Book Connections

5 Books – Bookclubs, Libraries, Bookshops

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I am a sucker for a book that has a bookish word in the title. Generally I am not disappointed either.  These five were 2019 reads, although a couple of them have been around quite awhile.

book coverThe Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick. Martha the main character works at the library, used to write stories with her Grandma and there is a bookshop owner and bookshop as well. I enjoyed this story, liked Martha as a character, her quirkiness and the way she changed.  My review.

 

 

book coverA Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski is set in  Australia. It is about four women who belong to an online book club. They are invited by one member to join her for a few weeks in the Blue Mountains. They have never met in person before, each one is either retired or about to retire.  They each have to bring a book that is going to reveal to the others something about themselves. They take a week to read and then discuss each one. The books mentioned are real books, and bring out information about each character. They have very thoughtful discussions. My first read of this author and I will certainly look for more by her.

book coverFive women meet each month to discuss a book. Their friendship is important to them, even if some are tinged with tension. Each women faces a challenge as the story unfolds and each responds in a way unique to her. And through all the trials friendship carries the day. Each chapter begins with a quote from a book that is rather relevant to what happens in the chapter. I cheered them on, recognised and understood the crises  and rather admired their steps forward in their lives.

 

book cover I thought this might be another happy book about a bookshop, however I was warned in the forward by someone other than the author that this was a sad book, and so it is. It was an excellent listen on audio, I don’t think I’d enjoy just reading it. Set in a small village in England it is a tale of taking a risk, being a little naive about what might be a success and how to run a small business. Florence Green has a kind heart, but that cannot be said for another woman in the village who ruthlessly sets about being Florence’s and the bookshop’s downfall.

Book coverOMG I loved this book, I just was so annoyed when it ended, the best kind of annoyed though. I have read this every spare minute I had, I love this kind of book magic that draws me into a story. It often surprised a laugh out of me. It often had me worrying over the outcome for characters. There are some serious issues that are explored.

Zoe brings her own brand of book beliefs to the blue van while Nina is busy holed up in a hospital bed. (Remember Nina from The Bookshop on the Corner). Zoe brings her own brand of being a nanny to three “lost” children and she is a wonderful mother to her own.

Set in Scotland – in a big house like a castle. At some point I hope I’ll hear this on audio because I am sure it would be wonderful with the right narrator.

LOVED 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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Hope you all had a great week. I am just recovering from the Cricket World Cup which I know none of you, not one, are into… but its my favourite viewer sport. Our national team got into the final and played England and lost at the last moment on a rule differential. It was nail biting this morning. Fantastic game. We didn’t lose, but… we didn’t win. Congratulations to England. To our Black Caps team – so proud of you.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I have started listening to…

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I am reading…

One from the TBR shelf

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Golden Hour.  Beatriz Williams

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Review

The Golden Hour. Beatriz Williams

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Publisher: William Morrow
Date: July 9th 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

It pays to stay with The Golden Hour! It weaves in and out of timelines and tells the lives of two seemingly unrelated, different women. Elfriede and Lulu.  Elfriede we meet in the early 1900’s, in Germany. As a young woman she is married to a German baron, however she suffers from post natal depression – something really not understood in those days. It leads to a number of events.

We then have Lulu in the early to mid 1940’s – war time. And does she have an interesting back story. She finds herself in The Bahamas in Nassau during the war. There she develops a relationship with the Duchess of Windsor and her husband.  I found this aspect really interesting, and I do think Beatriz Williams drew some interesting and well researched aspects to this couples personalities and lives and values.  Lulu meets up with and falls in love with Benedict Thorpe – a rather mysterious man, who appears and disappears often.  Only to return rather often bearing bruises and scars.

Its wartime, so there are spies and strange disappearances and even murders. Some of what happens is based on history, some of the people we meet were actual factual people. Although of course all the main characters are fictional.

At times the continual weaving back and forth of time lines and the two women annoyed me. I like a straight forward timeline! However exercising patience rewarded me and I really became involved in the story and liked it very much. A few revelations at the end I didn’t see coming which of course really is a plus.

There is a reference in the author’s note  to The Infinite Sea, a book I very much liked, and now want to go back and refresh my mind by rereading it. Johann, a German, we again meet in The Golden Hour, in a minor but still very interesting way, was in The Infinite Sea.

A well written, insightful and clever piece of historical fiction.

 

#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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I had a good reading week. I finished my audiobook, enjoyed The Golden Hour  and then sat by the fire and read Wolf Rain, which was perfect fireside reading. I had one DNF which is going back to the library.

