Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Highly Rated WW1 and WW11 Reads

April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Highly Rated WW1 and WW11 Reads

*Linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Free Choice (check out her post for the top 10 books her mom loves!) If you’ve clicked over from that Artswy Reader Girl, Welcome! Please look around and enjoy your stay.

I read a lot of histfic and one of my favorite sub genres is WW1 and WW11 histfic. Listed below are 10 of my highest rated and favorite histfic reads (1 is nonfiction) that have also received high star ratings on Goodreads. In addition, I included some honorable mention because there are more than 10 reads that are memorable to me for various reasons. Not all titles are reviewed because I read them before writing publishing this blog (in which case I’ve provided the Amazon link).

Listed in order of their Goodreads star rating.

 

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

WW11

 Amazon Information Here

My Rating: 4

Goodreads: 4.56



From Sand and AshFrom Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

WW11

Full Review Here

My Rating: 5 (a recent favorite!)

Goodreads: 4.41



we were the lucky onesWe Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

WW11

 Full Review Here

My Rating: 5

Goodreads: 4.41



UnbrokenUnbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand

WW11 (nonfiction)

Amazon Information Here

My Rating: 5

Goodreads: 4.39



Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

WW11 (YA)

 Brief Review Here (scroll down page)

My Rating: 5

Goodreads: 4.36



Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 WW11 (YA)

 Amazon Information Here

My Rating: 5

Goodreads: 4.36



Lilac GirlsLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

WW11

Amazon Information Here

My Rating: 5

Goodreads: 4.3



last christmas in parisLast Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor

WW1

Full Review Here

My Rating: 5

Goodreads: 4.18



The Baker's SecretThe Baker’s Secret by Stephen P Kiernan

WW11

Amazon Information Here

My Rating: 4

Goodreads: 4.04



Orphan's TaleThe Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

WW11

Brief Review Here (scroll down page)

My Rating: 4

Goodreads: 4.01



Honorable Mention
(other favorites that might have been in my top 10 on a different day):

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner (WW1 time period)

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (post WW11 with flashbacks/memories of war)

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (WW11 time period)



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



A Link I Love:

10 Ways To Woo a Reluctant Reader



Sharing is Caring

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear all about what you’re reading!

What are your favorite WW11 hisfic or nonfiction reads?

Have you read any of these titles? Which are your favorites?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Most Compelling Characters of March

March 30, 2018

March Compelling Character

This month I’m choosing two most compelling characters: Leni from The Great Alone (fiction) and Tara from Educated: A Memoir (nonfiction). Leni and Tara share some similar struggles and challenges. The two stories reminded me at times of The Glass Castle (charismatic yet unpredictable fathers, unstable homes, neglect, poverty) and Hillbilly Elegy (chaotic family life, nurturing grandparents)….a fascinating book club discussion could be centered around discussing the connections between these books and characters.

I’d love to hear which characters you read about this month that were the most memorable for you. I’ve provided a link up or you can leave a comment.

 

Meet Leni and Tara:

For me, memorable characters who grow and change despite the obstacles make all the difference in a good story. Both Leni and Tara are my choices for this month’s most compelling characters because they share some experiences and traits that make them memorable. Both endure emotional and physical abuse (not sexual), yet despite difficult childhoods, they each rise above their circumstances. Surprisingly, they continue to love and show devotion for their parents (this struck me in The Glass Castle, as well). Leni and Tara share a drive to pursue an education and a desire to belong. In addition, they are determined, persistent, courageous, loyal, clever, and brave. Each girl feels threatened (one by her father and the other by her brother) and fears for her safety.  While Leni receives support from her small village community, Tara receives support from one brother, a BYU counselor, and some professors. Each girl is memorable in her grit, her ability to survive,and her drive to strive for something better in her life. These memorable characters allow me to rate both stories 4 Stars and to recommend these reads to others. ***Trigger warnings***

Tara’s words after dance class: “The other girls rarely spoke to me, but I loved being there with them. I loved the sensation of conformity. Learning to dance felt like learning to belong.”

Tara’s words about her abusive brother: “Shawn had more power over me than I could possibly have imagined. He had defined me to myself, and there’s no greater power than that.”

Brief Synopsis and Review of The Stories:

The Great Alone is a story about a dysfunctional family that eventually moves to the harsh wilderness of Alaska to make a fresh start. In this page turner by Kristin Hannah (author of the Nightingale), thirteen-year-old Leni watches her gentle and artistic mother struggle to live a happy and secure life with her father, a Vietnam War vet, who suffers from PTSD.  A survivalist, her father becomes more paranoid and controlling as the story progresses. ***trigger warnings for emotional and physical abuse***  Leni, struggling to stay in school and walking on egg shells around her father, is also concerned about her mother and about their general well-being as the dark winter and isolation of the Alaskan wilderness cause her father’s symptoms to worsen. The first part of the story is slower paced and devoted to establishing a sense of place, character development, and a slow build up of the problem. The last part of the story  unfolds at a rapid pace and there are attempts to escape and confrontations. Some have commented that the ending is tied together easily, quickly, and conveniently. This didn’t bother me too much because rapid emotional plot twists are Kristin Hannah’s style and part of me was eager and relieved to have closure to Leni’s story.  If you’re looking for an engaging page turner with an Alaskan wilderness setting, this is a good selection to meet that criteria. However, The Nightingale remains my favorite work by Kristin Hannah. My Rating for The Great Alone: 4 Stars. (March Amazon Rating  4.6 Stars)

