Book Connections

5 Books – Bookclubs, Libraries, Bookshops

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I am a sucker for a book that has a bookish word in the title. Generally I am not disappointed either.  These five were 2019 reads, although a couple of them have been around quite awhile.

book coverThe Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick. Martha the main character works at the library, used to write stories with her Grandma and there is a bookshop owner and bookshop as well. I enjoyed this story, liked Martha as a character, her quirkiness and the way she changed.  My review.

 

 

book coverA Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski is set in  Australia. It is about four women who belong to an online book club. They are invited by one member to join her for a few weeks in the Blue Mountains. They have never met in person before, each one is either retired or about to retire.  They each have to bring a book that is going to reveal to the others something about themselves. They take a week to read and then discuss each one. The books mentioned are real books, and bring out information about each character. They have very thoughtful discussions. My first read of this author and I will certainly look for more by her.

book coverFive women meet each month to discuss a book. Their friendship is important to them, even if some are tinged with tension. Each women faces a challenge as the story unfolds and each responds in a way unique to her. And through all the trials friendship carries the day. Each chapter begins with a quote from a book that is rather relevant to what happens in the chapter. I cheered them on, recognised and understood the crises  and rather admired their steps forward in their lives.

 

book cover I thought this might be another happy book about a bookshop, however I was warned in the forward by someone other than the author that this was a sad book, and so it is. It was an excellent listen on audio, I don’t think I’d enjoy just reading it. Set in a small village in England it is a tale of taking a risk, being a little naive about what might be a success and how to run a small business. Florence Green has a kind heart, but that cannot be said for another woman in the village who ruthlessly sets about being Florence’s and the bookshop’s downfall.

Book coverOMG I loved this book, I just was so annoyed when it ended, the best kind of annoyed though. I have read this every spare minute I had, I love this kind of book magic that draws me into a story. It often surprised a laugh out of me. It often had me worrying over the outcome for characters. There are some serious issues that are explored.

Zoe brings her own brand of book beliefs to the blue van while Nina is busy holed up in a hospital bed. (Remember Nina from The Bookshop on the Corner). Zoe brings her own brand of being a nanny to three “lost” children and she is a wonderful mother to her own.

Set in Scotland – in a big house like a castle. At some point I hope I’ll hear this on audio because I am sure it would be wonderful with the right narrator.

LOVED IT.

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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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What I read last week:

Enjoyed them all.  The Book Club was written almost 20 years ago but I had to read it with a title like that and written by Mary Alice Monroe.

What I am reading now:

I am reading this one because a reading challenge I am doing needed an animal in the title. I had already bought this so it fitted. I loved her books Girl in Times Square and The Bronze Horseman so I decided I’d try out this, first in a series. I see Paullina grew up in Russia and now lives in the USA.

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Listening to…

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Up next:

Review book and new to me author.

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Last Week’s Posts

Sunset Beach   Mary Kay Andrews

The Little Teashop on Main   Jodi Thomas

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#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Into May

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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 all had a good week. Mine was. I did a variety of things like visit with family, visit with friends, went to craft night with friends, went to a Quilt show – read and may have done some basic housework!

What I read last week:

I finished listening to this audiobook – it was a reread, I loved it the first time and loved it in the audiobook version as well. So good

I also read

What I am reading now:

I am listening to this second one in this series. Listened to the first one awhile ago but should be okay.

I am reading a review book.

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Up next:

One from my recently bought shelf.

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Last Week’s Posts

The View from Alameda Island   Robyn Carr

April Reading in Review

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Review

The Cafe by the Sea Jenny Colgan

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Published: William Morrow
Date: June 27th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages:416
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating:
4.5 stars             Add to Goodreads

Years ago, Flora fled the quiet Scottish island where she grew up — and she hasn’t looked back. What would she have on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, where no one will let her forget the past. In bright, bustling London, she can be anonymous, ambitious… and hopelessly in love with her boss.

But when fate brings Flora back to the island, she’s suddenly swept once more into life with her brothers — all strapping, loud, and seemingly incapable of basic housework — and her father. Yet even amid the chaos of their reunion, Flora discovers a passion for cooking — and find herself restoring dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour: a café by the sea.

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So on the one hand you have hot, muggy, dirty London – squashed into a tiny flat, eating food from a microwave and doing a small paralegal job. Or… you could be back home on a small Scottish island in the far north. That is the dilemma for Flora in The Cafe by the Sea.  She has escaped island life, her mother was always so keen for her to be educated and to go forth and experience the world, not the small world of the island.
However Flora finds herself back on the island when her work calls for someone who knows the local area well and some law as well. There we find her back with her family, in a tough hardworking family farming environment. They are a family who deeply mourn the loss of a wife and mother gone before her time. They’ve let things slide, and Flora isn’t too sure of her welcome back – even for such a short time – because she may have gone too far in what she said at her mother’s funeral.
I can only say I adored the setting of the island, the scenery described, the wildlife, the animals. If I were a travelling person its a place I’d love to visit. Joel, Flora’s boss sees the beauty of the place and the way Flora handles herself in this environment. Unbeknown to him Flora has been carrying a torch for him for a long time. But Joel has issues of his own and is a little overpowered by the strong family environment he witnesses when he visits to check up on the case in hand.
I loved all the characters, Flora’s Dad, her three brothers, her three year old niece and of course the dogs. And all the crusty people that make up the island, along with the wealthy new hotel owner – Colton, who wants to prevent a wind farm being built right in front of the hotel, but must woo these taciturn people to his way of thinking.
I was transported out of my own life into these islanders lives and I loved every moment of it. A very entertaining and delicious read!
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Review

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris. Jenny Colgan

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris

Published: Hachette NZ
Date: 23 rd February 2016
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 367
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
Rating
4.5 stars                   Add to Goodreads

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothes, richest chocolate: made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandose dames of Paris.

It’s a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime – to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate – and herself – than she ever dreamed.

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Up until now I have never really felt the desire to visit Paris. Yes I know of readers who adore Paris, but I have always been happy to sit back happily in my own chair.  What Jenny Colgan manages to achieve in her book The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, is to have me totally in love with the sights and sounds, food and… chocolate of Paris. She makes me want to experience it for myself.
I absolutely loved this book. It made me chuckle out loud, as well it had me feeling deep sadness for some of the characters. There’s a bittersweetness to it. 
As you would expect from the title of the book there is a lot about chocolate, and yes I admit to having to reach for some as I read!  However I am sure it would not have come up to the standard of Thierry, his workers, Laurent and Anna. I loved the whole chocolate making business – a work of art, and I am sure a delight to the taste buds.
I came to know and love all the main characters in this story. Anna – struggling after a freak accident who takes up the offer to try something new and fresh in an unknown city. Claire her mentor, who so many years ago met Thierry in Paris and had a whole wonderful experience there. What these two learn about their life as the book develops was precious.
Thierry the chocolatier – larger than life, well larger than most people too. He has the temperament of an artist, and he has a big heart too. There is his son Laurent – estranged from his father and the whole history of that relationship was fascinating. Then there is Alice – the woman Thierry loved last. At first she seems a little very strange. However I have to say I came to feel for her too.
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris was a delicious read. It had everything in it I could ask of a book. Oh, and the very yummy recipes at the end. And you guessed right – of course they all have chocolate in them!
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About the Author:
Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe, and Little Beach Street Bakery. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. Jenny is married with three children and lives in Scotland.
Find the Author:  Jenny Colgan on Facebook    Twitter