Review

Book Delight Costs!

Kindle books are great and I do appreciate them. However there is nothing like an actual book in hand for me. This past week there has been a feast of books landing at my door. Finally the post is moving from international sources. However… maybe I am not so delighted about other aspects on reflection.

My one problem was – which one to pick up first to read! And what a great problem to have.

book cover This one came from the Book Depository UK. This one was a bit of a shot in the dark because I had seen so many good reviews for it. See my next book – postage is free although I guess may have a little added to book cost I bet. Cost of book $20 NZ. Best of bunch cost wise.

book coverDance Away With Me I had pre-ordered from Amazon USA months ago. And then to be sent my CC had to be changed to pay for it and whatever I did, didn’t work. So.. after about an hour I decided to cancel it and re-order. Bingo – back in business. And imagine my surprise when it turned up on my doorstep a week later. Of course the postage cost was a big ouch. No… a huge ouch. How did that happen. Just looking again. No wonder it came in a week. It cost way more than the hardback book itself. Did I tick a wrong box!! I do need my head examined. Just pretended to buy another book. No! No box to tick, they just put in the one way of sending. Oh well a bit wiser now! Okay I’ll tell you $30.98 USA. That’s about $55 NZ. Looks like I may have to part ways with more than my money. Bye bye books from Amazon by post.

book cover Alpha Night I had pre-ordered here from online shop Mighty Ape. There was a lag because the publisher was having trouble getting things transported. I know because I asked them on Twitter! Anyway it landed on my door on the same day as Dance Away With Me. Cost of  courier  was I $3.90. Out of the five books that arrived this week, this was the one I am choosing to read first. It’s one of my favourite series and well Nalini Singh lives in NZ.

book coverThe following post My Pear Shaped Life was sitting there. This is by an Irish author that I am now obsessed by and this is her latest book. I’d ordered it from the Book Depository UK months ago but there were problems and then they couldn’t post the version I had pre-ordered. So then… I ordered another one and after a long lag this one began its journey across the world. Just so happy to have it now to even look at happily. Cost of book $30.51 NZ

book coverJust when I thought book life couldn’t get any better this one turned up yesterday. From Mighty Ape NZ so cost $3.90 by courier. Cost of paperback in NZ dollars was $36. Books are expensive here. That’s pretty normal for a paperback. $30 if you are lucky to buy it on a slightly dropped price.

 

So all books in the hand but leaving quite a big hole in my book budget. Lucky for me there are not many books this season that I really want as actual books.  Well as far as I know anyway! But post has turned out to be somewhat a revelation to myself!

Why don’t I buy these from the walk in local book stores? They don’t carry books like these, except maybe a small shelf of Nalini Singh. Very toffee nosed readers in NZ.

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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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Hope you are all keeping okay, so much all going on these days.

Today I am off out to my first venture since Covid into a cafe to meet up with a group of friends. Up until now I had had my groceries delivered but last week I ventured into the supermarket myself.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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Just started listening to…

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Up next:

Not sure, will be something from my own shelf, but which book is as yet undecided! 

Last Week’s Posts

Five Audiobooks Awaiting

Brave Girl. Quiet Girl. Catherine Ryan Hyde.

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Five Audiobooks Awaiting.

As this is audiobook month I thought I’d share audiobooks I’ve bought but haven’t yet listened to. I am a slow listener!  Looking through my audio library I am ashamed to say I have a few more than five!

book coverA Week in Winter. 11hrs 34 min. Narrated by Caroline Lennon. Added to my library 2019. The Sheedy sisters had lived in Stone House for as long as anyone could remember. Set high on the cliffs on the west coast of Ireland, overlooking the windswept Atlantic ocean, it was falling into disrepair – until one woman, with a past she needed to forget, breathed new life into the place. Now a hotel, with a big, warm kitchen and log fires, it provides a welcome few can resist.

book coverThe Idea of You. 10hrs. Narrated by the author. Added to my library in 2017. With her 40th birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…

 

book coverThe Sun Sister. 26 hrs 14 min. Narrated by Weruche Opia, Sophie Roberts. Added 2020. To the outside world, Electra D’Aplièse seems to be the woman with everything: as one of the world’s top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous.

