Book Connections

Bookish Thankfulness

This week it just seems a good idea to sit back and say I am really thankful for all the books I could ever want to read being available to me.

Books – all kinds. Paperbacks, Hardbacks, Kindle and audiobooks

I give thanks for the variety of formats I can access and read books.  In 2020 there is no end to books, truth be told sometimes I am overwhelmed by all I might read.

The oldest book I have from childhood. Re covered thanks to one of my sisters.

The latest books I’ve bought for future enjoyment.

Authors – old and new

The list grows all the time of authors I enjoy. The latest are not sewn onto a quilt but many of those engaging authors I have and do appreciate are…

Libraries.

Library

Librarians

books waiting

I grew up with no local library. Now I have a library to visit and online access that allows me to request from other libraries and all I have to do is go and pick them up! I don’t necessarily read every one of them but it gives me the chance to browse through it to see if I want to read it. Thankful for hardworking Librarians too.

Bookshops – Local and Online our local and Amazon and the Book Depository

I did have one little bookshop in our village growing up, but mostly it was out of my spending range. Now we have a couple of large bookshops plus if I can’t get it here I can order online at a good variety of shops.

Bookshelves I love them

Bookshelf

And I am thankful that I have a bookshelf that holds my books and reminds me of the happy hours spent reading.

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Review

My Name is Anton

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Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Date: 1st December 2020

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

t’s 1965, and life has taken a turn for eighteen-year-old Anton Addison-Rice. Nearly a year after his brother died in a tragic accident, Anton is still wounded—physically and emotionally. Alone for the holidays, he catches a glimpse of his neighbor Edith across the street one evening and realizes that she’s in danger.

Anton is determined to help Edith leave her abusive marriage. Frightened and fifteen years Anton’s senior, Edith is slow to trust. But when she needs a safe place to stay, she lets down her guard, and over the course of ten days an unlikely friendship grows. As Anton falls hopelessly and selflessly in love, Edith fears both her husband finding her and Anton getting hurt. She must disappear without telling anyone where she’s going—even Anton.

If keeping Edith safe means letting her go, Anton will say goodbye forever. Or so he believes. What would happen, though, if one day their paths should cross again?

Catherine Ryan Hyde writes an emotional story, with characters I always find myself taking into my heart. My Name is Anton totally lives up to this expectation I have of her books.

Anton is a wonderful young man at the beginning of the story, dealing with challenging life events. He has this amazing grandmother – Marion and a great uncle too. They know how to be with and for Anton. The same cannot be said of his parents. They seem to have checked out.

So there is a strong theme of family running through this book, and an exploration of love that is unselfish as opposed to love that is centred on “what’s best for me”.

Anton makes choices along the way. One I had some difficulty buying into but I did find it stretched me to examine my attitude and allow the choice to play out. It worked out and I was able to see the rightness of it.

Catherine Ryan Hyde explores some tough issues in this book, but with great gentleness and in a way that makes a reader believe in the goodness of the human heart. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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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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Wishing everyone in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving. I know many of you won’t be able to have a big Thanksgiving celebration, however I think the important thing at this point is for you and all your family to stay Covid free. And here’s to 2021 in a years time being far better.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And still reading my non-fiction book by Kamala Harris and I also hope to finish my Tradd St audiobook this week.

Up next:

 

Last Week’s Posts

Fugitive.  Emilie Richards

My Non-Fiction Reading in 2020

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Review

My Non-Fiction Reading in 2020

I know many readers celebrate non-fiction books by devoting November to it. I am not a big non-fiction reader. My Dad was a huge non-fiction reader but I preferred good ol’ fiction. One young 7 yr old great-nephew was quizzing myself and his grandma (my sister) on the names of the dinosaurs, and even though I’d made him the quilt with all the dinosaurs on, I didn’t have a clue. And couldn’t remember them when he told us! I’m not into dinosaurs!

So when I do read non-fiction what do I pick up.  I am looking back over 2020 to see what I did read or am reading at present that can be termed non-fiction.

Book Cover I read this back in January because it was recommended by Anne Bogel. It’s written by a therapist about her own journey and those she works with. Well worth reading and reflecting upon. Very moving in places and filled with humanity and compassion.

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As it turns out the next book in non-fiction that I read was by Anne Bogel! A well written, well planned and presented book on over thinking. Are you guilty of over-thinking? Most likely in some area or another! And if you think you’re not just be aware of yourself for a day and see. I found myself debating whether I’d roast or put the chicken in the crock pot for today’s meal. Too much mental energy expended.

