Books I’d Love With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island #TopTenTuesday

July 27, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Love With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island

Books I'd Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island (Top Ten Tuesday) Image: purple text over a mountainous deserted island

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

Today, I’m linking up a recent Reading Ladies blog post with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Like With Me While On a Deserted Island.

So…..you’ll be treated to a list of TWENTY great reads instead of ten (or think of it as two lists of ten!).

(the following post was originally published on Reading Ladies on July 9, 2021 and includes Amazon affiliate links)

One Great Summer Read (20 Bloggers Offer ) imOne Best Rec) Image: tight focus of a woman sitting beside water reading

Image Source: Canva

Are you pondering what book to choose for your vacation or staycation?

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 in my hemisphere are looking for “Beach Reads.” (If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, happy “winter reading!”) The term “Beach Read” is puzzling to me because I think any book you read at the beach or the pool is a beach or pool read (similar to a 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 romcom, 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 or pool read?

20 Reviewers Recommend:

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

As Gina describes our project: “A worldwide summer reading multi-blogger extravaganza!”

I am thrilled to publish this post today! I asked TWENTY (including yours truly) experienced reviewers from a variety of geographical locations what they would recommend as their ONE “Not-to-be-Missed” Summer 2021 Reading Recommendation.

Today, I’m exceptionally excited to introduce you to a few of my blogging friends who chose ONE recommendation for YOU (listed in alphabetical order by blogger’s first name). I want you to notice that these bloggers are an international group! One of the greatest joys of blogging is making book friends around the world and country (better than pen pals!). Please take a look at their recommendations, check out their blogs, and give them a follow!

I think you’ll enjoy the following TWENTY “recent releases” recommendations that include some diversity and represent a mix of genres that will appeal to a variety of tastes (from self-help to romance to literary fiction to engaging women’s fiction to family drama to southern fiction to historical romance to uplit to domestic thriller to intergenerational friendship to science fiction to contemporary mystery to page-turning histfic to mysterious retelling to crime thriller to kindred spirits).

We hope at least one matches YOUR reading taste!

i love books

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

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Summer’s One #MustReadBook 2021 [ReBlog]

Are you looking for ONE more great read this summer? Check out this recommendation list from 20 fabulous bloggers/reviewers! Happy reading!

Reading Ladies

July 9, 2021

Find Your One “Must Read” Book of Summer 2021!

One Great Summer Read (20 Bloggers Offer ) imOne Best Rec) Image: tight focus of a woman sitting beside water reading

Image Source: Canva

Are you pondering what book to choose for your vacation or staycation?

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 in my hemisphere are looking for “Beach Reads.” (If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, happy “winter reading!”) The term “Beach Read” is puzzling to me because I think any book you read at the beach or the pool is…

View original post 5,300 more words

Did You Like the Ending? #toptentuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

July 13, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Did You Like the Ending?

Did You Like the Ending? white text over a background stack of hardback books on a blue wooden table

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl. The prompt for today is “Book Titles That Ask Questions.” Hummmm…..I looked through my list and I’ve got nothing! Since I don’t enjoy creating posts with randomly chosen covers or titles, I’m SPINNING this topic into my own question: “Did You Like the Ending?” (Jumping off a previous discussion post: What is a Good Ending?)

I’m also taking this opportunity to link up with the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

Do you love or loathe ambiguous endings?
Which books have you read that leave you wanting more?

I’m Ok with open-ended stories as long as the author leaves some breadcrumbs or inferences upon which I can draw my own conclusion. I loved ALL the following stories, but I wanted more from the endings in each case.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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Summer’s One #MustReadBook 2021

July 9, 2021

Find Your One “Must Read” Book of Summer 2021!

One Great Summer Read (20 Bloggers Offer ) imOne Best Rec) Image: tight focus of a woman sitting beside water reading

Image Source: Canva

Are you pondering what book to choose for your vacation or staycation?

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 in my hemisphere are looking for “Beach Reads.” (If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, happy “winter reading!”) The term “Beach Read” is puzzling to me because I think any book you read at the beach or the pool is a beach or pool read (similar to a 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 romcom, 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 or pool read?

20 Reviewers Recommend:

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

As Gina describes our project: “A worldwide summer reading multi-blogger extravaganza!”

I am thrilled to publish this post today! I asked TWENTY (including yours truly) experienced reviewers from a variety of geographical locations what they would recommend as their ONE “Not-to-be-Missed” Summer 2021 Reading Recommendation.

