A sweet book: Together Again

A Story About Joy

by Kochka

#TogetherAgain #NetGalley

Pub Date 23 Mar 2021  

This is a book that has simple, yet charming illustrations. Young listeners will get to know Elliott as he eagerly awaits his half-sister’s arrival. Waiting for Lucy seems to take so long but…oh, the joy of reunion. This is an uncomplicated book, for the youngest children, that is about happiness and anticipation. There is a helpful section for adults at the end.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

For reflection: 100 Poems to Break Your Heart

by Edward Hirsch

#100PoemstoBreakYourHeart #NetGalley

Pub Date 30 Mar 2021

Some of the many poets whose works are included in this collection are Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Hardy, St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, Anne Sexton, Randall Jarrell, Muriel Rukeyser, Robert Lowell, Sharon Olds and Phillip Larkin, among many others. This is certainly a good collection with, as the title suggests, a focus on heartbreak. What a topic for Covid times, although there are many kinds of losses and many centuries during which poets grappled with this emotion. Grief does not only belong to today.

This collection will most appeal to serious readers of poetry. There are many kinds of poems including sonnets, aubades, a villanelle, a nocturne and more. The erudite editor has selected poems that have special meaning to him and he explicates them all. Some readers may not want all of this additional content but it is worth looking at, at least some of the time. Other times, readers can dip in and read whatever poem they like on its own merits. Readers who take their time with this title will learn a lot and feel a good deal as well.

An e book bargain for February 28, 2021

Spend time with the members of this society

by joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews


This is the first book that I have read by Ellery Adams and I truly enjoyed it. The protagonist, Nora, is a bookseller who believes that there is a book that is just right for each customer’s particular emotional state; the notion that one could get meaningful suggestions from a bookseller was lovely in this day of internet sales. I enjoyed the many literary references and the back stories of the protagonists. There are also hints of romance. If you like cozies, I would recommend this book highly.

An e book bargains for February 28, 2021and it is one that I loved!

A dream of a book: The Book of Dreams by Nina George

My earlier review:

by joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

When was the last time that you read a book and found that tears were rolling down your cheeks? For me, it has been quite a while but I cried over this one.

When I told my husband about this novel, he said that it must have been depressing. I replied that it was not depressing but that it was sad. Sadness is an essential piece of this book and yet to me it was a wonderful read and one that I recommend highly, if it is your kind of book or if you are willing to see if it is.

Henri, a French man with a history, was a journalist who covered wars. His thirteen year old son, Sam, did not know him. Just when they are about to meet, Henri saves a young girl but himself is injured and thereafter is in a coma. This means that Sam and Henri’s reunion takes place in the hospital where Sam, who has synesthesia, senses deeply and feels Henri’s presence. Sam spends every day at the hospital sharing himself with Henri and the novel’s other protagonists.

This book is the story of several characters: Sam, Madelyn who is a young girl in a coma and Eddie, the woman that Henri let get away. Their relationships are explored and intersect with one another over the course of the novel which is told in alternating voices.

There is a philosophical underpinning to this book. The characters both live their lives and imagine the ways in which their lives might have played out differently with the same people. The author also explores what she imagines that characters think and feel when they are in a non-awake state and what happens when someone is about to die.

Nina George comments that she wrote three of her novels, of which this is the third, to better understand death. She was writing in the aftermath of her father’s death. The book is beautifully written.

Third time is a charm: The Stills

A Novel

by Jess Montgomery

Pub Date 09 Mar 2021  

The Stills is Jess Montgomery’s third novel, following on the earlier titles, The Widows and The Hollows. I read and loved those two earlier books. The Stills continues the story of many of the characters. The books are probably best read in order as the backstory from the earlier novels is relevant. If read as a first experience with Ms. Montgomery, readers may well want to then go back to the earlier titles.

The author has so many strengths. One is her ability to carve out a time and place. Another is her careful building of the relationships between characters. The story’s setting is 1920s Bronwyn County, Ohio during the Prohibition years. This small community where Lily lives is so well portrayed. There are small farms, mines, charismatic churches, stills and speakeasys.

Lily became the Sheriff following on the events of the first novel. She is a widow who is devoted to her children, her mother and her half-sibling. The book opens with all of them, along with some additional guests, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, the calm does not last.

One guest at dinner is Benjamin. Lily inches toward becoming closer to him over the course of the story. Another is Lily’s best friend Marvena. She puts Lily in what could be a compromising position in this title.

Other characters include a number of villains. Foremost among these are George Vogel and his henchmen. George is an unfeeling, hard man who has benefited from illegal acts. Will this be the book in which he finally gets stopped? George’s wife Fiona is a master manipulator who has a complex relationship with George. What will happen to her? To their relationship? Is Fiona as clever as she thinks she is?

And, of course, there are the stills, those sites for making moonshine. What events happen there? How will they radiate out to impact the community?

I was very delighted to receive an ARC of this title. I look forward (already) to finding out what comes next for the folks of Kinship.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

It helps to talk: A Cat With No Name

A Story About Sadness

by Kochka

#ACatWithNoName #NetGalley

Pub Date 23 Mar 2021   

This is a brightly colored, illustrated book on the subject of sadness for young children . The loss in the story does not involve death. I think that the story offers a way to open up discussion about feelings without being very threatening.

The story has to do with Olive finding a stray cat and being overjoyed to have a pet. How does she feel when this kitten goes back to its owner?

This book has a situation to which children can relate. It offers a helpful way to introduce conversations about feelings with the youngest children. There is a helpful section for adults at the end.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

So, what will happen? And Now You’re Back

by Jill Mansell

Pub Date 08 Jun 2021  

Jill Mansell is one of the very best writers of women’s fiction. Her novels always have heart and warmth, along with good plots, likeable characters and smile for readerss. This time readers meet Didi and Shay; Rosa, Red, Benny, Ingrid, Harry, Will and others, including a well-known actress. All are well portrayed and people that readers will enjoy getting to know.

Didi and Shay met as teens and broke up; now, Shay is back. Will their past history derail them or will they find their happy ever after? Shay’s dad has been in and out of jail many times and yet he is a most appealing character. Red is dying and wants to spend time in the town where Shay grew up and where Shay is living in Didi’s hotel. Layla is Didi’s closest friend; will she find love through Shay’s dating site or closer to home? Rosa, Layla’s mother, loved her husband Joe who died. She is offering shelter to Shay’s dad, Red, and becomes involved with Benny, a goodhearted man to whom she sold her house.. And, there is more although this gives a sense of all of the many interrelationships in this heart warming novel.

Readers looking for a relaxing read should mark their calendars for this books’ release date. I highly recommend it. Ms. Mansell has written many novels; readers may want to read them all.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.