Books I've Been Reading

 I read a bit less than my average 10 books a month this month but really surprised myself by reading so many non-fictions books!  I found I had a rather eclectic collection of books this month and enjoyed so many of them-- for completely different reasons. 



1. The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth--Oh this is such a hard book to summarize without giving away so many plot twists!  It was a fabulous story that I just could not put down. Rose and Fern are twin sisters and when Fern discovers Rose can not have kids, Fern hatches a plan to get pregnant and give her baby to Rose.  The story is interwoven with memories from their childhoods and the whole time the reader is left with a sense that all is not as it seems. 


2. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh-- I listened to this book on CD and was immediately drawn into the story.  Victoria Jones has been living in the foster care system until the day she turns 18 and is emancipated.  Armed with her knowledge of flowers and the meaning behind them she finds luck in a flower shop.  Told in two parts; one as she works in the flower shop helping customers and making friends, and one told of her childhood in the foster care system it was a riveting story.



3. Luck of the Titanic-- Velora Luck sneaks onto the Titanic after her ticket is deemed "no good" because she is Chinese and there is an act in place in America banning Chinese immigrants. Determined to meet up with her brother who is a third class passenger with one of the shipping lines being transferred with his work crew to another assignment in Cuba, Velora pushes her luck.  Through a series of events, she finds herself living both in first class and spending time being passed off as a lad with her brother's crew. Hoping to perform for one of the owner's of Barnum's circus and get passage into America Velora has big plans.  I loved this story and found myself rooting for Velora and her friends despite knowing how many of the stories must end-- with the sinking of the Titanic.  I highly recommend this young adult novel about the Titanic.



4. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner-- This heartfelt memoir was quite poignant in parts.  The author is crying over the loss of her mother and her ties to her Korean heritage; often in the local Korean market where memories of dishes and meals prepared by her mother and mother's family assault her.  Loaded with food references (many of which I had zero knowledge) and a fairly detailed retelling of her mother's battle with cancer it was both sad and sweet. 


5. I'll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller -- I am a huge Friends fan and just knew I had to read this book when I saw the cover!  The first few chapters dragged a bit until all the characters were cast but then the story really took off. Knowing all of the episodes by heart it was a fun little indulgence reading this book and re-living the ups and downs of each season. 



6. Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every national Park by Conor Knighton-- My husband and I have plans to see all the national parks once he retires (though we're slowly visiting some now).  I've been contenting myself with reading about them. I learned a lot through this book and enjoyed being taken along on the journey.


7. Beartown by Fredrick Backman-- I had heard such mixed reviews about this book, but have enjoyed most of Backman's books so I decided to give it a try.  While it is dark and intense I did think the storyline was a good one and it sucked me in.  A small town with nothing much going for it except for this year's hockey team making into the playoffs.  All eyes are on the players and their coaches hoping for a win that could turn the town around.  The first page starts off with a teen putting a gun to another teen's head and pulling the trigger and the whole book is a slow boil to see who did it, who the victim is, and why.  It was as difficult a book to read as it was to put down since it deals with rape, violence, alcohol and drug use.  



8. The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz--  I really enjoyed this book and read through it in just a few days.  Rocky is not your typical bride, dressed in combat boots and sporting green hair she balks at her mother's request to the wear the wedding dress that's been in her family for 3 generations.  Told through multiple views the story switches back and forth between Rocky,  her mother back when she was the bride to be, and Rose the seamstress who made the dress.  The story had enough twists and turns to keep me interested and I just liked these three women.  



DNF:

1. The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyes-- I thought this was going to be a great story! The first story is set in London in 1960 when Jennifer wakes up in the hospital after a horrible accident that left her with amnesia.  The second part of the story picks up in 2003 when reporter Ellie discovers a love letter and decides to investigate to see what ever become of the couple in the letter... but I never even made it to the reporter part of the story.  I got so bogged down in the months of Jenny's stories that bored and at the same time somehow lost me. 

 Linking up with:














Comments

  1. Oh I think I need to pick up that Sally Hepworth book- she never disappoints- thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome! I've only read one other book by her and can't wait to try some of her others.

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  2. "Crying In H Mart" is on my list!

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    1. I could only have enjoyed it more if I knew more about different Korean foods.

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  3. Only one I read on this list is the good sister but now you have me intrigued with some of the other titles, always love posts like this for book inspiration!

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    1. I really lucked out with some great picks this month.

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  4. 10 books a month! That is impressive! I am happy if I read 2. Anyway, loved The Language of Flowers and Bear Town. Two really great books!

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    1. They definitely were! Both stories that I know will stick with me.

