Book Connections

Family Features Strongly in my Reading

I love a book that explores family in all it’s depths and heights. This is my second post looking at family in books, I did one  back in August 2019, but with different books.These were all 4.5 to 5 stars for me and would love to reread them all.

book coverAt present I am reading and really enjoying this first one at the moment. Almost finished. The heroine lost her mother when she was very young and was brought up by a very ungracious aunt. Her heart is hungry for family. Jack is the Dad of two girls who lost their mother a year ago. One of the girls takes to Flora but Izzy, the other daughter, has huge issues and there is tension. The author’s intention I would hazard a guess at is to model really good openness and discussion within relationships.

 

book coverThis one explores what happens when a young aunt takes on the care of two nieces while there Dad is in a submarine and their mother is missing. And within the book there is mystery, shocks and an absorbing family story.

 

Book coverA single mother and her son and three children wo have been abandoned by their mother and their father is a wreck. Can a new blended family form?

 

book coverFor  the Guinness family a happy ending looks out of reach. Olly and Mae’s marriage is crumbling, their teenage daughter Evie is on a mission to self-destruct and their beloved Pops is dying of cancer. Their once strong family unit is slowly falling apart. Yes that is the opening and it sure just is a wonderful journey of family.

 

book coverIt is complicated family relationships at its best. It made me waver back and forth about all the characters – did I like them, did I agree with them, could I accept them for all their flaws? Final verdict is that I did hold them in my heart – wept at times and smiled at times. Cheered them on.

 

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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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I seem to be mostly on a romance reading kick at the moment. Not intentional but that’s how it’s rolling. A mix of old and new books.

Thinking of you all in the USA with the turbulence happening there.  Take care all.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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And just started listening to…

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe.  Jodi Thomas

Pre-Internet Reading

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Book Connections

The Best of Friendships

When reading I love coming across really good friendships, doesn’t matter who they are between. There is something both inspiring and wholesome about it. These are five books where I came across that kind of friendship.

 

book cover We watch the unlikely friendship of a ninety two year old woman – Mrs G, and Raymond a seventeen year old, develop.  And its a meaty friendship – genuine and full of caring. I loved both these characters and how they related to each other.  Mrs G is blind, she has lived a full life and has a lot of wisdom. But she is in need of help big time. Raymond is a lonely seventeen year old – one who feels he has never been “seen” or understood. Mrs G really sees him! Loved this relationship.

 

book coverIn One Summer in Paris we see the friendship between Grace – in her forties and a teen Audrey. Grace has come to Paris to escape the fact her husband has left her for a “new version” about the same age as their daughter! Audrey has come to escape the alcoholism disease that her mother has. Due to various circumstances they form a great friendship that helps both of them move forwards in their lives.  Loved the two of them, loved the book.

 

book cover The beautiful friendship that develops between Arthur and Maddy. An old man who visits his wife at the cemetery every day, and Maddy an eighteen year old teen who really is very alone.

 

book coverThere’s more than friendship in this book, but.. there is some examples of wonderful, positive friendship. Especially the one that develops between Gray and Diana. Gray is divorced and 34. Diana is about 40 and is really down on her luck. Diana ends up working for Gray who is a reasonably wealthy woman who needs some good organisation and Diana is your one. They both have big challenges in life but the bond that forms between them, moves each of them forwards and into what is likely to be a life long friendship.

book coverI’ve mentioned this book before in terms of an author I now want to read everything he writes. But here I want to mention the theme of friendship where it makes a huge difference in some lives. It’s between an old woman and a young child and the old woman and the little girls parents. I really loved seeing how it all developed.

 

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Book Connections

Anticipated TBP Books for 2020

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I always like to check up on favourite authors and what they might be publishing next. These five I plan on buying.

My biggest lookout would be the one coming out in June by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She doesn’t write a book every year so I always look forward to the year she does. It doesn’t have a cover yet so here is the place holder. I have already pre-ordered a hard copy from Amazon! Right now it is cheaper than the paperback and the same as the Kindle price!

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When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal. 

Another author I’ve come to like is Sarah Morgan and her next one comes out in April.

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I couldn’t find any information about what it is about, but that’s okay. It says on the cover “Who says you can’t choose your family?”  Good enough for me. Will pre-order from the Book Depository.

K. A. Tucker – a Canadian author has become a favourite of mine in the last few years. This one is the continuation of her previous book The Simple Wild.

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Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.  
But! It sounds like it’s not all a bed of roses.  Publishes in March. Again will pre-order from the Book Depository.

Fiona Lowe is an Australian author and I really liked her book Home Fires, so I have had my eye on her next one. It publishes in February. I’ll buy it locally, I resisted requesting it for review. I want the actual copy to read and put on my book shelf.

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Australian author Fiona Lowe returns with a juicy family saga, set against the backdrop of Victoria’s high country, about unforgettable characters tangled together by a wealthy inheritance, secrets and betrayal.

Lastly one from Anne Bogel. I’ve already pre-ordered this from the Book Depository.  It publishes in March.

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We’ve all been there: stuck in a cycle of what-ifs, plagued by indecision, paralyzed by the fear of getting it wrong. Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it doesn’t feel like something we can choose to stop doing. It feels like something we’re wired to do, something we just can’t escape. But is it?

