Promises to Keep [Book Review]

April 30, 2021

Promises to Keep by Nan Rossiter

Promises to Keep by Nan Rossiter (cover) Image: a man, woman, and dog sit on a pier overlooking a lake

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction, Family Life, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @HarperPerennial for a complimentary eARC of #PromisesToKeep upon my request. All opinions are my own. Promises to Keep is a sequel to Promises of the Heart in the Savannah Skies series. It can be read as a stand-alone (although it’s always a richer reading experience to have read the first in the series).

Set in the South (Georgia), this story finds thirty-something Maeve working in a private nursing home and enjoying a relationship with her handsome boyfriend, Gage, who works construction and adores his dog, Gus. Complications arise when they realize that they’ve been keeping secrets from each other about their past. Can they save their relationship?

My Thoughts:

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Lost, Found, and Forever [Book Review]

 March 19, 2021

Lost, Found, and Forever by Victoria Schade

Lost, Found, & Forever by Victoria Schade (cover) Image: a cute white dog with gray markings peeks around a corner

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads @BeritTalksBooks @ThePHDivaBooks for a commplimentary e arc of #LostFoundAndForever upon my request. All opinions are my own. Pub Date: 3.30.2021.

Finders, Keepers?

In addition to romance, we have a custody battle over a beloved rescue dog, Spencer. Justine is Spencer’s current owner, and she loves to train him and he’s also her loyal companion at her dog supply store in upstate New York. Spencer loves performing tricks and has landed a role as a dog actor. On day, Justine comes across a social media post that pleads for the return of a dog that sounds suspiciously like her beloved Spencer. Justine contacts the guy, Griffin, and agrees to meet up with him at a park in Brooklyn. Griffin has the paperwork to prove he’s the original owner but Justine refuses to let Spencer go without a fight. What would you do?

My Thoughts:

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Meet Me at the Museum [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 18, 2021

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
#throwbackthursday

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson (cover) Image: text in a wood frame...2 raspberries peek into a corner; frame sits on a plain seafoam green background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Epistolary, Friendship, England, Denmark, Archeology

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I look forward to sharing my review of a reflective story, Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson, in which strangers become friends.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

What is the chance that a letter to a stranger will lead to a deep friendship?

“Told in epistolary format, the story in Meet Me at the Museum unfolds from alternating viewpoints as we meet the two main characters through their letters. Tina is a hard-working, loyal, and duty bound English farmer’s wife, mother, and grandmother, and she is also grieving the recent loss of her best friend, Bella. In thinking of the past, she remembers the promise that she and Bella made to each other to visit the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark to see the mummified Tolland Man from the Iron Age. Life intervened and now Tina is in her 60s and her friend is gone. She is inspired to write to Professor Glob, author of The Bog People, who mentions school children in the dedication of his book (our fictional Tina is one of the school children). Tina isn’t aware that Glob has died, so quiet, kind, and introspective Anders, curator of the Denmark museum, writes back to Tina. Tina and Anders begin a thoughtful and heartfelt correspondence. Anders is grieving the recent loss of his wife and through letters, Anders and Tina share intimate details of their lives with each other and express thoughts that they have difficulty sharing with anyone else. As they discuss archeology, the Tolland Man, their philosophies of life, grief, and their families, they develop an endearing and unique friendship that could possibly lead to more.”

Letter writing: “holding onto the softness and elegance” of the old ways.”

Continue here for my full review of Meet Me at the Museum ….



QOTD:

Have you read Meet Me at the Museum or is it on your TBR?

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 4, 2021

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith
#throwbackthursday

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Angency (Image: boxed sets of books)

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Botswana, Gentle Mysteries, Amateur Sleuths, “UpLit”

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share two reviews of a series on my lifetime favorites list, No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith….gentle, character-driven stories, Botswana culture.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of the Series:

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective (21 installment) series is a gentle, character-driven, charming, easy reading series filled with likable characters reflecting on life, drinking tea, embracing tradition, and investigating human nature in sunny Botswana, Africa. Mma Ramotswe, founder and owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, is a “traditionally built woman,” gentle, honest, inclusive, compassionate, full of common sense, thoughtful, gracious, and wise. In fact, she always chooses kindness and forgiveness as her response and never revenge. Idealistically, she believes that people are good and kind and want to enjoy themselves and take care of each other. She is a proponent of the old Botswana morality and the traditional ways (especially the old way of greeting others). The focus of her work at the Ladies’ Detective Agency is on righting small injustices. Important common themes appear throughout all the stories in the series, and they include compassion, kindness, graciousness, reflection, good manners, forgiveness, and inclusiveness. Readers also hear the author’s voice as he provides gentle commentary on universal issues. Alexander McCall Smith, born in Zimbabwe, does really well in what he sets out to do in these stories.

cup of tea

“Tea, thought Mma Ramotswe–no matter what was happening, no matter how difficult things became, there was always the tea break–that still moment, that unchangeable ritual, that survived everything, made normal the abnormal, renewed one’s ability to cope with whatever the world laid before one. Tea.”

There are 21 installments in the series! Are you looking for a gentle, cozy read?

I’d love to introduce you to gracious, wise, and wonderful Mma Ramotswe! How to Raise an Elephant is the most recent (#21) installment (not reviewed). Here are reviews of two of my recent favorites (If you haven’t read any of the series and want to try one, I’d suggest beginning with House of Unexpected Sisters):

Continue here for my full review of The House of Unexpected Sisters (my fav or the series)….

Continue here for my full review of The Colors of All the Cattle ….



QOTD:

Have you read No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series or is it on your TBR?

