Book Connections

Books Read from my Shelf in January

I set out to read five book off my print TBR shelf each month and I have accomplished this for January. It feels good to see them being read. And of course I have given myself incentive, because for every three I read, I will allow myself to buy a new print book! At present I am actually fitting in a sixth off my shelf because I want to buy another book! I was so tempted to break my own rule and buy the book, but how could I break the intention in January!!

  1. How to Stitch An American Dream by Jenny Doan. A memoir that gives insight into Jenny’s early life, especially as she starts off into married and family life. I come from a large family and it was interesting to compare. I loved how when her children were adults they all worked together to form an amazing quilting company that now is a mega quilting shopping complex in Hamilton Missouri. Jenny Doan is well known through her quilting videos. I have learned from them and I may have shopped via international shipping from time to time!  Really liked the book.
  2. Have You Seen Her by Karen Rose.  A romantic suspense/thriller. Fast paced and full of action as all her books are. This is #2 in her series. It takes place in North Carolina. There are chilling abductions and murders. It kept me reading. I loathed the sickening crimes, I loved the main characters, who contrast so well with the evil. These good characters have issues but inherently they move the world to being a better place.  Great reading, but I hated the crime parts. Of course I take another and read #3 at some point.  Well actually I reading #3 right now and so good!
  3. Meet Me in Scotland by Patience Griffin.  #2 in the Kilts and Quilts series. Set in Scotland of course! Most likely can be described as romance. I liked the main characters, and Deydie the crusty old woman and the main quilter was her usual delightful self. However I wanted to see more of a link with the last book’s characters. Not enough. I enjoyed the book but I am not sure I will continue with the series.  Sometimes with a series like this, its kind of the same story but with different characters! Maybe at some point I might borrow one from the library.
  4. The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle would be termed Women’s Fiction I think. It was a sweet, inspirational story with an older woman and a woman dealing with the death  of a husband and her care for her children. A friendship develops between the two women and both of them are enriched. Loved the shells that are found on the beach with sayings that a person needs at that time of picking it up. My first book of the year and worthy of it.
  5. The Moon Over Kilmore Bay by Carmel Harrington was on the whole a good read, but I would have to say was the one least liked by myself by this author.  Well written and plotted, however what happens to the main character just put me off. Probably if I had realised I wouldn’t have read it, but no warning! Just in case you read it, you probably won’t but still, I will not give away the major plot point! But of course I’ll read everything else she writes.

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Books on my Buy List

While I am wanting to cut back on my buying – I will still buy some, one for each three I read off my shelf! I have already read the first three, so naturally I am thinking of what I might buy to read.

A Place to Hang the MoonThis is a middle grade book – historical fiction.  I heard about it on the Currently Reading podcast. It was one of Meredith’s favourite books of 2021. Children in London are sent to the country, but unbeknown to the adults they are looking for a forever home. Meredith described it as a “swing up” book, it starts of hard but moves to sweet and is heart warming.

I can only get it in hardback at the moment so might wait to mid year to the paper back comes out. And I might cave and buy the hardback!

A court of thorns and roses

They also discussed this series by Sarah J. Maas.  The third book was the one Meredith loved but I’d have to go back to the beginning of the series so I think I will.

The advantage of this book is that it has been out for awhile and I should be able to buy it locally. So it may be my first buy or close to it.


With Love from London
Well I haven’t read a Sarah Jio book for awhile and seemingly this should publish in February.  It is set in London and includes a bookshop and a woman who needs to start over.

This will be an early buy too.

The Wedding Veil

The latest book from Kristy Woodson Harvey that is to publish at the end of March so that is well in my sights for the first quarter of the year.

It has to do with a wedding veil and four generations of women linked by it.

The Sweet Taste of MuscadinesThe Sweet Taste of Muscadines was on my radar last year, but at $52 for the hardback I decided I needed to wait for the paperback and I see that should be out in early March so this will have a place in this planning list as well.

It has some really good responses to it – a debut novel. Women’s fiction with some mystery and suspense.

Want to find out more? The cover will take you to Goodreads to read the blurb.

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Celebrating 2021 Reading

And so 2021 reading comes to a close. And so some observations.

