Book Connections

Anticipated TBP Books for 2020

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I always like to check up on favourite authors and what they might be publishing next. These five I plan on buying.

My biggest lookout would be the one coming out in June by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She doesn’t write a book every year so I always look forward to the year she does. It doesn’t have a cover yet so here is the place holder. I have already pre-ordered a hard copy from Amazon! Right now it is cheaper than the paperback and the same as the Kindle price!

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When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal. 

Another author I’ve come to like is Sarah Morgan and her next one comes out in April.

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I couldn’t find any information about what it is about, but that’s okay. It says on the cover “Who says you can’t choose your family?”  Good enough for me. Will pre-order from the Book Depository.

K. A. Tucker – a Canadian author has become a favourite of mine in the last few years. This one is the continuation of her previous book The Simple Wild.

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Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.  
But! It sounds like it’s not all a bed of roses.  Publishes in March. Again will pre-order from the Book Depository.

Fiona Lowe is an Australian author and I really liked her book Home Fires, so I have had my eye on her next one. It publishes in February. I’ll buy it locally, I resisted requesting it for review. I want the actual copy to read and put on my book shelf.

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Australian author Fiona Lowe returns with a juicy family saga, set against the backdrop of Victoria’s high country, about unforgettable characters tangled together by a wealthy inheritance, secrets and betrayal.

Lastly one from Anne Bogel. I’ve already pre-ordered this from the Book Depository.  It publishes in March.

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We’ve all been there: stuck in a cycle of what-ifs, plagued by indecision, paralyzed by the fear of getting it wrong. Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it doesn’t feel like something we can choose to stop doing. It feels like something we’re wired to do, something we just can’t escape. But is it?

Anne has some strategies for us in making the small and large decisions.  I predict it will be worth reading.

I am sure very soon I will have another list of five publishing this year that I want. Do you make a list of authors you keep an eye on, for what they are publishing next?

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Review

Big Lies in a Small Town. Diane Chamberlain

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Published: St Martin’s Press
Date 14th January 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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If you ever had any doubt that you must let go the past so that you can move into the future then this book will certainly convince you of it being so true.

Morgan Christopher has the huge task of restoring a mural painted by Anna Dale in 1940. Morgan has been unfairly in prison for the past year, because of a boyfriend who was a coward. This is an opportunity for her, although she knows nothing about restoring painting. Plus there is a time limit. And why did the well known artist Jesse Williams name her as the person who must do it?

Anna Dale has been given the task of painting the mural in Edenton  to hang in the post office. She moves there for awhile while she paints it so that she can get a feel for the place, its history and people. A few young students help her, Jesse among them. Anna has come from the north and is rather wondering of the racist ways still present here in this town and she is to run up against it in unpleasant ways.

The less said about the plot the better. It needs to unfold for the reader so that you have an opportunity to see it play out before your eyes. The story is told between Anna and Morgan. The chapters are short, so this time I could easily live with the dual time line. There was no time to miss one character because I was speedily back with her. As well, their stories of working on the mural and the mystery it presents links up so seamlessly.

I loved this book. It held me in its thrall all the way through. There is mystery, challenge, injustice, racism and violence – but not too much, just a taste. The characters of Anna and Morgan – nothing not to love. Jesse was another who in the ’40’s I cheered on. And his family.

All I can say is don’t miss out on this one. I wish it went on much further, but maybe Diane Chamberlain knows where to stop!

#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 really good enjoyable week of reading this week. Loved all my books.

While summer is showing its face at the moment for me, I have to think winter, so this week I got delivered a cubic metre of wood. I have to cart it from the front of the house around to the back and stack it so its been a few barrow loads at a time. But I work on the premise that twenty or so minutes a day gets a task accomplished. My word for the year!

First photo shows shed all tidied for wood, second photo shows 95% of wood stacked, still some more to do and a tidy up out the front!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Country Guest House  Robyn Carr

Five Books Waiting on my Kindle

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Book Connections

Five Books on my Kindle Waiting…

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I tend to ignore my Kindle books a little, so I am taking a look at all the ones waiting and picking out five books I need to remind myself to read sooner rather than later! It says that I have 540 unread, but I am sure that’s a fib, I really need to check, because if even left at 98% I think it doesn’t recognise it as read! I need to do a bit of a sort to obtain the real count.

These ones are more recent additions… I haven’t gone deep into the basement yet.

