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:

(more…)

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?

Other Words For Home [Book Review]

September 10, 2021

Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga

Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga (cover) Image: the profile of a young Syrian girl in a head scarf

Genre/Categories/Setting: Middle Grade+, Contemporary Fiction, Syria (and U.S.), Refugee, Coming of Age, Novel in Free Verse, Diverse Reads

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Because of instability in Syria, Jude and her mother leave her father and older brother to live with relatives in America (Cincinnati). Even though Jude has learned some English, she is unprepared for life in an American family, starting school in the U.S,. and her new label as “Middle Eastern.” Jude makes the best of some difficult situations and is suprised to make a new friend. Ultimately, she summons all her bravery and tries out for the school musical.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

Yours Cheerfully [Book Review]

August 10, 2021

Yours Cheerfully by A J Pearce

Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce (cover) Image: 2 women sit on a bench reading a newspaper with a London cityscape in the background

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Women’s Fiction, London

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

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

In this follow up to Dear Mrs. Bird, Emmeline Lake continues her journalism career as an advice columnist for Woman’s Friend magazine. Emmy’s best friend, Bunty, is reovering from her injuries and the loss of her fiance, and Emmy’s boyfriend is now stationed back in the U.K. The focus and intensity of this story changes as the Ministry of Information asks women’s magazines to help recruit female workers to the war effort. Emmy is thrilled to do her part, but then she is confronted with the very real challenges that women war workers face and takes a stand to support her new friends.

My Thoughts:

Even though Yours Cheerfully can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading Dear Mrs. Bird first for a richer reading experience. Dear Mrs Bird centers around the London Blitz and its affect on Londoners (bombings are a part of the story) and follows Emmy as she begins her journalism career, Yours Cheerfully focuses on the war effort from the perspective of women left behind and on Emmy’s activism. Yours Cheerfully is very much a “day in the life” type of story.

Do you ever create categories in your mind just for your own benefit? Just me?! In my own mind I think of Dear Mrs. Bird as light histfic and Yours Cheerfully as cozy histfic if that makes sense! What I’m trying to communicate is that I see a different degree of war intensity between the two books, but they are both upbeat and charming in tone.

Main Character: I admire Emmeline as the protagonist. I like a series that follows one character (as opposed to other series that rotate the protagonist of each story). We notice Emmeline’s growth as a competent and confident columnist, observe as she’s challenged by the unfairness of women’s work conditions, and cheer for her actions and involvement. Although Emmy has a fiance, the romance is not a main focus of the story.

Thoughtful themes include women supporting women, women and the War effort, women’s working conditions and equal wages, friendship, influence of news media on current issues, making a difference, and wartime romance.

Recommended: I’m warmly recommending Yours Cheerfully (and Dear Mrs. Bird) for readers looking for light, inspirational, and heartwarming WW11 historical fiction (closed door romance, no profanity, no graphic violence), for fans of fiesty and independent female protagonists, and for book clubs. I think I enjoyed Yours Cheerfully a bit more than Dear Mrs. Bird but that could be because I’ve become familiar with the characters, the setting, and the author. I’m definitely looking forward to more books in the Emmy Lake series!

My Rating:  3.5 (rounded to 4) Stars

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

Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce (cover) Image: 2 young women sit on a low wall reading one newspaper

Yours Cheerfully Information Here

Meet the Author, A.J. Pearce

Author A.J. PearceAJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire, England. She studied at the University of Sussex and Northwestern University. A chance discovery of a 1939 women’s magazine became the inspiration for her international bestseller, Dear Mrs. Bird, the first novel in The Emmy Lake Chronicles series. She lives in the south of England.

 

 



QOTD:

Is Yours Cheerfully on your TBR or have you read it?



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

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:

(more…)

The River [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

July 8, 2021

The River by Peter Heller
#throwbackthursday

The River by Peter Heller (cover) Image: white text over an abstract swirl of red leaf shapes

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Wilderness Survival/Thriller, Friendship

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 review of an atmospheric wilderness survival thriller, The River by Peter Heller.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The River is a story of wilderness survival and friendship with a generous side of suspense/thriller. Wynn and Jack are college friends who enjoy the mountains, reading, and fishing, but they get more than they bargained for in this wilderness canoe trip. Instead of days filled with fishing and reading and nights of stargazing, they attempt a rescue as they face starvation, a forest fire, and a dangerous stranger.”

 An atmospheric wilderness thriller…..

Continue here for my full review of The River …



QOTD:

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

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife [Book Review]

June 29, 2021

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett (cover) Image: a young woman stands on a bluff holding a bouquet of flowers and overlooking a small coastal village

Genre/Categories/Setting: Light contemporary women’s fiction, Romance, Small town/Cornish coast, Midwifery, Up-lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

#2 in the Cornish Midwives series. The highly anticipated wedding of Anna and Brae needs to be postponed due to a fire at the venue. However, close friends and community pull together to save the wedding.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Island of Sea Women #ThrowBackThursday

June 24, 2021

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
#throwbackthursday

Island of Sea Women Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, South Korea, Women’s Roles

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 review of compelling and informative women’s historical fiction, The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

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 Island of Sea Women, See imagines the story of Mi-ja and Young-sook. As the story begins, we are introduced to these two young girls living on the Korean Island of Jeju. Although the girls are best friends, they come from very different backgrounds. As the girls mature, they begin working in the sea with other women in the village as part of the diving collective (the haenyo). Even though diving is dangerous, the girls are eager to be allowed to join the women of the sea as they learn the trade and follow in the tradition of the other women in the village who are the sole providers for their families. In this matriarchal culture, the men stay home, cook, and assume primary care for the children. Women take on the responsibility of providing an income from selling the bounty of their diving expeditions. It’s women who worry about the livelihood of their families and village, assume great physical risks, and take responsibility for knowing the best locations and times/conditions to dive. The sea women dive when they are pregnant and sometimes give birth on the boat as part of their workday if necessary. The story begins in the 1930s and continues through WW11, the Korean War, and the modern technology boom. Over the decades, circumstances put the girls’ friendship under great strain and the story encompasses their entire lives. It’s a story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession.”

 A story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession…

Continue here for my full review of The Island of Sea Women …



QOTD:

Have you read The Island of Sea Women or is it on your TBR?

The Kitchen Front [Book Review]

June 22, 2021

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) A woman dressed in a red bouse and white apron holds a cookbook to her chest

Genre/Categories: Light historical fiction (WW11), Cooking, Friendship, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

A cooking competition meets WW11. Facing bombings, food shortages, and rationing, morale is low among the housewives of Britain. The BBC launches a cooking contest for a show called Kitchen Front. Although the first prize is a coveted chance to be the first female co-host of the show, four very different women discover a more valuable prize to be gained: friendship.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

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:

(more…)