Book Connections, Review

Five Books with Connections to Self


Connect Five Friday.  A Friday link up that can be joined in on any day and begins again the next Friday. Post about a list of five bookish related topics/lists of your choice. Be creative and enjoy the process. If you want to know a little more read the introduction to it here.

When I was teaching one of this ways we helped young readers comprehend was to make connections to our own lives from the books we were reading. When I came across the first book in this list of five I realised how my own experience was helping me understand Anthony so I decided to look for some more connections to self in the books I read.

book coverIn this novel we meet a writer hiding ashamed from  one big mistake he made – he plagiarised from a little known author and he was dobbed* in by an “unknown source”. I know, immediately we judge him as a reader, we don’t like plagiarising, we see how it affects authors. But… suddenly I found myself remembering a little plagiarising I did myself as a thirteen year old. We had to write a description, I was under pressure just like Anthony, and I picked up a description of a cowboy from Zane Grey. Thank you Zane! Anyway of course the teacher didn’t buy it, I mean I am and was no Zane Grey. But I do remember the shame and I was cured of plagiarising! Of course as a teacher many years later I’d come to realise the value of mentor texts and how we can learn and model our writing on those writers who write wonderful sentences and descriptions! Anyway my small life experience brought to me some sympathy for this character Anthony and it turns out it wasn’t misplaced.

*British informal. [dob someone in] to tell someone in authority about something bad that another person has done.

book coverThis is the first book written by British author Lucilla Andrews – written in 1954. It is less a romance and rather a fascinating look at hospital nursing life in this era. It will be interesting to see how her writing develops as I read through her books in the order they were written. Who knew that prem babies were fed breast milk with a little brandy! Very realistic and worth reading although a little too much description. I connected to it because way back in the ’60’s I spent a year as a nurse aide in a maternity hospital. It was fascinating to see how things had moved on since 1954. For example after giving birth the women were carried down stairs on a stretcher to the ward after giving birth. At great cost to those carrying.  In my day of course they were wheeled back in a bed. Nowadays if they are at a hospital they are often on their way home a few hours later!

book cover Rival’s Break is a suspenseful cozy mystery sort of book, but what I connected to were the characters and the fact that some of them had quite Catholic connections and some Irish. Emma Sharpe one of the main characters – an FBI member and art expert once belonged to an order of nuns, and there is a Father Finian who became a priest after losing his wife and daughters in an accident. So with my own Catholic upbringing and a good dose of Irish in me I felt very at home in the book!


Book coverAs soon as I started The Country Guesthouse I was making connections. I was thinking of all those times we did things as a staff to build rapport and trust etc. The fall back the heroine had to make  to someone who couldn’t be trusted at work ( and she wasn’t caught!) I hated those team build times as much as Hannah. And then 5 year old Noah has lost his mother and doesn’t want to forget her. It reminded my of my nephew Max and the hard time he had and still does at the loss of his great grandpa when he was 5. And I loved and could identify with Owen’s love of a quiet life in a less populated area. Already I’ve stopped in the early parts of the book to reflect. So much so, my Kindle has turned off a few times while waiting for me to go on!

book coverMany readers I follow enjoyed this author and book so I wanted to try it out. I am growing in years and the characters in this book are experiencing many of the things I know about. They are a bit older than me, but not much and so their thoughts and feelings I can really identify with and it makes me stop and think, and admire their struggles and kindnesses, and their knowing that life is still for living and the great choices they make.  I really admired Frank and Lucille’s honesty with each other in this story and their acceptance of each other and the love and friendship they had for each other. Never too old! And I totally identify.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Rival’s Break. Carla Neggers

book cover

Published: Harlequin – Mira
Date: 27th August 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


Rival’s Break  is #9 in the Sharpe/Donavon  series and I hadn’t read the previous books. Of course I prefer to read a series from the beginning but sometimes a later book just invites! There are quite a few characters to take in straight away. However Carla Neggers deftly gives enough information about each of them so that I can enjoy the story.

The setting is delightful – I have a weakness for books set in Maine and we also visit Ireland and its beautiful west coast. The characters themselves are a mixture of Maine and Irish and they mingle very well!

The book has a fun cast, art thief detectives, FBI, MI5 and MI6, an art thief (reformed)  and a priest to name a few of the varied roles. Many of them are either related to each other or married into a family. And half the time they seem to be trying to figure out what the other knows and is up to!

We start out with a stolen painting, a mysterious food poisoning on a yacht and links to some of the characters, makes for a mystery that soon has my brain whirling and wondering and desperately endeavouring to stay away from the back pages to peek! (I refrain – barely!) I did have one person in mind and it turned out I was on the right track, although I didn’t know the motivation.

I liked this story mostly for the characters, so varied and loveable. The mystery was interesting. I would have liked a little more action as the book tended to rely on a lot of dialogue rather than fast action. However I think it reads like a cozy mystery.

Would I read more in this series after my first foray into it? Yes I would because I’d want to find out more about the characters and what they have done and will do next.




It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This September?

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.

Line break

Well August has ended, on Saturday I had a wonderful “bookish moment” when my niece and children and sister and brother in law turned up to sing happy birthday as the children had been sick and had missed my birthday. We had a lovely morning and I loved their birthday wishes singing of course. I was also given this gorgeous painting by my niece Sonia (artist) of Max (5) and Scarlett  (4) sharing a book. It will be treasured evermore.

Two children reading

What I read last week:

I enjoyed When We Believed in Mermaids, if you like stories about sisters, you’ll like it. Rival’s Break review will post this coming week. The Shell Seekers was a delight on audio.

What I am reading now:


book cover

And I’ve started to listen to Connections in Death.   #48 in the series.

Book Cover

Up next:

Not sure!  Either a library book or one from my TBR shelf.

Last Week’s Posts

Connect Five Books Link for August – October

August Month in Review

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter