Book Connections

Backlist Titles Read in 2020

I mostly have read 2020 titles this year although I haven’t tallied up, but maybe next year I will track that. Sarah’s Bookshelves podcast recently included some backlist favourites and I thought – hmm what backlist books did I read this year? So I looked back, I read far more than five, but these five are ones I was really happy with. I haven’t included any audiobooks in this five because most likely will do an audiobook post next week.

All of these books you will have seen here before but these are the ones that made me happy.

book cover This is a YA book and I don’t read many of those but.. after reading one of her books I wanted something else from her.  It was published last year in May 2019.  Read in paperback and I own it.

4.5 stars. I loved the characters of Abbi and Noah and Jack. The themes of real friendship, first love, loss and resilience. It also gives insight of what it is like to be a part of a terrible disaster – in this case 9/11 and live on after. And what that living is like. Julie Buxbaum is now an author I’d read much more from. I first heard of her from the Modern Mrs Darcy book club.

book cover As it happens this is another YA book published in March 2018. I read it in hardback, borrowed from the library.

5 stars. A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mothers religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Absolutely moving book of a young girl finding her voice. While it might be for teens, this book is for any age, it says so much. As it happens I heard of this one on the Modern Mrs Darcy book club!

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Published in 2018, I read it in paperback and I own a copy.

4 stars. The news of her husband’s infidelity comes as a nasty shock to Jenny Reynolds, part-time building control officer and full-time mother – even though, to her surprise and embarrassment, her first reaction is relief, not anguish.

Very humorous, well written, very New Zealand setting. Enjoyed it as many laugh out loud moments. Interesting cast of characters. I just happened to pick this up at the bookshop on a whim. As it turns out Shelleyrae from Book’d Out had read it so that was incentive to take it off my shelves to read.

book cover Published October 2017. It had been on my shelf for awhile but I needed to read the books that preceded it first. I own a paperback copy.

4 stars. Set in Cornwall, lots of baking and Christmas and friendship. I usually enjoy anything by Jenny Colgan. Polly lives in a lighthouse on a small island. Part of a series. No one had to point me to this – I am a Jenny Colgan fan.

book cover Published February 2017. I bought it and own it in paperback from the Book Depository. Being a backlist book it was no longer on my walk in bookshop.

5 stars. A story about a group of neighbours and their friendships and challenges. Set in the West Coast of Australia. I didn’t need anyone to point me to Liz Byrski as I’d read her most recent book and wanted to read her backlist.

really enjoyed this story of neighbours and friends and the cycle of life. The people felt very real as did their struggles and challenges. Liz Byrski has a great gift for exploring the life experiences of the older age group. So much of it I could identify with.

What might be your top backlist book(s) of 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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Welcome November. Casting off fast! Last week turned into a good reading week as I got through another audiobook, due more to quilting than walking but I’ll take it! As well busy pottering in the garden, love going out every morning to see if seeds are up or if plants are still alive!!

We had a sisters morning tea (six of us, one had to travel a couple of hours so nice catch up) on Friday at one of my sister’s homes.   Oh her garden was just gorgeous. Can you hear the envy in my voice!! Came home and resolved to do more in mine!

Fingers crossed for this week!!!!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Just starting both these

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And listening to #4 in Tradd Street series.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

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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 keeping a head above water. This week I got some reading done and a bit of viewing – some on the TV – I am enjoying a British show The Trouble with Maggie Cole. I also watched half of the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice (to be continued) via DVD, the first of the new David Letterman on Netflix and the movie The Two Popes. All good viewing.

I can see the I will use Netflix a lot more now that yesterday I sorted myself with a Google Chromecast. Two of my sisters and brother and spouses gathered for a fish ‘n chips tea (evening meal, not sure what you call tea!!) Saturday at my brother’s place and so I saw their Chromecast set up and that’s all the incentive I needed. I had been thinking about it for awhile.

What I read last week:

I also finished listening to

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What I am reading now:

A long time book on my TBR. I saw her new book on NetGalley but wasn’t going to request it when I don’t know if I like her as an author, so off the shelf it comes – I picked it up at a Book Fair about four years ago.

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I am listening to

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Way Back Home.  Emilie Richards

Book to Screen

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Book Connections, Review

Five Audiobooks I Plan to Listen to Soon

I love a good audiobook. A well written book in the hands of a really good narrator is the ultimate. I am just looking ahead to what I want to pick up very soon to listen to. I am not sure which will be first, but it will be one from this list.

I already own Born a Crime so this one has to be up there to listen to very soon

I recently listened to #3 in this series and its made me put this one way up the list of TBL books.

Due to be published mid October and this is certainly on my soon to be listened to list. I love this series set on Mure.

I enjoy Sarah Morgan’s books and this is her latest and will be a good listen no doubt near Christmas.

I’d put this one into my TBR after seeing Elizabeth from Silver Reviews recommend. And it looks good and summery and well summer is advancing here in NZ!

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Book Connections

Paris Booked

To be truthful I’ve never felt the pull to visit Paris. If I visited France I’d want to visit the more country places. However I know many people just love the idea of Paris. Visiting it in books leaves me quite satisfied!

book cover I have just read this one set in the 1940’s in Paris and in 1985 in Montana USA. However mostly set in Paris and at the American Library in Paris. It felt very real and was worth reading.

book cover To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone. I found this a delicious story of an unusual friendship, mid life marriage crisis, the effect of alcoholism on lives and a dusty bookshop. And of course a summer in Paris. It included lost and found love and new love. Plus Sarah Morgan never fails to delight me.

book coverThe Paris Seamstress is a dual time line book, that ranges in setting from Paris to New York to Australia. One era is the war years – and the effects on France especially. The other era is one recent and modern. And through the years there is the mystery of family and friendships. It tracks the endeavours of one woman – Estelle and her love of designing dresses and other clothing. When she finds herself in New York her journey begins. It probably has the smallest Paris setting but still felt Parisian.

