Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Grand Design by Joy Callaway

The book is being released by Harper Muse on May 17, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: She has one last chance to prove she chose the right course for her life.

In 1908, young Dorothy Tuckerman chafes under the bland, beige traditions of her socialite circles. Only the aristocracy's annual summer trips to The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia spark her imagination. In this naturally beautiful place, an unexpected romance with an Italian racecar driver gives Dorothy a taste of the passion and adventure she wants. But her family intervenes, sentencing Dorothy to the life she hopes to escape.

Thirty-eight years later, as World War II draws to a close, Dorothy has done everything a woman in the early twentieth century should not: she has divorced her husband--scandalous--and established America's first interior design firm--shocking. Now, Dorothy returns to The Greenbrier with the assignment to restore it to something even greater than its original glory. With her beloved company's future hanging in the balance and brimming with daring, unconventional ideas, Dorothy has one more chance to give her dreams wings or succumb to her what society tells her is her inescapable fate.

Based on the true story of famed designer Dorothy Draper, The Grand Design is a moving tale of one woman's quest to transform the walls that hold her captive.

Monday, May 9, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past two weeks because I'm still full on in a reading slump are:

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Scott Fuqua
Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones
The Finder by Will Ferguson
Singing Lessons for the Sylish Canary by Laura Stanfill
A Woman's Place by Marita Golden

Reviews posted this week:

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Review: Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald

Do you believe in fated love? What if the person you are fated to love dies before you meet them? Can a love that is meant to be combined with a special scientific phenomenon overcome the veil between the living and the dead? Lisa Grunwald's novel Time After Time, offers potential answers to these questions.

Joe Reynolds, a leverman for the railroad, is heading to work when he first spies a young woman who looks lost and out of place in Grand Central Station. Nora Lansing is coatless, luggageless, and dressed as a flapper despite it being 1937 and the midst of the Great Depression. A year later, Joe comes across Nora again still dressed inappropriately for the weather and the time. This time he offers to walk her home but along the way she disappears. He cannot get her out of his head. She will reappear again the following year. She is, in fact, a ghost and she reappears on the anniversary of her 1925 death in a subway accident when the phenomenon callled Manhattanhenge occurs. The fact of her death more than a decade before will not keep Joe and Nora from falling for each other. Together they learn the limits of Nora's existence, discovering that she disappears if she goes too far from Grand Central Station. Knowing this, somehow they build a life together within the constraints governing her existence, living and working in the Biltmore Hotel, shopping in the station stores, exploring the various places in the suprisingly vast city below the city. But the life they are living isn't a full one and eventually they'll have to make a decision about their future.

The premise of the novel was incredibly intriguing and Grunwald has done an amazing job bringing the 1930s and 40s in New York City to life. The descriptions of Grand Central Station and the city as it moves from the Depression to WWII and beyond are superb. The heady, starry eyed romance fades as the difficulties of Joe's life and obligations outside of the station and Nora's desire for more independence infringe on the fantastical semi-life he and Nora have built together. In this way the novel is more realistic than a romance, even if one of the main characters is a ghost. The novel's pacing is somewhat uneven, stretching out in the middle to feel overly long but the wrap up of the ending is brief and perfectly calibrated. This is meant to be an epic love story and although it doesn't quite live up to that, it will hit all but the most jaded the reader right in the feels.

Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for a copy of this book to review.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Review: The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams

Every now and again my book club decides to read a lighter book. This time around we chose Ellery Adams' cozy mystery start to the Secret, Book and Scone Society series. This is the very definition of a cozy mystery, amateur sleuths, not too grisly, and set in a small town. It's a pleasant read for book lovers who enjoy this genre.

Nora Pennington came to Miracle Springs to try and heal from trauma. She is scarred from surviving a fiery accident and keeps herself fairly closed off. When she moved to town, she opened a bookstore and discovered a special affinity as a bibliotherapist, connecting people with the books that they need to read, the books that will help them heal or move them through the problems they are pondering. When Nora meets a man on a park bench and tells him about the magical comfort scones from The Gingerbread House, she also tells him to meet her at the bookstore after he's eaten and she'll help him find a book. He never shows, and is later found dead, having been hit by the train that comes through town. Was it suicide or was he pushed? Nora feels confident that the man she talked to, while clearly worried over something, would never have died by suicide and since the local sheriff comes to the opposite conclusion suspiciously quickly, she resolves to investigate.