Great Alone

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information Here

Educated is a memoir by Tara Westover.  Tara grew up as one of seven children in a Mormon family making their home in Idaho.  Both parents are devout Mormons; however, her father is an extremist, survivalist, and he isolates the family while stockpiling supplies, avoiding the government, and planning for worst case scenarios. ***Trigger Warnings*** While Tara’s soft-spoken mother makes healing herbs and ointments and practices midwifery, her charismatic father makes a living extracting and selling scrap from his junk yard. To avoid the government, the children do not have birth certificates, are not taken to the doctor, and most of them are home schooled, although according to Tara’s account, Mom’s interest for home schooling waned with the younger ones and to complicate the situation, Dad always needed help in the junk yard.  Tara wished she could go to school, and I didn’t receive the impression that her parents would have kept her from school, it’s that she suffered from not having the right clothes, feelings of not belonging, and often felt pressured to help her father in the junk yard. Over the years she experiences mental and physical abuse from one of her brothers, becomes more dissatisfied with her chaotic home life, and her desire for an education grows. With the encouragement of a brother, she decides to study independently for the ACT and apply to BYU. Thus begins her educational journey, her path of self-realization, healing, and ultimate separation from her family. Tara’s first classroom experience was at age 17. Readers will thoroughly understand and empathize with how difficult and emotional it was for her to  take these steps as she’s a loyal girl who feels a great duty to her family. Tara’s understanding of “education “ is that with it, one is able to gain one’s own perspective on life. Here is Tara’s interview with CNN. If you’re looking for a compelling memoir similar to The Glass Castle, you might enjoy this selection. My Rating for Educated: 4 Stars. (March Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars).

Educated

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information Here



March’s Most Compelling Character Link Up

Please share your most memorable character from your March reading in the comments or link up your blog post.



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



Looking Ahead

I have several books on hold at the library (I’m #27 for The Force of Nature so that will be a while) and I’m waiting for kindle prices to fall on some new releases……consequently…….next Friday I’ll read and review a book already on my shelf, Eden by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg (and check it off my winter TBR list).

Eden

Amazon Information Here

What are you reading this week?


Reading Podcasts I Love

Modern Mrs Darcy: What Should I Read Next

Read Aloud Revival (focus on children’s literature)

Reading Women (reviews of books written by women about women)



Extra:
Reading Recommendation For Middle Grade Girls Who Love Science!

Finding WondersFinding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins is a beautifully and creatively written middle grade story exploring the lives of 3 girls who are curious, love questions and the world around them, and are persistent in pursuing their love of science and scientific inquiries. Each woman makes important scientific contributions, and I loved reading about them and the context of their lives. I’m not sure middle grade students will read slowly enough to appreciate the beautiful prose and nuance/subtlety of language, so it might be a good “read together” book.

The author ensures that the girls exhibit some modern feminist thoughts that struck me as the author’s agenda rather than something girls in that era would usually think. However, these thoughts might provoke good conversation starters. For example: “But she hates embroidery, its worth measured by the smallness of stitches. A needle woman trains her eyes to stay cast down while hiding knots and boredom, committing herself to the circumference of a lap.”

An interesting extension read for adults might be The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe, a fictionalized biography of the first African-American woman (passing as white) to attend Vassar (same college where Maria Mitchell in Finding Wonders was a professor).

Finding Wonders is an interesting, creative, and worthwhile read. It makes me eager to read all the untold stories!  My Rating: 4 Stars

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information Here



Sharing is Caring

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear all about the most memorable character from your March reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place in Another Country

March 27, 2018

10 Books That Take Place in Another Country

One of the joys of reading is that books take you to new places to experience different countries and cultures. Lately, I’ve enjoyed more diversity than ever in my reading selections. I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place in Another Country. If you’ve clicked over from there, welcome! I hope you’ll take a look around!

This is a difficult category for me on this fine Tuesday because the majority of what I read is historical fiction which often takes place in other countries. While looking over my book list, I’ve chosen books in assorted genres with memorable settings that offer a deeper look into another culture and where the setting is an integral part of the story.

(in no particular order)

Pearl That Broke its ShellThe Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
(Afghanistan)

Brief Review Here



RefugeeRefugee by Alan Gratz
(Syria, Germany, Cuba)

Review Here



Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
(China)

Brief Review Here



Chilbury

Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan
(Chilbury, England)

Review Here



The Baker's Secret

Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan
(Normandy Coast of France)

Amazon Summary and Information Here



Orphan's Tale

Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
(Germany)

Brief Review Here



Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
(fleeing Europe on the Wilhelm Gustloff)

Brief Review Here



Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
and The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy
(Both on the Island of Guernsey)

Guernsey Information Here and The Soldier’s Wife Information Here



castle of water 2

Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge
(South Pacific Remote Island)

Review Here



The Dry

The Dry by Jane Harper
(Australia)

Brief Review Here



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



Looking Ahead

Friday 3/30 I’ll be offering a March Compelling Character Link Up. Think of a favorite character you’d like to share either in a blog post or a comment.

What are you reading this week?


Sharing is Caring

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear about books you’ve read with memorable settings!

Spring TBR (& Winter Update)

March 20, 2018

Do you keep a TBR list?

books graphic

I’m an impulsive reader. Are you? First, I have FOMO when I hear others’ reviews of new releases. Also, my reading selections depend upon when my digital library holds come in, on current great Kindle deals, and, of course, on my book club’s selections. For me, though, making a list is a fluid experience.

I’m linking up today with That Reader Artsy Girl for Top Ten Tuesday. If you’re clicking over from there, welcome!





Spring TBR (in no particular order)





Great AloneThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
(author of The Nightingale)

I just recently read this! When you make your lists, do you also write something you’ve already accomplished on them so that you can check it off right away? I haven’t reviewed The Great Alone yet, so I guess it still counts as spring reading. I’ll be reviewing it on the blog soon. However, until then, you can check my brief Goodreads review….and readers must know that there are*** trigger warnings*** for domestic abuse.
By the way, are we friends on Goodreads?

Amazon Information Here



Force of Nature

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

This is the sequel to The Dry (brief review here), but I think it can be considered as a stand alone, too. It was on my winter TBR but it wasn’t released until February, so I’m bumping it to my spring list. The sad news is that I’m #33 on the digital hold list at the library. Diligently, I look for a good Kindle price every week.

Amazon Information Here



Us Against You

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

I’m eager to read this sequel to Beartown (brief review here); however, Us Against You doesn’t release until June, so I may need to bump it to my summer TBR! I’m on the library waiting list but until it’s released, I won’t know how far back I am on the list. Backman is one of my favorite newly discovered authors. Have you read any of his work?