 

book coverI  enjoyed The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. When a book lover sees book or bookstore in a title we’re drawn to it. Sometimes it is worth the read, sometimes not so much. For me The Little Paris Bookshop was a joy from beginning to end. I was hooked by the dedication – do you always read the dedication – I always do!

I followed the journey of Jean Perdu with interest. While able to read the souls and emotions of others, he is so closed up himself. There is a room in his apartment that has been closed for a very long time. Why? A mystery. Jean himself is closed, he doesn’t like touch, he avoids things. This is his journey, how he again opens up to life and to living and loving. I think this has mixed reviews, so not for everyone but I loved the bookish aspects.

book coverI very much liked this book, as I do with most Jenny Colgan books. . 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.

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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 another week rolls by and into the last week of July! Eek it was cold this morning – heavy frost. I love that but Brrr! I got up a little late!  Soon the sun will be heating me up and I can turn the Heat Pump off.

I enjoyed my reading mostly this week. One listening thing that caught my attention was Gretchen Rubin’s podcast of Happier where she and Elizabeth, her sister, interviewed Ann Patchett about The Dutch House. It was a great interview and I loved how the author spoke. I might listen to The Dutch House I think at some point. Oh and they mention Trevor Noah who I really love too.

I shared five books this week with older characters and Deb Nance shared with me a list on Goodreads  she has made and so I share it here as a place for me to keep it and also if you like books like that you might like to browse it.

What I read last week:

I also finished this audiobook – set in both the USA and Kenya. It was very good. I see some reviews where they thought the narrator was poor. I thought they were both excellent and carried me away into the story.

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What I am reading now:

From the Library

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And I’ve also started listening to two audiobooks – one for walking and one in the house!

Up next:

I seem to have library books coming in at a very speedy rate so I think it may need to be this one as it is due back soon and someone else has it reserved.

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Last Week’s Posts

Musical Chairs.   Amy Poeppel

Books with Older Characters.

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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 okay. We still remain Covid19 free, except for at the border where there are cases with returning citizens. We sort of skate on thin ice as it could leak out, but so far so good. Actually it feels weird as we go about  our ordinary lives while the rest of the world continues to be very aware of the virus. I think maybe I should sort out some masks just in case. Anyway appreciating the freedom at the moment and hoping for the best.

“My biggest complaint” is my favourite loose leaf tea is no longer in the shops. Dilmah which comes from Sri Lanka. There are tea bags but I don’t like those. So using inferior tea now. I am guessing it is Covid 19 related.

Our political lives are interesting as we too have elections this year in September. There has been plenty to fill the news every day lately on that!

What I read last week:

Two quite different but both very enjoyable books.

What I am reading now:

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I am almost finished The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley, today or tomorrow I think. It’s been very good and so good on audio.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Meanwhile Back at the Library. – More Library Reserves

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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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Last week I visited around to see what everyone was up to. It’s always dangerous of course because books get added to the TBR. However it is so good to see what everyone is reading and doing. It makes me learn a little, enjoy your happy news and have my heart ache at the sad news.

So last week I looked up the map to see where Montana is exactly is in the USA and while I was there I looked for New Mexico. I did stay for about 10 months in Washington state, but my geography is somewhat hazy. Anyway there you are Montana, sitting right up on the border next to Washington.

And of course so many different books, while we are all readers we have such a wide variety of tastes and that is just great, pointing to our uniqueness in reading. Keep on enjoying those books.

What I read last week:

I had a great reading week, not a lot of reading but the book I read I loved. I finished also listening to a very enjoyable read by Jenny Colgan.

What I am reading now:

From an Irish author I’ve come to really like

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And I started listening to this one, it’s very long so I was putting it off, it will most likely take me all of July to get through it but it will be good.

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Up next:

 

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Last Week’s Posts

Daring and the Duke. Sarah MacLean

Half Year Favourites of 2020

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Book Connections

Half Year Favourites 2020

Some books are just so readable and satisfying, I watch anxiously where I am in the book because I don’t want it to end. When I am going “oh I am only at 31%” then that’s the opposite and I know I don’t really like it.

Here are five I really liked so far this year and gave 5 stars. One New Zealand author, two from the USA, one British and one Australian.  That wasn’t planned but that’s how it worked out. Two were audiobooks and  two I have in paperback. One was a review book from NetGalley. Oh and I have Becoming in hardback as well as audio!  So if I could only save five books from the first half of 2020, these are the ones!

All these authors would now be auto reads/listens now.

book coverIt’s no secret I love this series and this book was filled with the beauty and compassion Nalini Singh brings to this pay/changeling series.

Book CoverSuch an inspiring memoir and narrated so well by herself.

 

 

 

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Jenny Colgan brings very likeable characters and her settings are part of it. Excellent on audio.

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A complicated family story that just glued me to the book.

 

book coverLoved the characters, the garden, the writing.

 

 

 

 

 

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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 keeping okay, so much all going on these days.

Today I am off out to my first venture since Covid into a cafe to meet up with a group of friends. Up until now I had had my groceries delivered but last week I ventured into the supermarket myself.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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Just started listening to…

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Up next:

Not sure, will be something from my own shelf, but which book is as yet undecided! 

Last Week’s Posts

Five Audiobooks Awaiting

Brave Girl. Quiet Girl. Catherine Ryan Hyde.

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