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Five Books Read From My Shelf in June

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Count to Ten by Karen Rose. Another very good addition to this series. The bad guy is so bad and far too many murders. Had to skip some of that. Why do I read them though? The good guys – in this case Mia and Reed and the team are so dedicated to their work of bringing justice and putting themselves on the line. And there is such innate goodness in them. Loved seeing the origin of Faith Buchanan who we meet later on in the series.

4.5 stars

book coverThe Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan. 4.5 stars. A really feel good story set in England during WW2. I love these kinds of stories that tell of women doing things that made a difference in their local community. The three characters – Grace, the vicar’s daughter, Violet daughter at the manor and Cressida – Violet’s aunt and well known dress designer all change and grow as the war goes along and various opportunities come their way. The local community and their support was wonderful and it was good seeing class barriers fall. Well worth reading. 4.5 stars

How Hard Can it Be?How Hard Can it Be sat on my shelf for three years so good to attend to it. It is set in England and tells the story of an almost fifty year old and her life with a husband, and two teens Ben and Emily.

The best part of this book was the relationship between Emily and her mother Kate. So full of the teen issues of today.

It’s not my style of book really. It is sort of Rom Com style of writing although it’s a women’s fiction novel.That said it is very well written and while the style didn’t appeal to me, the general premise and issues explored did.  3.5 stars

book coverIt took me a little while to warm into this story, The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews. I think the Hollywoodish angle put me off a little. I liked Hattie and Cass and I felt they could have had more to say about what went on with the renovation of the house. That said, it was a very good read, I enjoyed the mystery – the unravelling of an old murder. Hattie’s relationship to her father-in-law, her own father and loss of a husband were all low key but provided background. There is a low burn romance and that worked out well in the end. That house would have looked amazing by the end.  4.5 stars

The Library at the Edge of the WorldNot quite sure about this book. I did find part of it overly descriptive and slow. Yet there is a charm and pull in to it. There is the library, Hanna finding her own two feet after divorce. Did I like Hanna and her mother Mary? Well in some ways not really. Who wants a gruff “keep quiet” librarian? My least favourite kind! Yet they grow on me and I was wishing them life and growth. My favourite character was Fury, the builder who obviously has a kind heart but isn’t beholden to anyone and rules can be side stepped. He is rather creative. Will I read any more. I don’t know. Our library doesn’t hold any of these books so I’d need to buy them. Will I? Time will tell.  3.5 stars.

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More 2022 Books on my WTR List

Busy time of the year for books! These books have either already been published in 2022 or soon will be. They are ones I have organised in my online shopping in various places. If they are books I really like the author, I generally get a print book as I prefer reading in that format when possible. The first three will be print books, Viola Shipman’s will be a digital egalley and the last one will definitely go best on audio.

These all show my liking for women’s fiction with a bit of a mix of romance !

book coverFlying Solo Linda Holmes. I really enjoyed Linda Holmes previous book – Evvie Drake Starts Over so this is an automatic buy for me. “Smarting from her recently cancelled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety”

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The Emma Project.  This book is part of a series I’ve been reading. This one gives and Indian/American twist to Emma by Jane Austen. It’s a Rom Com and while that is not my favourite genre these books are well written and make a pretty  good read. So another buy book.

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Kristan Higgins latest book Out of the Clear Blue Sky is another buy. I have found her last few books a little issue oriented but still can’t resist giving this one a read. Some readers I follow have loved it and some are not so warm about it. So I’ll have to read it and see where I sit. Perhaps knowing that I haven’t been so keen on her recent books might make me read this one slowly and patiently.

book coverThe Edge of Summer publishes on the 12th of July. I am fortunate to have a NetGalley copy of this one but if I totally fall in love with it I know I’ll want to buy it as well. It’s about a woman seeking out the mystery of her mother who has just died and secrets that have as yet to be revealed. Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse. He has recently written a memoir I’d like to read too at some point.

book coverAn Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan. Well anyone who loves visiting the island of Mure will be waiting for this one. Looks like there are a few relationships happening and Flora and Joel are finding the going and hard and I can’t wait to see how Lorna and Saif are getting on. I love to listen to this series and so looking forward to it.

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Five I’d Read from MMD SRG 2022.

Summer RG

This year the MMD Summer Reading Guide had books from past years guides and so I had read some of them. Here are five I particularly was very happy they were recommended on MMD reading guide.

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I really like this one for a number of reasons. FireKeeper’s Daughter  is YA and a debut novel that depicts life in the far north of the USA. It informed of so much about the Objibwe people today. I loved their spirituality and respect for nature, and the knowledge of the elders. Daunis was an amazing lead character. The story deals with not only the good but the downside of life in an Objiwe contemporary setting. Sad but no doubt very real. It is part mystery, with some tough issues. This is one I have in hardback and when I reread it I’ll choose the audiobook version.