Nora will not be investigating alone though. Several other women in town, the baker, a spa employee, and a beautician, who all have secrets and hard things in their pasts come together with Nora to form the Secret, Book and Scone Society. They will support each other, learn to open up to the group, and solve the murder. There are bumps in the road of the women's fledgling friendship and then a second murder occurs and one of their own is accused of it. The women will have to step up their investigation if they want to exonerate their friend.

The story is very bookish, filled with references and quotes which will delight book lovers. Each chapter starts with a quote from a fairly well known book and gives a small hint of the upcoming chapter. The tone is light but there are some darker issues covered both in the secrets held by the women and in the story behind the murders. There is danger but there are also scones. The investigating is balanced by the growing relationship between the women. The end of the book wraps up the mystery tidily but also gives an intriguing tease for the next adventure. All in all a nice read.

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

The book is being released by Berkley on May 17, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: A young woman arrives in Los Angeles determined to start over and discovers she doesn’t need to leave everything behind after all, from Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn't expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren't sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Review: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society, a fictionalized version of the founding of the Society and the saving and preservation of Chawton Cottage, was a charming, delicious read for lovers of all things Austen. This latest novel, Bloomsbury Girls, is another delightful novel. It is not quite a proper sequel but it follows a character from the previous book, Evie Stone. Occurring several years after The Jane Austen Society ends, this is Evie's story and several of the characters from the original novel make an appearance here.

It's 1950. Evie has graduated from Cambridge University, one of the first women granted a degree, but she is passed over for a research position in favor of a less qualified man. Unwilling to return home and abandon her research, she applies to work at Bloomsbury Books in London, cataloguing their chaotic rare books section. The day she arrives for her interview, Mr. Dutton, the general manager, suffers an epileptic seizure. Evie acts calmly in the face of the medical crisis, getting hired even as Mr. Dutton leaves the store on a stretcher. The new and rare bookstore has long been a dusty, traditional baston of male writers' works but Mr. Dutton's medical leave gives the women who work there, Evie, Vivien Lowery, whose upper crust fiance was killed in WWII, Grace Perkins, a mother of two in an unhappy marriage and the sole breadwinner in her family, room to implement their more progressive ideas about how the store should run. But when Mr. Dutton returns and things go back to the status quo, the women have no intention of quietly relinquishing their hard won power and influence.

The novel is the story of strong and determined women who are finding their way to live the lives they want. Tired of quietly and/or resentfully following the rules, making the tea, and staying in their places, they reach their breaking points and start to actively push against what is expected of them, both in their jobs and in society in general. They learn to ask for something bigger and to expect more than they are begrudgingly given. There are some light romantic elements here but they serve to emphasize the biggest ills of 1950s society: misogyny, racism, classism, and homophobia. Each chapter starts with one of the 51 non-negotiable rules of the shop that Mr. Dutton has framed and by which all employeess must abide at all times. Jenner then cleverly shows throughout the chapter how the rule, which might seem at first blush to be reasonable, can be circumvented or fails in specific instances. She has captured beautifully the undercurrents of workplace politics and the silent, non-verbal ways in which the women communicate their unhappiness and disagreement right under the noses of the men. The continual discrimination woven through the plot is infuriating but very true to life of the time (and not that far off from today either). There are fun cameos of famous writers and members of high society as well as characters from the previous book, almost all of whom back the women in their rebellion. Those in the book world who know their history will be delighted by the extended reference to Sunwise Turn in New York City. And the well-deserved ending will have the reader cheering. Similarly to the ending of an Austen novel, there is a quick and simple description of what each of the major characters has gone on to do by or after the end of the primary story. Readers who loved The Jane Austen Society, readers interested in neglected nineteenth century women writers, readers who enjoy seeing women overcome the handicaps society imposes on them, and readers who appreciate a slow building but ultimately victorious rebellion will be well rewarded with this engaging and winsome novel.

