Fall 2019 TBR

September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall 2019 TBR

Fall 2019 TBR

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall 2019 TBR.

With all the books that are on my radar on a given day, it’s nice to pick out a few for an official TBR. Ten still leaves room for library holds that come in, occasional ARCs, or some mood reading.

One question you may ask is “Are these fall reads?” Many readers have differing opinions of what comprises a fall read: some want spooky, scary, creepy, or thrilling. It’s my opinion that any book you read in fall is a fall read. I don’t usually read thrillers or scary, spooky books because they give me nightmares. For my fall reads, I look for the types of books I look for all year: memorable, thought-provoking, and unputdownable.

This will help explain my fall reading:

it's fall y'all

After careful consideration, the following are the reads that are on my fall 2019 reading radar. I had about twenty on the list when I started, so it took some work to pare this down to ten!

Keep in mind that I’m not yet recommending the books on this list…..check back often though because I will provide updates and links to reviews as I read them. In no particular order, here is my Fall 2019 TBR list.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

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Summer Reading Update

July 1, 2019

A Quick Summer Reading Update

MMD Reading Guide

The graphic above is the 2019 Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide. A majority of my summer TBR is chosen from this guide, so I thought it would be fun to share the guide and my progress. I’ve read thirteen titles so far and I have The Unlikely Adventures of the Shirgill Sisters, Searching for Sylvie Lee, the Huntress, and Recursion on hold at the library. There are also a few I’ve crossed off and decided not to read based on reviews or descriptions or my tastes.

Have you read any of these titles?



Happy Summer 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



Sharing is Caring

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 photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Summer 2019 TBR

June 25, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer 2019 TBR

 

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer 2019 TBR.

With all the books that are on my radar on a given day, it’s nice to pick out a few for an official TBR. Ten still leaves room for library holds that come in, occasional ARCs, or some mood reading.

One question you may ask is “Are these beach reads?” Many readers have differing opinions of what comprises a beach read: some want light and fluffy, some look for thrillers/suspense/mysteries, some seek out escapist reads, while others like to tackle large tomes during the summer when they have more time. It’s my opinion that any book you read at the beach is a beach read (just like any body at the beach is a beach body). For my summer reads, I look for the types of books I look for all year: memorable, thought-provoking, and unputdownable. Although I’m planning a post in a couple of weeks that feature books I’ve read that might be suitable for a vacation or beach read, it will likely look different from other typical beach reads lists.

For now, these are the reads that are on my summer 2019 reading radar.

Keep in mind that I’m not yet recommending the books on this list…..check back often though because I will provide updates and links to reviews as I read them. In no particular order, here is my Summer 2019 TBR list.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

(more…)

Spring TBR

March 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring 2019 TBR

spring TBR

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Spring 2019 TBR.

I have two books to finish from my Winter TBR, and they’ve been on  my TBR for so long that it’s too embarrassing to add them to yet another TBR. So 84, Charing Cross Road and its sequel will be my priority before any book on this list!
***UPDATE: finished these two reads…both 3 stars.

Keep in mind that I’m not yet recommending the books on this list…..check back often though because I will provide updates and links to reviews as I read them. In no particular order, here is my Spring 2019 TBR list.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

(more…)

8 Ways I Choose My Next Read

February 24, 2019

How Do I Choose My Next Read?

8 Ways to Choose Your Next Read

Image Source: Canva

Modern Mrs Darcy  inspired my thoughts about how I choose my next read during a recent webinar (paid content so I can’t provide a link). Thanks to Modern Mrs Darcy for causing me to stop and consider my strategies. This not a summary of her webinar, but its my response in exploring this topic. *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

top ten tuesdayI’m also linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things That Make Me Immediately Want to Read a Book (even though I’ve listed 8 and not 10)

8 Ways I Choose My Next Read

1. Genres & Covers

As tempting as a great cover can be, the genre and diversity aspects are more important considerations for me. I have set a goal to read more nonfiction as well. When choosing books, I’m intentionally looking for authors of color and authors who are women. I actively look for more “own voices” literature. In addition, I like to balance my reading with some Middle Grade and Young Adult selections.