With wonderfully real examples Anne Bogel depicts the over thinking that many of us engage in (from time to time) and gives us tips to manage this little habit that robs us of energy and time. In one place it had me chuckling out loud. Anne doesn’t spare herself.book cover

 

The third book was because of my hobby of quilting and I wanted to know a bit more about Nancy Zieman. This was worth reading to me. I think this woman Nancy Zieman was remarkable, even though she would probably have said she wasn’t. I enjoyed reading about her early life on a farm, and through many setbacks doing something she loved and succeeding at business with her husband. The book it self is not well edited so don’t expect it to be. Just read it for the gem it is of this time and era and an ordinary woman doing something really well.

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An amazing person who by her example inspires me anyway to always be on the path of becoming. She embodies what it means to be truly authentically human. Her message of hope, unity and acceptance and respect for diversity, her optimism and courage. What an example of both humanity and womanhood. She is both powerful and humble. I truly enjoyed hearing her story.

 

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And lastly one of the non-fiction books I am reading at present. I didn’t know very much about Kamala Harris as I don’t live in the USA, so I decided to pick up this book on Kindle. It is really interesting reading and again I have a growing admiration for this woman. So much of what she discusses is so relevant to my own country and in some areas we are rather different. Recent events have made me think so much more about politics. I was having a discussion with a friend last night. What is socialism? What do Republicans value? I was saying I think I am a socialist. (Our country NZ  veers that way). And then I was saying, “oh the way you say that  it makes me think the Republicans have a good point”. Anyway Kamala Harris I’d vote for you!

Looking at my 2020 reading I am too influenced maybe by the USA! I need to outreach a bit more next year! It’s good to look back and think about my reading. I obviously like reading about women and books by women. Although I am a Richard Rohr reader ( he is an American priest with a great theology I can subscribe to.) And I usually have one of his books on the go.  I think I live on the Left!

What would be one of your favourite non – fiction books this year? Tell me I need to put it on my TBR.

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Review

Fugitive. Emilie Richards

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Published: November 2020

Source: From the author.

Fugitive by Emilie Richards is #3 in her Homecoming trilogy. At centre stage is Tate, we meet her as a runaway in #1 and a little in the second book as well.

Now she has left Kris and Jess and is living in a mountain cabin in Mountain Glade, Arkansas, left to her by her late father. It has no running water or inside bathroom. It’s pretty lonely – just an ol’ dog named Cinn that her father has left behind. Tate is quite savvy, she’s fended for herself on the streets so she is no helpless young woman.  However when confronted with an escaped prisoner, she is in for a rather wild ride. He is a convicted murderer. Yet he says he is someone else. Can Tate trust him?

This story is full of twists and turns, the plot just speeds along and I loved Tate as a character. She has had a tough life, her mother never wanted her, she never met her father. But… possibly she is not that far from family if she is willing to look. And when she does look, they sure are something else!

The escaped prisoner? Well no more to be said. Discover for yourself. Let’s just stay he the features quite a bit!

The setting is vivid and I could picture the area, the cabin, the trees, the river. So well written. I liked all the books in this trilogy, but this just might be my favourite.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Homecoming Series

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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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I seem to have had a good reading week. The weather hasn’t been great – I want more sun!

On Saturday I went up to my sister’s place in Wanganui for a family night. I travelled up with my sister and brother-in-law and another sister so the few hours flew. A brother and sister-in-law also came up so a lovely group for the night and my sister is a great cook! They are just outside the city and it feels like you are in the country but you aren’t. It made a lovely break.

What I read last week:

The Other Bennett Sister was for me and I really liked how this was handled. The Midnight Library was different and a good read as well. Jill Shalvis book is a Jill Shalvis book!

What I am reading now:

Just started this one

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And mid way through this one

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And still listening to my Tradd Street book.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Last Correspondent.  Soraya M. Lane

Goodreads Choice 2020

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Book Connections

Goodreads Choice 2020

Well it seems I am more out of sync than usual for the Goodreads Choice Awards. I have read even less of them this year. And usually I don’t vote unless I’ve read them. This year I broke that and voted for one I am currently reading and one that comes out late November.

Fiction

book coverI am reading this at present. I think it will hold up – it has a theme of all the choices unchosen in life and what would it look like if you had gone down that path. The heroine is depressed and with no felt sense of any purpose in her life decides to end it. Instead of ending up dead she lands in the in-between of a library that is going to enable her to examine the choices she didn’t make.

