Book Connections

Book Family Complications.

Family is a rather ubiquitous theme in books, as a reader you meet it whether its in the title or not! However I find it is endlessly interesting.

Family Reunion I’ve just  read Family Reunion  It’s set in Nantucket. There is Eleanor who is the grandmother and lives in a wonderful old house on the island.

Her grand daughter Ari is with her spending the summer after study. She has just broken up her engagement. She loves her grandmother and they have a great relationship.Then there is Ari’s parents and uncle. They live off island but visit. They provide quite a bit of the conflict.

I liked the two main characters, and the plot moved along at a nice pace, there was always something happening – mostly in a quiet kind of way, but still eventful. Plus most of the characters grow as the book develops.   4 stars.

book cover I  just finished reading this backlist book by Emilie Richards – Rising Tides. It follows on from Iron Lace which I read back in 2017 but never moved on to this one. It was first published in 1997. Aurore has died and all relevant people have been called to the cottage to listen to the will in Louisiana.

Complicated family totally, with racism, tension violence and huge secrets. I don’t know that I like this family that much! But they do get surprises and that’s for sure and maybe some answers.

It isn’t a favourite by ER for me, but I am still finding myself wanting to find out all the sordid family details and what each will do with them. It is a 4 star rating for me.

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One I read way back in 2016. Echoes of Family. This is a story of family, of the burdens some carry from their past, of living with a mental illness. And that from the point of view of the person with the mental illness and those who love and support them and angst for them. It gave me insight and enabled me understand and open my heart to those who have the burden of such illness.

I like anything this author writes but she hasn’t published anything recently.

This was a  five star read. Keeper shelf.

book cover A 2020 read – Just An Ordinary Family. I always love to showcase this Australian Author. She writes a fine story.

Any book that makes me want to keep coming back to pick it up and read is a winner in my view. It 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.

4.5 stars. Keeper Shelf.

And one from my TBR shelf! Hana Khan Carries On. Surprising to me on my actual TBR print books I could only pick out one book that seems to be family complications oriented.

It centers on Hana but involves her mother and a mysterious aunt and teenage cousin which draws Hana into a long-buried family secret. Published 2021.

Looking forward to reading this one soon.

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Book Connections

Booked and Hooked by Debut Novels

I’ve just finished a debut novel that was excellent and it made me think of debut novels I’ve read before or plan to read. Looking over them it makes me either think I could reread some of these or go looking for any more by these authors.

book cover This is that 2020 debut novel. It is a very insightful novel about mother/daughter relationships, friendships and really finding out who you really are, and fighting that people pleaser syndrome. It’s told in the context of the Indian culture, but really has quite universal application. That said, I really liked the look into the culture.  Yes will want to read this author again if she writes another.

book cover I have mentioned Ten Thousand Doors of January before – its sort of fantasy, imaginative, magic and coming of age story. Yes I do want to read this author again and her next book comes out in about a month. I’ll be reading it.


book cover This one has Canadian/Muslim/Indian culture vibes and is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve mentioned it before but this time just noting its a debut novel that published 2019. No sign of another book as yet, but I’d read it if she did write another, in the meantime this is worthy of a reread at some point.

book coverEvvie Drake Starts Over was another 2019 debut novel I really liked listening to the audiobook version last year. I can’t see any sign of another novel but I’ll check again because I’d certainly read another by Linda Holmes. The characters and situation was well explored.


book coverFinally an author’s debut novel that is still sitting on my TBR shelf – A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza that explores an American Indian Muslim family. This one published in 2018. I need to get onto it this year.

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Book Connections

Jane Austen Spin Offs.

For a reader who is not that into Jane Austen I seem to have read or plan to read ones by authors who obviously have a fondness for Jane that I have not been able to engender within myself.

book coverThis one I have in audiobook and I plan to listen to it next. I’ve never read anything before by Natalie Jenner but have seen some good reviews for this book.

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I listened to Recipe for Persuasion  a little while ago and really enjoyed it.

book coverUnmarriageable is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Another audiobook in my play list all ready to go.



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I read Ayesha at Last in 2019 and really enjoyed it as well. Another Pride and Prejudice retelling.



book coverI read Pride Prejudice and Other Flavours last year as well and really enjoyed it. It follows up the other book I mentioned above by Sonali Dev.

It looks like Pride and Prejudice is the favourite book authors pick.




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Book Connections

Recent New to Me Authors I Have Added to My Want To Read More List

It is always a danger finding a new author I like! It adds to that TBR list for sure. I find new authors through other reader/bloggers, the MMD reading club and summer guide and just picking up a book at either NetGalley or a shop I think I might like.

book coverAlix E. Harrow.

I admit this is not my usual kind of read. But it sufficiently hooked me with its premise of doors opening into different worlds and its theme of safety versus freedom and choice. She has a new one this year and I will certainly give it a read to see if its really me.

book coverSofie Ryan.

I am not much of a cosy book reader but Sofie Ryan has managed to hook me with her cat Elvis (see I even remember his name without having to go look it up). I like the characters and so it is why I will go back and keep reading this series. Who knows after that!

book cover Emma Hannigan.

