10 Memorable Bookish Characters #TopTenTuesday #BooksAboutBooks

May 10, 2022

10 Memorable Bookish Characters

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Memorable Bookish Characters (white text in a coral text box over a background of wild poppies)

I’m linking up today with #TopTenTuesday: That Artsy Reader Girl: Bookish Characters.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

Memorable characters make books memorable!

I LOVE wonderful, memorable characters! And I especially love the opportunity to talk about bookish characters and share them! Books about books and books, bookshop and library settings, and bookish characters are my favorite subgenre.

If you are looking for a wonderful summer read, consider one of these titles!

In no particular order, here are 10 of my most memorable bookish characters…I love each one!

(Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.)

Cussy from The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Cussy is a pack-horse librarian in the mountains and hills of Kentucky and a determined, compassionate literacy advocate and difference-maker.

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


Mukesh from The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Mukesh discovers the joys of reading and makes an unexpected friend.

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books


Grace from The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

Grace falls in love with reading and meets the love of her life in a dusty old bookshop during WW11.

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


Madeleine from The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Madeleine finds a fresh beginning and new friends as the new owner of her beloved aunt’s bookshop.

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)


Emilia from How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Emilia returns to her seaside home to save her late father’s beloved bookshop.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (cover)


Dita from The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Real-life Dita Kraus is a daring and feisty teenager who bravely risks her life to bring literacy to the children of Auschwitz.

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonia Iturbe (cover)


Fikry from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Quirky and opinionated, Fikry is changed forever by an abandoned baby and a sales representative. 

 The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (cover)


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

Juliet and Dawsey and the book club members become found family. (epistolary)

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


Helene and Frank from 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This is actually a memoir revealing a true bookish (long-distance) friendship. (epistolary)

84, Charing Cross Road by Jelene Hanff (cover) Image: sepia toned picture of a London bookstore


Evie from The Jane Austen Society

A quiet young woman, Evie plays a crucial role in the preservation of Austen’s work and is a member of the first Jane Austen book club.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (cover) Image: five people (backs to camera) walk with arms linked


There are sooooo many more, but these are the first 10 that came to mind. If bookish characters could recommend books, they would certainly highly recommend each of these!



QOTD:

Who is one of your most memorable bookish characters?



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



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



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

 

The Book Woman’s Daughter [Book Review]

May 3, 2022

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson (cover) Image: an old pair of high top books sits on top of a stack of old hardback books

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction, Books About Books, Literacy, Appalachia, Kentucky, Librarians, Racism, Prejudice, Poverty

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

…a stubbborn mule, a best friend, and a pajama party…

Thanks #NetGalley @SourceBooks (Landmark) @Bookmarked for a complimentary eARC of #TheBookWomansDaughter by @KimMicheleRichardson upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Honey Mary Angeline Lovett is the daughter of the beloved pack horse librarian known as The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Honey faces discrimination as one of the “blue people” and is also fighting for her independence and emancipation because her parents have been imprisoned for breaking the law against mixed marriage. As Honey hides from the law and social services who seek to institulionalize her as a minor, she meets a few extraordinary women and follows in her mom’s footsteps to deliver books and the promise of literacy to the remote hollers of Appalachia.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

A Hundred Crickets Singing [Book Review]

April 27, 2022

A Hundred Crickets Singing by Cathy Gohlke

A Hundred Crickets Singing by Cathy Gohlke (cover) Image: a young woman shown from the waist up stands with her back to the camera and hands behind her back

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Slavery, Racism/Prejudice, Faith, Appalachia (rural North Carolina), WW11 and Civil War

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @TyndaleHouse for a complimentary copy of #AHundredCricketsSinging upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In split timelines (1861 and 1944) and through two wars (Civil War and WW11) we hear the stories of two young women who lived on the same plantation and same house in No Creek, North Carolina (Appalachia) as they face the hardships of war and encounter unrelenting racism and prejudice. It’s through Celia’s discovery of a hidden journal in 1944 that we hear Minnie’s story from the Civil War days and cheer for Celia as she attempts to right a wrong.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

10 Novels in Free Verse #NationalPoetryMonth #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge #LoveThatDog [Book Review]

April 22, 2022

10 Novels in Free Verse

Do You Have Novels in Free Verse on Your Bookshelf?