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  5. I loved The Good Sister and I have her new one to read soon! Also really liked Leave Only Footprints!

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    1. That's one book that I picked up based on your recommendation.

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  6. Looks like some really great titles. Curious about National park book.

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    1. I have been throwing in a few national parks books each year; I tend to prefer ones that are more story oriented versus just a travel book with facts about each place.

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  7. EEK! I've never see that Friends book so I'm heading to put it in my wish list now. You know how much I love that show! Nothing will ever surpass its greatness!

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  8. Crying in H Mart has been on my list for a while. Still need to get to it.
    The Friends book looks interesting.

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    1. I learned a lot about things happening behind the scenes and was intrigued with how they handled 9/11 and how that really brought a huge surge in ratings for them.

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  9. I'm definitely checking out the national parks book. Looks great! This was a slow reading month for me.

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  10. What a great collection of books.
    The Friends Book really caught my eye. I think my eldest and I would love it x

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  11. I am impressed! 10 books! I need to read more but find I just can't maintain my concentration.

    https://marshainthemiddle.com

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  12. I'm waiting on Crying in H Mart from the library!

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    1. I had to wait a bit for it too but it was worth the wait.

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  13. The Grace Kelly Dress sounds good and I'll be adding these to my reading list.

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  14. Oh, thanks for these recommendations and one to avoid!! You should join our online book club because we get a wide variety of books chosen.
    XOXO
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  15. Thankyou for this round up of the books you read last month. I could never get through so many. Such a wonderful mix, there are a few I need to add to my library borrowing list. Thankyou! And also for letting us know what not to read1 Happy reading, enjoy your week, and thank you for visiting my blog this week.

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  16. That's a great round-up of books - I'm impressed you managed to read so many in a month! Love the sound of The Good Sister and The Grace Kelly Dress. #MMBC

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  17. I have The Good Sister in my que but haven't read it yet. WAs it a quick read? Sounds like you liked it.

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  18. Thanks for linking up! I loved The Good Sister! I want to read The Grace Kelly Dress. You are so good about making time to read! I've been slacking lately.

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    1. Thanks! It's so cold that all I want to do is snuggle up in front of the fireplace with a good book.

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  19. The Grace Kelly Dress and Bear Town sound really good! I've heard of Bear Town before but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I read The Language of Flowers and found it fascinating too!

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    1. I really enjoy most of Backman's books; they tend to be somewhat darker stories but they definitely stick with me.

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  20. I read H Mart this past month too. Tough one. I googled all the food LOL

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  21. ahhhh i also loved the good sister! the language of flowers has been on my list for like 5 years lol. i need to get to it.

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    1. It is a really good one; so far I have read two books by Diffenbaugh and they have both been fantastic.

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  22. You read some good books this month. I enjoyed The Good Sister and Crying in HMart. I loved Beartown and the sequel! I don't like hockey, so I was surprised at how much I loved the books!

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    1. I hadn't realized there was a sequel with Beartown!

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  23. I liked The Good Sister. I knew something wasn't right all the way through but couldn't really figure it out at first.

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  24. I really want to read Luck of the Titanic. I loved her book The Downstairs Girl.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  25. Thank you for joining us at What's On Your Bookshelf. I greatly enjoyed Bear Town (the book)...but couldn't even get through Episode 1 of the Streaming Series. I too watched every episode of Friends (with my son when he was a teen). I'll look for the book - it could be a fun memory jog!

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    1. I couldn't make it through episode 1 either; I kept yelling "that's not right!"

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  26. Would you believe I've never seen an episode of friends? I know! Shameful! (Promise you won't tell...) I've heard really good things about crying in H-Mart & might just add it to my TBR pile. Thanks for joining us again.

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    1. I can't believe that! LOL. I don't think I've ever met anyone who hasn't seen a single episode of Friends before!

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  27. Hello Holly thanks for joining us for the What's On Your Bookshelf? Challenge for this month. I love it when I discover new books and from your list I have only read The Good Sister so plenty to choose from. The Language of Flowers has certainly piqued my interest. I hope you will join us next month and share what you have been reading. x

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    1. The Language of Flowers was so good!! So far I have loved all of Vanessa's books.

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  29. It's great to read your reviews Joanne. I am a huge fan of Sally Hepworth, you did well with your review of The Good Sister without giving anything away! Thanks for joining us again for #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

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  30. Crying in H Mart was so beautiful and sad and such a great book.

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  31. Great reviews! I just ordered Leave Only Footprints. One of my retirement dreams is to visit all the national parks, so I'm all over this one.

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    1. Another great book about the National Parks I enjoyed was called "Dear Bob and Sue" ; letters home to friends from one couple who visited all the national parks.

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