Top Ten Tuesday

Books I’ve Placed on my TBR Recently

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I am taking part in The Artsy Reader Girl’s  link up.

Here are ten books I’ve added to my TBR recently. Mostly they are ones that I have seen reviews for at blogs I’ve visited, and a couple by authors I already enjoy reading.  Are there any here you’ve read and enjoyed?

The Last Summer.  Karen Swan

The Unusual Abduction of Amy Conifer

The Key to My Heart. Lia Louis

My Oxford Year.  Julia Whelan

My name is Lucy Barton.  Elizabeth Strout

The Magic of Bees. Eileen Garvin

The Candid Life of Meena Dave.  Namrata Patel.H

The Wrong Sister. Fiona. Palmer

The Wife’s Promise.  Kate Hewitt

Anxious People.  Fredrik Backman

It’s great making lists like this because it keeps books in mind that I’d really like to 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 I had a mixed week. Some great days visiting and being visited. Fitted in some reading of course and plenty of quilting.

However I have been saddened by all the rain north of where I live and the terrible rain and flooding, loss of homes and life in Auckland and surrounding areas. It is heartbreaking and I know this is happening in so many places. I think of the floods NSW in Australia has had. And many other places. Our weather sure has changed I believe.

What I read last week:

Sugar and Salt was good but did include a rape which would be a trigger for some readers. I did skip a little! Blackberry Summer was a reread and I revised my 2 stars up to 4 stars. Don’t know where my head was the first time I read it about ten years ago.

I just had a little more to listen to with Lady of Quality and Christmas atCopper Mountain was a novella on audio. So it looks a lot read but no – not really!

What I am reading now:

The Matzah Ball

And about to. start  listening to…

The Light We Carry

I have a couple of slow reads going on as well. The Winners by F Backman and My Reading List by P Conroy.

Up next:

Birds in the Air 

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Review

Bookclubbed to Death. V. M. Burns

Bookclubbed to death

Published: Kensington
Date:  27th December 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

After the local library in North Harbor, Michigan, is flooded in a storm, Sam offers her bookstore as a new venue for the Mystery Mavens Book Club. Unfortunately, she immediately runs afoul of the club leader, Delia Marshall, a book reviewer who can make or break careers—something Sam can ill afford with her debut historical mystery soon to be published. But the next morning, Sam opens her shop to find the unpleasant woman dead on the floor, bashed with a heavy—apparently lethal—tome: the Complete Works of Agatha Christie. While Sam is busy writing her latest British historical mystery in which the queen mother is suspected in the murder of a London Times correspondent, a pair of ambitious cops suspect Sam of the real-life crime. When she gathers Nano Jo and their friends from the Shady Acres Retirement Village to review the case, they discover every one of the Mavens had a motive. With her novel about to hit the stores, Sam must find out who clubbed Delia before a judge throws the book at her . . .

Bookclubbed to Death is #8 in the Mystery Bookshop series by V. M. Burns. I hadn’t read any of the previous books and found it easy to slip into the story because the author deftly brings the reader up to date with the various characters.

There is an eclectic mix of characters as there often is in a cozy mystery. Samantha as bookshop owner and more is the main character, along with her Nana Jo, and together they are a rather formidable team. And on to that they can add Jenna – Sam’s sister  who happens to be a lawyer.

When there is a murder in Sam’s bookshop the inept detectives make noises about putting it on Sam as the murderer. However they don’t take into account the wiles of Sam, Jenna, Nana Jo and the girls who have powerful links.

The person murdered was a horrible woman who was big into blackmailing so a number of people wanted her dead. Sam works away at the mystery, she is also a budding author and in writing her mystery set in the late 1930’s in England she unwinds and begins to notice clues. I have to say I didn’t really bond with that device of including it in the story but others may like it.

It was easy to read, engaging and often humorous.  I didn’t know who the murderer was to the end so that was good although really unsurprising in light of all the blackmail!

Top Ten Tuesday

New to me Authors Found in 2022

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I am taking part in The Artsy Reader Girl’s  link up.

Today’s topic looks at the new to me authors I found in 2022.

It’s always great to discover new authors and love them and hope you can find more from them.

Louise Penny. Jamie Brenner. Bonnie Garmus. Amor Towles. Julia Whelan

Annabel Monaghan.  Kate Albus. Susan M. Boyer. Vicki Delany.  Lyn Cahoon

I look forward to reading more books by these authors in 2023

#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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And January Marches on! We have a long weekend in my region and when I was at the beach Sunday there were many, many people out enjoying the beautiful Wellington summer. They all mostly go back to work now and school will be back soon. Of course being retired, that doesn’t affect me but I still like it when everyone  is back doing what they do!

What I read last week:

I loved Spare by Prince Harry and have now passed it on to one of my sisters to read. Bookclubbed to Death is a review book.

What I am reading now:

Sugar and Salt

And my slow reads. The Winners by Fredrik Backman and My Reading Life by Pat Conroy.

Audiobook

Lady of Quality

Up next:

From my Kindle and a reread and … I two starred it! However I’ve read a later Hope’s Crossing book and really enjoyed it, so I bought the first three books in one, on Amazon and decided to go back to this one and just see. (I’d long given away my paperback copy!)

Blackberry Summer 

Last Week’s Posts

Bookish Goals for 2023

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Top Ten Tuesday

Bookish Goals for 2023

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I am taking part in The Artsy Reader Girl’s  link up.

Today’s topic asks us to name our bookish goals for 2023.

