No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 4, 2021

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith
#throwbackthursday

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Angency (Image: boxed sets of books)

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Botswana, Gentle Mysteries, Amateur Sleuths, “UpLit”

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, and today I’m eager to share two reviews of a series on my lifetime favorites list, No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith….gentle, character-driven stories, Botswana culture.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of the Series:

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective (21 installment) series is a gentle, character-driven, charming, easy reading series filled with likable characters reflecting on life, drinking tea, embracing tradition, and investigating human nature in sunny Botswana, Africa. Mma Ramotswe, founder and owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, is a “traditionally built woman,” gentle, honest, inclusive, compassionate, full of common sense, thoughtful, gracious, and wise. In fact, she always chooses kindness and forgiveness as her response and never revenge. Idealistically, she believes that people are good and kind and want to enjoy themselves and take care of each other. She is a proponent of the old Botswana morality and the traditional ways (especially the old way of greeting others). The focus of her work at the Ladies’ Detective Agency is on righting small injustices. Important common themes appear throughout all the stories in the series, and they include compassion, kindness, graciousness, reflection, good manners, forgiveness, and inclusiveness. Readers also hear the author’s voice as he provides gentle commentary on universal issues. Alexander McCall Smith, born in Zimbabwe, does really well in what he sets out to do in these stories.

cup of tea

“Tea, thought Mma Ramotswe–no matter what was happening, no matter how difficult things became, there was always the tea break–that still moment, that unchangeable ritual, that survived everything, made normal the abnormal, renewed one’s ability to cope with whatever the world laid before one. Tea.”

There are 21 installments in the series! Are you looking for a gentle, cozy read?

I’d love to introduce you to gracious, wise, and wonderful Mma Ramotswe! How to Raise an Elephant is the most recent (#21) installment (not reviewed). Here are reviews of two of my recent favorites (If you haven’t read any of the series and want to try one, I’d suggest beginning with House of Unexpected Sisters):

Continue here for my full review of The House of Unexpected Sisters (my fav or the series)….

Continue here for my full review of The Colors of All the Cattle ….



QOTD:

Have you read No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series or is it on your TBR?

10 Books That Made Me Smile #TopTenTuesday

February 23, 2021

10 Books That Made Me Smile #TopTenTuesday

10 Books That Made Me Smile (image: a woman seated with her hand at her chin looking up and laughing)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book that made you smile?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud. (Except that I haven’t read any that actually made me laugh out loud, so I’m tweaking this for books that made me smile!)

It’s posts like these that cause me to realize that the majority of my reading is really intense! I do love Quirky Characters, so mostly quirky characters provide the levity in my reading life.

These are the first ten books that I came across in my Goodreads list that brought a smile to my face. While none are hilarious or laugh out loud funny, each one has some funny or heartwarming moments that make my reading heart light and happy. Obviously, my list is heavily quirky character-driven! (Looking at you Backman!)

See my similar post (with a few different titles) published on July 14, 2020.

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


How to Raise An Elephant, by Alexander McCall Smith

Kind, gracious, and wise Mma Precious Ramotswe and a cast of quirky supporting characters and the culture of Botswana bring many smiles to my face. This recent release of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency had one laugh out loud moment as the guys attempt to transport a baby elephant in Mma Ramotswe’s van. If you are looking for easy-reading, gentle, comfort reads with likable characters and uplifting themes, this series might be a good option.

How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith (cover) Image: a baby elephant and parent elephant walking with trunks linked


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Smart, snappy, and humorous writing with a likable and quirky character will bring a smile to your face. (skip Ch 5 if you are would rather not read crude humor)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill


Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

If you have children in your life, Backman’s essays on parenthood will bring a smile to your face. My review of Things My Son Needs to Know here.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (cover)


This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

Some snappy writing, a quirky character, and an enemies to lovers trope will bring a smile to your face. My review of This Won’t End Well here.

