October 23, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide
Welcome in everyone. Well here it is Labour Day so a long weekend which is very nice. My family spent Saturday and Sunday cleaning and tidying my Dad's property, readying it for going on the market. So I am feeling very tired today, therefore I feel a day of reading in my forecast!

I have very few review books in my calendar from here in to end of year and hope to keep it that way as I do some of my own reading.  I am wanting to complete at least a few reading challenges, one being the Better World reading challenge.   If anyone has a recommendation for a book that "takes place in a forest" let me know, that's next on the list!                                                    

What I read last week:

Both these are review books and reviews will be up for soon.
book cover book cover

What I am reading at present:

From my recently bought list I am reading

I am still listening to...
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.  I seem to be taking a while with it, but I haven't been listening a lot. Often I just like to work along in silence so audio doesn't get a look in, plus I've had talk back on the radio because we have just been dished up a new coalition government.

Up next:

Possibly The Round House by Louise Erdrich.  Just need to visit the library to borrow it.  This is a National Book Award book and will add a book to the Better World Reading Challenge.


Last Weeks Posts
The Greatest Gift     Rachael Johns
a divide



October 19, 2017

The Greatest Gift. Rachael Johns

book cover
Published: MIRA (Australia)
Date: 23rd October 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 416
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars                             Add to Goodreads
Radio host Harper Drummond lives for her career. Every day she meets fascinating people doing extraordinary things, but has begun to wonder whether there could something more for her out there. She’s financially secure, happily married to Samuel and has a great group of friends — what more could she want? It’s only when she interviews one special couple that she starts to think about whether she could make a different kind of contribution.

Claire and Jasper Beggs are passionate about their thriving hot air balloon business and know they're lucky to find such joy in their work and in each other. But while Jasper has accepted that he will never be a father, Claire has found it hard to come to terms with her infertility. She doesn't want Jasper to regret choosing her over a child in the years to come. Is there a way to give themselves a real chance at being a happy family?

Can they find someone who will give them the greatest gift? Or will it come at a greater cost?

My thoughts banner
In her latest book The Greatest Gift Rachael Johns explores the issues of wanting children but being infertile and the amazing role those who make egg donations take on, to help those who have a strong desire to be a parent. This was actually a new idea to me, not sure why I hadn't heard of it before but I hadn't and so this book was a marvellous way for me to gain insight into it. 

Harper is a woman who doesn't want children and neither does her husband Samuel. However Harper does want to contribute and find deeper meaning in her life so she decides to explore the possibility of donating some of her eggs.  Thereby creating the greatest gift. 

Claire is infertile due to a childhood illness and so when she wants children one possibility is to look for an egg donor. In Australia this is unpaid and donors willingly make the gift. How things follow up in terms of whether the egg donor has any further communication with the new parents was another interesting aspect. 

Of course this is a story that does not just go from A to B and new baby and every one goes home happy.  Rachael Johns throws in a few curly twists and turns that made for some heart in the mouth reading. 

I liked the development of the characters, especially that of Harper - her journey was in the end the one that grabbed me. Jasper - husband of Claire, was another character whose reactions and feelings seemed totally believable. How they change and take up the challenges of the journey they are on made for some very good reading.


book icon book icon book icon book icon

October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide
Welcome in everyone and hope you had a good reading week. 

I managed to only buy only ten books from our annual book fair which was good and I realised when I got home I'd read one of them so it will go back next year.  I also got a few quilting books which I don't count in the total!  Talk about synchronicity - I was watching a Facebook live on Friday on quilting and wanted to make one of the quilts.  And there the book was that I wanted at the book fair. As its out of print that was a real bonus.                            

