[Reblog] Most Memorable Reads of 2020 #TopTenTuesday

December 29, 2020

2020 Memorable Reads:
The Top Ten List and The Categories

Most Memorable Reads of 2020 (Image: a colorful banner, confetti, and colorful baloons)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Read in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday (winter) graphic

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

I mostly love the angst of creating top ten lists! Although it can be a daunting task, it’s my most anticipated post of the year! First, let me remind you that this list is subjective. It’s compiled of books I’ve read this year (there are always so many more great ones that I didn’t get to), and each one has made it onto this list because reading it was a memorable, emotional experience and gave me a “book hangover.”

I’m presenting my list this year in two formats: in list form and in categories. The categories part is a bit more comprehensive because I provided some runners up. Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links. Although most titles in this post were published this year, a couple were not.

Thanks for sharing great reads with me this year!

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Top Ten Memorable Fiction Reads of 2020

(see categories below for runners up and additional selections)

1

 The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

2

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

3

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

4

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

5

 The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

6

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

7

 Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

8

 The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

9

 The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

10

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Most Memorable Nonfiction

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9-11 by Garrett M. Graff

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

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah



* * * * * BONUS *****

(more…)

Most Memorable Reads of 2020 #TopTenTuesday

December 29, 2020

2020 Memorable Reads:
The Top Ten List and The Categories

Most Memorable Reads of 2020 (Image: a colorful banner, confetti, and colorful baloons)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Read in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday (winter) graphic

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

I mostly love the angst of creating top ten lists! Although it can be a daunting task, it’s my most anticipated post of the year! First, let me remind you that this list is subjective. It’s compiled of books I’ve read this year (there are always so many more great ones that I didn’t get to), and each one has made it onto this list because reading it was a memorable, emotional experience and gave me a “book hangover.”

I’m presenting my list this year in two formats: in list form and in categories. The categories part is a bit more comprehensive because I provided some runners up. Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links. Although most titles in this post were published this year, a couple were not.

Thanks for sharing great reads with me this year!

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Top Ten Memorable Fiction Reads of 2020

(see categories below for runners up and additional selections)

1

 The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

2

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

3

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

4

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

5

 The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

6

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

7

 Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

8

 The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

9

 The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

10

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Most Memorable Nonfiction

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9-11 by Garrett M. Graff

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

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah



* * * * * BONUS *****

(more…)

Winter 2020 TBR #TopTenTuesday

December 15, 2020

Winter Reading Season TBR (2020-2021) #TopTenTuesday

Winter TBR 2020/2021 (image: a small flocked tree with a burlap wrapped pot sits on a white hardback book

Image Source: Esther Hanten on Unsplash

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

As usual, most of the titles on my TBR are a result of the wonderful recommendations I receive from fellow bloggers or new books by favorite authors!

I never plan more than ten titles for my quarterly TBR lists because I need to leave time for mood reading and review commitments. These ten books are a priority on a much longer general TBR.

What is your most anticipated read this winter?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Winter To Read List.

Top Ten Tuesday (winter) graphic


Winter 2020-2021 TBR


The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner (Pub Date: February 2, 2021)

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

 A new book from favorite author, Susan Meissner. I’m still waiting to see if I might receive an ARC.

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Gift Ideas: Everyone Gets a Book! #TopTenTuesday

December 8, 2020

Give a Book as a Holiday Gift!

10 Categories

Book Ideas for Gift Giving (Christmas coffee cup and Christmas tree and lights image)

Background Image Source: Canva; Center Image Source:  Andreea Radu on Unsplash 

TTT That Arsy Reader Girl ChristmasI’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for a December Freebie. I decided to dedicate my Top Ten Tuesday Freebie to books you might give as GIFTS! And….ahem.. even though there are TEN categories, there are a few more than ten gift ideas! (You’ve been warned!)

pulling a shelf of library books

“When someone asks me for a book recommendation!”

My favorite gift to buy is a book! How about you?