Covers are not that important to me. Since I read ebooks almost exclusively, it’s not as easy for me to fall back on the tried and true strategies most commonly used if you were browsing physical copies in a book store. For example with an ebook, it’s more difficult to select a book by a cover because it doesn’t jump out at me the same as when I’m comparing it with fifty titles before me on a shelf at Target. When purchasing ebooks, I’m usually more focused on the kindle price! However, when I see a book reviewed, I definitely make a mental note about the appeal of a cover. Sometimes I can’t even remember what the title of my book looks like when I’m reading it because it’s not sitting around on an end table…..once I open it on my kindle and start reading, I never see the cover. Some of the covers I’ve recently loved include Amal Unbound, The Ensemble, How to Find Love in a Bookshop, Refugee, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls. One cover I don’t love and it almost caused me to miss a great read is Eden. Choosing a book by a cover is one of the disadvantages of reading ebooks, but it’s one of the most popular ways of choosing physical books. How many of you choose a book by the cover? What’s the last book you chose exclusively for the cover?

2. Trusted Reviewers

Because I’m part of the Bookstagram community (Instagram for accounts devoted to books and reviews) and follow many review blogs, I have identified several reviewers whom I trust in choosing books for my TBR. Find a blogger who focuses on the genres you love, and then also follow their reviews on the blog, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. One of my most trusted sources for summer reading ideas is the Summer Reading Guide from the Modern Mrs Darcy website. How many of you choose books based on trusted reviewers?

3. Amazon and Goodreads Reviews

I pour over Amazon and Goodreads reviews in the following ways. First I check the 3 star reviews and then the 2s and 1s. I really want to know what issues other readers have with the book. I balance these out with a few 4 and 5 star reviews which are always glowing but are useful for identifying some strengths. I spend more time in the 3, 2, and 1 star range trying to identify any triggers (such as graphic violence, explicit sexual content, profane language, abuse, etc.) or possible pace, plot, structure, and/or writing problems. Then I evaluate the importance of these issues (balanced by the strengths) and if I can live with them during the reading experience. The danger with perusing reviews is that you might come across spoilers. Do you check out Amazon and/or Goodreviews before making a reading decision?

4. Pre Reading

If I were in a bookstore or library, I might do some pre reading: the first page, a random page from the middle, the introduction/preface and acknowledgments (this will sometimes give interesting information about the author’s purpose or reasons for writing the book), and the publisher’s summary on the back cover or flap. I’m careful and skeptical about the publisher’s sales pitch. Sometimes it doesn’t truly represent the content of the story or is misleading. With an ebook, I depend on the Amazon feature which allows me to download a sample. This gives me an idea of the writing style and tone. One more idea if you have multiple books in your hand that you want to read, is to “speed read” (I first heard this term and concept from Kate Olson Reads) each book for a certain amount of time (for example, three minutes). Do you scope out potential reads using any of these strategies?

5. Blurbs

One area that I honestly give very little weight to are blurbs by other authors found on the cover or inside pages. It’s my opinion that these blurbs have been carefully curated and cultivated…….perhaps these authors are friends or neighbors or in the same writing group. I’m a bit skeptical and usually don’t let them sway me. This is a personal opinion……do any of you feel the same way?

6. Buzz

I don’t read a book simply because it’s receiving a lot of hype…..I make sure it’s the right read for me. Sometimes if I’m not sure, I allow some time for the hype to die down. I can usually tell if it’s for me because multiple reviewers whom I trust will review and recommend. This is a little tricky because I have a great deal of FOMO and I love to read new releases and be a part of the initial buzz! Although sometimes a great deal of buzz sets the reader up with expectations that are too high and it ends up a disappointing read. Even a favorite author’s new book might not meet your expectations. The last book I read with a lot of buzz was Where the Crawdads Sing and, for me, it lived up to the buzz. What’s the last book you chose based on the buzz? Did you enjoy the read?

7. Best Friends

If you are lucky to be surrounded by readers in your life, you might depend upon a recommendation from a best friend. Before I started closely following reviews, I interrogated my friends that I  met for lunch. My first question was always, “What are you reading?” because I knew that we enjoyed the same genres and quality of literature. Friends were always good for a few recommendations and I had reads for the next few months. My mom shares a Kindle account with me, so her next reads come from my ebook library. Luckily, we have similar bookish tastes. Do you have a friend you can ask for a recommendation? Sometimes I “push” books on my friends by buying them my favorite read of the year for a Christmas gift. Do you receive books or titles from your best friends?

8. Commitments

When choosing my next read, I always have to consider my book club and NetGalley commitments. I’m a part of three book clubs: Modern Mrs. Darcy (online club, $10/month fee, title/discussion threads provided), Postal Book Club (a mailing group of 6 people who share/rotate books and a mailing deadline every two months), and an IRL (in real life) book club (monthly commitment). In addition, I’m under obligation to read and review free books that I receive from publishers via NetGalley (so I monitor pub dates to determine my reading priorities). When I think about my next read, I must take these commitments into consideration first. Do you have a commitment to a book club? If you’re a mood reader (like me) sometimes it can be difficult to read a book you feel like you “have” to read (especially if you have to forgo reading the latest release that’s receiving all the buzz!….or is that just me?).