Today, I’m exceptionally excited to introduce you to a few of my blogging friends who chose ONE recommendation for YOU (listed in alphabetical order by blogger’s first name). I want you to notice that these bloggers are an international group! One of the greatest joys of blogging is making book friends around the world and country (better than pen pals!). Please take a look at their recommendations, check out their blogs, and give them a follow!

I think you’ll enjoy the following TWENTY “recent releases” recommendations that include some diversity and represent a mix of genres that will appeal to a variety of tastes (from self-help to romance to literary fiction to engaging women’s fiction to family drama to southern fiction to historical romance to uplit to domestic thriller to intergenerational friendship to science fiction to contemporary mystery to page-turning histfic to mysterious retelling to crime thriller to kindred spirits).

We hope at least one matches YOUR reading taste!

i love books

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

(more…)

10 Reasons Why I Love Reading #toptentuesday

July 6, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading (Image: white text over a tall stack on hard back book on a blue painted table)

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading.

Why do YOU love to read?

The most simple reason I love reading is that I’m a lifelong reader and have always loved the world of words. I’m the kid who read the cereal box with my breakfast in the morning.

People who love reading and are lifelong readers, usually love it for several of the same reasons. I suppose that many readers could make a similar list. I’m joining in with other TTT list makers today to celebrate the love of reading. Which reason would top your list? Do you have other reasons why you love reading?

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More Books Like These Please! #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

June 8, 2021

More Books Like These 5 Star Reads Please!

More Books Like These Please (a tall stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Which books or tropes do you wish there were more of?
Do we share any favorites?
Which book would top your own list?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: More Books Like These. and the 2021 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

For this post, I had to go with my first 10 or I could be here listing books forever! The following titles are representative of books that give me book hangovers and I think about for years to come! All of them are 5 Star reads! (in no particular order) Which book of yours would top your own list?



More like these please:



Smart, thoughtful, beautifully crafted, and complex contemporary fiction…

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a man and woman stand against a railing with backs to the camera


Poignant, relatable, and memorable complicated family drama

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


Unputdownable Histfic With Compelling Issues and Memorable Characters

Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

invention of wings


Honoring brave girls around the world

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)


Complicated Marriages and Friendships

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

(more…)

What Makes You Pick Up A Book? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2021

April 16, 2021

What makes you pick up a book?

What Makes You Pick Up A Book (white text over a background of a tall stack of hardbback books)

Image Source: Canva

One of the most pressing questions in the reading life is “What Should I Read Next?”

How do you decide what to read next? What makes you pick up a book?

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. One of my blogging goals in 2021 is to participate in more discussion link-ups. Do you enjoy discussion posts?

As I answer the questions, think about how you would answer them for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also an entry for the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What makes me pick up a certain book?

  • Reviews (I have a few reviewers I trust and who I consider my book twins!)
  • Known Author
  • Genre (hitfic FTW!)
  • Diverse Voices
  • Catchy Title

***Tip: I like to have a few books already in my queue so that I am not left adrift after finishing a book. It’s helpful in preventing decision fatigue to have something to hop right into. I enjoy a seamless reading experience. What makes you pick up a certain book?

Is a pretty cover enough?

Absolutely not! I’m actually most tempted by a catchy title or an author or review. I admit to liking bright covers….especially bright floral designs! I confess that I am growing weary of the women on histfic covers who are walking or looking away and all we see are their backs. Also, I usually prefer the original cover to the movie adaptation cover. It’s always interesting to notice different covers on the UK versions of books. Because I read on kindle, I hardly ever notice the covers until I start writing my review! Do you like a pretty cover?

Do I check for good reviews?

I stalk all reviews! The good reviews and the bad reviews. If I’m going to invest hours in reading a book, I want to make sure it’s a good fit for me. I don’t like to go in “cold.” Because I don’t usually read thriller or suspense, I’m not that worried about coming across spoilers. I’m trusting that most reviewers will avoid spoilers or have them clearly labeled. When I read reviews, I’m also looking for trigger or content warnings. I know that I don’t want to read books about child predators, serial killers, or witchcraft. I find it’s helpful to check the 2-star reviews. I know every book isn’t for every reader but I like to see if the shortcomings are something I can live with. For instance, if the reviewer indicates that excessive profanity is an issue, I will probably steer clear of that book. I know that I often quit on books with a great deal of profanity. If the reviewer indicates that the story is heavily character-driven with minimal plot, I will think carefully about that book and read more reviews. Many times when I pick up a book it’s because #BookstagramMadeMeDoIt (many thanks to my bookstagram buddies!) Do you read reviews or do you like to go in “cold”?

