Book Connections

Bookish Thankfulness

This week it just seems a good idea to sit back and say I am really thankful for all the books I could ever want to read being available to me.

Books – all kinds. Paperbacks, Hardbacks, Kindle and audiobooks

I give thanks for the variety of formats I can access and read books.  In 2020 there is no end to books, truth be told sometimes I am overwhelmed by all I might read.

The oldest book I have from childhood. Re covered thanks to one of my sisters.

The latest books I’ve bought for future enjoyment.

Authors – old and new

The list grows all the time of authors I enjoy. The latest are not sewn onto a quilt but many of those engaging authors I have and do appreciate are…




books waiting

I grew up with no local library. Now I have a library to visit and online access that allows me to request from other libraries and all I have to do is go and pick them up! I don’t necessarily read every one of them but it gives me the chance to browse through it to see if I want to read it. Thankful for hardworking Librarians too.

Bookshops – Local and Online our local and Amazon and the Book Depository

I did have one little bookshop in our village growing up, but mostly it was out of my spending range. Now we have a couple of large bookshops plus if I can’t get it here I can order online at a good variety of shops.

Bookshelves I love them


And I am thankful that I have a bookshelf that holds my books and reminds me of the happy hours spent reading.


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Goodreads Choice 2020

Well it seems I am more out of sync than usual for the Goodreads Choice Awards. I have read even less of them this year. And usually I don’t vote unless I’ve read them. This year I broke that and voted for one I am currently reading and one that comes out late November.


book coverI am reading this at present. I think it will hold up – it has a theme of all the choices unchosen in life and what would it look like if you had gone down that path. The heroine is depressed and with no felt sense of any purpose in her life decides to end it. Instead of ending up dead she lands in the in-between of a library that is going to enable her to examine the choices she didn’t make.

Historical Fiction

book cover I read this via audiobook and I think because I read it in this format that I fell for it. It really put me on a Jane Austen path – I loved the setting – the time … just at the end of WW2 and the various characters just took hold of my heart. The narration by Richard Armitage was superb. And that’s saying something because I am not that keen on a male narrator but he nailed it. I also voted for this one in the Debut section.


The Switch book coverI had also read Beach Read in this category but I liked The Switch a lot more. Again I think because I read it via audiobook and that aced it for me. It’s fun, interesting characters and was well narrated by two narrators. Had a great older character too.

Non Fiction

book coverWith wonderfully real examples Anne Bogel depicts the over thinking that many of us engage in (from time to time) and gives us tips to manage this little habit that robs us of energy and time. In one place it had me chuckling out loud. Anne doesn’t spare herself.

It’s a book I’ll dip into again, exploring some of her references as well.


book cover Okay this is the one that I haven’t read but voted for anyway! I plan to read it and will most likely do via audiobook.

If it is as good as his wife’s book then it should be interesting, informative and most likely entertaining as well.

Have you read any of the Goodreads Choice books. Did you vote in the semi final round?

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New to Me Authors I Want to Read More From.

Looking over the last four months I’ve picked out the five books that would lead me to pick up another book written by each author. There are a few others, I want to read more from but they are debut novels so nothing more – yet!

All covers are linked to Goodreads which will give you the details of each book.

book cover The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett  was a thoroughly good read and my first by Annie Lyons. Thanks to Mary from Bookfan for introducing me to this author and book. Now I want to read another by her. It has delightful characters, is easy to read, yet explores important issues.

book cover The Perfect Match was very light and enjoyable – the main character annoyed me a little because she stayed on for awhile with a guy who was stupid. But old houses and other lovely characters would entice me to give Katie Fforde another go.

book coverSeabreeze inn was an audiobook and my first sample of Jan Moran. I enjoyed the story – a woman making a new start and an old house with secrets. This one is the first in a few and I’ll keep going with it in due time.

book coverWhen it all went to custard  was my first read by Danielle Hawkins. She is a New Zealand author. This book has a very New Zealand setting, was full of NZ ways and the local vernacular. I found myself laughing out loud often, even though it has the more serious theme of a wife who has been cheated on and left to deal with the family farm, children and anything else that can appear.

book cover I very much enjoyed The Antidote for Everything with its two main characters. The exploration of discrimination is timely and I loved the answer to what is The Antidote to Everything. It’s a medical drama and the author is a doctor so that gives it authenticity. I liked the characters and the story held me.


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Book to Screen

I am not a huge viewer, I mostly read, but I do see the occasional movie and TV series. I love some adaptations of some books, Anne of Green Gables comes to mind – all versions of viewing  I would happily sit down and watch every so often. Here are five books I’ve read with their screen version thoughts.

book cover I have read all the Outlander books and will read another if or when it publishes. I have the first two DVD’s of the screen version and its on TV too at the moment. And…  so far I  haven’t been able to be a fan of the screen version. I know of many who love it on screen, I know Diana Gabaldon is closely linked to the screen version, but I just prefer the book world.

book cover I am in process of reading Pride and Prejudice but have previously viewed a couple of on screen versions. I have really enjoyed both and would watch again. I think a screen version done really well can lead me to a book and in this case that’s how it worked.

book coverVirgin River series is another set of books I’ve enjoyed and followed through as they were written. I’ve watched most of Season 1 of the onscreen version but fell by the wayside. I know Season 2 is due out soon. I may give it a go, just to see.

book coverThis is a middle grade book I read to my class when I was teaching and we all loved it. Well I gave it five stars anyway! So when I heard there was a movie out for it I wanted to see it. But I never got to the movie theatre for it. However one day it was on TV and I was there for sure. I thought it was done well, held to the spirit and theme of the book and I’d watch it again and re-read the book – I did leave my copy behind in the classroom when I left but can always get another!

book coverLastly one book I read a while back that I don’t remember that well, set around WW2 and  in letter form. I didn’t fall for it as much as many other readers have, but when the movie was on TV I thought I’ll give this a go. I haven’t yet viewed it but have it recorded.  I am anticipating that it will be good and will help me visualise how this all worked out and I suspect and hope it may lead me to re read the book.