        1. In 2021  I read 151 books.  I set out to read 100. Between 100 and 150 is my normal, and feels about right for my reading pace. Screen Shot 2021-12-31 at 7.03.52 AM
        2. I think of that 151 about 27 were audiobooks. I had a good year in audiobooks and enjoyed them from both Audible and Libby – which came into play in September and meant I cut back to one credit a month at Audible. As Audible now has quite a few books in the Audible Plus section for members that gives even more possibilities.  So many great narrators. Sandra Burr, Dick Hill,Mia Gaskin, Katherine Kellgren, January LaVoy, Brittany Pressley… to name but a few.
        3.  I am a reader who once I find a good series, I generally stay faithful to it. And in 2021 t was no different. I continued with some, finished a couple and started a few new ones. So some of the series I am into, not all! Mary Marks finished her series and is no longer writing. I started the Haunted Library and Anna Lee Huber series and am all caught up. I’ve read some of Karen Rose but am now committing to going right back to the beginning.
        4. Last week I looked at new to me authors, so here I’ll mention some of the “old faves” authors I again read in 2021.

      5. And a small observation to end the year. I started out intending to read…book coverBut its still sitting on the sideboard with only a few pages read. But… I did read and enjoy

      And I set off looking at the life and times of Jane Austen on You Tube, seeing where she lived etc. I will want to read some more about her and I will get to Pride and Prejudice and then Emma, but learning some of the way women lived in those times will enable me to better understand her books.

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Loved Characters of 2021

Often what leads me to love a book are the memorable characters. The ones my heart warms up to when I look back at the cover of the book and think… ” I really loved that character”. I am sure there are more than five but these five are enough to make me put the books on my keeper shelf.

In no particular order!

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Sunshine Victram. She is a mother, with such a great relationship with her teen daughter. And she is a sheriff of the local town. She is very tough with a huge soft centre. She  does not hold back from a challenge and in spite of some bad things in the past she is a wonderful human being. I liked her so much I’ve read the second book with her in it as well this year.

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Helen Demetriou.

Helen is in her mid fifties. She has seen life and experienced homelessness. But she has not stopped there. She runs a community garden and reaches out in the community to those who need it. She is tough, spiky and is a no nonsense communicator. She stands for justice against injustice.

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Letty.  A young woman who when she discovers her sister dead, flees with her young niece looking for safety. She is feisty and caring and doesn’t give up. She finds her way into a small community of people who care for her and are willing to stand by her as danger circles.

book coverDaunis  A young woman – a teen who lives in two worlds. Her father was Ojibwe and her mother white. Her father is dead and she lives with her mother. However she has strong links to her Objiwe relatives. I loved her beautiful caring of the elderly. Her sense of community is strong, she is brave and daring. Faced with a challenge she heads into it.

book coverMegs.  A bright young woman who revels in Mathematics, Science and facts. She has a younger brother who is very ill. I loved how Megs went out of her way to bring about her beloved brothers dream. The way she read The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis to him, and then even tracked this man down, all for her brother.  She was so warm hearted and loving.

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New to Me Authors of 2021

I’ve read a number of new to me authors during 2021. I have been scrolling through to see which authors I would like to read either their back lists, or any new ones they might publish. There are a couple I really liked that I haven’t included here because I have already read another book by them. So here are the ones I’d like to follow up on….

Covers link to Goodreads.

book coverI did enjoy this book by Irish author Roisin Meaney so I will definitely read another. It had a great Irish setting and varied and interesting characters.

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Stephen Rowley was another author I want to read more from, he just had that point of difference that made for interesting reading.

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Madeleine Martin‘s historical fiction was memorable, and when I can still remember the plot and characters some months later, that’s a good sign.

book coverI have just finished listening to Julie Cantrell‘s book Perennials on audio. Brittany Pressley really brought this book alive.  There was something happening all through the book and the characters were interesting. It was somewhat sad in places and maybe too much happened but still a good read. I’ll want to listen to more of Brittany Pressley as well.

book coverAnother audiobook made me interested in another new to me author in 2021 that I’d like to read more from. Molly Fader writes about family estranged and a part of that family finding the way back. And of wrongs of long ago that have impacted today. Nancy Peterson the narrator really helped bring the characters alive.

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Favourite Covers of 2021

Today I am picking five covers of books I read in 2021. Each cover is linked to Goodreads. I might not necessarily put the contents in the top five, (although a couple would be) but the covers attract. There are other covers I liked but I didn’t read the books so I didn’t count them.

I think covers do count, as a book that has a relevant and attractive cover does pull me in as a reader.

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Book Connections, Month in Review

Five Steps to Choose a Book

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There are always good reasons to choose a book we want to read. This time it’s because…

  1. I take part in Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction‘s monthly link up for the round up for the month of what we have read. Attached to that is a giveaway and she let me know I’d won a recent month. Very exciting… winning a book hasn’t happened for a long time.
  2. So the choice was anything off Nicole’s Goodreads shelf that she hasn’t read. Because it’s her way of reading the book the winner picks, it makes her read it.  She even says the winner and herself could do a joint review of the book. I am still considering that.
  3. As I looked through her list I could see we had some points of intersection. And eventually after a bit of indecision, I settled on an author I haven’t read but have heard a lot about.
  4. So an author I haven’t read, plus it is fantasy and I rather  like a fantasy book every so often, not too often, but now and again. It is also in the YA range and I don’t mind that now and again.
  5. Finally I looked at the reviews.  Out of the people I follow on Goodreads

          Fifty readers had given it           Five stars.

