December 13, 2017

Over the Teacups. #5

Short Reviews Over a Cuppa


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Why?  I have enjoyed all of Kristy Woodson Harvey's previous books and so of course I would read this one too.

Plot Ansley has three daughters who for all different reasons return home to Peachtree Bluff. Ansley herself (mother)  has quite a back story and that is all revealed as the story progresses. The story is told from Ansley's and daughter Caroline's point of view. Caroline is deciding what to do as her husband has been unfaithful in a spectacular way. She is very pregnant and has an older daughter of about ten - Viki. Ansley has been dealt a hard card in life but the way she has picked herself up and looked after everyone is outstanding. There is a little plot twist that turns things somewhat as well.

What Appeals to me? 
I loved the setting of course and the sisters relationship with each other was a drawcard.  Each of the main characters is dealing with difficulties that are definitely quite south of simple! I did like too how Caroline grew as a character. Also that the characters each had their quirks and challenges. I just wish Ansley would think of herself just a little bit more.

And so...  I see this is #1 in the Peachtree Bluff series so I am looking forward to catching up with this family in the future.

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Why? I wanted a food memoir to read for the Better World reading challenge and I saw a review for this by Katherine over at I Wish I Lived in a Library.
Plot  Well there isn't one but there is a wonderful accounting of Edward in his nineties and Isabel who is  in an unhappy marriage. Isabel visits Edward once a week and partakes in his delicious meals. No recipes but oh my, makes me want to appreciate and taste such food.
What Appeals to Me? The way Edward lives his life so fully in his nineties and his obvious deep love and devotion to his wife who is now dead. He battles with this loss but it does not diminish too much his participation in life. I liked the way Isabel valued the friendship and grew as a person in the time she was able to experience this special relationship.
And so... Very happy to have read it. As one person also pointed out from It's Monday! What Are You Reading? pointed out there is a great tip for scrambled eggs that she uses to this day. I have yet to try it but I will.



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Why?  This has sat on my actual TBR shelf for quite a few years! I was wondering about what to read next and saw there is a bit of a romance in this book while the couple are travelling. Perfect for the Better World reading challenge I thought! Besides I have never read Monica McInerney, but seen noted many good things about her books.
Plot.  This is a book about a family! A grown up family who are in the Travel business. There are two men, two women - one of whom came to the family when she was eight - Lara. As a travel tour around Cornwall and Devon is to take place centred on an old TV show, Lara goes missing. Harriet is leading the tour and is worried about Lara as is Austin one of the brothers. So there is a little romance, (Harriet and the star of the TV show)  a mystery, secrets and family relationships in the mix.
What Appeals to me? I found it a little slow, but the variety of characters was fun, the mystery and secret kept me going and the whole family aspect with its exploration of loss and grief was interesting. Plus how we often make judgements about others that is quite far from the actual truth.
And so...  At some point in time I will be happy to venture into reading another Monica McInerney book .

December 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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!
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Hope you are all well and relaxed over Christmas preparations. We still have very warm weather for this time of year and no rain. I've seen some posts with snow and one video of snow in Virginia. Yummy! My protect my tomatoes plans are working and no pecked tomatoes so very happy.  I have also picked my first beans. 

                                                         

What I read last week:

I finished One in a Million Boy  picked from my recently bought shelf. I loved this, such a heart warming read while being bittersweet.  How come I hadn't come across Monica Wood before, I'll be wanting to read some of her past books.
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I had a change of plan of Christmas reading and read this novella. Frankly while enjoyable it was far too short and really didn't move the series along. I wondered if the publisher was just pushing a good thing!  I'll wait for the real thing later in the year though!
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From my TBR I read this historical romance which was an enjoyable fun read.

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I also finished listening to The Lighthouse Keeper.  While it dragged there for awhile I enjoyed the ending and overall not a bad listen.
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What I am reading at present:

Reading this fantasy due out on January 2nd
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Listening to a Christmas story

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Up next:

Not my normal read but one to get me almost close to finishing the Better World Reading Challenge. Hope it doesn't traumatise me too much!
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Last Weeks Posts
Now That You Mention It   Kristin Higgans


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December 6, 2017

Now That You Mention It. Kristan Higgins

Published: HQN Books
Date: 26th December 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 416
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars               Add to Goodreads
One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter—a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was—Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.


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It is a delicious feeling to open up a book by Kristan Higgins and indeed it was so for this latest book as well. It was funny and heart warming, poignant and at times caught me right in the heart.

This is the story of Nora, before and after. As a young teen on Scupper Island she has much to contend with. She has the heart ache of her Dad walking out on their family and to compensate she over eats which leads to further insults. Her mother is tough but not particularly the warm huggable kind.  Nora is bright though and she has the chance of winning a big scholarship, although she has big competition from an equally intelligent student. But intelligence is not the only thing that counts.

Nora does make it to being a very successful doctor, however there is a Big Bad Event that has caused her a lot of trauma, and there are other aspects of her life that just aren't working out.

