A non-fiction title worth thinking about

Product DetailsBrene Brown was “discovered” by Oprah Winfrey and went on to develop a loyal readership. This is the third Brown book that I have read. The author, a social worker and social science researcher, educates by effectively using both of these skill sets. Brene Brown shares her own perceptions, struggles and life story to best make her points. She backs this with academic research that she has conducted .
This is not the best written book but its message is powerful, especially in our current political climate of division, silos and the tendency to have strong “confirmation bias.” Brene Brown urges readers to calmly and bravely stand up for their beliefs while being open to having dialogues with those who have opposing views. A short book for such a tall order. It is worth reading.

A society worth joining

Product DetailsDid you know that the Germans occupied the British island of Guernsey for five years during WW II?  In this epistolary novel, through the eyes of Juliet, the authors tell the stories of islanders of all ages and backgrounds.  The characters are portrayed with a deft touch as their foibles and humanity are explored.  There is even some romance.  It is trite to say but the characters felt like friends with whom I wanted to spend lots of time.  Highly recommended!  Enjoy finding out what the pie is and why it was created.

Where Cornwall and Wisconsin Unite

Product DetailsKathleen Ernst has created a cozy mystery niche writing books that take place at historical sites in the Midwest. Her latest tells the stories of Cornish miners who lived and worked in Wisconsin in the 1830s. I was drawn to these parts of the book and was interested enough to look up the Pendarvis site on line. I enjoyed spending time with the main couple, Chloe and Roelke, who feature in all of the books. At times, Chloe’s judgment regarding her safety is faulty but this is in service of the plot. If you like cozies, are interested in a mix of history and contemporary story and want a tour of an interesting location, this book is for you!

“The Nightingale” Sings

Product DetailsThe reviews for this book have been excellent, yet I have only read The Nightingale recently.  This story of two sisters during WW II is about how we become who we are, in part, based on our experiences in our family of origin.  It also reflects on the roles of women in WWII and the choices that are both made and somewhat forced upon one.  Isabelle is reckless, brave and a young woman who has faced many rejections.  Her older sister, Vianne, tries to accommodate during the Occupation but becomes braver as she witnesses the impact of the Nazis on her village.  As you read, wait to see why the book is called The Nightingale and see if you are correct about who the narrator is.  This novel is well worth reading.  Add it to your TBR pile.

Do you think that Agatha Christie has “A Talent for Murder?”

Product DetailsIn this novel, Wilson writes about what might have happened to Agatha Christie during the time that she mysteriously disappeared for ten days.  Using known facts and his imagination, the author creates a fascinating, if somewhat unbelievable explanation, for what transpired.  Best in this book are the biographical facts and insights and the development of characters including Agatha, Archie, Nancy, Una and Davison.  Recommended for fans of Agatha Christie’s books or those interested in knowing more about the author and her times.

You could enjoy a vacation on “The Austen Escape.”

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I read and enjoyed this author’s earlier novel, “Dear Mr. Knightley,” an update of Daddy Longlegs. Katherine Reay has created a niche, writing modern takes on classic novels. In “The Austen Escape,” Mary and Isabel travel to Bath for a vacation that will give them a chance to enjoy life in Austen’s time.  Each chooses an Austen character to represent while away. There is also a romance set in a tech/engineering firm and in Bath along with backstories for other guests on the tour. This is a light, escapist read.  Thanks  NetGalley for the opportunity to review the book.

Are you ready to be on “This Side of Murder?”

Product DetailsAnna Lee Huber’s novel, is an historical mystery that is reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel. A group of characters is stranded on an island, (think “And Then There Were None”), as the action unfolds. Widow Verity attends an engagement party weekend, while trying to find out whether her husband, Sidney, was a traitor during WWI. Not the most believable plot but Verity is a plucky character and one that I rooted for.  Book provided by NetGalley in return for an honest review.  Thanks NetGalley!

NetGalley Update

10 Book ReviewsNetGalley reports that I have now written 10 reviews.  I am proud of this small accomplishment and the badge that they sent for me to share.  Thank you NetGalley!  Looking forward to at least ten more.  There will be upcoming reviews on Anna Lee Huber and Katherine Reay’s new books as soon as I finish them.  Also planning to share a non-fiction title by Brene Brown.  Until the next post, happy summer reading all!

Who is “The Child?”

I have not read Fiona Barton’s first book, “The Widow,” although I probably will now. Her sophomore effort, “The Child,” is intriguing and suspenseful Who is the baby found on the building site? How are the characters and their stories connected? What does it mean to be a parent? To grieve? To confront and accept one’s past? “The Child” is about all of this while being a page turner. I did guess the answer to the central mystery but this did not in any way lessen my enjoyment of this novel. I feel confident that Fiona Barton’s next book will be, “third time the charm.” Recommended for suspense fans.  Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to review this novel.

Antiques and a bit of romance

A French Affair: A perfect feel good summer romance by [Fforde, Katie]  Katie Fforde has been writing lighthearted British women’s fiction for many years. It is a pleasure to find that her books are now more easily available is the U.S. “A French Affair” is an enjoyable summer read. There is a bit of family drama, insight into the world of antique selling and, of course, romance. Recommended for fans of British authors like Jenny Colgan and Erica James.