TTT: My Favorite Literary Tropes

August 20, 2019

 

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Literary Tropes.

My Favorite Literary Tropes

Do you have favorite tropes?

Part of successfully choosing your next read is knowing what tropes (themes or plot devices) you enjoy and which you don’t! I will almost always be happy with my reading experience when I choose to read a book with one of the following tropes (listed in no particular order). 


The Gruff Older Character Whose Life is Changed by a Precocious, Precious, or Extraordinary Child

Examples: The One-In-A-Million Boy, News of the World, A Man Called Ove


The Importance of Family, Complicated Family Drama

Examples: A Place For Us, We Were the Lucky Ones, Little Fires Everywhere, Ask Again Yes, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters


Found Family

Examples: Louisiana’s Way Home, News of the World, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words


Reconciliation

Examples: Ask Again Yes, A Place For Us, Invention of Wings


Faith

Examples: From Sand and Ash, Paper Hearts, A Fall of Marigolds, Unbroken


Adoption

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Book Characters That I’d Like as Best Friends

August 13, 2019

 

 

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters That I’d Like For Best Friends.

Book Characters That I’d Like For Best Friends

Oh my! This is a difficult topic! I admire so many characters!

Many characters I love are from the histfic genre, and I can’t imagine sharing their difficult lives. Also, some of the characters I’d like to be friends with are younger than I am……but maybe that’s OK because we are pretending, and I guess I can become their age if I’m their imaginary friend! So I won’t worry about those pesky details!

Here’s the list I created (tomorrow could be a different list)…..I don’t want to hurt any favorite character’s feelings by leaving them off this list…..just know that there are a hundred more! (listed in no particular order)


Inspector Gamache, Reine Marie, Myrna, Clara

I’d love to be friends with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife, Reine Marie (…..and Myrna the bookstore owner and Clara the artist)….. but prickly Ruth the poet kind of intimidates me!). I’d love to visit the Safe Haven of Three Pines and sit by the roaring fire in the Bistro for pastry and hot chocolate, or visit one of their homes for a comfort-food dinner and enjoy their cozy friendship.

A Better Man (Installment #15 in the Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines Series) by Louise Penny (counting the days until the 8/27 release!)
Genre: character-driven mystery
(My Kingdom of the Blind ReviewThe Series and Glass Houses Review)

A Better Man


Eliza

I’d love to be friends with the industrious, loyal, patriotic Eliza Hamilton (wife of Alexander Hamilton). Although she had eleven children and partnered closely with her husband in writing and drafting documents and probably wouldn’t have time to chit-chat, I still think it would be inspirational to have known her.

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Genre: Historical Fiction, U.S. History and the Founding
(My Review)

my dear hamilton


Cussy

I would love to have had the opportunity to befriend Cussy Mary Carter who endured racism because of a rare medical condition that caused her skin to appear blue and suffered more than her share of hardships due to poverty and isolation. Cussy is courageous, committed to literacy, always chooses kindness, and cares deeply for others (especially children). It would be a privilege to call her “friend.” (no worries, she doesn’t cuss!)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Racism, Prejudice, Book About Books
(Review coming this Friday)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek


Precious

I would be honored to be best friends with Precious Ramotswe. She’s a gentle spirit, gracious in her hospitality, wise, thoughtful, and kind. I could learn to drink tea!

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith
Genre: Fiction, Gentle Mystery (Africa)
(a review of The House of Unexpected Sisters)

No 1 Ladies Detective Agency


Maggie

I can always be friends with a competent, caring, compassionate, creative teacher! I would love to be Maggie‘s teaching partner and her best friend! We would share middle grade lit recommendations and create engaging lesson plans!

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
(my review here)

The Secret of Clouds


Layla

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Favorite Literary Friendships

August 4, 2019, U.S. National Friendship Day

Favorite Literary Friendships

Favorite Literary Friendships

Happy Friendship Day

Friendship is one of my favorite themes in literature!
Here are some of my favorite literary friendships!
Do you have a favorite?

In celebration of U.S. National Friendship Day, I’m sharing a few recent favorite literary friendships. Even though friendship is a common theme and the list of possibilities is massive, I’ve selected only a few to share with you today.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This post is inspired by Kristen at KristenKravesBooks.com.

National Friendship Day



Celebrating Friendship



Eleanor Oliphant

Eleanor and Raymond in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman (my review)


man called ove

Ove and Parvenah in A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman


Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park in Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell


Beantown Girls

Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie in Beantown Girls
by Jane Healey (my review)


Lost Roses

Eliza and Sofya in Lost Roses
by Martha Hall Kelley (my review)


meet me at the museum

Anders and Tina in Meet Me at the Museum
by Anne Youngson (my review)


Paper Hearts

Zlatka and Fania in Paper Hearts
by Meg Wiviott (my review)


The Gown

Ann and Miriam in The Gown
by Jennifer Robson (my review)



The River

Wynn and Jack in The River
by Peter Heller (my review)


Book Thief

Leisel and Max in The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak


Wonder

Auggie and Jack in Wonder
by R.J. Palacio (my review)


Oops! That was eleven! I tried for ten. Tomorrow I could come up with ten more! There are so many great books with friendship themes!

