In the historical fiction genre, I encounter this type of ending quite often. These realistic endings usually leave me with a book hangover!

10.

Explicit

In this type of ending, there are no lingering doubts or questions. Every character is revisited and has a thoroughly described ending. I recall that William Kent Kruegar in This Tender Land carefully follows through with what happens to the four children. Some readers prefer that an ending is left more to the imagination or inference, but I don’t mind well-explained endings! I prefer explicit to open-ended every time.

QOTD: Which ending do you prefer?



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

World War 11 Reads


January 27, 2021

World War 11 Reads
(including some Holocaust reads)

January 27th is International
Holocaust Remembrance Day

holocaust remembrance day

Meme from theisraelproject.org.  In addition to the six million Jews, there were approximately five million others killed by the Nazis: gypsies, homosexuals, people with mental or physical disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses, resistance fighters, Poles and other Slavic peoples.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (white text on black background, one single candle)

Those of us who read WW11 Historical Fiction have stories of the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people burned into our hearts. On this day of remembrance, I’ve listed some of the most memorable WW11 books I’ve read. Some involve the Holocaust. some describe the efforts of others or how their own lives were affected, and others take place during WW11. This is NOT a list exclusively about the Holocaust even though we are remembering this horrific event in history today.

***Titles are links to my blog or goodreads reviews or affiliate Amazon links.

Helping Others

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Resistance; Spies

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck (ARC, Pub Date: 2/9/21)

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P Kierman

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

Families

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Nonfiction, Memoirs

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

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Saving Children

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Young Adult (New Young Adult and Adult crossover)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Paper Hearts by Meg Woviott

Concentration Camps

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

(***Yes, I’m aware that Heather Morris has received criticism of her work in regard to historical facts, however, I still appreciated the stories.)

Living During WW11

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (ARC, Pub Date: 4/6/21)

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (ARC, Pub Date: 2/9/21)

Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel

White Rose, Black Forest by Eoin Dempsey

Unbroken: A WW11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Red Sky Over Hawaii, The Lieutenant’s Nurse, The Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers all by Sara Ackerman

The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel

Holocause Remembrance Day: In Memory of 6 Million Jews (white text on black background, a row of candles burn)



What titles can you add? I thought of adding Sarah’s Key, but I didn’t actually read it because I saw the movie. I know it’s a favorite for many histfic readers.

QOTD: Have you read any of these titles?



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

 

Bookish Confessions #TopTenTuesday

January 19, 2021

Bookish Confessions

My Bookish Confessions (white text over a background of book shelves)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I couldn’t find my motivation for the Top Ten Tuesday topic today because I’ve already made a Winter TBR, so I’m going rogue with my own Top Ten Tuesday post (and I’m sure it’s been a topic in the past that I haven’t addressed….so a “make up” post?).

In three and one half years, I’ve never written a Bookish Confessions post. I’ve enjoyed many similar posts, so I think this week is the time to offer mine to the bookish blogging community!

1.

I’ve Never Read Harry Potter!

I guess I need to list this one first and get it over with: I’ve never read Harry Potter!

2.

I’m a picky reader.

I’ve developed into a picky reader…or I guess I should say I KNOW what I like and this has led to a rewarding and rich reading life! I like realistic fiction, historical fiction, brave characters, thoughtful and substantial themes, inspirational biographies/memoirs, sweet middle-grade reads, novels in verse, thoughtful women’s fiction (not chick lit), and complicated family drama. If I stick with these genres and categories, I usually do not have an unsatisfactory reading experience.

3.

I’ve Become a Shameless DNFer!

The main reasons for DNFing include

* excessive profanity or graphic violence
* slow to engage me
* paranormal or occult content
* boring
* feelings of dread rather than joy (upon picking up the book)
* poorly written

“So many books, so little time.” ~Frank Zappa

“Reading good books, ruins you for enjoying bad ones.” ~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

See my related post here: My Love/Hate Relationship With DNF

4.

Sometimes I Peek at the Last Chapter!

I know some readers who would NEVER peek at the last chapter. EVER.

Yet, at times (especially if the book is too stressful and my anxiety interferes with my enjoyment) I will skim the last chapter (mainly, to see if my beloved main character lives!). Sometimes if I am contemplating a DNF, I will read the last chapter before I abandon it to see if anything in that chapter engages me enough to return to reading.  Usually if I do DNF a book, I will still read the last chapter for closure.

5.

I Don’t Enjoy Chick Lit!

I prefer thoughtful, substantial themes. I have found that Elin Hilderbrand rarely offers what I prefer in chick lit. Whereas, I’ve been engaged with Katherine Center’s work. I’m not exactly adverse to chick lit (evidence=I read more chick lit in 2020 under lockdown than ever before), but I enjoy chick lit that has some snappy writing and meaningful themes. It’s always tricky to note what I don’t enjoy because it may be your absolute favorite! Reading is a personal experience, and I think each person should find what suits her or him. There’s no judgement here! I want you to find what’s most enjoyable for you!

(more…)