Very Sincerely Yours [Book Review]

June 11, 2021

 Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey (cover) a graphic image of a young man and young soman sitting on either side of a large red typewriter

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Friendship, Chick-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #VerySincerelyYours upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A new release from the author of Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey. Thirty-something Teddy Phillips works at a vintage toy store. She has just been unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend and her guilty pleasures are Taco Bell takeout, Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffle scented candles, couch pillows, and watching a children’s (muppet) TV show hosted by Everett St. James, a hot and irresistible Mr. Rogers. Everett often reads letters from children who write to him with questions, so one day Teddy decides to email  Everett with her own questions. Everett is charmed by her emails and Teddy appreciates his sensible and wise advice. They develop a lovely online friendship, and Everett suggests they meet. Before they can arrange it, their worlds accidentally collide (meet-cute gone wrong). Of course only one of them knows the truth. As this story is inspired by You’ve Got Mail, we can predict that their identities will be fully revealed and then they will need to navigate a new IRL relationship.

Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffles scented 3 wick candle

My Thoughts:

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The Invisible Husband of Frick Island [Book Review]

May 18, 2021

Are you looking for an engaging and lighthearted summer read?

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) coral and blue text.....random blue waves wrap around the text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Quirky Characters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

On a tiny remote (fictional) island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, Piper Parrish is grieving the loss of her husband in the most unusual of ways. She appears to think he’s invisible and goes about her daily routine of walking to the docks to meet him and Friday night dinner dates. The townsfolk love her so much that they go along with it and understand that people grieve in many ways. One day, Anders, a young ambitious journalist, comes to town and stumbles upon this story. Anders befriends Piper and spends more and more time with her. Even though he’s a “Come Here” and not a “From Here,” he makes some friends and begins to enjoy the small community…..until everyone finds out about the secret he’s been keeping.

My Thoughts:

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Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

May 14, 2021

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing text over a photo background of a woman reading next to water

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Is Summer the Super Bowl of Your Reading Life?

Do you read more in the summer?

Do you have a preferred genre for summer reading?

Do you have a favorite reading season?

Do you like to read

By the Pool?

At the beach?

On your porch swing?

Snuggled on a cozy couch?

Hunkered down in the AC?

On a park bench?

Gif: Summer Reading is here! a large cat holds a book with a shining sun over its shoulder

When my children were young, I could only read late at night (and paid for it the next day). When I was earning my degrees, I didn’t read for pleasure at all. When I taught, summer was definitely my reading season. During the school year, I was preoccupied with lesson plans and grading papers and I was afraid to start a book because I’d get lost in the book and neglect my other responsibilities.

Now that I’m retired, I read every day….I read late at night….I read in bed in the morning. Summer is no longer my main reading season because every day is summer for me now!

An online book club I’m a member of puts out a Summer Reading Guide and it’s a big deal as members seriously plan their summer reading. (a shout out to MMD book club members who are reading this!)

Do you plan your summer reading? Do you consider summer your main reading season or are you more of a winter reader? Or do you read evenly all year and perhaps a bit more on vacation? Or maybe you only read while on vacation?

If you’re a summer reader, what type of books do you like to read in the summer? Do you continue reading your preferred genres or are you looking for something different for summer? Do you pack more books than clothes for a summer vacation? Oh, just me?!

beach reads cartoon

In the summer I continue reading what I usually read for the most part. However, I think that when I take a book to the pool or beach, I like to take a lighter read. That way if I’m interrupted by children or conversation or people watching, I’m able to look up and easily take a break. In other words I probably wouldn’t grab my next intense and heavy histfic. I’m looking for light (but thoughtful) women’s fiction, light memoirs, or essay collections.

With the qualification that ANY book you read at the beach is a BEACH read, here are 20 LIGHTER titles that I’ve read and would recommend for beach (or vacation or backyard) reading this summer. I hope some of these newer and older titles might appeal to you (titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links):

I could go on! I hope you found an idea here!

Happy Summer Reading Book Friends!

smiling stick figure girl holding an open book (caption: Summer Reading)



QOTD:

Is Summer a big reading season for you?



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



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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.

© ReadingLadies.com

People We Meet On Vacation [Book Review]

May 11, 2021

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (cover) Image: graphic of a man and woman relaxing on chaise lounges against an orange background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, RomCom, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #PeopleWeMeetOnVacation upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex? Would you take an annual vacation with this best friend? Would you include spouses in the relationship?

Thirty something and opposite in almost every way, Poppy and Alex have been best friends since college when they shared a ride home from college for summer break. They decided then that they should vacation together every summer. Even though they don’t live in the same town, this annual vacation has been a tradition and a highlight of the last decade. Until the year that something happened and now they have missed their vacation for two years. Poppy is miserable without her best friend fix and realizes that these times with Alex have been her happiest memories, so she decides to plan a vacation this year to fix what’s broken between them. He agrees to the vacation but Poppy is desperate and nervous that they won’t be able to restore their friendship.

