Everyone Gets a Book!

December 1, 2018

Give a Book as a Holiday Gift!

gift stack of books

As you plan your holiday gift giving, you might be looking for book recommendations. Check out some suggestions below!

All of these are recent releases (most this year, some last year). All titles are Amazon affiliate links. Many of these books have been reviewed on the blog and can be found by checking the A-Z Index.

For Dad or Grandpa

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin (baseball memoir, Boston Red Sox fan)

Grant; Washington: A Life; or Alexander Hamilton (all) by Ron Chernow (narrative nonfiction biographies)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (social justice)

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (histfic, western)

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (sports, hockey, intense issues, community, family)

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (poignant, reflective, meaning of life, novella)

For Mom or Grandma

(also see recommendations in the Girlfriend’s category below)

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (family dynamics, *my favorite read of the year*)

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (WW1 histfic, epistolary format, *a favorite of the year*)

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbably Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis by Patti Callahan (histfic, biographical, romance)

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (WW11, histfic, themes of survival, family, and faith, *a favorite of the year*)

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon (WW11, histfic, survival, romance, *a favorite of the year*)

Force of Nature by Jane Harper (detective, mystery, Australia, #2 in a series but can be read as a stand alone)

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (histfic, biographical, *a favorite of the year*)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (fable)

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner (histfic, Spanish Flu)

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (histfic, 1920s India)

The Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (contemporary fiction, Japan)

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (magical realism, music, a favorite author)

For a Bookworm

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Ann Bogel (essays on the reading life)

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry ( beach read, romance, chick lit)

For Middle Grade Children

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (found family)

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (homelessness, imaginary friend)

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (tolerance)

The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won (both) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (histfic)

Refugee by Alan Gratz (mature Middle Grade histfic, refugees, adults will enjoy too)

Wild Robot (series) by Peter Brown (younger Middle Grade science fiction)

See this post for more ideas

For Young Adult (or adult)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (racial injustice, black lives matter)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (histfic, WW11)

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (histfic, magical realism, mythology, folk tales, coming of age)

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg (narrative nonfiction, biography, targeted for MG but I recommend for YA 14+ and adults)

See more Middle Grade and Young Adult suggestions in this post.

For a Girl Friend

(also see suggestions in the Mom or Grandma category above)

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (contemporary fiction, against the odds, *trigger: child abandonment)

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain (science fiction, time travel, *trigger: high risk birth, adoption)

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor (histfic, brave and independent women)

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Leaning to Say by Kelly Corrigan (humor, memoir,*trigger: cancer)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (contemporary fiction, African American)

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (histfic, WW11, romance)

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (histfic, magical realism, mythology, folk tales, coming of age)

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos (beach read, chick lit, #3 in a series but can be read as a stand alone)

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (histfic, Alaska, family dynamics *trigger: domestic violence)

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry ( beach read, romance, chick lit)

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (adoption)

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg (narrative nonfiction, biography, targeted for mature middle grade but recommended for 14+ and easily enjoyed by adults)

Spiritual

The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God’s Goodness Around You by Shannan Martin (reflection, hospitality, Christian issues, family, social justice, memoir)

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist (Christian living, spiritual growth, women’s issues, for fans of Bread and Wine and Savor)



I hope you have found some useful suggestions. These are some of the books that I can personally and wholeheartedly recommend. Please share in comments if you found a gift on this list or have a recommendation or question.




Tech Support for Your Book Worm!

Kindle Paper White $79.99

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Newest Version of Kindle Paper White $129.99


gift stack of books



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:

I think I’ll review an ARC (advanced reader copy) of a book I’m reading this week. It’s interesting and different, and I think it’s one that you might consider for your Winter TBR (releasing in January).

The Dreamers



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often! I have only one more book to read and review, and my library hold of the book is due to come in any day. So I’ll be finished with my Fall TBR soon!



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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

Are books on your holiday shopping list?