Do any of these methods for choosing your next read resonate with you? How do you most often choose your next read?

Even though I read about 100 books per year and I’ve done my best to check them each out, not every read meets my expectations. Reading is still a personal experience and no two readers read the same book. One that I love might not resonate with you at all. Only the books I’ve rated 4 and 5 stars will be reviewed on the blog. I want to be a blogger you can trust.  You can always find all my reviews on Goodreads.



Let’s Discuss!

Share with me! How do you choose your next read? What methods have been the most successful for you? Do you have tips/strategies you can add? Is there a book you’ve picked up because of reading a review here?

*This weekend while blog hopping, I came across a post with the same topic…..so enjoy this perspective from bookidote blog



Feedback

I’m curious how my reviews are resonating with all of my followers. If you are a regular reader, would you consider taking one or two minutes to comment about a book you read based on reading a review here? I’d love to hear.



A Few Trusted Reviewers

I follow a lot of blogs…..listed below are a few of the blogs/podcasts that I check most frequently. There are too many to list here…..these are a sample of a few recent posts that I’ve read.

Modern Mrs Darcy Blog & What Should I Read Next Podcast

Jennifer~Tar Heel Reader Blog

The Lexington Bookie Blog

The Secret Library Book Blog

Fictionophile Blog

My newest discovery is Orange County Readers

From the Front Porch Podcast (books reviews/book talk with a side of southern charm)

Reading Women Podcast (reviewing books about women written by women….lots of literary fiction, interviews, and thoughtful book talk)



***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 photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Winter Reading Season

December 18, 2018

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR and…

A Month of Favorites TwithTand with Traveling With T (and Girlxoxo and Estella’s Revenge) for A Month Of Faves: Winter Reading.  If you’ve clicked over from Artsy Reader Girl or Traveling With T, Welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit.

winter reading 2

Winter TBR

snowmen

(The last five are ARCs)

leadership in turbulent times

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s the selection for my IRL book club and my hubs wants to read it too.
Genre: Non Fiction, Biography, History, U.S. Presidents
***UPDATE. 4 Stars. Full Review Here

snowmen

84 Charing Cross Road

Duchess of Bloomsbury Street

84, Charing Cross Road and its sequel The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff (I’m committed to following through with 84, Charing Cross Road so I don’t embarrass myself by putting it on yet another TBR).
Genre: Non Fiction, Books About Books, Memoir
***UPDATE: Charing Cross Road: 3 Stars. Goodreads Review Here.
***UPDATE: The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. 3 Stars (not reviewed)
Bottom line: after years of anticipation, these classic reads didn’t quite measure up to my expectations. I liked them but didn’t love them.

snowmen

Front Desk

Front Desk by Kelly Yang is a Middle Grade Selection and is a diverse read. (I love great MG fiction for a nice change of pace!)
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Middle Grade
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. GoodReads Review Here.

snowmen

Lost Man

The Lost Man by Jane Harper (author of The Dry and Force of Nature. I’m counting on this being a solid mystery read.
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery
***UPDATE: 3 Stars. I am disappointed in this because it’s a little dark (although still very well written). See my Goodreads review here.

snowmen

The following are all ARCS (advanced readers copies) that I’ll be reading during the winter….listed in order of release date…..only one releases in winter….three release in spring and one in the summer. Reviews will be written close to publication dates. Titles are affiliate Amazon links where you can find more information.

Learning to See

Learning to See by Elise Hooper (author of The Other Alcott)
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical, Photography
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.

snowmen

The Beautiful Strangers

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio (author of The Way of Beauty)
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
***UPDATE: Full Review Here.

snowmen

Last Year of the War

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (author of As Bright as Heaven)
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Full Review Here.

snowmen

Lost Roses

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly (author of Lilac Girls) …. prequel to the Lilac Girls and is the story of Caroline’s mother
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
***UPDATE: 5 Stars. Full Review Here.

snowmen

Things You Save In a Fire

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (author of How to Walk Away)
ARC: Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Fiction, Chick Lit (we’ll see how this goes!), Romance
***UPDATE: 3 Stars. Not my usual genre but it was engaging and features some snappy writing even though it was predictable with instalove and beautiful people. Goodreads Review Here.

winter reading
That’s TEN. Of course I’ll get distracted by other reads, too!


Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Looking Ahead:

Friday, I’ll post my review of Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. Isn’t the cover striking?! This is a Middle Grade historical fiction selection and a diverse read.



Links

Check Out My Gift Ideas For the Readers on Your Holiday Shopping List!

“Everyone Gets a Book!”

gift stack of books

In movie news….

Reese Witherspoon to produce “Where the Crawdads Sing”!



Sharing is Caring

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



Reading Challenges: Thinking Ahead to 2019

Have you ever considered a reading challenge? Here are the reading challenges I’m considering for the 2019 reading year. The first three are wonderful challenges for any reader. The last one is geared toward reviewers who are members of NetGalley or Edelweiss.

Modern Mrs Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge (very broad, doable categories that might provide some stretch in your reading life)

Goodreads Reading Challenge (determine how many books you’d like to read and track them through the Goodreads app)….the 2019 challenge will be available at the first of the year. Are we friends on Goodreads?

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge (especially great for bloggers and reviewers who want monthly link up opportunities)

NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge (link up opportunities for members of NetGalley and Edelweiss)



 Let’s Discuss

Please share what’s at the top of your winter TBR in comments!

Are you finding time to read in December?!

It’s time to start thinking about your best read of the year!



***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 photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Goodreads Monday

December 3, 2018

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners and highlights a book from your Goodreads TBR that you’re looking forward to reading. I think this will be an excellent opportunity to motivate myself to read something that’s been on my Goodreads shelf for a long time. I currently have 105 books on my To Read shelf!

For Goodreads Monday, I’m chosing 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff from my TBR shelf. I placed it on my Goodreads shelf in August of 2017 (although it has been on my mental TBR list for years before that). I also placed it on my 2017 Spring TBR list, so it’s not like I’ve forgotten about it.

84 Charing Cross Road

Summary:

Published in 1970, 84, Charing Cross Road is a charming, classic love story. The book consists of correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used book dealer in London. Although they never meet, they develop a warm friendship based on their common love for books. For many readers who love books about books, this story is a sentimental favorite.

Why did I put this book on my TBR shelf?

Why haven’t I read it yet?

  • Last spring I tried to obtain the e book online through Amazon. I guess because it’s an older title, it’s not available for Kindle. Since I am in the process of minimizing the amount of physical books I own, I didn’t want to purchase a hard copy and planned to get it through the library.
  • I went to the library and they didn’t have it in circulation. I knew I could probably have it sent to the branch but I was in a hurry that day and decided to come back (That didn’t work out so well because I obtain all my library books digitally through Overdrive/Libby and don’t actually visit the physical library.)
  • I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase a gift for someone and remembered that I wanted to look for this book, but they didn’t have it in stock. They offered to get it in but I hesitated because I still feel conflicted about buying physical books since I’ve converted exclusively to Kindle.
  • I am greatly distracted by new releases!
  • That’s my sad story of why this book is languishing on my TBR shelf!

Action Plan

  • Go back to the library and wait for it to be sent to my branch.
  • Break down and buy a physical copy. I think that if I buy a copy I could do a giveaway here!


So, now I’m accountable to YOU, dear reader!

By the way, are we friends on Goodreads ?



Looking Ahead:

My library hold of Dear Mrs. Bird came in, so I hope to have that review ready Friday.



Let’s Discuss:

Please let me know in comments if you’ve read 84, Charing Cross Road.

Which book have you had on your TBR list for the longest?



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

Fall Reading Season

September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

top ten tuesday

Today I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR. and Top Ten Books By My Favorite Authors I Intend To Read (eight of the authors on my Fall TBR fit this category of authors whose new books I intend to read). If you’ve clicked over from That Artsy Reader Girl, Welcome!

Fall Reading Season

***As the fall reason season progresses. I’ll add updates here as I read the books***

Welcome to my ambitious list for fall reading! (as usual I couldn’t narrow it to 10!)
*Listed in no particular order*

pumpkins

*Pumpkin images from Pottery Barn*

Maple-leaf1

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (release date: 10/9)
I’ve read some mixed review on this, but I’m a loyal Kate Morton fan so I’m eager to give it a try.
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (release date: 10/2)
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

The Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (installment #14 in The Inspector Gamache Three Pines series…they get better and better) (release date: 11/27)
You know what I’ll be doing in lieu of on-line Christmas shopping!
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