Do I depend on recommendations from friends, librarians, or booksellers?

pulling a shelf of library books

Maybe you have a group of bookish friends or family members who always recommend books? Perhaps you ask your librarian or bookseller for a rec? If we were friends in real life, I would always have a recommendation for you (maybe a cart full)! My hairstylist is not a fast reader but she appreciates having a good story on hand for when she wants to read. I began the tradition of buying her a book for Christmas one year. It took her an entire year to read it but she loved it and was ready for the next one the following Christmas! I guess she would say that she doesn’t worry about what to read next because she reads what her customer brings her! I think getting a recommendation from a friend is great because your BFF really knows you and your reading tastes. I have one friend that I love to get a rec from because we tend to enjoy the same books. Have you found your book twin?

Is the synopsis important?

The synopsis isn’t as important as reviews in my opinion. A synopsis is a sales pitch and it can be misleading or contain spoilers. I find that most reviewers are more careful about spoilers. The Sea Wife is sold as a thriller and I thought it was more of a family drama with a little mystery (how did the husband die?). I know several readers who were disappointed in the read because they were expecting a more thrilling story based on the synopsis. It was actually fine with me because I don’t like thrillers! Two years ago, I read an installment of No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and while I was writing my review I checked the official synopsis and a couple of events that were mentioned in the synopsis NEVER happened in the story! Sometimes, it’s painfully obvious that the writer of the synopsis has not read the book! Is the synopsis important to you?

Do I look for diversity or #ownvoices?

Yes, I purposely look for diverse reads and #OwnVoices authors. I track my yearly stats in a spreadsheet and I always include this category! In my monthly reading wrapups, I like to see a nice variety of voices and perspectives. Do you purposely look for diversity in your reading life?

Does my last read influence my next read?

Definitely, yes. I recently read a very heavy WW11 histfic book, and I immediately picked up a sweet middle grade read. I do like to balance my genres a bit. Sometimes that fluffy chick-lit book is exactly the palate cleanser I need. Even though my followers must think I read nothing but histfic, that’s not the case. Sometimes I don’t write full blog reviews for my in between reads….but I do note them all on Goodreads. Often, a series will influence what I read next. I can’t pick up book #4 in a series and enjoy it without reading the three previous installments! I’m a binge reader when it comes to a good series. In fact, when I am immersed in a series, it’s the perfect antidote to worrying about what I’ll read next. Are you influenced by your last read?

Do l Iook for any checkboxes?

Absolutely! My biggest checkbox is probably histfic. That genre always intrigues me and deserves a look! I also love complicated family drama, found family, and friendship themes and enemies to lovers or friends to lovers tropes. What are your most important checkboxes?

Do I have autobuy authors?

For sure! Fredrick Backman, Kate Quinn, Louise Penny (although I’ve decided not to read the one she’s coauthoring with Hillary Clinton), and Stephanie Dray (especially coauthoring with Laura Kamoie) are four definite auto-buy authors. For chick-lit, I’m always curious about Katherine Center’s new releases. I love Sara Ackerman’s Pearl Harbor/Hawaii stories. I could go on and on listing authors whose work I’m always checking out! Do you have an auto-buy author?

Do I reread?

Usually I don’t reread. I keep a list of lifetime favorites and I’d be happy to read anything on that list should the mood arise. I suffer from FOMO and I’m distracted by the new and shiny, so the pleasure of rereading gets pushed to the back burner. I did reread The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society before the movie came out. And I impulsively reread The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry last summer. Honestly, I’m always fearful that I won’t love a book as much as the first time I read it. I’m addicted to the “Wow” experience in reading and second or third reads don’t offer the same thrill.  However, there are different reasons to reread a book including appreciating the prose and revisiting a poignant theme or memorable characters. I remember the time I read The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman two times in a row. The first time, I was gripped by the plot. As soon as I read the last word, I immediately started on page one to reread more carefully and appreciate the writing, character development, and themes. Fortunately, this is a short story that is easily read in an hour! What is the last book you reread?

Am I influenced by hype?

