Book Connections

Additions to my Bookshelf

In the last week five books have arrived in the letterbox. Always a nice surprise because there is a two to four week lag from the time I order to the time they arrive from England. So a surprise! By then I often forget what I have ordered .

To Scotland with LoveI have been meaning to try this series, and as their are quilts somehow involved a reason to give it a go. There a middling reviews for To Scotland with Love but might as well try it out.

Booked 4 MurderKatherine from I Wish I lived in a Library says this was a fun beginning to this cozy mystery series. As I was ordering books this one slipped in! Booked 4 Murder.

A Gentleman in Moscow

So many good things said about A Gentleman in Moscow. Did think of listening to it and may do that in the future as well.

Miss AustenMiss Austen has been in my Goodreads TBR for awhile, ever since Mary from the BookFan blog alerted it to me. I like an Austen book of some kind every so often.

The Hope Chest

I want to read all the back list of Viola Shipman, so added The Hope Chest to the basket. Now that I have it and read the back blurb I may just put off reading this one for awhile. I see one of the characters has ALS or known here as MND – a progressive degenitive disease. As one of my sisters has this, might be a little close to the bone at present.

Have you read any of these? If not, is there any one of them you’d pick up to have a look at? Titles are linked to Goodreads.

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Book Connections

Authors’ Back Lists

Sometimes a new to me author makes me want to think about what the author has written previously and I like to think about what I could read of theirs.

The GunkleI’ve been reading The Guncle by Stephen Rowley which is exploring some serious issues, mainly that of grief and loss but with some humour and great compassion. And the main character is so engaging.

It’s made me realise I’ll need to read another by Steven Rowley. I think my next one will be The Editor.

And then here are other authors who I have come across in recent years and am well into reading their back lists.

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I’ve now read quite a few by Karen White but I have some to go and I’d like to keep reading anything she has written and at the moment I am working my way through the Tradd St series, but I have others of hers to read as well.

 

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I have read the recent books by Viola Shipman but there are a couple of previous books that I’d like to catch up on. The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest.

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When I read my first Katherine Center book How to Walk Away I knew I’d want to read anything else she has written. I have read her recent ones and have a few of her back list still to go. So I have chosen my next audiobook by her and it is called The Bright Side of Disaster. When I like an author I don’t even usually read the blurb – I just pick it up and read!

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I picked this book by Liz Byrski, from a local bookshop based on the cover as you do! It brought me the happy acquaintance of a new to me author. I have since read I think at least one or two of her books and she does have a few back list books. I picked up three of them cheaply from the same bookshop recently. She lives in Australia and I think is of British origin. She writes women’s fiction and often has an older character in her books. She has a new one coming out in September I see. 

When I read a new author I don’t always start to note their backlist books. I guess it’s a good indication if I do, that I really liked their books. In the past I’ve found  author sand read everything by them. 

Who is an author that you have at present that you want to read all their backlist books?

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Review

The Clover Girls. Viola Shipman

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Published: Harlequin – Graydon House
Date:  18th May 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls—inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom—until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing challenges they never imagined as teens, struggles with their marriages, their children, their careers, and wondering who it is they see when they look in the mirror.

Then Liz, V and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily with devastating news. She implores the girls who were once her best friends to reunite at Camp Birchwood one last time, to spend a week together revisiting the dreams they’d put aside and repair the relationships they’d allowed to sour. But the women are not the same idealistic, confident girls who once ruled Camp Birchwood, and perhaps some friendships aren’t meant to last forever…

The Clover Girls is a thought provoking read. Viola Shipman writes about three girls who met at summer camp over the years and formed a rich friendship. But did it stay that way?

Each of the girls has their own life challenges in childhood and adulthood. Now three of them are back at Camp Birchwood faced with how they have become within themselves and with each other.

The story explores the theme of friendship, what helps a friendship survive and what brings about the demise of one. As you read it will have you reflecting on summertime camps (if you went to one) the friendships you have had along the way in life and what has happened to them.

The book has quite a bit to say about marriage, family, following dreams, staying true to yourself and really living. What truly matters?

An enriching read, a medium paced novel that leaves time for entering into the lives of each of the women, seeing the light and the dark, and the way each makes a journey that counts.

A story with some strong messages about women, life, politics and of course – friendship.

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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 did get some good reading done earlier in the week and then…. I fell down the rabbit hole of quilting.  It’s really like books, I see all these patterns and fabric I want to get into, and of course I can’t do it all… but I want to! Rather like wanting to read all those books I just don’t quite make it to.

What I read last week:

Had a good reading week. Loved all the books completed.  The Ellery Adams book was audio and very good in that format. I’ll just have to keep going with the series as I will with the Debra Webb books. It had that fast pace I was needing.  I love women’s fiction but sometimes I need a change and that was perfect.

What I am reading now:

The Australian/NZ cover of this book. I am really enjoying it.  For review.

The Last Night in London

Up next:

I enjoy this Australian author and the book has come in from the library.

The Jam Queens
And I will start listening to
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Last Week’s Posts

The Summer Seekers.  Sarah Morgan

Another Generation of Readers

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Book Connections

Recent Books for Review

While I am endeavouring to keep review books to a minimum, if they are already on my 2021 list to read then it’s not easy to say no to them. And for these ones of course I said yes!

book cover The latest women’s fiction book from Rachael Johns – Australian author.  Published early May.

Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.

