Month in Review

July Reading Look Back

Total books read this month: Eight.

New to me authors:

Tif Marcelo

Top Book for July

Mainly because its well written and I went along with the fun story. Light, fun reading. That said there were a number of books that could have filled this spot for July.

Looking forward to reading in August

Main Reading Goals for August

Ignore all I could and ought to read and just read what I feel like.

Read slowly.

Linking up with Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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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 all had a great week. Mine was good – I’ve enjoyed watching a bit of the Olympics but not much, mostly what is on the news. I am pleased it seems to be going off pretty well.

What I read last week:

Both great reads.

What I am reading now:

The Gunkle

Up next:

Most likely but not locked in!

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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 here is the last Monday in July!!!  My reading has slowed for various reasons. I look at the pile of new books to read and the pile of library books and sort of despair! I’ll never get to them all. So hard accepting my human limitations for not being able to accomplish all I want to read.

I had a good week, some bad and some good weather. Some good accomplishments in quilting and another list made of what I want to do this week! A visit to a football game of Mr. Seven whose skills are sure developing, a visit with a friend, walks in the morning and one yesterday on the beach. Oh and of course a bit of reading fitted in. You know – same old, same old but always new!

We closed our travel bubble with Australia ( meant no quarantine either side of the Tasman) but now that Covid has spread in some States in Aussie, our PM has closed borders for 8 weeks. I know my sister will be disappointed because her daughter and two young sons were coming over to NZ for some time with her in August. Oh! And I got my first Covid vaccine – I was getting really annoyed that they are so slow rolling it out, but then I got a text to make an appointment – same day I got one. Happy. Second one mid August. We are only using Pfizer at the moment.

What I read last week:

My sister had lent this to me, and having held it for awhile I felt I ought to read it! I enjoyed it, although I thought a bit of the plot towards the end in France was a bit over the top. Still it was a page turner.

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I then moved onto Rachel to the Rescue. This had a great plot idea and I liked the character of Rachel. However I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t jell with this book, and it was a DNF. I think it was the tone or chirpy kind of rom com. I have been tripped by other books that are similar. Peculiar to me I think as many others have enjoyed such books.

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What I am reading now:

I am really loving this. It’s one of those books I read every line. There are books I skip paragraphs but with books like this, not a word is left out!  And that’s odd because it sort of is romantic comedy but it has an entirely different writing style that just hooks me in.

When Stars Collide

Listening still to the Rhys Bowen The Twelve Clues of Christmas and enjoying it very much. Have some non – fiction on the go too, which is very slow as I look up meanings of words and write notes!!  The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram – Sandra Maitri.

Up next:

I have this one from the library, due 11th August but I can’t renew as there is someone with it on reserve. So this will be next. Besides I have the next one from NetGalley and I think it publishes very soon. I won’t read it by its publishing date but I need to be moving forward!

A Pretty Deceit 

Last Week’s Posts

Incense and Sensibility.  Sonali Dev

Cozy Mystery Series

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Recently Bought Books

I have too many good books to read! I have those library books mentioned last week. Plus it seems to have been a big buying month! Sometimes the bug hits. It is going to be awhile before I get to these but I am so wanting to.

The GunkleA gay uncle has to look after his niece and nephew for the summer. I heard about this on a book podcast and I really want to read it sooner rather than later. I haven’t read Steven Rowley yet, I did intend to, so I can start with this one.

When Stars CollideI have recently bought this one too and I really, really want to read it soon. SEP’s latest romance between an opera singer and a back up quarterback. I am a die hard fan. Out of the five, when I get a chance this will be the first one.

The Player Next DoorI also am a fan of Canadian author K. A. Tucker and I need an author with same initials as me for a challenge. Well I don’t have an A. but I consider the K and the T reason enough!  It is a romance as well. I didn’t even really read what its about, just the author’s name is enough!

Don't tellDon’t Tell is the first one in Karen Rose’s romantic suspense series. I’ve read some of the later ones, but I want to go back and start the series. I probably won’t get onto it for awhile but I have this one and the second one. However the latest one comes out early August and I suspect I’ll read that one first when it publishes.