Amazon Information Here



music shop

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

This was a BOTM (Book of the Month Selection) and it looks promising, especially for music lovers! I’m on a hold list at the library but it’s not yet available digitally, so until it is, I don’t know where I am on the wait list.

Amazon Information Here



Italian Bulldozer

My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

As a fan of #1 Ladies Detective Agency series, I’m curious about Smith’s recent work involving Italy + food + romance. It sounds light and delightful. I’m #1 on the library’s digital wait list!

Amazon Information Here



four seasons in rome

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

The only thing I needed to know about Four Seasons in Rome before it went on my TBR was that it’s by the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the beautifully written All the Light We Cannot See. Because my library doesn’t have a digital copy, I’m on a waiting list…..we’ll see how long the list is after the library purchases a copy.

Amazon Information Here



A Surprise Postal Book Club Selection

This seems like a good time to tell you about the Postal Book Club I joined! I signed up for this book club with 5 other women (whom I do not know) through Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club connections. Here’s how it works….6 participants scattered throughout the country each select a book and a small journal. First, each person reads their book and makes notes (including questions for other readers) in the journal. Then each person mails the book and journal to the next person on the list. That person will read the book and make notes in the journal and pass it on. There are 6 of us, so we mail our books every other month (we started at the end of January), and at year’s end we’ll have read all 6 books. ***Note: the person who coordinated this, set up our group based on our preferred genres which we had indicated to her when we signed up for the club. Book selections are supposed to be kept a surprise (which means that I don’t talk about the titles on social media or email participants about what’s coming). It’s fun to see what you’ll get. At the end of the year, I’ll receive my original book back along with notes in the journal from 5 other people. My next selection comes at the end of March and I’ll have 2 months to read it, make notes in the journal, and mail it to the next person. Doesn’t this sound like fun? If you love book mail, it’s easy to set up…all you need is a group of 5 other people. My group doesn’t know each other IRL, but you could set this up with your friends far and near! It’s a wonderful idea for friends or family who can’t get together for IRL book clubs I’ll give you an update (including titles of books we’ve read) in December! I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments.



84 charing cross road

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This title may hold the record for being on my TBR the longest. My main obstacle is that it’s not available to read digitally. I need to get myself down to the library to check out a physical copy.

Amazon Information Here



***edited to add…

room on rue Amelie

Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
(released 3/27)

Amazon Information Here





Winter TBR Update

For this update, I’ll list the books from my winter TBR list and give star ratings, links for the review or Amazon information, and  brief comments. I’m not including cover pics, but you can follow the link to my original post or to Amazon to find covers. (listed in order of my original list)






Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment:  A compelling and sad true crime retelling (U.S. Native American History).



Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment: Real life versus children’s stories;
biography + U.S. middle America history.
I recommend not listening to this on audio because the reader is less than ideal.



Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Bumping this from my winter to my spring TBR
Amazon Information Here



84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Bumping this from my winter to my Spring TBR.
I’ll need to get myself down to the actual physical library to borrow this because it’s not available digitally for Kindle or digitally from the library. I could listen on audio but that doesn’t provide me with my best reading experience.
Amazon Information Here



Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Completed: 4 Stars
Goodreads Review (not reviewed on blog)
Comment: Grandparents are important and seniors can find love, too! (There’s also a movie adaptation on Netflix with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda).



As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment: A memorable and unforgettable read.



Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Completed: 4 Stars
Review
Comment: A heartfelt YA story of the adoption triangle.



The Library At The Edge Of The World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Completed: 3 Stars
Goodreads Review (not reviewed on blog)
Comment: Others have enjoyed this character driven book…it just wasn’t the right book for me at the time (see review for more details).



Eden

Bumping from my winter to my spring TBR. I recently bought this for Kindle at a great price (sale no longer available) ….so look for a review soon….

Amazon Information Here



The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff

Completed: 4 Stars
I didn’t review this one.
Comments: A quick and easy histfic read and a page turner. (same author as Orphan’s Tale and an earlier work)

Amazon Information Here



Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Bumping from my winter to my spring TBR. Not released until June. I’m on the library waiting list, and in June if I have a long wait, I’ll probably purchase it to alleviate my FOMO stress. Backman is totally worth shelling out the bucks!

Amazon Information Here



…. That’s it ….

Completing 7 out of 11 from my winter list is not too bad (considering release dates, library wait lists, that I did a lot of other reading….and Prairie Fires and Killers of the Flower Moon were both dense and long reads).  Do you keep TBR lists?



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



Looking Ahead

Friday 3/23, I’ll review We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

we were the lucky ones

Amazon Information Here

What are you reading this week?


Links I Love

DefinitelyRA: Thoughts After Seeing The Wrinkle Movie.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society coming to theaters April 20! 

If you loved The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak has a new book releasing in October:
Bridge of Clay



Extra: 

Author Panel + Brunch

If you live in Southern California near Corona, you might be interested in an Author Brunch at the Corona Public Library on Saturday morning, April 21. Authors are Susan Meissner, Laura Kamoie, and Michelle Gable. Here’s the flyer:

histfic author brunch



Sharing is Caring

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear all about what you are reading this week!

Do you keep a TBR list on your phone or in Goodreads?

What’s on your Spring TBR list?
Do we share any titles?
I’d love to know if you have some “must adds” for me!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

March 13, 2018

books graphic TOP TEN TUESDAY

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way) and with Modern Mrs. Darcy/Quick Lit: March. If you’re here because you’ve clicked over, welcome!