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I listened to this one on audiobook and really liked it. In fact I am reading another book now by Natalie Jenner via audiobook, and it has one of the characters from this book.  It is historical fiction from just after WW11 and another debut novel.  Excellent narration by Richard Armitage.

“Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. “

To Night Owl from Dogfish

A middle grade novel about a couple of twelve year olds, who are being raised by their gay dads. Their dads eventually meet and fall in love and the girls have to get to know each other and hopefully blend into a family.

What a delightful read. Both humorous and touching. Loved the two girls and their personalities. The friendship they formed and the family they were seeking. Loved the plot turns that kept the story moving along.

Much of the story is told through emails the girls send each other. I still have this book on my shelf, its not going anywhere. Anne Bogel says her whole family loved this book.

Garden Spells

I had read this book every before it appeared in a reading guide. I still have my paperback copy sitting on my shelf. I didn’t record my thoughts at the time but I do remember the Waverleys and the magical apple tree. And I have read First Frost which is another Waverley family novel.

This one would certainly be worth my rereading it.

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I did read this after it appeared in a summer reading guide and have it on my print bookshelf. It is a memoir really.

Well worth reading and reflecting upon. Very moving in places and filled with humanity and compassion. 

“One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but. “

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Five Books From my TBR in May

Five more books read off my own shelves.  Very satisfying to know that while I do add to it once I have read three, my print TBR has shrunk in 2022.

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The Librarian by Sally Vickers. 4 stars. It took me awhile to really come to like this book. It is set in a quaint stolid time of British history. But it does showcase small community and the petty jealousies and loves that abound in a small community. But mostly it shows one sincere, warm young women finding her way in the world, sharing her love of books as a children’s librarian. Some readers have said they didn’t like the modern ending – I did! 

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#5 in the series.You Can’t Hide by Karen Rose. Another chilling book in this series. I did pick the killer behind the whole thing very early on, there were little clues that pointed. But that said, it was all very convoluted and involved. I could read about that Reagan family any day. Aidan and Tess – great pair.  5 stars.

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Sad to say I didn’t find myself addicted to this book or feel called to continue with the series. Happy that I tried it. I know there are so many fans but won’t be joining them. Very violent – too much so for me, with not enough to hold me in the world. Give me a Nalini Singh book any day. Was good to see what all the hype is about and to see how many have totally loved this series. I’ll end my journey here though.  3 stars.

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#2 book in the series. A Whisker of Trouble by Sofie Ryan. Fun mystery, did pick the murderer very early but that was more from intuition than picking out clues. Nice twists and turns and of course Elvis is so enchanting.  While I didn’t star this highly I will certainly be continuing with the series and catching up with the sleuthing gang. 3.5 stars.

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A Small Blue Thing by Julie Hanify. This was a memoir by someone I had the privilege of being a colleague for awhile . She discovered she had ADHD and was on the autism spectrum. This is a recount – an often detailed one, of various events in her life. I found it a bit too detailed but glad I have finally read it. She certainly had a gift for reaching the students who presented with differing ways. A very gifted person but not sadly always appreciated by those who surrounded her. She wrote this memoir during a creative writing course at university.  Not giving this one a rating.

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My Reading Rules

I was listening to the Currently Reading Podcast and their deep dive was about their reading rules. It of course is different for everyone. I decided to name five of my own reading rules!

    Reading Rules

Read and Chill Out

Read What I Want.  I read mostly for entertainment and relaxation. I don’t want to read classics and literary fiction most of the time so I won’t.

Challenge Myself Occasionally. Just because I like light books, it doesn’t mean I can’t be drawn to challenge myself when I feel like it, to read a different genre, new author, debut book, a book someone else has shown how much they loved it, or even a so called classic.

Skip parts of the book and sometimes not finish it.  If it is slowing the plot down, is violent or open door sex that goes on for pages or just seems like fill I skip it. If it is boring the socks off me I abandon it.

Choose what I read by what I feel like at the time. Even if I have said it’s what I am going to read next, I might not. From now on I will not prioritise review books unless I need to read it for a book tour. It can languish for awhile, I will still read and review it. But… I might want to read a library book or from my own shelf first.  This is a new rule for me!

Audiobooks are counted as reading a book. Of course! I might not be reading with my eyes but I am reading with my mind, it takes slightly different skills but it is still reading, It is delicious being read to!