QOTD: Who are your favorite fictional friendships?



Happy Reading Book FRIENDS!

“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



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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

 

 

 

July Reading Wrap Up

July 31, 2019

July Reading Wrap Up

July Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

July was a productive reading month and I am happy to report several four-star reads. Find all my July reads listed below in order of Star Rating. Keep in mind that I normally recommend five- and four-star reads on the blog; three-star reads receive mixed reviews from me for various reasons; and two-star reads are books that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is Hum if You Don’t Know the Words.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

4 Stars. Thought-provoking historical fiction. I love diverse reads! Brief Goodreads Review.


The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters
by Balli Kaur Jaswal

4 Stars. Engaging, zany, and light women’s fiction with some thoughtful themes. A great choice to take on vacation in August! Full review here.


The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander

4 Stars. For fans of Russian history. Brief Goodreads Review.


The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
by Rachel Joyce

4 Stars. A companion read to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (5 Stars). Full Review Here.


What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

4 Stars Romantic time travel. Not yet reviewed.

(more…)

If You Like That, Read This

July 30, 2019

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links or links to my reviews

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday “Freebie,” I’m listing ten sets of compatible reads.

 

If You Like That, Read This!

10 Sets of Compatible Reads

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
both Contemporary Fiction by Rachel Joyce
(character-driven companion reads)


My Dear Hamilton (Historical Fiction) by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
and Alexander Hamilton (NF) by Ron Chernow
(for fans of U.S. History and the Founding)


Where the Crawdads Sing (Fiction) by Delia Owens
and The Scent Keeper (Fiction) by Erica Bauermeister
(especially for readers who are interested in unique coming of age stories)


The Romanov Bride (HistFic) by Robert Alexander
and I Was Anastasia (HistFic) by Ariel Lawhon
(for fans of Russian History)


For One More Day by Mitch Albom
and The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
(for fans of reflective, meaning of life stories)


Paper Hearts (WW11 YA HistFic) by Meg Wiviott
and The Librarian of Auschwitz (WW11 YA HistFic) by Antonio Iturbe
(for readers who appreciate inspiring, unforgettable characters)


A Man Called Ove (movie) and Britt-Marie Was Here
both by Fredrik Backman
and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
(for fans of poignant, character-driven contemporary fiction)


The Glass Castle (NF Memoir) by Jeanette Walls (movie)
and Educated (NF Memoir) by Tara Westover
and The Great Alone (Fiction) by Kristin Hannah
(for readers who want gritty, beating-the-odds stories)


The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (HistFic) by Lisa See
and The Secret Daughter (Fiction) by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
and Far From the Tree (YA Fiction) by Robin Benway
(for fans of adoption themes)


A Grief Observed (NF Memoir) by C. S. Lewis
and Becoming Mrs. Lewis (HistFic) by Patti Callahan
(and then watch the movie, Shadowlands)



QOTD!

I love to make connections between my reads! How about you?
What other pairs can you suggest?



Posts You Might Have Missed:

2 Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!

Summer’s ONE “Must-Read” Book

Summer 2019 TBR

Book Club Recommendations

My Best Reads of the Year So Far 



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



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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

July 16, 2019

Find Your One “Must Read” Book of the Summer!

One Great Summer Read

Are you pondering what book to pack for your vacation?

Are you in limbo trying to decide what ONE great book to read this summer?

Do you ever wish someone would just TELL you what book to read?

Are you looking for a list of trusted book review bloggers?

Do you spend more time thinking about which book to pack for your vacation than packing the clothes? (oh…just me?)

If you only have time to read ONE more book before summer’s end, what would you choose?

beach reads cartoon

This is the time of year when readers look for “beach reads.” This term is puzzling to me because I think any book you read at the beach is a beach read (similar to any body at the beach is a beach body!). Furthermore, “beach read” means different things to different readers: some want easy reading/light/fluffy, some want escapist, some want thrillers/suspense/mystery, while others are looking for heavier or longer reads that they might have more time for in the summer. During the summer, I look for the same types of reads I look for all year long: something substantial, engaging, memorable, unputdownable, and thought-provoking. What is your ideal beach read?

Reviewers Recommend:

Some things bring joy to a blogger’s heart and this post is definitely at the top of the list!

I am thrilled to publish this post today! I contacted twelve experienced reviewers from a variety of geographical locations to ask them what they would recommend as their ONE “not-to-be-missed  5 Star” summer recommendation. Today, I’m exceptionally excited to introduce you to twelve bloggers who chose ONE recommendation for YOU (listed in alphabetical order by blogger’s first name). Please take a look at their recommendation, check out their blog, and give them a follow!