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This is a recent one, that was recommended by a couple of people with whom I have similar reading taste.  It’s Little Women inspired, and is about family and sisterhood I think. By the way have you been to the new movie Little Women? I haven’t but would quite like to, although just over 2 hours.

 

book coverThis one is from a teen favourite author and I didn’t read all her books, or if I did I’ve forgotten them. They have somewhat updated covers! This one is about a young nurse starting out. Many of these books have been published recently in Kindle format and I have been buying them all up! But I need to read them!

Book cover Bought back in July 2019. I think it was on a deal and a few people have recommended it. It may be a Rom Com which isn’t my preferred reading but will give it a go sometime.

 

book coverBought this back last year in July too and its historical romance, #3 in a series and I enjoyed the first two. I need to get to it! It’s a marriage of convenience trope.

 

Book CoverAnother July ’19 purchase! Again a deal I think and maybe a recommendation from Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs Darcy blog.  The blurb says ………………… A searing debut novel from the award-winning author of You Know When the Men are Gone, about jealousy, the unpredictable path of friendship, and the secrets kept in marriage, all set within the U.S. expat community of the Middle East during the rise of the Arab Spring.

 

Kindle books tend to be out of sight, out of mind! How about you? Are you all clear or is there a pile up?

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Review

The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr

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Publisher: HQN – Mira
Date: 7th January 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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The Country Guesthouse introduces us to Hannah, we meet her out near Sullivan’s Crossing escaping from a corporate team building event that just isn’t to her style. However the place beside the lake where it takes place is gorgeous and she tucks that away in her mind. It happens to belong to Owen Abrams, a photographer who travels a lot and rents his place out.

Hannah’s world is turned upside down when she finds herself the guardian of the totally grief stricken but totally adorable five year old Noah. Hannah’s friend has died and she has left Hannah to be Noah’s mother. Adusting to each other takes time and Hannah takes leave from work and decides to take a two week break out at the very same lake in the very same house the team building took place.

Only… Owen has had his next trip cancelled on him and he is going to be staying out in his studio. The best think out is that he has this Great Dane – Romeo and Romeo loves just about everybody, hence his name! And so the story develops, with some hiccups of course. We meet up again with some of the other inhabitants of Sullivan’s Crossing and the town and for this story Helen just can’t keep her nose out of things.

I loved this addition to the series, well when there is a child and a dog that are both so adorable there is a high chance that with excellent writing and plotting and wonderful characters this kind of book is going to be a big success with this reader. I was so disappointed to see the end speeding up to meet me!

I especially loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter and the cover of the book is just so beautiful. Friendship, family, and big community spirit with genuine care for others made it a winner for me.

 

#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 again everyone. Hope you are all doing okay. As planned I am reading a little slower this year and only a couple of review books a month. Its very liberating! I think I am recognising my present reading taste too some more and while I recognise a book is good it might not be for me.

All the best for the coming week.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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and still listening to The Sometime Sisters.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

My Year in Books 2019

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Book Connections, Review

Five Books with Connections to Self

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Connect Five Friday.  A Friday link up that can be joined in on any day and begins again the next Friday. Post about a list of five bookish related topics/lists of your choice. Be creative and enjoy the process. If you want to know a little more read the introduction to it here.

When I was teaching one of this ways we helped young readers comprehend was to make connections to our own lives from the books we were reading. When I came across the first book in this list of five I realised how my own experience was helping me understand Anthony so I decided to look for some more connections to self in the books I read.

book coverIn this novel we meet a writer hiding ashamed from  one big mistake he made – he plagiarised from a little known author and he was dobbed* in by an “unknown source”. I know, immediately we judge him as a reader, we don’t like plagiarising, we see how it affects authors. But… suddenly I found myself remembering a little plagiarising I did myself as a thirteen year old. We had to write a description, I was under pressure just like Anthony, and I picked up a description of a cowboy from Zane Grey. Thank you Zane! Anyway of course the teacher didn’t buy it, I mean I am and was no Zane Grey. But I do remember the shame and I was cured of plagiarising! Of course as a teacher many years later I’d come to realise the value of mentor texts and how we can learn and model our writing on those writers who write wonderful sentences and descriptions! Anyway my small life experience brought to me some sympathy for this character Anthony and it turns out it wasn’t misplaced.

