Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday #NonficNov

November 18, 2021

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom
#throwbackthursday

Finding Chika Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Memoir, Haiti, Foster Guardianship, Found Family, Inspiration

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 poignant found family memoir, Finding Chika by Mitch Albom.

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 Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family, Mitch Albom, well-known author of Tuesdays With Morrie, shares his life-changing experience of caring for Chika, a young Haitian orphan. She was born a few days before the devastating 2010 earthquake into a poverty-stricken family. When her mother died after giving birth to her baby brother, Dad found placements for all their children. Chika was brought to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Mitch Albom operates in Port Au Prince. After five-year-old Chika was diagnosed with a medical condition that was untreatable in Haiti, the Alboms brought Chika to America to live with them while seeking medical intervention. Instead of returning to Haiti as planned, Chika and the Alboms become found family, and Mitch learns a great deal about caring for a special needs child, the definition of family, unconditional love, loss, and grief.”

“Families are like pieces of art. You can make them from almost anything. The only ingredient you need to make a family is unconditional love.”

“What we carry defines who we are. And the effort we make is our legacy.” ~Mitch Albom

Continue here for my full review of Finding Chika



QOTD:

Have you read Finding Chika or is it on your TBR?

 

Love and Lavender [Book Review] #BlogTour

November 2, 2021

Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack

Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack (cover) Image: a young woman in 1800s period dress stands alone in a field of lavender)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance/Love Story, Differently Abled, 1800s

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks Laurel Ann for the invitation to participate in the #BlogTour for #LoveAndLavender. Thank you #NetGalley @ShadowMountn @ProperRomance for a complimentary e-ARC of #LoveAndLavender upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Love and Lavender Blog Tour

My Summary:

Love and Lavender is a story of two people who face many challenges and obstacles and have limited choices. Hazel is independent and brilliant; however, she was born with a clubbed foot. As a child, her parents sent her away and now as a young woman, she has resigned herself to the unliklihood of marriage and has embraced a teaching career. Duncan is brilliant and has a neurodiverse mind. He is employed as an accountant and has carved out a predictable life for himself living alone with his beloved cat. The private school where Hazel teaches may be up for sale (which would jeopardize her job) and Duncan is unhappy with his employers and would love to own his own accounting firm. Neither of them have the finances to remedy their situations. Hazel and Duncan have the same uncle….one relationship is biological and the other is through guardianship. This uncle offers both Hazel and Duncan an inheritance with the condition that they must each be married. Duncan has the brilliant idea that they should marry each other which would technically fulfil the conditions, but the uncle is reluctant to be tricked into giving them their inheritances. After much convincing, the uncle agrees to their plan, but under the condition that they must live together for one year after the ceremony. This sets up a marriage of convenience. Will this arrangement lead to love and a true relationship? Or will they fullfil the agreement, gain their inheritance, and go their separate ways? Will they even survive the year?

a buncle of lavender

My Thoughts:

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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?

Gilead [Book Review] #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge

August 20, 2021

 Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (cover) Image: white text over the graphic image of a bluish tree)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Literary Fiction, Pulitzer Prize, Fathers and Sons, Family Life, Rural America and Small Towns

I’m linking up today with Deb @ Deb’s World and SueDonna, and Jo for the August installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge

Gilead has been on my virtual bookshelf for years! When I heard about this challenge, I thought this Pulitzer Prize book might be perfect to read! My husband and I both read and enjoyed Gilead, and it has earned a place on both of our lifetime favorites lists. We definitely want to continue with the next three books.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Pulitzer Prize 2005. New York Times Top-Ten Book of 2004. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Marilynne Robinson writes the quiet story of three generations of fathers and sons. faith, and rural life.

My Thoughts:

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12 Favorite Books: Happy #NationalBookLoversDay

August 9, 2021

National book Lovers Day: 12 Favorite Books (Image: blue text box and white text over a bunch of bright pink balloons)

Background Image Source: Canva

How are you celebrating National Book Lovers Day?

Are you grateful for books?

I think every day is Book Lover’s Day for me!

What would we do without our beloved books and reading?

I REALLY Loved These Twelve Books!

(which just scratch the surface of my lifetime favorites list!)

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

National Book Lover's Day, August 9 (image: a blue coffee mug sits on the spines of a line of books

What are you reading today?

I Love Reading

For National Book Lover’s Day I’m sharing twelve books I REALLY love, books that I could always reread, and books that are on my lifetime favorite’s list, and books that have received 5 star ratings. (in no special order):

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I love epistolary format and slow burn romance and quaint small villages by the sea.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society y Mary Ann Shaffer (cover) Image: black text on a postcard....a woman dressed in a red coat stands at a railing overlooking the ocean


Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

I love stories with themes of faith and friendship.

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover) Image: white text over an orange leafless tree with sprawling branches set against a bright blue background


The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

I love well-written histfic with memorable characters inspired by real life heroes.

a woman dressed in a rose dress stands with her back to the camera overlooking a balcony and a gold wall


A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

I love a multi-generational family story…and the father/son part at the end is heartbreaking and poignant and memorable.

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

I love a well-told, page-turning histfic about real life events.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

I love gently told histfic stories and books about books and slow burn romance.

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands near shelf lined books next to a window holding an open book


The Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

I love this beautifully told WW1 story of friendship and slow burn romance.

last christmas in paris


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I love books that live in my memory years later….I also loved the unique narrator in this WW11 histfic.

eThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak (coer) Image: a sepia tone picture of a hand pushing over a line of dominoes


We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

I love beautiful endings and this story with themes of music, faith, and family has a memorable and beautiful ending.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (cover)

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner

I love a mashup of genres and this story has a bit of everything I love: histfic (1906 San Francisco Earthquake), suspense/mystery, found family, women helping women, and a slow burn romance.