Historical Fiction

book cover I read this via audiobook and I think because I read it in this format that I fell for it. It really put me on a Jane Austen path – I loved the setting – the time … just at the end of WW2 and the various characters just took hold of my heart. The narration by Richard Armitage was superb. And that’s saying something because I am not that keen on a male narrator but he nailed it. I also voted for this one in the Debut section.

Romance

The Switch book coverI had also read Beach Read in this category but I liked The Switch a lot more. Again I think because I read it via audiobook and that aced it for me. It’s fun, interesting characters and was well narrated by two narrators. Had a great older character too.

Non Fiction

book coverWith wonderfully real examples Anne Bogel depicts the over thinking that many of us engage in (from time to time) and gives us tips to manage this little habit that robs us of energy and time. In one place it had me chuckling out loud. Anne doesn’t spare herself.

It’s a book I’ll dip into again, exploring some of her references as well.

Memoir/Autobiography

book cover Okay this is the one that I haven’t read but voted for anyway! I plan to read it and will most likely do via audiobook.

If it is as good as his wife’s book then it should be interesting, informative and most likely entertaining as well.

Have you read any of the Goodreads Choice books. Did you vote in the semi final round?

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Review

The Last Correspondent. Soraya M. Lane

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Published: Lake Union

Date: 1st November 2020

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

When journalist Ella Franks is unmasked as a woman writing under a male pseudonym, she loses her job. But having risked everything to write, she refuses to be silenced and leaps at the chance to become a correspondent in war-torn France.

Already entrenched in the thoroughly male arena of war reporting is feisty American photojournalist Danni Bradford. Together with her best friend and partner, Andy, she is determined to cover the events unfolding in Normandy. And to discover the whereabouts of Andy’s flighty sister, Vogue model Chloe, who has followed a lover into the French Resistance.

We are used to seeing journalists and reporters risk their lives to share with us the often dangerous and horrific events in our world.

In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.

She has thoroughly researched this time period and the gender discrimination that existed. Only men were deemed strong enough to report the war. It was very difficult for women to get a look in.

In Danni and Ella we meet very gutsy women. Danni a photographer and Ella a writer. They see and deal with life threatening circumstances. Chloe who starts off as a rather young and naive women, eventually becomes an amazing young woman. 

The story is gripping, sometimes shocking. But mainly it delighted me with the strong bonds of friendship and the determination of the characters to seek what felt true to them, whatever the obstacle.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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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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My reading was baaaad this week. Lots of distractions. Firstly lots of people which was wonderful but not so good for reading.

Plus glued to watching the USA election from here in New Zealand. I must say I have become much more familiar with the placement on the map of all the various States!

What I read last week:

This is all I finished! I really enjoyed it, with laugh out moments and such a New Zealand setting. Thanks Shellyrae for encouraging me to read this one.

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What I am reading now:

From my Kindle list, decided to try and read a few. Not getting very far on it as so many distractions but will get back into it.

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My audiobook hasn’t really progressed, I need to get back to it.

Up next:

Thought I might try this next from the library and see if its for me.

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Book Connections

New to Me Authors I Want to Read More From.

Looking over the last four months I’ve picked out the five books that would lead me to pick up another book written by each author. There are a few others, I want to read more from but they are debut novels so nothing more – yet!

All covers are linked to Goodreads which will give you the details of each book.

book cover The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett  was a thoroughly good read and my first by Annie Lyons. Thanks to Mary from Bookfan for introducing me to this author and book. Now I want to read another by her. It has delightful characters, is easy to read, yet explores important issues.

book cover The Perfect Match was very light and enjoyable – the main character annoyed me a little because she stayed on for awhile with a guy who was stupid. But old houses and other lovely characters would entice me to give Katie Fforde another go.

book coverSeabreeze inn was an audiobook and my first sample of Jan Moran. I enjoyed the story – a woman making a new start and an old house with secrets. This one is the first in a few and I’ll keep going with it in due time.

book coverWhen it all went to custard  was my first read by Danielle Hawkins. She is a New Zealand author. This book has a very New Zealand setting, was full of NZ ways and the local vernacular. I found myself laughing out loud often, even though it has the more serious theme of a wife who has been cheated on and left to deal with the family farm, children and anything else that can appear.

book cover I very much enjoyed The Antidote for Everything with its two main characters. The exploration of discrimination is timely and I loved the answer to what is The Antidote to Everything. It’s a medical drama and the author is a doctor so that gives it authenticity. I liked the characters and the story held me.

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