The Vanishing Half: [Book Review]

June 3, 2020

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (cover)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Sisters, Complicated Family Drama, Own Voices

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

The Vignes sisters are twins. They are light-skinned black girls, identical, and inseparable. They endure a childhood trauma, are forced to leave high school early and go to work, and eventually leave home (run away) together at sixteen. From that point, everything changes. The future finds them estranged. Desiree escapes an abusive marriage and returns to her small southern hometown to live with her mom and her dark child. This is difficult because the town celebrates light-skinned blacks and Desiree’s dark-skinned daughter, Jude, faces racism within the black community. Stella decides to pass as white which means that she completely cuts ties with her past and her family. The Vanishing Half begins in the 1950s and concludes in the 1990s with the next generation (Desiree’s and Stella’s daughters).

My Thoughts:

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Far From the Tree [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

June 25, 2020

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
#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 Far From the Tree by Robin Benway….a compelling family story.

Are you a fan of multi-layered family drama?

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway (cover) Image: black text on a background of pinkish purple explosion of leaves

Genre/Categories: YA Fiction, Social & Family Issues, Adoption, Siblings

My Summary:

“Far From the Tree is a contemporary YA fiction novel in which three biological siblings (placed for adoption or foster care as babies in separate families) find their way to each other as teenagers and discover a deeper meaning of family. The story is complicated because Grace, one of the three siblings, has just placed her own baby up for adoption. In addition, Joaquin, another of the siblings has experienced trauma growing up in the foster care system. The author tenderly explores each of their stories including the mistrust, feelings of aloneness, and individual hurts and disappointments. Far From the Tree won the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.”

Continue here for my full review of Far From the Tree

QOTD: Have you read Far From the Tree or is it on your TBR?

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

May 28, 2020

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
#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 memoir, Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin….nostalgic, thoughtful, and memorable nonfiction.

If you are missing baseball this season because of Covid-19, this book might be for you!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin (cover) Image: an empty professional baseball stadium

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography, Baseball, Nostalgia,

My Summary:

“From loyal baseball fans, the refrain “Wait Until Next Year!” can often be heard after suffering a disappointing loss. In fact, it was after the Dodgers’ loss in Game 7 of the recent World Series that a fan vehemently shouted these exact words captured by a reporter’s microphone and camera. At that time, I was reminded of Goodwin’s Wait Till Next Year that had been on my TBR list for some time and which had been declared one of my husband’s favorite reads last year. In honor of the recent, well-played, and highly spirited 2017 World Series, I decided it’s timely to read and review this popular memoir.

In Wait Till Next Year, Doris tells of meeting baseball heroes, of nail-biting games, of having to confess at Confession that she wished the other team’s players would be injured so Dodgers could win, of the exciting World Series win in 1955, and of her sorrow as the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957.  She was so devastated by the loss of her team that she avoided baseball for years after the Dodgers left, and when she was convinced as a young adult to attend a Red Sox game, she transferred her loyalties, started keeping score again, and passed on her love of the game to her son. In addition to the loss of the Dodgers, she also tells of the loss of her mother at an early age.”

Nostalgic, family-centered, and loads of fun for baseball fans …..

Continue reading my review of Wait Till Next Year to see what I loved.

QOTD: Have you read Wait Till Next Year or is it on your TBR?

If you’re thinking ahead for Father’s Day, this might be a great gift for a baseball fan!

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

May 21, 2020

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
#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 YA favorite, Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig. It’s an engaging, page-turning, and memorable read.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

GinnyMoon by Genjamin Ludwig (cover) Image: a girl holding a red backpack stands in an open grassy field with one lone tree in the background)

Genre/Categories: YA/Adult crossover contemporary fiction, coming of age, Autism, family life, differing abilities, adoption

My Summary:

“Ginny is fourteen, adopted, a child on the spectrum, and is committed to saving her “baby doll.” In her fourth home since having been removed from her biological mom’s care, she has now been adopted by her “forever mom” and “forever dad.” For years, Ginny has been troubled about something that happened the night she was taken away from her biological mom and cannot think about anything else until she makes it right. Her “forever” parents and her counselor don’t seem to understand the extent of Ginny’s commitment or her concern, so Ginny is left with no choice but to attempt an escape.”

