Lemons [Book Review]

November 6, 2020

Lemons by Melissa Savage

Lemons by Melissa Savage (cover) Image: yellow title on blue background; a drawing of a boy (holding binoculars up to his eyes) and a girl (holding two lemons up to her eyes

Genre/Categories: Middle-Grade Fiction, Friendship, Adventure, Grief

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

lemons (two whole and one cut)

Ten year old Lemonade Liberty Witt believes her mom about making lemonade when life gets difficult. However, Lemon faces circumstances that test her lemonade-making abilities. After the death of her mother, she is sent to live in another town with a grandfather she’s never met. Her life gets better when she makes a new friend, Tobin Sky, who is CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. Yes, there have been suspected Bigfoot sightings in this wooded Northern California community! Lemon becomes Tobin’s assistant, but they discover something more important than Bigfoot.

My Thoughts:

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Miss Benson’s Beetle [Book Review]

November 3, 2020

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce

Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce (cover) Image: black and gold text over a gold beetle and bright pink background

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Adventure, Quest

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

…equal parts entertainment and tragedy…

Thank you #NetGalley @RandomHouse for a complimentary e ARC of #MissBensonsBeetle at my request. All opinions are my own.

Rashly, Margery Benson decides to make a major change in her life. She walks out on her teaching job and decides to set out on an expedition to find a rare golden beetle that she remembers from her favorite childhood book. Miss Benson doesn’t have much money and she needs to find a traveling companion/assistant. As a result of the interview process, she finally hires Enid Pretty, a fun loving and vivacious person who wears a lot of pink, attention-getting clothing and impractical sandals. Even though Margery and Enid are complete opposites (foils), they compliment each other in unique ways. Their trip from England to New Caledonia is filled with adventure, obstacles, heartbreak, and peril. Will they find the golden beetle?image of a gold beetle

New Celedonia

My Thoughts:

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The Lost and Found Bookshop [Book Review]

October 28, 2020

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

the Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs (cover) Image: text plus four hardcover books

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction/Chick Lit (with a side of slow-burn romance), Book About Books (and bookshops)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Natalie is in a job that doesn’t bring her joy and in a less-than-satisfactory relationship when sudden tragedy strikes her life. Quickly, she finds herself managing her mother’s financially struggling quaint bookshop in San Francisco and caring for her dear ailing grandfather. Should she sell the shop? Should she place her grandfather in an assisted living facility? Should she walk away from the shop and her childhood memories and return to her job? Should she maintain the shop that she loves and has also been her family home? As she wrestles with grief and these life-changing questions, “Peach” Gallager and his young daughter, Dorothy, enters her life.

My Thoughts:

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10 Mildly Suspenseful Books #toptentuesday

October 27, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Mildly Suspenseful Books

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie.

Are you a HSP (highly sensitive person) like me? Or do you like the scariest and most thrilling reads?

Does the thought of reading scary books cause anxiety?

I have a bookish confession: I’m an October Outlier. I don’t read books that fall into the horror, true crime, crime fiction, paranormal, or thriller categories or are too scary or spooky. I’m highly susceptible to nightmares. So…..this makes a typical Halloween post rather tricky! If you share my preferences and would rather have recommendations for “slightly suspenseful,” I think you might like today’s list!

I have discovered that I can tolerate a bit of suspense! However, I won’t promise you that I haven’t peeked at the last page to be sure my favorite characters are still alive!

Here’s my list of books that I have enjoyed that have a bit of suspense but are not too scary! I should also note that none of these books have a Halloween theme or setting.

Is there a certain type of book that you enjoy reading in the fall?

pumpkins

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links. (more…)

10 Popular Books With Mature Characters #FridayFavorites

October 23, 2020

10 Popular Books With Mature Characters

Do you enjoy reading books with older characters?

Today’s post is a list of ten books (five newer and five older releases…plus some bonus picks!) with main characters that are fifty plus. Recently, I’ve read several titles with older characters and it’s been delightful!

Do you love older characters?