For more information about Natalie Jenner and the book, check our her author site, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or Instagram, look at the book's Goodreads page, read another review and follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Laurel Ann from Austenprose and publisher St. Martin's Press for inspiring me to pull my copy of this book off the shelf to review.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson

The book is being released by Sourcebooks Landmark on May 3, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Bestselling historical fiction author Kim Michele Richardson is back with the perfect book club read following Honey Lovett, the daughter of the beloved Troublesome book woman, who must fight for her own independence with the help of the women who guide her and the books that set her free.

In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.

Picking up her mother's old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn't need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren't as keen to let a woman pave her own way.

If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she's going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Review: The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

Jane Austen's characters are unmistakable. Just how these characters would get along together has always been a fascinating thing to consider. It goes without saying that Mr. Wickham would be no one's favorite (not even Lydia's, as we already know long before the end of Pride and Prejudice) but would any reader imagine that one of Austen's other characters would murder him? That is exactly the premise here. Emma and George Knightley throw a house party for a who's who of Jane Austen's characters in this excessively diverting mystery where, good news (and spoiler alert!) Mr. Wickham, more odious than ever, is murdered.

The Knightleys, having determined to host a month long house party, have invited a rather disparate collection of people to Donwell Abbey. There is Emma Knightley's cousin Colonel Brandon and his new bride Marianne; George Knightley's old school chum Mr. Darcy with his wife Elizabeth and son Jonathan; Juliet Tilney, the teenaged daughter of novelist Catherine Tilney and her husband Henry; Knightley's relations Edmund and Fanny Bertram; and Captain and Anne Wentworth, who are letting Hartfield from the Knightleys but who have had to move out because of a collapsed staircase. What starts as a slightly awkward party promises to smooth out over the month, at least until Mr. Wickham arrives uninvited and unwelcome. A terrible storm ensures that he must stay in the Abbey despite his being reviled by almost everyone at the party. The Darcys have long had reason to dislike him but he has caused even further grief and destruction in their family. As for the others, he had unsavory or ruinous financial or personal dealings with almost all of them so they found him no more welcome than the Darcys do. But they all endured him until the morning that Juliet Tilney stumbled over him quite dead.

Jonathan Darcy, who has been making a hash of the party, and specifically of his interactions with Juliet Tilney (he's very definitely neurodivergent), ends up teaming up with Juliet, to try and solve the murder. Their investigating has to stay within the acceptable bounds of interactions between unmarried young men and women of the time but in and amongst the eavesdropping, conjecture, and otherwise creative ways to be a part of magistrate Frank Churchill's questioning, there is also a blush of courtship. Jonathan and Juliet are the only two members of the house party who can be ruled out as suspects as each of the other characters' histories with Wickham and fibs about their movements the night of the murder start to come to light. The murder also exposes the state of the marriages of Austen's beloved characters, who did not all go off to have completely untroubled happily ever afters as it turns out. From misunderstandings to doubts, anger to shame, these marriages are not perfect and the underlying tensions complicate the search to uncover the murderer. The novel is full of secrets and misdirections and as the reader turns the pages, they wonder just who killed Wickham, changing their mind several times as the story progresses. The characters retain their personalities from Austen's stories and it is interesting to see how those personalities interact, how they sometimes judge each other by the standards of their time, and how they might possibly have been able to commit murder. One of the storylines was just a bit too anachronistic but it served its purpose in creating a reason for one of the characters to fear Wickham's presence. The mystery as a whole was a delight and the resolution was thoroughly satisfying. Wickham deserved what he got and the reader gets to enjoy this tale of Wickham's richly justified demise.