Engaging, Page-turning, and Memorable…..

Continue reading my review of Ginny Moon to see what I loved….

QOTD: Have you read Ginny Moon or is it on your TBR?

#throwbackthursday Wonder by R.J. Palacio [Book Review]

May 14, 2020

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
#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 MG/YA read, Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s on my lifetime favorites list and I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s a “must-read.”

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (cover) Image: graphic of a mostly blank boy's head (one eye and a head of hair and ears are the only features) against a blue background

Genre/Categories: Middle grade through adult contemporary fiction,  growing up, difficult discussions, family life, friendship, compassion, character traits

My Summary:

“On the inside, ten-year-old August Pullman feels very ordinary. But as he says, ordinary kids don’t make other kids run away screaming and they don’t get stared at wherever they go. Auggie was born with a rare genetic abnormality that affected the formation of his face. Because of extensive surgeries and an attempt to protect him from cruelties of the outside world, Auggie’s parents have homeschooled him. The reader meets 5th grade Auggie as he’s being enrolled in a traditional school for the first time. Will he be accepted? Will he find friends? Will he find a hostile or friendly environment? How will adults in his life support him? The story is told from six perspectives (August, Via–his older sister, Summer–a friendly caring peer, Jack–a student leader who struggles in his role as a friend, Miranda–his sister’s best friend and a close family friend, and Justin–Miranda’s boyfriend) plus a bonus chapter from Julian’s point of view (Auggie’s nemesis).”

“Heart…Heroes…and Humor”

Continue reading my review of Wonder to see what I loved….

QOTD: Have you read Wonder or is it on your TBR?

Ten Book Recommendations For Mom or For Someone Who Has Been Like a Mom!

May 8, 2020

Is Your Mom a Reader?

Would your mom appreciate a book as a gift?
Are you looking for a book recommendation for your mom or for someone who has been like a mom to you?

I scoured my recently read books to find ten titles that I would buy for my own mom and would feel comfortable recommending for yours.

Ten Books Your Mom (or someone who has been like a mom to you) Might Enjoy:

A few of my favorite recommendations for mostly lighter reads that have wide appeal…

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (contemporary fiction with a side of friendship)

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)

This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagan (light contemporary fiction)

This Won't End Well (cover) ....a young woman peeking through some bushes

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain (histfic with a side of mystery)

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain (cover)

The Lovely War by Julie Berry (WW1)

Lovely War cover

Birth and Other Surprises by Kimberly Davis Basso (memoir, humorous essays)

Birth and Other Surprises by Kimberly Davis Basso (cover) Gold fancy writing on a white cover

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (histfic, love story)

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (cover)

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (faith, marriage, friendship)

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (post-apartheid South Africa)

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (cover)

Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor (romantic histfic)

Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (cover)

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (complicated family drama)

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)

Related:
2019 list of book recommendations for Mother’s Day gifts here.



I hope you found a great title for gifting! Or maybe you found something for yourself!

Mom, I love (heart) You (Image: a lilac colored bucket filled with a variety of colored tupips and words attached to a ribbon))

 

Let's keep this candle burning for all the moms in Heaven this Mother's Day (image: a single burning candle)

 

six sentiments for mothers who have lost children or lost mothers or have strained relationships

 



 Let’s Discuss!

I’d love to know if you’re buying a book for mom this Mother’s Day.

Do you have a favorite title we can add to this list?



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



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

© ReadingLadies.com

10 Inspirational Reads For Middle Grade March

March 9, 2020

10 Inspirational Reads For Middle Grade March

(top view) picture of a middle grade child reading on a recliner covered with a reddiish knitted afghan

Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

To participate in #middlegrademarch, I’ve compiled a list of ten (plus!) great Middle-Grade reads! There are many wonderful middle-grade books from which to choose and even though I haven’t read extensively in middle grade, these titles are stories that I’ve recently read and thought were exceptional because of their themes and/or diversity.

