All I Want For Christmas is the Girl Next Door [Book Review]

October 27, 2021

All I Want For Christmas is the Girl Next Door by Chelsea Bobulski

All I Want For Christmas is the Girl Next Door by Chelsea Bobulski (cover) Image: white text on a red background.....a scene of snow and small homes at the bottom margin

Genre/Categories/Setting: Fiction, Contemporary Romance. YA, Christmas, Virginia

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @WiseWolfBooks for a complimentary eARC of #AllIWantForChristmasIsTheGirlNextDoor upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Sixteen-year-old Graham has been in love with Sarah, the girl next door, for several years. However, she’s been dating his best friend for the last two years. Graham makes a wish upon a star….all he wants for Christmas is Sarah. In the morning, Graham wakes to a new reality…..he is the one that has been dating Sarah for two years, not his best friend. As he spends more time with Sarah, he wonders whether or not they are right for each other. Further complicating the situation is that Graham is spending a lot of enjoyable time with the new girl in town.

My Thoughts:

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The Fountains of Silence [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 21, 2021

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
#throwbackthursday

The Fountains of Silence Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Post Spanish Civil War Spain, YA, Family, Love Story

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling historical fiction story from one of my favorite authors, The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In 1957, Madrid, Spain is under the control of the fascist dictator General Francisco Franco. While citizens endure harsh conditions of the dictatorship after the Spanish Civil War, tourists experience another version of life in Spain as they enjoy parties and wine at the Hilton Hotel. Eighteen-year-old Daniel is a hotel guest, a photographer, and the son of a Texas oil tycoon; his mother was born in Spain and Daniel is eager to visit her homeland. Ana works at the hotel as a maid. Daniel and Ana meet and fall in love. While Ana is simultaneously intrigued by American life and concerned for her family, Daniel sets his mind to capture the real Spain in photos and finds himself investigating the plight of stolen children. The circumstances surrounding their love story are difficult for them to navigate.”

Family…love…silence…secrets…

Continue here for my full review of The Fountains of Silence



QOTD:

Have you read The Fountains of Silence or is it on your TBR?

 

The Night of Many Endings [Book Review] #BlogTour

October 20, 2021

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne (cover) Image: white text over a background of shelved books

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Colorado, Drug Addiction, Public Library

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on the Let’s Talk Books Tour. Thanks #NetGalley #LetsTalkBooksPromo @LetsTalkBooksPromo @Getredprbooks @AmazonPublishing (Lake Union) for a complimentary eARC of #TheNightOfManyEndings by @MelissaPayne_writes upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Let's Talk Books (text plus a stack of three books inside a quote bubble

Nora Martinez is a kind and compassionate librarian in the small Colorado community of Silver Ridge. Nora has a heart for the homeless population and after work she can be found delivering blankets, coats, and food to those sleeping on city benches. She welcomes the homeless into the library to use the restroom, treats them compassionately, believes in second chances, and tries to learn their names.  Nora finds great comfort herself working in the library, and it becomes her home away from home. One reason she works tirelessly on behalf of the homeless is the concern she has for her brother who is living on the streets and is addicted to drugs. If she can’t help him, maybe she can help others. One night, a blizzard hits the small town and Nora and four others are stranded in the library overnight. As the storm rages outside, Nora and the patrons struggle to keep warm and to share their personal stories.

My Thoughts:

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The Things We Cannot Say [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 14, 2021

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
#throwbackthursday

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Poland, WW11, Love Story, Family Life

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a heartfelt and poignant story, The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“From the age of nine, Alina has been in love with her best friend Tomasz. At fifteen and engaged to Tomasz, Alina and her neighbors discount the rumors of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, and she spends her time dreaming of her wedding. Tomasz is in college in Warsaw when the Nazis occupy Poland. While Alina and Tomasz briefly lose touch, Alina and her family’s efforts are focused on survival. In the present-day timeline, Alina is in a convalescent home in the U. S. recovering from a stroke and convincing her granddaughter that she must make a trip to Poland in her place and visit certain sites. The granddaughter, Alice, is leading a stressful life with two special needs children and an unsatisfactory marriage, but she feels compelled to honor her grandmother’s request. In dual timelines, Alice visits her grandmother, makes plans to visit Poland, and actually makes the trip, while the WW11 timeline involving Alina and Tomasz progresses. Readers find out what eventually happens to Alina and Tomasz as Alice meets the Polish family and unravels Alina’s most closely guarded secrets.”

Engaging…memorable…page-turning…and emotional!

Continue here for my full review of The Things We Cannot Say…



QOTD:

Have you read The Things We Cannot Say or is it on your TBR?

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady [Book Review] #BlogTour

October 4, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragón

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon Mondragon (cover) a ball of yarn and two silver knitting needles

Genre/Categories: Christian Comtemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Friendship, Prayer, Ministry

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Out of your comfort zone and into the mall!

