Month in Review

October Reading Round Up

Total books read this month:  13

Book Ratings

Lessons in Chemistry  5 stars
Keeping Up Appearances 4.25 stars
The Boxing Baroness. 3.75 stars
The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks 3.8 stars
The Winter Garden. 4 stars
Emma.  5 stars
One Mountain Away. 5 stars. (Reread)
The Peach Keeper   4 stars.
Gilt. Jamie Brenner 4 stars
Work Wives. 3 stars.
Die for Me.  4 stars
Secrets in the Stacks 3.5 stars
High Spirits. 3.5 stars

New to me authors:

Bonnie Garmus *
Minerva Spencer
Shauna Robinson
Nicola Cornico
*  Would read author again

Top Audiobook Book for October

And my top book overall.

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Top Print Book Completed in October

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Top Kindle Book for October

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Looking forward to new releases in November

I have already pre-ordered Nalini Singh’s book, I’ll buy The Choice as soon as it publishes and most likely will look into buying The Bookstore Sisters as well.

Review of Reading Goals  for October

  • Read the review books I have on my calendar.  I read six of the seven I had planned so I moved that one into November.
  • Continue with my slow and steady read – Emma. I did and completed it this month.
  • Maybe sneak in one off my shelf or a library book if necessary.  I read two off my shelf and one from the library. Happy with that.

Main Reading Goals for November

  • Read four review books on my calendar
  • Read two library books.
  • Possibly five from my own shelf.
  • Complete my slow and steady book that I have started Us Against You by Fredrik Backman and then choose and start my next one.
  • Start a list of books I want to buy or get from library into my reading notebook for the next little while, I’ve taken my eye off what I want to read coming up. I realised that when Katherine mentioned The Choice.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.


Book Connections

Books to Challenge Me

I am an easy going reader,I totally read for enjoyment –  but sometimes I do feel like something a bit different. So this year I am thinking about what I might look at and work towards. Most likely this year and into the next! Not necessarily in the order given here.

book coverI started this last year – not very far in and then it sat….  This year I have picked it up and am reading one chapter a day- sometimes!  One side is the story and one side is full of annotations. Slows things down a bit, but still helpful at times.

I am enjoying it and want to read the original so that I can better appreciate all those books  writers have that play on the P&P theme and plot and characters.  Plus I find the historical part fascinating with the life and times of Jane Austen.

EmmaI’d also like to read Emma. However I don’t think I’d get through this plus P&P so I thought I’d put it into my audiobook listening this year. Juliet Stevenson narrates and she will do it really well.  I want to listen before I read a book by Sonali Dev The Emma Project. It doesn’t publish until mid- year so I have time.

book coverIt’s most likely quite pretentious of me to add this book in, Middlemarch by George Eliot I do have it on my shelf, but not sure if I can cope with it! I like the thought of it and the title! I think I might listen and read along with it, maybe later in the year if I can.  Juliet Stevenson narrates but its 35 hours. I guess speeding it up a little will help!

book coverI only heard about this book yesterday as Emilie Richards read it for her weather book challenge. Reading the blurb I decided I’d like to give it a go. Set in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood in 1947, this poignant tale revolves around two of the most endearing characters in recent fiction: an 11-year-old Irish Catholic boy named Michael Devlin and Rabbi Judah Hirsch, a refugee from Prague.

book coverI think I need to sample an Agatha Christie, and also I would like to sample Miss Marple.  It’s a challenge for me because its not my usual reading choice. But those in the know highly rate many of her books!


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Book Connections

Celebrating 2021 Reading

And so 2021 reading comes to a close. And so some observations.

        1. In 2021  I read 151 books.  I set out to read 100. Between 100 and 150 is my normal, and feels about right for my reading pace. Screen Shot 2021-12-31 at 7.03.52 AM
        2. I think of that 151 about 27 were audiobooks. I had a good year in audiobooks and enjoyed them from both Audible and Libby – which came into play in September and meant I cut back to one credit a month at Audible. As Audible now has quite a few books in the Audible Plus section for members that gives even more possibilities.  So many great narrators. Sandra Burr, Dick Hill,Mia Gaskin, Katherine Kellgren, January LaVoy, Brittany Pressley… to name but a few.
        3.  I am a reader who once I find a good series, I generally stay faithful to it. And in 2021 t was no different. I continued with some, finished a couple and started a few new ones. So some of the series I am into, not all! Mary Marks finished her series and is no longer writing. I started the Haunted Library and Anna Lee Huber series and am all caught up. I’ve read some of Karen Rose but am now committing to going right back to the beginning.
        4. Last week I looked at new to me authors, so here I’ll mention some of the “old faves” authors I again read in 2021.

      5. And a small observation to end the year. I started out intending to read…book coverBut its still sitting on the sideboard with only a few pages read. But… I did read and enjoy

      And I set off looking at the life and times of Jane Austen on You Tube, seeing where she lived etc. I will want to read some more about her and I will get to Pride and Prejudice and then Emma, but learning some of the way women lived in those times will enable me to better understand her books.


