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.

 

 

 

book cover

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

book cover

 

 

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

 

book coverLoved the characters, the garden, the writing.

 

 

 

 

 

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=9c9b10dbdecdfb9300b0

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

A quiet week, lots of rain! And then we met our shortest day yesterday. Yay.

Well a little bit of a kerfuffle this week because we found out our quarantining at the border has been not that stringent and then two people from the UK were let out with the virus without testing on compassionate grounds, and there tended to be some large holes in their story. Hmm things then turned to custard!  We’ve had more coming in too as more NZers come home. So I am back to being cautious because I can’t trust what is going on at the border.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

book cover

And still listening to and enjoying Five Hundred Miles From You. by Jenny Colgan. Enjoying catching up with little cameos of past characters in the series.

Up next:

book cover 

Last Week’s Posts

Book Delights Cost.

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=9c9b10dbdecdfb9300b0

Review

Book Delight Costs!

Kindle books are great and I do appreciate them. However there is nothing like an actual book in hand for me. This past week there has been a feast of books landing at my door. Finally the post is moving from international sources. However… maybe I am not so delighted about other aspects on reflection.

My one problem was – which one to pick up first to read! And what a great problem to have.

book cover This one came from the Book Depository UK. This one was a bit of a shot in the dark because I had seen so many good reviews for it. See my next book – postage is free although I guess may have a little added to book cost I bet. Cost of book $20 NZ. Best of bunch cost wise.

book coverDance Away With Me I had pre-ordered from Amazon USA months ago. And then to be sent my CC had to be changed to pay for it and whatever I did, didn’t work. So.. after about an hour I decided to cancel it and re-order. Bingo – back in business. And imagine my surprise when it turned up on my doorstep a week later. Of course the postage cost was a big ouch. No… a huge ouch. How did that happen. Just looking again. No wonder it came in a week. It cost way more than the hardback book itself. Did I tick a wrong box!! I do need my head examined. Just pretended to buy another book. No! No box to tick, they just put in the one way of sending. Oh well a bit wiser now! Okay I’ll tell you $30.98 USA. That’s about $55 NZ. Looks like I may have to part ways with more than my money. Bye bye books from Amazon by post.

book cover Alpha Night I had pre-ordered here from online shop Mighty Ape. There was a lag because the publisher was having trouble getting things transported. I know because I asked them on Twitter! Anyway it landed on my door on the same day as Dance Away With Me. Cost of  courier  was I $3.90. Out of the five books that arrived this week, this was the one I am choosing to read first. It’s one of my favourite series and well Nalini Singh lives in NZ.

book coverThe following post My Pear Shaped Life was sitting there. This is by an Irish author that I am now obsessed by and this is her latest book. I’d ordered it from the Book Depository UK months ago but there were problems and then they couldn’t post the version I had pre-ordered. So then… I ordered another one and after a long lag this one began its journey across the world. Just so happy to have it now to even look at happily. Cost of book $30.51 NZ

book coverJust when I thought book life couldn’t get any better this one turned up yesterday. From Mighty Ape NZ so cost $3.90 by courier. Cost of paperback in NZ dollars was $36. Books are expensive here. That’s pretty normal for a paperback. $30 if you are lucky to buy it on a slightly dropped price.

 

So all books in the hand but leaving quite a big hole in my book budget. Lucky for me there are not many books this season that I really want as actual books.  Well as far as I know anyway! But post has turned out to be somewhat a revelation to myself!

Why don’t I buy these from the walk in local book stores? They don’t carry books like these, except maybe a small shelf of Nalini Singh. Very toffee nosed readers in NZ.

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=9c9b10dbdecdfb9300b0

Book Connections

Books in my Future!

book cover This one I pre-ordered and I have an email from the Book Depository saying its on its way. Its by Irish author Carmel Harrington who has recently become an auto buy for me. I don’t really care what its about as I anticipate it’ll be good anyway. It says on the blurb something about perhaps size doesn’t matter. When this book will arrive? Who knows? I am not sure if we are allowing online stuff from overseas coming into the country. But I guess it’ll arrive sometime this year!

book cover I liked the first book I read by this author and I will certainly buy and read this one. Here is a bit of the blurb “In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.”  Paranormal – fantasy.

book cover I’ll need to wait until August for this romantic suspense book. There are big but very quickly read. This is #24. I haven’t read them all but this is #2 in the Sacramento books and I read the #1 of that plus the Cincinnati books.

This one publishes in June and I’ll buy it. This is the USA cover although mine will be the dark black international one. This involves a wolf and an Arrow. Can’t come soon enough. The Pay Changeling series is one of my big favourites in case you didn’t know by now!

book coverDoes this one need any introduction? Romantic suspense usually at its best with Nora Roberts. This one comes out in May, I may buy the audiobook of this one depending on the narrator. I don’t need to know what its about, I know it will be readable for certain.

