Review

The Friendship List. Susan Mallery. Blog Tour

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 4th August 2020
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirty something widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

Unity and Ellen have been best friends forever.  Whatever is going on in their lives, they’ve been there with and for each other. When they recognise that their lives are in a bit of a rut they make a list of all the things they could do to move them from that rut.

When Ellen heard Cooper saying he was worried about his Mom and he wasn’t sure that it was right for him to go away to college, she was devastated. When Unity had a few important people in her life point out she was living in the past – she got shirty, then she got working on a list in the meantime. Still not sure she was ready to move on.

I liked both the men in the book – Thaddeus and Keith. They were honest good men, and had a lot going for them. I loved how Thaddeus treated his great aunt and Keith loved and sweated over his daughter Lissa.

The story ambles along, alternating between the two couples mainly, with some falling out and falling in. There were some funny, laugh out loud moments. It’s about friendship, moving on and growing up and second chances. In places somewhat saucy. While I prefer a women’s fiction book I am going to place this right into the romance genre.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Twitter: @susanmallery
Facebook: @susanmallery
Instagram: @susanmallery
Author website: https://www.susanmallery.com/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
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Indie Bound
Kindle
Nook
Google Play
Apple Books
Kobo
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Bookshop.org

 

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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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Hope you are all keeping your head about water in these strange times. I didn’t do much, some good reading, some quilting, a  day at the horse races and a five year old birthday party. All very pleasant!

What I read last week:

All library books and all enjoyed. I have a wealth of library books I have on reserve coming in, so I’ve dropped everything else to concentrate on them! So every book mentioned in this post is a library book! Well except for the audiobooks.

What I am reading now:

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And still listening to The Jane Austen Society and The Switch.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

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Road ‘n Rail Trips in Books

book coverA family journey across Europe in a camper van. In doing so they are guided by letters from their Pop who died and left them a bundle of letters to guide them. I loved this book, the family – the journey – Pops and his letters. I read every word – no skimming. Its warm, funny, emotional and real. I am not a “let’s take a trip” kind of person but this was so inspiring. Loved the map at the beginning. Loved The Things I Should Have Told You.

book coverAn unexpected road trip takes Greta from her home in Dublin to the bright lights of Vegas, she begins to question if you need to be the perfect size to love yourself. Or to fall in love. Because sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped... I loved the road trip and the characters in My Pear Shaped Life. Great read.

First Lady I read this a number of years ago and have reread it too. The First Lady escapes the White House and eventually teams up with a man and his two young girls in his care. They travel across the Heartland of the USA. I am not sure where that is but some of you will know! This is one I love to reread. But I can’t find it! Amazon tells me I purchased it in 2008. May have lent it out and never returned? I will have to re purchase! Dang it.

Book cover Most likely YA but Field Notes on Love is still very worth reading. An uplifting and delightful story about one sextuplet and his desire to be his own unique self. It’s about a girl with a dream and two dads. It touches on prejudice and racism gently but in a way that opens the readers heart.  Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

The Women Who Ran Away I haven’t read The Women Who Ran Away but Trish from Between My Lines hooked me into this one through her review. So its one I’ve added to my TBR and also will be a new Irish author to try out. Trish felt she was road tripping along with the women.

 

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Review

The Kids Are Gonna Ask. Blog Tour

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Published: Park Row Books

Date: 28th July 2020

Source: Publicist via NetGalley

The death of Thomas and Savannah McClair’s mother turns their world upside down. Raised to be fiercely curious by their grandmother Maggie, the twins become determined to learn the identity of their biological father. And when their mission goes viral, an eccentric producer offers them a dream platform: a fully sponsored podcast called The Kids Are Gonna Ask. To discover the truth, Thomas and Savannah begin interviewing people from their mother’s past and are shocked when the podcast ignites in popularity. As the attention mounts, they get caught in a national debate they never asked for—but nothing compares to the mayhem that ensues when they find him.

Told through the voices of three characters – two of them being Thomas and Savannah – we follow these twins search to find their biological Dad in The Kids are Gonna Ask. Their mother is dead so they can’t ask her and their amazing grandmother Maggie doesn’t know either. However she is prepared to back them up.

They set out through the medium of a podcast to see what they can find out, on the premise that the more people they involve the more chance they have of finding him. Along the way they find out the pitfalls of social media, how friends can let you down, and that there are odious, self serving characters out there.

And as well there are are nice, supportive people who genuinely care and love them. Both Savannah and Thomas along the way get to know more about their mother, come to understand their grandmother Maggie more and they do find out about their Dad.

This is a coming of age story, it explores choices and friendship and how a loss of loved ones leaves big gaps.

It was interesting to see the falsehood of social media versus the real life genuine relationships.

I am not sure where you’d place this book, it’s rather young adult with something for adults as well.

Author

 

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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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And another week rolls by and into the last week of July! Eek it was cold this morning – heavy frost. I love that but Brrr! I got up a little late!  Soon the sun will be heating me up and I can turn the Heat Pump off.

I enjoyed my reading mostly this week. One listening thing that caught my attention was Gretchen Rubin’s podcast of Happier where she and Elizabeth, her sister, interviewed Ann Patchett about The Dutch House. It was a great interview and I loved how the author spoke. I might listen to The Dutch House I think at some point. Oh and they mention Trevor Noah who I really love too.