Then a large number of four stars and some three stars. And horror eight 3 stars and even a one star.

Hmm I thought, some readers didn’t like it but it will be interesting to compare when I’ve read it. Do I agree?  However final decision was made on the count that of the readers I respect like Kimberley, Freda, Shelleyrae, Kathy, Berls and Bev all liked it. A couple of others who I respect had marked it lower and so they will be reviews I look at more closely after I read the book.

So decision made and Nicole is kindly going to send me the UK version of the book. You can see it on the left. The USA cover is on the right.

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Christmas Reading Plans

These are the Christmas books I have on my shelf and I hope to read some of them at least during December. I have most likely mentioned them in other posts, but now they are grouped as “Christmas”.   Book covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to check them out.

book coverChristmas in Peachtree Bluff is one. It is #4 in the series. Usually I listen to this series, but as this was a Christmas one and I seem to be getting behind in my listening I opted for the book.

The holiday season, three generations of women from the same family and a hurricane threatening.

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I love the cover on The Christmas Escape.  Two friends, a marriage in crisis and set in Lapland over Christmas. Does sound promising.

book coverAnd another that I would usually choose to listen to. However I decided this time I would buy The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan.

Set in Edinburgh and in an old dark bookshop. A woman who needs to sort out her life, and heal the rift with her family. And a bookshop that needs to be given new life.

book coverAn old house, an old Santa suit and in that suit a letter with a Christmas wish. Ivy sets out to find out about the writer and family. And no doubt discovers something that will make her happy.  The Santa Suit.

book cover I don’t have The Christmas Wedding Guest. But it went on my list after reading a lovely review for it over on Nise’s blog.  Another family themed book. Two sisters and their parents. The parents want to renew their wedding vows at Christmas. The sisters of course help make this happen. And while doing so, perhaps they will find love of their own.

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Non Fiction Books I’m Reading

I tend to read mostly ” How to…” non fiction books or reflective type books. Sometimes memoirs but not on this list.

As you can see these books are highly most likely only relevant to me, but its Non Fiction November so thought I’d share.

The New Zealand Dyslexia HandbookI’ve just noticed that one of my great nephews is struggling with reading.  My guess is by about two years. I am going to spend just one day a week with him for some reading, if we can keep that going. It won’t do much, but it’s a start.  So this book was at the library and I am finding it really good reading.

Explaining ReadignAnother book about reading. I have read this Explaining Reading, but got it out of the library to refresh my memory. I found it really helpful.

The Comfort Book

I’d seen The Comfort Book on a few blogs and as I was in an Indie bookshop last week I saw it and decided to buy it. I just read one or two pages a day. Nice and inspiring.

Forty Days of Being a fiveI am really in to the Enneagram but can’t decide if I am a five or six. I really liked this one, Forty Days on Being a Five reflections. I am reading the six one at present but not really linking that well to the author’s approach. A little too evangelical for this reader. But I’ll pick out what suits.

Judy martins Log cabin quiltsInitially I borrowed Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book  from the library. I am a sucker for log cabin quilts. I am making the quilt in the top right hand of the cover. Queen size. All the strips are 1 1/4inch wide. Lots of sewing. I am using scrappy with fabric I already had. I think though it is looking good!

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Connected to Canada Authors

I like to know where the authors I read come from. Today I am looking at my shelves to see what Canadian authors I have read or will read. I have to admit it was a little challenging to find the five.

As usual the covers link to Goodreads if you want to know what the books are about.

The Blue CastleFirstly L M Montgomery. I think the author I have read the most. I have The Blue Castle to read sitting on my shelf. Its one I want to get to soon. Lots of four and five stars for this one on Goodreads from readers I respect.

book coverK A Tucker is probably my favourite Canadian author. She writes romance and some of it is romantic suspense. I’ve enjoyed anything I’ve read by her.

Book cover Genevieve Graham writes historical romance ( or the ones I’ve read anyway). She also often includes some important part of Canadian history which adds a lot of interest.

book coverJennifer Robson lives in Toronto Canada, so I am counting her! The Gown and Goodnight From London are two of the books I’ve read by J Robson, both very good historical fiction.

book coverJanette Oke is my fifth author and I have this historical fiction book sitting on my shelf waiting to be read and I want to reach it before too much longer.  I see there is about 8 books in this series and maybe I will want to read on through

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