The Book ClubThis was close to an accidental buy. I had put it in my wish list after what Irish blogger/reader Trish had to say about this on IG or Facebook. Can’t remember. It was sitting in the list beside a book I intended to buy. I must have accidentally put this one in the cart and saw it only after I’d paid. I didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of changing it, so I left it. It will be good I am sure, I haven’t read anything by the author yet. Was published in June 2021 by Irish author Roisin Meaney. Well I mean, look at the title!!

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Romance Books : Reading Joy.

I was once a very avid romance reader, although now its women’s fiction that has taken its place. I happen to like a happy ending kind of book, and at least a promise of happiness.

These are some of my favourite contemporary books that  I have copies of sitting on my shelf, mostly from the past. I still read the occasional recent romance but nothing that really fully satisfies.

Since its February and I missed out on the Valentine theme last week I thought I’d take it up this week.

book coverLong before Virgin River became a Netflix series I had read Virgin River and… all the books that followed. Quite a few as three came out every year for awhile. Robyn Carr writes a good story and there was lots of romance along the way.First Lady

I’ve also read all Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, every single one of them. I think First Lady would be my favourite. The First Lady escapes and journeys around the country with a Dad and two daughters in a motor home. SEP does have a new romance out this year and of course I’ll buy and read it!

book cover I loved all Judith McNaught’s books, and this is one of her contemporary romances. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years along with a number of others written by her. I have no idea now about it so should really reread it to see if I still love it.

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Well this is one by Jessica Bird.  Later on she writes as J. R. Ward. I found all her Jessica Bird books and loved them. Another one I should reread to see how I feel about it now. I think this was her debut book, according to someone on GR. I am not sure but anyway I have them and they still sit on my shelves.

book cover This one is more recent and is YA and contemporary romance. K. A. Tucker has hooked me with a number of her books and I loved this one when I read it in 2019. I have to admit I could easily read it again now, and its why I saved it on my shelf.

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Five Favourite Books from Second Half of 2020

Today I am sharing five star books from July to December. I had some more five star books but these I think are my top ones. As it happens they were all published this year.  I think they also tell me about what I like to read.  Book covers link to Goodreads.

My first half of the year was here.

book coverThis series just happens to be one of my very favourite series. I have the next one pre-ordered on Kindle already. It is a romantic suspense/detective series. However I love the characters and their development along the way. It just has me hooked. This last one had such a fantastic (to me) ending and promise of where the next book is going.

I am not alone in loving this series although only two people I follow on Goodreads are with me in reading the books.

It has a 4.74 rating on Goodreads from 1,318 ratings. Published in October.

book cover I loved this book, worth every big fat dollar I paid to get a hardback copy. I loved the characters, the serious issues covered and that Wren, she was just baby delicious. And sprinkled through was Susan Elizabeth Phillips smart, funny voice. It is a romance, women’s fiction blend. I always buy her books in print. Her next book is an addition to a series of hers and will be straight romance I am guessing.

On Goodreads it has a 4.06 rating from 5,892 ratings. At least 15 other readers I follow have read it as well. Published in June.

book coverFabulous story of a grumpy old woman with a tough back story. It’s also a tale of her grandson, some Antartica penguins and a few scientists. It touched my heart and made me smile and shed a small tear near the end. Beautiful and uplifting.

It has a 4.18 rating on Goodreads from 3,024 ratings and was published in March 2020.

book coverAnother addictive read in this series. Plus really evil men, but balanced by wonderful family and friendship and love. It’s not like the “good” are perfect, but they make you believe in goodness and all that is great about human kind. So many great side characters hope to see more from.

On Goodreads a 4.32 rating from 1431 ratings. Published in August 2020.

book coverI thought Australian author Fiona Palmer has written an amazing story, that is very touching and had me totally engaged with her characters. The issues she explores in this book were especially topical and well thought out. One of the issues she explores I have never come across in any other book. So wonderfully and compassionately told. While I am not a reader who likes backwards in time sections, this one totally aced it and was perfect.