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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Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies [Book Review]

January 29, 2021

Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman

Miss Cecily's Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman (cover) Image: text on a white background with a few lemons....wide yellow margin around white text box

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Chick-Lit, Friendship, Cooking/Recipes/Food, Up-Lit, Quirky Characters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Forty-year-old Kate has just ended a relationship and, in an effort to fill her time, she volunteers at the Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. Kate conducts cooking classes for the ladies and meets ninety-seven-year-old Cecily who is caustic, critical, and contrary. Cecily gives Kate a 1950s cookbook to read which will end up changing Kate’s life in unexpected ways.

My Thoughts:

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The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home [Book Review]

January 15, 2021

The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell

The Great Escape From Woodland Nursing Home by Joanna Nell (cover) Image: text on white background....images of a tree, a barking dog, a bench, and a large bird flying from the tree above text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Humor, Friendship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Hattie Bloom is eighty-nine and she prefers birds to people and loves living alone in her small (although decrepit) home surrounded by her trees, plants, and feathered friends. Hattie is especially worried about an owl nest in a tree that the neighbors want to cut down. While climbing the tree, Hattie falls and ends up in a nursing home for rehab. She doesn’t adjust well to her new environment and entertains ideas of escape. Harold is another resident of the home that also dreams of escape. Hattie and Harold meet at the Night Owls social hour organized by a beloved nurse who desires to provide services for the residents who have a difficult time sleeping at night. Hattie and Howard join forces in unsuspecting ways.

My Thoughts:

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In a Holidaze [Book Review]

January 12, 2021

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren (cover) text and a string of Christmas lights on a green background

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Two families gather to spend a few days at a cabin in Utah, an annual and much anticipated Christmas tradition. The children in the families have grown up together and are close friends. Mae is in her twenties and has just moved home to live with her parents after a breakup. The vacation is coming to an end and she is driving home in her parent’s car and feeling miserable about her dead-end job, the fact that the cabin might be sold in the near future (thus losing a beloved family tradition), and her unrealized secret crush on a young man in the other family. She leans her head against the car window wishing for happiness and BAM! Their family car is broadsided by a truck. When she wakes up, she is in an airplane on her way to the cabin as if the accident never happened. Although this is unnerving, it will give her a chance to undo some things she regrets and to have another chance with her true love. The horrible part is that this loop repeats a few times and each time she relives those vacation days in the cabin. Mae is concerned with how she will manage to exit this strange time-loop and how it will affect the progress she has made in her new relationship.

My Thoughts:

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The Story of Arthur Truluv [Book Review]

October 9, 2020

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (coveer) Image: an older man and young woman stand near a bus stop, the man holds a yellow umbrella over her head

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Uplit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

At first glance, Arthur shares certain things in common with Ove (A Man Called Ove): each is an older, mature character, each is a widower grieving the loss of a beloved wife, and each finds “family” in unexpected ways.

On one of Arthur’s routine trips to the cemetery to have lunch and conversation with his wife, he meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who hides in the cemetery to avoid school. She discovers that Arthur is a friendly, understanding, trustworthy, and positive person and gives dear Arthur the nickname “Truluv.” Arthur and Maddy develop a friendship and when Arthur’s nosy neighbor, Lucille, becomes involved, they discover the joys of “found family.”

My Thoughts:

Uplit: If you’re looking for an uplifting, heartfelt story of friendship, found family, second chances, unconditional love, and kindness, you’ll find it in The Story of Arthur Truluv. Amidst lockdown conditions (COVID-19), dire weather reports (hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico), inner city violence, or political battles (2020 Election), this might be your next soulful, escapist, feel-good read!

Arthur: Older but less curmudgeonly than Ove, Arthur will win your heart from page one with his gentlemanly and friendly ways and compassionate heart. What a difference kindness can make in this world! How many of us would show compassion for a teenager and take them into our home? We would all be fortunate to know an Arthur.

Themes: Thoughtful and poignant themes include grief, loneliness, friendship, second chances, unconditional love, hospitality, acceptance, found family, and good people.

Recommended: The Story of Arthur Truluv is highly recommended for readers looking for light, quick-reading uplit; for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett, and for book clubs.

Content Considerations: grieving the loss of a spouse

My Rating:  4 Stars

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

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

The Story of Authur Truluv Information Here

Meet the Author, Elizabeth Berg

Author Elizabeth Berg

Elizabeth Berg won the NEBA Award for fiction for her body of work, and was a finalist for the ABBY for Talk Before Steep. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine. She has also taught a writing workshop at Radcliffe College. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.



QOTD:

Is The Story of Arthur Truluv on your TBR or have you read it?

Do you enjoy an occasional “uplit” read



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



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

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

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The Amish Newcomer [Book Review]

August 20, 2020

The Amish Newcomer by Patrice Lewis

The Amish Newcomer by Parice Lewis (cover) Image: a young womens kneels in a fielf to pick carrots and potatoes from a garden putting them in a brown wicker basket

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Amish/Mennonite, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks #netgalley @harlequinbooks for a complimentary e ARC of #theamishnewcomer upon my request. All opinions in this review are my own.

Because of dire circumstances, an English city girl finds herself living in an Amish community with an Amish family. A former television reporter whose career is suddenly jeopardized when she inadvertently witnesses a murder, Leah is living in witness protection without a phone (and its access to 24 hour news) and adjusting to a different culture. Even though Leah is an outsider and is lonely for her friends, routines, and lifestyle, she is warmly welcomed in the Amish community. As she begins to adapt and feel useful, she also develops a friendship and fondness for an Amish bachelor, Isaac.

My Thoughts:

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