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?

 

September 2021 Reading Wrap Up

September 29, 2021

September 2021 Reading Wrap Up

September Reading Wrap Up (collage of covers)

How was your September reading?

September was an OK reading month for me. One long book affected my total book count (average month is 8-10). Why can’t these long books be worth three?!
Out of seven books, I had one 5-star reads (if I round the 4.5 up), three 4-star reads, three 3-star reads (and no 2 or 1 star reads or DNFs for the win!).
I’ve now read 86 books towards my year end goal of 100. Do you set a year-end goal?

My favorite reads of the month are Cloud Cuckoo Land (for its ambitious, creative, and complex story telling) and The Day the World Came to Town (for its memorable and inspirational content).


Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links or my linked reviews
.
ARC=Advanced Readers Copy (complimentary copy for review)


Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

4.5 Stars (can easily be rounded up to 5). (ARC) Historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary fiction, myth mashup. Ambitious and complex storytelling. My review of Cloud Cuckoo Land here.


The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede (cover) Image: a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) stand with their back to the camera watching a jetliner land

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede

4 Stars. Narrative nonfiction. Inspirational and poignant. Review coming in November.


Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith (cover) Image: a bblack and white image of a young man and woman sitting on steps reading books

Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith

4 Stars. Historical fiction. Inspiring optimism. My favorite Smith is still A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Not reviewed.


Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies (cover) Image: a woman stands with her back to the camera in a field with trees and a house on a hill in the distance

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical fiction. Compelling story of three sisters living and surviving during WW11. Review coming on November 16.


The House Swap by Jo Lovett

3.5 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary women’s fiction, rom-com. Quick, easy, and enjoyable. My review of House Swap here.


The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny (cover) Image: a darkened pine tree with burst of colors radiating outward from behind it

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

3 Stars. Detective, mystery, police procedural, crime fiction. #17 in the Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series. A good story but I’ve enjoyed others in the series more. Great cover though! My review of Madness of Crowds here.


Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (cover) Image: black and white text on a rd background

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

3 Stars. Nonfiction, memoir. Mother/daughter relationship and cancer content is too sad for me. Ended up skimming. Not reviewed.



QOTD:

What was your favorite September read?
Did we read any of the same books?
Which of these books is on your TBR?



ICYMI:

September Blog Posts:

Ten Books that Live Up To Their Hype
Cloud Cuckoo Land
The House Swap
The Medallion
Top 5 Stand Alone Books of Summer 2021
Fall 2021 TBR
Do Hype, Book Buzz, and High Expectations Affect Your Readng Experience?
The Dearly Beloved
The Madness of Crowds
The Only Plane in the Sky
Other Words For Home
If you Want to Make God Laugh
10 Books to Put a Smile On Your Face
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
The Vanished Bride
Bloomsbury Girls Cover Reveal



Happy 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



Let’s Get Social!

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 covers are credited to Amazon.

© http://www.ReadingLadies.com

 

Ten Books That Live Up To Their Hype #toptentuesday

September 28, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books That Live Up To Their Hype

10 Books That Live Up to Their Hype (white text on blue background over a background pictures of pink balloons against a blue sky)

Background Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

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

Hype. Does it affect your reading?

My name is Carol, and I suffer from FOMO!

As a consequence, I often read books that are highly hyped. Sometimes this works out OK and other times….well….it leads to disappointment. I wrote this post about Buzz, Hype, and High Expectations here.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a freebie so I thought I’d revisit a topic I missed: Books That Live Up To Their Hype. All the books on this list I read because of the HYPE. They all lived up to their hype in my opinion. There are so many books I’ve read because of hype that I had to create a runners up list after I reached ten. So this post contains twenty recommendations! (and I could keep going!)

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

Ten Books That Live Up To Their Hype

(in no particular order)

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Cloud Cuckoo Land [Book Review]

September 27, 2021

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (cover)

Genre/Categories/Settings: Myth/Historical Fiction/Science Fiction/Contemporary/Literary Fiction mashup, Books About Books, Libraries/Librarians, Constantinople, Idaho, Spaceship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

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

Some books are daunting to summarize and review. This is one. I apologize for the longer than usual summary.

Cloud Cuckoo Land is four stories in one. The stories involve three different time periods and genres and one myth (a story within the stories).

One story is set in the 1400s in Constantinople. There are two main characters. One is a poor thirteen-year-old orphan girl who lives and works with other women who embroider the robes of priests. Anna is curious and exhibits an insatiable desire to learn to read. She discovers the ancient manuscript of the story of Aethon who wants to be turned into a bird. The other main character is Omeir, a village boy who lives outside the walls of Constantinople. He has a cleft palate and is an oxen whisperer. One day he is forced to join an invading army and sets out with the soldiers toward Constantinople. His path will cross with Anna’s.

Another story is set five hundred years later in a library in Idaho. In this contemporary story, Zeno is eighty something and volunteers at the library and right now he’s helping children rehearse for a play adaptation of the ancient story of Aethon. He will cross paths with a troubled teenager, Seymour, who has planted a bomb in the library shelves as a statement about the environment and the endangerment of Owls.

The third story is set in the future and is about young Konstance who is on a spaceship called the Aros. Her favorite story is one her father has told and retold about Atheon.

The fourth story is a myth about Aethon and his fascination with the city in the clouds and his quest to be turned into a bird.

The @PulitzerPrizes author of Cloud Cuckoo Land hops between the stories and time periods with great finesse and frequency.

My Thoughts:

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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?

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Stand Alone Books of Summer 2021 [Book Reviews]

September 21, 2021

Top 5 Stand-Alone Books of Summer 2021

Top 5 Stand Alone Reads of Summer 2021 (white text on a salmon color background on top of a field of wild flowers)

Background Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I’m linking up today with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads for Top 5 Tuesday. This week I’m narrowing the prompt of Top 5 Stand-Alone Books to Top 5 Stand-Alone Books of Summer 2021.

Top 5 Books Read in June, July, and August

1.

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (cover) Image: two young women holding promotional materials and wearing hats stand next to a railing on an ocean liner

Best Historical Fiction; Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

2.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut floats in space tethered to a gold and black object

Best Science Fiction/Audio Book: Project Hail Mary (AUDIO) by Andy Weir

3.

The Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (cover) Image: the profiles of two native american young People (man and woman) in cultural dress

Best Diverse Read: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (YA/NA)

4.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (cover) Image:

Best Literary Fiction: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

5.

the Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) Image: a young woman dressed in a red blouse and a white apron holds a recipe book close to her chest

Best Women’s Fiction/Histfic: The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan



QOTD:

Have you read any of my Top 5 of Summer?
What is one of your Top 5 Reads of Summer?



Happy 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



Let’s Get Social!

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

© ReadingLadies.com

Fall 2021 TBR #toptentuesday

September 21, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall 2021 TBR

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

Background Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall 2021 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 nonfiction 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’m too susceptible to nighmares.

The following two highly anticipated books were on my initial fall TBR list and then FOMO gripped me and I read them in summer! Project Hail Mary (AUDIO)) by Andy Weir and Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. 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 official 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 2021 reading radar.

I finished my Summer TBR just last week!

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

Fall 2021 TBR

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