Yet beneath the veneer, Electra’s already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother.

book coverCode Name Hélène: The White Mouse. 17hrs 17min. Narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Peter Ganim. Added 2020.  In 1936 Nancy Wake is living in Paris after bluffing her way into a job as a foreign correspondent and witnessing firsthand the terror of Hitler’s rise in Europe, firing her determination to do anything she could to fight the Nazis. When Nancy falls unexpectedly in love with handsome French industrialist and playboy Henri Fiocca in Marseilles, no sooner has she agreed to become Mrs Fiocca than the Germans invade France and Nancy takes yet another name, a code name – the first of many.

book coverThe Hideaway. 15hrs 45 min. Narrated by January LaVoy. Added 2020. Caitlyn Sullivan is just nine years old when a game of hide-and-seek at a family party will change her life forever.

The betrayal she experienced that night will shape Caitlyn’s life – and for years she runs and runs, hiding from the aftermath of the trauma. But Caitlyn comes to realise that if she wants to not just survive but thrive, she must return to the family home to face up to her past.

What happened that night may always haunt Caitlyn, but she must decide if it’s what you’re running from that matters. Or who finds you.

And… for my next listen I am just as likely to buy something else! It depends on the mood. A couple of them are really long and sometimes a slightly shorter one draws me. About 9 – 13 hours are about my favourite. The Sun Sisters is about 26hours so not sure when I’ll get to that! I don’t listen to it fast so actual time!

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Review

Brave Girl Quiet Girl. Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date:19th May 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

It was difficult to start into this book as a young child disappears in a car and away from her mother. I was almost reading with my eyes shut!

However as it turns out she is found by Molly a young sixteen year old homeless girl. Molly is amazing with Etta and eventually all is well. Or almost well.

We get to know the mother – Brooke as well as Molly and of course little Etta who is quite a character on her own. Brooke is really on hard times and living at her own mother’s house, while supporting her young daughter. When her daughter is taken off with the car her world falls apart and those around her wonder if it will ever get back together.

The story explores mother / daughter relationships, the best and worst. It explores homelessness and the foster system. It explores what real relationships are like  and promises and trust.

It’s an emotional ride, it tugs at a reader’s heartstrings. Brooke and Molly have so much to take on and grow through and they do and it made the story a really good read.

 

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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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Hope you are doing well. Like most of you I have been taking note of the terrible happenings of the last weeks, seeing both the brutality and the courageous standing up to it in the U.S. The worst and best of humanity.

In my country today we expect to hear that we are moving down a level to where we can have large crowds at sports and other events and churches totally open etc. We have had no new cases of Covid19 for about 15 days so we are expecting the government to lessen the restrictions further. Of course our borders are still mostly closed and those who do come in have to do 14 days enforced quarantine. I hope we stay free but who knows.

What I read last week:

I finished one book this week, I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

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What I am reading now:

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And listening to The Recipe for Persuasion which is really good on audio.

Up next:

Most likely
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Family Features Strongly in my Reading

I love a book that explores family in all it’s depths and heights. This is my second post looking at family in books, I did one  back in August 2019, but with different books.These were all 4.5 to 5 stars for me and would love to reread them all.

book coverAt present I am reading and really enjoying this first one at the moment. Almost finished. The heroine lost her mother when she was very young and was brought up by a very ungracious aunt. Her heart is hungry for family. Jack is the Dad of two girls who lost their mother a year ago. One of the girls takes to Flora but Izzy, the other daughter, has huge issues and there is tension. The author’s intention I would hazard a guess at is to model really good openness and discussion within relationships.

 

book coverThis one explores what happens when a young aunt takes on the care of two nieces while there Dad is in a submarine and their mother is missing. And within the book there is mystery, shocks and an absorbing family story.

 

Book coverA single mother and her son and three children wo have been abandoned by their mother and their father is a wreck. Can a new blended family form?

 

book coverFor  the Guinness family a happy ending looks out of reach. Olly and Mae’s marriage is crumbling, their teenage daughter Evie is on a mission to self-destruct and their beloved Pops is dying of cancer. Their once strong family unit is slowly falling apart. Yes that is the opening and it sure just is a wonderful journey of family.

 

book coverIt is complicated family relationships at its best. It made me waver back and forth about all the characters – did I like them, did I agree with them, could I accept them for all their flaws? Final verdict is that I did hold them in my heart – wept at times and smiled at times. Cheered them on.

 

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Month in Review

May Month Look Back

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Total books read this month: 11

New to me authors:

Anne Tyler

Top Book for May

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Looking forward to reading in  June

I have other books ordered but whether they turn up or not is another story. As you all know transport is slow within a country and between countries but we shall see what turns up. I so miss that international ability to purchase. I do have the Kindle of course but some books I want in total 3D!

Incoming Books for May.

Library Books

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From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books Purchased

Linking up with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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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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I seem to be mostly on a romance reading kick at the moment. Not intentional but that’s how it’s rolling. A mix of old and new books.

Thinking of you all in the USA with the turbulence happening there.  Take care all.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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And just started listening to…

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe.  Jodi Thomas

Pre-Internet Reading

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Pre-Internet Authors Still on my Shelves.

The internet opened up a huge number of authors for me. Suddenly there was Amazon and various second hand book stores all over the world I could access books from. I could see via an author board what readers were reading. Facebook and Goodreads hadn’t quite come into my places to go but they soon would.

Here are some authors who still sit on my shelves from pre-internet times.

Jean Auel

book coverThis series started out in the 1980’s and they were in our shops and so accessible to me. I read them all except for the last one which didn’t seem to be that successful. I don’t have this book any longer but three of the later ones I do.

 

Rosamunde Pilcher.   book cover

Being English all of her books were in our shops as they came out. I picked up Winter Solstice as one of the ones that happen to be on my shelf but I read so many of hers.

Susan Howatch. book cover

Another British author so of course her books were in the shops too. I really got hooked by her Church of England series and followed it right through.

 

Diana Gabaldonbook cover
An American author but her books were in our shops right from the start so no problem. I started reading this series back then and am waiting for the next book!  The first one here was called Cross Stitch but later on was named Outlander.

Andrew Greeley

book coverI read a number of books by this author, not sure how I came to find out about them. Usually romance and mystery with a Catholic/religious flavour. Haven’t read one for years, should try one to see how I go with them these days.

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Review

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe

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Publisher: Kensington Books
Date: 26th May 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Immediately Jodi Thomas draws the reader in, with intriguing characters in the middle of odd situations right in the middle of a little dusty town in Texas.  We have the Mayor Piper Mackenzie – she seems to be in a spot of trouble, and then along comes a preacher who has been a soldier  and a smoke jumper and is now trying on a preacher’s suit – Sam. And along with the preacher someone else is dressing up as a cowboy, that would be Colby. And he has a mission.  Great set up.

And so the story begins. It’s entertaining and as always the characters are delightful. I loved almost each and everyone.  Pecos – the kid just finishing high school and leaving home and the girl he gets entangled with. Old Mr Winston was another loveable person, plus the widows. And of course red headed Anna. And my favourites – three children with a wagon.

This is the first in a series and I look forward to meeting them again as hopefully at least some of them will make an appearance in the next book.

Two things Jodi Thomas does well. Makes a small town in Texas come alive and she writes characters who are warm and very likeable. The plot has some mystery, some romance and sheer good heartedness. Perfect for an escape read.