The Color of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith (installment #19 of No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series) (release date: 11/6)
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. A comfortable read with old friends! Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak (author of The Book Thief) (release date: 10/9)
***UPDATE: 2 Stars. A disappointing read. I’m not recommending this. Brief Goodreads Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (debut author) (pub date: 8/14)
I’ve read almost all glowing reviews of this one! It’s my most anticipated fall read which I’ll be reading and reviewing soon because my library hold just became available!
***Update: 5 Stars. Unforgettable character. (Full Review Here)

Maple-leaf1

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (author of Peace Like a River) (release date: 10/2)
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars A memorable read. Brief Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor  (co author of Last Christmas in Paris…one of my favorites this year) (release date: 10/9)
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars on Goodreads). Hazel Gaylor does it again! I loved this story. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
(pub date 7/3)
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. A light hearted read. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
(I’ve read some mixed reviews on this one….histfic is my fav genre so I’ll see for myself) (pub date: 9/4)
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Memorable and compelling. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo  (Newbery Award author) (release date 10/2)
Occasionally, I enjoy a great Middle Grade read! Looking forward to this one!
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Memorable and unforgettable. Brief Review Here (scroll down page).

Maple-leaf1

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff (author of The Orphan’s Tale) (release date 2/5/19)
This should be on my winter TBR except that I recently received an ARC (advanced reader copy from NetGalley/Park Row Books), so I’ll be reading and reviewing this in the fall.
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Goodreads Review Here.

Maple-leaf1



I have three unread books from my Summer TBR …. I’m not sure if I’ll add them to my Fall TBR list or put them back on my general Goodreads To Be Read  (at some time) shelf.



Happy Reading Book Worms!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Maple-leaf1



Looking Ahead:

I’ve recently finished reading three ARCs (advanced reader copies) of The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman and Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (author of Peace Like a River) and Hard Cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon. Look for my reviews of all three on Friday’s blog post.

lieutenant's nurse

virgil wander

hard cider



A Link I Love

Compassion for children with disabilities and their families.
Check out this opportunity to be a blessing to others: The Lucas Project (respite care for caregivers and siblings).

The back story of the Lucas Project. Follow Jess Ronne on Instagram @jessplusthemess



Sharing is Caring

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

Maple-leaf1



 Let’s Discuss

Which book are you looking forward to reading most in fall? Do you plan your fall reading? Which books are on your list?

Maple-leaf1



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

Summer Reading Season

May 18, 2018

summer reading

Summer TBR

As the summer reading season quickly approaches, it’s a perfect time to update TBRs! Honestly, I spend a great deal of time combing published lists and curating my TBR, and it’s a work in progress (more like a moving target to quote The Loud Library Lady) because I will delete and add titles depending on reviews and availability. For this list, I deliberately sought out recent releases, diverse reads, and women authors. If any of these reads earn a 4 or 5 star rating from me, you’ll see my review on the blog. Please don’t think I’m recommending everything on this list….I don’t end up loving every title I read…..what you read will depend on your preferences and preferred genres.

It’s OK to like different books!

One list that I always check for ideas is Modern Mrs Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. (I’m not sure whether or not you need to register your email to access the list…if so, you can always unsubscribe). The books on her list don’t always align with my preferences (more than a few on this year’s list are heavier and/or darker than usual or not preferred genres so check the reviews carefully….I already found a couple from her list that I’ve scratched off and one that I started a few weeks ago and discarded onto the DNF shelf); nevertheless, I did find a handful of good titles to add to my summer TBR. What you might like about the MMD Summer Reading Guide is that these will most likely be the most talked about books this summer and show up on your local Target shelf. (By the way, I didn’t put the popular The Great Alone on my summer list because I’ve already read and reviewed it here. I recommend it for your summer reading if you haven’t already read it….*trigger warnings for some domestic abuse.)***I’m planning to come back to this list throughout the year and add updates as I read the selections.

***Edited to add: Naturally, the first book I read this summer wasn’t even on this list and I loved it: The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto …. review here.

What’s on your summer reading list?



