Book Connections

Reasons I Am Not Reading So Much

Recently I have noticed I am not reading as much, sometimes it even seems like a chore. I want to see what might be happening…

  1. I spend quite a bit of time quilting – it is my new hobby since I retired a few years ago. I love doing it, making quilts and giving them to people. I also love scrolling through fabric stores online, looking at colours and pretty designs. I sometimes  even buy some. It’s a bit like books – there are designers and they have new lines come out every so often. So tempting!
  2. I spend way to much time online – scrolling through places like Facebook and Instagram. Plus watching videos on You Tube. Mostly “how to” videos about quilting! Or sometimes other interests.
  3. I am walking every day which is great – early mornings are so fresh and mostly without any deterring wind. But… I’ve given up listening to audiobooks while I walk, I am preferring to just “be” and enjoy my surroundings and the peace and quiet… or noise of the traffic! So fewer audiobooks, plus listening time goes into podcasts, so many good ones.
  4. At night I find myself more tired thanI used to be,so when I pick up a book I can’t concentrate.  Sometimes in the early afternoonI am too heavy headed to read. So a little siesta is needed. I do get up at 6am every morning which works well, but it has some downsides.
  5. And then … too many books which creates unneeded self pressure to read them. I want to read all those books from the library and while I do keep review books to a limited number, I look at all my own books and I feel swamped.  Plus I am always picking up recommendations from bloggers and authors.

So it’s only a problem if its a problem to me, and it just natters away a bit at me. I am going to try a few things in the next weeks – August and see if it helps. Some things I don’t want to change but I may find other ways to get my reading mojo back.

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Review

Knot Ready for Murder. Mary Marks

book cover

Published: Kensington
Date: 27th July 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Before quilter Martha Rose can tie the knot to Crusher, she has to track down his missing first wife…

Oh dear! Just as at last Martha is ready to plunge into saying yes to marriage to Crusher, it is discovered he was married years ago because of an act of kindness.

Who is Martha? Well first and foremost a quilter. But also in recent years she has become a bit of a sleuth when it comes to murders and such like. She is a bit unorthodox in her methods, although fairly orthodox in her Jewish faith, and I love her Sabbath get togethers with family.

There has been one murder, before the story starts.   Hadas, sister of the murdered person, owner of a business, and to be honest not that likeable, makes her appearance.  Oh and she is the “wife” from long ago for Crusher. On the other hand, Fanya who arrives with her was a lot of fun and I so hope we see more of her.

As usual Martha gets herself involved in some unlikely situations, and eventually with lots of assistance I might add, from her family and friends, solves the mystery and enables her life to move forward.

This book felt a little different to the previous ones, I never felt Martha was in any danger and while there were a few red herrings I’d worked out the guilty party early on. I didn’t mind that and thoroughly enjoyed all the quilt talk in this book. If this book appeals to you, don’t start with it, go back to the first one and start there.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Well here is the last Monday in July!!!  My reading has slowed for various reasons. I look at the pile of new books to read and the pile of library books and sort of despair! I’ll never get to them all. So hard accepting my human limitations for not being able to accomplish all I want to read.

I had a good week, some bad and some good weather. Some good accomplishments in quilting and another list made of what I want to do this week! A visit to a football game of Mr. Seven whose skills are sure developing, a visit with a friend, walks in the morning and one yesterday on the beach. Oh and of course a bit of reading fitted in. You know – same old, same old but always new!

We closed our travel bubble with Australia ( meant no quarantine either side of the Tasman) but now that Covid has spread in some States in Aussie, our PM has closed borders for 8 weeks. I know my sister will be disappointed because her daughter and two young sons were coming over to NZ for some time with her in August. Oh! And I got my first Covid vaccine – I was getting really annoyed that they are so slow rolling it out, but then I got a text to make an appointment – same day I got one. Happy. Second one mid August. We are only using Pfizer at the moment.