For more information about Claudia Gray and the book, check our her author site, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, look at the book's Goodreads page, or look at the reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Laurel Ann from Austenprose and publisher Vintage Books for sending me a copy of this book to review.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past two weeks because I'm full on in a reading slump are:

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Grey
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Scott Fuqua
Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones
The Finder by Will Ferguson

Reviews posted this week:

Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Search by Michelle Huneven

The book is being released by Penguin Press on April 26, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: From critically acclaimed, award-winning author Michelle Huneven, a sharp and funny novel of a congregational search committee, told as a memoir with recipes

Dana Potowski is a restaurant critic and food writer and a longtime member of a progressive Unitarian Universalist congregation in Southern California. Just as she’s finishing the book tour for her latest bestseller, Dana is asked to join the church search committee for a new minister. Under pressure to find her next book idea, she agrees, and resolves to secretly pen a memoir, with recipes, about the experience. That memoir, Search, follows the travails of the committee and their candidates—and becomes its own media sensation.

Dana had good material to work with: the committee is a wide-ranging mix of Unitarian Universalist congregants, and their candidates range from a baker and microbrew master/pastor to a reverend who identifies as both a witch and an environmental warrior. Ultimately, the committee faces a stark choice between two very different paths forward for the congregation. Although she may have been ambivalent about joining the committee, Dana finds that she cares deeply about the fate of this institution and she will fight the entire committee, if necessary, to win the day for her side.

This wry and wise tale will speak to anyone who has ever gone searching, and James Beard Award–winning author Michelle Huneven’s food writing and recipes add flavor to the delightful journey.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Kew Gardens Girls at War by Posy Lovell

The book is being released by G.P. Putnam's Sons on April 19, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Inspired by real events, a touching novel about a new class of courageous women who worked at London’s historic Kew Gardens during World War II.

In the face of war, gardening is their duty…

When Daisy Cooper’s new husband joins the RAF to fight the Battle of Britain, she’s terrified she’s going to lose him. So when her mother Ivy suggests she join the gardeners at Kew to keep busy, Daisy’s intrigued. After all, Ivy worked at Kew during the last great war and made lifelong friends along the way.

Louisa Armitage, not ready to hang up her gardening gloves just yet, and Beth Sanderson, an aspiring doctor looking to make a difference, decide to enlist as well. When tragedy strikes, the women are forced to come together to support one other during their darkest hours. But can the Kew Gardens Girls survive the horrors of war-torn London this time?

Monday, April 11, 2022

Review: Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais

Apartheid. It's a word we here in the US have heard (if we're old enough or perhaps through history in school) but we don't actually know much about the reality of it. We know that it means systemic racism, segregation, inequality, and racial violence. It means white-minority rule enforced by brutality and limited suffrage. It means the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. It means the murder of Stephen Biko. But of the major and minor clashes and the fight for equality and representation over the almost 50 years that it was enshrined in South African politics and law, most of us know very little. Until I read Bianca Marais' Hum If You Don't Know the Words, I didn't remember anything about the 1976 Soweto Uprising, a peaceful, 20,000 strong student-led demonstration that the government suppressed by firing on school children, killing and injuring many (official accounts and the presumed actual count vary wildly). This important and horrific event forms the backbone of Marais' well written debut novel.

Nine, almost ten, year old Robin lives with her parents in a mining town outside of Johannesburg. Her life is one of privilege and whiteness and the biggest divide in her world is that between the Dutch Afrikaner children and herself. She rides her bike, schemes about how she can join the boys-only gang in the neighborhood, and plays hopscotch. In short, she's living a normal, untroubled childhood. Until the night that her parents go to an event and don't come home, leaving Robin an orphan in the care of her glamorous, single, flight attendant Aunt Edith.

Beauty Mbali is a single mother who has struggled to raise her children after her husband's death. She is a teacher in the Transkei, where she grew up a member of the Xhosa people. Beauty is strong and smart but she is not spared from the unrest of the nation even in her rural home. She receives a letter from her brother, who has taken in Beauty's 17 year old daughter Nomsa so that she can get a better education than is offered her in the rural Transkei. The letter alarms Beauty, who leaves her sons behind and illegally undertakes the arduous journey to Johannesburg to save her daughter, only to arrive in the middle of the Soweto Uprising. In the aftermath of the uprising, Nomsa, who was one of the student leaders and organizers, is missing and Beauty will do anything to find her. This is how she comes to be Robin's caretaker whenever Aunt Edith is flying elsewhere in the world. Caring for Robin gives her the papers to stay in the city and search for her daughter.