April is National Poetry Month: 10 Favorite MG and YA Novels in Free Verse (white text over a background of an open poetry book and a cup of coffee)

Today for the April #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge I’m focusing on Middle Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) Novels in Free Verse.

It’s National Poetry Month in April and I’ve featured three poems on the blog this month: The Lanyard, Refugee Blues, and The Rain Stick. However, my favorite form of poetry is a novel in free verse.

A Poet’s Glossary defines books in verse as “A novel in poetry. A hybrid form, the verse novel filters the devices of fiction through the medium of poetry.”

For today’s post I’m reviewing an old favorite (one that I used in my classroom), and I’m listing a few of my favorite novels in free verse.

You might notice that this list is comprised of Middle Grade and Young Adult titles (that all adults will enjoy). I think a novel in free verse appeals especially to reluctant MG and YA readers. They are usually quick reads and seem more personal and accessible. Some of these selections are more poetic than others.

Do you have a favorite novel in free verse?
Have you ever read a novel in free verse?

***Titles in this post are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.


Love That Dog by Sharon Creech [Review]

MG Contemporary Fiction. Heartfelt. A Boy and his dog. Teaching poetry.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech (cover) Image: a hand drawn dog on a yellow background

My Thoughts:

One book I used in my class when I taught fifth grade was Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.

I used this heartfelt story to introduce a poetry unit.

In the beginning of the story, Jack is convinced that he cannot write poetry. Boys don’t write poetry! With a bit of courage, his teacher’s gentle and persistent encouragement, and using models of wonderful poems, Jack discovers that he can write poetry….especially poetry when his beloved yellow dog, Sky, is the subject.

I love that the back of the book contains several selections of poetry from the teacher’s lessons (which are inferred and not presented). After the lesson, Jack attempts to write his own poetry by using the models. As a class, we flipped to the back of the book and read the model poem before we read Jack’s attempt so that we could notice how the famous poem had affected Jack’s writing process…I also gently and casually inserted elements of poetry for discussion. It was one of our favorite lessons!

As a bonus, it’s a wonderful text for teaching inference as we only hear the story from Jack’s POV and we need to infer the teacher’s part.

Throughout the story, Jack grows in his ability to write poetry and his final poem about Sky is emotional and memorable. I read this as a read aloud over several days (each student also had a copy of the book to follow along) and the entire class was in tears at the end (including me!).

For the full emotional experience, I honestly think that this book is best consumed as a read aloud (parent/child, teacher/class).

Can you tell this book makes my teacher heart happy?!

This is a sweet story that an adult can read in one sitting. If you’ve ever had a beloved dog as a child, have tissues handy!

If you’re a teacher, use this as an intro to poetry! You’re welcome.


Other Novels in Free Verse


Paper Hearts (YA) by Meg Wiviott

YA Historical Fiction. On my lifetime favorites list. Simply beautiful. Review is linked in title.

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (cover)

Inside Out and Back Again (MG) by Thanhha Lai

MG Historical Fiction. Refugee and Immigrant story. Brief review is linked in title…scroll down page.