Yes and no. As I mentioned earlier, I have FOMO so I’m always influenced by hype…Except if the book doesn’t check my boxes. When that happens, I feel awful! I don’t like being out of the loop for new reads. But it happens and I live with it. My most recent experience involves The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I am familiar with her work (The Great Alone, The Nightingale, and The Winter Garden), but I know that she can make me ugly cry (especially her earlier titles). When I heard how sad The Four Winds was, I just knew I wasn’t in the right headspace. I’ve also read a review that gave me pause. I’ve decided not to read it, but I have to live with the hype! Are you influenced by hype?

Outside forces often dictate which book I read next.

At times my review calendar decides my next read for me. I have made commitments to publishers and blog tours that must be honored. Other times, library due dates dictate which book I read next! Occasionally, I pause my hold (easy to do if reading digitally on Overdrive or Libby!), but it’s always looming and I rarely totally give up my place on the holds list and start over. Instagram Buddy Reads and IRL Book Club also affect which book I read next. I need to be accountable to the group and ready for discussion! Do library holds or book club commitments influence what you read next?



I think that knowing yourself as a reader leads to a satisfactory and enriching reading life. (see this post about Your Reading Style)

QOTD: What makes you pick up a certain book?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

© ReadingLadies.com

The 20 Questions Book Tag

March 22, 2021

The 20 Questions Book Tag

20 Questions Book Tag (text over a background of a tall stack of books)

Image Source: Canva

Do you enjoy book tag posts or do you enjoy writing them? I always enjoy reading them and appreciate the tags, but I don’t have a stellar record in responding to them! Thanks Kimberly @ My Bookish Bliss for the tag!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Questions

1. How many books are too many books in a series?

I’m easily addicted to a series, so the more the merrier for me! I love returning to a familiar world and relaxing into the read because it’s a world and an author I know and trust. It also solves the dilemma of “what to read next.” Probably my most favorite series is the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache/Three Pines series by Louise Penny. I’ve read sixteen installments in which each one is creative and fresh and compelling. Another long series I’ve read is the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve read all twenty-one installments and some are stronger than others. What is your favorite series? Have you read a series with over ten installments?

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Hummmm…..I usually don’t like cliffhangers. Even in a series, I feel that each installment should be able to be read as a “stand-alone.” For example, Louise Penny’s most recent installment, All the Devils Are Here is a great read but I doubt if readers would want to read the previous fifteen installments before reading it! I appreciate the series because although there are overarching themes that carry through, each installment has a self-contained mystery to solve and a satisfactory conclusion. I recently read Ghost by Jason Reynolds (MG) and although I knew it was part of a four-part series, I thought I could read it as a stand alone. I was surprised at the end of the book to find a minor cliffhanger…..so onto book two! Same….onto book three. Same….finally I read all four books in the series because I just had to know what happened! The cliffhangers were actually cleverly done and I admire the author’s ability to gently encourage the reader to read the next book!

3. Hardback or paperback?

For a few years now, I’ve read exclusively on my kindle. However, when I bought physical books, I preferred hardbacks because they look nicer on a bookshelf. When traveling, of course, I preferred paperbacks….most of the time I would leave them behind in airports, restaurants, or hotel lobbies for other readers!

4. Favorite book?

This is like asking me to name my favorite child! An impossible question! First, I’d ask “Which Genre?” My favorite genre is historical fiction and the book that hooked me on histfic and gave me my first book hangover was Gone With the Wind! However, in recent years, the histfic book I recommend most often is Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. My favorite complicated family drama is A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. My favorite epistolary is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. My favorite mystery is the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. A couple of old favorites are Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I’m busy creating a lifetime favorites list in my mind which I’ll publish on the blog one of these days.

5. Least favorite book?

I don’t usually like to bring attention to books that are not my favorite because I feel like no two persons read the same book, and my favorite might be your least favorite and vice versa. I also don’t relish hurting an author’s feelings. To answer this question though, I’ll mention a few books that did not provide me with great reading experiences. I generally don’t appreciate heavily character-driven books where nothing happens! I remember the first time I realized this about myself I was reading Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. The Accidental Tourist also bored me. (sorry Anne Tyler fans!) The last book I was terribly disappointed in was Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak. I highly anticipated a great read because of the author, but the story was all sadness, too much offensive profanity, and too long. I also don’t like books that are too dark. Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever comes to mind. I was engaged with the mildly thrillerish aspect of the story until near the end when she included an icky child abuse scene that appeared to be included simply for shock value. I vowed to put her on my “authors I might want to avoid list” because her stories are a bit too dark for me. One book that I actually hated only because of the ending is Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. I was tempted to throw that book across the room because of the twist at the end where I felt “punked” by the author. The last book I’ll mention disliking is American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s fan fiction about Laura Bush (wife of President George Bush), and I thought it was crass and not reflective at all of the gracious and lovely person. I’m embarrassed for her that it was written. Yes. I do have strong opinions about books that never make it to the blog! I’m sure some of you are screaming at your screen right now because I have mentioned one or more of the books you’ve loved. All I can say is that reading is a personal experience, and no two persons ever read the same book.