Anne has some strategies for us in making the small and large decisions.  I predict it will be worth reading.

I am sure very soon I will have another list of five publishing this year that I want. Do you make a list of authors you keep an eye on, for what they are publishing next?

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Book Connections

Five Christmas Book Reads

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A Christmas book is usually uplifting and enjoyable – not too much angst, and who doesn’t need a book that takes us out of the everyday humdrum.

book coverEvery Time a Bell Rings is a perfect Christmas season book, which of course can be read at anytime of the year as well. It explores fostering children and the difference it can make to young people’s lives. Belle and Jim are such children and grow into people who in turn become foster parents. Yet they hold special wounds that need healing and love is the answer. Long, patient love. The book has a link to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” which I haven’t seen but will look up. However it did remind me a little of Scrooge’s adventures in parts. A very satisfying, heart warming read. If you haven’t read an Irish author Carmel Harrington book you are missing out. No, I haven’t found her in NZ shops, but the Book Depository UK is where I go when I want a book from that part of the world.

book cover Coming Home for Christmas was a really delightful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A mother returns home finally after many years of mysteriously disappearing. Her husband Luke does not know what had happened to her and thinks possibly she is dead. The story of her re-appearance is  both hard and wonderful at the same time. I loved both the characters and the story. Perfect Christmas read.

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Christmas in Winter Vally is set in Texas and told with all the panache of a master storyteller. I loved this story by Jodi Thomas and it was also a delightful read for leading up to Christmas. It has a whole cast of characters that are very loveable and made for great reading. A favourite.

book coverChristmas From the Heart  is a very focused Christmas story and does centre around Christmas and the idea of giving.There is a Scrooge like business man and a rather pushy generous Christmas woman determined to bring Christmas cheer to those around. It was my least favourite Christmas read. It just felt a little too forced and the love triangle a little unreal. However those who love to revel in a Christmas Hallmark movie most likely will enjoy it.

book cover This book has a wonderful Christmas setting. I wanted to be there in a tree house among the snow and trees in Aspen – all warm and cosy looking out. That’s where the White family end up at Christmas time. Daughter Rosie is planning on a Christmas wedding – a little rushed according to sister Katie who would like to possibly see it stopped. And then their parents are considering divorce, only the girls don’t know that – yet. Its a wonderful, warm Christmas story of family with a fabulous setting.

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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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Well just a little reading accomplished. I have other distractions – its been a busy week, and satisfying. I have also got into some viewing – I am loving The Crown. I like how they are portraying Charles but I think they have the Queen too severe. She has more of a sense of humour. I have also started watching Virgin River which is based on Robyn Carr’s book series. Loving it and of course we have a kiwi actor playing the lead role of Jack which is a plus. I think he suits the role.

I don’t have a smart TV. I kind of am reluctant as I dislike replacing usable equipment with the latest. However I did need to purchase a new iPad earlier this year and I find it great for watching Netflix on, so I don’t have to go to the bother of linking up my computer via a cord.

What I read last week:

Sarah Morgan writes a wonderful Christmas appropriate story.
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What I am reading now:

Not too far into this one, but have been immediately pulled into it.

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And I did start up listening to my audio again – The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I think its a little dark for this time of year so I have sort of just not picked it up. But getting back to walking will help with that. I stopped walking because I was getting such a pain in my hip – not a bad hip but muscular. Been to the physio and have been doing some good stretching which is really helping.

Up next:

This review book which publishes in January.

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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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Well I know! It’s December, so hard to believe. My reading is still slow but still getting a little done. At present I am watching cricket on TV and writing this post. Other things are getting in the road of reading!

Hope you have all recovered from your Thanksgiving celebrations and had safe travel if you had to take transport.

What I read last week:

Only book I read this week, and it was very good. Because it was a rather noir mystery/suspense I decided to leave Celine by Peter Heller to a little later.
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What I am reading now:

So I chose this lovely Christmas book that has been sitting on my shelf for a few weeks waiting for the right time.

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And no advance with my audiobook, I sure need to pick it up again and get going with it!

Up next:

I intend making a choice from one of these according to my mood at the time….

I’ll pick after finishing my present read.

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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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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

How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan

book coverPublished: HQ
Date: 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 462
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating of book

Goodreads callout

Lauren has the perfect life…if she ignores the fact it’s a fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just had a teenage personality transplant. Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but it’s… Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she’s determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.

Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?

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Well what can I say! I loved this book for sure. It has all the elements I like. It is always hard to slot this kind of book into a genre. I’d like to say Women’s Fiction, which says to me it has a woman’s viewpoint, tackles some relevant to life issues and often contains a bit of a romantic element. All of which this book has in spades. But… then lots of readers don’t like the term Women’s Fiction, for very many valid reasons. So whatever!

This book is a departure for Sarah Morgan as she usually writes straight out contemporary romance, and I like her books in that genre too. However this is more and I salute her for it, and I wish with all my being she writes more books in this vein. Just some of the one liners alone will bring me back at some point to read this book.

It is about family, what goes right in it and what doesn’t and how when it doesn’t the choices and challenges it throws. Its about sisters, I loved both of them. Its certainly about mother/daughter relationships and that was an interesting exploration. I fell in love with Miss Teen Mack and her difficulties. Its about love strained, love lost and love found. And … secrets!

It is a stand alone book, so go for it.

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