Christmas in Briarwood [Book Review]

December 8, 2021

Christmas in Briarwood by M.K. McClintock

Christmas in Briarwood by MK McClintock (cover) Image: brown text with a snow covered forest above and below

Genre/Categories: Historical (Frontier) Romance Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Novella, Series

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thanks @BookSirens for the free complimentary eARC of #ChristmasInBriarwood upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Hawk’s Peak Ranch as well as the town of Briarwood is the setting for this heartfelt story in which the generous and compassionate Gallagher family is the core of the community. Christmas in Briarwood is #8 in The Montana Gallagher Series. Rachel Watson is recovering from a traumatic incident and Julian has come back into town to report on the manhunt for the man that caused the trauma. As the community prepares for Christmas, Rachel Watson and Julian Frank learn to trust each other and risk their wounded hearts.

My Thoughts:

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Novellas in November 2021 Wrap Up #NovNov

November 26, 2021

Novellas in November 2021 Wrap Up #NovNov

Novellas in November (white text on a brownish orange textbox against a background of fall leaves)

Background image source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links

As well as #NonfictionNovember, I participated in Novellas in November (#NovNov) this year with Cathy @ 746 Books and Rebecca @ Bookish Beck. Here are the results of my novella reading.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Novellas I Read:

 Contemporary Fiction

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
3 Stars
(beautifully and lyrically written but I found the second person pov challenging)

Short Nonfiction 

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
3 Stars
(beautiful passages about nature and fascinating descriptions of her childhood and college years)

Literature in Translation (from French)

A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery
4 Stars
(beautifully and quietly written….wonderful descriptions of Japanese gardens, neighborhoods, and culture)

Short Classic

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
3 Stars
(masterfully written but I had a difficult time with the ending…..it seemed contrived and it was difficult to buy into the actions by the characters….a very sad story)

Own Voices/YA

 The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
3 Stars
(I didn’t feel well connected to the main character because the story is more focused on describing her neighbors and her neighborhood than on character development….insightful and poignant descriptions of experiences and poverty in a Hispanic neighborhood)

Christmas/Romance (closed door)/Chick Lit
(mood reading!)

A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt
3.5 Stars
(light and enjoyable contemporary fiction)

Christmas in Briarwood by MK McClintock
3.5 Stars
(light and heartfelt historical fiction)


Other novellas I’ve enjoyed in recent years include:

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman (novella in translation)

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (although this might be considered a short story)

The Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

The Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (novella in translation from Japanese)

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff



QOTD:

Did you read a novella in November?
If you could recommend ONE novella title for me, what would you recommend?
If you participated in #NovNov, please leave a link to your post in comments.



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



Let’s Get Social!

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



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

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

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

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

Novellas in November 2021 #NovNov

November 3, 2021

Novellas in November #NovNov

Novellas in November (white text on a brownish orange textbox against a background of fall leaves)

Background image source: Canva

Do you love novellas or short stories?

Is there a difference?

Although definitions can vary somewhat, novellas are between 17,500-40,000 words and are under 200 pages in length while short stories are between 7,500-10,000 words and are under 30 pages. For this post, every title I mention is under 200 pages.

As well as #NonfictionNovember, I’m participating in Novellas in November (#NovNov) this year with Cathy @ 746 Books and Rebecca @ Bookish Beck.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Weekly Topics and My Reading Plan:
(Join us?)

1–7 November: Contemporary fiction

I’m reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (which has been on my TBR for a while) and the “buddy read” Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson.

8–14 November: Short nonfiction 

I’m reading the “buddy read” The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. (free to download here from Project Gutenberg. Note: only the first 85 pages constitute her memoir; the rest is letters and supplementary material.) This selection will also work for Nonfiction November!

15–21 November: Literature in translation

I might read the “buddy read” Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima (if it’s not too sad). But I’m open to suggestions for a novella in translation (I’ve already read The Convenience Store Woman).

22–28 November: Short classics

I’m reading the “buddy read” Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. (free to download here from Project Gutenberg)

Other novellas I’ve enjoyed in recent years include



Look for my Novellas in November #NovNov wrap up post on November 29, 2021.



QOTD:

Are you reading a novella in November?
If you could recommend ONE novella title for me, what would you recommend?
If you are participating in #NovNov, please leave a link to your post in comments.



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



Let’s Get Social!

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 photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

The Deal of a Lifetime [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

June 11, 2020

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
#throwbackthursday

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

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of a favorite adult fairy tale, The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman….poignant, thought-provoking, and reflective.

Fredrik Backman is an auto-buy author for me, and I’m a Backman completist!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a blue suitcase sits against a wall on a wooden floor, a straw hat is propped on one corner of the suitcase and a white bunny (stuffed) lies on the floor in front of the suitcase

Genre/Categories:  literary fiction, contemporary fiction, adult fairy tale, ambition, self-reflection, end of life

My Summary:

“In true Backman style, The Deal of a Lifetime is an intricately woven story (novella) of an unlovable, complex, and flawed character whom we begin to understand and care about as he faces the end of his life. Written as the last message from father to son and told like a fairy tale for adults, it’s a story of a legacy, ambition and success at all costs, fear of failure, the meaning of life, the commodity of time, an accounting of one’s life, and a father/son relationship. I hesitate to give details of the plot in this summary because I don’t want to spoil your read. Briefly, it’s the story of a successful and famous man in the mid-years of his life counting the personal cost of his achievements and striking a last deal to make things right.”

For those who collect opening lines….these are stellar!

“…I’ve killed a person. That’s not how fairy tales usually begin, I know. But I took a life. Does it make a difference if you know whose it was…..Does it make a difference if I killed a good person? A loved person? A valuable life?”  ~Backman’s opening lines

A reflective read for those who appreciate the beauty of short stories and for readers who might enjoy a thoughtful adult fairy tale about the purpose and meaning of life …..

Continue here for my full review of The Deal of a Lifetime which includes a set of discussion questions for your book club!

QOTD: Have you read The Deal of a Lifetime or is it on your TBR?

The Deal of a Lifetime [Book Review]

November 24, 2017

What would you be prepared to sacrifice in order to save a life?

What footprints are you leaving in your life?

For what or how will you be remembered?

What is your legacy?

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a blue suitcase sits against a wall on a wooden floor, a straw hat is propped on one corner of the suitcase and a white bunny (stuffed) lies on the floor in front of the suitcase

Genre/categories: literary fiction, contemporary fiction, adult fairy tale, ambition, self-reflection, end of life

Summary:

In true Backman style, this is an intricately woven story of an unlovable, complex, and flawed character whom we begin to understand and care about as he faces the end of his life. Written as the last message from father to son and told like a fairy tale for adults, it’s a story of a legacy, ambition and success at all costs, fear of failure, the meaning of life, the commodity of time, an accounting of one’s life, and a father/son relationship. I hesitate to give details of the plot in this summary because I don’t want to spoil your read. Briefly, it’s the story of a successful and famous man in the mid-years of his life counting the personal cost of his achievements and striking a last deal to make things right.

Although it’s sold as a novella, I consider it a short story. In reading Amazon reviews, I found that several readers that gave a 3 Star or lower rating cited their disappointment at the shortness of the work when they were expecting something longer for the price.

Amazon Rating: 4.2 Stars

My Thoughts:

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