The novel alternates between Robin and Beauty narrating their own chapters. With the first person narration, the reader can see and understand the deep sorrow and fear that both Robin and Beauty feel for their respective situations. Robin's narration is often immature, just as she herself is but it also shows how she is developing opinions and beliefs, ones that are formed by the love and care of the people who surround her, all of whom are "others" of some sort, Aunt Edith's gay friends, the Jewish family in the building whose young son is her only friend, and, of course, Beauty. Her lack of understanding of the outside forces of Apartheid, her refusal to embrace the racism of the time, and her growing humanity are hopeful, shining pieces of her character. And her delightful malapropisms give the novel some much needed levity. Beauty's narration is gorgeously wrought, a mother desperate for her daughter no matter the consequences. Her own growing understanding of what drove Nomsa and her pride in that fight, even if she wished that her daughter had just put her head down and avoided such attention, was beautifully rendered. Despite the hardship and tragedy and uncertainty she has faced, Beauty remains a woman full of love, for her children, for her people, and even for orphaned little Robin.

This is a story of injustice, intolerance, and prejudice. But it's also a story of grief, love, and resilience. The violence shown towards homosexuals and Jews provides additional evidence of the bigotry and racism of the time but it might also serve to dilute the bigger issue of the world of Apartheid and the story didn't really need additional evidence. Robin's inquisitive nature makes it a guarantee that she would initially want to help Beauty find Nomsa but the caper-like events at the end were completely unrealistic and felt a little like Harriet the Spy with far bigger stakes. Over all though, this was a wonderful read, one that sucked me in and kept me turning the pages and if it was a little hard to suspend disbelief at the end, what came before made it forgivable.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past two weeks because I'm full on in a reading slump are:

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Scott Fuqua

Reviews posted this week:

Bleaker House by Nell Stevens

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Birds of California by Katie Cotugno came from Harper Perennial.

Two former child actors, one who dropped out of Hollywood and one who is desperate to revitalize his career, reunite for a potential revival of the show that made them stars in the first place in this rom com. Sounds delicious, right?

The World According to Color by James Fox came from St. Martin's Press.

Color fascinates me so this book about the role it plays in our world should be so very interesting.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Review: Bleaker House by Nell Stevens

If you could go anywhere in the world for three months on a fully paid internship in order to write a book, where would you go? Some people would choose to go somewhere glamorous and bustling, living and experiencing the people and place they landed in. Nell Stevens, on the other hand, chose to go to the remote and isolated Faulkland Islands, and specifically to Bleaker Island, in the middle of winter in hopes that the emptiness she'd find there would give her nothing to do but to write and finish a novel. This book is not that novel; it is instead a documenting, a recounting of Stevens' failure to write a novel.

When Nell Stevens finishes her MFA at Boston University, she has the chance to go anywhere in the world for three months and write. Other class members choose vibrant locations like Paris but Stevens thinks that she needs to go somewhere there won't be any distractions from her purpose, choosing Bleaker Island in the Faulklands, in part because of its name (she loves Dickens' Bleak House). She is sure the extreme isolation will focus her and she will come away from her time at the end of the world with the novel she so dearly wants to write. But it turns out that loneliness, gnawing hunger, tramping in a stark, unpeopled landscape, and bone chilling cold are not the best of muses. When she chose Bleaker Island, she researched it just enough to know how to get there and to have accomodation once there but not enough to know that she could have had food deliveries rather than relying on whatever she could pack in her strictly limited by weight suitcase. She was under prepared both physically and emotionally for where she'd landed herself.