I think you’ll enjoy the following “recent releases” recommendations that include some diversity and represent a variety of genres that will appeal to a variety of tastes (from hisfic to romance to nonfiction to family drama to southern fiction to time travel to young adult to slightly dark).

i love books

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links and full review links have been included.

(more…)

Favorite Quirky Literary Characters

June 9, 2019

My Favorite Quirky Literary Characters

Aren’t we all just a bit quirky?!

Favorite Quirky Characters

Quirky Defined

Definition of quirky: having many quirks : unusual in especially an interesting or appealing way (a quirky sense of humor, quirky ideas/behavior, a quirky and creative artist)

My personal definition also includes the word endearing. My favorite quirky characters have a story behind their quirkiness and often quirky is a survival strategy. Their quirkiness is understandable when a reader sees the entire picture and their quirkiness becomes endearing in light of the challenges they are bravely overcoming.

top ten tuesdayI’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Character Freebie.

Although I love characters of all types, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the recent abundance of stories with quirky characters. I love to hear their stories and celebrate their determination to live their best lives in spite of the circumstances. Even though my star ratings vary on the following books, I’ve loved all the quirky characters. My favorites are brave Eleanor and grumpy Ove. Do you love quirky? Who are your favorite quirky characters?

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links. Listed in order of Star ratings. And, yes, I realize I have eleven and not ten! I couldn’t leave any of them out! 



Quirky Favorites



Eleanor from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

5 Stars. My Brief Review.

Eleanor Oliphant


Ove from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

5 Stars. No Written Review.

man called ove


Frank from The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

5 Stars. My Review.

music shop


Loveday from The Lost For Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

5 Stars. My Review.

The Lost for Words Bookshop

(more…)

Mid Year Reading Check In: Best Reads

June 5, 2019

Mid Year Reading Check In: Best Reads

I’m taking a break from my reading to reflect on my best reads so far in 2019.

According to my Goodreads Challenge, I’ve read 59/100 books so far this year. In this post I’m listing a few favorites. Some of these will make my final Best of 2019 list at year’s end. Ask Again, Yes is my favorite from this list because of the “wow” and “book hangover” factors. It also has a memorable redemption/reconciliation theme.

The remainder of the titles are enjoyable reads but may be bumped if something more exceptional comes along. Plus, it takes sitting with titles for a bit to see if they have staying power. Whether or not these titles make my end of the year list, they are all books I recommend without hesitation. Have you read any of them?

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links and review links are also provided.

(in no particular order)

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Review here

Ask Again, Yes


Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

Review here

Paper Hearts


Lost For Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

Review here

The Lost for Words Bookshop


A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Review here

A Fall of Marigolds


The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

Review here

Beantown Girls


The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Review here

The Scent Keeper


The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Review here.

The Gown


Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Review here

Lost Roses


Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Review here

meet me at the museum


The River by Peter Heller

Review here

The River


Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Review here

Resistance Women


The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

Review here

The Secret of Clouds



QOTD!

What is your best read so far this year?

Have you read any of these titles?



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



Looking Ahead:

Coming soon….twelve bloggers each share their ONE must-read of the summer!

One Great Summer Read



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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

U. S. Independence Day: Fourth of July

JULY 4, 2019

 Happy U. S. Fourth of July!

 

 

In honor of U.S. Independence Day (July 4th), here are some book recommendations for books about our Presidents and the “Founding” from my Goodreads shelf.

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
(My review here)

America's First Daughter

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
(My review here)

my dear hamilton

Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams by Lynne Withey

Dearest Friend

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

team of rivals

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
(My review here)

leadership in turbulent times

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Middle Grade)

Jefferson's Sons



QOTD!

If you are in the U.S., how do you celebrate the 4th?



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



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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

June Reading Wrap Up

June 30, 2019

June Reading Wrap Up

June Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

June was a productive reading month and I am especially excited to report one five star reads and four four-star reads. Find all my June reads listed below in order of Star Rating. Keep in mind that I normally recommend five- and four-star reads on the blog; three-star reads receive mixed reviews from me for various reasons; and two-star reads are books that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is Resistance Women.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


One More Day by Mitch Albom

5 Stars. Poignant, reflective, and heartfelt contemporary fiction. I love Mitch Albom! Not yet reviewed.


Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

4.5 Stars. (wavered between 4 and 5 stars on this one) Ordinary women choose to risk their lives in support of the resistance (WW11). Full review here.


The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

4 Stars. This was a slow start for me….after 60% I settled in and started enjoying the read.  Full review here.


Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

4 Stars. A lovely story from the author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Goodreads review here.


The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

4 Stars For the love of teaching, middle-grade literature, and poignant stories. (By the author of The Lost Wife) Full review here.

(more…)