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Book Directions

In June the informal reading challenge I am joining in with on Emilie Richards Reader Page is …. A book with a direction in the title. So I have been considering. In actual fact there are quite a few book titles with a direction word in it!

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South of the Buttonwood Tree is perfect directions. You’d know exactly where to aim, well if you knew which Buttonwood tree! That said I am starting to listen to that now, so it won’t be of any use to me for the challenge next month.  Blue Bishop has a knack for finding lost things. While growing up in charming small-town Buttonwood, Alabama, she’s happened across lost wallets, jewelry, pets, her wandering neighbor, and sometimes, trouble. No one is more surprised than Blue, however, when she comes across an abandoned newborn baby in the woods, just south of a very special buttonwood tree.  I have only recently started to read Heather Webber books and I have really liked what I have read.

book cover Another great directions  book, In the Middle of Hickory Lane.  But this one I think publishes in July so too late for June.  Great cover and I will probably listen to this on audio as well.  Family, community, secrets and some magical realism. All elements I enjoy.

book coverWell you’d know where to head too with this title. I’ve never been to the East End except via books like this one. All about a below stairs cook and the mysteries she solves. It’s a series! I love the setting and the characters. Murder in the East End.

book cover Well I think this title gives some direction as well. Under the Southern Sky. Another one that I have read though. Kristy Woodson Harvey has written a story that just kept on giving. A story of family, loss, love, new hope. Wonderful to listen to, because the narrators brought the characters alive.

book coverSummer on the Island. Well the directions don’t tell me which island but its on the island.  This is the book I will most likely read for the challenge as I have it from Netgalley, by a accident actually but that’s okay.  As it happens the island is small and off the coast of Florida and its detailed as a summer of healing, friendship and love and a secret that could change everything!

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2022 Books I want to Read

I like to keep my eye out on what is publishing that I might want to read and of course at this time of the year the publishing world seems to be planning lots of goodies! These are books that are publishing May or have published already.

I am not sure which one I’ll go after first, but I hope to work my way through them via audio, library or a …. buy! I have already been pricing some of them and seeing where it is the cheapest for me to buy! The Book Depository is now quite expensive so if I can get it here it is much the same.

Flirting with FiftyFlirting With Fifty. Jane Porter

A  later in life romance that sounds good. I like Jane Porter’s books and haven’t read one for ages. May read this via audio or print. Not sure yet. However it is already published.

Nightwork

Nightwork Nora Roberts. Her latest which comes out on the 24th of this month in audio format and this is most likely the way I will go. Read by male narrator and will be suspense but haven’t even read the blurb.

The wedding dress sewing circleThe Wedding dress Sewing Circle.  Jennifer Ryan. I have enjoyed her other books and publishes at the end of May. It is set in WW2. I may go for audio or print.

Book LoversBook Lovers Emily Henry.    This too is on audio or may  read it in print. I’ve requested this one from the library.

Bloomsbury Girls

 Bloomsbury Girls. Natalie Jenner.   story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world. I know this is on audio but so far isn’t available for my part of world so may have to go for print which I can do. Heard the audio is great though.

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Five Books off my TBR in April

Hana Khan Carries OnThis read confirmed me as a Uzma Jalaluddin reading fan. I very much enjoyed this book. A rom com, not a genre I am that in favour of, but…. this is the kind I like. Hana Khan Carries On has great characters, comedic bits, but interspersed with serious issues. It’s full of family, immigrant issues and most of all love. It gives insight into the Muslim community in Toronto and highlights what ignorant racism can be like. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

book coverOne of my first 2022 reads. If not the first.

The Secret of Snow was published and bought in 2021 and I never got around to reading it until now. (Due to my more disciplined approach of reading off my shelf!) I  thoroughly enjoyed this second chance story. One about grief and coming to terms with it. Sonny up until now has never dealt with her grief when her sister died some years back. It’s about vulnerability and friendship. And of course plenty of snow. It always amazes me at how astute a writer can be in tracking we humans. Loved the characters – they go right to the reader’s heart. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

book cover A new author to me and I was totally immersed into it.  Lucy finds out she has inherited a ‘cottage’ from someone she has never heard of and when she turns up to claim it all kinds of unknowns await her.

The cottage isn’t exactly a cottage either. Lucy has never known her father, her mother has just died and there are mysteries abundant. As well this is a dual timeline that goes back into other eras. Usually I am not so fond of that but this one was seamless.

There is mystery, complex relationships, plus a dog and a twelve year old girl all adding up to a story that kept me wanting to read.

🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

book cover The Becoming is the second in a trilogy. I read the first one earlier in the year and I  couldn’t resist moving on to the second one. I have to wait for the third one until the end of ’22.

