Book Connections

Books by Irish Authors

Being part of a blogging community means being introduced to authors from other countries reader me might not find otherwise.  Trish from Between My Lines has been a very good source for Irish authors. While she no longer blogs I do see her reading on GR and IG.

I could have chosen a few other Irish authors off my shelves but not actually sure I’ll like the books. I am not a big Marion Keyes or Maeve Binchy reader yet I have one each of theirs. Of course Lucinda Riley is Irish but I only like her Seven Sisters books.

Have been thinking if I don’t get to these before I might make March of 2022 Irish authors reading month for myself!

Things We Never SayTrish says… “When packing your books for the beach this summer, make room for this one! It’s a warm, gossipy, full of heart and meets all my criteria for an engrossing summer read.”

Sheila O’Flanagan is a Dubliner and has written a lot of books. I have read one previously by her The Woman Who Ran Away which was a 4 star read for me.

I have this one from the library, written in 2013, so hopefully if I don’t get to it straight away I can renew it until I find a space to read it.

The Book ClubRoisin Meaney is an author I haven’t read before. I put it in my Wishlist and then accidentally bought it. I can’t remember where I saw someone reading this. May have been while visiting on It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Anyway I have it and Roisin Meaney has written lots of books so could be promising. She was born in Kerry but I think lives in Limerick.

The Moon over Kilmore BayMy absolute favourite Irish author.  This is her latest book. Trish did introduce me to her books with The Woman at 72 Derry Lane and I have been reading through her backlist since.

The Moon Over Kilmore Bay is her latest and its on my shelf….. waiting for attention!

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Emma Hannigan was an Irish author, I’ve read one of her other novels and liked it and have this one on my TBR print shelf. Must have picked it up at the book fair.

It’s about an Irish family restoring a villa in Spain. Sounds good.

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I wanted one more author I haven’t read. So I mined through Trish’s Irish GR shelves for the fifth one looking for one of her five star reads. This one sounded good and what’s more its at my local library. It was published in 2015 and sounds like its got lots of issues and is set in Dublin.

So four in the hand and one in the “bush”. All organised.

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Review

At The End of the Day. Liz Byrski

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Published: MacMillan Australia
Date: 28th September 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

When Mim Squires and Mathias Vander are stranded together on a disrupted flight home to Perth, they are surprised to find that they have much in common. Mim owns a bookshop, Mathias is a writer, and both are at turning points in their lives. Mim’s childhood polio is taking a toll on her life. Mathias is contemplating a cross-continent move to be nearer his daughter.

But life back in Perth is not smooth sailing, with their respective family members going through their own upheavals. As Mim and Mathias both struggle to adjust to the challenges of being in their late seventies, secrets from the past that neither wishes to face rise to the surface, challenging their long-held beliefs in their independence and singularity.

In At The End of the Day we meet two main characters, Mim and Mathias. They are both in their seventies and have led full lives, yet for both of them there are unresolved issues that shadow their present day happiness. The story explores who they are now, who they have been and who they might (or might not) become now.

I liked both these characters. Mim as a child had polio and now has a post polio syndrome that leaves her often tired and in pain. Mathias is a bit of a recluse but he likes to be around his daughter and is experiencing present day loss around his oldest friend. They are both facing into the later stage of life and exploring how they might live it fully and happily.

We also meet Alice – Mim’s sister and the exploration of sisterhood and the realisation that up until now they have not really understood each other and their misconceptions. Mim has a wonderful friend considerably younger than her and Matthias has a daughter. Together they find their way through new relationships to something completely new.

I really liked the final resolution of the book, there is a note of hope and future possibilities. People who could have become set in what has been, change and adjust to challenges, and reach for what makes them happy.  There is a recognition of our need for each other and that while independence is important, so is allowing others to reach out to us.

Thank you to Liz Byrski for facing into her own challenges to complete another thought provoking and engaging read.

#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 well. Time moves on. I was out for a walk and passed a tree that seemed not so long ago had beautiful autumn leaves all on the ground. Now full of new leaves and spring blossom.  Yesterday I planted some beans, might be a bit too early but will replant if these don’t sprout.

What did I do with the week gone by? Well read of course. I will keep going with the Patience Griffin series as I quite enjoyed the first one.  And totally engrossed in the Debra Webb suspense one.  My main sewing machine is not back but I do have a back up one I have been using so some patchwork and quilting!

I watched Delta Covid numbers go up in the Auckland and northern areas on New Zealand. The government have let go the elimination strategy, Delta is too catchy! Plus the underworld elements can’t keep rules so govt is endeavouring to play catch up with vaccinations.  We have our share of course of people with weird ideas and also “not going to be told what to do!” You know, the two year old element in society!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

All About Ella.   Meredith Appleyard

Five Books From Five Shelves

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Book Connections

Five Books from Five Shelves

I have five shelves on my bookcase with about twenty books in each. I decided to pull one book from each shelf and endeavour to read them over October. They are all authors I have read before.