I loved this story about five women and their households. At first I thought it would be too many people to keep track of, but I soon slipped easily into the goings on of Kingfisher Road, and was cheering them all on. While it covers a few serious issues, each woman has secrets, there is a light warm hearted tone to the book which was so uplifting. The women vary in age ranging from 70 to 20, yet the supportive kindness they extend to each other is wonderful. Maybe everything wraps up a little too well but I am not really complaining. I think I have one of her books already on my TBR shelf which I must reach!book cover

Viola Shipman

I think its two books I have now read by Viola Shipman and I like his writing. I find its just the right kind of characters and warmth that I enjoy, with a little history at times. Will certainly explore any backlog. Must earmark them.

Uzma Jalaluddin

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Uzma is a Canadian author and this was a debut novel I was introduced to by the Modern Mrs Darcy summer reading guide 2019. She hasn’t written another one, but I hope she does and I’d certainly read it. This book was a revamped Pride and Prejudice story, not that I care about that. I just liked the Muslim aspect and the pair involved int he romantic story. So hope she writes another, I’ll buy it and read it.



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Book Connections, Review

Five Diverse Books I’ve Read in 2019


Reading can take us beyond what we experience from people and events and culture immediately around us. These books did that for me. I think after the mass shooting we saw happening in the mosques in Christchurch New Zealand, I challenged myself to be more aware of picking up books that helped me explore the wondrous diversity existing in our world.

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Ayesha at Last is set in Toronto, Canada and is about Ayesha and Khalid, both belonging to a Muslim community. It’s a romance that is full of twists and turns, has humour and a tad bit of revenge which I always enjoy when a baddie gets his desserts. Ayesha and Khalid have a love/hate thing going on, plus interfering relatives to add to it. I loved the diverse aspect of the Muslim religion, how they live and what’s important to them. Not everything in the story is completely wrapped up for every character, which really just made it feel more real. I’ll certainly want to read another book from this author – this is a debut novel, with flavourings of pride and plenty of prejudice.

book coverPride Prejudice and Other Flavors is set in California, however it involves a high ranking Indian immigrant family and DJ Caine a chef who is a mix of Indian/African. While the two main characters have their share of pride and prejudice, the book also touches on the prejudices white people have towards those with darker skins. The many tasty flavours of Indian cooking is a large component. I enjoyed this read, it explores the roles in family, sibling relationships, illness (Trish the heroine is a neurosurgeon) and betrayal. It does have romance but its more mainstream than outright romance. My kind of read.

book coverThe story of three sisters, who visit India, in response to their dead mother’s request. Each has a secret or challenge they are hiding from the others. While they have not been that close, due really to growing up circumstances, the trip eventually bonds them together. I liked the Indian setting and the cultural values shown. Some very shocking from my viewpoint. I liked though how the book highlighted and dealt with the issues raised. The only question I still wonder about is the sore ankle the eldest sister had. It went nowhere. Excellent on audio -the narrator did a very good job on the whole and added to my enjoyment of the book.

Book coverField Notes on Love has  two delightful main characters who come from diverse backgrounds. Hugo is bi racial and has throughout his life had to put up with slurs, but with the support of his siblings (one of sextuplets) Hugo has come through it well. Mae is the wonderful daughter of two Dads and with the side support of a special Nana she too is a well balanced individual. They both have dreams and throughout a week long train trip they will discover what that really means. It is YA and I loved the read.

Book CoverThe Stationery Shop of Tehran is partially set in Iran and shares the story of the coup of 1953. A prime minister who had been elected democratically was ousted by the Shah,and foreign powers! All because of oil! This story gives insight into a family life and the love of two people whose lives are disrupted by this event. It’s sad because two young people who love each other are separated by others. Who? Well it will take them many years to realise. In the meantime they have lived good lives but what might have been? I liked this story even though it was a little outside my usual.  I especially liked the insight into Persian life and cooking.


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.

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Not much going on here. Unseasonably warm for Autumn ending though. I don’t know where the days go to though, they pass so quickly. I am endeavouring to get out walking each day, in the spirit of do something for thirty days in a row and the habit might stick! I went to the city on Friday and then when I got home was too lazy to walk, so beginning the thirty all over again!

What I read last week:

Tell Me Three Things I absolutely loved, The Lemon Sisters is for a coming review, The Mother-in-law was very good on audio and To Night Owl from Dogfish was a really delightful middle grade fiction book that I fell in love with.

What I am reading now:

I am enjoying this slightly Pride and Prejudice twist, set in modern day Canada and about a Muslim couple. This has a different cover to the USA one, which comes out in June. Ayesha has a fondness for a purple hijab and purple notebook (she likes to write poetry)  so of course she was immediately accepted by this reader.

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I am listening to

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Up next:

A Family of Strangers is Emilie Richards book to be published in June, so happily will get into this one in the coming week.

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I’ll most likely read something else as well but it will be a mood pick. 

Last Week’s Posts

Have You Seen Luis Velez    Catherine Ryan Hyde

Are You a Podcast Fan? and surprisingly not many are, I discovered in the comments.

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