Book Connections

At Times Something Comes Last!

These five books have “Last” in their title. Sometimes its not so good to be last, but sometimes it can be a blessing too!
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Truthfully I don’t know what or who the last guard is! However I am going to say it refers to Anchors who are part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. And to the two main characters, both Anchors. Now the critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it. So Canto and Payal Rao are the last guard I do believe.

Last Guard is the most recent in the Psy Changeling series and I am always in awe of how Nalini Singh weaves a story that is engaging and has characters I love. Her books, and this one is a great example, are rich and deep. Full of wisdom about life and speaks to our world today.

5 stars.

book cover Well I do know what the word last means in this book. The last bookshop standing in war torn London during the Second World War.

Grace finds herself in London as the war begins. While she isn’t a reader her mother’s friend pushes her into a bookshop job with Mr. Evans. It’s an old dusty place with books everywhere. Before long Grace finds she has a place there and slowly builds a love of books and reading.  4.5 stars

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What happens one last night in London during the bombing that changed a lot of things? It takes most of the book for us to find out.

The characters are well developed and I really felt for them. I felt saddened by some of the war events, and chuckled at some of the gentle humour at other times.  There are secrets, some betrayal, love that endures and heartbreak. Well really this book has so much to offer.

5 stars

book coverDuring World War 2 it was only allowable that men would be the correspondents on the ground in the war zones.

In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.

And guess who is there when it really counts. Yes I will tell you – the women!

5 stars

And where possible I like to include one I haven’t read yet, but sits awaiting. I’ve read some good things about this book.

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. So I am guessing that’s the last thing he told his wife, to take care of his 16 year old daughter from a previous relationship.

I’ll have to read it to see what unfolds.

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Book Connections

Five Five Star Reads.

We are at the end of June, the first six months of the year completed. I decided to look back at the books that just struck a chord with me. I will have had more than five five star books, but out of those what just made my heart so happy.  I am a contemporary fiction reader mainly, so those kind of books are more likely to make this list.

Next week I’ll choose five 4 star reads from my list of the 67 books I have completed so far. That will be way more difficult as I have a lot of them!  Audiobooks will be another week, although they are included in the 67!

book coverI read this back in February. It is by Australian author Fiona Lowe. I thought the issues she explored, and the eclectic cast of characters and the challenges they faced were very relevant. One I will most certainly reread. When I can still remember a book I read back in February its a good sign!!

book coverDifferent but so entertaining. I thought ‘really weird’ as I began but soon I was really cheering for all the wacky characters. Plenty of family drama and little surprises. Sunshine and her daughter Auri are just beautiful. Quincy and Levi giving them a shout out too. The whole town actually and the mystery of the missing deputy – priceless. Really looking forward to reading the next one which publishes soon.

book coverWell this is a new tack in a series I’ve loved and I love the new adventures. It’s full of great characters, political shenanigans, (notice the cover – The White House) police procedural and family love. Look I’ll say it simply – I am addicted. I wanted to avoid putting in my top five because I am so addicted, but … it has to go in!

book coverAnd my top historical read of the last six months. It is a beautifully written story of wartime London and the people who faced such hard times during all the bombing that went on. And a bookshop – don’t forget a bookshop!

bookcoverI tossed up between this book The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews and The House Guests by Emilie Richards. But because I have just reviewed the latter five star read I choose The Newcomer. I like most books when someone is on the run with a child in tow. ( I was going to write toe but didn’t seem right until I got the visual). Anyway there is mystery and suspense, eclectic characters and just a good read.

Okay, would love to hear from you of one five star read from the first six months! I might add to my groaning TBR pile!

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Book Connections

Women’s Contribution in War Times

Last weekend in New Zealand and Australia we had remembrance day for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers. ANZAC  Day. This year the special focus was on the role of women. So I thought this Friday I would connect with some of the books that have helped me appreciate the role of women in war.

While I sometimes feel like every second historical book is set in one of the wars, when I looked back over the last couple of years reading to find books, I hadn’t read that many!

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I was drawn to this book because of the bookshop aspect, however Grace not only looked after a bookshop during the war.

At night she helps out patrolling the streets, putting out fires and helping injured people. Her kindness and compassion changes hearts and inspires the ordinary person in the neighbourhood to keep going.

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In this story we meet Louise who becomes a Gunner girl.  Her role was to identify German planes. The women were not allowed to actually fire the gun to shoot the plane down. Their male companion did that!

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While this book is not set in war time we do meet a woman who worked for the Secret Service from London.  She carried out missions into Europe that were dangerous and she stands for many women who were spies and carried important messages. Mind you soon as the war was over she was ousted out of the secret service. An example of the prejudice of the time.

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In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.

In Danni and Ella we meet very gutsy women. Danni a photographer and Ella a writer. They see and deal with life threatening circumstances.

And of course they have to use devious means to get to where the war is happening because they are not “allowed” by the men to go to such places.

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Nina is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.

The planes they flew were the worst but these women were skilled and brave.  This book would be my top book out of these five.

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Review

The Last Bookshop in London. Madeline Martin

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 6th April 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and drawn curtains that she finds on her arrival are not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.

Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.

The Last Bookshop in London slowly draws the reader in (me) and then in a little while it has me fully hooked.

It is a beautifully written story of wartime London and the people who faced such hard times during all the bombing that went on.

Grace finds herself in London as the war begins. While she isn’t a reader her mother’s friend pushes her into a bookshop job with Mr. Evans. It’s an old dusty place with books everywhere. Before long Grace finds she has a place there and slowly builds a love of books and reading. 

At night she helps out patrolling the streets, putting out fires and helping injured people. Her kindness and compassion changes hearts and inspires the ordinary person in the neighbourhood to keep going. She supports others and when the time comes she is moved by those who reach out to her.

Grace is ordinary doing extraordinary things. A quiet heroine. I am sure there were many such people in those times. 

For those you like reading about WW2 and bookshops will find that this book is for them.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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It’s Monday! What Have You Been 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. I had a good week of sunshine and some Autumn tidy up and cleaning. Today I have rain, but as we haven’t seen any for weeks I am hoping it will revive the garden a little.

What I read last week:

A great week for reading. Loved them all. So pleased A Bad Day for Sunshine sat on my shelf for so long so now I don’t have to wait too long for #2 in July.

What I am reading now:

My next book for review.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Recent Books for Review

The Path to Sunshine Cove  RaeAnne Thayne

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#IMWAYR

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 to another week of reading. For me it is beginning to feel like Autumn and I know so many of you are ready to go right into Spring!

What I read last week:

I throughly enjoyed Just Like That and Picnic in Someday Valley. Light Over London was good but a little slow moving.

What I am reading now:

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Picking Through NetGalley

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