Month in Review

Looking Over my August Reading.

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Total books read this month: 13

New to me authors:

Janet Skeslien Charles
Beth Morrey
Natalie Jenner

Top Book for August

Well honestly they were all good. Hard to pick. I think I’ll name this one, it was a little outside of what I read but I really enjoyed the audiobook of it. Not sure how I’d get on with the paperback but I’d reread it in that format.

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Looking forward to reading in  September

There aren’t any books being published in September that I am aware of that I really, really want to read, some of which are already published.  I’ve already started one I do want to read this month and a couple of others as well in my hopeful plans.

Main Reading Goals for September

Well to read the books just above this and anything else that grabs my interest. I might make a note of why I add a book to my TBR. For example I know who I got the Well Behaved Indian Women book recommendation from, but can’t remember where I got Love Lettering, which I did see in the last week in a review. I was able to pick up a library copy. When looking on Goodreads I also see I have it as a Modern Mrs Darcy summer reading guide book. But that’s not why I got triggered to read it. Did you read this recently? Then most likely it was you.

Incoming Books for  August

Purchased

Wild is an older book by Kristin Hannah!  Magic Hour, lucky for me I hadn’t read it, otherwise I’d have been really annoyed that I picked it up from the “new table”.

Library Books

Of the books I read this month these ones came from the library. A bit month for library reading!

Coming in From NetGalley

From an Author

Audio Books

Using an Audible credit.

Linking up with Nicole from  Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

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Review

The Moon Is Missing. Jenni Ogden

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Published: Sea Dragon Press
Date: 25th August 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Georgia Grayson has perfected the art of being two people: a neurosurgeon on track to becoming the first female Director of Neurosurgery at a large London hospital, and a wife and mother. Home is her haven where, with husband Adam’s support, she copes with her occasional anxiety attacks. That is until her daughter, 15-year-old Lara, demands to know more about Danny, her mysterious biological father from New Orleans who died before she was born. “Who was he? Why did he die? WHO AM I?” Trouble is, Georgia can’t tell her.

As escalating panic attacks prevent her from operating, and therapy fails to bring back the memories she has repressed, fractures rip through her once happy family. Georgia sees only one way forward— to return to New Orleans where Danny first sang his way into her heart, and then to the rugged island where he fell to his death. Somehow she must uncover the truth Lara deserves, whatever the cost.

The Moon is Missing by Jenni Ogden I have to admit drew me further and further in to the life of neurosurgeon – Georgia Grayson. Her life as a surgeon, her family and relationships with her son and daughter and husband. Then there are her anxiety attacks and the reason for them and the consequences that arise because of them.

The book is well written and its focus is Georgia. I liked her, she is talented yet haunted by her past. As she takes up with courage the journey back into her life, I the reader, feel like I am right there with her. The heartache that is happening in her family, the questions she holds, the answers hidden to her.

I really liked – if its okay to say that! – the part that tells of Georgia and Lara ( her daughter) in hurricane Katrina. It was both horrific and wondrous as medical staff and others worked to help each other.

The three settings of London, New Orleans and Great Barrier Island were all contrasts – yet each had their own fascination. I also loved where finally Georgia and her family truly find themselves at the end of the journey.

Some family secrets are gradually revealed. I really appreciated how they unfolded and finally came together. Forgiveness, acceptance and compassion eventually win through.

I found myself  slowly reading the story,  a few times I had to reach for a tissue for the times of sadness and beauty. A Moon is Missing touched my heart and was so worth spending time with it.

Book Connections

A Doctor in the House

I am a little partial to a medical related fiction book from time to time. Here are five that I have read and enjoyed.
book coverWell I am reading this one at present. In this one we have a competent woman neurosurgeon, who is dealing with anxiety attacks and a past that haunts her dreams. As she comes apart, she decides to go back and see if see can find those missing memories and heal. It’s set in London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and the Great Barrier Island off the coast of New Zealand.

book coverThis is the first book I read by Kimberly Martin. In this book we have a female urologist who comes up against some discrimination of the LGBTQ community patients that has her standing up for what she believes. At some point I want to read her previous book. The author is actually a doctor herself.