This Won't End Well (cover) ....a young woman peeking through some bushes

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Ladies of the House [Book Review]

February 10, 2021

Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson

Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson (cover) Image: a close up view of a 2 or 3 story house, a white blossomed tree in the foreground

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction, Family Drama, Sisters, Mothers/Daughters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you, #NetGalley #Harlequin for the complimentary e ARC of #LadiesOfTheHouse upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A modern Sense and Sensibility……

In a loose, contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, thirty-four-year-old Daisy finds herself embarrassed by a family scandal. Her Senator father died suddenly in the company of his young mistress and he has also left the family in financial ruin. Daisy, her mother, Cricket, and her sister, Wallis, work frantically to save the family reputation and put their upscale house up for sale while at the same time negotiate the land mines of their personality differences and conflicts and the unrelenting media attention.

My Thoughts:

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Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies [Book Review]

January 29, 2021

Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman

Miss Cecily's Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman (cover) Image: text on a white background with a few lemons....wide yellow margin around white text box

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Chick-Lit, Friendship, Cooking/Recipes/Food, Up-Lit, Quirky Characters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Forty-year-old Kate has just ended a relationship and, in an effort to fill her time, she volunteers at the Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. Kate conducts cooking classes for the ladies and meets ninety-seven-year-old Cecily who is caustic, critical, and contrary. Cecily gives Kate a 1950s cookbook to read which will end up changing Kate’s life in unexpected ways.

My Thoughts:

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The Dream Daughter [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

January 28, 2021

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
#throwbackthursday

the Dream Daughter Review

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Science Fiction (time travel), Historical Fiction, Mothers/Daughters, Adoption

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, and today I’m eager to share my review of the page-turning The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain.a story of courage, bravery, and determination.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Readers meet Hunter and Caroline in 1970 when Caroline is a physical therapist and Hunter is a rehab patient. Caroline and Hunter become friends and in time he marries her sister. In fact, Caroline moves in with them and their young son after her husband dies in Viet Nam. Not only is Caroline a young widow, she’s also pregnant. During a routine ultrasound, a problem is discovered with the baby’s heart. In 1970, the heart defect brings a dire prognosis for the baby. Because Hunter comes from the future, he creates an idea for saving the baby that will require all of Caroline’s courage, bravery, and determination.”

The Dream Daughter is a story filled with hope, love for family, and sacrifice.

Continue here for my full review of The Dream Daughter ….



QOTD:

Have you read The Dream Daughter or is it on your TBR?

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow [Book Review]

December 4, 2020

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland (cover) Image: a woman and her cat sit on a pink bench overlooking a country landscape edged with flowers

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Animal Rescue, Romance, Family Drama

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thank you #NetGalley #BoldWoodBooks @BoldWoodBooks for my complimentary copy of #NewArrivalsAtHedgehogHollow by Jessica Redland at my request. All opinions are my own.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is book #2 in the Hedgehog Hollow series. It can be read as a stand-alone but will be a richer reading experience if you’ve read Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow first.

Samantha is the founder and owner of the Hedgehog Hollow Rescue Center. Although she has the support of her boyfriend, Josh, and her father, Samantha is overwhelmed with hedgehog arrivals, working full time, vandalism, and family issues. Samantha and Josh work hard at figuring it all out and growing their new relationship.

hedgehog

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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The Story of Arthur Truluv [Book Review]

October 9, 2020

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (coveer) Image: an older man and young woman stand near a bus stop, the man holds a yellow umbrella over her head

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Uplit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

At first glance, Arthur shares certain things in common with Ove (A Man Called Ove): each is an older, mature character, each is a widower grieving the loss of a beloved wife, and each finds “family” in unexpected ways.

On one of Arthur’s routine trips to the cemetery to have lunch and conversation with his wife, he meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who hides in the cemetery to avoid school. She discovers that Arthur is a friendly, understanding, trustworthy, and positive person and gives dear Arthur the nickname “Truluv.” Arthur and Maddy develop a friendship and when Arthur’s nosy neighbor, Lucille, becomes involved, they discover the joys of “found family.”

My Thoughts:

Uplit: If you’re looking for an uplifting, heartfelt story of friendship, found family, second chances, unconditional love, and kindness, you’ll find it in The Story of Arthur Truluv. Amidst lockdown conditions (COVID-19), dire weather reports (hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico), inner city violence, or political battles (2020 Election), this might be your next soulful, escapist, feel-good read!