Book covers are linked to Goodreads

The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle

This one has been on my shelf since a book fair in 2019, and I have been going past it. It is by Australian author Sophie Green and I have read one of her previous books.

It’s about a friendship between four women who find each other I think as they swim each day in the ocean.

The Mother's Promise I bought this one new, most likely when it published in 2017 and then it has sat there and Sally Hepworth has published far more since then! I think she was born in England but lives in Australia, so if you live in the country then I call you Australian!

Silver LiningsI got this at a book fair, not sure when. It is #4 in her Rose Harbor series. I have been reading it, so time to read on and see what is happening  in Cedar Cove at the Inn.

book coverI bought this recently because it is one I hadn’t read and I just felt like an old style book by Kristan Higgins.  Just a plain straight romance.

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A nostalgic read from childhood. A few years back I bought the whole set of these books – a reprint, so not original covers. Anyway they cost quite a bit and I haven’t read them all (seven altogether). So I decided to make a start!

So if I can fit them all in they will be October reads.

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Review

All About Ella. Meredith Appleyard

All About Ella

Published: Harlequin – Australia
Date: 1st September 2021
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

At 70, Ella’s world is upended, leaving her at odds with her three adult children, whose attention is fixed more firmly on her money than her ongoing welfare. After an argument with her son Anthony, she flees his Adelaide home for Cutlers Bay, a seaside town on the Yorke Peninsula. There she befriends Angie, a 40-year-old drifter, and becomes an irritant to local cop Zach. He’s keen to shift Ella off his turf, because Anthony phones daily, demanding his mother be sent home. And besides, Zach just doesn’t trust Angie.

Ella warms to Cutlers Bay, and it warms to her. In a defiant act of self-determination, she buys an entirely unsuitable house on the outskirts of town, and Angie agrees to help make it habitable. Zach is drawn to the house on the clifftop, and finds himself revising his earlier opinions of Ella, and Angie.

All About Ella was a lovely surprise of a read. Right from the start I was on team Ella. She’d gone through a really hard time, nursing her dying husband, having the family house sold from under her and then hustled to live with her son and daughter in law.

Ella is very realistic and in lots of ways, ordinary. But she is so likeable and I was wishing for her the very best. It was a delight to see her finding her feet and then standing firmly on them.

I loved the sound of the old house she lives in and the Australian small town feel. The house had not been lived in and felt really unsuitable but it made Ella’s heart sing and through many ups and downs she achieved so much.

Angie adds to the story with her wandering, unsettled heart. She has had a difficult family upbringing which is at the root of her wandering. The relationship that builds between Ella and Angie warmed my heart. As well Ella has a great relationship with her grandson Stefan, another element I enjoyed.

The local community is rich in ordinary warm hearted people going about their lives, doing their best and looking out for each other.

The book makes us examine what we value when it comes to allowing older people to make their own choices and live their lives as they see fit, and that families don’t need to step in unless its in the really best interests of the elder. Purpose and meaning in life is important at any age.

A delightful winner of a book and my word the cover is perfect.

#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 reading week. I did and moving along into new books. I am thinking of the garden and need to go to the centre to see about pumpkin seeds and a tomato plant. And soon bean planting time.

I had to take my sewing machine to be serviced so that was a little trip north by half an hour. I do have a back up machine so hasn’t totally stopped me!

I set my sister up at the library with her own library card etc. Oh they have nice new cards and a small one to go on your key ring. Hmmm –  I wonder if I “lost” my card!  Now I will set up a tablet so she can access Libby online especially for audiobooks. She reads differently to me, I call me “light and soft” and her “heavy and hard” in terms of reading! However thanks to all the bloggers out there I have good suggestions for her. She can only read large print now so a little limiting, but they still have good options. Yay for libraries.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And listening to…

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Be My Ghost.  C. J. Perry

One Hobby Leads to Another

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Month in Review

September Reading Wrap

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Total books read this month:12

New to me authors:

Ali McNamara
Lucy Parker
Carol J. Perry

Top Book for September

Second one in the series. I am hooked.

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Book that Most Surprised me.

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for awhile now, and kept putting it off because well when a husband and wife are really happy and then she gets terminally ill. Not really calling to me. Yet once I was reading it I was sucked in, in spite of its more serious subject. Still so well written and the characters were great.

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Book that I least liked.

It was a second chance romance, but well, it just didn’t hit the mark with me.