  1. Keep up the habit I started in 2022 of having slow steady reads. A morning one with coffee and an evening bed one.
  2. Read less review books and more books from my own shelf or list.
  3. Continue to read the Louise Penny books starting at #3. Not planning on them all in one year but about four might be about right.
  4. Read at least 100 books – Goodreads goal.
  5. Read books from my Kindle – at least two a month. That would lead to twenty four by the end of the year. I concentrated on my actual bookshelf in 2022 and my Kindle owned books have grown.
  6. Continue to include audiobooks and to perhaps increase the time in the day where I listen to them. Listen to the ones I already have before using credits for more.  Who am I kidding!
  7. Emilie Richards Reading Challenge – light touch, just what I want.
  8. Keep up with my favourite book podcasts – What Should I Read Next? and Currently Reading.
  9. Read more about The Science of Reading or listen to You Tube videos to increase my skill and knowledge for teaching reading. (Retired teacher, but helping my great – nephew  with his reading.
  10. Read about two books a week, not rushing through them, well except when they are so riveting I have to keep on reading, ignoring all else in my life!
#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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A nice week of summer – I even had my first swim of the season in the sea. Lovely once I was in! Yesterday I went 20 minutes up the road to a children’s market where they were selling what they had for sale, often stuff they had made themselves. That was fun and I tried out the new part of the express way. It was great, I can now go straight to Otaki in a blink.   My nine year old great niece was selling her “books” that she had written so I purchased them and a few other things.

Audrey at the market

What I read last week:

An English author and an Australian author! Very much enjoyed both.

What I am reading now:

I am a good way into this and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t believe the vitriol I see on some of the social media sites. All the armchair critics I suspect who have done little with their lives or else they really are talking about themselves.

book cover

Up next:

A slightly overdue review book so its up next.

Bookclubbed to death 

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Review

Picking Up the Pieces Amanda Prowse

book cover

Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: January 10th 2023
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

As Nora and her British Army officer husband, Gordy, pack up yet another home and leave the sun of Cyprus for the drizzle of England, she can’t shake a feeling of regret—at her failure to follow her own dreams, but also, if she’s honest, at having ended up an officer’s wife at all, drifting through a life of temporary homes and temporary relationships.

Since losing her parents at a young age, Nora’s life has been lacking an anchor: someone or something to make her feel secure. Her marriage has been her only permanent relationship, and just as even that appears to be fizzling out, a tragedy forces Nora into the role of legal guardian to her seven-year-old nephew, Ted. Faced suddenly with a responsibility she never dreamed of, how can Nora possibly offer the boy the kind of unconditional love he deserves, when she’s never experienced it for herself?

But as she navigates the precarious and unfamiliar world of parenthood, Nora begins to see herself through Ted’s eyes, as someone worthy of love and even joy. When she’s welcomed into the previously intimidating huddle of mums at the school gate, she has to wonder: is it too late to smash down the other barriers she’s built—and to have a second chance at a happy marriage with Gordy?

Picking Up the Pieces is a great title for this novel. There are quite a few pieces to be picked up. Nora is really not feeling fulfilled or happy in her marriage and it seems her husband is exactly the same. She has had a tough upbringing that has left her rather stand offish and not trusting of people, especially friendly overtures, her early childhood also put her off having children because she felt she wouldn’t make a good mother.

Her sister – much younger – is struggling unbeknown to Nora. Kiki was just a toddler when they lost there parents and life was even stranger still from then on. Depression dogs Kiki and in spite of great friends and a beautiful young son, she is just not coping. When Nora gets a call to come and take care of Ted because Kiki is ill, its one of the biggest challenges she has faced.

I found this a really page turning book, staying up at night to finish it. I loved the characters and their struggles. The themes of mental illness, loneliness, marriage difficulties, childhood wounds on the one hand and friendship, kindness, and on the other,  being willing to be honest and explore really difficult issues.  My heart went out to Ted, I loved how Nora grew and changed.

All in all a memorable read.

Top Ten Tuesday

My Anticpated New Release Reads for the first half 2023.

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I am taking part in The Artsy Reader Girl’s  link up.

Todays link up asks us to take a look at our most anticipated books being released in the first half of 2023.

I thought I wouldn’t find ten but I did!  There are a couple of others but I have them so I am choosing the ten I want to remind myself to keep an eye out for.

1. Someone Else’s Shoes  Jojo Moyes.  February

2. Coronation Year.     Jennifer Robson.   April

3. The Wonderful Thing about Phoenix Rose.   Josephine Moon.   April

4. Identity.   Nora Roberts.   May

5. The Girl from Donegal.  Carmel Harrington. No cover out yet.  May

6. Warrior Girl Unearthed.  Andeline Boulley.  May

7. The Celebrants.   Steven Rowley.   May

8. Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt. Lucinda Riley/Harry Whittaker.  Audio most likely.  May

9.  The Secret Book of Flora Lea.  Patti Callahan Henry.   May

10. The Money Club  Fiona Lowe.  May

#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 to another It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Hope you all had a good week. We just hit a cold wet patch in our summer, just when things were going along so well. I guess we’ll be back on track soon enough.  I have just been doing the usual, some reading, some quilting, some viewing. I loved the third season of All Creatures Great and Small but they only have 7 episodes to a season, I wish it was double that!

What I read last week:

Picking Up the Pieces  is a review book.
A Wish For Winter  was from my shelf. I enjoyed it – loved the setting and the characters, the book talk, though I did find it a bit slow moving.
Tell Me A Story I thoroughly enjoyed, it was one of my slow reads, a chapter a night. I haven’t really read anything by either Pat Conroy or Cassandra King Conroy but I’d like to now.

What I am reading now:

book cover

Slow and steady reads.

Up next:

Probably something short like a novella as I wait for Prince Harry’s book to publish. 

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