Books That Surprised Me in a Good Way: (in no particular order)

News of the World

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

It surprised me how much I loved this book because it’s a Western! However, because it’s also historical fiction I took a chance and it became one of our (mine and my hubs) favorite reads of 2017! Trust me…….Give this one a chance!
Brief Review Here
Amazon Information Here
Movie Talk Are in Process With Tom Hanks



Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

I ignored this memoir for many months before I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, and I found it to be a worthwhile read. In addition, I learned a great deal about poverty, the working poor, and the Appalachian culture. Readers have a variety of opinions on this book and reviews vary greatly….please consider my positive review as well as others.
Full Review Here
Amazon Information Here



How to find love in a bookstore

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

I read very little chick lit and when I do, I’m unlikely to rate it higher than 3 stars. Frankly, chick lit is boring because I enjoy more substantial reads with significant themes. This totally surprised me! The reason I took a chance on it is because a few reviewers whom I respect were giving it positive reviews. Keep in mind, one needs to be in the right mood for a light, romantic, cozy, delightful, and purely escapist read, and this came across my radar at exactly the right time when I needed a break from some intense historical fiction and dense nonfiction reads. I loved the interesting characters, the quaint idyllic bookstore, the amazing sense of place (England), and the multiple perspectives/story lines. I appreciated the brain break! If this is the type of read you’re looking for, it delivers! The full review will be a future blog post.

Amazon Summary and Information Here



Refugee

Refugee by Alan Gratz

This intense and dramatic cover is as great as the read. I’m amazed once again at how much I enjoy some middle grade reads. This story of three refugee families from Cuba, Syria, and Germany will engage and captivate adult readers as well as its (mature) middle grade intended audience. Fast paced and a page turner, this historical fiction story covering multiple decades and several locations might be an excellent story to read together with your family because of its thoughtful themes of perseverance, determination, courage, and hope in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Full Review Here
Amazon Information Here



A Gentleman in Moscow

Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I almost missed out on the rich reading experience that this book offers. I started it (read Part 1) and then set it aside for weeks, only to read a bit more (Part 2) and set it aside again. At this point, I was tempted to shelve it DNF. However, enough reviewers kept raving about it that I had to give it another chance. Because of the reviews, I felt it was a book worth finishing and that I would take it in chunks and read other books in between. In addition, I decided that I would discipline myself to appreciate the beautiful writing of Amor Towles and enjoy this literary fiction reading opportunity. As I relaxed about the reading, it because easier and more enjoyable and I found that I didn’t need the breaks. In fact, by the end, I was quite engaged (and it helped that the story picked up the pace a bit in the last part). This is a book I’m glad to say that I’ve read because it’s touted as a modern classic.  The premise of the story is intriguing: a well-respected Russian Count is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in a hotel in Moscow under house arrest. Readers meet a true gentleman and are inspired to make the best of all life’s circumstances. If you enjoy literary fiction, beautiful writing, and well crafted stories, give this a chance.

Amazon Summary and Information Here



Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I bought this book because as a teacher it was expected…..I was recommending it to students and yet I confess that I hadn’t read it myself. In my defense, I would say I was preoccupied with my “adult” reads. When the movie was announced, I knew I had to pull this off my TBR shelf and read it before I saw the movie. I don’t know why I procrastinated because I loved this story with its positive messages for ALL of us!  Don’t miss out on this book because you think it’s for kids. It is, but good literature can be enjoyed by all. This would also be a fabulous family read with the movie as a follow-up. We can all be inspired by Auggie’s courage and be inspired by the national Choose Kind Campaign that grew out of the book.

Full Review Here
Amazon Information Here
Movie Trailer Here



Unbroken

Unbroken:
A World War 11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand

I was reluctant to read this book because of the prisoner of war section. However, after I had the privilege of meeting and hearing this dear man speak at an event, I knew I needed to read his remarkable story of faith, endurance, and perseverance against all odds.  Even though I had to skim over some of the prisoner of war sections, I am glad that I read this memorable and captivating story to honor and celebrate his life.

Amazon Summary and Information Here

Movie Trailer Here



Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

No one was more surprised than me when I read all three books in The Hunger Games trilogy in one week during Spring Break! Don’t be afraid to read out of your usual genres! I really enjoyed all three books….much more than I expected! I especially appreciated that the books were able to delve more into the moral dilemmas, ethics, and personal angst that the movies couldn’t replicate. I enjoyed this series so much that I eagerly gobbled up Divergent and Insurgent  (Veronica Roth) that same year (I skipped #3 in that series because of negative reviews).

Hunger Games Amazon Summary and Information Here

Hunger Games Movie Trailer Here



Books That Surprised Me In a Bad Way:

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This is a book that has received lots of hype and some very high reviews but it wasn’t the right read for me. Although it was beautifully written and constructed, the story was extremely sad and depressing. Some other readers and reviewers disagree, so I urge you to check out other opinions before making your reading choice. (***triggers: death of a child) Her second book, Little Fires Everywhere (my review here) was one of my favorites of 2017 (and I almost didn’t read it because of my reaction to her first book). Celeste Ng is a gifted writer and I would seriously consider reading her next work; this one just didn’t work for me.

Amazon Summary and Information Here



everything everything

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

*Unpopular opinion alert* It was the ending of this YA book that didn’t work for me. The ending was a complete surprise to me because I read it soon after it had been released and I wasn’t prepared for such a major plot twist. I can’t say too much without it being a spoiler, but the ending left me feeling punked by the author. In fact, after I read the book, I didn’t desire to see the movie. Others, however, have loved the book…..so you might want to give this popular YA read a chance.

Amazon Information Here

Movie Trailer Here



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“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



Looking Ahead:

On Friday, I’ll be providing a full review of How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

How to find love in a bookstore

Amazon Information Here

What are you reading this week?


The BUZZ

You might be interested in this thorough “Wrinkle in Time” book to movie review and analysis by trusted blogger and Madeleine L.Engle super fan, DefinitelyRA.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society coming to theaters April 20! 



Sharing is Caring

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



 Let’s Discuss!

Which books have surprised you in a good or bad way?

Have you seen Wrinkle in Time?

What are you reading this week?

Romantic Reads For My Galentines

February 13, 2018

Romantic Reads For All My “Galentines”!

*Linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine Freebie and Modern Mrs Darcy: Quick Lit February

i love books

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, I’ve listed a few of my favorite romantic reads. Romance is not my preferred genre, so I don’t have a huge list to choose from. As I looked over my read books list, I found a few romantic titles (although not typically romantic genres) you might enjoy.
(in no particular order)

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of WW1
by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

last christmas in paris

This WW1 love story is not a Christmas book  despite the title and can be enjoyed at any time of year.  5 romantic stars.

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

My full review 

Amazon link



Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford
hotel on the corner

Sweet love story beginning in Seattle, Washington and  continuing in a Japanese internment camp .  Some first loves last a life time. 4 romantic stars.

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

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information



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

The island of Guernsey after WW11 is an ideal setting for an unexpected romance.  Told in epistolary format.  A favorite book that will soon be a movie which will release April 18! Will you read the book before seeing the movie? 5 romantic stars.

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

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information



Our Souls at Night
by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night

Seniors can find love too!  4 romantic stars.

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

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information



Castle of Water
by Dane Hucklebridge

castle of water 2

An engaging and well written castaways love story! 5 romantic stars.

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

Full Review Here

Amazon Information Here




Romance Reads High On My Spring TBR List

This is a little risky…..I normally don’t recommend books I haven’t read……but these two have moved to the top of my TBR because of the excellent reviews I’ve read from trusted reviewers. I’m eager to read and review them!

***edited to add that I’ve read this now and highly recommend it as a light, romantic, delightful, escapist, and cozy read! A book about books in a quaint, idyllic setting with interesting characters and multiple story lines/perspectives finds me ranking this high in the chick lit category (which usually averages 3 star reads for me).

4.5 stars twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-starhalf twinkle-twinkle-little-star

How to Find Love in a Bookstore
by Veronica Henry

How to find love in a bookstore

Wouldn’t you pick this up just because of the title and cover?!

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information Here

 

The Music Shop

music shop.jpg

Amazon Summary and Purchase Information



Links I Love For More Romantic Reading Ideas

For more romantic reads please check out this great list at Peace, Love, & Raspberry Cordial: Valentine’s Book Crush: Go Weak in the Knees With 10 Swoony Reads

(Bonus: she also has a giveaway of one book and you can enter by commenting on her cute blog! I’m hoping to win The Music Shop!)

The Caffeinated Bibliophile also has a list of Christian romantic reads in her post Eight Christian Romance Books to Read for Valentine’s Day.



Happy Reading Bookworms!

(I’ll be back Friday with a regular review)

books in wagon

***both book graphics from Pinterest

Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors in 2017

January 2, 2018

Do you have a few favorite authors?

I’m linking up today with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors in 2017.

Top Ten Tuesday

Throughout 2017, I discovered a handful of authors who are new to me and whose work I would read automatically without checking out the reviews first. While a couple of these authors are well published (but new on my radar), the majority are new authors as well as being new to me. I’m adding these authors to recently discovered new authors such as Fredrik Backman whose work I trust and admire.

I would happily accept an ARC from any of these authors and promote their work. (*shameless hint)

In alphabetical order:

Jane Harper

The DryEven though detective/mystery is not my usual genre, I thoroughly enjoyed The Dry. I’m eager to read the sequel that releases in February, and I anticipate that it will be equally well written and highly engaging.

The Dry Review and Amazon Information

 

 



Nadia Hashimi

Pearl That Broke its ShellEven though I read this at the beginning of 2017, The Pearl That Broke its Shell is a story that I have continued to think about all year. The author gives the reader thoughtful insight into Afghan culture for women and challenges us to think about women’s rights. I always want to support women writing about strong, independent, and courageous women, and I hope she continues to write about her culture.

The Pearl That Broke its Shell Review and Amazon Information

 



Gail Honeyman

Eleanor OliphantIn her amazing debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, this author is definitely on my watch list! I’m certainly curious about her next work and I’m hoping for a sequel!

Eleanor Oliphant Review and Amazon Information 

 

 



Elise Hooper

The Other Alcott 2

Author of The Other Alcott, her extensive research and well written debut work depicting the lives of the Alcott sisters earned this new author a lot of credibility with me. I hope she’s working on something new for readers!

The Other Alcott Review and Amazon Information

 



Dane Hucklebridge

castle of water 2

 

Author of Castle of Water, I enjoy his beautiful, engaging, and creative writing and eagerly await his next release!

Castle of Water Review and Amazon Information

 

 



Paulette Jiles

News of the World

My husband and I both enjoyed this beautifully written western historical fiction novel. Even though she has other published works, this is the first I’ve read. I’d love to choose one of her other works to read this year. If you’ve read this author, do you have a recommendation for me?

News of the World Review and Amazon Information

 



Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back AgainInside Out and Back Again is a beautiful story told in free verse and an “authentic voice.” This author has my heart and I would enthusiastically check out her new releases. (By the way, this story is perfect for older elementary readers but thoroughly appreciated by adults).

Inside Out and Back Again review in this post as well as Amazon Information

 



Jennifer Latham

dreamland burningDreamland Burning is one of my most memorable reads and most recommended historical fiction selections of the year. This author’s engaging and thoughtful writing would definitely cause me to check out her next work.

Dreamland Burning Review and Amazon Information

 

 



Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

Between Shades of Gray

Author of a couple of my favorite hisfic selections, Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray, I admire her careful research and beautiful writing.

Salt to the Sea Review and Amazon Information

Between Shades of Gray Amazon Information

 

 

 



 

 

Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

I appreciated reading about Starr and her experiences in The Hate U Give from an “authentic voice.” I’ll look forward to more from this author because I feel it’s so important to listen well.

The Hate U Give Review and Amazon Information

 



 

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



Looking Ahead:

I read a wonderful book between Christmas and New Years
and I can’t wait to review it on Friday!

last christmas in paris

Amazon Information Here

What are you reading this week?



Sharing is Caring!

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



Let’s Discuss!

Did you discover any new authors in 2017?

Who are your favorite authors?

What are you reading this week?

 

 

2017’s Most Memorable, Inspiring, & Unforgettable Characters

December 28, 2017

Who are the memorable, inspiring, and unforgettable characters that you still think about days, weeks, months, or years later?