What I read last week:

These two were off my own book shelf and I enjoyed both of them. Emilie Richards certainly did her research for Smoke Screen - set in New Zealand.  Love Walked In took awhile to win me over but when it did, it put itself on my favourites shelf. I have the second book of this duology and its why I bought 
Love Walked In as I like to read in order.

book cover book cover

My review for Have You Met Nora? will be posted early November. Looking again at the cover its quite significant now that I've read the story. Although the book won't make my favourites shelf!

book cover

What I am reading at present:

Just starting this YA debut novel - review book.
book cover

Still listening to ....Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Up next:

book cover

Last Weeks Posts
The Stolen Marriage   Diane Chamberlain
Deck the Halls    Donna Alward
a divide



October 13, 2017

The Stolen Marriage. Diane Chamberlain

book cover
Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 3rd October 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre:Mainstream Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars                       Add to Goodreads
In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

My thoughts banner
What can I say!  Diane Chamberlain has again written another very engaging story with The Stolen Marriage.  I was soon transported off into story land and really enjoyed the read.

Tess is a beautifully compassionate heroine who finds her self in a spot of bother. We are talking back in the 1940's when to become pregnant outside marriage was something to be hidden.  When she tells the man who was responsible alongside herself he does the decent thing and offers marriage to which she agrees. And leaves behind the love of her life, Vincent.

Does she really know her husband Henry (Hank)? Lucy his sister would say no. And she doesn't. But as time goes by she learns more and finally learns the truth. I saw part of it coming, but oh no, I did not see the totality of it, so the final reveals were full of thrills.

The polio epidemic was fascinating as I am old enough (sigh) to remember those fearful times, and can remember being made to rest as a young child after lunch to stay in good health. Then of course came the wonderful medicine we swallowed and were given immunity. I can also remember devouring the book Over My Dead Body by June Opie as a young teen, so this aspect of the story really engaged me. 

The minor characters added to the flavour of the book, the township of Hickory in North Carolina, the issues of racism, and the part of Reverend Sam all added the the mix to make this book such a wonderful story.  I liked the growth of Tess and applauded every stand she took to choose her own life. I liked Vincent and his approach and yes really liked Henry too.

Diane Chamberlain has again spun an engaging tale that had me springing up off my chair and shouting "Yes"! at one  point.


October 11, 2017

Deck the Halls. Donna Alward

book cover
Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 3rd October 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: Novella
Genre:Romance
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars                  Add to Goodreads
With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George's life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he's still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother's death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

My thoughts banner
When I read Somebody Like You  - #1 in the Darling VT series earlier in the year, I wrote a very brief review of it, stating the character George really appealed to me. And... I wanted his story. A little comment then showed underneath, Donna saying I should watch out for October because his story was on the way. And so it is.

George is a returned service man who for a long time was down on himself and was living on the street until a few people in Darling VT really saw him and offered him a helping hand. Which to his credit he took. Yet he is still riddled by regret and no small amount of survivor guilt.

Into the mix arrives his best friend's twin sister - Amy. She has come looking for answers to what went down that day when her brother was killed in war. 

What follows is a heart warming Christmas story of reaching out, giving, hope and love. Things move along for George, he has already come a long way but there is more ways to travel. Towards the end it tugged on my heart strings. 

There is no quick fix, but there is promise of good things to follow. George and Amy are just beginning. If the Darling VT series continues... well I hope Amy and George poke their noses into other peoples stories and update us.
Christmas spirit iconromantic icon cover love icon page turner

October 9, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide
Well hello to another Monday. I got up early this morning.... not to start a new book but to start a new scrappy block for another quilt. I have it bad - it is as addictive as books and reading.

This week I also decided to start tidying up my spare room where I keep books and... fabric and quilting stuff. I ordered a bookcase to fit into the wardrobe and I hope to make space for both books and fabric. Once I have that bookshelf filled I will see if I need another. I am tired of being in a mess!

Besides next Saturday is the annual second hand Book Fair so I need to make a little space - not too many because I have too many books to read, yes all those unread ones from last year, but I know you sympathise. I should limit myself to no more than say 12. I'll see how I do.  The money raised is always for good causes, which of course is what I remind myself of!!