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

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Convenience Store Woman [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

October 15, 2020

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

#throwbackthursday

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (cover) Image: white text on blue background....below it is a small plate with a traditional Japanese snack lying on a pink and white cloth napkin

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Japanese Culture, Conformity, Short Fiction, Book in Translation

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 Convenience Store Woman, the story of self aware and determined Keiko who is torn between self fulfillment and cultural conformity

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of Convenience Store Woman

“Keiko Furukura grows up labeled a “strange child,” and her parents worry about her ability to function in the real world and about her future success.  While at university, Keiko begins a job at a local convenience store. After eighteen years, her parents and friends worry that she doesn’t have a real career and has never had a boyfriend. Even though Keiko is successful as a convenience store worker and enjoys her job, she feels the pressure to live up to her parents’ cultural expectations. What will she do?”

Quirky character…Japanese culture…finding your niche……conformity…

 Continue here for my review of Convenience Store Woman

QOTD: Have you read Convenience Store Woman or is it on your TBR?

Beartown and Us Against You [Book Reviews] #throwbackthursday

October 8, 2020

Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman #throwbackthursday

Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (covers)

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Sports, Hockey

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 reviews of Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman, atmospheric stories of sports, small towns, and community…

This week’s Throw Back Thursday is a bit different because I’m throwing back to TWO books: Beartown and Us Against You. They are a series and Us Against You cannot be read as a stand-alone.

I read Beartown before I started blogging, so I don’t have a full blog review for linking ….I’ll include a brief review of it below and then link to my Us Against You blog review.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Thoughts on Beartown

As the author develops characters and establishes the setting in his unique style, tension builds like the distant rumbling of an approaching severe thunderstorm The action is a bit slow in he beginning but once it picks up, the tension is sustained as the story plays out. Hockey fans will find this story particularly enjoyable. Filled with fascinating characters and infused with complex and important themes of family, parenting, competition, loyalty, courage, community, belonging, friendship, small town struggles and values, hope, and a girl’s “no.” This multilayed, thoughtful, and challenging read would make a highly discussable book club selection.

TW: a rape storyline and some crude locker room language and humor

A few favorite lines from Beartown include:
“People are standing in silent lines with their eyes half-open and their minds half-closed.”
“We’re not supposed to develop ‘products.’ We don’t manufacture anything at all. We nurture human beings. Those [hockey] guys are flesh and blood, not business plans and investment targets. The youth program isn’t some factory, regardless of what some of our sponsors seem to think.”
“Being a parent makes you feel like a blanket that’s always too small. No matter how hard you try to cover everyone, there’s always someone who’s freezing.”
“Bitterness can be corrosive; it can rewrite your memories as if it were scrubbing a crime scene clean, until in the end you only remember what suits you of its causes.”
“In the summer the rain seeps into the cracks in the bricks, then when the temperature slips below zero the moisture freezes to ice, and the bricks break. She will remember that that’s how it felt to grow up as the little sister of a dead big brother. A childhood that was one long, desperate attempt not to be liquid, not to seek out the cracks in your parents.”
“Maya knows all too well that this silence can be like water. If you let it make its way too far in, it can freeze into ice and break your heart.”
“And when enough people are quiet for long enough, a handful of voices can give the impression that everyone is screaming.”
“Sometimes life doesn’t let you choose your battles. Just the company you keep.”
“She and the girl rest their foreheads together. Say nothing, because they couldn’t have heard anything anyway, the echo of the screams in their hearts is deafening.”

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Beartown #2)

My Summary:

“In this sequel to Beartown, Fredrik Backman continues to cause readers to care deeply about the Beartown community and hockey (yes, it’s important to read Beartown first).  After the act of violence in Beartown, the community has to figure out how to trust each other again and restructure its hockey team. Many of the star hockey players have left the Beartown team and now play for the rival team in Hed. In fact, in Us Against You, the entire community is at risk economically and on the brink of losing everything. In addition to many returning characters from Beartown, readers are also introduced to a manipulative and cunning politician and become better acquainted with The Pack.