 

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89d

Book Connections

Books by New Zealand Authors

Today I am sharing five  contemporary New Zealand authors I have read or intend reading. New Zealand has many authors although I confess I read only a few of them. Mainly that’s because of my taste. Another day I’ll share some of the previous NZ authors I’ve enjoyed. Some of the books have a NZ setting and some are set elsewhere.

book cover

New Zealand author Nalini Singh is a favourite of mine as you may have guessed. I have come to love her paranormal series and I’ve read a couple of her contemporary romance.

A Madness of Sunshine  is set in the South Island of New Zealand, is a murder mystery set in contemporary times. I have read it and really enjoyed it. Published 2019.

book cover When it all Turned to Custard by Danielle Hawkins is one  I own and bought after I read a review by an Australian blogger. I haven’t read it yet but its in the queue. It too is set in New Zealand. Hmm I just see a recommendation on the back by one of my favourite Australian authors – Fiona Lowe who says ” An entertaining read full of humour, heart and soul.” I should move it up the list. Published 2019

book coverSoraya Lane has written both romance and women’s fiction. Its the latter that I enjoy. The Spitfire Girls is set overseas and is an insight into  the courageous contribution women made in both England and the USA towards the WW2 endeavours. These women were willing to put their lives on the line and take on piloting planes to where they were needed. And… they were very successful.

Soraya M. Lane does an excellent job helping us get inside the lives of such young women. Often they were up against ‘the establishment’ and the attitudes and prejudices of the populace.  Published 2019.

book coverWhat a honey of a book. I was originally enticed into this book by the US edition with its warm tones on the cover, however as I read the book I came to love this cover too. Sugar is a treasure and the amazing ‘family’ of people she gathered around her was endearing and satisfying. As it says on the cover – a novel of honey, love and manners.

So The Wedding Bees – awesome. Loved Queen Elizabeth 1 and 6. Witty, warm and charming is one way to describe this book. It does explore some important issues in a very gentle way. Well done Sarah-Kate Lynch. Raising my glass to The Wedding Bees and the Buzz-off Bride.  Set in the USA. Published 2014 Unfortunately Sarah-Kate has moved on to writing scripts for TV shows so no recent books!

book cover Finally a book I bought this week. This is by Farid Ahmed about his wife, the Christchurch massacre and his journey to forgiveness. All royalties go to St John Ambulance. As the one year date for this awful shooting and I heard about this book o the radio, I was immediately interested in reading it. Farid’s wife was killed in this massacre. I believe the book will build my understanding of the experience of another New Zealander.

 

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89d

Month in Review

February Reading Wrap Up.

Banner

Total books read this month: 9

New to me authors:

Karen Hawkins
Alix E Harrow. *
Brenda Janowitz.
Sofie Ryan*

Ones I’d read again marked by a *

Top Book for February

Fantasy and most likely in the realm of literary fiction.

book cover

Looking forward to reading in  March

Incoming Books for February

Purchased

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books Purchased

book cover

Linking up wit Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Banner

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

I had a good week, summer is in full swing now. I had my first summer swim this last week. I went into the city and with a friend we crossed the harbour in a local ferry and spent the day at a popular bay. It was one of those perfect days.

What I read last week:

A fun romance, Fijian/Indian Bollywood style and set in Auckland, NZ.

book cover

What I am reading now:

Different but interesting. I am half way through, some things revealed now so wondering where it will vere next.  It’s a bit of fantasy, time travel or door travel and story.

book cover

Up next:

book cover 

Last Week’s Posts

Books and Authors from Childhood

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89d

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

Well a good week, hope yours was too. Family time, reading, quilting, watching sport, a little bit of housework and gardening. Nothing too strenuous!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I heard so many good things about this book I had to buy the Kindle copy awhile back. Sexy cover!

book cover

Still listening to The House on Legare St and moving through it.

Up next:

I hope I like this, even if I don’t, this cover is totally gorgeous in hardback. I’d keep it just for it.

book cover
 

Last Week’s Posts

An Every Day Hero.  Laura Trentham

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89d

Book Connections

Series and Authors I Treasure

Banner

As readers we all most likely get hooked into series we love. I have quite a number of them and another day I’ll post some more. Most of them other readers have hooked me into. I’ve just read a post and I’ve ordered #1 in a cozy mystery series from the library. It’s not my wheelhouse of reading but… I just might get hooked.

Outlander Series.

book cover Back in 1994 it all began for me. I was teaching and I can’t remember how I chose this book, but I did. On the staff another teacher was hooked too and we often talked about that Scottish Highlander Jamie. It’s time travel at its very best.