On Goodreads it has a 4.19 rating from 169 ratings. It was published in August 2020.

As next Friday is Christmas Day and the following Friday is January 1st and First Book of the Year, Connect Friday will take a two week break and be back on Friday the 8th of January.

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Writers as Characters in Books

These are mostly books with authors who have lost the ability to sit down and write! I’ve just finished Beach Read and it put me in mind of other books I’ve read where there is an author who is finding the writing daunting, or has to get away to finish the book.

book cover In Beach Read we have January – a romance author who just can’t get the deadline book written. She has lost her father in the last year and has had another nasty shock as well and she really isn’t dealing. She goes to the beach house her father has left her, and finds out her neighbour is Gus, a literary fiction writer and they went to writing college together. And so the tango begins.  Emily Henry will eventually get January to the place where she can write, but how she does that… well I can’t give that away.  I don’t think this book is a beach read, or an out and out romance, more a mash up of sorts!

book coverAnother book I’ve just recently read also has a romance author struggling to write. Kaylee has just recently experienced a loss and takes off to Virgin River to write in a quiet spot where she can hopefully write. Will Virgin River be able to work that kind of magic for her?

book cover Another by Robyn Carr, this time a stand alone from quite awhile back -1999. One of my keepers. This has just not one author in the book but a group of friends who are authors and all struggling in one way or another, but especially over the death of a friend. I feel a reread coming along.

book coverI really enjoyed this book, it was excellent. Again it is about four writers. One of them has her life fall apart and the other three come to her rescue. To help her they co author her book that must be written to meet a deadline. Of course no one else knows that. Each chapter starts with a wonderful little quote that are gems in themselves. It is extremely well written and once started fully engages the reader. As I was reading I found plenty to enjoy and ponder on. Another keeper on my bookshelf from 2009 and I need a reread of this one too.

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This book back in around 2001 had Molly Somerville her loves her career as the creator of the Daphne the Bunny children’s book series but the rest of her life could use some improvement. Well all the books by SEP are on my keeper’s shelf and so here it is. The fun thing about going back to relook at some of these is to see who has read it and what they thought on Goodreads about it, readers I now follow. We aren’t all in agreement but that’s okay. Another one I need to reread. I have this in paperback but originally I listened to the audio by Anna Fields which of course is a gem in itself.

 

Any other books you’ve read that have authors in them as characters? Let me know I might love that kind of book!

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Road ‘n Rail Trips in Books

book coverA family journey across Europe in a camper van. In doing so they are guided by letters from their Pop who died and left them a bundle of letters to guide them. I loved this book, the family – the journey – Pops and his letters. I read every word – no skimming. Its warm, funny, emotional and real. I am not a “let’s take a trip” kind of person but this was so inspiring. Loved the map at the beginning. Loved The Things I Should Have Told You.

book coverAn unexpected road trip takes Greta from her home in Dublin to the bright lights of Vegas, she begins to question if you need to be the perfect size to love yourself. Or to fall in love. Because sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped... I loved the road trip and the characters in My Pear Shaped Life. Great read.

First Lady I read this a number of years ago and have reread it too. The First Lady escapes the White House and eventually teams up with a man and his two young girls in his care. They travel across the Heartland of the USA. I am not sure where that is but some of you will know! This is one I love to reread. But I can’t find it! Amazon tells me I purchased it in 2008. May have lent it out and never returned? I will have to re purchase! Dang it.

Book cover Most likely YA but Field Notes on Love is still very worth reading. An uplifting and delightful story about one sextuplet and his desire to be his own unique self. It’s about a girl with a dream and two dads. It touches on prejudice and racism gently but in a way that opens the readers heart.  Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

The Women Who Ran Away I haven’t read The Women Who Ran Away but Trish from Between My Lines hooked me into this one through her review. So its one I’ve added to my TBR and also will be a new Irish author to try out. Trish felt she was road tripping along with the women.

 

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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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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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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:

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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:

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Last Week’s Posts

Book Delights Cost.

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