Do you have any favorite books that you like to give as gifts?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

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November Wrap Up

November 29, 2018

November Wrap Up

November Wrap Up

I read eight books this month, and there were some hits and misses. In these Wrap Up posts, it’s important to know that I’m not recommending all these books.

All titles are Amazon affiliate links and my reviews have been linked if available. My November reads are listed below in the order of my Star ratings:

* * * * * * * * * *

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (#14)
4.5 Stars
Review available on the blog tomorrow.
For fans of cozy mystery/detective stories with good character development.

* * * * * * * * * *

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg
(biography, my November Nonfiction read)
4 Stars
Full Review Here.
For fans of Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
ARC: Pub Date: 1/22/19
3 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
For fans of WW11 Historical Fiction.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Colors of All the Cattle (#19 in the #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series)
by Alexander McCall Smith

3 Stars
Full Review Here.
For long time fans and for readers looking for a gentle, character driven, diverse read.

* * * * * * * * * *

Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
3 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
For fans of contemporary fiction with a bit of magical realism.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Children Act by Ian McEwan
3 Stars
Not Reviewed.
For fans of a character driven story (you may know Ian McEwan for Atonement).

* * * * * * * * * *

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
2 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
I almost didn’t finish this….but pressed on to see how the plot resolved. (others have loved it, but it wasn’t the right book for me)

* * * * * * * * * *

Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak
2 Stars
Goodreads Review Here.
This was close to a DNF for me. I ended up skimming a lot to see if it would get better and to give Zusak the benefit of the doubt. Not recommended. (too much profanity, obscure writing) Please read more reviews before making your reading choice.



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



Links I Love

If you’ve read My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie and provide a review on social media or Amazon, you can fill out this form to receive FREE bonus content!

Have you seen The Hate U Give movie? Here’s the THUG trailer. 
I’ve read positive reviews with some saying it could be one of the best movies of the year. Of course, the movie is never as good as the book so don’t miss this important read.



Looking Ahead:

Tomorrow I’ll be back with my regular Friday review. This week’s review will be Louise Penny’s new release, Kingdom of the Blind.

Kingdom of the Blind



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often! I have only one more book to read and review after tomorrow’s post, and my library hold of the book is due to come in any day. So I’ll be finished with my Fall TBR soon!



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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.

Today’s post represents my 100th post! I’m grateful for all the support! Thank you so much!


 Let’s Discuss

What did you read in November?

See any favorites?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

October Wrap Up

October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween to everyone celebrating!

pumpkins

 * Pumpkin images are from Pottery Barn*

 

october wrap up

October Wrap Up

I completed seven reads this month, abandoned one, and set one aside for further consideration. This month I also met my 2018 Goodreads Challenge of 100 books!

Below are my completed October reads listed in order of my Star ratings (4 & 5 Stars are highly recommended).

ceramic pumpkins

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
5 Romantic Stars
Full review coming Friday 11/2

ceramic pumpkins

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Genre: Historical Fiction, WW11, Holocaust
4.5 Brave Stars (5 Stars for compelling story and 3 stars for writing)
Full Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
Genre: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
4.5 Determined Stars
Full Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
4.5 Wiley Stars
Brief Review Included Here

ceramic pumpkins

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery
4 Atmospheric Stars
Full Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay
Genre: Fiction (some historical elements)
3 Reconciliation Stars
Goodreads Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
2.5  Family Stars
Goodreads Review Here

ceramic pumpkins

Abandoned: Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Set Aside For Further Consideration: Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak



Happy Reading Book Worms!

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

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

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



THUG

Have you seen The Hate U Give movie? Here’s the THUG trailer. 
I’ve read positive reviews with some saying it could be one of the best movies of the year.



Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Books of 2018

If you have a Goodreads account, voting is open for the Goodreads Choice Awards for the Best Books of 2028.

There are three opportunities to vote before the winners are announced in December. Click the link to see the voting schedule.