This book is not for the reader who wants something, anything to happen in their reading. It is a slow, contemplative look at not writing a novel, an examination into the writing process, and an inconclusive investigation into why she failed at the task she'd set for herself. There is some beautiful nature writing in here and Stevens evokes the desolation, the cold, and the emptiness and immensity of the winter landscape quite well. And no one who reads about her restricted diet and the gift of a perfect, untouched potato will forget that potato for quite a while. Weaving her experiences in the Faulklands with snippets of her unfinished novel, short pieces from her MFA days, and brief forays into her life before Boston, this is not a novel, not quite a memoir, nor is it nature writing. It is a strange, uncategorizable amalgam of all three. Her fiction lacks the seemingly effortlessness of that of her lived experience and often comes across as filler because of the lack of other happenings to write about. Although she doesn't manage to write her novel, her time on Bleaker could still be considered a win of sorts. She did get a book from it, this book, even if it's not the one she set out to write.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

The book is being released by Atria on April 12, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: The self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village is determined to save his hometown no matter the cost in this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming debut novel.

Vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of Prometto, Italy (population 212) Signor Speranza has a problem: unless he can come up with 70,000 euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water commission will shut off the water to the village and all its residents will be forced to disperse. So in a bid to boost tourism—and revenue—he spreads a harmless rumor that movie star Dante Rinaldi will be filming his next project nearby.

Unfortunately, the plan works a little too well, and soon everyone in town wants to be a part of the fictional film—the village butcher will throw in some money if Speranza can find roles for his fifteen enormous sons, Speranza’s wistfully adrift daughter reveals an unexpected interest in stage makeup, and his hapless assistant Smilzo volunteers a screenplay that’s not so secretly based on his undying love for the film’s leading lady. To his surprise—and considerable consternation, Speranza realizes that the only way to keep up the ruse is to make the movie for real.

As the entire town becomes involved (even the village priest invests!) Signor Speranza starts to think he might be able to pull this off. But what happens when Dante Rinaldi doesn’t show up? Or worse, what if he does?

A “hilariously funny and beautifully written” (Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Better Luck Next Time) novel about the power of community, The Patron Saint of Second Chances is perfect for fans of Fredrik Backman and Maria Semple.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

One Lucky Summer by Jenny Oliver

The book is being released by HQ on April 19, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: With an air of faded splendour, Willoughby Hall was an idyllic childhood home to Ruben de Lacy. Gazing at it now, decades later, the memories are flooding back, and not all of them are welcome...

In a tumbledown cottage in Willoughby's grounds, Dolly and Olive King lived with their eccentric explorer father. One of the last things he did was to lay a treasure hunt before he died, but when events took an unexpected turn, Dolly and Olive left Willoughby for good, never to complete it.

But when Ruben uncovers a secret message, hidden for decades, he knows he needs Olive and Dolly's help. Can the three of them solve the treasure hunt, and will piecing together the clues help them understand what happened to their families that summer, all those years ago?

A glorious summer read with a delightful cast of characters from the bestselling author of The Summer We Ran Away.

Monday, March 28, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week despite a bit of a reading slump are:

Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Scott Fuqua

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
Bleaker House by Nell Stevens
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier by Sarah Bird

The book is being released by St. Martin's Press on April 12, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Set during the Great Depression, Sarah Bird's Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a novel about one woman—and a nation—struggling to be reborn from the ashes.

July 3. 1932. Shivering and in shock, Evie Grace Devlin watches the Starlite Palace burn into the sea and wonders how she became a person who would cause a man to kill himself. She’d come to Galveston to escape a dark past in vaudeville and become a good person, a nurse. When that dream is cruelly thwarted, Evie is swept into the alien world of dance marathons. All that she has been denied—a family, a purpose, even love—waits for her there in the place she dreads most: the spotlight.

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a sweeping novel that brings to spectacular life the enthralling worlds of both dance marathons and the family-run empire of vice that was Galveston in the Thirties. Unforgettable characters tell a story that is still deeply resonant today as America learns what Evie learns, that there truly isn’t anything this country can’t do when we do it together. That indomitable spirit powers a story that is a testament to the deep well of resilience in us all that allows us to not only survive the hardest of hard times, but to find joy, friends, and even family, in them.