Most Memorable Characters 2017

For me, one joy of reading is experiencing life through someone else’s perspective and at the same time building compassion and understanding. Similar to choosing favorite books, choosing favorite characters from the year’s reading is a daunting task! My initial list was very long, and I’ve condensed it to the most memorable of the memorable characters from my 2017 reading (in no particular order).

Eleanor Oliphant

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor OliphantI still think of brave, traumatized, quirky, and lonely Eleanor (and wait patiently for a sequel).

Her bravery is a beacon of hope for others. In the midst of deep personal pain, she carves out a life for herself and dares to hope for more. When confronted with the scariest prospects of all…friendship and love… she faces the fear with her same trademark courage.

In time, I think she really will be fine.

Brief Review and Amazon Information Found in This Post.



August Pullman

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

WonderAlso exemplifying the character trait of bravery is Auggie Pullman. Unlike Eleanor’s hidden internal pain, Auggie battles the discomfort of public appearances because of his facial abnormality.

Auggie’s bravery enables all children (and adults) who look different from others to face their physical challenges and live full, meaningful, and productive lives. Furthermore, his bravery teaches all of us to be accepting and KIND.

Full Review and Amazon Information Here.



Chief Inspector Armand Gamache

Glass Houses by Louise Penny
(#13 in the popular Three Pines Inspector Gamache series)

Glass HousesWhen I think of Inspector Gamache in this character driven series, I think of integrity and compassion. I’m continually impressed that in his difficult career, assignments, and pressures, he treats others with respect.

Interestingly, in a Louise Penny interview, she indicates that when she created the character of Gamache, she created a man whom she could have married. The rationale for this being she would spend years with him as a main character in the series and she wanted to create someone she would like and not tire of.  This is likely part of the cause of the series’ success is the memorable, kind, honest, thoughtful, trustworthy character of Armand Gamache.

Throughout the series, readers appreciate the exemplary character traits of a tough-minded policeman and gentleman.

Full Review and Amazon Information Here.



Emma

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

The Baker's SecretThe bravery, courage, and resiliency of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the most difficult, challenging circumstances always inspires readers like myself. A likable 22-year-old heroine, Emma stealthily and quietly fights back against the Germans who’ve invaded her small Normandy village during WW 11, and she courageously provides the villagers with a bit of sustenance and a taste of hope.

Amazon Information Here.

 



Count Alexander Rostov

Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in MoscowA true gentleman, the Count is sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life in a Moscow hotel in Russia for a crime he allegedly committed against the government. Through the elegant and exquisite telling of this story, we see an example of living with grace, purpose, meaning, and a bit of wit when life hands you lemons. When life doesn’t go according to plan, how then will you live?

Amazon Information Here.

 



Rahima and Shekiba

The Pearl that Broke its Shell by Nadia Hashimi

Pearl That Broke its ShellTwo Afghan women (a century apart) fight for similar women’s rights as they battle powerlessness and customs that suppress women, and fight for some freedom to control their own fates. Their stories remind me of the importance of supporting women (such as Malala in her fight for education) around the world as they fight for basic human rights.

Brief Review Found in This Post and Amazon Information Here.

 



Noa and Astrid

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Orphan's TaleNoa and Astrid are two extraordinary women in a traveling circus whose friendship drives this harrowing tale of sacrifice and survival during WW 11.

I’ll always remember them and their courage that symbolizes women throughout history who have made similar decisions and risked their lives for others.

Brief Review Found in This Post and Amazon Information Here.



(teenage memorable, inspirational, and unforgettable characters)

Lina and Joana

Between Shades of Gray (Lina) and Salt to the Sea (Joana) (by Ruta Sepetys

In these WW 11 stories that will break your heart, two teenagers face a fight for survival and are placed in positions that are difficult and/or impossible for adults to handle. Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea are both YA (high school and older) reads that are compelling for adults.

I admire the resiliency, strength, bravery, courage, and determination of these characters as they fight for survival. Stories like these always cause me to ponder what I would do in similar circumstances and to admire the human spirit.

Between Shades of Gray Amazon Information Here.

Salt to the Sea Brief Review in This Post and Amazon Information Here.



Eve

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Alice NetworkIn this page turner, Eve Gardiner joins the fight against the Germans in WW 1 when she unexpectedly is recruited to become a spy and work in the Alice Network.

Her sheer courage is breathtaking and her sacrifice is memorable.

I also enjoyed learning about the female spy system.

Full Review and Amazon Information Here.

 

 



(12-year-old memorable characters)

Rill Foss, Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud

Before We Were Yours (Rill) by Lisa Wingate and Refugee (Josef, Isabel, Mahmoud) by Alan Gratz

Several children became memorable and unforgettable characters for me this year. They each are inspirational in their fights for survival and safety and how often they are required to make adult decisions and take on adult responsibilities. Before We Were Yours is adult fiction and Refugee is Middle Grade fiction  (compelling as an adult read).

Before We Were Yours Full Review and Amazon Information Here.

Refugee Full Review and Amazon Information Here.



Honorable Mention:

There were so many memorable characters throughout 2017 that I can’t resist mentioning others (I’ve included links to my reviews and Amazon information):

Ginny in Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Starr in The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Ladies of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Li-yan in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd in News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Nurse Ruth in Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult



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



Looking Ahead:

Because of Christmas activities and a touch of the flu, I have not yet read the book I committed to last week: Woman in Cabin 10 (which is a MUST read for me this week to meet the deadline for my IRL book club). In addition, I really, really want to review a special book that I did read while I was recovering from the flu (I needed an easy reading book), and I can’t wait to tell you about it next week! What are you reading this week?



Sharing is Caring!

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



Let’s Discuss!

Who were your memorable, unforgettable, and inspirational characters of 2017?

2017 Really Recommendable Reads

gift stack of books

December 15, 2017

10 Categories of Really Recommendable Reads for 2017

Choosing the year’s best books is my most difficult reading task! I think that separating the books into categories might help me share with you which were the best reading experiences for me. I hope you had a great reading year, and that we share an appreciation for some of these selections. or that they will be ideas for your TBR. Most of the selections are fairly new releases (all except four were published in 2017).