Apart from that, just very wintry weather, one day I couldn’t go for a walk but other than that I have wrapped up and ventured out. Today looks a little better, we’ll see.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I am listening to…

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And reading…

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Up next:

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Book Connections

Five New to Me Authors I Enjoyed.

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Five new to me authors I’d certainly want to read more from. I am not that much of an adventurous person, but I do seem to read quite a few new to me authors. Some of course are just once and that is enough, but here are five I would happily read again. In fact I was straight out ready to buy the latest Julie Buxbaum book. It’s now sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read.

Book cover This was a fascinating look at the world mostly around the Cuban crisis and the time of President Kennedy. These were in the background as a young Cuban woman whose family had to flee Cuba in the revolution becomes involved in espionage and one handsome American senator. The book is well written, the story was mostly believable and I liked the main characters. I’d certainly read this author again.

book cover This one involves twin sisters, one on the beauty queen stage – the other a down to earth school librarian. When the beauty queen comes down with a bad allergy she twists the arm of her twin sister to take her place in the initial events of the competition. While the first sister is at first resistant she gets in the spirit and is a very refreshing entrant. This book was light and funny and I enjoyed the quick read. I’d be happy to read Teri Wilson again sometime.

book coverIn Tell Me Three Things Jessie must make a new beginning as a sixteen year old when her Dad uproots her to leave Chicago and live in California with a step mom and step brother. She has to settle into a new home, a new school and new friends. If she can make them. Add to that she grieves the loss of her mother who died about two years previously.  I loved this book, the characters, the wisdom and insight and the struggle. I really look forward to reading more by Julie Buxbaum.

book cover I’m Fine and Neither Are You explores grief, a working mother, two young children and a house husband who may not quite be pulling his weight. Penelope and Sanjay seem to be coasting towards boredom and dissatisfaction with their marriage. Could adding some honesty into the mix help or hinder? While there are serious issues explored in this book I read it quickly with enjoyment. I would certainly read this author again.

book coverWhat a beautiful story, as a teacher I appreciate the portrayal of a talented and caring compassionate teacher in Maggie. My heart went out to Katya and Sasha who were victims of the Chernobyl disaster. Their son Yuri has a heart defect as a result of all the radiation. Such a moving, sad and yet hopeful story. I loved the relationship between Maggie, Yuri and Finn. So many good friendships in the book. The only thing that sort of amused me was I know the writing of the students would not have been so highly edited in their notebooks. I certainly would recommend this book.

Reading challenge

Library Love – How am I Doing?

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Linking up to Angela’s Guilty Pleasures mid year check in.

 

In 2018 I used the library really well thanks to this challenge and went beyond my goal of 24. This year I am aiming for 36. At this point in time I am a little behind in my goal but made good ground in June.

I like reserving books as soon as I hear about them and often they haven’t been published yet but the library has them on order. Only trouble is sometimes they come in too much at once!

Books Read

  1. Becoming Mrs Lewis  Patti Callahan  Historical Fiction.   5 stars.
  2. Suitcase of Dreams  Tania Blanchard  Historical Fiction 4 stars.
  3. Marilla of Green Gables  Historical Fiction  4 stars
  4. The Red Address Book. Multi Time line Fiction. 4 stars
  5. Strawberry Hill  Catherine Anderson  3 stars
  6. Meet Me at the Museum   Anne Youngson 4 stars
  7. The Cottage at Rosella Cove   Sandi Docker   3 stars
  8. The Natural Home Wendyl Nissen  4.5 stars
  9. From Night Owl to Dogfish   Holly Sloan/Meg Wolitzer 4 stars
  10. Ayesha at Last  Uzma Jalaluddin  4 stars
  11. The Accidental Beauty Queen  Teri Wilson  3.5 stars
  12. When We Left Cuba Chanel Cleeton 4 stars
  13. I’m Fine and Neither Are You  Camille Pagán. 4 stars
  14. Inheritance: A memoir of genealogy, paternity and love.  Dani Shapiro 4 stars
  15. The Secret of Clouds   Alyson Richman   4 stars
  16. The Gift of Friends.   Emma Hannigan.  5 stars

So far my favourite books from the library have been two five star reads. Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan and The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan.

And….

some of the books planned for the second half of the year!

Books to be read

I don’t use the library for ebooks because it doesn’t support the Kindle format. And there audiobook online choice is poor… and I’ve told them so!

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? This July!

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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, welcome to the second half of the year!

This week my computer died, I’ve had it for seven years and it has given me great service… but still I want it to last longer. I was thinking it’s the price for technology advancement. Everything advances and is soon out of date. Ouch.