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


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I love this histfic story based on real life sisters with themes of friendship, women’s rights, and abolition of slavery.

The Intention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (cover) (white lettering over a goldish redish sky background) featuring a few small flying birds)


The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

I love this inspirational story promoting equal educational rights for girls around the world.

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)



Happy Reading Everyone!

QOTD:
How many of these titles have you read?
Do we share any favorites?
Are any of these titles on your favorites list?



I’m leaving you with a few of my favorite bookish images!

\image of a girl reading with one hand while pulling a wagon piled high with books

giphy

I’m always prepared with book recs! LOL

a young woman sitting on the kitchen floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book (I was going to lean the house, but then I realised...this book isn't going to read itself)

a drawing a young woman reading while sitting on a stack of books among many stacks of books (when I've had enough of reality, I just open a book)

 

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

August 5, 2021

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
#throwbackthursday

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (covere) Image: tight focus on a woman wearing a simple white dress and brown high top boots holding a book bumdle tied with string on her lap

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction, Book About Books, Racism, Prejudice, Poverty

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 an historical fiction that’s on my lifetime favorites list, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

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 the 1930s, nineteen-year-old Cussy Carter and her father live in the isolated woods of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. They are the last of the “blue people” of Kentucky and endure racism and prejudice because of the blue hue of their skin. They are considered “colored.” Dad risks his life and health working long hours in the coal mines and Cussy takes a government job with the historical Pack Horse Library Project. As a “librarian,” she travels across treacherous mountains and dangerous creeks on her mule, Junia, to deliver books and other reading materials to the mountain folk who have few resources. She does what she can to meet their most dire needs. Incidentally, she doesn’t cuss! (She’s named after a town in France.)

“Cussy (or Bluet as she is called by some) is everything I love in a fictional character! Determined. Compassionate. Smart. Brave. Resourceful. Fierce. A difference-maker. Merciful. Passionate about her work. A librarian. And most memorably, an Angel in disguise.”

Continue here for my full review of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek



QOTD:

Have you read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek or is it on your TBR?

Three Words For Goodbye [Book Review]

August 4, 2021

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (cover) Image: two young women reading promotional material and wearing hats stand against the railing of an ocean liner

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Sisters, (1937) Europe

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

In 1937, two sisters are sent to Europe by their beloved grandmother to deliver three letters. Complicating this mission is the fact that the sisters haven’t spoken to each other in years and have grown apart in many ways. Clara is the careful and dutiful one and is engaged to marry millionaire, Charles Hancock. Madeleine is more independent and free spirited and strives to be a journalist like her hero, Nellie Bly. Both sisters are devoted to their grandmother and are committed to fulfilling her dying wishes. Clara looks forward to embracing her love of art and visiting Europe’s art galleries while Madeleine envisions writing articles on the political unrest in Europe and submitting them to U.S. newspapers in an attempt to be published. The sisters traveling experiences on the Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and finally the Hindenburg provide the backdrop for many of their most dramatic and challenging moments. What will this trip mean for their relationship? Will they successfully deliver the letters and what secrets will they discover?

My Thoughts:

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Radar Girls [Book Review]

July 27, 2021

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman (cover) two young women sit on the wing of an old airplane

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Hawaii, Women’s Air Raid Defense, Friendship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on Harlequin Trade Publishing’s 2021 Summer Blog Tours for Historical Fiction. Thanks for the invitation Justine.

Harlequin Historical Fiction 2021 Blog Tour Banner (showing the covers of three books)

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

Inspired by real women of the Women’s Air Raid Defense (WARD) during WW11, Radar Girls is the story of new recruits and unsung heroes. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy, a gifted horse trainer, enlists in a top secret program that recruits women to replace men who have joined the war. Their high stakes assignment is to guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes over the Pacific Ocean. The young women face many challenges including forming a team, working in a male-dominated field, facing unequal treatment of women, and surviving a war.

Women's Air Raid Defense: five women from WW11 sit around a table looking at charts

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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Sparks Like Stars [Book Review]

June 2, 2021

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (cover) Image: gold and white text on a black background)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Afghanistan, Asian-American Literature

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Nadia Hashimi, the author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, tells the story of Sitara Zamani who lives a privileged life in Kabul Afghanistan in 1978. Sitara’s father works for the progressive president and the children from the two families play together. When Sitara is ten years old, the communists stage a coup and Sitara is the only survivor. She is smuggled out of the palace by a sympathetic guard and into the home of an American diplomat. Years later while working as a successful surgeon in America, Sitara (now known as Aryana) is confronted with her past which causes her to ask questions and awakens strong feelings of anger and revenge.

My Thoughts:

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Project Hail Mary [Book Review] #FathersDay

June 18, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Any Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut is tethered and floating in space near a gold and black object

Genre/Categories: Science Fiction, Space Mission, Friendship, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Middle School science teacher Ryland Grace finds himself on a desperate space mission to save planet Earth. He wakes up on a spaceship hooked up to tubes without a memory of how he got there or how the two people next to him died in their beds. Although he senses he knows them and realizes their importance, he can’t remember his own name or his purpose for being there. In dual timelines, we hear Ryland’s backstory (as he regains his memory) and experience the dangerous present reality. Ryland finds an unexpected ally in his quest to save Earth from extinction.

My Thoughts:

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