*In no particular order

gift stack of books

Most Unforgettable Character

Eleanor Oliphant

 

I’m still thinking about brave, traumatized, quirky, and lonely Eleanor … and hoping for a sequel!

Brief review found here in this post.

Short listed for the COSTA Award (new authors)

Read it before seeing the movie!

More Information Here

 

 

 

 



gift stack of booksMost Poignant

 

Both of Backman’s novellas rank among my favorite reads of the year. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer deals with Alzheimer’s and a grandfather’s relationship with his young grandson. The deal of a Lifetime provides a reflection of a successful man as he faces the end of his life.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer review found here and more information found here.

The Deal of a Lifetime review found here and more information found here.



gift stack of booksMost Escapist

castle of water 2

 

Literary Fiction + Adventure!

I read this page turner in one day! Beautiful prose and a great selection for a vacation or travel read.

Full review here

More Information here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



gift stack of booksMost Controversial and Relevant Social Issues

 

I learned a great deal from both of these books and I consider them worthwhile and important reads, and both would be great for book club discussions. In addition to many important themes, they both involve the theme of racism. While Small Great Things is written for adult readers, The Hate U Give (often referred to as THUG) is appropriate for mature older high school and YA and all adults. (please note: both books contain possibly offensive language or situations.)

Small Great Things review included in this post here and more information here.

The Hate U Give review here and more information here.
The Hate U Give movie information here.
Do you think THUG should be banned in schools? See article involving a Texas school district here.



gift stack of booksMost Apt to Build Compassion and Understanding

 

Wonder has become a must read in many classrooms across America as it builds compassion for others who look different, and it is a great read and lesson in kindness for all ages. Full review here. Have you seen the well done movie adaptation? More information here.

Ginny Moon explores autism from a 14-year-old girl’s perspective. My full review here. More information here.



gift stack of booksMost Dramatic Themes

 

Beartown: themes of family, parenting, competition, loyalty, courage, community, belonging, friendship, small town struggles and values, hope, a girl’s “no,” etc.

Little Fires Everywhere: most interesting mix of characters and themes of mothers/children, secrets, privilege, teenage love, perfection, racism, friendship, suburban dysfunction, adoption vs. parental rights, etc.

Beartown: brief review included in this post here and more information here.

Little Fires Everywhere: full review here and more information here.

 



gift stack of booksMost Overlooked Genre (for me!)

News of the World

 

 

I highly recommend this beautifully written western! I don’t usually seek out westerns but the historical fiction aspect appealed to me. I highly recommend this for its beautifully written prose and sweet theme. My hubs also enjoyed this one.

There’s talk of a movie with Tom Hanks!

A brief review included in this post.

More information here. 

Movie information here.

 

 



gift stack of booksMost Personal Connection

Far From the Tree

 

If you remember last week’s post, Far From the Tree was on my TBR for 2018, but I was tempted to pick this up right away because of the themes of adoption/foster care and the meaning of family. In the past few years my hubs and I have established contact with his bio sister (he’s adopted) and they arranged to talk and meet for the first time; in addition, I searched out my bio cousin who had been placed for adoption as a baby. Both relationships have provided immeasurable joy and have enriched our family. #drawawidercircle  is how I would tag this in Instagram. Although this is a YA selection, it can be enjoyed by adults as well. If adoption has touched your life, this will wreck you in the best possible way!

My reservations are (1) the author’s use of quite a few f-bombs (I don’t understand why this language is so prevalent and almost mandatory in YA books….but I’m probably showing my age or highly sensitive nature here) and (2) the author throws too many themes in here in my opinion (divorce, alcoholism, sexual identity, racism, etc), and these themes (although important) are somewhat distracting from the adoption/unplanned pregnancy/foster care/meaning of family themes which are the focus of the book. Nevertheless, I highly enjoyed the overall read and found it exceptionally meaningful on a personal level and highly recommendable ….. Here’s a link to my full review. 

More information here.



gift stack of booksMost Courageous and Determined Fight for Women’s Rights

Pearl That Broke its Shell

 

Inspiring, with against-the-odds, bravery, and women’s rights themes, this historical fiction is a fast-paced page turner that provides great insight into the lives in which some women are born. Memorable and unforgettable. A must read on your TBR.

Brief review found in this post here.

More information here.

 

 

 

 

 

 



gift stack of booksMost Delightful Historical Fiction

I read extensively in the historical fiction genre and have many great recommendations for you (see note below) ! However, most of them are extremely heavy reading. Therefore, for this category, I’d like to focus on the lightest histfic I’ve read this year. (and then I’ll list the others as runners up).

Chilbury

 

Enjoyable read about a remarkable group of women working to serve their community during WW 11.

Full review here.

More information here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runners Up in Historical fiction:

The following is a list of the other equally great historical fiction selections I’ve read this year:

Salt to the Sea; Between Shades of Gray; (not reviewed on the blog but it’s as well written as Salt to the Sea and its main character is connected with a character in Salt to the Sea); The Orphan’s Tale; The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane; Dreamland Burning (YA); The Alice Network; Before We Were Yours; America’s First Daughter; Refugee (YA); Gentleman in Moscow (not reviewed…and not a book I loved at first, but I grew to love and appreciate the beautiful prose and its intriguing premise! It’s been well reviewed on Amazon and Goodreads)



*Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday: Our favorite books of 2017 ,  Modern Mrs Darcy: Quick Lit: 9 Excellent Books for Gifting This Season and Traveling With T: #AMonthofFaves: Top Ten Books That Blew Your Mind This Year



Happy Reading Bookworms!