I shared five books this week with older characters and Deb Nance shared with me a list on Goodreads  she has made and so I share it here as a place for me to keep it and also if you like books like that you might like to browse it.

What I read last week:

I also finished this audiobook – set in both the USA and Kenya. It was very good. I see some reviews where they thought the narrator was poor. I thought they were both excellent and carried me away into the story.

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What I am reading now:

From the Library

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And I’ve also started listening to two audiobooks – one for walking and one in the house!

Up next:

I seem to have library books coming in at a very speedy rate so I think it may need to be this one as it is due back soon and someone else has it reserved.

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Last Week’s Posts

Musical Chairs.   Amy Poeppel

Books with Older Characters.

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Books with Older Characters

I am coming across more books with older characters. Some are a little of a delightful fantasy and some are very true to real life. However all are enjoyable. While these are not the only books I have enjoyed or intend to enjoy with older characters, here are five I have thought of.  Three I have read, one I am reading and one I hope to read.

book cover Away with the Penguins has an eighty six year old heroine. She is grumpy and non trusting. And… she is rather wealthy. She has no family until a rather non delectable grandson is tracked down. In the meantime Granny has decided to take a trip to Antartica to see the penguins and stays with a small group of scientists. Most of them are a bit grumpy too. However hearts begin to change and this was a most wonderful read with lots of facts about penguins as well. In the USA it is titled How the Penguins Saved Veronica.

 

book cover The Woman Next Door by Australian author Liz Byrski has an older character – Stella who is a bit of a character but who seems to be slipping in ways that concern her friends/neighbours. She is an actress nearly eighty. Liz Byrski has a great gift for exploring the life experiences of the older age group as does Joanna Nell who has written…

book cover The Last Voyage of Mrs Parker I read last year. It tells the story of the wife of a retired ship’s Doctor. But… she finds her husband is missing and she is rather confused about things. Joanna Nell is another Australian author who explores the experience of ageing for those its happening to and those who are with them.

 

The Switch The Switch by Beth O’Leary is an audiobook I happen to be listening to at the moment and one of the main characters is near eighty.  Eileen who is newly single and looking for a second chance at love. She seems to be a bit of a character as well as being a very compassionate and understanding grandmother. So far I am enjoying it.  It’s an extra listen for me as I picked it up from NetGalley as it was in the “Read Now” category. And one I did intend to read as I enjoyed Beth O’Leary’s previous book.

 

book coverThe Love Story of Missy Carmichael. This is the story of a seventy nine year old. She lives alone and seems to be estranged from her family. This is one I haven’t read but it sounds like I could give it a go so its now on my TBR list. A few readers I follow have read it and that’s good enough for me.

 

 

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Review

Musical Chairs. Amy Poeppel

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Publisher: Atria Books

Date: July 21st 2020

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Musical Chairs is an excellent title for this book, as the characters and  various pets, dance in and out of the story. Most of them by the end of the book have changed places – upending the lives that were and taking on something new.

I did find so many characters hard to keep track of, although I need to say they all eventually settled and intertwined in a satisfying way.

The friendship that Will and Bridget have is amazing and right the way through they are there for each other. They form part of a trio – the only problem being they have lost their third member and this is sort of forcing them to take a second look at their lives.

There is so much going on with Bridget’s adult children, her sister and father who has just announced he too is going to be making a big change in his life.

For readers who love music this would be a great book for them to relax and have a good summer read. I am not one of those so the music references were lost on me. However this was a book that grew on me and by the end I was left wishing the characters a happy going forward in their lives.

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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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Hope you are all doing okay. We still remain Covid19 free, except for at the border where there are cases with returning citizens. We sort of skate on thin ice as it could leak out, but so far so good. Actually it feels weird as we go about  our ordinary lives while the rest of the world continues to be very aware of the virus. I think maybe I should sort out some masks just in case. Anyway appreciating the freedom at the moment and hoping for the best.

“My biggest complaint” is my favourite loose leaf tea is no longer in the shops. Dilmah which comes from Sri Lanka. There are tea bags but I don’t like those. So using inferior tea now. I am guessing it is Covid 19 related.

Our political lives are interesting as we too have elections this year in September. There has been plenty to fill the news every day lately on that!

What I read last week:

Two quite different but both very enjoyable books.

What I am reading now:

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I am almost finished The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley, today or tomorrow I think. It’s been very good and so good on audio.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Meanwhile Back at the Library. – More Library Reserves

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Meanwhile Back at the Library

Since my last library post I’ve been online again and lined up another five books on reserve. I seem to be getting my library groove on again. Might as well I guess.

And here they are….

I do want to read all of these.  They have been in my plan for reading, I was going to buy or listen to them but now the library is up and running so I couldn’t resist.  I will be endeavouring not to put any more reserves on at the library for awhile as I have the previous five from a couple of weeks ago.  They are all hard back or paperback. I don’t get ebooks from the library because mine doesn’t support Kindle. Anyway I have heaps to read on my Kindle!

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#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 are all hanging in there. The days seem to fly by. Take care everyone and stay virus free.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

What You Wish For Katherine Center

Jane Austen Spin Offs

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