Us Against You is a multi-layered, compelling story filled with danger, heartbreak, and sadness as it addresses themes of prejudice, bullying, secrets, parenting, sexism, friendship, loyalty, community support, competition, politics, courage, violence, conflict, leadership, and hope. This is not a stand-alone story; reading Beartown first is essential.”

Continue here for my review of Us Against You by Fredrik Backman …

So much more than hockey….

QOTD: Have you read Beartown or Us Against You or are they on your TBR? Are you a Backman fan?

Force of Nature [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

(***This post is republished from earlier because of a publishing glitch in the previous post which I cannot fix #bloggingproblems sorry for the duplicate)

October 1, 2020

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
#throwbackthursday

Force of Nature by Jane Harper (cover) Image: white text on a background of hills and trees

Genre/Categories: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Detective, Suspense, Australian

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 Force of Nature by Jane Harper, an atmospheric whodunit…

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Five women go on a hike in the Australian forested wilderness and only four return. As the women grab their backpacks and reluctantly set out, not one of the five women attending this three-day, mandated, corporate, team-building retreat is thrilled about the prospect. When four of the five women emerge from the woods battered and bruised, an investigation is launched to find the fifth woman. Federal agent Falk returns to help the investigation, and the story alternates between the present day investigation and the women’s experiences as the hike unfolded a few days earlier. Was the fifth woman murdered?”

Continue here for my review of Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Lost in the Australian Bush….what would you do?

QOTD: Have you read Force of Nature by Jane Harper or is it on your TBR?

Force of Nature [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

October 1, 2020

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
#throwbackthursday

Force of Nature by Jane Harper (cover) Image: white text on a background of hills and trees

Genre/Categories: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Detective, Suspense, Australian

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 Force of Nature by Jane Harper, an atmospheric whodunit…

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

‘Five women go on a hike in the Australian forested wilderness and only four return. As the women grab their backpacks and reluctantly set out, not one of the five women attending this three-day, mandated, corporate, team-building retreat is thrilled about the prospect. When four of the five women emerge from the woods battered and bruised, an investigation is launched to find the fifth woman. Federal agent Falk returns to help the investigation, and the story alternates between the present day investigation and the women’s experiences as the hike unfolded a few days earlier. Was the fifth woman murdered?”

Continue here for my review of Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Lost in the Australian Bush….what would you do?

QOTD: Have you read Force of Nature by Jane Harper or is it on your TBR?

The Music Shop [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

September 17, 2020

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
#throwbackthursday

The Music Shop Review

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Music, Friendship

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 The Music Shop by favorite author Rachel Joyce, a story of friendship and music…

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

…quirky character overcomes a difficult and turbulent past and takes risks to create a better life……

My Summary:

“Set in the 1980s on a run-down street in a forgotten suburb of London, there is a small indie music shop that is jam-packed with vinyl records of every kind. Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with the exact piece of music they never knew they needed, he welcomes the lonely, and he goes out of his way to help others. One ordinary day, a beautiful young woman in a green coat, Ilse Brauchmann, comes into his music shop and changes his life. Frank feels an attraction to her and yet he fears developing any closeness; in spite of his reservations, he begins to teach her about music and they develop a close friendship based on their common musical interests. Frank is terrified of his feelings for Ilse, yet he’s drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. It’s complicated because Ilse has secrets and Frank has a past that haunts him. Readers find out about Frank’s life with his eccentric mother through flashbacks; however, Ilse remains mysterious. While Frank and Ilse contemplate the risks of a relationship, there are events in the community that threaten the livelihood of all the small, independent shops including Frank’s music shop. A further complication for Frank is the growing popularity of cassette tapes and CDs while Frank cherishes the world of vinyl.

In The Music Shop, Frank’s greatest gift is the ability to listen, his greatest heartache is his devotion to and preservation of vinyl, and his greatest fear is having what he most wants…the love of mysterious Ilse.”

Continue here for my review of The Music Shop

QOTD: Have you read The Music Shop or is it on your TBR?