“Ah, how great it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I love the world of words, where literature and life connect.”
~Denise J Hughes



Extras:

Check out these other popular and favorite bloggers and their “best of” the year lists:

Modern Mrs. Darcy: Favorite Books 2017

Loud Library Lady: Most Memorable Reads of 2017

Loud Library Lady: My Friends’ Most Memorable 2017 Reads

Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Tuesday:
(bloggers link up to share their top ten reads of the year posts…my post this week is linked there…check out the others)

The Caffeinated Bibliophile: Christmas Book Guide: Christian Fiction Books

Making Here Home: Brilliant books for kids…recommended by kids

Top Shelf Text: A Very Bookish Holiday (follow the link in the post for bookish gift ideas)

Modern Mrs Darcy: Quick Lit: 9 Excellent Books for Gifting This Season

…and, last, something to consider as you set your own reading goals for 2018…

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2018 Reading Challenge

 



Looking Ahead!

Far From the Tree

Far From the Tree full review next week.



Sharing is Caring!

I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



Let’s Discuss!

Which books did you read that were best of the year for you? Do your best reads overlap at all with mine?
Are there any that you’ve read that you would highly recommend to me?



 

journey of a lifetime reading meme

2018: Here’s Looking at You!

December 8, 2017

How many books are on your TBR (to be read) list? Currently, I have 76 on my Goodreads “to read” shelf. It’s a bit unwieldy, and in this post I prioritize a few selections to read as I anticipate setting reading goals for the new year (I looked for the books on my list with the highest Goodreads ratings). Hopefully, some of these will be good candidates to review for future posts. Maybe Santa will bring me a few of these books! Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Hope Santa Brings and also The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2018.

I’m always intrigued by new books and inspired by reviews, so this list is subject to change (depending on reviews, library availability, or kindle sales)! However, at this moment in time, this list represents my reading priorities for winter (*listed in no particular order).



Believe it or not, I actually ADDED books to my TBR while writing this post! It’s hopeless!



Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

(runner up for the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards in the history & biography category and New York Times bestseller; Amazon rating: 4.6 Stars;
Genre: Native American History, biographies/memoirs)

Killers of the Flower Moon

Information Here


Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
by Caroline Fraser 

(rated one of the top ten books of the year by the New York Times;
Amazon rating: 4.1 Stars; genre: biographies/memoirs)

Prairie Fires

Information Here


Force of Nature
by Jane Harper

(sequel to The Dry; early Amazon rating: 4.4 Stars; release date: 2/6/18;
genre: mystery/detective)

Force of Nature

Information Here


84, Charing Cross Road
by Helene Hanff

(an older, highly recommended best selling title that’s been on my TBR for years;
Amazon rating: 4.5 Stars;
genre: correspondence/letters)

84 Charing Cross Road

Information Here


Our Souls at Night
by Kent Haruf

(an older, highly recommended best selling title that’s been on my TBR for years;
Amazon rating: 4.3 Stars;
genre:  mystery/thriller/suspense, family life, literary fiction; movie trailer)

Our Souls at Night

Information Here


As Bright as Heaven
by Susan Meissner

(Philadelphia 1918; release date: 2/6/18; genre: historical fiction, mothers/children, Spanish flu epidemic)

As Bright as Heaven

Information Here


Far From the Tree
by Robin Benway

(YA fiction, National book award finalist; Early Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars;
genre:  social & family issues, siblings, adoption)

Far From the Tree

Information Here


The Library at the Edge of the World
by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

(A book about books is my favorite! Set in Ireland; early Amazon Rating: 4.1;
genre: women’s fiction,  small town & rural living, mothers/children)

Library at the Edge of the World

Information Here


Eden
by  Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg

(Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars; genre: fiction, multi generational family saga)Eden

Information Here


 The Kommandant’s Girl
by Pam Jenoff

(since reading The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff, I’ve wanted to read this earlier work; Amazon rating: 4.5 Stars; genre: historical fiction, Jewish)

Kommandant's Girl

Information Here


Beartown Sequel: Us Against You
by Fredrik Backman

Last but not least! I have to wait 6 months for the sequel to Beartown!
(sequel release date: 6/5/18)

Us Against You

Us Against You
by Fredrik Backman

(release date: 6/5/18; genre:  contemporary fiction, sports)

Beartown Information Here

Us Against You Information Here


Happy Reading Bookworms!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes


Updates:

Last week I mentioned I was deciding between Lincoln in the Bardo and The Bear and the Nightingale. Unfortunately, neither one worked out. I had wanted to buddy read Lincoln in the Bardo with my hubs but he was the first to download the audio version and wasn’t interested in the read, also my bookish friend indicated that it was “more depressing than memorable.” So I decided to go with the fairy tale/folk tale The Bear and the Nightingale, and I read 59% before abandoning it to the DNF (did not finish) stack. Both books have received rave reviews, so it’s not the books, it’s me. The Bear and the Nightingale is not one of my typical go to genres and this is the main reason that it was abandoned. Even though, it’s a well written Russian folk tale/fairy tale, it includes an abundance of fantasy and magical realism which are usually not elements I seek out in my reading. If it were a short story, I think it would’ve been an ok read for me, but it goes on and on and on, and after a while it became tedious. It’s also part of a trilogy which I knew I wouldn’t be continuing. However, if a Russian fairy tale/folk tale, fantasy, and magical realism appeal to you and you love skillful word building and exquisite imagery….this may be a great choice for you.


Extras:

A Wrinkle in Time

 

Will you be rereading (or first time reading) Wrinkle in Time before the movie comes out in March?!
Wrinkle in Time Trailer

 

 

 

Have you seen the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards list? How many titles have you read?

Also, my Bookstagram (Instagram for bookish posts) buddy, The Loud Library Lady  (@theloudlibrarylady) released her list of most memorable books of 2017 …. check out her blog! https://theloudlibrarylady.com/

Did you read that The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was banned by a Texas school district. What do you think? Have you read it? Here’s my review.
It will soon be a movie.


Looking Ahead

Next week, I’ll attempt to gather a list of my best and most memorable reads for 2017. This is a daunting task for me! I have so many favorites!


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Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to hear in comments what’s on your TBR or what you’re currently reading. Have you already read a book on my TBR list? Do you have any must read suggestions for me?