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What is a Good Ending? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2021

January 30, 2021

What is a Good Ending?

What is a Good Ending? (text over a background of a stack of hardback books)

When my daughter took piano lessons and I nagged her about practicing, she told me, “If you practice the beginning of the song and the end of the song and know the beginning and the end really well, she (the teacher) will still give you a sticker!” Silly me to think that she would need to master the entire song!

Girl playing the piano

I feel this way about beginnings and endings to books! The author has about 50 pages to engage me, and she or he better nail the ending! I often change my star rating in the event of an extremely satisfactory ending or a beginning that immerses me immediately into the story.

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. One of my blogging goals in 2021 is to participate in discussion link-ups. Do you enjoy discussion posts?

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also my 1st entry for the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

If endings are important, what is a good ending?

Some endings are revealed in the first chapter of the book and the story unravels the events that precede it. For example, Little Fires Everywhere starts with the fire, and Everything I Never Told You starts with a death. Do you enjoy endings that are revealed at the beginning of the story?

Reading is a personal experience, and I think the type of ending you prefer is also personal. There are no right or wrong answers here…..just exploration!

Do you have a preference for a certain type of ending? Some different types of endings include:

1.

HEA (happily ever after)

We can expect HEA endings in the Romance or RomCom genres. No matter how much tension or conflict the middle of the story contains, we can be assured of the HEA. Although predictable, this leads to an enjoyable reading experience for many readers. In 2020, my pandemic reading brain seemed to crave these endings!

2.

Hopeful

Middle-Grade stories are known for their themes of hope, and a hopeful ending is an upspoken rule in middle-grade fiction. This is why I turn to MG when I feel myself going into a reading slump or need a break from more intense reads. Of course, adult fiction can also have hopeful endings. I enjoy a hopeful ending immensely! In adult literature, I think a hopeful ending pairs nicely with a second chances trope. Also, endings that involve reconciliation or redemption fall into the hopeful endings category for me. These are some of my favorite endings and Ask Again, Yes and All the Devils Are Here are two examples of endings I love because of reconciliation themes.

3.

Cliffhanger or Open-Ended

A book in a series will sometimes end with a cliffhanger. Even though I might enjoy the series, I don’t enjoy a cliffhanger ending. First, I don’t want to wait a year or more for the next installment. In addition, I think that even books in a series should be able to be read as stand alones. If you’ve just read a fabulous review for All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny and are excited to read it, do you really want to read the prior 15 installments first? Probably not. Fortunately, all of Louise Penny’s books can be read as stand alones because each case is self-contained in one book….although I don’t recommend it because of the character development and overarching themes that develop from book to book. In this series, reading the books in order create a richer reading experience for the reader. In each book. Louise creates a satisfactory ending. We may be curious about what happens next in the family, or to the friends, or in the village, but all conflict and problems are resolved. This is a very long response to say that while I don’t mind a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter, I don’t enjoy cliffhangers as story endings! In addition, I don’t honestly enjoy open-ended endings. After I’ve invested hours reading the book, I need some sort of conclusion!

4.

Satisfactory

I don’t necessarily need HEA endings, but I do enjoy a satisfactory ending. A Place For Us doesn’t exactly have a happy ending and it left me wondering what would happen next for the family relationships, but the ending was satisfactory in many ways (mainly because it was realistic). Several readers have complained about the ending in Little Fires Everywhere, but it was satisfactory for me because enough subtle hints were given for me to imagine what their future might be. In fact, I reread the last few pages several times to glean all the clues! I rate it satisfactory where many readers didn’t feel this way. News of the World by Paulette Jiles has an ending (epilogue) that I felt was extremely satisfying and I truly loved it because it addressed a thought-provoking theme of “doing things right or doing the right thing.”

5.

Sad

Confession: I didn’t read #3 in the Divergent Trilogy because I read in reviews that favorite characters die. If a character you love dies in the end, that’s a sad ending. I feel that some authors manipulate you to “ugly cry” and I don’t like those stories or endings. Sometimes, though, an ending is sad because the story follows the character to the end of his or her life. Stories that have these types of endings include The Book Thief, A Man Called Ove, Castle of Water, The Story of Arthur Truluv, and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett. I think of these endings as bittersweet rather than sad.