Here’s what’s ahead for me this summer on my TBR (in no particular order):
(Amazon links provided for summary and purchase information)

Force of NatureForce of Nature by Jane Harper
Genre: Crime Fiction
(stand alone….you do not have to have read The Dry before reading her second book). This title was on my Spring TBR and I’m still on the library wait list).
***Update: Solid read. 4 stars. Agent Falk continues as a main character in this atmospheric mystery set in the isolated woods of Australia, and I enjoyed it just as much as The Dry. Force of Nature Review Here.


the widows of malabar hillThe Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
(diverse read set in Bombay, India).
Genre: Mystery
*A bit nervous about this…it’s received mixed reviews.
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 Stars on Goodreads). Full Review Here


a place for usA Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
(diverse read)
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Cultural Heritage/Family Life
Releases June 12, 2018.
***UPDATE: 5 Stars! Favorite book of the year so far. Full Review Here.


what we were promisedWhat We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
(diverse read)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Asian American
UPDATE: 2.5 Stars. Underwhelmed…although the cultural aspects were compelling. Goodreads Review Here.


ensembleThe Ensemble by Aja Gabel
Genre: Fiction (Music)
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. An OK read. Full Review Here.


how to walk awayHow to Walk Away by Katherine Center
Genre: Women’s Fiction


the boat peopleThe Boat People by Sharon Bala 
(Diverse read, Sri Lanka to Canada)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Cultural Heritage/Family Life
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Relevant, compelling, compassionate, and fair. Full Review Here.


whiskey and ribbonsWhiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith
(diverse read)
Genre: African-American/Women’s Fiction/Family Life


not your perfect mexican daughterI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
(diverse read, Mexican American)
Genre: YA Fiction/Social and Family Issues
***UPDATE: I abandoned this at 30%….not the book for me….disappointing (others have loved it)


map of salt and starsThe Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar 
(diverse read, Syria)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Folk Tale
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. An engaging read and one of my favorite stories of the year. Full Review Here.


clock dance

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Domestic Life.
Releases July 10, 2018.
Although I’m not a huge Anne Tyler fan, I’m willing to give this a try (keeping it on my list until more reviews come in) because she’s a gifted writer.
***UPDATE: Pleasantly surprised by this quiet, character driven story. 3.5 Stars.
Full Review Here


convenience store womenConvenience Store Woman by  Sayaka Murata
(diverse read)
Genre: Fiction
Releases June 12, 2018.
This had me at “quirky.”
***UPDATE: This is a quick, easy read (one day or possibly one sitting). I enjoyed this engaging story about a convenience store worker in Japan and her unique challenges. It might not be for everyone, but I enjoy adore quirky characters. 4 stars. Full Review Here.


Auntie PoldiAuntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
(diverse read)
Genre: Fiction/International Mystery
*Unsure about this one…it’s received mixed reviews.
***UPDATE: I finished it but it wasn’t a favorite read. 3 stars. Purely escapist, quirky characters, Italian culture, a mystery to solve, and a bit of romance. Although the writing is generally snappy, it’s a bit over the top for my taste. Goodreads review here.


I was anastasia

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical, Mystery
I’m on the fence about this one. Reviews are mixed. Just about the time I decide I’ll skip it, I’ll read a great review and then I have FOMO (fear of missing out)! So, I’m keeping this on the list for now.
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars Full Review Here


queen of hearts

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Sisters/Mothers & Children
*Compared to Grey’s Anatomy (on the fence about this one)


Chick Lit

Honestly, light chick lit is a genre that I don’t usually love; however, multitudes of readers buy and enjoy light chick lit reads by the pool, next to the ocean, or while traveling during the summer. Because of FOMO (fear of missing out) and from time to time liking a palate cleanser in between heavier reads, I will (selectively) read chick lit. Two that I’m contemplating this summer, should the mood strike, are The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand (Releases June 19, 2018) and I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Maria de los Santos.

***UPDATE: Although The Perfect Couple is better than other books I’ve read by the author, the genre is not my cup of tea (although others love it). 2.5 Stars. Goodreads Review Here.
***UPDATE: I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is better written with more complexity than typical chick lit reads. Give this a chance! 4 star Goodreads Review Here.



By the way….

Any book you read at the beach is a beach read! (doesn’t have to be escapist)

Any book you read during the summer is a summer read! (doesn’t have to be light)

…and along the same train of thought….Any body wearing a swim suit is a beach body.



Winter and Spring TBR Update

I’m working toward reading the last two titles from my Winter and Spring TBR lists:

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is the only title left to read from my Winter list (I think at this point it feels like it has a permanent home on my TBR).

I finished The Music Shop from my Spring list this week and I reviewed it here.

I removed Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr from my Spring list because I found out that it’s an older book (written before All the Light You Cannot See)….. I’ll keep it on my general Goodreads to-read-someday shelf, but I’m removing it from my intentional, active TBR. If I visit Rome some day, I may move it to a priority list!

Do you like to make and check off lists?! When I look at both book lists, it gives me a great feeling of accomplishment! Most of them were enjoyable reads and if you look at the Index tab, you will find most reviews (I don’t review books on the blog that I do not truly love). Of course, there’s always books I discover along the way that never make it onto my TBR; they get squeezed in.