I have read everyone in the series since. Some of them are very long but I’ve loved them, sometimes skipping a few gory parts. There are eight books so far and number nine is in the wings “Go Tell the Bees I am Gone.” This series is outstanding in audiobook form and I have reread some of the books this way as well.

I once went to the city and listened to Diana Gabaldon speak after one of her books came out and she was visiting our country. She was very interesting as a speaker.

The Troubleshooters

book cover The Troubleshooters is fast paced romantic suspense. The characters carry on from book to book, with one character mostly to the forefront.  There are about seventeen main books in this series – I have them all. I want to do a reread at some point.  Navy seals – what’s not to like!

I learned about this series from readers on the Susan Elizabeth Phillips readers’ board before it disbanded and went to Facebook. There were always great recommendations there and I really expanded out into USA authors through  that.

Suzanne Brockmann has moved on to film making I think and no more books in recent years.

Virgin River

book cover Once I was stymied what to read. Nothing satisfied me. I’d read a little online about Virgin River and I thought well I’ll take a chance. This was pre-Kindle days. So I bought a second hand copy I think on the Thriftbooks website. The rest is history. I was hooked and ever after that I bought every one that came out. Mostly via Amazon I think

It’s set in a small town in North West America, and each book explores the lives of new characters while maintaining some of the previous ones. It’s romance with sometimes a little suspense thrown in. Another series I’d happily reread. And I am enjoying the Netflix series of it.

I loved it and since then pretty much have read everything Robyn Carr since.

Shenandoah Album Series

book cover

There are five books in this series and I loved them all. They are what I guess are Women’s Fiction. They explore various issues and have very memorable characters. This series started me on my love of quilting.

 

I have reread most of them via audiobook which is really excellent via this format as well.

I had discovered Emilie Richards as an author myself by picking up one of her books at a book fair. Not one of this series but it started me on the road of looking out for her books. Now I wouldn’t miss anything she writes.

Pys/Changeling series

book cover The Pay/Changeling series I was slow to take up. I read others comments on the SEP board and was semi tempted. I thought it would be too hot for me. I saw a copy of one of the books in a staff members bag and I asked her about the series. She lent me some of the first ones.

I was hooked. I loved these shape shifters and the mysteries and evil they had to contend with. Nalini Singh has built this world so well. I didn’t think I’d like shape shifter books but this series is just so much fun, plus heart warming and heart reaching.

I am still reading all the new ones now as they come out. I want to do a reread!

 

 

So what would be one of your favourite series?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89d

Review

A Madness of Sunshine. Nalini Singh

book cover

Publisher: Hachette Australia
Date: December 5th 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Banner

One chapter into a Madness of Sunshine I thought to myself “Nalini Singh has nailed it!”  What has she nailed? The setting – it is so west coast South Island New Zealand. Reading into it I got that same feeling within when I fly in from overseas and see the hills and I know I am back in “my place”. As well as drawing for us the picture of the atmospheric west coast in all its beauty she is also able to give us the darker side of it.  I also loved her use of Maori words, often she doesn’t give any translation – although  in other places where it might be more difficult to intuit the meaning she gives a little added hint.

It is a murder mystery, a thriller really. There is a murder and some possible cold cases. I hate being in suspense, I am the kind of reader who will peek at the ending, but this time I didn’t. I changed my mind a few times about who it was. Just when I made up my mind something was placed before me to  doubt that decision.  This is not a fast paced action novel but rather a painstaking step by step sorting through the gathering of details. With the type of murder and the culprit finally exposed I just thought it is so true and reminded me of recent court cases that have taken place in recent times here in New Zealand. Chilling and yet real.

Two of the main characters are in this small town with secrets and dark backgrounds of their own. We have Will who is a police officer who has come to this small west coast town. I very much liked his caring approach to those he was there to protect. He was an excellent detective but had a case go wrong on him. Anahera has returned to her home place after her husband has died. She escaped from Golden Cove many years ago. Her life experiences have contributed to making her into a strong, compassionate woman. Slowly Will and Anahera work together to bring peace and justice to this twisted situation. And they learn to trust again, forming a very positive relationship. But note, the relationship is not centre stage, it’s the murder and mystery that takes that.

It’s good! I do prefer Nalini Singh’s paranormal novels but … she has a talent for this kind of a story. I highly recommend it.

As an aside I was interested and delighted to see  New Zealand bookstores placing this book on their front tables. It has had good publicity on the radio as well. Nalini is a New York Times best selling author – but because paranormal is not widely read she goes under the radar. Her writing is so good she deserves to be to the forefront. I hope books like this raise her profile here!

A great review for this book can be found over at Caffeinated Reviewer – for the audiobook version. I notice Nalini Singh even included a quote from it in her recent newsletter.