What I read last week:

My sister had lent this to me, and having held it for awhile I felt I ought to read it! I enjoyed it, although I thought a bit of the plot towards the end in France was a bit over the top. Still it was a page turner.

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I then moved onto Rachel to the Rescue. This had a great plot idea and I liked the character of Rachel. However I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t jell with this book, and it was a DNF. I think it was the tone or chirpy kind of rom com. I have been tripped by other books that are similar. Peculiar to me I think as many others have enjoyed such books.

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What I am reading now:

I am really loving this. It’s one of those books I read every line. There are books I skip paragraphs but with books like this, not a word is left out!  And that’s odd because it sort of is romantic comedy but it has an entirely different writing style that just hooks me in.

When Stars Collide

Listening still to the Rhys Bowen The Twelve Clues of Christmas and enjoying it very much. Have some non – fiction on the go too, which is very slow as I look up meanings of words and write notes!!  The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram – Sandra Maitri.

Up next:

I have this one from the library, due 11th August but I can’t renew as there is someone with it on reserve. So this will be next. Besides I have the next one from NetGalley and I think it publishes very soon. I won’t read it by its publishing date but I need to be moving forward!

A Pretty Deceit 

Last Week’s Posts

Incense and Sensibility.  Sonali Dev

Cozy Mystery Series

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Book Connections

Cozy Mystery Series

So many books, I can’t keep up! I decided to look at cozy mystery series I will prioritise. Some I am almost up to date with so I haven’t included those. Another time I might look at other series I want to keep up to date with as well. The one thing about a cozy mystery is they do read quickly on the whole. so that’s a reading positive.

Checked Out for Murder This is #4 in the Haunted Library Mystery series and I have enjoyed the first three via audio. So this is a definite series to follow through.

Love the library ghost, the library cat and librarian Carrie. I see she gets on some reader’s nerves but my nerves are reasonably stable at the moment!! I also like the mysteries and the narrator does a good job.

book cover The Royal Spyness series and I am up to this one #7 Heirs and Graces. So well narrated and a load of fluffy royal British fun. Such easy listening and some interesting murders and situations.

The Whispered WordLook at those yummy scones on the cover, plus the books of course. I enjoyed #1 and The Whispered Word is #2 of The Secret, Book and Scone series. It has a group of women, one of them Nora, runs the bookshop and she knows how to pick the right book for you. Again the narrater Cris Dukehart presents the books really well.

book coverThis is #1 of the Liz Talbot Mystery series. I haven’t started this one but its in my library at Audible …. waiting! Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer.Twisted threads

I’m up to date with reading  my quilting cozy series and so even though I don’t do needlepoint this series comes recommended by a respected cozy mystery reader,  so I have this one out from the library. Love the cover again and I am looking forward to reaching it. Because its #1 in the series I am hoping I’ll be able to keep this one for awhile as most interested will have read it.

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Review

Incense and Sensibility. Sonali Dev

Incense and Sensibility

Published: William Morrow
Date: 6th July 2021
Source:Avon Publicist via NetGalley

Yash Raje, California’s first Indian-American gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world. But when a hate crime at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.

Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other.

Yash has spent a lifetime repressing everything to succeed, including their one magical night ten years ago—a too brief, too bright passion that if rekindled threatens to destroy the dream he’s willingly shouldered for his family and community . . . until now.

Sonali Dev takes up the life and times of the Raje family with the story of Yash who is in the middle of a campaign to be governor of California. He has himself in a bit of a tangle as he his along with Naina made it appear that they are a couple, but they are not, just friends mutually helping each other out. Yash really has only eyes for India – a very wise yoga teacher and reiki healer.

What a tangled web we weave when we set out to deceive! Well that should have been Yash’s lament, and at times I wanted to shake him. However reading on and finding out his back story I had sympathy for him and was hoping he’d find his way through the maze.

India is a lovely person, but sort of carries the weight if not of the world at least of her family. Her mother is unwell and her sister has herself involved in a relationship that doesn’t seem to be good for her.

Speaking of mothers I enjoyed the mothers in the story. Especially Yash’s mother when she came all over “mother”. She eventually sized up things well.