So how about you. Is there a screen version that has led you to a book or a book that has led you to the screen version?


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Book Connections, Review

Five Audiobooks I Plan to Listen to Soon

I love a good audiobook. A well written book in the hands of a really good narrator is the ultimate. I am just looking ahead to what I want to pick up very soon to listen to. I am not sure which will be first, but it will be one from this list.

I already own Born a Crime so this one has to be up there to listen to very soon

I recently listened to #3 in this series and its made me put this one way up the list of TBL books.

Due to be published mid October and this is certainly on my soon to be listened to list. I love this series set on Mure.

I enjoy Sarah Morgan’s books and this is her latest and will be a good listen no doubt near Christmas.

I’d put this one into my TBR after seeing Elizabeth from Silver Reviews recommend. And it looks good and summery and well summer is advancing here in NZ!

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Writers as Characters in Books

These are mostly books with authors who have lost the ability to sit down and write! I’ve just finished Beach Read and it put me in mind of other books I’ve read where there is an author who is finding the writing daunting, or has to get away to finish the book.

book cover In Beach Read we have January – a romance author who just can’t get the deadline book written. She has lost her father in the last year and has had another nasty shock as well and she really isn’t dealing. She goes to the beach house her father has left her, and finds out her neighbour is Gus, a literary fiction writer and they went to writing college together. And so the tango begins.  Emily Henry will eventually get January to the place where she can write, but how she does that… well I can’t give that away.  I don’t think this book is a beach read, or an out and out romance, more a mash up of sorts!

book coverAnother book I’ve just recently read also has a romance author struggling to write. Kaylee has just recently experienced a loss and takes off to Virgin River to write in a quiet spot where she can hopefully write. Will Virgin River be able to work that kind of magic for her?

book cover Another by Robyn Carr, this time a stand alone from quite awhile back -1999. One of my keepers. This has just not one author in the book but a group of friends who are authors and all struggling in one way or another, but especially over the death of a friend. I feel a reread coming along.

book coverI really enjoyed this book, it was excellent. Again it is about four writers. One of them has her life fall apart and the other three come to her rescue. To help her they co author her book that must be written to meet a deadline. Of course no one else knows that. Each chapter starts with a wonderful little quote that are gems in themselves. It is extremely well written and once started fully engages the reader. As I was reading I found plenty to enjoy and ponder on. Another keeper on my bookshelf from 2009 and I need a reread of this one too.

book cover

This book back in around 2001 had Molly Somerville her loves her career as the creator of the Daphne the Bunny children’s book series but the rest of her life could use some improvement. Well all the books by SEP are on my keeper’s shelf and so here it is. The fun thing about going back to relook at some of these is to see who has read it and what they thought on Goodreads about it, readers I now follow. We aren’t all in agreement but that’s okay. Another one I need to reread. I have this in paperback but originally I listened to the audio by Anna Fields which of course is a gem in itself.


Any other books you’ve read that have authors in them as characters? Let me know I might love that kind of book!


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A Little Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice

It all started when I listened to the recent audiobook The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner and plus all the retellings of  Pride and Prejudice that are being published, that I have been reading.  You’ve probably seen me reading them if you visit here often. But… I am not what I’d regard as an Austen fan! There is still time though! The following are my plans for the immediate future if not already done!

book cover Firstly its made me want to actually read the first Pride and Prejudice so I have ordered the book – the annotated version. I thought while I was buying it I’d get the notes that might help me get a feel for and better appreciation for those times. If the notes become too much I’ll just pick and choose! We’ll see how I get on.

Movie cover In the meantime I watched this version of the movie on Netflix and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just the scenery alone would make me enjoy it, but I feel I got a handle on the characters, and I could see how the audiobook Unmarriageable that I am listening to is so close a retelling as you’d most likely get. With a Pakistan flavour though!

movie cover Well of course I wanted to watch this one too, but couldn’t find a place I could stream it from here in NZ. So I ordered the DVD’s from a local online store. My DVD player isn’t the best but hopefully it will manage it. I think I have seen this years ago on TV but I ask – who wouldn’t want to watch it again!

movie coverI want to watch or actually re watch this, as I have seen it before on TV. However now I want to see it again as I freshen up my memory. Also I really like Keri Russell as an actress.  I can stream this one I think from Apple TV and probably a few other places. Oh and I see there is a book called Austenland by Shannon Hale might be interesting, but I’ll watch the movie version first.

book cover And while I am falling down the rabbit hole of Pride and Prejudice I thought I’d add this book into my reading, a modern retelling that has given many of the readers I follow happy reading. Plus I have been wanting to try a Curtis Sittenfeld book.


I am sure there is more. Let me know if you have one you particularly think is really good.


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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.

book cover

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.”

book cover

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!
book cover

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!
book cover

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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