As you plan your holiday gift giving, you might be looking for book recommendations. Check out my TEN categories and a few of my FAVORITE suggestions (and Bonus picks) below!

Some of these are fairly new releases while others are a few years older. All titles are Amazon affiliate links. Many of these books have been reviewed on the blog and my available reviews are linked.

Books Men Might Enjoy

(I’ve also read most of these!)

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9-11 by Garrett M. Graff (nonfiction, first person accounts of 9-11). My review of Only Plane here.

Bonus Picks:

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (nonfiction) by Isabel Wilkerson (and her previous book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration…narrative nonfiction).

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (NF, memoir). My review of Born a Crime here.

The River by Peter Heller (wilderness survival, thriller) My review of The River here.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  (narrative nonfiction)

(all by Ron Chernow) Grant; Washington: A Life; or Alexander Hamilton; or Grant (narrative nonfiction biographies) My husband highly recommends these.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (social justice.) My review of Just Mercy here.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (histfic, western, movie in theaters December, 2020) My brief review of News of the World in this post.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (sports, hockey, intense issues, competition, community, family) My brief review of Beartown in this post.


 Women Might Enjoy (heavier fiction)

(my husband has enjoyed a few of these!)

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré (Nigeria, education, racism). My review of Girl here.

Hamnet by Maggie O-Farrel (histfic, Shakespheare). My review of Hamnet here.

Bonus Picks:

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasai (complicated family drama, mental health, adiction). My review of Transcendent Kingdom here.

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (diversity, Iran, histfic) My review. of Stationery Shop

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (family dynamics, *on my lifetime favs list*) My review of Place For Us.

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (marriage and family, *on my lifetime favs list*) My review of Dearly Beloved.

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (histfic, diversity, South African post Apartheid, sibling relationships, found family). My review of Make God Laugh here.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (contemporary fiction, against the odds, *trigger: child abandonment) My review of Crawdads here.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain (science fiction, time travel, *trigger: high risk birth, adoption) My review of Dream Daughter here.

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (adoption) My review of Secret Daughter here.


Women’s Lighter Fiction

The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons (character driven, older characters) My review of Eudora Honeysett here.

Bonus Picks:

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. (older characters, found family) My review of Arthur Truluv here.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary. (fun women’s fiction) My review of The Switch here.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry ( beach read, romance, chick lit) My review of Find Love here.

(more…)

Thankful For Family Themes in Literature #toptentuesday

November 24, 2020

Thankful For Family Themes in Literature

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving Freebie.

TTT 10 Books With Family Themes (Image: a father and mother sit on the ground and hold their small daughter on their shoulders)

Image Source: Canva

Families

This year during the Pandemic, most of us have appreciated our families more than ever. We’ve missed visiting them; we’ve missed family celebrations and milestones; we’ve been isolated at home with them; we’ve probably participated in or observed “drive by” parties; and some have lost loved ones during this year.

For this week’s TTT Thanksgiving prompt, my thoughts turn to how thankful I am for family…birth families…found families…blended families…adopted families…extended family…challenging or complicated families…all the families. This post is a collection of stories that focus on family and all its complexities.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.



10 Books With Family Themes



We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

(Throughout this WW11 historical fiction novel, the family is an important underlying theme; I especially love the poignant ending in this story!)
My 5 star review of We Were the Lucky Ones here.

we were the lucky ones


A Place For Us by Fatima Faheen Mirza

(A complicated, multi-generational family drama…on my lifetime favs list)
My 5+ star review of A Place For Us here.

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penney

(Family themes run deep in this latest installment of the Inspector Gamache series)
My 5 star review of All the Devils Are Here here.

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (cover) Image: text over a background of a darkened Eiffel Tower against a swirly painted sky


The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

(Family loyalty in this heart-wrenching, histfic Vietnamese story is compelling)
My review of The Mountains Sing here.

The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai (cover) Image: white text over a mountaineous background


Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

(A DNA discovery complicates relationships in this close family)
My review of Inheritance here.