Robyn Carr presents us with a much loved character in Maggie Sullivan in her first book of Sullivan’s Crossing.  She too is a neurosurgeon. She is under pressure and in danger of burnout so she returns to Sullivan’s Crossing to recuperate. This is a romance, so she finds someone who just might help with that recovery.

book cover The Gilded Hour is historical fiction set back in 1883 in the USA. It has as its central characters Dr. Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie an obstetrician. They doctor to the poor and this is a book that highlights terrible discrimination. It’s pretty bleak! There is a second book that carries their lives on further but I haven’t read that one.

book cover To round off the list, the last one is a medical thriller. I read this back in 2014 so its somewhat hazy compared to the other four. Dr. Abbey Matteo is on a cardiac team that do heart transplants. She finds herself confronted with someone who receives a heart, who wasn’t in line for one. A rich one. Where did the heart come from? She investigates!  Grisly and horrifying. Not my usual 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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And we are well into August. The week gone by seems to be a blur! I did enjoy my reading, did some quilting and decided I wanted to try knitting some socks, which I have never done before. It is proving to be challenging but I am following a class on Craftsy and hope to get a pair of socks of sorts out of it. Mind you the price of wool! It would be cheaper to buy a new pair really!

As we start to think about facing into Spring I decided to bite the garden bullet and get my veggie garden removed because it has got beyond me. So no more potatoes! But I will get a small custom built one in its place where I can grow beans and a few small things. However….. the cost for doing this is what I think is exorbitant. In the realm of thousands.  If I had to ever buy a house again I’d have no garden area! It costs money over the years for sure.

What I read last week:

Well as it turns out – two Australian authors in the mix this week, and all three library books.

What I am reading now:

This week a review book and a New Zealand author. I enjoyed her debut novel a couple of years back so willing to take a punt on this one.

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And of course two audiobooks still on the go, both of which I am loving. The Switch and The Jane Austen Society.

Up next:

One or both of these.

 

Last Week’s Posts

The Friendship List.  Susan Mallery

July Reading

Go – Ask the Bees

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Review

A Drop in the Ocean. Jenni Ogden

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Published: She Writes Press
Date: 3rd May 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 251
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars          Add to Goodreads

On her 49th birthday, Anna Fergusson, Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert, arrives at an unwanted crossroads when the funding for her research lab is cut. With her confidence shattered and her future uncertain, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. However Turtle Island, alive with sea birds and nesting Green turtles, is not the retreat she expected. Here she finds love for the eccentric islanders who become her family; for Tom, the laid-back turtle whisperer; and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. But Anna finds that even on her idyllic drop in the ocean there is pain, and as the months fly past her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love.

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I was first attracted to A Drop in the Ocean by the cover, which just goes to show the power of a good cover! However it has a lot more going for it, than just a pretty face.
This really is the story of Anna, a research scientist who has just lost her grant for further research and because of it everything grinds to a stop. Or… you could say it all begins for Anna. Challenged by this she takes a big step and on a whim goes out to Australia to an island on the Great Barrier Reef. She is kind of a recluse, hands off kind of person. In the past she has been happy to head the research but not be involved with the face to face human interaction that her assistants have done. She opted for this kind of life rather than be involved with kind of emotions that real people bring to the table. She has one good friend and is not close to family, i.e her mother. How she changes is at the heart of this story, and it at times brought a tear to my heart.
The island is involved with research on the local turtles, and if you enjoy nature and these amazing creatures, you’d enjoy this story. The setting is rough and beautiful. The islanders most certainly are eccentric, but they sure have heart. Among them is Tom, the person gathering the information on the turtles. He is ten years younger than Anna, and when they become close this is a challenge for Anna, how could he want her. However Tom has a secret too, and that could even be more of an issue for him.
Anna’s area of research is Huntington’s Disease. I first came across this when reading Carrie Beckort’s Kingston’s Project. It is a terrible genetic disease and for the families involved heart breaking. I loved how Jenni Ogden explores this in her novel with such compassion, bringing a very real human face to it. I also liked learning of the ways they endeavour to prevent it being passed on to another generation.
There is an epilogue at the end, it is twenty five years into the future. The epilogue updates the reader on what has happened for the beloved characters and how they have chosen to go forward in their lives. Very satisfying!
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Jenni Ogden was a neuropsychologist and is now writing. This is her first novel although she has written some non fiction books. She lives on the beautiful, remote island  Great Barrier off the coast 
of Northern New Zealand. She also has a second home in Northern Queensland. In her youth she spent time with turtles and helped with the tagging. 
Find her on her website: Jenni Ogden    or on Twitter:
There is a giveaway open on Goodreads for A Drop in the Ocean until May 7th.  Open to US, CA, Aust, NZ and more.