Often, children fall in love with reading in Middle Grade. Was this your experience? Children in Middle Grade have “learned to read” and they can fully immerse themselves in the world of words as they “read to learn” and “read for enjoyment.” They have more autonomy to choose their own reading material and can pursue individual interests. Many stories promote great family read-aloud experiences (or buddy reads). As a bonus, most Middle-Grade stories have heartfelt themes without the angst and/or objectionable language of YA. Reading builds understanding and compassion.

What theme do you think Middle Grade books have in common?

For adults, Middle-Grade books make the perfect palate cleanser or fit the description of books that can be read in a day. If I’m feeling in a reading “funk,” I often seek out a recommended Middle Grade read to stimulate my reading life once again. I love that Middle-Grade books almost always end on a hopeful note. This theme of hopefulness is one of the main reasons I love reading in the Middle-Grade genre. I strongly believe that great Middle-Grade literature can be enjoyed by adults!

In addition to all the above reasons to read Middle-Grade literature, I appreciate the authors who write diversely for Middle-Grade readers and write on difficult themes or topics in an easy to read and understandable manner. If we buy and read more Middle-Grade diverse literature, it will encourage publishers and writers to produce more. I think it’s important for children to see themselves in literature.

Middle-Grade Literature

(in no particular order)

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Women’s History Month 2020: 10 Inspirational Reads

March 2, 2020

Women’s History Month 2020: 10 Inspirational Reads

Six young women standing on a bluff with itheir hands on the shoulders of the girl in front of her ... all facing sideways looking at the ocean

Do You Need a Reading Idea for Women’s History Month?

Inspired by Women’s History Month, which was established to amplify women’s voices and value their contributions to history, I searched through my reading lists to find stories about inspirational women whom we can celebrate during Women’s History Month.

Historical Fiction is filled with inspirational women; some are actual historical figures and others are fictional characters who lived during a certain historical time period. For this list, I’ve chosen stories about real women in history. Titles are Amazon links and my available reviews are linked.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

In no particular order….

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini (cover)

Brave women in the German resistance movement before and during WW11. (histfic) Full Review Here

Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn et al.

Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn et al. (cover)

Seven brave women of the French Revolution. (histfic) Full Review Here.

Learning to See by Elise Hooper

Learning to See by Elise Hooper (cover)

The fictionalized biographical history of photographer Dorothea Lange. Full Review Here.

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (cover)

This fictionalized biographical narrative of Eliza Hamilton reveals her vital contributions to U. S. History in her role as Mrs. Alexander Hamilton. Full Review Here

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (cover)

This fictionalized biographical narrative of Patsy Jefferson reveals her important role in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson and her contribution to her father’s overall health, well being, and success. Full Review Here

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The Printed Letter Bookshop: A Review

February 6, 2020

 The Printed Letter Bookshop: by Katherine Reay

The Printed Letter Bookshop (cover) by Katherine Reay

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Books About Books, Women’s Fiction

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

friendship…forgiveness…second chances…new beginnings

Madeleine’s happiest childhood memory is spending time at her Aunt Maddie’s house and her beloved bookshop. Suddenly, the families become estranged and Madeleine hasn’t seen her aunt in twenty years. After her aunt dies, Madeleine discovers she has inherited everything: the bookshop, the house, the car, and all the debt. At the same time, Madeleine’s career plans are in jeopardy and she begins to seriously investigate what saving the bookshop, moving, and a new plan for her life might involve.

My Thoughts:

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Guest Post: My Top Reads of 2019

December 16, 2019

What book hooked you on reading?

Do you remember WHO hooked you on reading?

Guest Post Jake

Image Source: Canva

Today, I’m thrilled to bring you a guest post written by Jake Kneeland, blogging at It’s Just Jake: A site dedicated to shared experiences, conversations, laughter, growth, and day to day events in our lives.

You will discover that Jake is an engaging, reflective writer, but more important to me, he’s family! Jake is my cousin’s son and I’m thrilled to welcome him into the blogging community. Although this post is book related, Jake blogs about his life journey, his goals, and his dreams. Books are a part of his journey and he has the sweetest “hooked on reading” story to share with you today! Many of you will be able to relate!

You can find Jake at his blog, on Twitter @jakneeland, and on The Little Things Podcast.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 


The Top 6 Books You Need To Read Yesterday

Originally posted on It’s Just Jake on December 12, 2019

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