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro (cover) Image: white text over a baby's christening dress


Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (YA)

(A complicated and poignant story of discovered family)
My review of Clap when You Land here.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (cover)


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

(The compelling story of a family troubled by addiction and mental illness)
My 5 star review of Transcendent Kingdom here.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (cover) Image: gold text on light pink (top half) and black (bottom half) background


The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

(A heartfelt story of found family)
My review of The Story of Arthur Truluv here.

The Story of Authur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (cover) Image: a man holds a yellow umbrella over a young woman


More to the Story by Hena Khan (MG)

(A modern retelling of Little Women from a Pakistani-American perspective…perfect mother/daughter read aloud with your middle-grade reader)
My Goodreads review of More to the Story here.

More to the Story by Hena Khan (cover) four girls lying on their backs forming a circle on the floor with their heads nearly touching


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (MG)

(A lighthearted, fun, and heartfelt family story….perfect for a read aloud with middle grade readers)

Vanderbeekers



….and so many more!

QOTD!

Do you love a book with family themes?

Do you have a rec to add to this list?



ICYMI:

My Year in NonFiction #nonficnov 2020

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Pairings #nonficnov 2020

Play the Expert: Memoirs and Biographies #nonficnov 2020

Adding Nonfiction Titles To My TBR #nonficnov 2020



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

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

The book covers are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Book Titles and Songs #toptentuesday

November 10, 2020

Book Titles and Songs

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Book and Song Titles.

TTT: Book Titles and Songs (Image: a tall stack of books on a blue painted wooden table)

Do you like music?

I’m spinning this week’s TTT prompt a bit to highlight six books that have music as a theme, one title that reminds me of a song, and three book titles that would make great song titles.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.



6 Books With Music Themes



The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Frank is dedicated to preserving vinyl and owns a music shop in a run-down London neighborhood. His special gift is recommending just the right record or song for each customer. There’s a playlist, too!  My full review of The Music Shop here.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

As we follow Frankie through his life, we also hear about many music legends. Yes, there’s a playlist! My full review of Frankie Presto here.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

As the men are called to action in WW11, the ladies of Chilbury resurrect the choir. My full review of Chilbury Ladies’ Choir here.

Musical Chairs byAmy Poeppel

Women’s fiction, complicated family drama, and a string trio. My Goodreads review of Musical Chairs here.

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

A string quartet and four friendships. My review of The Ensemble in this post.

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh

How Dolly’s songs tie to Feminism and how they resonated with women of a certain generation and socioeconomic status. My review of She Come By It Natural here.

(more…)

10 Mildly Suspenseful Books #toptentuesday

October 27, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Mildly Suspenseful Books

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie.

Are you a HSP (highly sensitive person) like me? Or do you like the scariest and most thrilling reads?

Does the thought of reading scary books cause anxiety?

I have a bookish confession: I’m an October Outlier. I don’t read books that fall into the horror, true crime, crime fiction, paranormal, or thriller categories or are too scary or spooky. I’m highly susceptible to nightmares. So…..this makes a typical Halloween post rather tricky! If you share my preferences and would rather have recommendations for “slightly suspenseful,” I think you might like today’s list!

I have discovered that I can tolerate a bit of suspense! However, I won’t promise you that I haven’t peeked at the last page to be sure my favorite characters are still alive!

Here’s my list of books that I have enjoyed that have a bit of suspense but are not too scary! I should also note that none of these books have a Halloween theme or setting.

Is there a certain type of book that you enjoy reading in the fall?

pumpkins

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links. (more…)

Fall 2020 TBR #toptentuesday

September 22, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall 2020 TBR

#TopTenTuesday Fall TBR (Image: white text over a background of colorful fall leaves)

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall 2020 TBR.

What is your most anticipated fall read?