Thanks #NetGalley @KregelBooks and the I Read With Audra Blog Tour for a complimentary eARC of #TheUnlikelyYarnOfTheDragonLady upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry consists of four women (Controlling Margaret, Positive Rose, Hurting Jane, and Lonely Fran) who meet weekly in the lovely and quiet Prayer Chapel of their church to knit shawls for the prayer shawls ministry. When the pastor announces that the prayer chapel is being painted and they will need to find another place to sit and knit, he suggests they knit out in public somewhere like the local mall. Grumpy and difficult-to-love Margaret vehemently resists the idea of knitting in the mall with all its distractions. However, the others are open to the idea. After they get kicked out of the bookstore cafe (for never ordering anything), they find a satisfactory place to knit using the comfortable seating display in front of Macy’s department store. And, yes, there are distractions and encounters with the people they meet taking them out of their comfort zones in many ways.

My Thoughts:

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Crying in H Mart [Book Review]

October 1, 2021

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (cover) black and white text on a red backbround

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Korean-American, Grief, Mothers/Daughters, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Michelle Zauner shares about her Korean-American family, her childhood and young adult years, bonding over food, her relationship with her mother, and the grief of losing her mother to cancer.

My Thoughts:

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The Women of the Copper Country [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 30, 2021

The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
#throwbackthursday

The women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Biographical Historical Fiction, Michigan, Mining, Activism, Union

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling story of the labor movement, The Women of Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In July of 1913, twenty-five-year-cold Annie Clements has seen enough of the unfair working conditions in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan and decides it’s time to fight for a change. The men who work in the copper mines endure long hours, dangerous conditions, and low wages. Annie organizes and encourages the women to support a strike, but she also faces possible imprisonment, her husband’s anger, and personal threats. The Women of the Copper Country is a fictionalized account of the courageous efforts of women to organize a strike in the early history of the labor movement.”

“There’s no progress in the world if we all just keep our heads down and only do what’s good and proper in our tiny corner of it.”

“We plant the seeds of justice, and justice will rise out of this muck someday.”

Annie Clements is called “America’s Joan of Arc”

Continue here for my full review of The Women of the Copper Country…



QOTD:

Have you read The Women of the Copper Country or is it on your TBR?

 

The House Swap [Book Review]

September 24, 2021

The House Swap by Jo Lovett

The House Swap by Jo Lovett (cover) Image: white text on a salmon background...graphic images of a young man and woman above the title

Genre/Categories/Settings: Light Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance/Rom-Com, Luxury Flat in London/Beach House in Maine

My Summary:

Cassie needs to work with her agent in London for a few months and James needs a break from London and has work he can do in Boston. They meet on a house swapping website when each other’s home seems like the answer to their search. They are quite opposite in every way: personality, lifestyle, and attitudes. This deal leads to humorous communication and house swapping experiences. Do opposites attract?

My Thoughts:

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The Medallion [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 23, 2021

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
#throwbackthursday

The Medallion Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Jewish, Christian, Warsaw

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling and page-turning story of WW11, The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“1939 Warsaw is the setting for this harrowing, heartfelt, and inspirational WW11 tale of survival, courage, loss, hope, risk, and faith. Sophie works in the city library, and her husband, Janek, is deployed with the Polish Air Force. When the Germans invade Warsaw in 1939 and streets become a dangerous war zone, Sophie feels compelled to help friends and strangers. Rosa and Itzhak are pregnant with their first child when they seek shelter in the Jewish ghetto. When Itzhak leaves her to check on the safety of his family, Rosa faces the horrific possibility of sending their small child into hiding to save her life, but first Rosa cuts a medallion (the Jewish Tree of Life) in half and places half around her young daughter’s neck. She prays that this will be enough to reunite them after the war.

We follow the lives of these two memorable couples whose worlds are torn apart and, in post-war years, connected by a shared love for a young daughter.”

“When all seems lost, God can make a way forward.”

Continue here for my full review of The Medallion…



QOTD:

Have you read The Medalliion or is it on your TBR?

 

The Dearly Beloved [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 16, 2021

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
#throwbackthursday

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover) Image: white text over the graphic image of a tree with long reaching limbs....all against a blue background

Genre/Categories/Setting: Literary Fiction, Marriage, Friendship, Faith, 1960s Manhattan

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling drama of marriage, friendship, and faith, The Dearly Beloved: A Review. My best read of the year in 2019.

Recently, I reviewed Gilead and explained why I think it is literary fiction; The Dearly Beloved is another example of literary fiction.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Four very different individuals (two couples) navigate relationships, marriage, children, faith, career, ministry, crisis, joy, friendship, forgiveness, uncertainty, understanding, and heartbreak. The couples meet in the 1960s when the men, Charles and James, accept positions as co-pastors of the Third Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. The relationship between the couples is strained because the wives are polar opposites: Lily is a loner and an atheist and Nan values connection and is a devout Christian. In this tender character-driven story that covers decades of life, we also learn the backstory of each individual.”

One Favorite quote: “While she was away, they had been able to forget the accident. When she returned, they had been forced to pick up their rakes of grief and drag them along the ground.”

A thoughtful story of faith and doubt, hope and disappointment, friendship and marriage, career and family….

Continue here for 10 reasons why I loved The Dearly Beloved…



QOTD:

Have you read The Dearly Beloved or is it on your TBR?