Monday, March 21, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp

Reviews posted this week:

The Door-Man by Peter M. Wheelwright

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
Bleaker House by Nell Stevens
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Review: The Door-Man by Peter Wheelwright

I took a lot of geology classes in college. It was the best option for my science credits since I'm not overly fond of math and am queasy around dissections. Rocks for jocks and all of that; how could I go wrong? Geology turned out to be phenomenally interesting though and I still remember quite a lot from the classes and my professors. One professor in particular maintained that the word dam(n) should always be a four letter word, a pronouncement I kept in the forefront of my mind the whole time I was reading Peter M. Wheelwright's complex and layered historical fiction, The Door-Man.

When a growing New York City of the 1910s and 20s needed more drinking water, the state took land through eminent domain, damming a river, and flooding a town called Gilboa in the Catskills to quench their need. In 1993, New York City doorman Piedmont Livingston Kinsolver tells the tangled story of three generations his family, their roles in the damming of the Schoharie River, and their complicated connections to each other. Kinsolver slowly uncovers the past, revealing long buried layer upon layer both of history and of his family, the locals who tried to save the doomed town, the Italian immigrants who were master stonecutters, the black muleskinners, and the determined women, especially Winifred Goldring, the paleontologist who discovered the famous fossils of the Gilboa trees, fossils from the Devonian Period which saw the beginnings of animal life on earth, and located exactly where the dam would ultimately be built.

Wheelwright mixes fact and fiction in this non-linear novel, the story jumping back and forth through time, following different branches of the family tree as it adds to the truth of the past, much as layers of sediment were laid down over top of the trees that ultimately became the famous fossils. The narrative folds back upon itself, slowly revealing the secrets and truths, the horrors and the surprises of the interconnected families. Wheelwright has included much scientific information on the history of life on earth and the scientific community at the time of the Gilboa fossil discovery but more than a story of science and the ultimate indifference of man, this is a search for all pasts, long distant as well as relatively recent familial past. The pace is slow, even as the tension rises. Like the water finally passing the "Taking Line" in the story, the climax comes almost unremarked save for a few remaining characters. The story touches briefly on class, race, and gender expectations with each of these issues being fully integrated into the narrative of specific characters and subsumed to the larger story of the entangled family, being just a few of the forces that shaped it. This is a thoughtful, literary read, one with hidden depths for the persistent reader.

For more information about Peter M. Wheelwright and the book, check our his author site, follow him on Twitter, or Instagram, look at the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, look at the reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book, and purchase here.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and publisher National Geographic for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

French Braid by Anne Tyler

The book is being released by Knopf on March 22, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: From the beloved best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author—a funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one Baltimore family’s foibles, from a boyfriend with a red Chevy in the 1950s up to a longed-for reunion with a grandchild in our pandemic present.

The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever leave home, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband, Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family's orbit, for reasons none of them understand. Yet, as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation.

Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close—yet how unknowable—every family is to itself.

Monday, March 14, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past two weeks are:

Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
The Door-Man by Peter M. Wheelwright
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
Bleaker House by Nell Stevens
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard

Reviews posted this week:

Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
The Door-Man by Peter M. Wheelwright
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
Bleaker House by Nell Stevens
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Great Passion by James Runcie

The book is being released by Bloomsbury on March 15, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: From acclaimed bestselling author James Runcie, a meditation on grief and music, told through the story of Bach's writing of the St. Matthew Passion.

In 1727, Stefan Silbermann is a grief-stricken thirteen-year-old, struggling with the death of his mother and his removal to a school in distant Leipzig. Despite his father's insistence that he try not to think of his mother too much, Stefan is haunted by her absence, and, to make matters worse, he's bullied by his new classmates. But when the school's cantor, Johann Sebastian Bach, takes notice of his new pupil's beautiful singing voice and draws him from the choir to be a soloist, Stefan's life is permanently changed.

Over the course of the next several months, and under Bach's careful tutelage, Stefan's musical skill progresses, and he is allowed to work as a copyist for Bach's many musical works. But mainly, drawn into Bach's family life and away from the cruelty in the dorms and the lonely hours of his mourning, Stefan begins to feel at home. When another tragedy strikes, this time in the Bach family, Stefan bears witness to the depths of grief, the horrors of death, the solace of religion, and the beauty that can spring from even the most profound losses.

