10 Books Set Near Water #TopTenTuesday

April 6, 2021

10 Books Set Near Water #TopTenTuesday

Books Set Near Water (white text over a background of a father walking with his young daughter in the surf)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book you read set near water?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Gladly Throw Into the Ocean. I had decided to skip this week’s topic, but then when I was reading other blogs today, I was inspired by What Cathy Read Next to SPIN it!

My reason for spinning the topic is 1) I don’t enjoy revisiting/promoting books that I haven’t enjoyed 2) I wouldn’t throw a book in the ocean or any water no matter how much I disliked it 3) What I dislike you might love and 4) I fear hurting an author’s feelings by calling her/him out on a dislike list.

So, ALL of these books set near water I enthusiastically recommend!

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Castle of Water by Duane Hucklebridge

Castaways meets Romance.

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge (cover)


Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Living off the grid.

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (cover) Image: a quiet lagoon


Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Reflections on sea shells and life.

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (cover) black text over a blue and pink background (a seashell above the title)


The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Historical Fiction.

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Spring 2021 TBR #TopTenTuesday

March 16, 2021

Spring Reading Season TBR (2021)

Spring Reading TBR

Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For spring, these are the ten books prioritized on my TBR Mountain. Three are carry overs from my Winter TBR.…for various reasons including distraction, too many ARCs, and availability from the library. Four are ARC (advanced reader copy) commitments. three are from my general TBR list.  They are a mix of genres, and I’m hoping for some winners here. Have you read any of these or is one on your TBR?

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 (in no particular order) are a priority on a much longer general TBR.

What is your most anticipated read this spring?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2021 To Be Read List.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)


Spring 2021 TBR


First three books are carry overs from my Winter TBR:

Narrow Boat Summer by Anne Youngson

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson (cover) Image: a small boat floats down a lazy river in the countryside

Genre: Women’s Fiction
(author of Meet Me at the Museum)

(more…)

10 Books That Made Me Smile #TopTenTuesday

February 23, 2021

10 Books That Made Me Smile #TopTenTuesday

10 Books That Made Me Smile (image: a woman seated with her hand at her chin looking up and laughing)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book that made you smile?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud. (Except that I haven’t read any that actually made me laugh out loud, so I’m tweaking this for books that made me smile!)

It’s posts like these that cause me to realize that the majority of my reading is really intense! I do love Quirky Characters, so mostly quirky characters provide the levity in my reading life.

These are the first ten books that I came across in my Goodreads list that brought a smile to my face. While none are hilarious or laugh out loud funny, each one has some funny or heartwarming moments that make my reading heart light and happy. Obviously, my list is heavily quirky character-driven! (Looking at you Backman!)

See my similar post (with a few different titles) published on July 14, 2020.

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


How to Raise An Elephant, by Alexander McCall Smith

Kind, gracious, and wise Mma Precious Ramotswe and a cast of quirky supporting characters and the culture of Botswana bring many smiles to my face. This recent release of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency had one laugh out loud moment as the guys attempt to transport a baby elephant in Mma Ramotswe’s van. If you are looking for easy-reading, gentle, comfort reads with likable characters and uplifting themes, this series might be a good option.

How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith (cover) Image: a baby elephant and parent elephant walking with trunks linked


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Smart, snappy, and humorous writing with a likable and quirky character will bring a smile to your face. (skip Ch 5 if you are would rather not read crude humor)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill


Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

If you have children in your life, Backman’s essays on parenthood will bring a smile to your face. My review of Things My Son Needs to Know here.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (cover)


This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

Some snappy writing, a quirky character, and an enemies to lovers trope will bring a smile to your face. My review of This Won’t End Well here.

This Won't End Well (cover) ....a young woman peeking through some bushes

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New-To-Me Authors in 2020 #TopTenTuesday

January 26, 2021

New-To-Me Authors in 2020

New-To-Me Authors in 2020 (image: an open laptop, a cup of coffee, and a potted plant with pink flowers)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors in 2020.

Most of these are not debut authors, but they are authors I have read for the first time in 2020.

1.

William Kent Kreuger

Kreuger is the author of the popular and well-loved Cork O’Connor mystery series (I have not read any books in this series). In 2020 I read This Tender Land. After I read it, many readers commented and asked whether I had read Ordinary Grace. I had not, so I read that, too. I think I liked it even more than This Tender Land. Have you read any of Kreuger’s work? If not, I suggest starting with Ordinary Grace.

2.

Meg Waite Clayton

In 2020, I read my first Meg Waite Clayton book, The Last Train to London. It was one of my favorite reads of the year, so I would be thrilled to read more work by this author! Have you read it?

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite CLayton (cover)

3.

Jenny Lecoate

In 2020, I read an ARC of The Girl From the Channel Islands by debut novelist Jenny Lecoate (review coming 2.2.2021). I enjoyed it, and I look forward to her next book.

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

4.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is a popular author, but I’ve never read her books. In 2020, I suffered from pandemic brain and craved lighter reads. When I came across reviews for Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, I knew I should give it a try. Soon after that, I requested an ARC of her next book, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow. Redland offers thoughtful themes in the chick-lit/”uplit”/romance genres. I’m eager to read the next in the Hedgehog Hollow series this year.

5.

Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts is a prolific author of light women’s fiction (romance, chick-lit), but I’ve never read one of her books (I didn’t realize she has written so many!). Still suffering from pandemic brain (as noted above), I craved lighter reads. I came across a review for #4 in her Moonlight Harbor series, Beachside Beginnings. After I read it, I knew I wanted to read #1-#3 in the series, too. I’m looking forward to continuing the series now that I know the characters. Because she writes in the romance genre I don’t typically read, I don’t think I’ll read her backlist. However, some predictable, HEA, chick-lit is appealing to me during the pandemic.

Welcome to Moonlight Harbor by Sheila Roberts (image: wooden steps lead down to a beach)

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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!

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[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.
***UPDATE: Yes! I received an arc! Great story….possibly Meissner’s best. My review of Fragile Things here.

(more…)

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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