If you do not have a Goodreads account, it’s fun to look at the categories to see what readers have nominated.



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
So far, I’ve read 8 out of the 12 titles listed on my Fall TBR.



Looking Ahead:

Friday I’ll review The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor (The Last Christmas in Paris). This is a milestone read because it’s my 100th read of the year!



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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

What were your favorite reads this month?


***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

September Wrap Up

September 30, 2018

September Wrap Up

september wrap up

I read nine books this month (most of them 4 star reads!) and abandoned one.

 As always, I’m not recommending all these books. Please carefully notice my Star ratings. Generally 4 & 5 Stars are highly recommended.

Listed in order of my Star ratings:

where the crawdads sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Fiction/Family Life
5 Stars. Full Review Here.


virgil wander

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
(author of Peace Like a River)
Literary Fiction/Magical Realism
4.5 Stars. Review Here.


just mercy

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Nonfiction/Legal/Memoir/Biographical
4 Stars. Full Review Here.


the lost girls of paris

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
(author of The Orphan’s Tale)
WW11 Historical Fiction
4 Stars. GoodReads Review Here. Pub Date: 2/5/2019
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


lieutenant's nurse

The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman
(author of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers)
WW11 Historical Fiction
4 Stars. Review Here. Pub Date: 3/5/2019
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


hard cider

Hard Cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon
Women’s Fiction
4 Stars. Review Here.
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


dream daughter

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
Science Fiction/Historical Fiction/Suspense/Family Drama
4 Stars. GoodReads Review Here. Pub Date: 10/2/2018
(Free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)


clock dance

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Women’s Fiction
3.5 Stars. Full Review Here.


to the moon and back

To the Moon and Back by Karen Kingsbury
Christian Fiction/Family Life
2.5 Stars. Not Reviewed.



Happy Reading Book Worms!

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

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

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!



Looking Ahead:

I’m reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

tattooist of auschwitz



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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

What have you been reading in September?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

 

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

September 21, 2018

3 arcs

For today’s post, I have reviews of three ARCS (advanced readers copies) that I’ve read recently. Thank you to #NetGalley #ackermanbooks #harpercollins #atlanticmonthlypress #shewritespress for the free advance copies of #hardcider #virgilwander and #thelieutenantsnurse in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Reviews listed in order of release date.

hard ciderHard Cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon

Have you faithfully cared for your family, enjoyed a fulfilling career, and now your nest is empty? Is it finally time to focus on something for YOU? Is this the time to realize YOUR lifelong dream? To pursue YOUR goals?

Meet Abbie Rose Stone: a retired teacher, a creative, supportive, understanding, and seasoned mom, a loyal, attentive, and caring wife, a hard worker and an ambitious dreamer.

Is it possible for Abbie Rose who has enjoyed raising three children, trying her best to meet their unique challenges and understand their different needs and personalities, to follow her heart and establish her own hard cider business without her husband’s or children’s full support? Just as Abbie Rose finds the courage to make her decision, a stranger presents information that will affect her family’s future and complicate their lives.

When is it a good time for Abbie Rose to pursue her dreams?

Barbara Stark-Nemon creates the memorable character of Abbie Rose, provides an exquisite sense of place as readers can easily envision life along the northern shores of Lake Michigan, pulls us into complicated family dynamics, and describes what the production of hard cider involves.

Readers will appreciate strong and thoughtful themes including infertility, adoption, determination, persistence, compassion, parenting adult children, mature marriage, following a dream, and drawing a wider circle.

The story lines that most affect me include how a woman manages to follow her dream while continuing to creatively and thoughtfully handle complex family issues, how adoption affects children and families, and how compassion and acceptance allow us to draw a wider circle of inclusiveness. One story line I couldn’t relate to is the guidance that Abbie Rose seeks from the Tarot Card reader because I look to God for my spiritual guidance. However, this is a small aspect of the story.