As most of you know I am a retired teacher, as I typed the word "annual" it reminded me of a question in reading vocab and comprehension test we used to give. The question was how often was the ... whatever the event was?  It always surprised me how many 8 -12 year olds missed that one.                                                         

What I read last week:

book cover book cover

Finished listening to...
book cover

What I am reading at present:

book cover

And listening to...
Just started today already made me smile!
book cover

Up next:

A review book and new ot me author. Love the cover though.
book cover

Last Weeks Posts
Over the Teacups #2..... Reviews
A Christmas Affair   Jodi Thomas
a divide




October 5, 2017

Over the Teacups - Short Reviews #2

Short Reviews Over a Cuppa

I read a number of books I don't fully review, so I have decided to start acknowledging them here in short reviews - which lets face it - are the best!

Why? It's part of a series I am addicted to. When I met this series I read the first five I think straight one after the other. Then I had to wait like the rest of the fans for each one. This is #11. Published July 2017. Auto-buy and auto-read.

Plot  Lt Sam Holland and her extended family are picked up from wherever they are and put into lockdown. Somebody is threatening them, especially the children.  Needless to say Sam is grumpy about that as she is in the middle of a case involving an unknown body floating in the river. Then there is an even more significant dead body and let the ride begin!  Set in Washington DC.

What Appeals to me? Every time there is usually the mystery of a dead body for Sam and her team. I love the team dynamics and the various characters, many of whom have had a book with some focus on them. Then there is Sam's family and the people who work for her and her husband Nick. And... Nick and Sam - what a dynamic, romantic couple.

Each book leads into the next, I couldn't imagine not reading the previous ones first in order, but I guess it could be done but I wouldn't advise it.

And so.... I sat up and read this book one evening and then the short story that followed and then... the first chapter of Fatal Chaos which comes out early next year.  I never, I repeat never, read a first chapter in a coming book. I broke my rule this time!!  Fatal Chaos - February 2018, you are in my calendar. And I might add I have pre-ordered it.

book cover
Why? This is the third book in a trilogy. A contemporary fiction book by J. R. Ward. I like all her books but love her contemporaries best. I have been waiting a whole year for this book!  As soon as it arrived on my doorstep I started reading.

Plot The Bradford family have money, or they did until their father embezzled all of it and left them in big trouble. Now he is dead and big brother Edward is saying he 'did it'. All four of the Bradfords are traumatised by their upbringing at the hands of a sadistic father. They've mucked around but now with new responsibilities and their beloved momma Aurelia dying it is time to front up.

What Appeals to me?
I came to love these very flawed characters and the bonds that still hold them together. I liked their bid to overcome the challenge before them and their ability to look at their lives and see what they really value. It is a little mystery and lots of soap drama. I did think it was a little rushed at the end - but still - so worth the wait. I felt perhaps there was untold things about Max's story, maybe...

And so... I think this is it, no more! It all kind of was sorted with no big cliff hangers at the end. However I can hope for more contemporary work from J. R. Ward.  Also these three books are certainly on my keeper shelf and will be a reread for sure at some point.

Why? I fell in love with the small town in the first book in the series Blessings by Beverly Jenkins.
Plot
The book takes up the stories of the various children who have been fostered. Amari wants to join the July family as a fully fledged member and must undergo a spirit journey. Preston is worried his foster parents might split, Crystal is turning into everyone's counsellor. A new teacher turns up in town with Eli who has an attitude which doesn't wash in this town.
What Appeals to Me?
This book is so warm hearted and the characters so loveable and the story lines are heart warming. They are a little beyond the real, but it is if everything was in an ideal world, and who wouldn't go for that. It is full of humour, plus characters face challenges and grow... or leave town one way or the other.  It was  a sit down and relax read almost done in a day kind of book.
And so...
I've ordered book #3 in the series Something Old, Something New.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...