Other Reading Lists
(I have not previewed or read titles from these lists)

Diverse Books Club Book List (list in chart form)

Diverse Book Club Summer Reading Guide (same list as above with brief descriptions)

Prose and Palate: What Prose and Palate is Reading This Summer

The Novel Endeavor: A Mother’s Day Gift Guide (a few days late but I saw it after I had already published my recs for Mother’s Day post)



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Links I Love

Do you love books and food? Check out the next two links!

My bookish friend Rhonda from The Thankful Heart shares a lovely breakfast get together with bookish friends that would be so easy and fun to emulate!

The Thankful Heart: Books and Breakfast: A Morning With Friends

If bookish get togethers and food are your jam….you might enjoy perusing The Ardent Biblio’s Literary Dinner Events (inspiring, ambitious, and lovely dinners using a book’s inspiration):

The Ardent Biblio: Literary Dinners

If you live in Tornado Alley or in an area that experiences severe weather you might enjoy this unique book list of 5 books to read in a shelter during a tornado alert!

Julia Harmon Book Woman: Five Reasons to Read During Severe Weather (& 5 recommendations)

Little Women

Did you watch the recent PBS adaptation of “Little Women”? The following link is an enjoyable and thoughtful review:

Peace, Love, and Raspberry Cordial: 12 Little Musings On the New Little Women



In Case You Missed It…….Last Week’s Post Listing Bookish Gift Ideas For Mom



Looking Ahead:

Next week, I’ll be reviewing “The Music Shop” and offering a “Memorable Character of the Month” link up opportunity.

music shop

Summary and Purchase Information Here



I Can’t Help It!

Books I’m Already Looking Forward To For Fall 2018!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
Releases October 8

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (C. S. Lewis)
Releases October 8

Kingdom of the Blind: An Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penney
Releases November 27

The Colors of All the Cattle: No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (#19) by Alexander McCall Smith
Releases November 6

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (author of The Book Thief)
Releases October 9

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 
Releases September 4



Sharing is Caring

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



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear about your summer TBR list!

Also, please share what you’ve been reading lately!



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

Spring TBR (& Winter Update)

March 20, 2018

Do you keep a TBR list?

books graphic

I’m an impulsive reader. Are you? First, I have FOMO when I hear others’ reviews of new releases. Also, my reading selections depend upon when my digital library holds come in, on current great Kindle deals, and, of course, on my book club’s selections. For me, though, making a list is a fluid experience.

I’m linking up today with That Reader Artsy Girl for Top Ten Tuesday. If you’re clicking over from there, welcome!





Spring TBR (in no particular order)





Great AloneThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
(author of The Nightingale)

I just recently read this! When you make your lists, do you also write something you’ve already accomplished on them so that you can check it off right away? I haven’t reviewed The Great Alone yet, so I guess it still counts as spring reading. I’ll be reviewing it on the blog soon. However, until then, you can check my brief Goodreads review….and readers must know that there are*** trigger warnings*** for domestic abuse.
By the way, are we friends on Goodreads?

Amazon Information Here



Force of Nature

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

This is the sequel to The Dry (brief review here), but I think it can be considered as a stand alone, too. It was on my winter TBR but it wasn’t released until February, so I’m bumping it to my spring list. The sad news is that I’m #33 on the digital hold list at the library. Diligently, I look for a good Kindle price every week.

Amazon Information Here



Us Against You

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

I’m eager to read this sequel to Beartown (brief review here); however, Us Against You doesn’t release until June, so I may need to bump it to my summer TBR! I’m on the library waiting list but until it’s released, I won’t know how far back I am on the list. Backman is one of my favorite newly discovered authors. Have you read any of his work?

Amazon Information Here



music shop

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

This was a BOTM (Book of the Month Selection) and it looks promising, especially for music lovers! I’m on a hold list at the library but it’s not yet available digitally, so until it is, I don’t know where I am on the wait list.

Amazon Information Here



Italian Bulldozer

My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

As a fan of #1 Ladies Detective Agency series, I’m curious about Smith’s recent work involving Italy + food + romance. It sounds light and delightful. I’m #1 on the library’s digital wait list!

Amazon Information Here



four seasons in rome

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

The only thing I needed to know about Four Seasons in Rome before it went on my TBR was that it’s by the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the beautifully written All the Light We Cannot See.
*Edited to add that I’ve removed this from my active TBR list and moved it to the-books-I-want-to-read-some-time shelf or until I travel to Rome.