The Becoming is another excellent story with characters to love, and some new this time. Breen continues to grow in power and courage, and I love the new bond she forges with a very special animal. Bollocks too ( her dog) follows his mistress, and Marcus is a friend to the nth degree. And of course Keegan the leader of the Fey, continues to train Breen and of course a developing relationship.

🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

book coverOne of my first 2022 published reads from my shelf. May even be the first.  It is historical romance as you might guess and written by Eloisa James.

An interesting take of a romance with Cleo and Jake making interesting business main characters. Cleo was a strong feminine lead with a good head on her shoulders. Jake a big American who very soon falls at his knees for the striking redhead Cleo who previous to this has been determined to be a wallflower and never be like her mother.

A good read.  🌟🌟🌟

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Library Theme Books I want to Read

I found more than five books I wanted to read set in a library or with a librarian or link somewhere, but have narrowed it down for now. I’ve left out the cozy mysteries, I might come back to them another time.

The CartogrophersThe Cartographers  by  Peng Shepherd was the book I heard a bout on a podcast.  It looks like a really mixture of a book, with mystery, thriller, fantasy, magical realism touches. It has links to the New York public library. “A young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father’s belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret—one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family’s dark history.”

The LibrarianThe Librarian by Salley Vickers is already on my TBR print bookshelf so it needs a place here. I can’t remember why I bought it, may have just seen it at the book shop. “In 1958, Sylvia Blackwell, fresh from one of the new post-war Library Schools, takes up a job as children’s librarian in a run down library in the market town of East Mole.”  Sounds like she gets herself in a personal relationship that then threatens her job. This will be the first read coming off my shelf in May.

The Library at the Edge of the WorldThe Library at the Edge of the Word. Felicity Hayes McCoy looks inviting. “Local librarian Hanna Casey is wondering where it all went wrong … Driving her mobile library van through Finfarran’s farms and villages, she tries not to think of the sophisticated London life she abandoned when she left her cheating husband. Or that she’s now stuck in her crotchety mum’s spare bedroom.”  Irish setting.

The Library BookThe Library Book by  Susan Orlean is non fiction but it has appealed for awhile. It investigates the fire in the Los Angeles Public Library, plus other bits and pieces about libraries and librarians. Even if I don’t read all of it would be interesting to dip into it. I think its at our library so that makes it very possible.

Due or DieAnd a cozy mystery with library links never can be passed over.

I have read #1 although I admit awhile back and I am a little hazy about it. This is #2  Carrie Rushton, the president of the Friends of the Library, has been accused of murdering her husband. The evidence is stacking up against Carrie, but neither Lindsey nor the Briar Creek crafternoon club is buying it.

So I will be checking up to see if this is at the library.

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Libraries Draw a Reader in

I was listening to a podcast that mentioned a book that has as part of its setting a library. I decided I’d like to read it, but that set me thinking about books I’d already read that either had a library somewhere in its setting or one of the main characters was a librarian.

book coverWell obviously this has a library in it. It’s not really about the library as such, but… it is an important place in that one of the characters finds refuge there. Another loves coming there for book club and the librarian is afraid her job is going because the council are threatening to close the library.

Plus who couldn’t love the cover. This was so worth reading on so many levels.

Death on a Shelf

There are a number of cozy mystery series that has the library as a strong setting.  The Haunted Library series by Allison Brook is a really good one. It has a library ghost who appears every so often to one of the librarians – Carrie. Of course there is a cat in it – Smoky Joe who is totally delightful. There is usually a great mystery to be solved – like murders and Carrie has a romantic relationship developing.  This is #5. #6 is published this year.

book cover The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles presents us with the American Library in Paris in the months leading up to WW11 and during the war. Like all stories set in this era at times it is stark and heart breaking. The people suffer so much.

Yet within the confines of the library there are warm friendships among those who work there and those who come to read, write and borrow books.  I really found it good reading.

book coverThis one The Giver of Stars along with The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek – I read both – gives us insight to the courageous librarians of the WPA Packhorse Library in rural Kentucky from the mid 1930’s to the mid 1940’s.  The Appalachian mountains were challenging to say the least. I really enjoyed both books set here. Both very worth reading. I listened to The Giver of Stars which was excellent.

book cover I’d forgotten this one has a librarian but it does. Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way.

I liked the emphasis on however life is going, take the moments you can, to celebrate and to choose joy – even be a little wacky at times. I also loved Sam’s library set up.

A good summer read.

Next week five books set in a library or with a librarian I want to read. Already going to be difficult to confine to five! However if you have a favourite book with library vibes to it, let me know!

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