Month in Review

November Reading Wrap.

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Total books read this month: 10

New to me authors:

Matt Haig
Janice Hadlow
Danielle Hawkins
Lauren K Denton

Top Book for November

Hard choice to make, didn’t really have a top read this month. They all almost rated 4 stars. One 3 star. However the one I was most taken by was The Other Bennet Sister, mainly because it surprised me at how much I enjoyed it.

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Looking forward to reading in December

Already started reading Archangel’s Sun and I don’t have my sight set on anything else in particular.

Main Reading Goals for November were.

  • read three books from my actual TBR shelf.   I read  one!
  • read one lurking book from my Kindle TBR Yes – Almost Just Friends.
  • keep up with the library reserves that land my way Pretty much, a few I put back after deciding after looking a bit more at them I didn’t want to read them just now.
  • read some of the annotated Pride and Prejudice.  I read a very small amount of it.
  • reread a book ! Yes, by accident because I’d forgotten I’d read it but it still counts because I realised and kept going.

Main Reading Goals for December

  • See if I can start off a cozy mystery series that I’ll keep reading. I have a first book to pick up from the library.
  • read on actual book from my TBR print shelf and one from my Kindle
  • think about some reading goals for 2021 and write them down.

Incoming Books for November

Purchased

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Library Books

From NetGalley

Audio Books

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Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Review

My Name is Anton

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Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Date: 1st December 2020

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

t’s 1965, and life has taken a turn for eighteen-year-old Anton Addison-Rice. Nearly a year after his brother died in a tragic accident, Anton is still wounded—physically and emotionally. Alone for the holidays, he catches a glimpse of his neighbor Edith across the street one evening and realizes that she’s in danger.

Anton is determined to help Edith leave her abusive marriage. Frightened and fifteen years Anton’s senior, Edith is slow to trust. But when she needs a safe place to stay, she lets down her guard, and over the course of ten days an unlikely friendship grows. As Anton falls hopelessly and selflessly in love, Edith fears both her husband finding her and Anton getting hurt. She must disappear without telling anyone where she’s going—even Anton.

If keeping Edith safe means letting her go, Anton will say goodbye forever. Or so he believes. What would happen, though, if one day their paths should cross again?

Catherine Ryan Hyde writes an emotional story, with characters I always find myself taking into my heart. My Name is Anton totally lives up to this expectation I have of her books.

Anton is a wonderful young man at the beginning of the story, dealing with challenging life events. He has this amazing grandmother – Marion and a great uncle too. They know how to be with and for Anton. The same cannot be said of his parents. They seem to have checked out.

So there is a strong theme of family running through this book, and an exploration of love that is unselfish as opposed to love that is centred on “what’s best for me”.

Anton makes choices along the way. One I had some difficulty buying into but I did find it stretched me to examine my attitude and allow the choice to play out. It worked out and I was able to see the rightness of it.

Catherine Ryan Hyde explores some tough issues in this book, but with great gentleness and in a way that makes a reader believe in the goodness of the human heart. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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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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Wishing everyone in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving. I know many of you won’t be able to have a big Thanksgiving celebration, however I think the important thing at this point is for you and all your family to stay Covid free. And here’s to 2021 in a years time being far better.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And still reading my non-fiction book by Kamala Harris and I also hope to finish my Tradd St audiobook this week.

Up next:

 

Last Week’s Posts

Fugitive.  Emilie Richards

My Non-Fiction Reading in 2020

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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 have had a good reading week. The weather hasn’t been great – I want more sun!

On Saturday I went up to my sister’s place in Wanganui for a family night. I travelled up with my sister and brother-in-law and another sister so the few hours flew. A brother and sister-in-law also came up so a lovely group for the night and my sister is a great cook! They are just outside the city and it feels like you are in the country but you aren’t. It made a lovely break.

What I read last week:

The Other Bennett Sister was for me and I really liked how this was handled. The Midnight Library was different and a good read as well. Jill Shalvis book is a Jill Shalvis book!

What I am reading now:

Just started this one

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And mid way through this one

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And still listening to my Tradd Street book.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Last Correspondent.  Soraya M. Lane

Goodreads Choice 2020

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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 all doing well and for those celebrating Memorial Day, hope you have found some good way of remembering.

Yesterday I returned my books to the library as they are taking them again and are open except on Sunday. I then ventured into local bookshop but new bookshelves had no new ones much since the virus outbreak so I wandered out. My own bookshelves have plenty!

Hope you are all doing well.

What I read last week:

I enjoyed all these books. Feels Like Falling was my audiobook.

What I am reading now:

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And I started listening to

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Up next:

Will decide later! While standing at my bookcase this morning to choose a book we were hit with a 5.9 earthquake. No damage but shook me up!!  Centre not far from here. We are on sand and we roll!!  If you are familiar with earthquakes you’ll know how you shake along with the quake!

Last Week’s Posts

One Perfect Summer Brenda Novak

The Best of Friendships

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Book Connections

The Best of Friendships

When reading I love coming across really good friendships, doesn’t matter who they are between. There is something both inspiring and wholesome about it. These are five books where I came across that kind of friendship.

 

book cover We watch the unlikely friendship of a ninety two year old woman – Mrs G, and Raymond a seventeen year old, develop.  And its a meaty friendship – genuine and full of caring. I loved both these characters and how they related to each other.  Mrs G is blind, she has lived a full life and has a lot of wisdom. But she is in need of help big time. Raymond is a lonely seventeen year old – one who feels he has never been “seen” or understood. Mrs G really sees him! Loved this relationship.

 

book coverIn One Summer in Paris we see the friendship between Grace – in her forties and a teen Audrey. Grace has come to Paris to escape the fact her husband has left her for a “new version” about the same age as their daughter! Audrey has come to escape the alcoholism disease that her mother has. Due to various circumstances they form a great friendship that helps both of them move forwards in their lives.  Loved the two of them, loved the book.

 

book cover The beautiful friendship that develops between Arthur and Maddy. An old man who visits his wife at the cemetery every day, and Maddy an eighteen year old teen who really is very alone.

 

book coverThere’s more than friendship in this book, but.. there is some examples of wonderful, positive friendship. Especially the one that develops between Gray and Diana. Gray is divorced and 34. Diana is about 40 and is really down on her luck. Diana ends up working for Gray who is a reasonably wealthy woman who needs some good organisation and Diana is your one. They both have big challenges in life but the bond that forms between them, moves each of them forwards and into what is likely to be a life long friendship.

book coverI’ve mentioned this book before in terms of an author I now want to read everything he writes. But here I want to mention the theme of friendship where it makes a huge difference in some lives. It’s between an old woman and a young child and the old woman and the little girls parents. I really loved seeing how it all developed.

 

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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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Well just a little reading accomplished. I have other distractions – its been a busy week, and satisfying. I have also got into some viewing – I am loving The Crown. I like how they are portraying Charles but I think they have the Queen too severe. She has more of a sense of humour. I have also started watching Virgin River which is based on Robyn Carr’s book series. Loving it and of course we have a kiwi actor playing the lead role of Jack which is a plus. I think he suits the role.

I don’t have a smart TV. I kind of am reluctant as I dislike replacing usable equipment with the latest. However I did need to purchase a new iPad earlier this year and I find it great for watching Netflix on, so I don’t have to go to the bother of linking up my computer via a cord.

What I read last week:

Sarah Morgan writes a wonderful Christmas appropriate story.
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What I am reading now:

Not too far into this one, but have been immediately pulled into it.

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And I did start up listening to my audio again – The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I think its a little dark for this time of year so I have sort of just not picked it up. But getting back to walking will help with that. I stopped walking because I was getting such a pain in my hip – not a bad hip but muscular. Been to the physio and have been doing some good stretching which is really helping.

Up next:

This review book which publishes in January.

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Review

Stay. Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date: December 3rd 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde tells the story of Lucas a fourteen year old boy with lots going on around him. His parents who yell at each other, his friend Connor next door who is morose and has family parental things going on as well. Lucas has a brother Roy, away in the war in Vietnam. And that’s not a pretty story. What is a boy to do? Out in the woods one day he meets some dogs by a cabin and runs with them daily. And so he meets the owner of the cabin – Zoe Dinsmore who has a whole tragic history he has to find out about.

Zoe is a rather prickly woman but… she knows things and does something neither Lucas’ or Connor’s parents do.  But that’s after Lucas does something for her.

The story is told by Lucas looking back at his life from the age of about sixty four. The story shows how Lucas has learned what is important in life, and throughout the story there are many places that are pithy little pointers about living a life with integrity.

The story explores friendship in many forms – same age and an older/younger person and brothers. It explores choices made, guilt and loss, people’s judgemental attitudes, and the awful effects of drugs and war.

It was  refreshing to be with Lucas  as he endeavours to understand his world around him. To experience his first girlfriend and be wise enough to see within to who she really is. To see how he cared and went the next step even when he was discouraged by others.

It is a heart warming read, with a theme of hope even in trying circumstances. Can the people Lucas comes to love stay, can he stay with what he can control and let be what he cannot. A thought provoking story.

Review

Have You Seen Luis Velez? Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 21st May 2019
Source: Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley

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If you need an uplifting book, that invites you to reflect on life and your role in it, then pick this one up.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Raymond who feels as a seventeen year old like a bit of a misfit in his family. His step Dad doesn’t really accept him, his mother listens then forgets and his Dad  has a new wife that doesn’t really like Raymond’s Dad paying any attention to him.

How Raymond turned out like he has is beyond me because he has the kindest of hearts. And one day he is rewarded because an older woman of ninety or so “sees” him. She is blind but when she calls out a question, Raymond stops  to check on what that’s all about. How many people would stop and check? Too few most likely.

And so begins an unusual relationship between Raymond and Mrs G. At first I thought everyone needs a Raymond in their world. But then… a Luis Velez is good too and really Mrs G. is just so full of wisdom. So they all enriched me and each other.

This is really a very heart warming book, it speaks to what is wrong in our world today in so many ways. Life can be hard and challenging, people experience prejudice, hate, loneliness, helplessness, injustice and racial non acceptance. What is the answer? Well Raymond and Luis are answers. And they invite you and me to be answers.