Book Connections

Garden Books.

I am not a gardener although there are plenty in my family who are and my forebears were gardeners too. Most of my garden is very dry at present, and I do have a small veggie garden. Love picking from that.

There have been quite a few books I’ve read that have almost at centre stage – a garden.

book cover The Unfinished Garden is the author’s debut novel and the only one I hadn’t read of hers until now. Tilly the main woman character is into gardens and garden and loves it. Both in North Carolina where she has a business and in her home in England where she spends some time as well. Then there is James who wants Tilly’s help with a garden for his place. He has OCD and can’t put his hands near the earth. This book I think is titled The Unfinished Garden because a garden is never finished. How true!  Barbara Claypole White always presents a very compassionate stance towards her characters with mental illness and I always love her knowledge and the help she provides her readers to take these people into their hearts.

book coverA Home Like Ours also has a special Australian garden at its centre. It’s very important and brings a community together. My review for this one will be up soon. It was a 5 star read for me.

book coverThis was an engrossing tale, told from a few different viewpoints and times. The story and mystery unfold – the reader has enough clues to see what has happened before the characters. Its both sad and and uplifting. What a complicated family! It involves a kind of secret garden.

book cover

The Garden of Happy Endings  involves sisters and a community garden in a poor part of town. I loved this story, so thoughtful and enjoyable. Loved the  women and each of their stories. Their search and exploration of what makes them happy was important. I especially appreciated Elsa’s journey – her spiritual one and her search for her partner in life. Felt very real and authentic.

book coverThe Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman. Witty and insightful. Wonderful group of characters. Two sisters, well two sets of sisters who made me laugh and at times sad. A group of people who come together around a gardening project and form what I think will be lasting friendships. Tons of good hints about gardening.

There is another book I’ll be wanting to read… The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly which comes well recommended.


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Book Connections, Review

Bookish Books


book coverAn unusual book, it tells the story of Tom an Australian farmer and his love for Hannah and Peter. Hannah has suffered and lost so much and her story of Auschwitz is heartbreaking. Tom too is not a stranger to sadness yet he is extraordinary in his quiet way. I loved his way with people and animals and his ability to work and craft beautiful bookshelves. I really enjoyed the Australian flavour to this book. I laughed aloud at some of the recognised colloquilisms. Hannah is a difficult character, but she has been through so much, her struggle understandable. I liked her determination to gather and sell books to make up for the many destroyed by the Nazis. My heart went out to Peter, so young and yet so much heartbreak for him. It had a lot more appeal for me than I thought it would.

book cover I listened to this one on audiobook and I found that at times I had to push myself to pick it up to listen to. I may have liked this a lot more if I’d just read it. Nina works in a book shop, is a total book nerd, loves her cat and is a trivia expert. She has never known her Dad, but when he dies she finds out she has lots of family -some lovely some not. There is also a little romance and Nina finds herself wondering is it better to be alone or is it better to be alone with someone who loves her as she is.

book cover This one is a true bookish book. It is about a bookshop and the people who own it and work in it. It has lots of bookish talk and yet its about so much more. It’s about relationships and what makes them, its about valuing and loving people in spite of what might appear on the surface. We often judge, but are we making that up in our heads, is it really what’s happening? I loved the explorations and paths this book took me down. Its definitely one for my keeper shelf.

book coverThe Ten Thousand Doors of January is not immediately bookish, but it is still about the power of story and words and  captures much of the magic of books. It is fantasy but often feels very real. January the young heroine of the book loves to read and write. There are doors that lead into other worlds, and there are those who want to lock them up tight and keep the world safe and to their order and power. Safety at the cost of freedom and choice. January stands at the centre, she is key. Magic, time travel, a coming of age story. It’s thought provoking. The characters, especially January and Sam and Bad really appeal. Maybe not for everyone but I am pleased I gave this one a chance. If you want to know a little more read this interview of Alix by her husband, its informative and as well, fun.  I gave this book 5 stars.

book cover The Book Charmer has a small town approach with a librarian – Sarah who often has books that “talk” to her and she gives books to people because she “knows” they need them. And most often she is proved right. Grace turns up in town and Sarah knows that Grace is destined to stay in the town but Grace is not inclined. It was a good read although I didn’t entirely warm to it. However other readers I follow did award it 5 stars so it could have just been me. I gave it a solid three stars.

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