Inside Out & Back Again y Thannha Lai (cover) ....a girl holding onto a tree trunk with one hand on a breezy day

Brown Girl Dreaming (MG) by Jaqueline Woodson

MG Nonfiction. Childhood Memoir. Diverse Read. Review is linked in title.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (cover)

Clap When You Land (YA) by Elizabeth Acevedo

YA Contemporary Fiction. Diverse Read. Review is linked in title.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (cover)

(more…)

Little Fires Everywhere [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 31, 2022

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
#throwbackthursday

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (cover) I/mage: birdseye view of a pristine upper class neighborhood

Genre/Categories: contemporary fiction, family life, mothers and children, complicated family drama, transracial adoption

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing a complicated family drama, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, strives to be a perfect planned community. In the words of the author, there is a “propensity to overachieve and a deep intolerance for flaws…a utopia.” Every winding road is thoughtfully laid out, the list of house colors is a strict guideline, trash pickup is conducted in the alleys and all trash cans are out of sight, and tradition is revered and informs the future. Generations of Elena Richardson’s family have lived in Shaker Heights, and she ensures that her family follows the rules and lives up to expectations. All through her life, she has followed the rules and this is wholeheartedly embraced as her highest value. Part of her personal code of following the rules is giving back to those that are less fortunate whenever she can, and she’s the type who keeps a mental list of her good deeds. Elena especially wants to use her inherited rental property near her home to benefit others. She earnestly seeks out renters that could gain from the advantage of living in her perfect neighborhood in Shaker Heights. Mia Warren, a free-spirited artistic non-rule follower, and her teenage daughter, Pearl, are the most recent beneficiaries of Mrs. Richardson’s benevolence. Although when Mia is less than grateful for Mrs. Richardson’s offer to buy one of Mia’s photographs, Elena Richardson makes a mental note and this slight continues to bother her and becomes a motivation for her future relationship with Mia. As the story unfolds, the two families become more involved with each other rather than simply remaining tenant and landlord. It becomes complicated.

A rule follower and a free spirit…

Continue here for my full review of Little Fires Everywhere..



QOTD:

Have you read Little Fires Everywhere or is it on your TBR?
Have you seen the mini series adaptation?

 

Ghost [Book Review] #MiddleGradeMarch

March 25, 2022

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Bonus: 10+ Favorite Middle Grade Reads!

(top view) picture of a middle grade child reading on a recliner covered with a reddiish knitted afghan

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds (cover) Black text on a yellow background....a young African American boy is running off the page

Genre/Categories: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Reads (African-American), Sports (Track and Field)

My Summary:

Castle Cranshaw, aka “Ghost,” loves to run. One day, he challenges an elite sprinter to a race and wins which gains the attention of a track and field coach. Believing Ghost has natural talent, coach invites him to join his track team. Although Ghost can run, he also has a lot of anger, is often in trouble at school, and has a complicated family life. Can he become part of the team or will his behavior choices hold him back?

Silver running shoes

My Thoughts:

(more…)

I Must Betray You [Book Review] #YoungAdult #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

March 18, 2022

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Are You Young at Heart?
Do You Have YA Fiction on Your Bookshelf?

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (cover) Image: in a muted blue toned picture, a person walks alone under turbulent skies toward a palace with a flag

Today for the March #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge I’m focusing on “Young Adult” fiction as I bring you a review of I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys.

Every year, I commit to reading a few YA fiction titles. One of my favorite YA histfic authors is Ruta Sepetys….and I’m proud to declare myself a Sepetys completist! You may be familiar with her back list: Salt to the Sea, Between Shades of Gray, The Fountains of Silence, and Out of the Easy.

Following today’s review, I’ll list a few of my favorite YA titles.

Do you have a favorite YA author or recomendation?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Genre/Categories/Setting: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Romania, Communism, Freedom

My Summary:

In 1989, Romania is ruled by dictator, Nicalae Ceausescu. Seventeen-year-old Cristian along with other citizens of Romania deal with intimidation, isolation, fear, repression, hunger, blackmail, informants, and having no voice. Cristian is forced into the impossible situation of betraying friends and family. He hears rumors of revolution and yearns to join it. But what can a young man do? How can he make a difference? How will he make his voice heard?