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Book Connections

Book to Screen

I am not a huge viewer, I mostly read, but I do see the occasional movie and TV series. I love some adaptations of some books, Anne of Green Gables comes to mind – all versions of viewing  I would happily sit down and watch every so often. Here are five books I’ve read with their screen version thoughts.

book cover I have read all the Outlander books and will read another if or when it publishes. I have the first two DVD’s of the screen version and its on TV too at the moment. And…  so far I  haven’t been able to be a fan of the screen version. I know of many who love it on screen, I know Diana Gabaldon is closely linked to the screen version, but I just prefer the book world.

book cover I am in process of reading Pride and Prejudice but have previously viewed a couple of on screen versions. I have really enjoyed both and would watch again. I think a screen version done really well can lead me to a book and in this case that’s how it worked.

book coverVirgin River series is another set of books I’ve enjoyed and followed through as they were written. I’ve watched most of Season 1 of the onscreen version but fell by the wayside. I know Season 2 is due out soon. I may give it a go, just to see.

book coverThis is a middle grade book I read to my class when I was teaching and we all loved it. Well I gave it five stars anyway! So when I heard there was a movie out for it I wanted to see it. But I never got to the movie theatre for it. However one day it was on TV and I was there for sure. I thought it was done well, held to the spirit and theme of the book and I’d watch it again and re-read the book – I did leave my copy behind in the classroom when I left but can always get another!

book coverLastly one book I read a while back that I don’t remember that well, set around WW2 and  in letter form. I didn’t fall for it as much as many other readers have, but when the movie was on TV I thought I’ll give this a go. I haven’t yet viewed it but have it recorded.  I am anticipating that it will be good and will help me visualise how this all worked out and I suspect and hope it may lead me to re read the book.

So how about you. Is there a screen version that has led you to a book or a book that has led you to the screen version?


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Book Connections

A Little Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice

It all started when I listened to the recent audiobook The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner and plus all the retellings of  Pride and Prejudice that are being published, that I have been reading.  You’ve probably seen me reading them if you visit here often. But… I am not what I’d regard as an Austen fan! There is still time though! The following are my plans for the immediate future if not already done!

book cover Firstly its made me want to actually read the first Pride and Prejudice so I have ordered the book – the annotated version. I thought while I was buying it I’d get the notes that might help me get a feel for and better appreciation for those times. If the notes become too much I’ll just pick and choose! We’ll see how I get on.

Movie cover In the meantime I watched this version of the movie on Netflix and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just the scenery alone would make me enjoy it, but I feel I got a handle on the characters, and I could see how the audiobook Unmarriageable that I am listening to is so close a retelling as you’d most likely get. With a Pakistan flavour though!

movie cover Well of course I wanted to watch this one too, but couldn’t find a place I could stream it from here in NZ. So I ordered the DVD’s from a local online store. My DVD player isn’t the best but hopefully it will manage it. I think I have seen this years ago on TV but I ask – who wouldn’t want to watch it again!

movie coverI want to watch or actually re watch this, as I have seen it before on TV. However now I want to see it again as I freshen up my memory. Also I really like Keri Russell as an actress.  I can stream this one I think from Apple TV and probably a few other places. Oh and I see there is a book called Austenland by Shannon Hale might be interesting, but I’ll watch the movie version first.

book cover And while I am falling down the rabbit hole of Pride and Prejudice I thought I’d add this book into my reading, a modern retelling that has given many of the readers I follow happy reading. Plus I have been wanting to try a Curtis Sittenfeld book.


I am sure there is more. Let me know if you have one you particularly think is really good.


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Sense and Sensibility Joanna Trollope

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Sense and Sensibility
Joanna Trollope
Published: Harper Collins
Date: 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 362
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Own book
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When their father unexpectedly dies, the three Dashwood girls—Elinor, Marianne and Margaret—must face the harsh reality of a life where they no longer have the home or the financial security that they have always taken for granted. As they come to terms with life without the comforts of either their country house or an inheritance, Elinor, a sensible architecture student, and Marianne, a passionate, musical free spirit, are also confronted by a world where their choices are abruptly limited by their new and alarming circumstances.

With her trademark insight and wit, Joanna Trollope has brought Austen’s characters and their story into the 21st century. In the timeless spirit of their creator, she casts a clever, gently satirical eye on Elinor and Marianne as they are forced to navigate the modern world and the search for love.

My thoughts banner
This book by Joanna Trollope is a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. To me it almost felt like the historical setting of that book, except for the modern trappings of life, such as texting, email, and Facebook being involved.
Elinor is the sensible one, Marianne rather given to being over whelmed and lacking sense when it comes to the care of herself, frequently finds herself being overcome by asthma attacks.  She is taken for a ride by a scoundrel called Wills and while she looks down her nose at Bill Brandon who is so boring and sensible.  Elinor is attracted to Edward, who is somewhat a bit dithery, but eventually gets it together.
There is a whole cast of characters, who speak like the upper class in England.  Some reminded me of the people from the TV show Miranda.  Fanny Ferrars is particularly well drawn, a more snobbish person you wouldn’t ever meet, she is married to the half brother of Elinor and Marianne, and he is another complete dill.
I think Joanna Trollope did a very good rendition of a modern day Sense and Sensibility, although I was on the whole not fully in love with the book.  I mainly read it because of the author’s name and I also picked it up at a second hand book fair!

3.5 stars