Recommended for readers who are fans of beautifully written stories filled with family dynamics, for those who enjoy an inspirational and motivational story of a woman following her dreams while also caring for her family, for readers who are familiar with the northern shores of Lake Michigan, and for readers of women’s contemporary fiction.

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

My Star Rating: 4 Stars



virgil wanderVirgil Wander by Leif Enger (author of Peace Like a River)

Kite flying … nostalgic film references … film reels …. small town independent theaters …. Lake Superior …. a midwest town down on its luck …. quirky characters …. splashes of humor … and a touch of magical realism make Virgil Wander a remarkable and memorable story.

Leif Enger’s devoted fans have long anticipated his new release, Virgil Wander, as it’s been several years since Enger’s well-known 2002 title, Peace Like a River. Enger is an exquisite writer, and he fills this well written, quiet, character driven story with an eclectic mix of quirky characters and an astounding assortment of vocabulary (a great deal of which I had to look up!). Since I’m a fast reader, I had to slow my pace in order to savor the writing and ponder the phrases. Virgil Wander is not a book to power through. Because every sentence is packed with meaning, I found that it worked best for me to read it in chunks and then set it aside for an hour or an evening and pick it up fresh.

Enger creates an amazing sense of place as readers are introduced to a small, upper midwestern town on the shores of Lake Superior, north of Duluth, Minnesota as well as its various, colorful characters. The town, Greenstone, and the main character, Virgil Wander, are both struggling. Greenstone is on the decline and has experienced so much tough luck that it eventually creates a festival called “Hard Luck Days.” The story opens one snowy afternoon with Virgil’s rescue after he drives accidentally (?) off a cliff and submerges his car into Lake Superior. Virgil, surviving with a mild brain injury, returns to his former life feeling like a tenant and lives above the decrepit Empress theater which he owns and manages. Virgil’s life begins to change when Rune, a friendly Norwegian man, comes to town with his creative and extravagant kites. He has “a hundred merry crinkles at his eyes and a long-haul sadness in his shoulders.” Rune seeks to reconcile his grief over a son he never knew who has mysteriously disappeared while Virgil attempts to regain his memory, his equilibrium, and his vocabulary, and suffers silently with romantic feelings towards Rune’s son’s beautiful widow, Nadine. Rune and Virgil become friends and affect some positive changes in the town and help many of the town folk. Virgil finds joy in flying Rune’s kites:

“As a kid I’d enjoyed kites, but only in the usual way of kids, losing interest once they were airborne and manageable. Now I thought of flying daily, hourly. I didn’t hold the string so much as comb it, and once flying I felt small and unencumbered, as if the moving sky were home and I’d been misplaced down here. Maybe I wanted the broad reach, as Lou Chandler had said. That great wide open.”

Many sentimental moments involve Rune and Virgil rewatching old classic movies at the Empress theater, also providing an accepting and comforting gathering place for an assortment of their friends. There are too many sub plots to address in a review, but many of the story lines involve the reinvention of the town and Virgil.

A masterful writer, Enger includes themes such as loss, rebuilding a life (and a town), taking a risk (“[The kite] broke the line and caught the next gust out of town. A perilous beautiful move, choosing to throw yourself at the future, even if it means one day coming down in the sea.”), friendship, finding yourself (“For a man named Wander I’d spent a long time in one place.”), family, love, community, and drawing a wider circle (“Your tribe is always bigger than you think.”). Greenstone, the town’s name, is symbolic and thematic, too: (Wikipedia) “Greenstone is the state gem of Michigan, found along Lake Superior. It is a mineral found in basalt, a volcanic rock. The Ely greenstone found in MN is basalt that has been metamorphosed; that is, volcanic rock which under pressure has been changed into a new form.”

Recommended for fans of literary fiction and for fans of sentences like these:

“This he stated in a flattened voice like a wall build hastily to conceal ruins.”

or

“He had the heartening build of the aging athlete defeated by pastry.”