*British informal. [dob someone in] to tell someone in authority about something bad that another person has done.

book coverThis is the first book written by British author Lucilla Andrews – written in 1954. It is less a romance and rather a fascinating look at hospital nursing life in this era. It will be interesting to see how her writing develops as I read through her books in the order they were written. Who knew that prem babies were fed breast milk with a little brandy! Very realistic and worth reading although a little too much description. I connected to it because way back in the ’60’s I spent a year as a nurse aide in a maternity hospital. It was fascinating to see how things had moved on since 1954. For example after giving birth the women were carried down stairs on a stretcher to the ward after giving birth. At great cost to those carrying.  In my day of course they were wheeled back in a bed. Nowadays if they are at a hospital they are often on their way home a few hours later!

book cover Rival’s Break is a suspenseful cozy mystery sort of book, but what I connected to were the characters and the fact that some of them had quite Catholic connections and some Irish. Emma Sharpe one of the main characters – an FBI member and art expert once belonged to an order of nuns, and there is a Father Finian who became a priest after losing his wife and daughters in an accident. So with my own Catholic upbringing and a good dose of Irish in me I felt very at home in the book!

 

Book coverAs soon as I started The Country Guesthouse I was making connections. I was thinking of all those times we did things as a staff to build rapport and trust etc. The fall back the heroine had to make  to someone who couldn’t be trusted at work ( and she wasn’t caught!) I hated those team build times as much as Hannah. And then 5 year old Noah has lost his mother and doesn’t want to forget her. It reminded my of my nephew Max and the hard time he had and still does at the loss of his great grandpa when he was 5. And I loved and could identify with Owen’s love of a quiet life in a less populated area. Already I’ve stopped in the early parts of the book to reflect. So much so, my Kindle has turned off a few times while waiting for me to go on!

book coverMany readers I follow enjoyed this author and book so I wanted to try it out. I am growing in years and the characters in this book are experiencing many of the things I know about. They are a bit older than me, but not much and so their thoughts and feelings I can really identify with and it makes me stop and think, and admire their struggles and kindnesses, and their knowing that life is still for living and the great choices they make.  I really admired Frank and Lucille’s honesty with each other in this story and their acceptance of each other and the love and friendship they had for each other. Never too old! And I totally identify.

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Year in Review

My Year in Books 2019

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Goodreads reads

Cover Love

I think I like those blues and summer feel!

 

Most Surprising

Why? It’s a male author and I rarely read them. The cover is uninviting. The book is such fun and the heroine, a seventy something, is amazing. The writing is wonderful and while the story moves reasonably slowly it is still totally engaging.

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New to me Author to Love and Read More

Australian author Fiona Lowe.

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Her next one comes out soon and I intend buying it. Eyes on you bookshop in February!

Some Favourite Reads of 2019

There are a few more but I can’t go on and on.

First book in a Series I want to read more

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Best Book From A Series

To be honest all the books from my loved series were great, however I have a special love for the pay/changeling series so I will choose this one that came out in 2019.

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Top Audiobooks

 

Diverse Book I Loved

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Middle Grade Love

I just have to do a reread of Okay for Now by the same author. I left that book in my classroom when I retired from teaching. Now I need it again!

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YA I Need to Read More From

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Not For Me

Star ratings

 

Review

The Little Bookshop on the Seine. Rebecca Raisin

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Published: HQN
Date: 7th January 2020
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

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The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin is one in a series, however I hadn’t read any previous ones and found it could easily be read without former experience!

This is certainly a book for book lovers and those who would love to visit Paris. It has oodles of both. Sarah has come from her quiet, sleepy town in Connecticut and has swapped bookshops with her friend Sophie who has one in Paris. Sarah’s bookshop doesn’t really do well, but then she hates parting with any of the books! Sarah’s on the other hand is a bustling, busy shop.

All that is expected of Sarah to do in the busy Paris shop had my head reeling. I think hers must have been worse! Life goes at pace, and she is taken out of her small world as she sees the amazing art around her in Paris. It’s a pity though that the book must have been seen through its final stages before Notre Dame had its terrible fire.

Sarah  has to learn how to handle a rather odd staff, find out where some disappearing money is going  and to try and keep sales up so that Sophie is happy. She also has to believe in the man who says he loves her and works all over the world as a journalist, following the latest story as they arise. All big asks.

This is a story of Sarah stepping out into the unknown and different. Of it taking time for her to find her feet and feel that she is part of Paris and the people she meets up with, many of whom touch her heart and become good friends. And she learns to speak up and display her enthusiasm for all things Christmas. A touching, warm hearted story.