I always enjoy her books so looking forward to reading it.

book coverThis is by Emilie Richards and publishes in July.  Its about two families, two women and lots of secrets. I don’t need to know anymore, Emilie Richards is an automatic read for me and I was delighted to have this copy as part of a blog tour.

book coverAnd a new book by Sarah Morgan and this one publishes in June. And of course I am very happy to read it for a blog tour. I like her books.

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

book coverI’ve listed this book before, it was already on my reading list for 2021 and so when I got an invite for the blog tour for The Clover Girls I might have danced a little inner jig.

It is about four women and their stories as they meet up again after knowing each other years before.

book cover I haven’t really read this author but the title has “quilting” in it so of course it was hard to resist, and I didn’t.

When Lark Ashwood’s beloved grandmother dies, she and her sisters discover an unfinished quilt. Finishing it could be the reason Lark’s been looking for to stop running from the past, but is she ever going to be brave enough to share her biggest secret with the people she ought to be closest to?

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Book Connections

Looking at 2021 Books March to April.

I like to look ahead to books I want to read, when they are publishing  and whether I’ll buy or reserve them at the library. I know I said I’ll buy less books this year, but it could work the other way!

These are just five I have in my sights, however I have more!! I love checking out books to be published by authors I love!

book coverThe Summer of Lost and Found is another book in Mary Alice Monroe’s Rutledge family and the sea turtles of course. I see this one acknowledges the coronavirus which is interesting. I will definitely want to read it.   May publication.

book cover I’ve become a fan of Viola Shipman’s books and so of course The Clover Girls will be an automatic read. It seems to be about four girls/women and their friendship.  May publication as well.

book coverAnother automatic read and it looks like this one will be great too, with it’s exploration of family what happens to embryo’s that are ‘abandoned’ because the mother has died. Even better Under Southern Skies publishes in April for audio and Kindle. Haven’t decided which format yet.

book coverSurviving Savannah is an exploration of the ship Pulaski and a family that boarded it. It seems a couple may have survived. History professor Everly Winthrop hopefully gets to discover more. And the reader of course as well! Publishes March. This one I have pre-ordered.

book coverEven though this is partially set in WW11 I can’t pass it by. Looks like a dual time line. It appears to have grief and resilience mixed in there, and I am sure lessons to be learned. Besides it’s written by Karen White!  Publishes in April.

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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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Wishing everyone in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving. I know many of you won’t be able to have a big Thanksgiving celebration, however I think the important thing at this point is for you and all your family to stay Covid free. And here’s to 2021 in a years time being far better.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And still reading my non-fiction book by Kamala Harris and I also hope to finish my Tradd St audiobook this week.

Up next:

 

Last Week’s Posts

Fugitive.  Emilie Richards

My Non-Fiction Reading in 2020

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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.

 

 

 

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

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

 

book coverLoved the characters, the garden, the writing.

 

 

 

 

 

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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, Review

Books Recommended by Others

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When I read a book review by someone and I know that my reading taste intersects with theirs in some ways I wonder if I should try it and I sometimes do, depending on whether of course there is space on my reading calendar. Here are five books that I did pick up. Links go back to the reader’s original review.

book cover I read a book review of this on Mary’s blog Book Fan and while she didn’t say a lot about this debut  novel she did capture my attention about it. So I requested it from the library and it was a very happy match up. So much so I even ended up making it a 5 star read. What a wonderful story. I loved Dan and Ellie and Phineas (the pheasant) and Ed. Beautifully written, quirky, delightful. This is a love story about nature and people who see the world slightly differently. Often I chuckled out loud. I loved much of the imagery – like rock and limpet! It’s about doing what really matters and being what really matters. This is a book I’ll long remember. Thanks Mary because I have not seen it mentioned anywhere else. I will want to read Hazel Prior again.

book coverMy niece Amanda recommended this book to me as it was one of Jojo Moyes books she really liked. It is historical fiction and tells the story of a group of women travelling from Australia to England to join the men they had married from Britain during the war years. All I can say is they were very courageous and the trip was not easy. Some got telegrams mid sail saying they were not wanted and they were put off the ship to be returned home at the next port. At times I found It dragged for me, but on the whole I found it insightful and well worth the read.  I am already a Jojo Moyes fan but only picked this book up because Amanda had enjoyed it.

book cover This book was first recommended by Elizabeth at Silver Reviews and then Debbie from The Reading Frenzy backed that up. When I needed a book for a reading challenge for a book that included food I decided now was the time to read it. It was perfect. Full of delicious smells, scenery, baking. Yum. Wonderful characters, a great sense of family and tradition and lots of little pieces of wisdom thrown in.  I have since read another of Viola Shipman’s books and have another sitting on my TBR.

 

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It is no secret that Laurel Rain enjoys reading Anne Tyler and I’ve seen her reading and reviewing her books. Last year after reading her review for Clock Dance I went out and bought it. And just this week I read it. It’s a slow moving wending way of a book through the life of one woman Willa and the people who surround her. After the rather hopeless husbands and sons she has encountered she finds a very different group of people, who I think prove to her family is not necessarily about blood. I really liked her vision for going forward. I will certainly read Anne Tyler again.

book cover At first I passed this by on NetGalley but then I read Katherine’s review over at I Wish I Lived in a Library and I saw her ” I really liked it”, I knew I had to take notice.  So I headed back to NG and downloaded it. I am just a little ways in but I can tell that I am going to enjoy it. How much? I am not that sure yet, but it is a very positive start. I’ve also seen others since saying it is a good read, so stepping out in faith and hope!!

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