Joyous, revelatory, and deeply moving, The Great Passion is an imaginative tour de force that tells the story of what it was like to sing, play, and hear Bach's music for the very first time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Review: Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards

For the month of February, I wanted to read through many of the romances I had sitting around, and for a food loving reader like me, what could be more appealing than a romance with a chef and a food critic as the main characters? Louisa Edwards' Can't Stannd the Heat fit the bill on the surface but unfortunately it had so many issues that it ended up just making me cranky.

Miranda Wake is the food critic for Delicieux magazine and when she gets drunk at a party introducing the food world to Chef Adam Temple's new restaurant, Market, she gets into a confrontation with the good looking chef which ends with him challenging her to spend a day in his kitchen and her agreeing. Negotiations with his primary financial backer extend the time to a month, which horrifies Adam and delights Miranda. She has been trying to pitch a book proposal about the food world but she keeps getting turned down because she has no actual restaurant experience and this gift of a month should solve that problem. Her other issue is that her 19 year old brother has moved home and doesn't want to go back to college. Adam, in the midst of opening a much anticipated restaurant, is suddenly saddled with a hostile restaurant critic in his kitchen, a place where almost everyone has worked together and with him before and is a tight and familiar team. Of course, these two antagonists are attracted to each other and find themselves unable to keep their hands off of each other. Miranda's younger brother Jess, who is hired on as a waiter, and sous chef Frankie are also falling for each other.

Miranda's character was awful. It wasn't a pleasure to spend time with her. The way she treated her brother, which the text excuses because she raised him after their parents' death 9 years prior to the story, was ridiculous. I have a 19 year old son I've raised for his entire life and I wouldn't treat him the ways she does her brother. Her infantilizing him is only part of the problem though because her reaction to him being honest about who he is and what he wants is hateful rather than loving and accepting. Adam saving her from her worst impulses was lovely but not earned on her part. But this is not the only time she lashed out like a selfish brat and that made it hard to want her to have a happy ending with Adam. The major catalyst for the girl loses boy part of the story was completely outlandish and the resolution to correct it was easy and too quick.

The timeline in the book is nonsense in all ways. It is hard to believe that Adam and Miranda could overcome their extreme antagonism in only about a day. It is beyond belief that Miranda could pitch a salacious and dirty tell-all book, have it accepted by a publisher (and given an advance large enough to pay for her brother's college), write all 150 pages of it (this, btw, is not generally considered book length, especially for a new author), and have portions of it leaked on some editorial assistant's blog online the day after she hit the send button on the manuscript all in about two weeks' time. It was all I could do not to throw the book across the room at this point. If I wasn't incapable of abandoning a book unfinished, I probably would have. Before the major plot issues, I already didn't like Miranda's character, there were too many forced food and cooking similies, and I wished the book centered on Jess and Frankie rather than Miranda and Adam (although Adam was fine if too forgiving). This was definitely not the book I'd been hoping it was.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

The book is being released by Little, Brown and Company on March 15, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: "Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time."

It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.

Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?

Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?

Monday, February 28, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past three weeks are:

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dog Training the American Male by L. A. Knight
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Twenty-One Truths Aboout Love by Matthew Dicks

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

By Any Other Name by Lauren Kate

The book is being released by G. P.. Putnam's Sons on March 1, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: What she doesn't know about love could fill a book.

With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie's more than good. She's killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa's writer's block and she'll get the promotion she's always dreamed of. Simple, right?

But there's a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Land of Short Sentences by Stone Pilgaard

The book is being released by World Editions on March 1, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: A young mother follows her partner to a rural community in West Jutland, Denmark, where he teaches at the local school for adult education. Isolated, she is forced to find her way in a bewildering community and in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population.

A young woman relocates to an outlying community in West Jutland, Denmark, and is forced to find her way, not only in the bewildering environment of the residential Folk High School, where her partner has been hired to teach, but also in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population. And on top of it all, there's the small matter of juggling her roles as mother to a newborn baby and advice columnist in the local newspaper. In this understated and hilarious novel, Stine Pilgaard conjures a tale of venturing into new and uncharted land, of human relationships, dilemmas, and the ways and byways of social intercourse.

Monday, February 7, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

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