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Booked and Hooked by Debut Novels

I’ve just finished a debut novel that was excellent and it made me think of debut novels I’ve read before or plan to read. Looking over them it makes me either think I could reread some of these or go looking for any more by these authors.

book cover This is that 2020 debut novel. It is a very insightful novel about mother/daughter relationships, friendships and really finding out who you really are, and fighting that people pleaser syndrome. It’s told in the context of the Indian culture, but really has quite universal application. That said, I really liked the look into the culture.  Yes will want to read this author again if she writes another.

book cover I have mentioned Ten Thousand Doors of January before – its sort of fantasy, imaginative, magic and coming of age story. Yes I do want to read this author again and her next book comes out in about a month. I’ll be reading it.

 

book cover This one has Canadian/Muslim/Indian culture vibes and is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve mentioned it before but this time just noting its a debut novel that published 2019. No sign of another book as yet, but I’d read it if she did write another, in the meantime this is worthy of a reread at some point.

book coverEvvie Drake Starts Over was another 2019 debut novel I really liked listening to the audiobook version last year. I can’t see any sign of another novel but I’ll check again because I’d certainly read another by Linda Holmes. The characters and situation was well explored.

 

book coverFinally an author’s debut novel that is still sitting on my TBR shelf – A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza that explores an American Indian Muslim family. This one published in 2018. I need to get onto it this year.

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Spring in Books

So while I know many of you are beginning to think Fall and Autumn, Down Under we are eyeing up Spring. So I thought today I’d look at books with Spring in their title that I’ve read.

book cover Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews was a great listen. Very entertaining and Kathleen McInerney made it even more so. I loved her voices for the characters, especially Sophie.

This is the story of Annajane who has been married to Mason and then divorced, but she continued to work for the company. She also attends the wedding of Mason to his new love Celia. And it is at that point the fun begins. Enter Sophie, Mason’s daughter, a five year old and completely adorable. She causes life to become interesting.

 

book coverWhen a favorite customer on his delivery route needs a favor, Tanner Richards agrees to help without a second thought. The last thing he expects is to face off against the man’s spitfire granddaughter. I enjoyed this one but have forgotten it, I always think I can go back and read such books and enjoy them all over again!

book cover And what is more appropriate. Because that’s what we are getting now, just the very first kiss of Spring. This is #14 in Emily March’s Eternity Springs series.  My review for Eternity Springs.

I note that I didn’t want it to end!

On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog. This is #3 in the Chance sisters series by Anne Gracie. I really enjoy her historical romance books.

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So some of you may have read The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. This book is another flat share book but set in Cologne in Germany and is about a motley group of older characters. My review

 

This visit back into books I’ve read with Spring in the title are making want to go back and reread them all because…. that’s right I am rather hazy about them all, apart from knowing they were all reads I totally enjoyed!

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Eyes on Books to Be Published.

What’s coming up in the next couple of months for Autumn Spring that I will want to read for sure… or at least put on library hold or buy. Here are five for a start. That said, I still have so many books on my TBR!

book coverThis one is published October 29th, although I do have a NetGalley review copy, so all set there. Women’s Fiction by an Australian author I tend to auto-read.

“The first time Ashling Wood realises her marriage is on the rocks is when her husband, Adrian, suggests they try nest parenting. Heartbroken, Ash suddenly finds herself living a double life – one week with her children, the next cohabiting with her happily single sister-in-law. Her friends think the modern custody solution is an exciting opportunity for her to spread her wings, but all Ash wants is her family back together.”

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Well another Virgin River book, I am a sucker for this series so of course I want to read it and I will and can because I also have a NetGalley copy of this. It publishes 13th October. It is about new friends, fresh starts and the magic of Christmas.  Sold!
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This book comes out in October too – Oct 13th and I have had my eye out for it as I read her previous book and liked it. It is paranormal and has to do with witches and sisters. After that I will have to just wait and see!
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October 20th. I’ll pre-order this one. I love this series. Deals with homicide and a fantastic woman Lieutenant and her husband who is the VP and being pressured to run for President.

book coverAnd lastly an author I haven’t read for quite awhile but I do enjoy some of her historical fiction so I am putting this on the list and it does come out earlier than the others on September 1st. Set in 1853 in Oregon and has to do with women’s rights and suffrage. A fictionalised story of a real life person Abigail Scott Dunniway.  It is a possible.

 

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Paris Booked

To be truthful I’ve never felt the pull to visit Paris. If I visited France I’d want to visit the more country places. However I know many people just love the idea of Paris. Visiting it in books leaves me quite satisfied!

book cover I have just read this one set in the 1940’s in Paris and in 1985 in Montana USA. However mostly set in Paris and at the American Library in Paris. It felt very real and was worth reading.

book cover To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone. I found this a delicious story of an unusual friendship, mid life marriage crisis, the effect of alcoholism on lives and a dusty bookshop. And of course a summer in Paris. It included lost and found love and new love. Plus Sarah Morgan never fails to delight me.

book coverThe Paris Seamstress is a dual time line book, that ranges in setting from Paris to New York to Australia. One era is the war years – and the effects on France especially. The other era is one recent and modern. And through the years there is the mystery of family and friendships. It tracks the endeavours of one woman – Estelle and her love of designing dresses and other clothing. When she finds herself in New York her journey begins. It probably has the smallest Paris setting but still felt Parisian.