My Thoughts:

(more…)

Castle of Water [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 10, 2022

Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge
#throwbackthursday

Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge (kindle propped against a softly muted floral pillow shows cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Survival, Action/Adventure, Love Story, Uninhabited Island

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing a survival story, Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“And so it came to pass that two utterly disparate lives happened to overlap … bound together on an uninhabited island some 2,359 miles from Hawaii, 4,622 miles from Chile, and 533 miles from the nearest living soul.
Crap, as Barry liked to say.
Putain de merde, as Sophie was known to exclaim.”

Sophie, an architect and honeymooner, and Barry, disillusioned with his career in finance and seeking inspiration for his love of art end up on one very small island when their plane is hit by lightning and crashes in the middle of the South Pacific. Strangers and sole survivors and as different as night and day, Sophie and Barry wash up on a small uninhabited island and survival becomes their primary objective. Sophie and Barry draw from each other’s strengths and skills and through harrowing experiences, keep the hope of rescue alive.

 Themes of home, love, loss, sadness, perseverance, heartbreak, hope, resiliency, friendship, and desperation…

Continue here for my full review of Castle of Water…



QOTD:

Have you read Castle of Water or is it on your TBR?

 

10 Women Authors and Their Debuts #TopTenTuesday #WomensHistoryMonth #InternationalDayOfTheWoman

March 8, 2022

Women Authors and Their Debuts

Women's History Month: Debut Authors (Image: two women standing at the edge of a bluff looking out over the ocean)

Background Image: Canva

I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl but going rogue!

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

Do you have a favorite debut author?

Too many! Amirite?!

I’m going rogue today with Top Ten Tuesday because I want to acknowledge International Day of the Woman as part of Women’s History Month.

Publishing was a field for men. In publishing history, there was a time when women authors could not get published. Women were not allowed to sign their own contracts, did not receive equal pay, and were forced to write under pseudonyms. For International Day of the Woman, I’m focusing on modern women authors and their debuts as we celebrate those who fought hard for the right to be heard, sign their own contracts, and publish under their own name for equal pay.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Let’s celebrate women authors!
I’ve listed a few (recent) notable debuts in no particular order.

1

Fatima Farheen Mirza
Debut: A Place For Us

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)

…complicated family drama

2

Yaa Gyasi
Debut: Homegoing

 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi cover (yellow background with red and blue and black designs)

…multigeneraltional family saga

3

Angeline Boulley
Debut: The Firekeeper’s Daughter

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

indigenous people and the FBI

4

Anne Youngson
Meet Me at the Museum

…friendship and correspondence

 

5

Charmaine Wilkerson
Debut: Black Cake

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson (cover) Image: white text over a multicolored graphic shapes background

…complicated family drama

6

Abi Daré
Debut: The Girl With the Louding Voice

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

…finding your voice

7

Gail Honeyman
Debut: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

…survival

8

Emma Lord
Debut: Tweet Cute

Tween Cute by Emma Lord (cover) Image: graphic of two apartment buildings shows a teen in each on social media

…YA romcom

9

Anissa Gray
Debut: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

…complicated family drama

10

Jane Harper
Debut: The Dry

The Dry

…mystery and suspense

***Edited to add #11

(One of my favs! How could I forget?!)

Cara Wall
Debut: The Dearly Beloved

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

…friendship

 



QOTD:

Have you read and loved any of these debut authors?
Do you have a favorite debut author?



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



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



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

 

The Last Train to London [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

February 24, 2022

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton
#throwbackthursday

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton (cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Jewish, Nazi-Occupied Europe

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing one of my favorite inspirational historical fiction reads, The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Rescuing children, her life’s work…

The Last Train to London shares the story of real-life hero Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance who risked her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Europe. (She was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. )

The mission known as Kindertransport carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe. In addition to hearing about Tante Truus as she was known, the author imagines the lives of children such as Stephan (budding playwright), his younger brother. and Zofie-Helene (mathematics protegee).

Auntie Truus (headshot)Tante Truus: Image Source: Wikipedia

Courage isn’t the absence of fear, rather the going forward in the face of it…

Continue here for my full review of The Last Train to London…



QOTD:

Have you read The Last Train to London or is it on your TBR?