6.

Plot Twist

I can think of one book I vehemently disliked because of the plot twist at the end: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon I didn’t see it coming and I felt “punked” by the author. It ruined the entire story for me and I wanted to throw the book across the room! Others loved the story but the ending ruined it for me. Other stories like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman have a plot twist that really works! In reading Eleanor, I was surprised but not in a negative way….more in an ahhh haaaa way that caused me to want to reread the book from a new perspective

7.

Epilogue

Some stories include an epilogue. I usually enjoy epilogues because they help us understand what the future holds for our beloved characters. There are a few books that I feel needed an epilogue including Eleanor & Park (what were those three words?!)The Girl With the Louding Voice and Little Fires Everywhere. Epilogues are like a serving of dessert after a great meal!

8.

Ambiguous, Unresolved, Confusing, Falls Flat, Rushed, Abrupt

Ugh! These are my least favorite endings. After all the time I’ve invested, I don’t appreciate an ending that falls short: flat, ambiguous, unresolved, rushed, abrupt, or confusing. Authors, please give me a satisfactory ending! A few endings I have felt conflicted about include The Scent Keeper by Erica Braumiester (great story, beautifully written, but the ending fell flat for me) and The Mothers by Brit Bennett (engaging story and interesting characters, but I felt the ending fizzled). For the most part, The Great Alone is a story with a tense, slow build up….then BAM….the ending is rushed and frantically paced. I realize these opinions fall under personal preference!

9.

Bittersweet

In the historical fiction genre, I encounter this type of ending quite often. These realistic endings usually leave me with a book hangover!

10.

Explicit

In this type of ending, there are no lingering doubts or questions. Every character is revisited and has a thoroughly described ending. I recall that William Kent Kruegar in This Tender Land carefully follows through with what happens to the four children. Some readers prefer that an ending is left more to the imagination or inference, but I don’t mind well-explained endings! I prefer explicit to open-ended every time.

QOTD: Which ending do you prefer?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

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

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

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

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



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New-To-Me Authors in 2020 #TopTenTuesday

January 26, 2021

New-To-Me Authors in 2020

New-To-Me Authors in 2020 (image: an open laptop, a cup of coffee, and a potted plant with pink flowers)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors in 2020.

Most of these are not debut authors, but they are authors I have read for the first time in 2020.

1.

William Kent Kreuger

Kreuger is the author of the popular and well-loved Cork O’Connor mystery series (I have not read any books in this series). In 2020 I read This Tender Land. After I read it, many readers commented and asked whether I had read Ordinary Grace. I had not, so I read that, too. I think I liked it even more than This Tender Land. Have you read any of Kreuger’s work? If not, I suggest starting with Ordinary Grace.

2.

Meg Waite Clayton

In 2020, I read my first Meg Waite Clayton book, The Last Train to London. It was one of my favorite reads of the year, so I would be thrilled to read more work by this author! Have you read it?

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite CLayton (cover)

3.

Jenny Lecoate

In 2020, I read an ARC of The Girl From the Channel Islands by debut novelist Jenny Lecoate (review coming 2.2.2021). I enjoyed it, and I look forward to her next book.

The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (cover) Image: a young woman stands next to a bicycle in a field overlooking a small village as airplanes fly overhead

4.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is a popular author, but I’ve never read her books. In 2020, I suffered from pandemic brain and craved lighter reads. When I came across reviews for Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, I knew I should give it a try. Soon after that, I requested an ARC of her next book, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow. Redland offers thoughtful themes in the chick-lit/”uplit”/romance genres. I’m eager to read the next in the Hedgehog Hollow series this year.

5.

Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts is a prolific author of light women’s fiction (romance, chick-lit), but I’ve never read one of her books (I didn’t realize she has written so many!). Still suffering from pandemic brain (as noted above), I craved lighter reads. I came across a review for #4 in her Moonlight Harbor series, Beachside Beginnings. After I read it, I knew I wanted to read #1-#3 in the series, too. I’m looking forward to continuing the series now that I know the characters. Because she writes in the romance genre I don’t typically read, I don’t think I’ll read her backlist. However, some predictable, HEA, chick-lit is appealing to me during the pandemic.

Welcome to Moonlight Harbor by Sheila Roberts (image: wooden steps lead down to a beach)

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