Amazon Information Here



A Surprise Postal Book Club Selection

This seems like a good time to tell you about the Postal Book Club I joined! I signed up for this book club with 5 other women (whom I do not know) through Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club connections. Here’s how it works….6 participants scattered throughout the country each select a book and a small journal. First, each person reads their book and makes notes (including questions for other readers) in the journal. Then each person mails the book and journal to the next person on the list. That person will read the book and make notes in the journal and pass it on. There are 6 of us, so we mail our books every other month (we started at the end of January), and at year’s end we’ll have read all 6 books. ***Note: the person who coordinated this, set up our group based on our preferred genres which we had indicated to her when we signed up for the club. Book selections are supposed to be kept a surprise (which means that I don’t talk about the titles on social media or email participants about what’s coming). It’s fun to see what you’ll get. At the end of the year, I’ll receive my original book back along with notes in the journal from 5 other people. My next selection comes at the end of March and I’ll have 2 months to read it, make notes in the journal, and mail it to the next person. Doesn’t this sound like fun? If you love book mail, it’s easy to set up…all you need is a group of 5 other people. My group doesn’t know each other IRL, but you could set this up with your friends far and near! It’s a wonderful idea for friends or family who can’t get together for IRL book clubs I’ll give you an update (including titles of books we’ve read) in December! I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments.



84 charing cross road

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This title may hold the record for being on my TBR the longest. My main obstacle is that it’s not available to read digitally. I need to get myself down to the library to check out a physical copy.

Amazon Information Here



***edited to add…

room on rue Amelie

Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
(released 3/27)

Amazon Information Here





Winter TBR Update

For this update, I’ll list the books from my winter TBR list and give star ratings, links for the review or Amazon information, and  brief comments. I’m not including cover pics, but you can follow the link to my original post or to Amazon to find covers. (listed in order of my original list)






Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment:  A compelling and sad true crime retelling (U.S. Native American History).



Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment: Real life versus children’s stories;
biography + U.S. middle America history.
I recommend not listening to this on audio because the reader is less than ideal.



Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Bumping this from my winter to my spring TBR
Amazon Information Here



84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Bumping this from my winter to my Spring TBR.
I’ll need to get myself down to the actual physical library to borrow this because it’s not available digitally for Kindle or digitally from the library. I could listen on audio but that doesn’t provide me with my best reading experience.
Amazon Information Here



Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Completed: 4 Stars
Goodreads Review (not reviewed on blog)
Comment: Grandparents are important and seniors can find love, too! (There’s also a movie adaptation on Netflix with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda).



As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment: A memorable and unforgettable read.



Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment: A heartfelt YA story of the adoption triangle.



The Library At The Edge Of The World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Completed: 3 Stars
Goodreads Review (not reviewed on blog)
Comment: Others have enjoyed this character driven book…it just wasn’t the right book for me at the time (see review for more details).



Eden

Bumping from my winter to my spring TBR. I recently bought this for Kindle at a great price (sale no longer available) ….so look for a review soon….

Amazon Information Here



The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff

Completed: 4 Stars
I didn’t review this one.
Comments: A quick and easy histfic read and a page turner. (same author as Orphan’s Tale and an earlier work)

Amazon Information Here



Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Bumping from my winter to my spring TBR. Not released until June. I’m on the library waiting list, and in June if I have a long wait, I’ll probably purchase it to alleviate my FOMO stress. Backman is totally worth shelling out the bucks!

Amazon Information Here



…. That’s it ….

Completing 7 out of 11 from my winter list is not too bad (considering release dates, library wait lists, that I did a lot of other reading….and Prairie Fires and Killers of the Flower Moon were both dense and long reads).  Do you keep TBR lists?



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Looking Ahead

Friday 3/23, I’ll review We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

we were the lucky ones

Amazon Information Here

What are you reading this week?


Links I Love

DefinitelyRA: Thoughts After Seeing The Wrinkle Movie.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society coming to theaters April 20! 

If you loved The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak has a new book releasing in October:
Bridge of Clay



Extra: 

Author Panel + Brunch

If you live in Southern California near Corona, you might be interested in an Author Brunch at the Corona Public Library on Saturday morning, April 21. Authors are Susan Meissner, Laura Kamoie, and Michelle Gable. Here’s the flyer:

histfic author brunch



Sharing is Caring

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



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear all about what you are reading this week!

Do you keep a TBR list on your phone or in Goodreads?

What’s on your Spring TBR list?
Do we share any titles?
I’d love to know if you have some “must adds” for me!