Recommended for readers who love character driven stories, important themes, and the insightful descriptions of ordinary people and their circumstances, for all who are searching for thoughtful content, for vocabulary enthusiasts, and, of course, for devoted fans of Peace Like a River.

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Small Town, Rural

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars



lieutenant's nurseThe Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman (author of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers…full review here)

Pearl Harbor … war … romance … intrigue … cover ups … friendship … heroic nurses are elements that make this a memorable story.

November, 1941 finds Eva Cassidy, a newly enlisted Army Corps nurse, on board the steamship SS Lurline on her way to her first assignment in Hawaii. Even though she’s engaged and her fiance is waiting for her in Hawaii, her voyage holds an interesting distraction: Lt. Clark Spencer, a handsome navy intelligence officer. Complications arise as Eva and Clark are drawn to each other and Eva desperately hides a secret from her past. Later, amidst the chaos of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Eva courageously bands together with her fellow nurses to tend to the American wounded, reconnects with Lt. Spencer, and is faced with questions of whom to trust and a desire to protect the ones she loves.

During the voyage to Hawaii, the story quietly builds as readers become acquainted with portions of Eva’s back story and make the acquaintance of Lt. Clark Spencer. Upon arrival at the island, the story picks up the pace as Pearl Harbor is bombed, medical personnel scramble to save lives, and there are rumors of a government cover up. This is the most engaging part of the story. I appreciate a good page turner and this aspect of the story delivers!

Readers cheer for Eva, a determined, adventurous, and independent woman, as she begins a new career as an army nurse, grapples with her past, feels responsibility for her polio stricken sister, bravely asserts herself into the medical crisis at Pearl Harbor, finds courage to state her opinions to authoritarian doctors, defends the man she truly loves, confronts danger, and embraces her intuition that recovering soldiers could benefit from a therapy dog.

Recommended for fans of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers, for readers who are interested in the fictionalized account of the attack on Pearl Harbor, for medical professionals who might be interested in the nursing aspect of the story, and for those looking for an engaging histfic read.

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, Women’s Fiction

Star Rating: 4 Stars



Happy Reading Book Worms!

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

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

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!



Looking Ahead:

I’m thrilled to be reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and eager to bring my review next week. (*Spoiler: I’m almost certain it will earn a place on my best of 2018 list)

where the crawdads sing



A Link I Love

Are you a Minimalist?
Novels and NonFiction: Titles I Found Most Helpful In My Minimalist Journey



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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

What are you reading this week?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

Fall Reading Season

September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

top ten tuesday

Today I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR. and Top Ten Books By My Favorite Authors I Intend To Read (eight of the authors on my Fall TBR fit this category of authors whose new books I intend to read). If you’ve clicked over from That Artsy Reader Girl, Welcome!

Fall Reading Season

***As the fall reason season progresses. I’ll add updates here as I read the books***

Welcome to my ambitious list for fall reading! (as usual I couldn’t narrow it to 10!)
*Listed in no particular order*

pumpkins

*Pumpkin images from Pottery Barn*

Maple-leaf1

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (release date: 10/9)
I’ve read some mixed review on this, but I’m a loyal Kate Morton fan so I’m eager to give it a try.
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (release date: 10/2)
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

The Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (installment #14 in The Inspector Gamache Three Pines series…they get better and better) (release date: 11/27)
You know what I’ll be doing in lieu of on-line Christmas shopping!
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

The Color of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith (installment #19 of No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series) (release date: 11/6)
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. A comfortable read with old friends! Full Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak (author of The Book Thief) (release date: 10/9)
***UPDATE: 2 Stars. A disappointing read. I’m not recommending this. Brief Goodreads Review Here.

Maple-leaf1

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (debut author) (pub date: 8/14)
I’ve read almost all glowing reviews of this one! It’s my most anticipated fall read which I’ll be reading and reviewing soon because my library hold just became available!
***Update: 5 Stars. Unforgettable character. (Full Review Here)

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Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (author of Peace Like a River) (release date: 10/2)
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars A memorable read. Brief Review Here.

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The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor  (co author of Last Christmas in Paris…one of my favorites this year) (release date: 10/9)
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars on Goodreads). Hazel Gaylor does it again! I loved this story. Full Review Here.

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Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
(pub date 7/3)
***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. A light hearted read. Full Review Here.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
(I’ve read some mixed reviews on this one….histfic is my fav genre so I’ll see for myself) (pub date: 9/4)
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Memorable and compelling. Full Review Here.

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Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo  (Newbery Award author) (release date 10/2)
Occasionally, I enjoy a great Middle Grade read! Looking forward to this one!
***UPDATE: 4.5 Stars. Memorable and unforgettable. Brief Review Here (scroll down page).

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The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff (author of The Orphan’s Tale) (release date 2/5/19)
This should be on my winter TBR except that I recently received an ARC (advanced reader copy from NetGalley/Park Row Books), so I’ll be reading and reviewing this in the fall.
***UPDATE: 4 Stars. Goodreads Review Here.

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I have three unread books from my Summer TBR …. I’m not sure if I’ll add them to my Fall TBR list or put them back on my general Goodreads To Be Read  (at some time) shelf.



Happy Reading Book Worms!

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

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

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

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Maple-leaf1



Looking Ahead:

I’ve recently finished reading three ARCs (advanced reader copies) of The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman and Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (author of Peace Like a River) and Hard Cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon. Look for my reviews of all three on Friday’s blog post.

lieutenant's nurse

virgil wander

hard cider



A Link I Love

Compassion for children with disabilities and their families.
Check out this opportunity to be a blessing to others: The Lucas Project (respite care for caregivers and siblings).

The back story of the Lucas Project. Follow Jess Ronne on Instagram @jessplusthemess



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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.

Maple-leaf1



 Let’s Discuss

Which book are you looking forward to reading most in fall? Do you plan your fall reading? Which books are on your list?

Maple-leaf1



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

August Wrap Up

August 31, 2018

August Wrap Up

August Wrap Up

Zero books were rated 5 star reads this month, but The Map of Salt and Stars came close and I consider it my best read of the month.

These Wrap Up posts are published with some trepidation because I’m concerned you might think that I’m recommending all these books. Please carefully notice my Star Ratings. Generally, I can confidently recommend 4 or 5 star reads, and I usually consider 3 star reads OK.

I’ve listed my August reads in order by my Star Ranking and my level of enjoyment. Titles are Amazon affiliate links and review links (blog or Goodreads) are also provided.

As always it’s OK to disagree! You might see a favorite that I’ve awarded 2 Stars or I might have rated a book high that you disliked…..Reading is a personal experience and each book makes a unique connection with the reader. Take my star ratings as simply one opinion.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhader
4.5 Stars
(best read of the month)
Full Review Here


The Boat People by Sharon Bala
4 Stars
Full Review Here


Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
4 Stars
Full Review Here


I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
3.5 Stars
Full Review Here


Lucy’s Little Village Book Club by Emma Davies
3 Stars
Brief Goodreads Review Here


The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
3 Stars
(not reviewed)


What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
2.5 Stars
Goodreads Review Here


The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
2.5 Stars
Brief Goodreads Review Here



summer

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



summer reading

My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read a good portion of the list (crossing off one more next week), some I’ve been more thrilled with than others, and I’ve only abandoned one)



Looking Ahead:

Next Friday, I hope to bring you a review of Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance.

clock dance

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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

What were your best reads of the month?

Are you looking ahead to fall reading? I have compiled a fall TBR list that I’m eager to share with you in September!



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

July Wrap Up

July 31, 2018

july wrap up

July Wrap Up

Out of the ten books I read in July, I can generally recommend the first five and wholeheartedly recommend the first three (indicated by 4 & 5 star ratings).