My Thoughts:

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Sunset On Moonlight Beach [Book Review]

April 27, 2021

Sunset on Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts

Sunset On Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts (cover) Image: two red striiped canvas beach chairs  sit ion the sand facing the beach....a side table with 2 glasses of champagne between them

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Family Drama, Small Town Community, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

small-town community…romance…family…grief

Thanks to #Netgalley @HarlequinBooks for a complimentary eARC of #SunsetOnMoonlightBeach upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Sunset on Moonlight Beach is #5 in the Moonlight Harbor series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. As we catch up on familiar characters, the focus in this story is on Jenna, her career as owner of Driftwood Inn. a tragic event in their family, and finally choosing between two men.

My Thoughts:

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The Beautiful Strangers [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

April 15, 2021

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio
#throwbackthursday

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio (cover) Image: a beautiful girl in a green one piece swimming suit lies on the sand under a colorful umbrella

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, San Diego, Romance

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 The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

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 legendary Hotel Del Coronado off the coast of San Diego, California is the picturesque and glamorous setting for this story of a ghost, movie stars, mystery, chasing a dream, and romance.

Hotel Del Coronado

Picture of the Hotel Del Coronado from their website

In 1958, Kate Morton, a teenager living in San Francisco, seizes her chance to escape from the demands of working in her family’s struggling restaurant to impulsively travel alone to Coronado in response to her ailing grandfather’s plea to find “the beautiful stranger” and to also search for a job at the hotel which will enable her to dream of a new life. A few surprises await her: the true identity of the beautiful stranger, a family mystery, celebrity encounters, and romance.

Continue here for my full review of The Beautiful Strangers ….



QOTD:

Have you read The Beautiful Strangers or is it on your TBR?

The Windsor Knot [Book Review]

April 2, 2021

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett (cover) yellow text on a blue background...a small sihlouette of the Queen's head above the text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Royal Family, British

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Her Majesty the Queen Investigates…”

The Windsor Knot is the first book in a cozy crime series in which Queen Elizabeth secretly solves crimes. In this story, a young Russian pianist appears to have committed suicide during a “dine and sleep” event at Windsor Castle. MI5 suspects foul play. Frustrated with their investigation, Queen Elizabeth with the help of her competent British Nigerian assistant private secretary begins to make discrete inquiries. The Queen is an excellent observer, an insightful problem solver, and a good judge of character. Soon, she has gathered critical information to tip off one of the investigators. No one suspects that it’s actually the Queen herself who has found the critical evidence and solved the mystery.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (Image Source: Wikipedia)

My Thoughts:

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Lost, Found, and Forever [Book Review]

 March 19, 2021

Lost, Found, and Forever by Victoria Schade

Lost, Found, & Forever by Victoria Schade (cover) Image: a cute white dog with gray markings peeks around a corner

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads @BeritTalksBooks @ThePHDivaBooks for a commplimentary e arc of #LostFoundAndForever upon my request. All opinions are my own. Pub Date: 3.30.2021.

Finders, Keepers?

In addition to romance, we have a custody battle over a beloved rescue dog, Spencer. Justine is Spencer’s current owner, and she loves to train him and he’s also her loyal companion at her dog supply store in upstate New York. Spencer loves performing tricks and has landed a role as a dog actor. On day, Justine comes across a social media post that pleads for the return of a dog that sounds suspiciously like her beloved Spencer. Justine contacts the guy, Griffin, and agrees to meet up with him at a park in Brooklyn. Griffin has the paperwork to prove he’s the original owner but Justine refuses to let Spencer go without a fight. What would you do?

My Thoughts:

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Meet Me at the Museum [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 18, 2021

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
#throwbackthursday

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson (cover) Image: text in a wood frame...2 raspberries peek into a corner; frame sits on a plain seafoam green background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Epistolary, Friendship, England, Denmark, Archeology

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 look forward to sharing my review of a reflective story, Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson, in which strangers become friends.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

What is the chance that a letter to a stranger will lead to a deep friendship?

“Told in epistolary format, the story in Meet Me at the Museum unfolds from alternating viewpoints as we meet the two main characters through their letters. Tina is a hard-working, loyal, and duty bound English farmer’s wife, mother, and grandmother, and she is also grieving the recent loss of her best friend, Bella. In thinking of the past, she remembers the promise that she and Bella made to each other to visit the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark to see the mummified Tolland Man from the Iron Age. Life intervened and now Tina is in her 60s and her friend is gone. She is inspired to write to Professor Glob, author of The Bog People, who mentions school children in the dedication of his book (our fictional Tina is one of the school children). Tina isn’t aware that Glob has died, so quiet, kind, and introspective Anders, curator of the Denmark museum, writes back to Tina. Tina and Anders begin a thoughtful and heartfelt correspondence. Anders is grieving the recent loss of his wife and through letters, Anders and Tina share intimate details of their lives with each other and express thoughts that they have difficulty sharing with anyone else. As they discuss archeology, the Tolland Man, their philosophies of life, grief, and their families, they develop an endearing and unique friendship that could possibly lead to more.”

Letter writing: “holding onto the softness and elegance” of the old ways.”

Continue here for my full review of Meet Me at the Museum ….



QOTD:

Have you read Meet Me at the Museum or is it on your TBR?

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?