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 spooky reads or thrillers?” Many readers have differing opinions of what comprises a fall read: some want spooky, some look for atmospheric, some seek out thrillers, while others like to tackle large tomes or serious content during the fall when they are spending more time sitting by the fire. It’s my opinion that any book you read in the fall is a fall read. For my fall reads, I look for the types of books I look for all year: memorable, thought-provoking, and unputdownable. So the answer to the question is NO….no thrillers or spooky reads because I just prefer not to read them.

The following two highly anticipated books were on my initial fall TBR list and then FOMO gripped me and I read them in early September! Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. I highly recommend both of these 5 Star reads for your fall TBR.

Keep in mind that I’m not yet recommending the books on my fall TBR list…..check back often, though, because I will provide updates and links to reviews as I read them. For now, these are the reads that are on my fall 2020 reading radar.

I finished my Summer TBR just yesterday!

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

Fall 2020 TBR

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Books For My Younger Middle-Grade Self #toptentuesday

September 8, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books For My Younger Middle-Grade Self

TTT: 10 Books For My Younger Self (background image: a young girl sits on a curb reading a book)

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Books For My Younger Self

Is there a book you’ve read that you know you would have enjoyed when you were younger?

As an adult, I love Middle-Grade books, and I wish that the following ten middle-grade titles had been available for my younger self! (I could list more, but these came first to mind.)

What Middle-Grade books have you read that you know your younger self would have enjoyed?

a picture of my old (antique) copy of The Bobbsey Twins at School by Laura Lee HopeOne of the book series I enjoyed when I was younger was The Bobbsey Twins. This is an old copy I acquired. While some youngsters like stories about animals, adventure, or fantasy, I remember loving stories about family. Even today, I love a wonderful multi-generational family drama like A Place For Us.

I certainly wish there was more diversity available in reading material for my younger middle-grade self!

 

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

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Reblog: Summer’s One #MustReadBook 2020 #toptentuesday

July 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

Today I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie. For this week’s top ten list I’m reblogging a recent post in which twelve bloggers recommend their ONE recommendation for the summer. I know this is more than ten, but I think you’ll enjoy the bonus picks! I hope you find a great read!

(Originally published, July 17, 2020)

Find Your One “Must Read” Book of Summer 2020!

Are you pondering what book to choose for your vacation or staycation?

Are you in limbo trying to decide what ONE great book to read this summer?

Do you ever wish someone would just TELL you what book to read?

Are you looking for a list of trusted book review bloggers?

Do you spend more time thinking about which book to pack for your vacation than packing the clothes? (oh…just me?)

If you only have time to read ONE more book before summer’s end, what would you choose?

beach reads cartoon

I love the social distancing!

This is the time of year when readers look for “beach reads.” This term is puzzling to me because I think any book you read at the beach or the pool is a beach or pool read (similar to any body at the beach is a beach body!). Furthermore, “beach read” means different things to different readers: some want easy reading/light/fluffy, some want escapist, some want romcom, some want thrillers/suspense/mystery, while others are looking for heavier or longer reads that they might have more time for in the summer. During the summer, I look for the same types of reads I look for all year long: something substantial, engaging, memorable, unputdownable, and thought-provoking. What is your ideal beach or pool read?

Reviewers Recommend:

Some things bring joy to a blogger’s heart and this post is definitely at the top of the list!

I am thrilled to publish this post today! I contacted twelve experienced reviewers from a variety of geographical locations to ask them what they would recommend as their ONE “Not-to-be-Missed” Summer 2020 Recommendation. Today, I’m exceptionally excited to introduce you to twelve bloggers who chose ONE recommendation for YOU (listed in alphabetical order by blogger’s first name). Please take a look at their recommendation, check out their blog, and give them a follow!

I think you’ll enjoy the following “recent releases” recommendations that include some diversity and represent a mix of genres that will appeal to a variety of tastes (from nonfiction to historical fiction to books about literary characters to anti-racism to contemporary fiction to chick-lit to romcom to self-help to literary fiction to romance to science fiction to fantasy to “own voices”).

We hope at least one matches YOUR reading taste!

i love books

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links and full review links have been included.

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