As well as making some progress on my Summer TBR, I also read one that I’ve declared my favorite of the year so far. My reads are listed below in the order of my Star Rating and enjoyment. Titles are affiliate Amazon links, and links to blog or Goodreads reviews are included when available.

As a reminder, here are my Star Rating category descriptions

5 Stars=loved it for all the reasons, highly recommendable to everyone, considered one of my best reads of the year

4 Stars=a great read, recommendable, and memorable

3 Stars=an OK read, I liked it overall but it also has some areas of weakness or it didn’t appeal to me (but others may have liked it)

2 Stars=it wasn’t to my taste for several reasons (but I did finish it) and I’m hesitant to recommend it… lack of appeal could be a genre or subject matter or writing style preference

1 Star=I abandoned it (DNF), not recommendable

Star ratings are extremely subjective and a book that I rate as 1 Star could be rated 5 Stars by someone else. Always check several reviews before making your reading choice, and please don’t be offended if we disagree on preferences.

What I Read

A Place For Us (Fiction) by Fatima Farheen Mirza
5+ Stars
(Full Review Here)
***MY FAVORITE of the year so far!***


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Fiction) by Rachel Joyce (author of The Music Shop)
4.5 Stars 
(Full Review Here)


An American Marriage (Fiction) by Tayari Jones
4.5 Stars
(Full Review Coming Soon)


Jefferson’s Sons (MG) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley [author of the delightful The War That Saved My Life (MG) and The War I Finally Won (MG)]
4 Stars
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


Sisters First  (Memoir) by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
4 Stars

(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


The Ensemble (Fiction) by Aja Gabel
3.5 Stars
(Full Review Here)


All We Ever Wanted (Fiction) by Emily Giffin
3 Stars (writing=2 Stars & relevant content=3 stars)
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


The Sweetness of Forgetting (light historical fiction) by Kristin Harmel
3 Stars
(Brief Goodreads Review Here)


Still Me (Fiction) by Jojo Moyes (sequel to Me Before You and After You)
2.5 Stars
(no review: if you’ve read the first two in the series and are a Jojo Moyes fan, you may enjoy this easy reading chick lit title)


Warlight (Historical Fiction) by Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient)
2 Stars
(Brief Goodreads 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



Give Away!

a place for us 2

There’s still time to enter my giveaway for A Place For Us. This link will take you to the Blogiversary Give Away post.



My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read more than half of the list, some I’ve been more thrilled with than others, and I’ve only abandoned one)



Looking Ahead:

 I finished An American Marriage this week and I am eager to bring you a review on Friday.

An American Marriage

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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

How’s your summer reading progressing? Are you finding some entertaining beach/pool/plane reads?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

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

10 Favorite Books So Far in 2018

July 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Books So Far in 2018

top ten tuesday

Linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday.

It’s the midway point of the year and time for me to start evaluating my most loved reads of the year so far. For me, these are the books that give me a “book hangover” …. meaning I think about them long after I’ve read the last page. Not all these books will make it onto my 2018 Top Ten Reads of the Year List, but I’ll definitely pull from this list.

If you find yourself looking for a great summer read, consider one of these titles.

fav reads so far 2018

The first book in the list below is my favorite read of the year so far with the others arranged in descending order. Titles are Amazon affiliate links, and I’ve included links to my full reviews.


A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

(contemporary fiction)
This shattered my 5 star meter and is my favorite read of the year. I became totally immersed in this family story of faith, parenthood, and sibling relationships. Full Review Here  5+ Stars.


My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

(historical fiction, fictionalized biography)
For fans of Alexander Hamilton: The Musical, a comprehensive and fictionalized biography of his wife, Eliza. 5 Stars. This was my favorite read of the year until I read A Place For Us. Full Review Here.