 

book coverI  enjoyed The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. When a book lover sees book or bookstore in a title we’re drawn to it. Sometimes it is worth the read, sometimes not so much. For me The Little Paris Bookshop was a joy from beginning to end. I was hooked by the dedication – do you always read the dedication – I always do!

I followed the journey of Jean Perdu with interest. While able to read the souls and emotions of others, he is so closed up himself. There is a room in his apartment that has been closed for a very long time. Why? A mystery. Jean himself is closed, he doesn’t like touch, he avoids things. This is his journey, how he again opens up to life and to living and loving. I think this has mixed reviews, so not for everyone but I loved the bookish aspects.

book coverI very much liked this book, as I do with most Jenny Colgan books. . It made me chuckle out loud, as well it had me feeling deep sadness for some of the characters. There’s a bittersweetness to it.

As you would expect from the title of the book there is a lot about chocolate, and yes I admit to having to reach for some as I read! However I am sure it would not have come up to the standard of Thierry, his workers, Laurent and Anna. I loved the whole chocolate making business – a work of art, and I am sure a delight to the taste buds.

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A Doctor in the House

I am a little partial to a medical related fiction book from time to time. Here are five that I have read and enjoyed.
book coverWell I am reading this one at present. In this one we have a competent woman neurosurgeon, who is dealing with anxiety attacks and a past that haunts her dreams. As she comes apart, she decides to go back and see if see can find those missing memories and heal. It’s set in London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and the Great Barrier Island off the coast of New Zealand.

book coverThis is the first book I read by Kimberly Martin. In this book we have a female urologist who comes up against some discrimination of the LGBTQ community patients that has her standing up for what she believes. At some point I want to read her previous book. The author is actually a doctor herself.

Robyn Carr presents us with a much loved character in Maggie Sullivan in her first book of Sullivan’s Crossing.  She too is a neurosurgeon. She is under pressure and in danger of burnout so she returns to Sullivan’s Crossing to recuperate. This is a romance, so she finds someone who just might help with that recovery.

book cover The Gilded Hour is historical fiction set back in 1883 in the USA. It has as its central characters Dr. Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie an obstetrician. They doctor to the poor and this is a book that highlights terrible discrimination. It’s pretty bleak! There is a second book that carries their lives on further but I haven’t read that one.

book cover To round off the list, the last one is a medical thriller. I read this back in 2014 so its somewhat hazy compared to the other four. Dr. Abbey Matteo is on a cardiac team that do heart transplants. She finds herself confronted with someone who receives a heart, who wasn’t in line for one. A rich one. Where did the heart come from? She investigates!  Grisly and horrifying. Not my usual read!

 

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Go – Ask the Bees!

I’ve always enjoyed meeting honey bees in books and while I was reading Queen Bee it reminded me of ones I had read and enjoyed that included those amazing bees. So four I’d certainly put on my reread list and one that’s gone onto my TBR.

book coverWhat a delightful book this was, I devoured it in a couple of days. I loved all the bee facts and the love and care that their keeper Holly had for them. Of course they loved Holly too. Loved the two boys over the way that provided so much of the “feel” of the book. How come their Dad was so dense!  Full of quirky characters and humour.

I loved this book and really liked the story. Plus of course an apple orchard and honey and great cooking. I feel the need for a reread of these books. This is the second in the series.

book coverWhat a honey of a book. I was originally enticed into this book by the US edition with its warm tones, however as I read the book I came to love this cover too. Sugar is a treasure and the amazing ‘family’ of people she gathered around her was endearing and satisfying. As it says on the cover – a novel of honey, love and manners.
book coverIt’s been ten years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood.  I’d forgotten this book had bees in it. Another book to reread!
book cover And this one I haven’t read – yet! But I’ ve put it on my TBR. It includes France, and old chateau, beekeeping and a story from WW11.
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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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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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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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Jane Austen Spin Offs.

For a reader who is not that into Jane Austen I seem to have read or plan to read ones by authors who obviously have a fondness for Jane that I have not been able to engender within myself.

book coverThis one I have in audiobook and I plan to listen to it next. I’ve never read anything before by Natalie Jenner but have seen some good reviews for this book.

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I listened to Recipe for Persuasion  a little while ago and really enjoyed it.

book coverUnmarriageable is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Another audiobook in my play list all ready to go.

 

 

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I read Ayesha at Last in 2019 and really enjoyed it as well. Another Pride and Prejudice retelling.

 

 

book coverI read Pride Prejudice and Other Flavours last year as well and really enjoyed it. It follows up the other book I mentioned above by Sonali Dev.

It looks like Pride and Prejudice is the favourite book authors pick.

 

 

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