After some thought I bought a MacBook Air, being a Mac fan – on the whole. It is thinner than my MacBook Pro but I have easily got used to it. I discovered Safari would not let me comment on Blogger sites, which took up some of my time yesterday. However I then downloaded Google Chrome which does let me, so I guess I’ll be going between the two browsers.

How long do you expect a computer to last?!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Jackson     Emily March

Connect Five Books.  June – August

June Reading Digest

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Month in Review

Reading in June Digest

Total books read this month: 12

New to me authors:

Teri Wilson
Chanel Cleeton
Camille Pagán.
Dani Shapiro
Alyson Richman
Emma Hannigan

Where the authors come from

USA: 8
Canada : 2
Australia: 1
Ireland:1

Reading Challenge Update:

I am breaking even for the audiobook challenge as mid year arrives. In the library one I am behind but this month saw me return to using the library more which is good! Half of the books I read this month came from the library.

Reading Club Update:

I read The Gown for the Modern Mrs Darcy book club. It was a really good historical/contemporary dual timeline book. Oh my, the exquisite work that went into the wedding gown of Queen Elizabeth. The interview with Jennifer Robson by Anne Bogel just so added to my appreciation of the story.

Outside Reading Highlights

I had to buy a new computer. My last one crashed. I might see if I can get it fixed as a back up. We’ll see.

I finished a bookshelf quilt which I was delighted to see completed. A post about that later.

Top Book for June…

Well at least eight out of the twelve could be this, they were all so good. However the last is always fresher and this is the one I choose. My first read of Irish author Emma Hannigan. Unfortunately she passed away last year, but I do have a back list I can read.

This book was about being real, the delights of friendship and being there for each other as challenges are faced.

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Looking forward to reading in July …

These two for sure, I have quite a few I want to get to but these will certainly be on the reading agenda for July.

Main Reading Goals for July…

  • continue to read some library books
  • pick up Lonesome Dove again. I made it too P.189 and then fell off the wagon.
  • Pick up as few review books as possible!

Incoming Books for June….

Purchased

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books Purchased

Linking with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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Book Connections, Reading challenge

Connect Five Books June – August

BannerJoin me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

Congratulations to the giveaway winner for the May – June link up Carolyn from the Riedel Fascination blog. She linked five books by choosing that they were all set in European countries.  

Other choices for the last two months were…

I was very impressed by the five books with alliterative titles I have to admit. I don’t think I could do that!

Remember you didn’t need to sign up for this challenge you can just join in as you see you have five connections.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?  One of these ways is good.

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment would be helpful.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.

If you need some guidelines for this then see the original post. Connect Five Books.

Remember:

  • A book can only be used once for this challenge in the year.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year, or many each month. It depends on how many connections you come across!
  •  Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019 if sharing on social media.

When?

Every second month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. This one will finish on the last Wednesday of August.  (I have changed this, I was going to do it every month, but every second month is going on trial!)

#connect5books2019

A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository. The last link up will be posted in November and go through December. At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year, –  a book of choice from the Book Depository up to the value of $18 U.S

This link will close last Wednesday in August.  (NZ time!)

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Review

Jackson – Eternity Springs:The McBrides of Texas

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Published: St Martin’s Press
Date: 25th June 2019
Source: Publicity – St Martin’s Press

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Emily March is branching out of Eternity Springs into Redemption – Texas. It seems that this is the first in a trilogy, and its Jackson’s story. However his two cousins Boone and Tucker look like they will have their day in the sun.

The two communities are well linked, and there was some inter linking of the two towns that was very pleasant.  The part that amused me the most was that we see a slightly different side to Celeste – the all knowing angel of Eternity Springs. Here in Redemption her cousin Angelica is all set to oversee the Inn that Jackson and his brothers establish. Angelica is very into dented halos and imperfection and I just loved her dress sense.

Jackson is wounded – his ex wife has every excuse under the sky to prevent him from being with their daughter Haley. It breaks his heart. He has lost his passion for life and most especially his great love of music. Will he ever regain it back?

Caroline the heroine of the story is someone who has had to stand strong. She has lost the love of her life and now must start a new chapter.  And she does that beautifully by deciding she wants to open an independent bookshop. Well who can argue with that? And I noted it has a quilt shop right next to it. I so want to visit Redemption!

From half way through this book it began to move along at a great pace with enough “flies in the ointment” to keep things interesting. It reeled me in. I guess I’ll be back for more! And I am just noticing the cover perfectly fits the book.

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Buy the Book Link.

photoFind Emily at her website.