From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

(historical fiction, WW11)
Ranking near the top of my favorite list is this memorable and intriguing story of WW11, a Catholic priest, and a Jewish girl. 5 Stars. Full Review Here.


We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

(historical fiction, WW11)
What makes this story extra compelling is that it’s based on the real WW11 experiences of the author’s family and I appreciated its strong themes of faith and family. 5 Stars. Full Review Here.


The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

(YA historical fiction, WW11)
This is an engaging, page turning, and unique story of a brave teenage girl’s daring determination to help run a secret school and underground library in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.


The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

(fiction…with qualities of fable)
A touch of magical realism and romance as readers learn about the life of Frankie Presto and his special music gift. 5 Stars. Full Review Here.


The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

(contemporary fiction, London)
Readers who adore quirky characters will enjoy meeting Frank, owner of an eccentric music shop in a run down suburb of London, as he faces his relationship fears and does his part to preserve the vinyl record industry. 5 Stars. Full Review Here.


Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor

(light historical fiction, WW1, England)
Readers who love the epistolary format and the easy reading quality of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, will adore this WW1 story which also includes a bit of romance through letter writing. 5 Stars. Full Review Here.


The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio

(light historical fiction, New York City)
New York City lovers will especially appreciate this story set in NYC with its themes of the Suffragette Movement and historic Penn Station. 4.5 Stars. Full Review Here.


As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

(light historical fiction, Spanish Flu, Philadelphia)
Readers who are looking for an interesting and easy reading light histfic story about the Spanish Flu in Philadelphia might enjoy this heartfelt family story. 4 Stars. Full 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



My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read a handful, and I’ve only abandoned one)



 Links I Love:

Save the date: August 10! Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie is coming to Netflix! (trailer here)

Tips for parents about reading with children: Read Brightly: 15 Tips For Starting a Lifelong Conversation About Books

If you love to entertain or love cheese or love to present food beautifully on boards and trays, check out this new food blog! A Study In Cheese: The Art of Entertaining With Cheese



Looking Ahead:

 Friday I’m excited to bring you a review of the best book I’ve read so far this year: A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza.

a place for us 2.

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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!

Have you read any of these titles? What are your favorite reads of the year so far?

What are you reading this week?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s website.

June Wrap Up

June 30, 2018

June Wrap Up!

June Wrap Up

Brief Recap:

June was a less than awesome reading month in that I have no 5 star reads to report, and I did abandon two (I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and What I Saw and How I Lied). My 4 star reads are ok ….they are listed by my order of enjoyment. Us Against You was my most anticipated read….even though I’m a devoted Backman fan and am glad I read the sequel, Beartown is still my favorite of the two.

(ranked in order of star ratings and enjoyment….titles are Amazon links and my reviews are linked if available)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
4.5 Stars (Full Review Here)
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
4 Stars (Brief Goodreads Review Here)
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (MG)
4 Stars (Brief Goodreads Review Here)
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
4 Stars (Full Review Here)
Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton
3 Stars (Very Brief Goodreads Review Here)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
3 Stars (Very Brief Goodreads Review Here)
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (MG)
3 Stars (Goodreads Review Here)
Antie Poldi by Mario Giordano
3 Stars (Goodreads 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



My Summer TBR

I’ll be updating my Summer TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often!
(So far I’ve read a handful, and I’ve only abandoned one)



Links I Love:

Are you looking for a fun family or community project this summer? Check out this post about the Kindness Rock Painting Project!

If you’re looking for fiction recommendations from a Christian perspective, check out this post by The Caffeinated Bibliophile here.

SAVE THE DATE: Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie is releasing on Netflix August 10!!!



Looking Ahead:

 I’ll be reviewing The Ensemble next week. My library hold finally came in today. The Ensemble has received mixed reviews so I’m eager to see what I think.

ensemble.

***Cover Love***

Amazon Information Here



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! 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!

What did you read in June? What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

What are you reading this week?



***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. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

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

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s website.