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Looking forward to reading in October

Review of Reading Goal for September

My main goal was to read up my Netgalley review books and catch up on them. I didn’t have that many but I had fallen behind.  I caught up and so now I can relax a bit about them. Only 4 I think in the queue.

Libby App at the library. Our library has now switched to this app and it is a lot friendlier. I tried it out and listened to Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer. Not her best book but still good enough.

I cut back my Audible Credits to one a month and I will see how that goes. I still have 8 in hand and some books not listened to.

Main Reading Goal for October

Read some of the more recently acquired books sitting on my print TBR shelf. So a sort of 2:1 ratio. Two print books from my TBR or the library and then one Kindle, be that mine or Netgalley.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Book Connections

One Hobby leads to Another

My two main hobbies are reading and quilting. Of course reading came long before quilting. It was actually because of my reading that quilting became a hobby. The two have similarities! My eyes are always on “more”. More books, more fabric! More patterns and more quilts I might make. Like books I have a TBQ shelf  shelves of fabrics and pattens!

Book covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to explore any of the books.

book coverThe book that started it all for me. There are five books in the Shenandoah Album by Emilie Richards and I loved them all. They are all about women and threaded in are some quilting. As I read I became enamoured by quilts.

It wasn’t until many years later as I neared retirement the I was sucked into quilting. I am not a sewer, but thank you to You Tube, Craftsy, Missouri Star Quilt Company and later Fat Quarter shop I’ve been developing some skills.

Quilting is addictive as reading!

I have read this first book in J Chiaverini’s series. The characters were endearing and there was definitely quilt talk. I haven’t read much else in the series, it didn’t wow me that much, but I might pick up a few more to see what I think.  There are quite a few in the series so it would give me some reading!

book coverMary Marks has written a cosy mystery series that held me all the way through to #9. And I await another hopefully in 2022.

Fun characters and lovely but not too intrusive to the story – quilting. Plus Mary Marks really knows her quilting.

book coverThis one is on my actual print TBR shelf. And the second one as well. A cozy mystery series and I think it has a good enough rep to say I will probably read through the series for a bit of quilting buzz.

book coverAnd finally another on my actual print TBR. It’s the first in a kilts and quilts series and has about 8 books in it. So if I like the one I’ll keep going.

I have also added other possibilities to my GR shelf that I might chase down.  While I love quilts I also want strong story lines and characters as well and not all quilt fiction is equal!

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Review

Be My Ghost. C J Perry

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Published: Kensington Books
Date: 31st August 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Maureen’s career as a sportswear buyer hits a snag just before Halloween, when the department store declares bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Finn’s lost his way as a guide dog after flunking his test for being too friendly and easily distracted. Sadly, only one of them can earn unemployment, so Maureen’s facing a winter of discontent in Boston–when she realizes she can’t afford her apartment.

Salvation comes when she receives a mysterious inheritance: an inn in Haven, Florida. A quaint, scenic town on the Gulf of Mexico hidden away from the theme parks, Maureen believes it’s a good place to make a fresh start with a new business venture. But she gets more than she bargained for when she finds a dead body on her property–and meets some of the inn’s everlasting tenants in the form of ghosts who offer their otherworldly talents in order to help her solve the mystery…

What a great start Be My Ghost is to a new series by Carol J. Perry. It was highly entertaining and I know I am going to want way more about Maureen and her team at the new Haven Inn in Florida that she has somehow inherited.

The inn is haunted. Oh yes some ghosts, I know at least one of them is sure to be a recurring character. Then we have Maureen who is newly arrived at the inn and on the whole she feels she has landed on her feet, after a job loss.

However the inn is somewhat run down and is running at a loss. But… Maureen has vast retail experience and my guess is before too long she’ll be managing this inn way better than it has been. Elizabeth the manager, I felt was most likely skimming from the inn.

Of course there is a murder and while I didn’t solve the whole mystery it was fairly easy to pinpoint before the big reveal.

This is a book that just kept me reading, a page turner for sure. Can’t wait to meet Maureen and Finn (dog) again. It will be an auto-read.

#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 we went into daylight saving on Sunday. So that means more daylight in the evening. There are definite signs of spring all around. I can hear the Tui’s call – a native bird with a love for nectar. Their beaks are into all the blossoms at the moment.  I heard that the Godwits have arrived from Alaska after their long flight to New Zealand. So amazing to do it all in one go, what a long way.

I had a good week of reading and quilting. Just finishing one up and only now have about twenty to work on! Must keep my eyes off any more fabric and patterns. It’s a bit like books and reading, well a lot really.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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Still listening to Project Hail Mary.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Eyeing up books out in October

Murder Most Fair.  Anna Lee Huber

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