Arthur: Older but less curmudgeonly than Ove, Arthur will win your heart from page one with his gentlemanly and friendly ways and compassionate heart. What a difference kindness can make in this world! How many of us would show compassion for a teenager and take them into our home? We would all be fortunate to know an Arthur.

Themes: Thoughtful and poignant themes include grief, loneliness, friendship, second chances, unconditional love, hospitality, acceptance, found family, and good people.

Recommended: The Story of Arthur Truluv is highly recommended for readers looking for light, quick-reading uplit; for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett, and for book clubs.

Content Considerations: grieving the loss of a spouse

My Rating:  4 Stars

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

The Story of Authur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (cover) Image: a man holds a yellow umbrella over a young woman

The Story of Authur Truluv Information Here

Meet the Author, Elizabeth Berg

Author Elizabeth Berg

Elizabeth Berg won the NEBA Award for fiction for her body of work, and was a finalist for the ABBY for Talk Before Steep. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine. She has also taught a writing workshop at Radcliffe College. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.



QOTD:

Is The Story of Arthur Truluv on your TBR or have you read it?

Do you enjoy an occasional “uplit” read



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



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***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.

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The Book of CarolSue [Book Review]

August 24, 2020

The Book of CarolSue by Lynne Hugo

the Book of CarolSue by Lynne Hugo (cover) Image: an idyllic farm house surrounded by grass and trees and flowers

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Siblings

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks, #netgalley @kensingtonbooks for a complimentary e ARC of #TheBookofCarolSue  All opinions in this review are entirely my own.

CarolSue and her sister, Louisa, are in their 60s and are both widows. After CarolSue loses her husband suddenly and unexpectedly, Louisa swoops in with a master plan for CarolSue to move back to the farm and live with her. The sisters are very different people: CarolSue loves her life in Atlanta playing bridge and getting pedicures while Louisa loves canning vegetables and feeding her chickens on the farm. CarolSue has difficulty speaking up for herself and lets her sister make all the arrangements. A cast of colorful characters, an abandoned baby, a troubled reverend, and a young, desperate immigrant provide the complications.

My Thoughts:

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The Amish Newcomer [Book Review]

August 20, 2020

The Amish Newcomer by Patrice Lewis

The Amish Newcomer by Parice Lewis (cover) Image: a young womens kneels in a fielf to pick carrots and potatoes from a garden putting them in a brown wicker basket

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Amish/Mennonite, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks #netgalley @harlequinbooks for a complimentary e ARC of #theamishnewcomer upon my request. All opinions in this review are my own.

Because of dire circumstances, an English city girl finds herself living in an Amish community with an Amish family. A former television reporter whose career is suddenly jeopardized when she inadvertently witnesses a murder, Leah is living in witness protection without a phone (and its access to 24 hour news) and adjusting to a different culture. Even though Leah is an outsider and is lonely for her friends, routines, and lifestyle, she is warmly welcomed in the Amish community. As she begins to adapt and feel useful, she also develops a friendship and fondness for an Amish bachelor, Isaac.

My Thoughts:

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How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry [Book Reviews] #throwbackthursday

August 13, 2020

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
#throwbackthursday

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

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry, a book about books and light romance

How To Find Love in a Bookshopby Veronica Henry (cover) Image: a quaint blue bookshop storefront

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Light Romance, Books and Reading

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

A quaint English seaside village, a bookshop that needs saving, and light romance…

My Summary:

“Emilia returns to her idyllic Cotswold hometown fulfilling a promise to take care of her father’s independent bookstore, Nightingale Books, after his death. It’s clear that the bookshop is important to the community, and villagers who come into the shop have their own stories to tell. It’s evident that Emilia’s father was more than a bookseller to his customers; in addition to offering personal recommendations, he was a confidant and a greatly admired and respected friend.  Can Emilia save Nightingale Books?”

Continue here for my review of How to Find Love in a Bookshop

QOTD: Have you read How to Find Love in a Bookshop or is it on your TBR?