Month in Review

January Reading Wrap

Total books read this month: 11

New to me authors:

Farid Almed

Top Book for January

Every read was really good. All books that are “me”.  Hard to choose a top book but for its exploration of heart transplant issues and a good story with great characters this one just tops the others.

Book cover

2021 Reading Intentions  January Update.

Read What I Truly Enjoy. Enjoyed every book and only read what I wanted to read.

Use the Library and only buy when I need to. Library : 5

That is a satisfactory amount. I did buy some for later reading because the library doesn’t have them. The Residence was one on Kindle that I bought – forgot to check if the library had it.  Oops that would be 5 books bought!!
Read Own print and Kindle shelves:  3 paperbacks off my own shelf which is good. Would have liked to read at least one Kindle one!

Incoming Books for January


From NetGalley

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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 what a week. I enjoyed watching the pomp and pageantry of the Inauguration of the 46th President of the USA. It was on early morning in my time zone, and while I usually wake early, that day I was so annoyed to wake later than usual and just miss the swearing in of Kamala Harris but got there for Joe Biden. Because I’ve read books by both of them I felt I knew a little about them.

After all that and jumping out of bed out of sleep I was rather dopey for the rest of the day and didn’t get much done!  I had lots of favourite parts but especially loved that gifted young woman poet.

I did get quite a bit of quilting done this week even if my reading was slight!

What I read last week:

I finished listening to an audiobook and read one review book. Slow reading week!

What I am reading now:

Book cover

And I’ve just started listening to Barack Obama’s book A Promised Land.  It will be a long haul but enjoyed the first few  hours so far.

Up next:

book cover

Last Week’s Posts

Heart Gifts.

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

book cover

Published: Lake Union
Date: 12th February 2019
Source:  Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley


The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles – and The Victory Garden gave me, the reader a taste of that.

Emily – the main character was someone I came to really like and admire. She is a middle class woman with a Judge as a father. Her mother is very cognisant of class and was rather a sad case to behold. Because they had lost their son in the first year of the war they kept a tight hold on Emily and would not allow her to help out in the war effort. And the question of them is – when the chips are down “Does family matter?”

When Emily turns twenty one though all that changes and she sets off to become a land girl. The work is hard, but she is willing to give it a go and in doing so forms meaningful relationships with women of lower class and means.

The story moves along at a good pace and I found myself picking up the book happily at any chance I had. I loved the journey Emily had to take to find herself and her place among community. And she is supported by a very likeable group of people. I don’t want to give away all that happens to her, so no more.

If you enjoy books about the English countryside, people banding together in hard times and a heroine who ‘comes of age’ then I think you’d enjoy this.

Goodreads icon



The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

book covr

Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 20th February 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 329
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley

Goodreads callout

In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.

Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.



In the Tuscan Child Rhys Bowen has written a novel with a dual time line. One part is set in Tuscany during World War 11 time, where Hugo – an English pilot is forced to eject from his damaged plane. Badly injured he is helped by Sofia – a local young woman. She hides him in bombed monastery and carries food to him when she can.

As well we meet Joanna – Hugo’s daughter, in 1973 returning home to Langley Hall on the sudden death of her father. She finds some items amongst his things that lead her on a journey to Tuscany to find answers to her questions.  From her we receive a picture of Hugo as an old defeated man, out of touch with his daughter. Yet in the mid 1940’s we see a completely different Hugo.

Mystery surrounds what went on in that small village during the war, how did Hugo and Sofia not end up together?  The town has one story but is that correct? Joanna finds welcome from some in the village but not from others. Her hostess is lovely and soon has her sampling all kinds of wonderful Tuscany cooking. Yet there seems to be something not quite right going on, a bad force at work.

While Joanna finds the son of Sofia still alive – Renzo, it takes awhile for him to warm to her, however soon they are working together to find the answers Joanna is seeking about her father and his cryptic note he tried to send Sofia.

I enjoyed the Tuscany setting and the description of the food and people. Sofia was a warm, courageous young woman, Hugo a man changed by her, Joanna a daughter kept somewhat at arm’s length but still with a connection to her father, that makes her determined to find out what went on here in San Salvatore during the war.  And the day of reckoning for some is about to take place.