There is a stinky dog, a body guard or two who took my heart and numerous other members of Yash’s family we have met previously.

As all romances do, it ended well, but far too abruptly. I wanted just a tad more from the ending. A little more hoop la!

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you all had a good week. I had a visit from Miss 8 year old. I asked her what she wanted to read next. When she mentioned a series and I didn’t know what she had and what she didn’t, we looked on Goodreads. Then I let her be, while I chatted with her mother and grandmother.

Next day I was surprised to see someone on Goodreads liked that I wanted to read Matilda by Roald Dahl! “What!” I laughed when I saw about three books had been added to my TBR list on GR that Miss 8 year old wanted to read!

What I read last week:

So first two are library books and both good. I especially really enjoyed The Kitchen Front. I didn’t realise rationing didn’t finish until 1954 in Britain.  The Sweeney Sisters was okay, an audiobook. Knot Ready for Murder is a review book.

What I am reading now:

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And listening to

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Up next:

book cover Last Week’s Posts

The One You are With

Recently Bought Books

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Book Connections

Recently Bought Books

I have too many good books to read! I have those library books mentioned last week. Plus it seems to have been a big buying month! Sometimes the bug hits. It is going to be awhile before I get to these but I am so wanting to.

The GunkleA gay uncle has to look after his niece and nephew for the summer. I heard about this on a book podcast and I really want to read it sooner rather than later. I haven’t read Steven Rowley yet, I did intend to, so I can start with this one.

When Stars CollideI have recently bought this one too and I really, really want to read it soon. SEP’s latest romance between an opera singer and a back up quarterback. I am a die hard fan. Out of the five, when I get a chance this will be the first one.

The Player Next DoorI also am a fan of Canadian author K. A. Tucker and I need an author with same initials as me for a challenge. Well I don’t have an A. but I consider the K and the T reason enough!  It is a romance as well. I didn’t even really read what its about, just the author’s name is enough!

Don't tellDon’t Tell is the first one in Karen Rose’s romantic suspense series. I’ve read some of the later ones, but I want to go back and start the series. I probably won’t get onto it for awhile but I have this one and the second one. However the latest one comes out early August and I suspect I’ll read that one first when it publishes.

The Book ClubThis was close to an accidental buy. I had put it in my wish list after what Irish blogger/reader Trish had to say about this on IG or Facebook. Can’t remember. It was sitting in the list beside a book I intended to buy. I must have accidentally put this one in the cart and saw it only after I’d paid. I didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of changing it, so I left it. It will be good I am sure, I haven’t read anything by the author yet. Was published in June 2021 by Irish author Roisin Meaney. Well I mean, look at the title!!

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Review

The One You Are With

The One You're With

Published: Thomas Nelson Fiction
Date: 6th July 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

High-school sweethearts Mac and Edie Swan lead a seemingly picture-perfect life in the sleepy-sweet community of Oak Hill, near Mobile, Alabama. Edie is a respected interior designer, Mac is a beloved pediatrician, and they have two great kids and a historic home on tree-lined Linden Avenue. From the outside, the Swan family is the definition of “the good life.” And life is good—mostly. Until a young woman walks into Mac’s office one day. A young woman whose very existence threatens all Mac and Edie have built and all they think they know about each other.

Nineteen years after a summer apart, with a family and established lives and careers, the past that Mac and Edie thought they left behind has come back to greet them. For the first time, constants in their lives are called into question: their roles as parents, their reputation as upstanding members of the community, and the very foundations of their marriage. 

As I read into the first couple of chapters I found myself hooked into the easy flow of the story. It opens with Mac’s point of view and then moves to Edie’s one. It also goes back and forwards from one summer a number of years ago and the current day.

I really felt on Mac’s side a lot of the time, I was a little impatient with Edie because I felt she should own her own stuff sooner! However I hung in there with her and liked how she eventually figured it all out.

This story explores what happens in a good marriage when something pops up that really rattles the cage. They are great parents and very good members of the community but now they are asked to stretch. To absorb and grow from what presents itself.

I found myself smiling and laughing at times especially there in the last chapter. It was a satisfying, thought provoking read. Happy to have read it.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Welcome in. As I sit here its 1 degree Centigrade ( about 34 F I think) outside with a good frost on the ground. I am about to have a cup of coffee and then hit the pavement for my morning walk. I think I am building a good habit there!

Last Thursday I went into the city, picked up a friend and then went around the other side of the harbour, to Eastbourne, and had for lunch, chips, Bluff oysters and coffee. I had never had oysters before and these are a delicacy from the bottom of our South Island. Okay I now get why they are! We sat beside the sea to eat them. The harbour was like a mill pond. We could see Wellington across the other side and through the harbour mouth the alps of the South Island covered in snow. When I got home I thought what a perfect blissful day! Simple but the best.

What I read last week:

Enjoyed both. Two Steps Onwards takes up where Two Steps Forward left off really, three years later. It is written by a husband and wife team.  Most likely these books aren’t for everyone, but if you enjoy walking as in the Camino and people making walking journey’s and inner journey’s then you’ll like them. I do, well I am not going to do such walking, I don’t mind if others do! But I like the inner journey.

What I am reading now:

Hope to finish this one today or maybe tomorrow morning. Heard about it on a podcast, not sure which book one now! It’s more about friendship and tension rather than books but a good enough read. From the library.

In a Book Club Far Away

Up next:

Another from the library. There are two Jennifer Ryan author’s. This one is the English one! I like her WW2 books. I have listened to the other two, so first time reading in print.

The Kitchen front 

Last Week’s Posts

June Reading Round Up

Library Pile Up

Frosty morning
And yes I did have my walk and its still 1 degree C. Now to see what I want to do for the day. Happy life of the retired!

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Book Connections

Library Pile Up.

I had planned to read two or maybe three library books this month. But now I have a pile up and while I am just finishing one, and have another ready to start reading tomorrow, now I need to go collect five more. I may or may not get to them before having to return  them.

I will prioritise those that have someone else after me on the reserve list. If no reserves there is a good chance I can renew them and keep them longer. I’ll do my best to read them all because I want to. Meanwhile all the ones I bought recently. plus all the old TBR ones wait!!

I also went nuts asking for a number of quilting books from other libraries. I have six to collect. They are pleasure browsing ones so that’s okay. But it makes 11 books sitting on the library shelf waiting for me to collect. Bliss!

Digging Up DirtBy Australian author Pamela Hart. It is the start of a new mystery series and involves a renovation of a heritage house and the finding of a dead body.

Five copies of this and I think they are all out and I am the only reserve. Safe to say I can put this near the end.

Rachel to the RescueThis sounds good and I saw it at least in one place (Laurel Rain’s blog). Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticising Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call ‘a personal friend of the president’. 

No reserves at the moment so doesn’t have to be read straight away. Library has two copies.

The Sweet Taste of MuscadinesThis is a debut novel I mentioned earlier in the year and I’ve been waiting for it to be available at the library.

Women’s fiction with some suspense. Two copies at the library, the other one will be due in before mine so that should protect me if someone else wants to read it before I get to it.

The Kitchen frontI’ve enjoyed the couple of other books by this author and so I’ve seen some of you say this was good and I want to read it.

Four women compete for a spot hosting a wartime cookery program called The Kitchen Front – based on the actual BBC program of the same name – as well as a chance to better their lives.

Two copies and while no one has it on reserve now, my copy will come due first so needs to be read earlier rather than later.

Twisted threadsThe first in a mystery series recommended by Katherine over at I wish I lived in a library!

Set in Maine and involves a needle pointing business. I don’t do that craft but its rather pretty. If I had time! Next life!

Angie is returning home after the remains of her mother are discovered.

One copy. I am the only one wanting it, and as written in 2015 probably I won’t be hassled by anyone else wanting it immediately.

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