When she returns to Scupper Island she has her mother to deal with, her niece Poe who is a sullen 'don't look at me' kind of teen, and her nemesis Luke Fletcher. However Nora is not easily deterred and the story rollicks along as she faces into all the challenges before her. Not least of all is winning over her niece Poe and finding a partner for her mother.  

Of course Nora is accompanied by her beloved dog Boomer and they have a fantastic relationship. However not so with her mother's pet bird Tweety. Oh my how I was horrified and .... yes laughed at the interactions there.

Nora makes significant changes in her life, she meets up again with Sully Fletcher and there just might be sparks there. As well he has a daughter Audrey, someone Nora is able to reach out to.

I loved picking up this book to read any chance I had, I loved the island, the people and scenery on Scupper. Kristan Higgins has satisfied my reading heart again.

December 4, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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!
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December here we come and already the days tick away here on my calendar at the bottom of my screen!

Still no need for an umbrella and lots of hosing of the vegie garden each evening. This week ants invaded my kitchen. Now I'll play nice if they stay outside, but the kitchen is mine! A few years back I endeavoured to rid myself of them with my own concoction found on You Tube. Well it didn't go down like they said it would. Readers, I had ants all over the kitchen and each day I had to sweep up dead ants all over the floor and cupboards. I even flew off to Australia and a kind friend did the last sweep up! This time no! Lesson learned. Shop bought stuff and a little plastic tray on the window sill and all gone ants in three days! No antageddon this time.

I didn't get that much reading achieved this week, what I have read though I enjoyed.  Sadly I will not get to finish all the reading challenges I set myself but that's okay, the year just went too fast!!

What I read last week:

Finished this review book.
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What I am reading at present:

What a delightful book, certainly one to keep.
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And still listening to The Lighthouse Keeper. It's okay but just not that "I must turn this on and listen to it all day".

Up next:

This review novella will do nicely as a Christmas read.
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And then from my TBR shelf

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Last Weeks Posts
November Reading Month in Review
December Book of Choice Giveaway    As always a slot for It's Monday! bloggers.
Artefacts    Rebecca Burns
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November 30, 2017

November Reading Month in Review

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Welcome in, do join me by sharing your link to your look back at this month. I'm looking forward to visiting and seeing what everyone has been up to.  The link will be open for you to share your post whenever you post over the next few days.  Do visit each others' posts.

**Plus if you are one of those who link your month in review post here, do participate in the December book giveaway on the sidebar. Special slot for all those who link their post up.

Total books read this month: 13
Now That You Mention It   Kristin Higgins   4.5 stars
Change of Heart   Sonali Dev  4 stars
Duke in Shining Armour   Loretta Chase  5 stars
Edge of Darkness   Karen Rose   5 stars
Artefacts   Rebecca Burns  5 stars
Slightly South of Simple  Kristy Harvey Woodsen   4.5 stars
Dinner With Edward   Isabel Vincent   4 stars
Family Baggage   Monica McInerney  4 stars
Falling to Pieces  Vanetta Chapman   3.5 stars
Dream Work   Mary Oliver   5 stars
The Gilded Hour   Sarah Donati   4 stars
Secrets in Death  J. D. Robb   4 stars
A Distant Heart   Sonali Dev  4 stars

Book Formats:

PaperbackFour
E-BookSeven
AudiobookTwo
From TBR shelfOne
Review BooksFive
From my New Shelf   Two


Genres Read


Contemporary RomanceTwo
Crime/SuspenseTwo
PoetryOne
Women's FictionThree
Historical FictionTwo
MemoirOne
Cozy mysteryOne
Short storiesOne

New to me authors.
Isabel Vincent
Monica McInerney

Top Book for November

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Looking Forward to reading in December...

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Incoming Books.
No books purchased - trying to read the ones I have bought already!


Books coming from NetGalley or Edelweiss
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Audio Books with Credits or on sale
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Month in Review




November 29, 2017

December Book of Choice Giveaway.


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Lonna from Flylef is organising and hosting this giveaway hop and I am joining in for the last month of the year.
This giveaway starts a little early because its that season  and ends on the 15th of December. The winner will be able to choose any book, published any time, just because that's the book you want.

I am giving away any one book up to the value of $18 U.S. so long as you are in an area of the world where the Book Depository ships to you.  One winner will receive their book of choice. Open internationally.  This can be a book that is published this month or next or any previous months. 

Congratulations to the November winner.
In November the winner was from IL USA and she chose this book
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  ♬  Enter Giveaway 

Details
📘         Giveaway ends on December 15th.
📘         Open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to you.
📘         One winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter .
📘         The winner will be announced here on the blog and will also be emailed. 
📘         If winner does not respond after 72 hours a new winner will be chosen.
📘         Prizes will be fulfilled as soon as the winner emails me their choice.




a Rafflecopter giveaway
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